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  #1  
Old 06-07-2022, 04:11 AM
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Diagnosing oil in spark plugs boots M54 3.0l

Need some advice to troubleshoot oil on sparkplugs and boots. Searched the net and xoutpost for a while but didn't find a lot.

A couple years ago I had burning smell from oil dripping on exhaust manifold. I replaced the VCG (including the rubber strip for the sparkplugs) and rubber under the washers.
That problem disappeared. Since then I haven't driven car much at all.

Today I was replacing spark plugs and boots and noticed that when I took the boots and spark plugs out, they were dripping with oil.



So from the research I did so far, there are a few possibilitilities:

- Warped valve cover. I'm not sure how to confirm for sure. There are not leaks on the outside. Only inside the tube. Not sure if the cover can be warped only where spark plug tube are? How can I even tell?

- Bad install? I'm not sure if I could've screwed something up, but it's not complicated pressing the string of spark plug gasket into the cover when changing VCG. Why would it not make a good contact?

- Spark plug tubes. Quick search shows parts for spark plug tube, but these seem to only be applicable for 8 cylinder engines. Doesn't look like i6 has replaceable tubes.

- CCV system. I plugged the extra hole on dipstick and installed a catch can.
https://xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-forums/...roject-12.html
I donít know if catchcan can be causing issues but I didn't think so.

I'm thinking of replacing VCG again but I'm afraid it won't fix the issue. I'm thinking about maybe buying a new (used) valve cover as well.

It's quite disheartening to see so much oil on the sparkplugs. Oil is not contaminated with coolant, so I guess headgasket can be ruled out as the cause.
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Old 06-07-2022, 07:22 AM
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Inspect the tube hole seals. Are the gaskets hard? I like to use a sealer for tube seals. Form-A-Gasket works great. I brush a little on the grove ring before installation.

My only guess is tube seals are upside down if possible.
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Old 06-07-2022, 10:57 AM
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what's your procedure for torquing down the valve cover? and are they all dripping or does that differ?
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Old 06-07-2022, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X5chemist View Post
Inspect the tube hole seals. Are the gaskets hard? I like to use a sealer for tube seals. Form-A-Gasket works great. I brush a little on the grove ring before installation.

My only guess is tube seals are upside down if possible.
These ones right?
Ok I ordered a new VCG set and will start taking things apart.
I'll use a bit of sealer then!
Geez I highly doubt if I installed them upside down, I'd be really disappointed in myself. Although I did install rake pads the wrong way once, nothing I always thought was impossible to do!
I'll remove the valve cover and inspect, while waiting for the new order
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Old 06-07-2022, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guntherrex View Post
what's your procedure for torquing down the valve cover? and are they all dripping or does that differ?
They were all pretty much the same. Maybe a little different, but not much. I'd say they were all pretty bad.
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Old 06-07-2022, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmwe5320023.0 View Post
These ones right?
Ok I ordered a new VCG set and will start taking things apart.
I'll use a bit of sealer then!
Geez I highly doubt if I installed them upside down, I'd be really disappointed in myself. Although I did install rake pads the wrong way once, nothing I always thought was impossible to do!
I'll remove the valve cover and inspect, while waiting for the new order
Yes, it would be nearly odd defying if all 6 were pinched on installation. A friend had a shop do a seal job three times. They kept pinching the same rear cylinder on a Honda V6. I kept finding it and taking pictures when he called me for a misfire code.
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Last edited by X5chemist; 06-07-2022 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 06-07-2022, 02:05 PM
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Yeah that's why I was wondering if anything else can be responsible for leak into the boot area.
Well I guess I'll take it apart and look real close
I see you put some sealant where the gasket goes into the valve cover.
I wonder if it's making good contact with the spark plug tubes and it any gasket maker can be applied there
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Old 06-07-2022, 02:22 PM
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Rare too are loose tube inserts. Tug on them while the cover is off.
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Old 06-08-2022, 12:26 AM
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Don't see anything obvious

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Old 06-08-2022, 12:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X5chemist View Post
Rare too are loose tube inserts. Tug on them while the cover is off.
Wdym tag on boot inserts?
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