E46 Fanatics Forum banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of September's Ride of the Month Challenge!
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I took my 323i to my mechanic and was told I had a valve cover leak. I was hoping someone could point me in the right direction as to which parts I should purchase to replace the cover and gasket. I understand OEM is always recommended but will after market parts that exceed OEM specifications do the trick as well?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,330 Posts
I just did this replacement on my 2004. I used a Reinz gasket set that included all 15 grommets and Spark Plug seals. Many users on this forum will suggest an OEM replacement gasket set only and in all honesty, the OEM set is only slightly more expensive than a good after-market brand. Just be sure and replace every seal in the Valve Cover. Do not overtighten the 15 VC bolts, 7 pounds is fine. Invest in a small torque wrench if needed.
 

·
Registered
2018 Audi S4
Joined
·
6,586 Posts
There are aftermarket valve covers if yours is cracked. A member on here is using one. Haven't heard how it's holding up. Get your gaskets from FCP, if that's the route you are going to go. True lifetime warranty.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
2016 340i xD 6-spd
Joined
·
26,983 Posts
...and 'maybe' don't use a torque wrench. Just tighten down in three stages from the inside center, out. You'll find the pattern.

...and a good time to do plugs if you haven't done them.

Easy DIY after you spend hours studying videos and sweating. :)
 

·
Administrator
2004 330Ci 115k miles
Joined
·
16,702 Posts
It’s pretty common for these old plastic valve covers to crack and leak. Usually it’s a hairline crack that’s tough to spot. Can be sealed up and a new OE gasket should solve it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,267 Posts
I'm surprised noone said this but you should put some sealant in the corners like in the picture below (but on both sides of the engine). Don't forget to do this or it might start leaking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,330 Posts
...and 'maybe' don't use a torque wrench.
I set my torque wrench at 7.5 pounds and tightened those 15 bolts to just a scoche before that wrench clicked.

....you should put some sealant in the corners like in the picture below....
I think almost every DIY YouTube video he'll look at will include that but yes, RTV on the round areas for sure, applied sparingly. You won't want any part of the RTV finding its way into the engine. If your local auto parts store sells those little packets at the counter, one will be all you need. I applied the RTV to the VC, not the engine itself.
 

·
Registered
E30M3 Race F10 535 R1150Rt M Coupe
Joined
·
7,352 Posts
Again I advise dealer. You'll get another 100K out of it.
 

·
Registered
E46 '04 330Ci convertible 780 K km
Joined
·
1,549 Posts
For tightening 15 bolts you do not need torque wrench (although it is very useful tool). You just buy 15 new rubber grommets (part 11121437395) together with a gasket. Nuts pressure gasket trough those grommets. When you tight, just torque till you feel resistance. It means nut reached dead point touching surface and you won't press gasket any further, but you risk to break a stud.
For silicon sealant- do not squeeze any of it on surface. Put very little amount of sealer (match head size) on your finger and lightly tap it in the area shown. very small amount is enough.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,622 Posts
BMW changed valve cover gasket material to Viton several years ago. This is a much better material as it withstands heat and oil much better than the previous material. I’ve used Elring gaskets with great results. I stay away from VR gaskets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I purchased a valve cover yesterday. I had removed mine because it was leaking and I thought it was just the gasket. I found a crack while cleaning. I bought this car for $500. It had clogged catalytic converters. I did a delete and put headers on it. It runs perfect. I have to take it to a an exhaust shop to have dual run on it Thursday. Hopefully I gain some power from it. It will be straight piped no mufflers.
MOSTPLUS 11121432928 this is the valve cover I purchased
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top