DIY N54 Valve Cover Gasket Instructions

Tallgeese179

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Put together screen caps of instructions on replacing the N54 Valve Cover Gasket.

UPDATED 1-31-18

Thought I'd include some tips/trick I noticed while doing this over the weekend

  1. You don't have to remove injectors. Removing them will make the process easier though. Personal preference here.
  2. When removing plastic clips for the injectors, heat them up for 20-30 seconds with a hair dryer on high. Use a small pick to pop them open (I used the 4 piece orange handle set from HF). I didn't break any clips using this method. Probably good general advice when working with plastic clips.
  3. Use bungie cords to pull the wire harness up off the motor. Makes work easier.
  4. Remove the heat shield above the turbos and clean it up. It will likely be coated in oil and have oil in the bent sheet metal crevices. This oil will weep from heat after you do the job and make it look like the VC is leaking again. It's four E8 screws (see picture).
  5. Before removing the heat shield, you may want to remove the boost solenoids. The top nut must be completely removed, but the bottom one just needs to be removed ~80% of the way. Then the solenoids can tilt forward and slide off their posts.
  6. You can install the spark plug shields after installing the VC. Use a 7/8 socket to press down on them to fully seat them.
  7. Using the glycerin (as spec'd) seems pretty smart. It's a slippery substance but is viscous. So it's sticky enough to keep the gasket in the VC valley, but still slippery enough to prevent it from binding up when tightening (similar to lubing an oil filter gasket).
  8. Hand tighten all of the VC bolts in the correct order a few times. It took me ~5 passes before the bolts stopped loosening after I tightened the other bolts around them. Just be patient and don't go for the full torque right away.
  9. If it's in the budget, but a whole valve cover from FCPEuro. Lifetime warranty, don't have to worry about broken bolts, and you know it's not cracked from heat cycling.

 

Attachments

  • Vlavle Cover Replacement.pdf
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If you absolutely positively want to remove many more parts than is required to do a job, and spend an extra 5 hours doing it. Follow the Bentley manual. Bently is good for Tq specs, and other stuff, for step by step, it's possibly the worst. VC on these cars is really simple. Remove EVERYTHING in the way before trying to get it off. This includes injectors, coils, fuel rail, tie back the harness, etc. If you try to leave them in, and sneak it over, you are asking for issues. Once that stuff is out of the way. THEN get the bolts loose, once you think you have them all loose, try pulling it off, you will have minimum 2-3 bolts still slightly threaded, figure out which ones, and get them fully loose. Then pull it straight up, and forward. I can literally get a VC off an N54 that has no engine cover, or cowl on it in 15 minutes. It's not a hard job
 
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I pull injectors out ALLLL the time, and never change the seals, have never had a single problem. Because getting the VC over them in a huge pain. Its literally 5 minutes to get the injectors out. If you like fighting things leave them in. It makes the job about twice as annoying if they are left in.
 

Torgus

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The ECS has the best instructions I have ever seen. literally step by step.
 

Attachments

  • PDF_11799_BMW_N54_Valve_Cover_Gasket_Replacement.pdf
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Boosted_135

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I pull injectors out ALLLL the time, and never change the seals, have never had a single problem. Because getting the VC over them in a huge pain. Its literally 5 minutes to get the injectors out. If you like fighting things leave them in. It makes the job about twice as annoying if they are left in.

odd, i didnt fight with them at all. pulled up and came out fine. the time it would take me to pull the injectors, i already had the valve cover off and half cleaned the gasket off

Either way will work.

how long can you leave the injectors out? id like to pull mine just to look at them. I know they need to be replaced, having 4 index 8s and 2 index 5s. Cold start hesitations etc
 

Torgus

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odd, i didnt fight with them at all. pulled up and came out fine. the time it would take me to pull the injectors, i already had the valve cover off and half cleaned the gasket off

Either way will work.

how long can you leave the injectors out? id like to pull mine just to look at them. I know they need to be replaced, having 4 index 8s and 2 index 5s. Cold start hesitations etc

IMO if you are going to pull them just replace them. However as long as you put them back in the same place you should be fine. Especially if you just pull it out, look at it, take pictures, and replace say 30 seconds. I would be worried if they sat out for a long time.
 
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[email protected]

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odd, i didnt fight with them at all. pulled up and came out fine. the time it would take me to pull the injectors, i already had the valve cover off and half cleaned the gasket off

Either way will work.

how long can you leave the injectors out? id like to pull mine just to look at them. I know they need to be replaced, having 4 index 8s and 2 index 5s. Cold start hesitations etc
Different strokes. Take care
 
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Tallgeese179

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Nov 5, 2016
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Whoops, I honestly didn't use this guide completely for my recent VC/VCG replacement. I used RobC's instructions on e90post for most of it. His instructions are pretty good, but I just disagreed with his order of tightening the VC bolts. I didn't want to link to that forum in case there's rules against it.

I just posted this reference since it's the only one I've seen that mentions using glycerin on the areas where the gasket contacts the valve cover and the head. I'm a MechE and assume some engineer out there probably put those instructions together for a reason, so I tend to follow things exactly as printed.

I agree though ECS Tuning guide is very excellent. Here's a link in case anyone wants to use it in the future:
https://bd8ba3c866c8cbc330ab-7b26c6...99_BMW_N54_Valve_Cover_Gasket_Replacement.pdf
 

Tallgeese179

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i called our local BMW and they said they dont use glycerin on the gaskets. I got some anyway

I honestly have a feeling that almost nobody uses it. I don't see it hurting anything though, since it will likely burn off after the first heat cycle. It def helps keep the gasket from binding though.