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Crankshaft Seal Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Crankshaft Seal Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

****

Tools:

10mm, 13mm socket, E14 external Torx, seal installer

Applicable Models:

BMW E46 M3 Coupe/Conv (2006)
BMW Z4 Coupe/Conv (2006-08)

Parts Required:

Crankshaft seal, vibration damper, drive belt, friction wheel

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine

Performance Gain:

Repair oil leak

Complementary Modification:

Replace drive belt or vibration damper

The S54 performance engine used in BMW Z4M models is the big brother of the S50 with a bigger bore, more electronic technology and an advanced air and exhaust system. A one piece aluminum cylinder head construction keep weight down, while technology like adjustable camshaft angle and variable valve lift help to keep the engines efficient.

With the new engine design, new sealing technology is needed. The crankshaft seal is a good example of this. It is made of Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Low friction and minimum power consumption are the main advantages of BMW utilizing a PTFE oil seal. Other benefits include, no sealing problems with dry operation or insufficient lubrication, an operating range of -130 degrees C to +200 degrees C, and a low breakaway torque after standstill.

Special processes and tools are needed when replacing PTFE seals, read the article completely before beginning to be sure you have the right stuff.

The purpose of a crankshaft seal is to provide sealing between the rotating crankshaft and the outside. Classical crankshaft seals consist of a metal housing that carries a dynamic sealing lip that also provides a static sealing function. The sealing lip of oil seals is usually manufactured of elastomer material, and is in contact with the surface of the rotating shaft.

In this article, I'll go over the steps involved with replacing the crankshaft seal on BMW Z4M with an S54 engine, other models are similar. Be sure to work with a cool engine.

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. Do not 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. Questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Lift and support the front of your vehicle. See our tech article on Jacking Up Your Z4.

Remove the engine splash shields. See our tech article on Engine Splash Shield Removing.

Working on the upper right side of the harmonic balancer, remove the timing bracket.
Figure 1

Working on the upper right side of the harmonic balancer, remove the timing bracket. Remove the two 10mm fasteners (red arrows), then remove the bracket (inset). Be sure to align the bracket with the dowels (blue arrows) when reinstalling. Next, remove the crankshaft pulley (purple arrow). See our tech article on crankshaft pulley replacing.

Using a crankshaft holder tool (red arrows), counterhold the pulley while loosening the four E14 Torx fasteners (blue arrow).
Figure 2

Using a crankshaft holder tool (red arrows), counterhold the pulley while loosening the four E14 Torx fasteners (blue arrow). When installing the pulley holding tool, be sure to use spare fasteners, not the crankshaft pulley fasteners.

Using a prybar, gently lever the (red arrow) harmonic balancer off the engine.
Figure 3

Using a prybar, gently lever the (red arrow) harmonic balancer off the engine. Be careful, it is heavy and will fall if not supported.

Remove the harmonic balancer from the engine.
Figure 4

Remove the harmonic balancer from the engine.

When installing the harmonic balancer, be sure to align the pin on the crankshaft (blue arrow) with the bore on the balancer (red arrow).
Figure 5

When installing the harmonic balancer, be sure to align the pin on the crankshaft (blue arrow) with the bore on the balancer (red arrow).

Using a punch, gently drive the seal toward the engine at the top so the bottom of seal tilts outward.
Figure 6

Using a punch, gently drive the seal toward the engine at the top so the bottom of seal tilts outward. Then use a hook tool to pull the seal out (red arrow). Thoroughly clean the crankshaft seal area.

If you don't have a seal installer, you can get away with using the storage sleeve and a socket.
Figure 7

If you don't have a seal installer, you can get away with using the storage sleeve and a socket. However, you have to be very careful and maintain an even and smooth installation of the seal. Otherwise damage to the seal lip will occur. First, use black marker and outline the harmonic balancer bore (red arrow). Then place the seal with sleeve over the balancer and center it, drill a hole where the bore is. This allows the storage sleeve to fit over the crankshaft locating pin.

Place the seal with sleeve (purple arrow) onto to the crankshaft and align the pin (red arrow) into the drilled hole.
Figure 8

Place the seal with sleeve (purple arrow) onto to the crankshaft and align the pin (red arrow) into the drilled hole. Push the seal on and over the crankshaft hub as far as it will go into the timing cover by hand. The sleeve will pop off once the lip clears the hub.

Use a seal installer or 48mm socket (purple arrow) to drive the seal into the timing cover (red arrow).
Figure 9

Use a seal installer or 48mm socket (purple arrow) to drive the seal into the timing cover (red arrow). Install seal until it is recessed about 3: 4 mm into the timing cover (blue arrow). Inspect the seal and be sure the lip is not rolled or crooked. Once complete, reassemble items and check engine for leaks.

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Page last updated: Sat 12/3/2016 03:05:01 AM