Hello and welcome back to Part 6 of my BMW N55 engine rebuild project that I have been working on for a few weeks now. By the end of this video, this engine is finally starting to look like a real engine and not just a pile of parts around a block. I can almost hear this engine start up for the first time and purrrr with all its new parts, or at least I hope it will! In today’s video I’m replacing the valve cover gasket and installing the valve cover itself as well as replacing the oil pan gasket and installing a new-to-me oil pan. More on that later.
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I won’t be going into details on how to get to this stage as I’ve shown the steps in my engine removal video. I suggest you watch that video for more details on which parts to remove to get to the valve cover. Basically, you’ll remove the intake housing, fan cowl and move the coolant expansion tank to the side. No need to disconnect it. Then remove the air duct that feeds the turbocharger and now most of the stuff is now out of the way, so you’ll just have to remove the gas pressure lines after disconnecting the battery; of course, and any vacuum and electrical connections. Now the valve cover can be unbolted. If you will be reusing it, make sure to unbolt all 26 bolts in the correct sequence and remember that these bolts are attached to the cover itself and will not peacefully come out past the plastic part.
With the valve cover removed, we can inspect the surfaces on the cylinder head and remove any bigger debris with a plastic razor and use a scotch brite pad for anything remaining. The valve cover itself has 4 different gaskets that should be replaced each time the cover is removed to avoid any oil leaks. Replacing them is very easy, remove the old stuff, clean out the channels of any dirt, insert new gaskets and we are ready to go back on the cylinder head. In my case, I had to install the spark plug housing which came off during the rebuild. With everything ready to go, the cover simple can be lowered making sure everything is aligned and torqued to spec.
Torquing these bolts to spec and in the correct order is probably the most important step as this plastic cover can easily warp or even crack if not done correctly. Refer to the diagram for the correct sequence and then hand tight or use a power drill on the lowest setting on all of the screws. For round two, each one gets 8.5 Nm in the same order. DO NOT go back to the first ones to check torque or retorque them again. They have to be done in that order and left alone.
If all went well, simply re-assemble whatever you have taken a part to get here and enjoy your new valve cover gasket!
Now onto the Oil Pan gasket and install. As I mentioned earlier, I had to get a new oil pan as the engine I’m rebuilding is from a BMW X5 and the oil pan and pick up tube are different on that car. This one is a lot more complicated to do at home if you don’t have your engine out, but it is possible if you drop the front axle support and remove the front differential and power steering pump. With correct access, this is a simple job just like the valve cover. Just as before, cleaning all of the surfaces is very important to prevent leaks and then we can drop the gasket on the engine block. In this case, there are no guides, so you have to be very careful when installing the new gasket as it will move around if you’re not careful. It took me 2 tries before I got it perfect and I had perfect access, so I imagine it’s a little bit harder while working under the car. With the gasket aligned and the oil pan sitting on top, we can insert new aluminum bolts in a couple of spots and screw them in a few threads. Now comes the important part. If the engine is out, you’re supposed to use an alignment tool to make sure the oil pan is perfectly aligned with the block. If the transmission is still attached, you don’t have to worry about it as it will align itself to the bellhousing. Here is what I did. Then hand tight a few screws to keep it from moving around. All screws on the oil pan are torqued to 8 Nm and then 90-degree rotation for the short ones and 180 degree of rotation on the long ones.
Well, look at my engine looking all spiffy now with the new gaskets and ready for more parts. Thank you so much for watching part 6 of the N55 engine rebuild project and I’m looking forward to seeing you in the next parts where we install the front and rear crankshaft seals, install the injectors, the exhaust manifold and drop the engine in the car. Leave a comment down below and let me know what you think of the progress so far and if you’d like to follow the project, don’t forget to subscribe. See ya next time!