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2001 325i 80,000 miles
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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Yes, should be possible to do both in the same day.
I get home around 1.30, so I think I will spend "Day 0.5" dismantling the intake system and removing the cabin air plenum and beauty covers - that's probably an hour, right there.

I've been going on the assumption that my plugs were getting oiled because of the rings but, given the state of the CCV breather, that might not be the case. However, I could probably switch back to a thinner oil (thinking Castrol Edge 0W-40 - lower cold viscosity will help my fuel economy on short runs) with the 02 mod, and the change would be a good excuse to do the soak... decisions, decisions :)
 

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2005 330xi Auto, 2006 330ci Vert Auto
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I get home around 1.30, so I think I will spend "Day 0.5" dismantling the intake system and removing the cabin air plenum and beauty covers - that's probably an hour, right there.

I've been going on the assumption that my plugs were getting oiled because of the rings but, given the state of the CCV breather, that might not be the case. However, I could probably switch back to a thinner oil (thinking Castrol Edge 0W-40 - lower cold viscosity will help my fuel economy on short runs) with the 02 mod, and the change would be a good excuse to do the soak... decisions, decisions :)
Are you going to remove the intake manifold to replace the CCV or not? If you remove the intake manifold, that's a much larger task and in my experience, you will not be able to do both both on the same day. However, if you replace the CCV without removing the intake manifold, then you can do both on the same day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Are you going to remove the intake manifold to replace the CCV or not? If you remove the intake manifold, that's a much larger task and in my experience, you will not be able to do both both on the same day. However, if you replace the CCV without removing the intake manifold, then you can do both on the same day.
No way I'm taking the manifold off! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Are you going to remove the intake manifold to replace the CCV or not? If you remove the intake manifold, that's a much larger task and in my experience, you will not be able to do both both on the same day. However, if you replace the CCV without removing the intake manifold, then you can do both on the same day.
The furthest I've ever gone on this engine was removing the throttle body and ICV for cleaning - how close was I to getting at the CCV?
 

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2005 330xi Auto, 2006 330ci Vert Auto
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If you're not removing the intake manifold to replace your CCV, take a look at this video.


I would say if you have successfully removed the throttle body and ICV, I would say you're 30% (?) of the way there.
 

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2001 325i 80,000 miles
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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
If you're not removing the intake manifold to replace your CCV, take a look at this video.


I would say if you have successfully removed the throttle body and ICV, I would say you're 30% (?) of the way there.
Yeah - 50's Kid is pretty much where I go to first for M54 jobs (but M539 Restorations is also very, very good - Sreten is where I discovered it could be done without taking the manifold off, in fact).

You say that I was 30% of the way there... is another 30% putting everything back afterwards? :D
 

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2005 330xi Auto, 2006 330ci Vert Auto
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I just did this about 3 weeks ago. I chose to replace the o-rings at the air distribution manifold and the 3 o-rings with the oil dipstick. I finished the complete job in less than 4 hours while showing my son the steps along the way.

Some recommendations for you:
1) If you're going to replace all the parts to the CCV, don't spend any time trying to remove the existing CCV hoses and connections. Just break them. It will be much faster.
2) My air distribution manifold was very difficult to take off. I ended up using a large pry bar and I went about it VERY slowly. I used wooden shims when prying to ensure I didn't damage any of the plastic parts of the air distribution manifold and the intake manifold. So, intake manifold -> wooden shim -> pry bar -> wooden shim -> air distribution manifold. If you end up using a pry bar, go slow, apply even pressure, and pry evenly under each of the ports. Before resorting to a pry bar, try removing the air distribution manifold by hand. Be careful! I lubricated the new air distribution manifold o-rings with ATF fluid. The installation was a breeze. Use your own favorite o-ring lubricant, everyone has their own favorite.
3) I spent about 1/3 can of brake cleaner to clean the air return passage in the dip stick. Make sure the passage way is free of gunk.
4) Spend 10 minutes ensuring you learn how the CCV goes together. The one hose that twists on will be the most frustrating part. It's not hard, just need to have patience and line everything up. Practice a couple of times before installation. Put marks on the pieces so you can line them up visually. I let my son try putting it together. He failed. It took me 2 tries and about 10 minutes :) . That's because I've done it before.
5) Only screw the CCV separator on AFTER you have connected the two side hoses to it. If you screw on the CCV separator with only the twist on hose, the other side hose will be very difficult to put on due to lack of space. The bottom hose to the CCV separator can go on last separately.
6) Smoke test before and after.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 · (Edited)
2) My air distribution manifold was very difficult to take off.
If you're referring to the "six-legged E" (1161144038), I've not seen that removed for doing the CCV - is it necessary? It does look very delicate...
Or did you do it just to swap the seals? :)

ETA - ten 7x3 rings cost me £3.10 delivered, so why not? I will be pulling the thing off to clean it out anyway, so I might as well do the rings while I'm in there!

3) I spent about 1/3 can of brake cleaner to clean the air return passage in the dip stick. Make sure the passage way is free of gunk.
I intend to throw the kitchen sink at that, if need be - brake cleaner, boiling soapy water, engine degreaser, heat gun, compressed air... that thing is the font of all problems with this system, my research assures me.
6) Smoke test before and after.
I haven't got access to a smoke machine, so I usually just put a sturdy washing up glove over the MAF and blow into the brake booster to see if the glove keeps inflation (the jet pump doesn't let the air back out, if I'm correct) - I tried it after replacing my manifold vacuum plugs a few weeks ago and it seemed to work, and my idle is absolutely rock solid in the low 600's.
 

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If you're referring to the "six-legged E" (1161144038), I've not seen that removed for doing the CCV - is it necessary? It does look very delicate...
Or did you do it just to swap the seals? :)

ETA - ten 7x3 rings cost me £3.10 delivered, so why not? I will be pulling the thing off to clean it out anyway, so I might as well do the rings while I'm in there!


I intend to throw the kitchen sink at that, if need be - brake cleaner, boiling soapy water, engine degreaser, heat gun, compressed air... that thing is the font of all problems with this system, my research assures me.

I haven't got access to a smoke machine, so I usually just put a sturdy washing up glove over the MAF and blow into the brake booster to see if the glove keeps inflation (the jet pump doesn't let the air back out, if I'm correct) - I tried it after replacing my manifold vacuum plugs a few weeks ago and it seemed to work, and my idle is absolutely rock solid in the low 600's.
Yes, I was referring to the "six-legged E" as the air distribution manifold (11611440318). While strictly speaking you don't have to remove it to replace the CCV, but what you will find is that one of the hose connections is buried under it. Removing that hose connection is much much simpler if you remove this manifold. It is NOT that delicate but just go slow and evenly if you decide to remove it :) . About 1 year ago, I was on a mission to find all vacuum leaks and decided that any chance I get, I will replace o-rings so when I was replacing the CCV, I elected to replace these 6 o-rings.

This is the smoke machine I built. Easy build, wasn't terribly expensive and now I have yet another tool in the tool box :).

 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
Yes, I was referring to the "six-legged E" as the air distribution manifold (11611440318). While strictly speaking you don't have to remove it to replace the CCV, but what you will find is that one of the hose connections is buried under it. Removing that hose connection is much much simpler if you remove this manifold. It is NOT that delicate but just go slow and evenly if you decide to remove it :) . About 1 year ago, I was on a mission to find all vacuum leaks and decided that any chance I get, I will replace o-rings so when I was replacing the CCV, I elected to replace these 6 o-rings.

This is the smoke machine I built. Easy build, wasn't terribly expensive and now I have yet another tool in the tool box :).

I'm reading, now, that the air mainfold itself can become clogged, so it'd be worth taking off to blow through and be sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
Just did a quick mock-up of the CCV arrangement and it makes perfect sense - just got to remember to lube the o-rings up before jamming it all together.

Stocked up on both brake cleaner and engine degreaser... I might make a point of getting the disptick out on Day 0.5 so I can let it soak it overnight; I gather it can be moved to near the front of the "dismantling" sequence. I've got new seals for it but I will be retaining the old one in case I can't get the bastard to seat properly - a lot of people seem to be having trouble with it.

(I've also got a tube of Reinzosil for the VCG... maybe that would be enough if the o-ring won't play ball?)

I think I'll have some fun with this and keep a clock running while I do it - I'm seeing 5-7 hrs total as a guesstimate and, tbh, I would take that for the CCV side of things; VCG seems to book in around one hour, but a few mins will be shaved off because the engine covers will already be off.

Is there a running/up-to-date CCV thread so I can share any tips/pitfalls I might come across? It seems like everybody's got some tricks for this...
 

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Stocked up on both brake cleaner and engine degreaser... I might make a point of getting the disptick out on Day 0.5 so I can let it soak it overnight; I gather it can be moved to near the front of the "dismantling" sequence. I've got new seals for it but I will be retaining the old one in case I can't get the bastard to seat properly - a lot of people seem to be having trouble with it.
The dipstick physically prevents you from moving some of the parts out of the say so you will discovery that you will need to remove the dipstick fairly early on in your project. Lube o-rings using fluids that it contacts. For me, I used motor oil as lubricant for dipstick o-rings.

(I've also got a tube of Reinzosil for the VCG... maybe that would be enough if the o-ring won't play ball?)
Which o-rings for the VCG are you referring to?????
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Which o-rings for the VCG are you referring to?????
I was wondering whether the Reinz I've got for the VCG could be used in place of the dipstick seal, but the gap looks to be too big, having seen a picture.

I might Reinz the VCG along the bottom edge in addition to the moons and VANOS seam, as the bottom edge is the more likely to leak. Hell, I might Reinz the whole damned thing down, including the spark plug triplets - once the it has been cleaned out and the 02 mod is done, it should never need to come off again!
 

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Be careful with over usage of RTV. You don't want pieces of it ending up in your oil passage ways.

Replace o-rings with o-rings on your dipstick. Don't use RTV in place of o-rings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
Treated myself to a higher-quality intake boot as well... I could spend another £200 and STILL not hit the fee a mechanic would want!

Can red rubber grease (the kind used on brake slider pins) be used on o-rings? I've got ATF, if need be, but no silicone grease.
 

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To lubricate o-rings, I try to use the most compatible with what the o-ring is trying to seal against. For example, for the oil dipstick o-rings I use clean motor oil as it's sealing against motor oil :). For o-rings that's sealing against coolant, I do NOT use petroleum based lubricant but instead use silicone grease. Silicone is widely used in the plumbing industry for lubricating o-rings in fixtures like faucets. Everyone has their own favorite, but I don't recall seeing anyone use red rubber grease (?) on o-rings but what do I know?
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
Well, just done the first half of the job - getting everything off. I came to the dipstick tube, all set to fire up the heat gun and spend an hour ramming brake cleaner down there... completely clear. Completely.

Balls. But... why my oily plugs?

The breather hose from the valve cover did have quite a bit of cheese in it, and the oil separator itself had some oil on the outside (especially the joint to that breather), so maybe that's what was keeping the oil in the head. Either that, or it's the dreaded blow by :(. I can only hope that the 02 mod keeps the oil out of the combustion chambers and "reactivates" the lazy rings. I noticed some oil behind my DISA too, come to think of it...

For anybody who's done the 02 mod, I'm reading that a non-return valve in the dipstick return tube is a good idea - completely kills the possibility of the vacuum sucking oil back out of the sump and dumping it into the engne. Thoughts? I've got a 10 mm one here ready, but I'm concerned that even the slight resistance it has in the "forward" direction could restrict the flow back down to the sump...

(I took your advice @kaboom28 and removed the "pig" [aka "distribution piece" - I call it "the pig" because it looks the way pig iron did before it was broken out of the mold] to do the rings, and give it a rinse through with soapy water. There was a fair amount of oil vapour in there, so it was definitely worth doing.)
 

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Damaged or poorly functioning CCV, including associated hoses, obstruction of oil return path, or damaged dipstick/tube orings, are most likely cause of excess oil going to the intake. You need these to function properly with or without the O2 pilot mod. Point of the O2 mod is to reduce oil consumption if these aren't enough (by increasing CCV vacuum). My oil consumption improved when I finished these first items. And then went to zero after following up with three rounds of LM engine flush, short OCIs, and highway miles. GL
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
Damaged or poorly functioning CCV, associated hoses, and oil return path are most likely cause of excess oil going into the intake. You need these to function properly with or without the O2 pilot mod. The point of the O2 mod is to reduce oil consumption if these aren't enough. My oil consumption improved when I finished these. And then went to zero after three rounds of LM engine flush, short OCIs, and highway miles. GL
Is there such a thing as "too thin" oil at low temps? I am looking for something thick enough not to get past the rings, but thin enough not to kill my fuel economy during my short commutes. I've got my eye on Titan Supersyn 0W-40 because the cold viscosity is ridiclously low, but it stays quite thick at the higher temps.

In addition, I have heard that existing vacuum leaks can cause the 02 mod to actually pull oil into the head, so I am wary of doing it until I am certain I have no leaks. I was drawn to it because I suspected loose rings, but I am now questioning that diagnosis - I have absolutely no problems with starting, and no misfires to speak of, just a slight hesitation at the low end.
 

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Is there such a thing as "too thin" oil at low temps? I am looking for something thick enough not to get past the rings, but thin enough not to kill my fuel economy during my short commutes. I've got my eye on Titan Supersyn 0W-40 because the cold viscosity is ridiclously low, but it stays quite thick at the higher temps.

In addition, I have heard that existing vacuum leaks can cause the 02 mod to actually pull oil into the head, so I am wary of doing it until I am certain I have no leaks. I was drawn to it because I suspected loose rings, but I am now questioning that diagnosis - I have absolutely no problems with starting, and no misfires to speak of, just a slight hesitation at the low end.
I live in Texas so maybe not be best qualified to speak on English climate. I'm currently running LM Leichtlauf 5W40 which is reportedly formulated with additives to address piston ring clogging; and also reported to reduce consumption. Certainly the best oil I've found, and I would think fine for your climate. But yes, do everything else first and leave O2 pilot mod as last resort. Its changes to engines operating parameters are not insignificant.
 
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