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BMW M60 M62 V8 Head Gasket Leak – E31, E32, E34, E38, E39, X5

October 27, 2010

This answer is applicable for many BMWs in addition to the one listed below.

car year: 1998
car model: 540i
BAV Otto: First, I would love to thank you all for being available,helping us Bimmer enthusiast getting our cars toward our fullest sport potential,. You guys are the greatest.
Now with my question… I am about to attempt to repair a blown head gasket for the first time. I have repaired and (front of engine)replaced all pulleys, pumps, belts, etc. Now it is time to take the top off the engine (the heads off). I am concerned about the extensive – meticulous approach toward doing this job. Do I need to be concerned about doing a valve-train tear-down/put-up (valve job – aligning the cam, chain, lifters, springs, etc.) . What is the best approach toward this, anything I need to consider when torquing all bolts, any oil or glue-sealant I need to buy, etc.?

Thanks for the kind words!

Replacing a head gasket on the BMW V8 engines is a rather large job.  Since you have never done a head gasket before (on other engines), we would suggest that you first read through the full procedure in the Bentley repair manual (which you’ll need if you do the job, anyway).  We can supply you with all of the parts that you’ll need.  As for any additional work (valve job or other head disassembly), while the head is off;  this is not specifically necessary (especially, if you are just removing one head).  Just pull the head off, set it aside (with the mating surface and the valves facing upward so that you do not bend any valves) and reinstall it when the fresh head gasket is ready.  The Bentley manual will address any areas that require sealants (such as the rear cam cut-out fillers on the valve cover gaskets), as well as the specific torque valves for the fasteners.

Bentley repair manual:

In general, you’ll need:

* Head gasket set (does not include the head gaskets)
* Head gasket(s), just use the standard thickness if the heads or the block are not being resurfaced. If resurfacing is to be done, thicker gaskets are also available.
* Head bolt set
* Timing cover gasket sets
* Fresh oil filter and oil (change the oil after performing the job)

There are multiple part number variances and application details on these parts. Please call our agents at 800-535-2002 for assistance in determining proper part numbers.

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