BMW N55 Rear Crankshaft Seal Install (No Special Tools)

Hey guys and welcome back to the SimpleCarGuy Channel. In this video I will be installing the rear crankshaft seal as part of the BMW N55 engine rebuild project I have been working on. Over the past few weeks, I have bought or borrowed a lot of specialty tools, but this time I decided to install the rear seal without the use of any specially tools so if that’s something that interests you, keep on watching!

If you find this video useful and would like to support the channel, hit that like button for the Youtube algorithms and for repairing these complex beasts at home.

If you are aren’t following this rebuild project, this engine spun a rod bearing and needed a new crankshaft. I have so far replaced the crankshaft, sealed the bedplate, replaced the main bearings, rod bearings, installed a new head gasket and valve and oil pan gaskets. If you’d like to see any of those videos, check out the playlist in the description. Anyway, back to the subject of this video.

As with previous jobs I have done on this engine, the task itself isn’t that hard. The hard part is getting to the part or the rear crankshaft seal in this case. If your engine isn’t out, the recommended path of getting to it is to remove the transmission from the vehicles by removing the stiffening plate and the exhaust system past the catalytic converter and disconnecting the main drive shaft at the transmission side. The transmission can then be disconnected from the engine and dropped down. After all that work the flywheel can be removed and you will finally have access to the seal. Obviously, this is a huge job just to get to this part, but if your engine or transmission is already out and you have a leaking seal, it’s definitely a good time to change it.

I had it a little easier since my engine is on the stand, but the process is the same from this point on. First things first, we have to remove the crankshaft sensor out of the way and then remove the magnet wheel cover. To remove the old seal, you will need a small drill bit that isn’t bigger than 2.5 mm and drill a small hole without touching any metal surfaces. Then the seal can be removed with a help of a sliding hammer. I have done it without the tool before by just using a regular screw and then a regular hammer against a plank of wood that’s against the block to leverage it out of place. Whichever way you go about it, make sure there is no residue or little plastic pieces from drilling. For anything tougher, you can use a fine scotch brite pad and brake cleaner to get it perfectly smooth.

Now that we have everything ready for the new seal, you are supposed to use a special seal tool, but I decided not to buy one and used my own method so that I don’t have to spend the $300 for the install tool.

Obviously, you cannot just hammer the seal in as it would get damaged and wouldn’t create a good seal, defeating the purpose of the replacing it. So, what could you use to drive it in that’s the same size as the new seal? Well, the OLD SEAL. I flipped the seal over and lightly tapped on it until the new one started to get seated on the crankshaft. Now, this isn’t the quick method as it probably took at least 15 minutes of light and not so light hammering to get it seated. I had to stop a few times until I reached the correct stopping point. It should be just past the change in high on the block. Once the entire circumference of the seal is equally seated and will not move any further, you are done! The flywheel can now be reinstalled with new bolts and transmission put back in.

I hope this video helped you get your own rear crankshaft seal installed without having to buy any special tools and if it did, let me know in the comments down below. Check out the rest of the channel for many more BMW specific videos and I hope to see you in the next one.

BMW N55 Engine Rebuild Project Part 6 – Valve Cover Gasket & Oil Pan Gasket

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.

If you’d like this project to succeed, don’t forget to hit that like button for me and of course the YouTube algorithm. Now, back to the project!

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!

BMW N55 Engine Rebuild Project Part 5 – Timing Chain and Oil Pump Replacement

Hey Guys and Welcome back to the SimpleCarGuy channel. In this video, we will have some fun installing the oil pump, oil pick up tube, the timing chain and timing the engine. I liked doing the timing chains so much that I did it twice. More on that later!

If you are new here, well, I have been rebuilding my BMW N55 engine for the past few weeks and it’s been a great learning experience. I have replaced the main bearings, crankshaft, sealed the bed plate, installed new rod bearings and a new head gasket. The last huge item on the list is the timing chain, which is today’s video.

While I’m doing this with the engine out, it is possible to do a timing chain job without having to remove the engine from the car. As in previous videos, I won’t be showing those steps, but I’ll do a quick overview on how to get where we are. I recommend you watch my previous videos where I show a lot more detail on disassembly.

HOW TO GET TO THIS POINT:

So, the quick overview. Here we go.

Step 1: Unplug the battery and drain the oil from the engine. Remove air filter housing or clean air pipe running over the valve cover depending on the car and undo the gas pressure lines.

Step 2: Remove the underbody protection, intake silencer housing, fan cowl and the serpentine belt that runs the accessories. With that access, you can now remove the vibration damper and the front crankshaft seal. If the belt tensioner is in the way, you may need to remove it as well.

Step 3: Remove the valve or also known as the cylinder head cover by unplugging the vacuum lines, wiring from the injectors and anything else that’s in the way. If you will be reusing the valve cover, make sure you undo the bolts in the correct order (show here) and remove it from the cylinder head.

If you aren’t replacing the oil pump or oil pump chain and sprocket, no further disassembly is required. Otherwise, you will have to remove the front axle differential, remove the power steering pump and remove the bearing support to be able to remove the oil sump and have access to those parts.

Before you can remove the timing chain or the oil pump components, you have to rotate the engine into the TDC (Top Dead Center) position using the main bolt. You know it’s in the correct position when cylinder number 1 is at the very top. Now we can install the timing tool onto the camshaft to make sure they do not move while we remove the central bolts on the intake and exhaust camshaft adjusters. You should have no issues unbolting these. Then remove the chain tensioner as well which will give your chain some slack and allow you to remove the camshaft adjusters by hand.

Next, the main bolt must be loosened and taken out. This is a tough one. With the engine out, it took an 8 foot pipe to get it done, but I have also done it in with the engine in the car on my N20 timing chain job and it was a little easier. Whichever way you go about this, make sure the socket is very secure on the bolt and doesn’t slip and spray some WD-40 or whatever else you have if it’s a bit rusty.

With the main bolt out, there are only a few things holding the timing chain and timing chain guide in place. The 2 bearing journals that are hiding behind the screw plugs, the crankshaft hub, two little screws at the top by the camshaft adjusters and of course the camshaft adjusters themselves. With those removed, hold the timing chain and guides with one hand and remove the hub with the other making sure not to drop the sprocket. I recommend keeping the chain tight to avoid this and just pull it up as soon as the hub has cleared it.

Now that everything out of the way, we can finally get to fun parts! Since I’m rebuilding the engine, I’m reinstalling the oil pump using new bolts. The install is very simple, but to be safe I do a mock up with old bolts while I’m working on getting the chain assembly in. Just in case I have to move it or something isn’t lining up properly. If I used new bolts and have to loosen them, I’d have to get new bolts again. The 3 bolts at the top are torqued to 10 Nm and then 180 degrees angle of rotation for the longer bolt and 90 degrees for the shorter bolts.

We are almost done with this job and as you can see it does take some time and effort to get there, no wonder a shop would charge you a couple thousand bucks for this! Anyway, to install the new chain and tensioner, make sure it’s all assembled correctly and the sprocket pointing the right way. Then it can all be lowered into the engine, lining up the sprocket with the crankshaft hub and locking it in place with a new main bolt. You don’t want to tighten it to spec just yet. First, reinstall the 2 bearing journals and the 2 little screws at the top to hold everything in place. Torquing all to spec, of course.  Now the main bolt can be torqued to 100 Nm and additional 270-degree rotation. I recommend having someone help you out with this one, it felt a little sketchy as I was doing it.

With the main bolt locking everything in place, it’s time to install the intake and exhaust camshaft adjusters back in with the chain around them. Should be pretty easy since the chain tensioner is not yet installed. Of course, you have to make sure that the intake adjuster goes on the right side and the exhaust on the left, you cannot mix these up! While you are pulling the chain over the exhaust adjuster, make sure it is sitting on the guide rail and not anywhere else. With everything looking good, we can install the pretensioning tool instead of the chain tensioner and torque it to 0.6 Nm and torque the central bolts to 20 Nm with 180-degree rotation after. The very last step before testing is installing the chain tensioner and torquing it to 55 Nm.

Once everything looks good, we can remove all special tool and rotate the engine a couple of times making sure everything sounds good and recheck the timing. If everything still lines up and the timing tool fits as it did before the engine is timed and ready for its new crankshaft seal and re-assembly. A video on front crankshaft seal is coming out soon!

Now, remember how I said I had to do this job twice? Well, after I rotated the engine a few times, it made this clicking sound from the camshaft adjuster which I wasn’t very sure about. So, I posted a short clip to check with others and see if it’s normal. I learned that indeed, it is normal and it will go away as soon as oil pressure is built up and circulating, but I also learned that I was making a mistake. Initially when I looked at the timing components, they looked fine to me so I reused them.. but after many, many convincing arguments from strangers, I have decided to replace it all with brand new stuff, including the chain tensioner. Anyway, thanks for watching, check out the links in the description for parts needed, leave a comment down below and I’ll see you in the next one.

BMW N55 Engine Rebuild Project Part 1 – I Bought A Broken BMW N55

Hey guys and welcome back to another video on the SimpleCarGuy channel. It has been a few months since I have started working on the e92 project and I know I haven’t posted an update in a long while. So, in this video, I will go over why it took so long, what’s happening now and the plan for the future. After taking the engine out of the car and tearing it down to see what it looked like, I found that it was not rebuildable at all and I had to find another engine. Unfortunately, that’s where I ran into some issues. At the time of buying the car, a BMW N55 engine could have been had for under $3000 with less than 100,000 miles minus the turbo and some accessories, which I would gladly pay. However, whether it was due to pandemic or winter being right around the corner, the engines just disappeared from the market and the pickings were slim. The best engine I could find was over $4000 with 135,000 miles out of a wracked car with no warranty or guarantee. Now, I could have risked it and went for it, but it felt like such a step back. I waited and waited and nothing came on the market.

Then one day I was on Facebook market looking for random car stuff as I normally do and I searched for a BMW N55. To my surprise, there was one for sale and it was only 5 miles away from me. What was more surprising was the asking price – $350. I figured, for $350, it can’t hurt to at least go look at it. I had a good look at it and it was a clear case of spun rod bearing. I realized that this engine in a rebuildable condition, so I pulled a trigger on it and bought another knocking BMW N55 engine. Of course, it’s not in a perfect condition by any stretch of imagination, but it’s decent enough to attempt rebuilding.

I brought the engine home, put it on a stand and started taking it apart to inspect it closer. So, how good of shape is it really in? Well, let’s find out!

Even though the guy that sold me the engine swore that the only damage to the engine is the spun rod bearing, I have seen what a spun rod bearing can do, so I had my doubts. My biggest worry was damage to the cylinder head and the cylinder walls which would make the engine not worth rebuilding. I used a small camera to go through the sparkplug hole and what I saw scared me a little bit. It looked like it was all cracked and black and not like it’s supposed to look. However, once I removed the cylinder head, I was pleasantly surprised, everything was intact and in good enough shape! Who would have thought!? This game me the go ahead to start ordering parts and proceed with the teardown.

I didn’t include the tear down footage on this engine up until this point as it’s pretty much exactly the same as I did on the original engine. Check out those videos for detail on how I got to this state of the engine.

While I do some research and wait on parts to start arriving, I’m continuing to take apart the bottom end. To remove the bed plate, I had to first remove the main crankshaft bolt, which turned out to be a not-so-easy task once the engine is on an engine stand. I ended up using a wrench to hold it in place and a very long pipe to break it lose. Now that the main bolt was out, I was able to remove the crank hub which then allowed me to remove the sprockets and the chains. A few screws and bolts later, the oil pump was ready to be removed as well.

The last step in disassembly was to remove the bed plate bolts in the correct sequences as well as all of the outside aluminum bolts. It’s mandatory to replace all aluminum bolts when re-assembling the engine, so lots of ordering a head of me. I then removed the bed plate from the engine block to expose access to the crankshaft. This is why I did so much work disassembling this engine. It’s to replace this big ol chunk of metal. I won’t be releasing those rod bolts until I’m ready to put the new one in as I’m afraid of accidentally pushing the piston out and it falling on the floor.

At this point I’m pretty much done with the disassembly of the engine and it’s rebuild time! I have ordered most of the parts I will need to get started, but first I will have to clean all of the parts I will re-use and set up a better work space for myself. The plan after is to replace one of the pistons, put all new main bearings in and replace the crankshaft. Put the bed plate back on, seal it with the correct sealant, install gaskets and seals back in and reassemble the rest of the bottom end. This of course will be in another video, so don’t forget to subscribe to follow this rebuild project.

BMW N55 335i Cylinder Head Removal & Engine Teardown

In the previous engine teardown video, I removed the oil pan and oil pump to investigate why this BMW n55 engine had such a horrible knock. After seeing the spun bearing and the destruction it had caused, I decided to continue with the engine disassembly and take off the cylinder head off. There are quite a few steps to do this, such as removing the valve cover, the injectors, the fuel lines and all of the wiring. I also had to get a timing tool to hold the VANOS system in place to remove the timing chain. After all of this work was done, I was finally able to remove the cylinder head and inspect the valves and the mating surfaces.

Taking apart a blown BMW N55 Engine

After spending the last few weeks removing the N55 engine from my BMW 335i, I’m finally taking it apart so that we can see what has been causing that horrendous knock and how much will my wallet be hurting after this project. Check out the playlist on this car to get caught up if you’re new here! Let’s get to it!

BMW N55 Engine Inspection at 85000 Miles

In my previous video I took the engine out of my BMW 335i e92 and before I take it apart, I wanted to point out some of the issues and see what kind of shape the engine is after 85000 miles in midwest. This video isn’t supposed to be in depth or anything like that, but I just wanted to highlight a few common problems on the N55 and issues specific to this engine.

How To Remove BMW N55 Engine from BMW 335i

Hey Guys and welcome back to another video and this is a long one! In this video I will be removing the BMW N55 engine out of my BMW 335i e92 coupe. I recommend checking out my previous videos on this car as they explain a lot of what is going on and why I’m removing the engine. I do skip over some of the parts, but most of the big stuff is included. I hope you enjoy and give this video a like!

As I’m not a BMW mechanic and I do this just for fun, so I ran into a few issues along the way. Some of these really were easy to solve, but required tools I didn’t have and some required some thinking even when I did have the right tools. I’ve learned a lot along the way and I think this is one of the best ways to get very familiar with your project car.

I started this project with some safety in mind as I’d be crawling underneath the car, so the very first thing I did was disconnect the battery that way I don’t chance it with the ECU, catch something on fire or short something out in general. After putting the cars on jack stands, I got busy with removing the interior air filter and both lower and upper section of housing that hold it in place.  I then removed the trailing links with just a couple of bolts and proceeded to remove the intake filter housing, the cowl panel cover and the clean air pipe. Once all of these items were removed, I had easy access to the intake manifold that’s held in by 7 nuts and a screw. Before I pulled it out, I made sure to unplug all of the connectors on the ECU and move the wires out of the way. Then it just pulls out. Don’t forget to disconnect the vacuum line at the bottom as well so it doesn’t break on you! The car has been treating me nicely thus far and I was excited to keep wrenching. I had music playing in the background and it was just me and the car.

My next mission was to drain it of as many liquids as possible. I drained the oil off camera and got to work on the coolant system. To get better access, I removed the fan cowl with just one bolt and go to draining the coolant from the bottom hose and once it was all drained, I took the expansion tank off as well. As I kept removing parts from the engine, I would disconnect and remove coolant lines along the way.

So far it has been basic mechanical wrenching and I’ve been enjoying it with no problems in sight!

Now that I have had plenty of space, I removed the serpentine belt which allowed me to remove the alternator as well as loosen the AC compressor. At the same time I removed the oil pipes making sure to catch any access oil spills.

At this point things have still been going pretty smooth, so I decided to tackle one of the harder parts of the engine removal. The removal of the axles or the output shafts, if your car is rear wheel drive, consider yourself lucky since you won’t have to deal with this royal pain in the butt! Now, undoing the bolts on track rod end, the wishbone, the trailing link and the anti-roll bar was a piece of cake compared to trying to take knock out the shaft out of the differential. Don’t be like me and try to follow BMW’s recommendation and just use a screw driver like I do here to pop them out. It’s definitely worth the cost of a seal.

Next I decided to tackle the removal of the catalytic converter. It looked very easy in the manual, so I figured it’d be out in an hour or so. At surprise to no one, I ran into some issues. The biggest issues I had here was that I could not separate the exhaust from the catalytic converter. I tried taking the bolts off with a socket, with some heat and plenty of WD-20, but at the end I had to cut them off with a grinder and break off the ones I couldn’t reach using an air hammer gun to separate the two pieces. I’m glad I’m not an exhaust guy in Midwest. What a nightmare that was. I then spent the next 20 minutes getting to the bolts on the engine support arm and the engine mount was out with the support arm. I was in the clear! Or so I thought. After removing the clamp, the cat was supposed to just come out.. but it never did. I eventually game up on it and removed the engine leaving it in place.

With all that extra space around the transmissions I was able to take the rest of the bolts out holding it to the engine. I can’t say they were easy, but using the CV joint extension and the short sockets. I was able to get all of them out in no time at all. I thought the engine is now ready to be separated from the transmission… but WAIT THERE WAS MORE!

After struggling for a bit, I had to do some research and I found out that since this is an automatic, the torque converter would be too large to come out with the transmission EVEN if it did separate which mine just wouldn’t. I decided to remove the 6 converter bolts and while I was under the car removing the bolts, I saw that propeller shaft was still attached to the differential, so I removed the 4 bolts and dropped the shaft down. Glad I caught that one before too much damage was done!

I then used a pry-bar to put some tension between the engine and the bell-housing hoping it would make it easier to separate.  Nothing was stopping me now! I was on a mission!