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3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

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Old 09-25-2005, 12:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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valve cover removal ?

can you remove the valve cover without draining the oil ? is there any serious leaking when its removed...i was thinking of buying a polished one off ebay to dress things up.
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Old 09-25-2005, 01:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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i think you can, i had my valve cover gasket replaced and i dont think they drained the oil...
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Old 09-25-2005, 10:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Just let you car sit for a while, so that way all of the oil can drain down into the pan.
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Old 09-26-2005, 12:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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you don't need to wait for or drain anything, just don't pull it off when the car is running
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Old 09-27-2005, 11:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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ebay had the coolest valve covers, one was all polished out and the other was the M3 three color theme...real pretty. thinking about swapping mine out.
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Old 09-30-2005, 12:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Bmw1990
Just let you car sit for a while, so that way all of the oil can drain down into the pan.
Yes. If you have oil pooling in the head you have a big problem. As long as the car is off you can remove the VC.
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Old 09-30-2005, 09:01 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I am about to do a valve adjustment, and I just want to check one thing... is the valve cover gasket all that you need to prevent leaks? On my old air cooled VW's, it was recommended to use some gasket sealant (RTV or whatever) in addition, to ensure that there were no leaks. So do I go naked gasket, or do I invite RTV to the party?

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Old 09-30-2005, 09:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Old 09-30-2005, 10:52 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Get some Ultra Grey silicone and put it at the corners of the rubber plugs where they meet the gasket. Do not put it on the gasket itself, it does nothing to help it seal. Also replace the 4 rubber rocker shaft plugs when doing your VC gasket.
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Old 10-05-2005, 10:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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It's really easy to do. I mean I'm looking at an m10 engine when I say that so adjust my statements accordingly. a few bolts hold it on, detach any hoses that connect to it, and once the bolts are out if it appears stuck then you can tap one end with a wooden or rubber mallet to loosen it. Get a clean rag wet with acetone (not dripping but it needs to work) and wipe off the head side of the mating surface so it's clean. Since you're replacing the gasket cover you don't have to clean the gasket cover side but normally you would. And I haven't had to do this on a BMW yet but for the hell of it I'm going to say be very careful when torquing down the valve cover bolts. Follow the torque instructions in a shop manual such as haynes. You don't wanna strip one of those things in the top of your cylinder head.

Oh, and it's not really all that difficult to polish your own valve cover, just takes patience.
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