Cam Cover Oil leak

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colb
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Cam Cover Oil leak

Post by colb » Sat Mar 21, 2020 12:51 pm

Seems I have a leak from the cam cover gasket, oil finding its way onto the exhaust and burning off, suspected as much when I bought the car and have a gasket set in the garage waiting fitment. It did seem to have sealed itself at one point but today whilst tinkering had the car idling for some time and noticed some smoke and fumes comming up off the exhaust at the side of the cam cover. Can't see where its comming from so strip down and fit a new gasket set is the way to go. Did this on a mates 2.2 Z3 so should be a straightforward job.
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Cam Cover Oil leak

Post by Chris_D » Sat Mar 21, 2020 1:33 pm

I think this is perhaps the commonest issue with the M54 around this age.
Don't forget a few smearings of Permatex gasketmaker or such around the half moons and corners on the engine facings.
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Cam Cover Oil leak

Post by colb » Sat Mar 21, 2020 3:05 pm

Yes will be using gasket sealant around the half moons and corners, will also be putting in new rubber seals for the cover bolts, these go hard with age and reccomended to renew when changing the main gasket.
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Cam Cover Oil leak

Post by colb » Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:49 pm

Z4's turn today following sorting out the wifes Suzuki Alto MOT and oil change on my daily drive, Ssangyong Korando.
Pulled the Z3 out of the garage and put the Z4 in and onto the lift. Left it at ground level and dismantled the cam cover after removing the engine covers. Took the ignition coils out and unclipped the wiring carrier and placed it aside out of the way. Undid the cover bolts and then gently levered the cover off the head, it was stuck on well and sme force was needed to break the seal. Used a flat blade screwdriver at the front right hand corner to get it to lift. Once the seal was broken it was lifted clear of the car. First thing I noticed was the oil staining at the rear left above the exhaust which appeared to be the source of the leak. Also noticed the gaskets for the spark plug wells were very hard and brittle, in fact one had already detatched itself from the other two. Pulling them off with long nose pliers they all came out and on inspection were the same as the main gasket hard and brittle. Genuine BMW gaskets and no sign of any gasket sealing paste around the half moons at either end so unsure if its ever been changed before in the cars 92k mileage.
Replacement gaskets are Payen brand and nice and supple to touch. After washing out the cover and drying it the gaskets were installed and Blue Hylomar jointing paste was used on the halfmoons at both ends. All of the cover bolts were given a clean and new rubber washers put on them. The centre plug well gaskets were installed dry.
Buttoned it back together and ran the car, no signs of leaks either oil or air.


Lifted the car on the ramp and took the underside alloy panel off and sprayed the exhaust with some engine degreaser to get rid of the oil that had found its way onto it previously. Ran the car and watched for any signs of an oil ;leak and smoke from the exhaust. So far so good no signs of leaks and the smoke previously seen rising into the engine bay has ceased. Will keep an eye on it when I am allowed out in it. Needs some fuel so will pop out tomorrow, being in the employ of a Funeral Director I am on the list of people allowed out to work so will get it filled up, on call at the beginning of next month and I expect to be busy 24hrs if things go the way they think it will.
Attachments
Plug Well Centre Gasket Hard and Brittle
Plug Well Centre Gasket Hard and Brittle
DSC_0248.JPG (259.08 KiB) Viewed 156 times
Underside of Cam cover
Underside of Cam cover
DSC_0247.JPG (263.39 KiB) Viewed 156 times
Possible leakage area
Possible leakage area
DSC_0245.JPG (165.63 KiB) Viewed 156 times
Bottom left suspect leak area
Bottom left suspect leak area
DSC_0244.JPG (191.47 KiB) Viewed 156 times
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Cam Cover Oil leak

Post by wonkydonkey » Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:09 pm

Job's a good un. Standard procedure on these!
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Cam Cover Oil leak

Post by Chris_D » Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:32 pm

Good job. :thumbsup:

Did you account for all the little broken pieces by putting the jigsaw back together?
I nearly missed a bit and spent a good hour looking for a tiny bit that flipped into the cam well. grrr
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Cam Cover Oil leak

Post by colb » Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:45 pm

Yes reckon I retrieve all the bits, lucky enough it seemed like it split across the webbing between two of the round parts of the gasket. Looks like more bits in the picture but thats after I had a pull about with them to see just how brittle the rubber had got. I reckon I was lucky not to have hadn oil filling the spark plug wells up, that would have happened sooner or later. All of the round cushion rubber seals for the cover bolts were hard, so glad I ordered 15 new ones and got the job done in one go.
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Cam Cover Oil leak

Post by enuff_zed » Sun Mar 29, 2020 1:44 pm

Can I just jump in on this thread please, as wifey's newly acquired 2.5i seems to have the same issue.
Noticed a faint oil burning smell previously, but she was using it most days so it must not have got too bad.
But used it a few days back, after it had sat for well over a week and a lot of smoke cam up from the exhaust side of the engine. After a few minutes it cleared and has been fine since. So I'm guessing a gasket that is slowly leaking at a lower edge over a few days?
God knows I am likely to have plenty of time to do this job, so may as well crack on with it.

From this thread it does seem a relatively simple job if you have a bit of spannering experience? But doesn't hurt to be forewarned.

1. What seals do I need?
2. Recommended make? Is OEM the safest bet?
3. Any tricky bits. Likely to break bits etc?
4. Any torque setting for reassembly?

Thanks in advance. :thumbsup:
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Cam Cover Oil leak

Post by PDJ » Sun Mar 29, 2020 2:06 pm

https://www.lymmengineparts.co.uk/

Have all the parts you need

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Cam Cover Oil leak

Post by PDJ » Sun Mar 29, 2020 2:06 pm

Torque settings and a bit of how to from BMW TIS

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Cam Cover Oil leak

Post by enuff_zed » Sun Mar 29, 2020 2:28 pm

PDJ wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 2:06 pm
https://www.lymmengineparts.co.uk/

Have all the parts you need
Thank you very much for the quick help. but following this link I have put in Z4, 2003, 2.5 petrol 2494cc, and nothing comes up?
Either I'm being daft (most likely scenario), or they don't have what I need?
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Cam Cover Oil leak

Post by PDJ » Sun Mar 29, 2020 2:36 pm

Give them a phone call Monday

They had everything for my M and in stock when I did the engine work

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Cam Cover Oil leak

Post by enuff_zed » Sun Mar 29, 2020 2:54 pm

PDJ wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 2:36 pm
Give them a phone call Monday

They had everything for my M and in stock when I did the engine work
That's great thank you I'll do that.
Found several 'kits' on line. Surprisingly it seems I can get a BMW one for slightly less than Euro Car Parts. Then Car Parts 4 Less have exactly the same but much cheaper.
However, none of the kits I've found include the seals for the bolts. How essential are these?
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Cam Cover Oil leak

Post by PDJ » Sun Mar 29, 2020 3:11 pm

enuff_zed wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 2:54 pm
However, none of the kits I've found include the seals for the bolts. How essential are these?
Most people have time on their side so I would change them have not cross ref’d the part number across different engines but Lymme engine’s should be able to help you

Even though they do not show an oil pump for a S54 engine they offered me one at a good price but as there was no european stock I went a different route to have my car ready for April...............

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Cam Cover Oil leak

Post by enuff_zed » Sun Mar 29, 2020 4:37 pm

You've been very helpful. Many thanks. :thumbsup:
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