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Thread: E39 6cyl oil pan gasket replacement illustrated

  1. #1
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    E39 6cyl oil pan gasket replacement illustrated

    Hello everybody. I haven't posted in E39 section. Here are few pics on how to replace oil pan gasket on 6cyl cars. While overall job is pretty much straight forward, took me one weekend. This is my wifes wagon 200K miles.

    I used harbor freight engine bar - about $60

    http://www.harborfreight.com/1000-lb...bar-96524.html


    Jack car up. Loosen engine mount nuts. Driver side:



    and pass side:




    Remove oil sending line:



    Install bar, connect chain to front engine lifting bracket:


    Boring - remove all 10mm oil pan bolts, do not forget 2 that are under tranny bell housing:



    Disconnect sway bar. Remove fan/belt, remove PS pulley, brake calipers, unbolt power steering fluid reservuar and let it hang. Put jack under subframe, remove 6 subframe bolts. Lower jack, shake subframe:



    At some moment subframe will go down and be held by struts. Notice guides on front part of subframe:




    There's lots of clearance to remove pan:



    Use factory gasket




    Put everything back. Enjoy no drips on the floor.
    Oleg.
    Last edited by perelet; 05-02-2012 at 12:34 AM.

  2. #2
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    Nice! There's something that really intimidates me about removing the subframe and supporting it with a jack.

    This DIY is also useful for upgrading your front sway bar.

  3. #3
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    Nice job, good write up.

  4. #4
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    Exactly the same thing I did back in october and no drip at all. I see a good 7-8 quarts of oil when being drained.



  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by newton22 View Post
    Nice! There's something that really intimidates me about removing the subframe and supporting it with a jack.
    I was more intimidated with engine bar holding things in place, but it did well. At some moment I had to shake/push subframe pretty hard to drop out of guides - no problemo, Harbor Freight bar held just fine.

    Also pan should drop easily, if it is stuck in place - count all 10mm bolts

    There are 21 short ones #5, 2 medium #6 and 2 long #7 in tranny bell-housing.




    Oleg.

  6. #6
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    Pretty cool!
    Amazing but simple write-up!
    Thank you much!

    1. Was the job hard?

    2. Take a long time...?

    3. Also, was the chain hook-up on the front of the engine the ONLY place used to hold-up the engine?

    4. Did you need to lift the engine up any?

    5. Where did you buy the gasket from?

    Thanks!
    Jason

  7. #7
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    >1. Was the job hard?
    Depends on your level, I guess. But there's no risk of breaking things or need for special tools.

    >2. Take a long time...?
    Weekend. But I spent time investigating this and that while doing it. My guess now I can do it much faster.

    >3. Also, was the chain hook-up on the front of the engine the ONLY place used to hold->up the engine?
    YUP. On other side it's supported by tranny mount, exhaust etc. Felt very stable.

    >4. Did you need to lift the engine up any?
    ~1/4 in. Just to free up engine mounts.

    >5. Where did you buy the gasket from?
    dealer.


    Oleg.

  8. #8
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    OP, did you apply a dab of the rtv gasket maker at four points/places on the block/crankcase? I applied two dabs on the place where the timing cover mates with the block and two on the rear as well. No rtv on the new gasket though and I wouldn't recommend it.



  9. #9
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    Auaq.

    A bit of rtv at joints will not hurt. Factory gasket has very soft rubber molded on metal, plus it has extra rubber line (see pic above) at joint locations.

    I do not think that absence of rtv will contribute to leak. Gasket leaks cause rubber part get's rock hard and just cracks here and there over time.

    Oleg.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by perelet View Post
    Auaq.

    A bit of rtv at joints will not hurt. Factory gasket has very soft rubber molded on metal, plus it has extra rubber line (see pic above) at joint locations.

    I do not think that absence of rtv will contribute to leak. Gasket leaks cause rubber part get's rock hard and just cracks here and there over time.

    Oleg.
    How long did it take for you to do this? I did mine on a lift and used three long transmission jack stands to support the subframe and one additional hydraulic transmission stand as well. It took me about 12-13 hours. I also unfastened the steering rack and the shaft column from the rack. I then unfastened the strut tower mounts, hanged the brake caliper away from the strut, and dropped the entire subframe with all the suspension components on it for a good couple of inches. I also had the power steering pump hanged to the side. I had to do this in order to drop the pan and slide it out towards the transmission or to the rear of the vehicle.

    I am actually glad that you managed to drop the pan out, removed the old gasket and put the new one in there. I say this because I have seen some owners here on this site where they have actually cut the old and the new gasket simply because they cannot/unable to get the pan out completely. They then applied some of that rtv gasket at that cut point which in my view is not really a good idea.
    Last edited by auaq; 05-01-2012 at 07:53 PM.



  11. #11
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    Oleg
    you removed steering rack ?
    you didnt say it but i can see from this picture



    if so it's a HUGE job , > 12-13 hours

    as CNN said the best way to do this job is to cut new gasket and do the easy way !!
    Last edited by champaign777; 05-01-2012 at 09:00 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by champaign777 View Post
    Oleg
    you removed steering rack ?
    you didnt say it but i can see from this picture



    if so it's a HUGE job , > 12-13 hours

    as CNN said the best way to do this job is to cut new gasket and do the easy way !!
    Igor,

    Check out this thread:
    http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...=532166&page=4

    Quote Originally Posted by ForcedFirebird View Post

    I just did this job.
    The sub-frame doesn't have to be removed completely, just loosen the 4 big bolts that hold it to the chassis and let it hang on the lower control arms.

    This will give you just enough room to slide the gasket out completely, although you will need a brace for the engine.

    As far as an engine support brace, most local auto parts stores will rent them for free.
    They have you pay for them in full and then give you your money back when it's returned.

    As far as sealant, I would suggest using "The Right Stuff" over RTV (it has OEM part numbers for the domestic market).

    I used it on my m20 oil pan in place of a gasket.
    When the bead was applied and the oil pan was placed on the engine,
    I dropped the bolt in my hand that was ready to start.
    Seeing my car was on the lift and no one was around to help, I bent over to pick up the bolt and the pan stayed in place lol.
    Quote Originally Posted by ForcedFirebird View Post
    4 10mmx1.5 bolts that hold the subframe to the chassis. You might be talking about the chassis brace?

    I have a small independent BMW performance/repair shop so this was done on a lift, but it went like this...

    Hook the engine lift eyelet to brace and raise 5mm.

    Remove splash shield and chassis brace.

    Remove 2 lower motor mount nuts (AllData says upper nuts, worked fine using lower).

    Raise engine another 10mm.

    Loosen the power steering pump, leaving top bolt slightly threaded so the belt can stay on.

    Remove bolt for dipstick and slide up slightly.

    Remove 4 nuts for sway-bar and let hang.

    Remove 4 bolts that hold subframe and let hang on control arms.

    Remove oil pan bolts.

    Remove PS and trans cooler line brackets.

    The PS pump will move enough to let the pan drop, steering column linkage can remain, transmission cooler lines can remain, you will have just enough room to reach your hand in and guide the gasket around the oil pickup tube, and you will have plenty of room to clean thoroughly.

    Installation is reverse procedure.

    If doing this in your garage, you can lift the engine with a jack or engine hoist. That's how I replaced all the crankshaft bearings for the v10 in my Excursion last year.

    I am about to button it up, maybe I will take some pics for you guys. A few extra minutes and you won't have to cut the gasket.

    Quote Originally Posted by ForcedFirebird View Post
    Last edited by Jason5driver; 05-01-2012 at 10:44 PM.

  13. #13
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    I wish this was around when I did mine. Dropping the subframe is the only way to do it right. Don't believe that you can easily change it otherwise. I tried to do it without dropping the subframe, and I spent 12 hours on my back, managed to get the gasket in after cutting it in 2 places, and then snapped literally the last bolt (the one that bolts the bell housing to the pan) on the reassembly.

    Needless to say, it went to the shop the next day. Did you also have to drop the steering rack? Because we did on my '99 wagon.

    This is a huge pain in the ass, and if you can manage it I would definitely take it to a good indy and let somebody else do it!

    Nice write up!
    Last edited by adjmcloon; 05-01-2012 at 11:41 PM.

    Other cars that don't matter, and then..
    '01 530i Sport/Premium/Cold Weather(My 1st love)
    '02 540i Sport/Premium/Cold Weather (German bitch)
    '06 330i Sport/Comfort (Sweetness!)
    '08 535i/6 Sport/Premium/Comfort/Nav ()
    '99 528i Sport Touring (Repaired the Previous owners garbage and let her go)
    '02 525iT Premium/Nav/Cold Weather/Alpine/Supercherry
    '90 325i e30 sedan schwarz (1st e30 project!)
    '90 325is e30 zinnoberrot
    '06 X5 4.4
    '04 325i Sport
    '04 330ci
    '89 325IX 31k Original Miles!
    '03 M5 Coming Soon?


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by champaign777 View Post
    Oleg
    you removed steering rack ?
    you didnt say it but i can see from this picture

    ...

    if so it's a HUGE job , > 12-13 hours

    as CNN said the best way to do this job is to cut new gasket and do the easy way !!
    Champaign777, steering rack is in place here are additional pics:





    You have to watch for steering shaft sliding out of guide while lowering subframe. Also you'll need to disconnect sway bar links.


    Cutting gasket IMHO is one of silliest internet myths, I did read all threads before doing this. Cutting metal gasket and molded rubber is asking for drips on garage floor. Yes, it's a bit involy job, but not as hard as it may sound. Rebuilding rear suspension on E31 (see my other threads) is much more painful


    PS. I used to live in CHampaign, IL.
    Oleg.
    Last edited by perelet; 05-01-2012 at 11:50 PM.

  15. #15
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    Again I just don't like the idea of cutting the gasket during removal and installation. Some are saying as why hassle to go and drop the entire subframe to remove the gasket when you can only cut it at certain places. Friends, let me just say this that you do not want to do this for a bloody second time. You do not want to see any more oil drops on the floor again. Do it once and do it the right way!
    Last edited by auaq; 05-02-2012 at 07:57 AM.



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by perelet View Post
    ...Cutting gasket IMHO is one of silliest internet myths, I did read all threads before doing this. Cutting metal gasket and molded rubber is asking for drips on garage floor....Oleg.
    Oleg,

    The idea of cutting gasket + add RTV sealant came from my 1998 Volvo S/V70 oil pan. Volvo does not use the rubber gasket as BMW does.
    In the 850, S/V70 series, Volvo used "liquid gasket" for the oil pan.
    Yes, Volvo uses the "liquid gasket" for the entire oil pan edge!
    The Volvo "liquid gasket" is basically similar to RTV.

    Remember that for BMW E39 "gasket-cutting" trick, the RTV is used ONLY where the cuts are made, so the RTV patch covers only a small area such as 1/2" or less. Search bimmerfest forum for "mudbone" etc. Many have done it this way and have had no leak for 2-3 years.

    I am not arguing with you, of course your way (dropping subframe) is the kosher (the correct) way, but it requires not only time (some 9-10h) but also:
    - special tool (engine hoist or engine support as you used)
    - alignment
    etc.

    The "gasket-cutting" technique is basically an improvised method that allows one to perform this job in 1-2h.

    Life is choices, if one does like Option A then select Option B.

    ---------
    FYI, below is the gasket-cutting thread, many have done it successfully.
    Again, it is a matter of choice. Option A (the BMW way) does not mean it is better than Option B (cutting gasket).
    Once you guys fix different car makes (such as BMW, Volvo, Honda, Toyota etc.) and learn how different mfg's design/fix their cars, then your view will change.
    There is more than one way to do things.

    http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=532166

    Quote Originally Posted by auaq View Post
    Friends, let me just say this that you do not want to do this for a bloody second time. You do not want to see any more oil drops on the floor again. Do it once and do it the right way!
    Well,

    You may as well go and ask the people who have done it this way, nobody has had a leak that I know of.
    (I sent these people PMs and all of them are happy with this trick).
    Last edited by cnn; 05-02-2012 at 08:09 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  17. #17
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    I asked my local BMW mechanic about cutting the oil pan gasket...
    He replied, no, do not do that...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnn View Post
    Oleg,

    The idea of cutting gasket + add RTV sealant came from my 1998 Volvo S/V70 oil pan. Volvo does not use the rubber gasket as BMW does.
    In the 850, S/V70 series, Volvo used "liquid gasket" for the oil pan.
    Yes, Volvo uses the "liquid gasket" for the entire oil pan edge!
    The Volvo "liquid gasket" is basically similar to RTV.

    Remember that for BMW E39 "gasket-cutting" trick, the RTV is used ONLY where the cuts are made, so the RTV patch covers only a small area such as 1/2" or less. Search bimmerfest forum for "mudbone" etc. Many have done it this way and have had no leak for 2-3 years.

    I am not arguing with you, of course your way (dropping subframe) is the kosher (the correct) way, but it requires not only time (some 9-10h) but also:
    - special tool (engine hoist or engine support as you used)
    - alignment
    etc.

    The "gasket-cutting" technique is basically an improvised method that allows one to perform this job in 1-2h.

    Life is choices, if one does like Option A then select Option B.

    ---------
    FYI, below is the gasket-cutting thread, many have done it successfully.
    Again, it is a matter of choice. Option A (the BMW way) does not mean it is better than Option B (cutting gasket).
    Once you guys fix different car makes (such as BMW, Volvo, Honda, Toyota etc.) and learn how different mfg's design/fix their cars, then your view will change.
    There is more than one way to do things.

    http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=532166



    Well,

    You may as well go and ask the people who have done it this way, nobody has had a leak that I know of.
    (I sent these people PMs and all of them are happy with this trick).
    CNN, I understand your point; however, I have heard about 'leaking again' even after oil pan gasket replacement. Now, if it is leaking again does not mean that it is due to the way it was done on the first try. There may be other reasons as to why it is leaking again such as untouched or ineffective ccv or osv (which ever you may like) and the hoses as well. I have said this in another post about a similar thread like this. My point was that do it once and do it the right way. You do not want to go buy the same parts again, get or rent all the tools or send it back to the mechanic who did it for you and pay that hefty sum of money all over again. If BMW says not to do it then do it. Other things can be done in other ways, but sometimes they aren't.

    Also, friends please try not to derogorate whatever the technicians at the dealerships says as they know perhaps better than us because they have the ability to talk straight tech online with the engineers, have better technical sources than anyone of us has.
    Last edited by auaq; 05-02-2012 at 12:04 PM.



  19. #19
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    even it will leak spend 1-2h is ok but spend full weekend on your back is NOT ok
    ask me how i know ... I dont want to think even about any suspension job on my cars anymore ...

    also i used RTV on a transmission pan gasket , on oil filter gasket and on a Vanos job where BMW clearly says to use RTV for VCG



    0 issues , if it will leak but not on place where you used RTV
    Last edited by champaign777; 02-24-2013 at 08:59 PM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by champaign777 View Post
    even it will leak spend 1-2h is ok but spend full weekend on your back is NOT ok
    ask me how i know ... I dont want to think even about any suspension job on my cars anymore ...

    also i used RTV on a transmission pan gasket , on an oil filter gasket and on a Vanos job where BMW clearly says to use RTV for VCG



    0 issues , if it will leak then not on a place you used RTV
    You don't use RTV sealant on the transmission gasket.
    There is no need, and why risk getting sealant in the transmission...?

  21. #21
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    For easy installation to keep gasket on the place and prevent any movement
    Last edited by champaign777; 05-02-2012 at 11:01 PM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by champaign777 View Post
    for easy installation to keep gasket on the place and prevent any movement
    If you do it right/correctly, there is no movement...

  23. #23
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    Did this last weekend. Biggest pain ever -- 12+ hours. But it is done, and not leaking (for now).

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by sloboy89 View Post
    Did this last weekend. Biggest pain ever -- 12+ hours...
    One thing that's worth mentioning that will cut down some of time/pain:

    1st drop suspension and then unbolt 10mm pan bolts.

    Originally I did it reverse and spend lots of time with reaching some of the bolts while suspension was still in place. I guess I was too intimidated dropping suspension and holding engine by the bar, so I left it for last. Be confident and drop it 1st


    Oleg.

  25. #25
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    I'm about to do this job on an M52TU 528 and have a couple of questions.
    1/. How far do you need to lower the subframe to provide enough clearance to remove the oil pan as it has to clear the pump and pickup etc?
    2/. It doesn't appear that it is necessary to disconnect the steering rack from the steering column even though the TIS says to do this.
    Perelet warns about not allowing the sliding part of the column to disconnect. So how much movement of the column sliding joint can take place before it separates?
    I will have the car on a hoist so access underneath is not a problem as I'm past crawling under and lying on my back with oil and dirt falling on my face etc. Any other advice appreciated.

    Regards
    RonR
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