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  #11  
Old 01-14-2016, 08:08 PM
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@PCH_BMW,

At 120K miles, sure you can spend 10-12h replacing the oil pan gasket but...it is the OFH Gasket ($5 at dealer). This was exactly what happened to me at 115K miles: oil pooling at the pan, simulating oil pan gasket leak. A few drops of oil on driveway per night.
I replaced the OFH Gasket (did the PCV at the same time b/c of ease of access to the PCV system).
So far so good bone-dry, zero oil leak.

So, start with the common and easy cause first: OFH Gasket. Here is the DIY I wrote:

http://www.xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-foru...-overhaul.html

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On the issue of oil pan gasket: My 1998 528i M52 oil pan gasket is still factory at 160K. This is not an issue until 200K or so. Very often people misdiagnose the problem. See bimmerfest E39 forum for the threads on it.

Now, for people who want to replace the oil pan gasket, there is a technique w/o dropping subframe: just cut the gasket at 1-2 places, install, patch with RTV and you will be fine. See the thread by Mudbone in E39:

Replaced oil pan gasket - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums
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  #12  
Old 01-14-2016, 10:09 PM
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^ checked your above links ,awesome right up and a big thank you for taking extra time with detailed pics .
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  #13  
Old 01-17-2016, 03:53 AM
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Mitigation efforts

@cn90
Thank you for your response. Your concern regarding the source of the leak is spot on. I spent a good 2 hours over a few weeks to ID the leak because I didn't want to fix the wrong thing.

Sadly my leak is coming from the oil pan gasket at two bolts in the front driver's side corner. Clear view. I cleaned everything and laid under the car while it was running and watched it develop. Ugh I wish it was the oil filter housing OFH. Around 90k the OFH had a tiny leak so I replaced it and the Oil vapor system and a few other hard to reach items on the intake side of the engine. In fact I removed the intake manifold and also replaced all the rubber intake air parts, disa valve, and the power steering hoses. I went nuts because I didn't want to be in the area again for another 100k.

Back to the oil pan gasket. I'm still leaning toward a full gasket repair - no cut. But I have not read the cut procedure or determined how much time it saves. For example if the gasket cut procedure only took 2 hours versus 12, then the risk of failure would be 2 hours of time and cost of the gasket. That would be a very compelling short cut.

Any community thoughts on the time savings of the cut gasket procedure?

Mitigation efforts. FYI.
The oil pan has been leaking for almost 12 months
1st attempt to slow it down. Tightened 3 bolts at leak. 1/4 to 1/3 turn. Helped for a few months
2nd attempt. At oil change removed the 2 bolts at the leak site. Used plastic syringe to fill bolt holes with RTV. Insterted bolts and tightened. RTV spilled out of backside bolt anchor points and a 2 cm wide line at the outside of gasket. I thought I had a miracle on my hands. Worked well at first. 5 months later the leak is as bad as ever loser

Last edited by PCH BMW; 01-19-2016 at 01:18 PM. Reason: More details
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  #14  
Old 01-19-2016, 10:29 AM
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Whistle OIL PAN LEAK

Someone beat me to it, but I was going to mention the Oil Filter Housing as well. Since you've triple checked that it is the oil pan there is one last option you may consider AT YOUR OWN RISK.

There is a post I will have to look for that shows a 2-3 hr shortcut to replacing the oil pan gasket*******************

RISK***
It involves cutting the new gasket in two different places so you can avoid having to drop the sub frame or remove the axles, to my knowledge the guy who did it and posted pictures of it did not have any leaks develop as he used a bit of gasket maker on the areas that were cut. Someone here may have a link to that DIY, I am gearing up to do that on mine at some point but I want to do the OFH first before I touch the pan. The other thing you can do to buy you a bit more time, is snug the oil pan down just a tad bit. DO NOT over tighten too much or you'll snap the bolts, that may or may not do the trick depends on the condition of the gasket.
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  #15  
Old 01-19-2016, 06:22 PM
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I still find it hard to believe the oil pan gasket leaks at 120K, I may be wrong though.

1- Re OFH Gasket:
* Make sure you used BMW dealer gasket. Aftermarket gasket (Elring) is known to leak.
* Even with BMW gasket: make sure you torque bolts #1-#4 properly. There is a sequence that I posted ion bimmerfest E39 forum. Some people may not be aware of this sequence and leak develops later.
* The spot you mentioned (driver side oil pan gasket) is exactly where the OFH gasket leak initially ends up, then it drips down the pass side, simply b/c the engine is tilted with pass side lower.

2- The Oil Pan Gasket, the link to the "cut and paste with RTV" is posted above in my thread above this. Take your time to read through it. It is already challenging in the E39, it is even worse in the E53 b/c of the axle running through it. This is why I suggest that you thoroughly review the OFH Gasket issue first.

OTOH, a bit of leak here and there...you may want to live with it until it is really bad, then spend 10h fixing the oil pan gasket.

Please post a follow-up.
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  #16  
Old 01-19-2016, 06:35 PM
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@cn90.

I will double check the oil filter housing just to be 100% certain.
My repair notes indicate that I replaced the OFH in Feb.2012 and it is my guess that I followed the Bentley repair guide. I also use OEM parts so I'm sure that I used a BMW gasket on the OFH. I even remember that my 2007 mini cooper has and OFH with essentially the same design and poor anchor points (replaced OFH last year in the 60K range).

Thank you for your feedback. Rich
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  #17  
Old 01-19-2016, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tecboy99 View Post
Yes, and the axles that run through the oil pan have to be removed. Along with the differential.
I thought the axles only run through the pan on the 4.4, 4.6 and 4.8 V8 engines - the 3.0 petrol and diesels don't have this "feature".

*edit* had a closer look on realoem at the sump image - dang - it looks like the axle DOES run through the sump, at least on the M57 diesel. in fact, the front diff MOUNTS on the oil pan!!

In all cases I expect there are other clearance issues though.
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Last edited by wpoll; 01-19-2016 at 07:54 PM.
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  #18  
Old 01-19-2016, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wpoll View Post
I thought the axles only run through the pan on the 4.4, 4.6 and 4.8 V8 engines - the 3.0 petrol and diesels don't have this "feature".

*edit* had a closer look on realoem at the sump image - dang - it looks like the axle DOES run through the sump, at least on the M57 diesel. in fact, the front diff MOUNTS on the oil pan!!

In all cases I expect there are other clearance issues though.
You are correct. All models have this wonderful "feature". Guess those sneaky Germans wanted a lower center of gravity.
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  #19  
Old 01-19-2016, 08:29 PM
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This image didn't show much but this one is damning!
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  #20  
Old 01-19-2016, 10:09 PM
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I posted procedure on torquing Bolts #1-#4 in the link below.
They need to be done in sequence, waiting 5-10 minutes in between to allow the gasket to seat. Many people who don't follow this procedure get the leak.

Maybe you should consider changing the OFH gasket again, $5 and 1-2h instead of the dreaded oil pan gasket job?


1998 528I Oil Filter Housing Gasket & “Freeze Plugs” Repair (E39) - Page 4 - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums
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