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Been a while since I've posted on here. I changed my spark plugs over this past weekend.

Oil was all over the boots, in the spark plug wells and on the ends of the plugs themselves....except for #3. Same exact issue happened when I bought my car 4 years ago, every bank had oil-soaked plugs except for #3. I had my valve cover gasket replaced about 3 years ago almost to the day. I assume it's time to do it again?

The card has just under 188,000 miles on it. I wonder if I should just buy a new damn valve cover, instead of buying the gaskets. Might as well check for valve cover warpage after I take it off.

EDIT: Decided just to buy the gasket and grommets. No sense in blowing $300 on a valve cover. The car is getting old. Also bought the cold climate ccv because mine looks to be failing....again. -_- Am going to remove the intake manifold to replace its gaskets and finally replace that damn 'sucking jet pump' lower hose that has been extremely loose for the past few years.
 

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Excellent thread! I'm replacing my VCG this weekend. I used alternate brand years ago, and I'm getting light leaks. Using BMW OEM this time, including grommets. The tips are great - especially the notes on proper RTV use. Will update when job's done. Another 'shout out' for ih8ants and time he took (honesty). Started to think was crazy taking longer than times listed on boards. I'd rather do the job right and keep my (older now) e46 purring for many more years, than set some speed record.
 

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Update - new VCG installed. Old gasket didn't seem too brittle. Was in service 4.5 years, about 50k miles. Seemed every bolt O gasket had oil mist style leak (proper torques followed). Spark plug wells were just starting to leak with a touch of oil on some coils. So, my experience is that VCG should definitely be considered a wear item, and I'm glad I've got a fresh seal! Next up - the steering 'guibo' joint!
 

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Has this DIY with pics been reposted again anywhere. I get no pics in the original and the relocated copy goes to a expired web domain now.
 

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Changed my valve cover gasket today at 81,250 miles with the BMW replacement kit. The old gaskets were somewhat stiff but not at all brittle. The interior was very clean as was the underside of the valve cover.

There were some small bits of a light brown RTV at the normal locations so I don't know if it had been changed before. It has been noted that they did not come from the factory with RTV.
 

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There is a link in the original post. Click on it. External link with all the pics.

Sent from my A0001 using Tapatalk
The web site they were posted on is no longer running. I suggest you use a YouTube search.
I haven't done mine yet so I haven't researched it yet, or I'd give you a link.

Sent from my flame proof Samsung Note 4
 

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After trying to make victor reinz work 3 times, re-sealing it, finally got a fel-pro valve cover gasket (lucky $30 at ebay) and i'm really happy, no more smoke at the stoplights. Added a bit of "blue" compound at the vanos corners. I highly recommend staying away from victor reinz and get new oem or felpro. Fel-pro seems to have thicker and softer rubber, and supposedly "expands" under heat or something.
 

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For comparison, M54 valve cover gasket is around $45 from discounting BMW dealer. I also replace the rubber valve cover bolt seals when replacing the valve cover gasket.
 

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Finally got the job done with a BMW gasket and aftermarket o-rings for the bolts. 220,000 miles, no rtv on the half moons so I'm guessing it was original.
Gasket was brittle, but if I got under it in a spot, then was gentle prying from underneath the gasket, it came out easy. O-rings must have been replaced at some point by previous owner as they were plyable.
I've driven 1,000 highway miles and no leaks.

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While my valve cover gasket was pliable, easy to remove and leaking oil everywhere. The bolts going into the block came out with the valve cover bolts at the same time.
Anyone know the torque specs for these? (I imagine more than 10Nm) Do I clean and degrease these and their holes before installing?
so wanted to inspect cam lobes for valve stem wear. Any way I can turn the camshafts around to inspect them?
907352
 
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