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.

Test and Clean VANOS Solenoids – BMW VANOS Symptoms

Hey guys and welcome back to the SimpleCarGuy channel. In this video we will discuss common symptoms of a bad solenoid, see how we can test one at home and how to clean it.

Ever since the early 90s, a lot of BMW engines have been using the VANOS system to adjust the valve timing on the fly. This gives the engine more power over the rev-range and for that reason in general, we like variable timing on engines. We get low end torque and high end horse power, very similar to VTEC on Honda engines. The design has changed over the years, starting with single VANOS system used in the 90s, dual VANOS system used in early to mid 2000s as well as the famous n54 engine that was in production until 2010 and of course Dual-VANOS with VALVETRONIC that I have in my N55 engine that was released in 2009 and is still used today.

Now that we know a little bit of history, let’s take a look at how to actually diagnose a bad VANOS solenoid. A lot of the times, the symptoms are not drastic, so it can be difficult to tell, but usually you’d look for things like loss of low-end torque or power in high revs, slow response or inconsistent idle or even poor fuel economy. Some of the more noticeable items could be rough idling; especially, on cold starts as well as long cranking. Of course, if it’s bad enough, the car will go into limp home mode and you’ll normally get codes related to Camshaft Position or VANOS specific codes. If you suspect the solenoid might be fault on your car, there are ways of testing it. This isn’t something you’d see a dealer do, but it may help you troubleshoot your engine issue. Of course, if the issue is intermittent, this method does not guarantee that it will always work, but it’s an easy way to detect a bad one.

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.