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M62 8-Cylinder Crankcase Breather Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

M62 8-Cylinder Crankcase Breather Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

4 hours4 hrs

Tab:

$350

Talent:

*****

Tools:

Flathead screwdriver, T30, T45 Torx, 5mm, 6mm nut drivers

Applicable Models:

BMW X5 (2000-06)

Parts Required:

Crankcase breather, oil separator, separator hoses and clamps

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine

Performance Gain:

Remedy internal vacuum leaks and engine smoking

Complementary Modification:

Replace engine oil

The BMW 8-cylinder engine in E53 X5 models (M62 engine) is equipped with a plastic intake manifold. The intake manifold houses the crankcase breather. The oil separator is mounted to the right rear on a bracket. The manifold directs air to each cylinder via an individual runner. This provides good power and throttle response.

Every internal combustion engine produces "blow-by" as compression leaks past the piston's sealing rings. High mileage engines may produce more of these crankcase gases. These gases have harmful emissions and cannot be allowed to pass into the atmosphere. These gases are recirculated by being drawn into the intake of the engine through a PCV system. Crankcase gases are sent to an oil separator, which allows liquid oil to drain back to the oil pan and allows only the crankcase gases to continue through the valves into the intake system.

The crankcase breather system is broken up into two parts on the M62 8-cylinder engine. If you have blue smoke coming out of you tailpipe, you may have a clogged oil separator valve. If you have a vacuum leak, you may have a bad PCV valve. The oil separator valve is mounted to the right rear of the intake manifold. It draws in crankcase gases and spins them around in a cyclone. The heavier oil sticks to the side of the separator and drains back to the oil pan through a tube. The crankcase gases are directed through a tube under the intake manifold to the back plate of the manifold. A valve in the back plate opens and closes, allowing crankcase gasses in when manifold vacuum is high. You can replace the back plate and the gasket with the intake manifold still on the vehicle, but I have removed it for photographic purposes.

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 you're 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.

Vehicle models change and evolve as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. 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 negative (-) battery cable. See our tech article on battery connection notes.

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

The oil separator is located at the right rear of the intake manifold (yellow arrow), while the crankcase breather is mounted to the rear of the intake manifold (red arrow).
Figure 1

The oil separator is located at the right rear of the intake manifold (yellow arrow), while the crankcase breather is mounted to the rear of the intake manifold (red arrow).

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 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 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 throttle housing, disconnect the electrical connector by squeezing the plastic release tabs (on top and bottom of connector) and pulling it off in the direction of green arrow.
Figure 10

Working at the throttle housing, disconnect the electrical connector by squeezing the plastic release tabs (on top and bottom of connector) and pulling it off in the direction of green arrow. Remove the four 10mm throttle-housing fasteners (green arrows). Use a 1/4-inch ratchet with a two-inch extension to clear the surrounding components.

Working at the left rear of the engine, remove the oil separator hoses (yellow arrows).
Figure 11

Working at the left rear of the engine, remove the oil separator hoses (yellow arrows). Loosen the hose clamp at the valve cover (red arrow). Then pull the hose straight off.

Next, you have to remove the hose from the crankcase breather.
Figure 12

Next, you have to remove the hose from the crankcase breather. You can see both oil separator hoses (yellow arrow) are still connected. This is to help you locate the clamp at the crankcase breather valve. Loosen the hose clamp at the valve cover (red arrow). Then pull the hose straight off.

Working at the right rear of the engine, remove the oil separator hoses (yellow arrows).
Figure 13

Working at the right rear of the engine, remove the oil separator hoses (yellow arrows). Loosen the hose clamps at the separator (red arrows). Then pull the hoses straight off.

If the hoses give you a hard time coming off, twist them back and forth while pulling.
Figure 14

If the hoses give you a hard time coming off, twist them back and forth while pulling. Doing that will break the bond between the hose and the separator.

Next, you have to work at the rear of the intake manifold.
Figure 15

Next, you have to work at the rear of the intake manifold. It seems like a tight fit, but X5 models have more than other 8-cylinder BMW models between the engine and the firewall. Start by removing the vacuum hose collar (green arrow). Pull it straight off (inset). Then disconnect the vacuum hose (yellow arrow). Next, remove the two 10mm oil separator-mounting fasteners (red arrows).

Move to the rear of the intake manifold.
Figure 16

Move to the rear of the intake manifold. The brake booster vacuum hose has to be removed. The brake booster vacuum hose is mounted in a rubber grommet. Instead of cutting the clamp and pulling the hose off the plastic elbow, I like to pull the plastic elbow right out of the intake. To do this, pull the plastic elbow straight out of the grommet (red arrow). If needed, use silicone spray to lubricate the grommet. Once out, lift the brake booster vacuum hose up. Then separate the junction (yellow arrows).

This photo shows the oil separator lower hose.
Figure 17

This photo shows the oil separator lower hose. The green arrow points to the lower portion of the oil separator, while the red arrow points to the red hose. In order to remove the oil separator, you have to detach this lower hose (red arrow). The lower rubber hose is usually collapsed or clogged, causing part of the issue with the separator fault. Disconnecting it here is difficult. It can be done easier at the lower corner of the right side cylinder head.

Looking down past the cylinder head between the exhaust manifold (red arrow) and the transmission bell housing, you can see the hose connection (yellow arrow).
Figure 18

Looking down past the cylinder head between the exhaust manifold (red arrow) and the transmission bell housing, you can see the hose connection (yellow arrow). Loosen the hose clamps. There are two. One is for the small hose to the crankcase breather valve (5mm clamp). The other is for the oil separator (6mm clamp). Loosen them both. Then remove the hoses from the lines.

Remove the oil separator from the engine.
Figure 19

Remove the oil separator from the engine. Note the collapsed and broken drain hose (red arrow). This is what caused part of the smoking issue on my subject vehicle.

Start by removing the remaining vacuum hose or plug (green arrows).
Figure 20

Start by removing the remaining vacuum hose or plug (green arrows). Next, remove the seven T30 Torx fasteners (red arrows) that hold the back plate onto the intake manifold. If they are stuck, you can remove them using vise grips. Then replace them with a 10mm hex head screw. The bolts should be 6mm x 1.0 x 25mm. Note the metal mounting bracket position when removing. Once the fasteners are removed, move the crankcase breather away from the intake manifold. Feed the vacuum line (yellow arrows) out with the valve. This line was removed along with the oil separator drain earlier. It should come out with no issue.

This photo shows the vacuum line when removed from the connection at the right cylinder head and the crankcase breather valve.
Figure 21

This photo shows the vacuum line when removed from the connection at the right cylinder head and the crankcase breather valve. Note the protective cover (red arrow). It is important that when replacing this hose the new one has this cover.

Remove the crankcase breather from the back of the intake manifold.
Figure 22

Remove the crankcase breather from the back of the intake manifold.

Next, remove the six T30 Torx fasteners (red arrows) that hold the front plate onto the intake manifold.
Figure 23

Next, remove the six T30 Torx fasteners (red arrows) that hold the front plate onto the intake manifold. If they are stuck, you can remove them using vise grips. Then replace them with a 10mm hex head screw. The bolts should be 6mm x 1.0 x 25mm. Remove the front plate from the intake manifold. You will need this off to replace the profile gasket and to align the plastic line inside the intake before installing the new crankcase breather valve.

Use a pick to remove the profile gasket from the groove in the intake manifold.
Figure 24

Use a pick to remove the profile gasket from the groove in the intake manifold. Do this for the front and rear of the intake manifold. Install the new gaskets by pressing them into place.

Working through the front cover opening, check that the plastic line (red arrow) is properly mounted in the bracket (yellow arrow).
Figure 25

Working through the front cover opening, check that the plastic line (red arrow) is properly mounted in the bracket (yellow arrow). It should snap into place. If the retainers are broken, replace the line.

Install the new vacuum line to the crankcase breather with a new clamp (inset).
Figure 26

Install the new vacuum line to the crankcase breather with a new clamp (inset). Install the front plate, then the new crankcase breather. Be sure the breather aligns with the plastic line (yellow arrow) housing. Install and tighten the front cover and crankcase breather fasteners. While you install the crankcase breather, feed the vacuum line under the intake, back to the mounting point at the right cylinder head. Once the breather and the line are installed, install the oil separator and connect the lower hose to the line near the right side cylinder head. The remaining installation steps are the reverse of the removal steps. Start the engine and verify you do not have any vacuum or oil leaks.


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Comments and Suggestions:
NotSoBrightJohn Comments: My 03 X5 M62 has a second vacuum line left green arrow in Figure 20. It is shown as capped in yours, but was an actual hose in mine.

I replaced the PCV successfully, but managed to forget where the second vacuum line goes. I'm not sure if I disconnected it from both ends, or if it is hiding somewhere now.

I can't find it on any realoem diagram, nor is Bentley any help. But I know it was there. I capped it, and it seems to be running just fine. No codes, no white smoke. But I would really like to hook up the line again. Any ideas where this would go?

I have seen the second vacuum line in other online videos, but never see where it goes.
September 11, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It could run under the intake to the solenoids in the front. Run the engine and see you get a component fault code. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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