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M62 Engine Valve Cover Gasket Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

M62 Engine Valve Cover Gasket Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

****

Tools:

Set of sockets 10mm, 13mm, wrenches, screwdrivers

Applicable Models:

BMW X5 (2000-06)

Parts Required:

Valve cover gasket, valve cover bolt set, RTV (silicone sealant)

Hot Tip:

Have plastic scraper on hand to clean old gasket material from cylinder head

Performance Gain:

Repair oil leaks

Complementary Modification:

Replace upper timing cover gaskets

The BMW E53 M62 8-cylinder engine cylinder head is covered with an aluminum cylinder head cover, also known as the valve cover. The ignition coils are bolted to the top surface of the valve cover. The spark plugs are installed in deep wells in the valve cover, one spark plug beneath each ignition coil. The electrical harness to the ignition coils is routed along the top of the valve cover as well.

The valve cover gasket is one of the most common places to have an oil leak on your BMW E53. If you have an oil leak down the exhaust side or front of your engine, start at the top and replace the valve cover gasket. When the valve cover gasket leaks, it can create quite a mess and seem much worse than it is. Engine oil can also leak into the spark plug hole in the cylinder head, contaminating the ignition coil. You will have to repair the oil leak and clean or replace the ignition coil.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

The vehicle in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours as models change and evolve, as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Disconnect the battery negative cable. See our tech article on battery replacing.

Remove the engine covers. See our tech article on removing the engine covers.

The valve covers can be viewed with the engine covers on (red arrows).
Figure 1

The valve covers can be viewed with the engine covers on (red arrows). It is best to remove the engine covers when inspecting the engine for oil leaks. Look for oil residue and a clean area, where oil is seen. This may be the source of the leak. Usually the leaking oil leaves a trail as to where it originated.

First, we have to remove the intake air duct that runs from the throttle housing (yellow arrow) to the mass airflow sensor (green arrow).
Figure 2

First, we have to remove the intake air duct that runs from the throttle housing (yellow arrow) to the mass airflow sensor (green arrow).

Working at the fresh air intake, remove the four plastic rivets (green arrows).
Figure 3

Working at the fresh air intake, remove the four plastic rivets (green arrows). Use a pair of pliers (inset) to remove the center rivet. Once all the center rivets have been removed, pull the duct up to detach it from the vehicle.

Then lift the duct up on the left side while detaching it from the duct (green arrow) on the right side.
Figure 4

Then lift the duct up on the left side while detaching it from the duct (green arrow) on the right side.

Working at the mass airflow sensor, loosen the hose clamp using a flathead screwdriver (green arrow).
Figure 5

Working at the mass airflow sensor, loosen the hose clamp using a flathead screwdriver (green arrow).

Working at the throttle housing duct, loosen the hose clamp using a flathead screwdriver (green arrow).
Figure 6

Working at the throttle housing duct, loosen the hose clamp using a flathead screwdriver (green arrow).

Next, you will have to rotate the throttle housing duct up toward the left side of the vehicle in the direction of the green arrow.
Figure 7

Next, you will have to rotate the throttle housing duct up toward the left side of the vehicle in the direction of the green arrow. This will detach it from the mass airflow sensor. Once detached from the mass airflow sensor, pull the duct off the throttle housing. There are two small hoses you have to disconnect in the following step. Be careful not to damage them during this step.

Working at the bottom of the intake air duct, detach the plastic line by squeezing the release collar (green arrows) while pulling the line off the duct.
Figure 8

Working at the bottom of the intake air duct, detach the plastic line by squeezing the release collar (green arrows) while pulling the line off the duct. Then pull the vacuum hose (yellow arrow) straight off the duct to remove it.

When removing the duct, be sure not to misplace the rubber duct seal (green arrow).
Figure 9

When removing the duct, be sure not to misplace the rubber duct seal (green arrow). The seal will either stay inside the duct or remain attached to the throttle housing.

Working at the right front of the engine, remove the vacuum hose (red arrow) from the secondary air valve.
Figure 10

Working at the right front of the engine, remove the vacuum hose (red arrow) from the secondary air valve.

Next, you have to remove the secondary air solenoid and vacuum reservoir.
Figure 11

Next, you have to remove the secondary air solenoid and vacuum reservoir. Start by removing the 10mm fastener (yellow arrow). Disconnect the electrical connector by pressing the release tab and pulling it straight off. Then follow the vacuum hose from the solenoid to the reservoir (green arrow) and disconnect it. Then remove the solenoid from the engine. Remove the 10mm fastener at the vacuum reservoir.

Unplug the camshaft sensor electrical connector (green arrow) by pressing the release tab and pulling it straight out.
Figure 12

Unplug the camshaft sensor electrical connector (green arrow) by pressing the release tab and pulling it straight out. Then disconnect the knock sensor (red arrow) electrical connector by pulling it straight out. Once the connectors are unplugged, remove the vacuum reservoir from the engine. Move to the right side of the engine and disconnect the knock and camshaft sensor electrical connectors.

When removing the vacuum reservoir, detach the hard plastic line from the holder (red arrow).
Figure 13

When removing the vacuum reservoir, detach the hard plastic line from the holder (red arrow). Then lift the reservoir (green arrow) up and pull off the mounting tab (yellow arrow).

Next, you have to disconnect the ignition coils and remove the wiring harness housing on each side of the engine.
Figure 14

Next, you have to disconnect the ignition coils and remove the wiring harness housing on each side of the engine. Start by removing the 10mm mounting nuts (green arrows). The front nuts have already been removed when the solenoid and vacuum reservoir were removed. Remove the remaining rear fasteners. Then remove the 10mm nut for the ignition coil ground (red arrow). Then disconnect each ignition coil (yellow arrows) by sliding the lock up and pulling the connector out of the coil. The left side is shown. Repeat these steps for the right side.

The fuel injector harness is part of the housing and has to be removed next.
Figure 15

The fuel injector harness is part of the housing and has to be removed next. The harness is one solid plastic connector with individual connectors for each fuel injector. There are wire clips that hold the harness onto each fuel injector. You can disconnect each wire clip. Then pull the harness up off the fuel injectors. I like to use an alternative method. Use a small pry bar and lever between the harness (red arrows) and the fuel rail. When doing this, you have to use one swift action to disconnect the harness. Lever each connector off in the area of the red arrows. Be careful when using this method. If you lever at an angle or force an injector to move, you may damage a fuel injector. If a clip won't release, use a small pick to remove the wire retainer (inset). The left side is shown. Repeat these steps for the right side.

Move to the rear of the left side electrical housing.
Figure 16

Move to the rear of the left side electrical housing. Locate the battery cable and remove it from the mount (red arrow).

Confirm that the left side of the electrical housing can be lifted and is free from all connections.
Figure 17

Confirm that the left side of the electrical housing can be lifted and is free from all connections. Let it rest on the engine. There are a few connectors on the right side left before we can move this out of our way.

Move to the right front of the engine.
Figure 18

Move to the right front of the engine. Disconnect the VANOS solenoid and coolant temp sensor electrical connectors (red arrows). Then remove the engine oil dipstick (yellow arrow).

Move the wiring harness (yellow arrow) from the engine side of the dipstick tube (red arrow).
Figure 19

Move the wiring harness (yellow arrow) from the engine side of the dipstick tube (red arrow). Then reinstall the dipstick.

Move the wiring harnesses (red arrows) to the right side of the engine and place it out of the way.
Figure 20

Move the wiring harnesses (red arrows) to the right side of the engine and place it out of the way. If needed, cut the zip tie at the rear of the harness (green arrow) to allow for more movement. Just remember to replace the zip tie when reassembling.

The following steps illustrate how to remove each valve cover.
Figure 21

The following steps illustrate how to remove each valve cover. Notes on installing will follow. Working at the left side of the engine, remove the lower hose from the coolant reservoir (green arrow). Lever the hose clip (yellow arrow) up. Then pull the hose straight off the reservoir. Next, you will have to pull the heater valve (red arrow) off the strut tower and move the heater hoses aside.

Working at the coolant reservoir, remove the vent hose by levering up the clip (yellow arrow) then pulling the hose straight off.
Figure 22

Working at the coolant reservoir, remove the vent hose by levering up the clip (yellow arrow) then pulling the hose straight off. Remove the 10mm reservoir fasteners (red arrows). Then lift the reservoir up and disconnect the lever sensor electrical connector (green arrow). Move the coolant reservoir out of the way.

Back at the heater valve, disconnect the electrical connector by pressing the release tab and pulling it straight off (inset).
Figure 23

Back at the heater valve, disconnect the electrical connector by pressing the release tab and pulling it straight off (inset). Then pull the valve up (yellow arrow) out of the mounting bracket (red arrow) and move the valve with the hoses attached to the right rear of the engine.

Then remove the ignition coils (red arrow) from the engine.
Figure 24

Then remove the ignition coils (red arrow) from the engine.

Remove the eleven 10mm fasteners from the perimeter of the valve cover (red arrows).
Figure 25

Remove the eleven 10mm fasteners from the perimeter of the valve cover (red arrows). Once the fasteners have been removed, lever out the sealing grommets and washers (yellow arrow) using a small flathead screwdriver. The grommets will be replaced and the washers reused.

Then lift the valve cover up and off the cylinder head.
Figure 26

Then lift the valve cover up and off the cylinder head. See the following steps for the right side of the engine. Installation notes are at the end of the article.

Working at the bottom of the windshield washer reservoir, disconnect the lever sensor electrical connector.
Figure 27

Working at the bottom of the windshield washer reservoir, disconnect the lever sensor electrical connector.

Working at the top of the windshield washer reservoir, remove the two 10mm plastic nuts (red arrows).
Figure 28

Working at the top of the windshield washer reservoir, remove the two 10mm plastic nuts (red arrows). Remove the fluid from the reservoir using a suction pump.

Lift the windshield washer reservoir up.
Figure 29

Lift the windshield washer reservoir up. Disconnect the washer pump electrical connectors (yellow arrows) by pressing the release tab and pulling them straight off. Then remove the washer hoses from the pumps. Remove the reservoir from the vehicle.

Working at the e-box housing, remove the 10mm plastic nut (red arrow).
Figure 30

Working at the e-box housing, remove the 10mm plastic nut (red arrow).

Working at the e-box (green arrow) housing above the right side valve cover, remove the three 10mm fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 31

Working at the e-box (green arrow) housing above the right side valve cover, remove the three 10mm fasteners (red arrows).

Next, you have to remove the plastic shroud.
Figure 32

Next, you have to remove the plastic shroud. Start by removing the hose from the rear mount (green arrow). Then pull the harness (yellow arrow) up and out of the shroud. Then lift the shroud up (red arrow) and remove it from the vehicle.

Then remove the ignition coils from the engine.
Figure 33

Then remove the ignition coils from the engine. Remove the eleven 10mm fasteners from the perimeter of the valve cover (red arrows). Once the fasteners have been removed, lever out the sealing grommets and washers using a small flathead screwdriver. The grommets will be replaced and the washers reused. Then lift the valve cover up and off the cylinder head.

Thoroughly clean the valve cover.
Figure 34

Thoroughly clean the valve cover. Then install a new gaskets into the gasket recess in the valve cover. Clean the cylinder head gasket surface. Apply RTV to the timing cover gaps at the front of each cylinder head (red arrows).

Apply RTV to the camshaft bores at the rear of each cylinder head (red arrows).
Figure 35

Apply RTV to the camshaft bores at the rear of each cylinder head (red arrows). Apply the RTV to the corners of the cylinder head. Install the valve covers with gaskets and tighten the fasteners. Reinstall items in the reverse steps of removal. Then recheck the engine for oil leaks.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Luca Montana Comments: I will like to add that putting the valve cover gasket back on is also a big challenge. The way I finally did it was to NOT put the gasket into the valve cover but directly onto the metal that the gasket would sit on. Mind you, this way you still have to run your fingers along the edge of the valve cover and tuck into the valve cover - it's a royal pain in the S. I thank Pelican Part though for this great web site...it helped me to do this job! Last note - other web sites say to use that RTV amd to line the Valve Cover and place the gasket into the groove with the RTV - I tried - do NOT do this...trust me do it my way and you'll get it on snug and right.
October 23, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Luca Montana Comments: Never Mind - Step 24 - take the electric cable and with a little force pull it from the left side where it goes into the middle of the engine. This will give enough slack to pull off the Gasket Cover.
October 21, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Luca Montana Comments: There is a step missing prior to going to Step / Figure 25 from Figure 24. There is what seems to be an electrical wire / tube that sits on the drivers side valve cover. You all have pictures of it but do not advise on how to remove it. HOW DO WE REMOVE THIS? I have attached a photo. PLEASE ADVISE! Thank you.
October 21, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: See step 24. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Luca Montana Comments: STEP #14 = MOST DIFFICULT STEP!

BMW must have some kind of intstrument that helps to unclip the clips. The last clips are nearly impossible to open I had to yank the housing off the last fuel injectors due to the fact that it is so challenging to get access to. The others I was able to access and wiggle off but not the clips all the way towards the fire wall. There is also a video online showing people to just pull hard on the wiring harness on either side - I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND YOU DO THIS!!! I had to for the last injectors and there is a possibility you can damage the injectors and wiring that feeds into the injector attachment.
October 19, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for sharing your installation process and experience. These type of comments add so much to the Pelican tech community.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
2002 bmw Comments: on 2002 x 5 3.0i, after valve cover gasket, oil housing filter gasket, oil pan gasket job, does it have to be reprogram? please asap.
July 27, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No, it should not need programming. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Rat tail Comments: Hi , I've just changed the valve cover gaskets on my m62 x5 and used your article on valve cover replacement , it was very helpful thanks , the only thing I did different was leave the injector electrical connectors in place because I couldn't get to the clips so I took the top off the box and moved the coil plugs out of the way and was able to remove the covers , great site , great prices !! Jim
September 24, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:47:28 AM