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Pelican Technical Article:

M54 6-Cylinder Engine Crankcase Breather Valve Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

4 hours4 hrs

Tab:

$300

Talent:

*****

Tools:

Set of sockets (hex and Torx T25), wrenches, screwdrivers

Applicable Models:

X3 E83 (2004-06)
X3 E83 facelift (N/A-A)

Parts Required:

Crankcase breather valve, crankcase breather hoses and pipes

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine.

Performance Gain:

Car will run well

Complementary Modification:

Change engine oil and air filter

When a crankcase breather valve begins to fail, engine drivability suffers. You may have a rough idle, hard start or a check engine light that is ON with fuel trim faults. If your engine is consuming oil or smoking, checking the crankcase vent valve is a good place to start. The crankcase breather has also been known to emit a honking or wheezing sound from the engine when failing. It is mounted to the back of intake manifold, near the firewall. The crankcase vent hose that runs from the valve cover to the crankcase breather valve is the hose I find broken the most. If you are doing a repair where this hose may be moved or bumped, have a spare on hand, because it will break.

When replacing your crankcase breather valve, I suggest replacing all the vent hoses and the oil drain hose to dipstick tube. They become brittle over time from exposure to engine oil and heat. When removing, the parts are likely to fall apart in your hands. Have the parts shown below before you begin in order to avoid vehicle down time.

Early M54 6-cylinder engines utilize an external crankcase breather. This tech article shows how to replace them. On late 6-cylinder models, the crankcase breather valve is integrated into the valve cover or external. This will be covered in a separate article.

Crankcase breather parts: Pipe to valve cover (green arrow), Crankcase breather (yellow arrow), Drain hose (purple arrow), Pipes to intake manifold (blue arrows).
Figure 1

Crankcase breather parts: Pipe to valve cover (green arrow), Crankcase breather (yellow arrow), Drain hose (purple arrow), Pipes to intake manifold (blue arrows). Disconnect negative (-) battery cable. See our tech article on Battery Replacing for connection notes. Remove engine covers. See our tech article on Removing Engine Covers. Remove throttle housing. See our tech article on Replacing Throttle Housing.

With the throttle housing removed, you now have access to the crankcase breather.
Figure 2

With the throttle housing removed, you now have access to the crankcase breather. Our vehicle is from a cold climate, so it has the simulation kit (red arrow) to help prevent freezing. Working at front of intake manifold, pull evaporative emission purge solenoid off mounting bracket. It is mounted in rubber bushing and pulls straight off bracket (blue arrow).

Working at front corner of cylinder head cover, disconnect crankcase breather pipe.
Figure 3

Working at front corner of cylinder head cover, disconnect crankcase breather pipe. Squeeze the collar and pull it straight off (red arrow). Since I do not reuse these parts, I take a pick or flathead screwdriver and break the retaining collar. Then pull pipe off cylinder head cover and remove any remaining pieces of pipe from cylinder head cover. Alternately, you can squeeze the plastic spring collar and pull off to remove (inset).

Working at center of intake manifold, squeeze release tab and pull pipe (green arrow) off crankcase breather pipe (purple arrow).
Figure 4

Working at center of intake manifold, squeeze release tab and pull pipe (green arrow) off crankcase breather pipe (purple arrow).

If pipe (red arrow) will not release, use a pair of needle nose pliers to squeeze release tabs (inset) while pulling off breather pipe (yellow arrow).
Figure 5

If pipe (red arrow) will not release, use a pair of needle nose pliers to squeeze release tabs (inset) while pulling off breather pipe (yellow arrow).

After the small pipe (red arrow) is removed, disconnect breather pipe (yellow arrow) from intake manifold.
Figure 6

After the small pipe (red arrow) is removed, disconnect breather pipe (yellow arrow) from intake manifold. This pipe is always easier to remove if you break the retaining collar using a flathead screwdriver (blue arrow).

Working at bottom of dipstick tube (red arrow), disconnect crankcase breather valve drain hose from dipstick tube.
Figure 7

Working at bottom of dipstick tube (red arrow), disconnect crankcase breather valve drain hose from dipstick tube. Our subject vehicle has the cold climate package, we had to pull back the hose insulation (yellow arrow) then remove the hose (blue arrow).

Remove the dipstick tube 13mm fastener.
Figure 8

Remove the dipstick tube 13mm fastener. Next pull complete dipstick tube out of engine. Inspect crankcase drain hole and confirm it is clear of obstructions. You can use a piece of stiff wire, but there is an internal baffle (green arrow), do not expect wire to pop out other side.

Next you will be working at the crankcase breather valve.
Figure 9

Next you will be working at the crankcase breather valve. Disconnect the pipe (blue arrow) from crankcase breather valve. I suggest breaking the retaining collar on these also, then pulling the pipes straight off breather valve. You can leave the lower pipe on for now (yellow arrow). The insulation (green arrow) should not get your way, if needed gently lever it out of the way. Remove crankcase breather valve T25 Torx fasteners (red arrows) then remove crankcase breather valve from engine.

Viewed with intake manifold removed.
Figure 10

Viewed with intake manifold removed. Disconnect the pipes (green arrows) from crankcase breather valve. I suggest breaking the retaining collar on these also, then pulling the pipes straight off breather valve.

Viewed with intake manifold removed.
Figure 11

Viewed with intake manifold removed. Remove crankcase breather valve T25 Torx fasteners (green arrows) then remove crankcase breather valve from engine.

Viewed with intake manifold removed.
Figure 12

Viewed with intake manifold removed. Install crankcase breather valve and tighten fasteners. Install new drain hose (green arrow) to bottom of crankcase breather valve. Next, install crankcase breather hose (purple hose) to breather valve. Then install intake connection pipe (blue arrow) to breather valve. Listen for an audible click when you install hoses. Next install dipstick tube (do not install mounting fastener yet) and connect drain hose to dipstick tube. Then connect hoses to intake manifold and valve cover. Reassemble remaining items, when complete, double check all hose routings.

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 03:08:57 AM