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5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)

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Old 11-16-2004, 12:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Well, I've been humbled. I thought I could work on these cars no problem, but must lack the talent or something. It took me over 4 hours to change the valve cover gasket on the passenger side of my '99 540, whereas the pros need only 4 to do both. And I won't know until i drive it to work in the morning if I broke anything or not...

What was the problem? Mostly those pestilential little clips that hold the electrical connectors onto the fuel injectors. Need my pick set to really get at those. Where's my pick set? it was around here somewhere...(1/2-hour later)..ok, have my pick set, then it's wrestle with the injectors.

Lessee, the gaskets themselves were a pain, getting the old out and preparing for the new. Was using Berkbile gum cutter (strong stuff!) & a toothbrush to clean the gasket groove, over top of newspapers to catch the runoff. Before I knew it, the newspaper had welded to the outside (visible) part of the VC thanks to the Berkbile softening up the paint on it. ARGHH! (there IS no emoticon to convey this one). OK, maybe this -

Oh, and the dealer said I needed 11 rubber bushings for the VC bolts (and sold me 22 of them), which is true, but I noticed the three long bolts in the forward end of the VC have thicker rubber bushings than the other 8 bolts, so it isn't 11 all the same thickness (those long bolts have stops on them to perfectly pre-compress the proper bushing - if it's too thin, it'll leak). Dealer parts errr there, or else I am wrong. Problee me.

Oh, there's plenty more, but I'll stop here. It's 1:40 am and I've got to get up and go to work in the morning. And while I am there, I am scheduling an appointment to get my driver's side VC gasket replaced at the local shop....
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Old 11-16-2004, 05:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Don't knock yourself man - you tried something that MANY, MANY people wouldn't even think of tackling and have fallen foul (it seems) to the dealer trying to prove a point (wrong info/parts).

If everything works today as it should then you have had a complete success (if not an anxious night), if there are problems you have been man enough to admit you need help. I've no doubt if you had gotten someone that had done it before to show you the first one, you would have been filled with confidence and had the second one done in a flash but hey things don't always go the way they should.

And as for the all elusive tools - I know exactly what you mean. On sunday I changed my spark plugs and be buggered if I could find a 1/4 inch socket wrench for my 10mm socket, frustrating as hell I can tell you.

Keep the chin up and hopefully everything will seem better in the cold light of day - and remember at the end of the day you have achieved more than 99% of BMW owners will ever do by simply getting stuck in and having a go.
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Old 11-16-2004, 11:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Eric

I think you doing a great job and remember this. working within the limitation of your garage lacking: space, lifts, especially power tools, helpers etc etc is totally a different environment from the mechanic's; as such I don't expect to finish DIY job faster than Dr. Dutch's garage.

keep up the good work Eric you doing great

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Old 11-16-2004, 09:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally posted by billB@Nov 16 2004, 01:38 PM
Eric

I think you doing a great job and remember this. working within the limitation of your garage lacking: space, lifts, especially power tools, helpers etc etc is totally a different environment from the mechanic's; as such I don't expect to finish DIY job faster than Dr. Dutch's garage.

keep up the good work Eric you doing great

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Gosh (sniff, sniff) , you guys are so awesome! Thank you for making me feel welcome! This is my favorite forum on the 'net!

Beelz is right - in the light of day I fell better about what I accomplished - after all, I DID replace my gasket and I DID clean and re-coat my spark plug threads (copper-based anti-seize, natch) and seats (that were previously swimming in oil). And in about 80 miles of driving today I DIDN'T get any SES light, and I don't see any oil leaking externally tonight, so I guess I did OK.

Instead of paying the dealer or the local shop $160 to $200 to do the drivers side, I am getting more and more brave and may just tackle it soon myself. It has more brake and fuel line interference and it will require diconnecting the battery (thanks to the jump start + terminal on the VC). So what if it takes me 4.5 more hours? I'd go do yard work next door for my neighbor if he'd pay me $200, so why not? As long as I have my magnetic telescoping pick-up tool, I'll be OK!
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Old 11-17-2004, 12:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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just to let you know the dealer didnt screw you, all of the rubber washers for the bolts are the same.
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Old 11-17-2004, 11:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally posted by Dirty_Tool@Nov 17 2004, 02:10 AM
just to let you know the dealer didnt screw you, all of the rubber washers for the bolts are the same.
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Dirty T - The dealers may have all eleven bushings listed under the same part number in their parts system, but I saw with my own eyes the fact that the new bushings were only 2/3 as think as the old forward three bushings, whereas they were thicker than the old 8 regular bushings (which is to be expected as the old ones were compressed for 5 years). So, regarding those "big 3", how can new bushings be expected to be equivalent to the old ones when the old ones are thicker in the worn-out state? Since the bolts themselves are shouldered to stop at a certain point, this means that the new bushings will not press down as hard on the valve cover as the old ones, which tells me (I'm just an engineer, not a repair tech) that there is increased risk of leaks using the new bushings in that application, compared to just re-using the old ones.

Just wanted to share with you the logic for my claim. Like I conceded, the part listing the dealer uses probably shows him as correct. Is there any way to technically explain how the new bushings would be "OK" to use for the "big 3" bushings? Is there maybe a TSB where BMW has reruns their calcs & asserts this? used
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Old 11-18-2004, 12:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Maybe the big 3 have swollen? It's not uncommon for rubber peices to enlarge from soaking in oil.

Although, I have no idea what I'm talking about since I didn't see these thigns ... lol
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Old 11-18-2004, 06:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally posted by sp0rky@Nov 18 2004, 02:31 PM
Maybe the big 3 have swollen? It's not uncommon for rubber peices to enlarge from soaking in oil.

Although, I have no idea what I'm talking about since I didn't see these thigns ... lol
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Nice thought, but I don't see any reason some would swell and some would not. Plus all have been under compression by the 10mm bolts for 5 years, it would be tough to swell under compression. If you hold a sponge underwater tightly in your fist, it isn't going to swell with water until you release pressure on it.

If you have all eleven of the cam cover bushings off of the car and all next to each other, it's very obvious to see that the three busings on the front bolts are different from the other 8 that hold down the cam cover.

My theory - unless there's data to indicate otherwise, I'd say someone who doesn't have to care about how many miles until the next leaks occur made the decision that all eleven bushings can be the same (e.g. someone who doesn't own a V8 E39 and so doesn't have a stake in the game).
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Old 11-18-2004, 07:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Glad to hear it is back to normal. It was worth it Eric, wasn't it?
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Old 11-18-2004, 11:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally posted by billB@Nov 18 2004, 09:52 PM
Glad to hear it is back to normal. It was worth it Eric, wasn't it?
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Bill - Actually, I am not quite done yet. Though I did successfully complete (except for the big 3 bushings) the cam cover gasket change-out on the passenger side, I've yet to do it for the driver's side, although I've decided I WILL go ahead with doing it myself. Thanks to family chaos and what-not over the next few days, I won't be able to get to it until after thanksgiving, but will post an update after I'm done.

Thanks for asking!
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Old 11-20-2004, 09:25 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Eric

My Wishes of good luck are still valid and don't expire prior to the thanksgiving holiday. Cheers
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