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Old 02-13-2019, 01:17 PM
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Champaign Il
Posts: 1
Chiken is on a distinguished road
2001 E53 4.4 oil seperator (what's in the inside)

Hi all. Long time, first time from a small prairie town here in Champaign, Illinois.

Sitrep: we've had a 20 below zero weather hit us here a couple weeks ago. As I pulled into my garage from the commute back from work(5 miles), I was alarmed by the site of engine oil drooling from the passenger side under(about a 1/3 of a qt). Next day, I noted the expansion tank empty as well(with visible accumulation on the diaper) Started the car in attempt to diagnois the leak, and yup...white smoke from the pipes. I jacked her up, reinforce plate off and I failed at finding the source.

Question: I'm in a process of ordering hoses(all 3) for the oil seperator (ripped and gummied). But I wondered if I could spray down and reuse the old seperator itself. I can get the Vaico brand seperator for $34 shipped so it's not about the money. I was simply curious to know what's inside of it.

Thanks guys. Also feel free to offer an input as to why the expansion tank might have been emptied and what causes oil drools(not drops) in super cold climate.
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Old 02-13-2019, 02:30 PM
bcredliner's Avatar
X HP/TQ increase = $1.00 X 100X
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Little Elm,Texas. (40 minutes North of Dallas)
Posts: 6,745
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Replacing the oil separator is not fun. Replacing the seal under the cap is much easier and likely all it needs though in your case I would do a CCV symptom overhaul. Is the engine drawing a vacuum if you pull the dip stick. Also suggest you check for coolant in the oil or oil in the coolant. CCV symptoms don't like cold winters, especially if you drive only short distances where the engine never gets or is not at operating temp long enough to prevent problem. Not something you should delay fixing.
X5 4.6 2002 Black Sap, Black interior. 2013 X5M Melbourne Red, Bamboo interior
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Old 02-13-2019, 02:44 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Racine, WI
Posts: 3,735
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We have two E53 and live in racine. We have our X5's the day off on the two -20F days but other than that wife drives about 3 blocks every weekday to take our son to school but drives a warm up loop after before coming home. Her car is overdue for ccv and likely valve cover too.

Separator is pretty far inside, are you sure you need to replace or are you going in that far anyhow (in which case I would definitely consider replacing).

On the three M62 motors I helped with, the connection at the bottom of the Separator was shot (brittle). I don't think that's a separate part but could be wrong. The cone showed no wear after 165,000 miles and we made a replacement fitting from two layers of heat shrink tubing to reuse one of the separators.
E53 / M54 2001 3.0i gas LHD (pair of them: his & her)
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Old 02-13-2019, 02:47 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Racine, WI
Posts: 3,735
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Drools and drips of oil = ccv usually or valve cover or oil filter housing. If you can't find the source I would remove the stiffen plate and add some UV tracer.

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E53 / M54 2001 3.0i gas LHD (pair of them: his & her)
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