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Old 11-29-2019, 07:29 PM   #1
wfx32
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oil filter housing gasket? or just a defective oil filter o-ring



i swear i was planning to do the oil filter housing gasket as pm. i left the car for a couple of weeks and came back to this. i know this is a very common failure, but first time for me so i'd appreciate any advice. i'm hoping there is a bavauto diy blog or youtube video for this repair.

Last edited by wfx32; 12-04-2019 at 09:14 AM.
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Old 11-29-2019, 07:42 PM   #2
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https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=659100

found this old diy from 2009 and pics are still working.
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Old 11-29-2019, 07:49 PM   #3
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https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?p=9614732

and another with still more pics.
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Old 11-29-2019, 07:50 PM   #4
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50's Kid on Youtube has an excellent DIY on replacing the oil filter housing gasket.
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Old 11-29-2019, 08:01 PM   #5
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50's Kid on Youtube has an excellent DIY on replacing the oil filter housing gasket.
thanks i will check that one out. his video quality is usually excellent. i didn't find a bavauto youtube but this bavauto blog recommends a viton gasket so you don't have to repeat the repair.
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Old 11-29-2019, 08:23 PM   #6
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the leak is so far forward .. i'm thinking it's leaking from the vanos line on the back of the oil filter housing.
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Old 11-29-2019, 08:28 PM   #7
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Yeah, that's too high, to be a leak from the OFHG.
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Old 11-29-2019, 08:35 PM   #8
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Have you changed the oil filter lately? Looks like the O-ring for the filter cap might be too far onto the cap. I got the O-ring above the groove once and it leaked like a sieve. The Vanos hose could be the cause too. Before I changed my OFHG the oil residue was mainly around the housing base and on the block not where it is in your pic. Might even be from the intake cam sensor O ring.
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Last edited by jmo69; 11-29-2019 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 11-29-2019, 09:40 PM   #9
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That is a huge leak. I would use simple green and a brush to clear out the oil and watch where it is starting. You should still do OFHG, but you may also have issues with the Vanos oil line and potentially the valve cover - which if original should also be replaced
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Old 11-29-2019, 09:41 PM   #10
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When doing the OFHG it's a good idea to also replace the CCV parts as they're more accessible. Throw in the O2Pilot mod as well.
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Old 11-29-2019, 10:32 PM   #11
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last oil change was in march. i was just coming up on the 7500 mile oil change interval.

it doesn't seem to be leaking from the top of the oil stand. my guess is the crush washer on the vanos line but i will take it apart tomorrow to confirm.

i just replaced the CCV a couple of months ago. and i replaced the valve cover gasket and grommets a year ago. i regret both because now i am looking for an excuse to install the m56 aluminum valve cover.
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Old 11-29-2019, 11:03 PM   #12
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You can run the CCV with the M56 cover, you'll just have 2 systems, the gaskets are different but the nuts and grommet are the same.
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Old 11-30-2019, 02:07 AM   #13
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I wonder if that oil is pooled there from a sloppy oil filter change?
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Old 11-30-2019, 07:55 AM   #14
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I wonder if that oil is pooled there from a sloppy oil filter change?
jmo suggested the same .. but it's been many months since the last oil change and i swear i installed the filter correctly.

reminds me of years ago when the independent left his mop up rag in the stand and then mashed the filter down with it. engine ran badly but no leaks back then.

i left the car garaged for a couple of weeks, worried that the coolant light and some minor coolant loss were precursors to failing thermostat or radiator as in years past.

so i was expecting to come back and find a coolant leak, not an oil leak. it's an active leak pouring out from somewhere .. so i should be able to clean up and trace as suggested by archbid.
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Old 11-30-2019, 08:55 AM   #15
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Yeah, that's too high, to be a leak from the OFHG.
^^^^^this.....looks like a sloppy filter change, cap wasn't torqued properly, or someone forgot or pinched the filter cap o-ring. OFHG leaks will be below on the webbed area on the block. PS I used the Bavauto Viteon OFHG and for about a year now its been bone dry under there. Fingers crossed lol.
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Old 11-30-2019, 12:14 PM   #16
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If you still want to go ahead with the gasket change go and buy the gasket at the dealership... Where I live, they were a bit cheaper than the ones from Ebay.
Also it would be a good idea to also change the gasket between the oilfilter housing and the heatexchanger.

Aaaand if you are already at it, do yourself a favor and change the Vanos seals and the vacuumpump seals as well, they all dont cost much and mine were hard as glass after almost 20 years, so even if they do not leak now, they will probably start soon.
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Old 11-30-2019, 02:21 PM   #17
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looks like a sloppy filter change, cap wasn't torqued properly, or someone forgot or pinched the filter cap o-ring.


nothing wrong with the o-ring. i used the genuine bmw rubber this time instead of the white viton. nothing wrong with the vanos line or crush washer either. so yeah i must have not torqued it down properly.
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Old 11-30-2019, 02:59 PM   #18
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nothing wrong with the o-ring. i used the genuine bmw rubber this time instead of the white viton. nothing wrong with the vanos line or crush washer either. so yeah i must have not torqued it down properly.
I hope that's it, when I got the O-ring wrong it started leaking right away, not 9 months later. Mine had actually started to squeeze out because it was above the groove. As far as torquing it, I just crank it down till it seats, it's two flat surfaces meeting.

After looking at the pic closer it looks like the old O-ring was out of the groove.
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Old 11-30-2019, 03:05 PM   #19
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Good you discovered it before it spit more oil everywhere. Could you tell if it was loose when you unscrewed it?
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Old 11-30-2019, 04:15 PM   #20
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Good you discovered it before it spit more oil everywhere. Could you tell if it was loose when you unscrewed it?
i guess better late than never. quite a mess. the cap was not at all loose when i removed. it was seated all the way down. but i can't find any other source of the oil unless the stand itself is cracked.

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I hope that's it, when I got the O-ring wrong it started leaking right away, not 9 months later. Mine had actually started to squeeze out because it was above the groove. As far as torquing it, I just crank it down till it seats, it's two flat surfaces meeting.
yeah i can't figure why it was ok for months and then started leaking after parked for two weeks.

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After looking at the pic closer it looks like the old O-ring was out of the groove.
why do you say that? the ring was in the groove when i unscrewed the cap.
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