N20 valve cover cracked

image I know no big deal,,,,a stupid valve cover off of a N20,,,,it was a big deal,,,,we had a lean fuel mixture,,,we first thought we had the typical fuel injectors,,,but spark plugs looked good,,,,we then noticed some oil on top of the valve cover.image I don’t know if you can see it,,,but there was a hair-line crack in the valve cover,,,thank god for a smoke machine,,,,when we smoke tested the valve cover,,,then when we really found the leak,,,,this is the first time we have seen a N20 valve cover cracked.

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17 Responses to N20 valve cover cracked

  1. Brian Clark says:

    Any hints on how to remove. I seem to be hung up on something near the firewall. I double checked and I have all the bolts out and most of the valve cover is lose and free but seems to still be holding on that end is there a pipe or other device back there that is still connected?

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    • You have to remove the vacuum pump at the rear of the valve cover

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      • Brian Clark says:

        That must be it. I did not remove the vacuum pump. Thanks for the tip. It’s tight back there I could not see that well.

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      • Yes ,,,,you will do it by feel,,,the bottom torque screw is the worst

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      • Brian Clark says:

        I was able to remove it by removing both solenoid valves and also the vacuum pump by feeling for the screws it was a size t30 star for the vacuum pump. I replaced the valve cover since I thought that was where the oil leak was coming from (back by the fire wall on the passenger side). Put it all back together and it’s still leaking oil. I am thinking based on location of the oil being above the gasket it’s actually coming out of the vacuum pump itself. There was a small plastic cover on a small valve that seems to have come off. I see some residual oil on it when using a mirror to look back there. I’m guessing oil is leaking past the seals and is being ejected out that exhaust valve.

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      • Check the big vacuum line that comes off the pump,,,check inside the line and see if there is any oil in that line,,,,check the vacuum line that go to the left side of the cylinder head for any oil inside the line,,,,if there is any oil in those lines then the vacuum pump is bad,,,,the vacuum pump is bad internally and pumping oil though the lines.

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      • Brian Clark says:

        There was some oil, also when I took the vacuum pump apart it was full of oil internally. Looks like a bad pump.

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      • Sound like it might be bad,,,,on the plastic cover on the engine,,,is there 2 or 1 vacuum port on it,,,,if there is take off the plastic cover again and turn it to see if any oil comes out of the vacuum ports,,,,if oil does come out then the vacuum pump is bad.

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      • Brian Clark says:

        There is two one is large goes to boost the brakes and there is a small on that’s got a cap on it. The cap was actually blown off and I found it when I took the engine guard off the bottom. I assume when breaking it’s been spitting oil on the exhaust turning the car into an improvisational smoke machine. Thanks for your help on this. I replaced the vacuum pump and will test today,

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    • Did you also remove both solenoid valves at the front of the valve cover

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  2. Javier Guevara Vico says:

    Hello Andreas
    Just one question: According your experience how long does it takes approximately the replacement of the valve cover gasket in an N20? About 2 hours perhaps? .. More? Less?

    Thanks!!
    javier

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    • For the first time person,,,,depends how handy you are,,,,,but figure maybe over 2 hours for the first time ,,,,,the vacuum pump at the rear of the valve cover can be hard for the first time,,,,you will need some short torque to unbolt the vacuum pump

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  3. Javier Guevara Vico says:

    Hi Andreas.. Thanks for your comment (sorry for my late answer :-)). Just one comment: Referring the vacuum pump, for an N20 mounted in a F30 3er Series, is there enough space to take it out the pump without moving out the engine? .. I was having a look yesterday, and i have the feeling that there is a veeeery little room to take out the vacuum pump.. 😉

    thanks again!
    javier

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  4. Javier Guevara Vico says:

    thanks once more, Andreas!! . anyway, if i am lucky, i will not need to remove the cover nor to replace the gasket: I believe i discovered that the small oil leak appears to be a torque problem: As i could see in the workshop procedure, the torque for the bolts in the cylinder head cover is 9Nm. But i checked the real situation with my torque wrench and i saw that before really arriving to 9Nm, all bolts were able to turn more than 180 degrees!!! .. so it seems that when they mounted the cover about 4 months ago, the torque was not correct and definitely not enough… Therefore I have adjusted the bolts (adjusting from interior to exterior) and now it looks much better.. let´s see .. 🙂
    thanks again!
    javier

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  5. Javier Guevara Vico says:

    hi Andreas… again me .. there is still a small oil leak coming from valve cover 😦 … every X kms, a single small drop of oil comes from the gasket of the valve cover and falls over the exhaust manifold producing this disgusting smell to burnt oil for couple of seconds .. I decided that finally i will replace gasket. I read somewhere by the way that for these composite plastic covers, BMW recommends to change cover+gasket. Is this true in your opinion? In fact i was checking the price of the materials, and if you consider that the part number for the cover includes cover, gaskets, all rings, bolts, etc.. (As i could see at least), the price difference is not so big that if you buy all gaskets and rings and joints separately.

    By the way, i read in the BMW procedure that he main fuel line needs to be replaced (so no reused) if loosen …

    So in summary, would you recommend to change the whole cover and not only the gasket?

    Still miss the time when i could change this gasket in 30 minutes in my old E36 M50 or even more, half of this time in my old Opel CIH engine with its valve cover made in iron, and its cork gasket!!! 🙂

    thanks again!
    javier

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    • Yes if you can replace the whole valve cover with gasket,,,,you do not have to replace the fuel lines, we only replace them if they leak, yes these valve covers are getting harder and harder to replace for the backyard mechanic,,,,,it’s not like the old days on a VW Bug just one big clip holds the valve cover,,,lol

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