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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Wed, Sep-23-2015, 05:40:30 PM   #1
PSUEng
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Default Warped Valve Cover?

So I get a call from my local indy shop telling me that the cause of my oil leak between the head/VCG/VC is a warped VC. From visual inspection, I’m told it’s out approximately 1/8” and “high” in rear (near half moon), at the point of the leak. That warpage, combined with minimum fastening nuts for the VC has lead to the leak. My car currently has 66,500 miles.

Back around 61k, this same shop adjusted the valves and replaced the valve cover gasket and associated gasket bits. I ran the car about 3k miles and it was leaking, same spot, in the rear of the engine near the half moon profile. They replaced the gasket under warranty, and, 2500 or so miles later, here we are again with the same leak from the same area and they judge the VC as warped. Now, I trust this shop, they do great work and I’m not entirely doubting their diagnosis. However, the engine wasn’t leaking before they did the valve job, and I don’t believe they used OE BMW gaskets ( I think they use Victor Reinz or Elring). Now I’m not an expert on the gasket makers, but I’m questioning if this isn’t really an issue of “we should have used an OE BMW gasket but didn’t to save some money”.

That said, do I need to bite the bullet and R&R the VC? Or is it maybe worth it to throw an OE gasket in there and see what happens? I just have a hard time believing it’s a warped cover—how the F does that happen? I’ve had the car since 27k with no leak issues…now all of a sudden, at a mere 66k.
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Old Wed, Sep-23-2015, 05:58:31 PM   #2
elbert
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Default Re: Warped Valve Cover?

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Originally Posted by PSUEng View Post
That warpage, combined with minimum fastening nuts for the VC has lead to the leak.
What do you mean by "minimum fastening nuts"?
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Old Wed, Sep-23-2015, 05:59:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: Warped Valve Cover?

Have them show you in person - 1/8" is visible with the naked eye.

Did they RTV the half moons like you're supposed to?
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Old Wed, Sep-23-2015, 06:06:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: Warped Valve Cover?

if that VC warped you have bigger problems
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Old Wed, Sep-23-2015, 06:11:47 PM   #5
PSUEng
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Default Re: Warped Valve Cover?

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Originally Posted by elbert View Post
What do you mean by "minimum fastening nuts"?
They are implying that there aren't sufficient attachment points for the VC to the head--there should be more. I dunno....I think I might take my chances on a fresh OEM gasket. I just can't understand how a VC warps, under regular driving.

I have to assume they properly sealed the half moons, but didn't ask and wasn't there to watch.
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Old Wed, Sep-23-2015, 06:19:24 PM   #6
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Default Re: Warped Valve Cover?

I am not going to question the integrity of the shop here.. but this sounds like a lot of CYA to just explain away a bad valve cover gasket or installation.

I have used both OEM and aftermarket. Both have not leaked, however I have seen a few Elring's leak right at the back bottom corner brand new out of the box and it was not the valve cover that was bad. Replaced with OEM and it was fine.

I would ask for proof the VC is warped, but that's just me. It is possible to get it wrong on install.
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Old Wed, Sep-23-2015, 06:57:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: Warped Valve Cover?

on the valve cover gasket there are little pegs that need to fit into the holes of the engine, there is a one where the half moon is.
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Old Wed, Sep-23-2015, 10:56:18 PM   #8
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Default Re: Warped Valve Cover?

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Originally Posted by PSUEng View Post
They are implying that there aren't sufficient attachment points for the VC to the head--there should be more. I dunno....I think I might take my chances on a fresh OEM gasket. I just can't understand how a VC warps, under regular driving.



I have to assume they properly sealed the half moons, but didn't ask and wasn't there to watch.

Sounds far (very) fetched


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Old Tue, Dec-01-2015, 11:20:30 PM   #9
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Default Re: Warped Valve Cover?

Not far fetched at all, plastic valve covers do warp, especially as the miles add up. If I R&R'd the valve cover gasket myself or someone I trust that knows how to do it, 3 times with the factory gasket and it leaks after every install.....its warped.

Mike
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Old Tue, Dec-01-2015, 11:31:02 PM   #10
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Default Re: Warped Valve Cover?

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Originally Posted by hemi8 View Post
Not far fetched at all, plastic valve covers do warp, especially as the miles add up. If I R&R'd the valve cover gasket myself or someone I trust that knows how to do it, 3 times with the factory gasket and it leaks after every install.....its warped.

Mike
Plastic? You must have one interesting S54..
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Discussing Warped Valve Cover? in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)