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TxDarth TxDarth is offline
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Default Tracking an oil leak on a '07 335i....... - 05-23-2018, 02:50 PM

A little history first - this is a car that I bought about a month ago has 127K miles. SO far I have replaced the thermostat, water pump and most of the coolant hoses. I also replaced the oil filter mount gaskets and the cooler connection gaskets - these were leaking. I also replaced the valve cover gasket but don't think it was leaking - at least no oil in plug wells and both mating surfaces of the gasket were dry. I also installed a catch can while doing this.... I have only run the car maybe 5 minutes since all of this but there is still oil forming on the bell housing, running down and dripping on the floor. I was able to speak with the shop this morning in NJ that replaced the turbos last year - 4 K miles ago. He was super and the owner of the shop that did the work. He is an ex-BMW tech that seemed pretty sharp. He said he remembered the car and the job - he replaced the turbos with BMW updated turbos - but only replaced the "O" rings on the oil feed lines - PO was trying to save some money at that point.. Bill was over $6K for what they did.

I have a Bore scope/camera that I have tried to look up in that area to find leak origin - no luck. The oil pan is also wet so I guess I will do that next as well. FYI: The leaks start higher than rear or front main seals...

Looking for answers from anyone that has chased these leaks down....


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dmckmc dmckmc is offline
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Default 05-24-2018, 03:09 AM

It's possible the leak from the top down is residual from the valve cover leaking. My valve cover leak worked its way down to the bottom rear engine where it connects to the trans. It took a while to get all the oil cleaned up after gasket replacement and it continued to form a small drip for some time. All good now, no leaks anywhere. Oil pan gasket at your age and miles is likely leaking steadily as well. Leaks can be hard to track down but it sounds like you are addressing the main n54 leaks.


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Default 05-24-2018, 09:51 AM

It can still be the rear main seal, it is next to a rotating mass that can spread the oil. I would assume it's that or the turbos, but you'd be able to see smoke from turbos burning oil if it leaked.


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Default 05-24-2018, 10:23 AM

Not clear, was the oil leak there before you did all the work recently?

Clean the areas where you see the leak or dripping really well - If the leak starts higher up on the engine, I'd start with closely looking at the new valve cover/gasket.
I don't think the catch can or lines for it could be leaking enough to drop like that on the floor already.


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fusionchicken fusionchicken is offline
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Default 05-26-2018, 07:09 AM

On my N54 535i I just replaced everything that was leaking (oil filter housing gasket, oil cooler high pressure hoses that connect to the radiator), and verified by both the dealer and the indy shop I went to, but the car is still leaving a nice puddle on the garage floor. I'm hoping it's just residual oil that the shop didn't / couldn't clean up, but so far the oil level monitor hasn't changed in 1,500 miles.

Not sure what else could be leaking. No smoke coming out the exhaust, shop said the turbos were fine. I'm sure they would love to find more problems with the car but they couldn't.

At this point I think I've accepted that these engines just leak oil. I just monitor the oil level every day and carry one quart of oil in the trunk with me lol
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Kaz26 Kaz26 is offline
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Default 05-26-2018, 02:10 PM

fusion,
These engines don't just leak oil. If you have drips, a gasket or bolt needs to be replaced.

OP,
I would suggest tightening up the bolts on the oil filter housing gasket as well as the oil filter cooler bolts. Some have reported leaking after replacing it and it could be due to swelling from the warmup/cool-down cycle or that the seal just needs a little time to seat properly. Don't crank them down, just given another 1-2 lbs torque to each of them. That was another thing I did that could have been what stopped my leak.
However, I agree that it could simply be residual oil. When I replaced my oil filter housing and cooler gaskets I had a fair amount of oil drip out afterwards also and thought it was the Oil Filter Housing gasket still since I thought I cleaned everything thoroughly. The drips stopped after a few days, around 150 miles since I daily it and have a far commute. After 3,000 miles my oil level is still showing full. I also cleaned the oil again about a week later and it's still clean. That was a couple months ago.
Have you looked with a mirror or your bore scope to make sure your valve cover isn't leaking? If you over tightened it or tightened them uneven it can leak. I'm sure you probably did it right, just trying to cover everything it could be. I personally wouldn't consider the main seals at this point.

So.. just drive it a bit more, clean it up, snug up the OFHG bolts and keep an eye on the drips and oil level.

Good luck
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Brian_335i Brian_335i is offline
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Default 05-26-2018, 04:37 PM

I got a leak somewhere.. I hope it's not the front crank seal.
I'm doing vc gasket, PS pulley,belt next weekend..where else should I check for leaks?

Po said the belt snap and had it towed home,he put new belt on and still had a light dripping going on.. he also replaced the oil filter gasket and o ring..
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Kaz26 Kaz26 is offline
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Default 05-26-2018, 09:48 PM

In your situation it very well could be the front crank seal. A torn front crank seal is known to happen when the belt breaks. If it ends up being that, just find the time, plan it out, read through the procedure several times and have all the diagrams handy. It takes time, but it's not impossible. Once you have the radiator fan out and pulleys off, there is alot of room in the front there. It's not that bad. I hope it turns out well.
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fusionchicken fusionchicken is offline
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Default 05-30-2018, 05:55 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaz26
fusion,
These engines don't just leak oil. If you have drips, a gasket or bolt needs to be replaced.
Yes sir, I just haven't been able to find the leak yet lol, everything looks fine, oil level still good after 2,000 miles, will continue to monitor

I have all the mods ready to go on the car, just waiting to fix this latest issue
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Kaz26 Kaz26 is offline
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Default 05-30-2018, 06:58 PM

You need to clean the engine real well first. Take all the plastic bits off and really get in there. Compressed air works well for hard to reach places. I don't recommend using water to clean it, but you can lightly spray some mineral spirits to break up thick sludge. It's a good idea to wrap your alternator in a plastic bag with tape to make sure oil doesn't get in there. Also cover any other exposed areas or open air hoses where you don't want oil going. Wear eye protection as well.

At the very least, make sure to get oil off any cooling system hoses. I learned that the hard way and got stranded once. It was also the worst possible moment for me to get stranded. Oil settles on the underside of the hoses and is not easy to see when the hose starts to balloon. It will then eventually rupture. Oil on the belt can cause it to slip off and a slipped belt can wrap around the crank shaft and shred the crank seal. So it's a good idea to track down oil leaks, especially on these cars.
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TxDarth TxDarth is offline
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Default 05-30-2018, 08:37 PM

Thanx for all the good info - since the original post I have replaced the two gaskets associated with the ROFH, valve cover and oil pan gaskets, replaced the water pump and thermostat and most hoses, power steering res and two hoses. Today I refilled all fluids backed outside and let it run for about 30 minutes - good and warm. I should have said before I stated all this I pressure washed it 3 times using decreaser first. Anyway after the warm up pulled back in and on the lift again - I am happy to report several hours later no leaks no drops on the floor at all - I am a happy camper right now....I might even put the front end back together and drive it.........

Thanx again everyone...


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Default 05-31-2018, 09:33 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TxDarth
Thanx for all the good info - since the original post I have replaced the two gaskets associated with the ROFH, valve cover and oil pan gaskets, replaced the water pump and thermostat and most hoses, power steering res and two hoses. Today I refilled all fluids backed outside and let it run for about 30 minutes - good and warm. I should have said before I stated all this I pressure washed it 3 times using decreaser first. Anyway after the warm up pulled back in and on the lift again - I am happy to report several hours later no leaks no drops on the floor at all - I am a happy camper right now....I might even put the front end back together and drive it.........

Thanx again everyone...
Awesome! I would hope that after all of that nothing leaks as well haha.


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TxDarth TxDarth is offline
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Default 05-31-2018, 12:15 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Payam @ BMS
Awesome! I would hope that after all of that nothing leaks as well haha.
I did not mention it but I also installed one of your Catch Can conversions during all of this.....


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Default 05-31-2018, 01:55 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TxDarth
I did not mention it but I also installed one of your Catch Can conversions during all of this.....
Nice, that will definitely help with your valves.


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