E90/E92 Valve Cover Gasket Tutorial

This is a step-by-step DIY guide on replacing the valve cover gasket on a BMW 335i N54 engine. This tutorial is similar for 535i models with some different part and pieces inside the engine bay.

NOTE:
►We recommend doing this with a cold engine to prevent burns and any presssurized fuel in the fuel rail.
►Disconnect the battery before proceeding. Direct battery cables will need to be removed.

Tools required:
1. 8mm Socket
2. 11mm Socket
3. Flat Sscrewdrivers
4. E10 Socket
5. E18 Socket
6. E14 Socket
7. 5mm Hex/Allen Socket
8. Pick Set
9. 14mm wrench(Preferably a flare nut wrench)
10. Clean Shop Rags

N54 engine bay

 

Remove electrical connectors running on the windshield water channel. Pry off the retaining clips holding the wires onto the standoffs.
Remove the cable channel attached to the front of the windshield water channel by grabbing and pulling firmly back.
With a small flathead, pull three tabs holing the flexible electrical conduit and remove it from the tabs.
Remove brake fluid and electrical box covers at the side of the air filter cover. Then remove the cabin air filter cover by using an 8mm socket and removing 6 screws holding the cover.
Use an 8mm socket to remove two screws at the front of the water channel at the right/left rear pull aside two rubber tabs holding the water channel in place and remove the channel by pulling it towards the front of the car.
Remove the left strut brace by removing the E14 bolt at the strut tower then removing the E18 bolt under the windshield wiper.
Remove the plastic engine cover by using a 5mm hex socket/key. Now would also be a good time to remove the airbox assembly to make bolts more accessible.
With the engine cover off, begin removing the coil pack connectors by lifting up the tabs and putting aside the connectors. Firmly grab the coil packs using your hands only and pull up to remove the coils(If prying is necessary, be very careful not to damage the coil packs).
Remove the O2 sensor connectors by twisting CCW to free the right clip then pushing right onto the right clip, then twisting CW to free the connector from the left clip(or just use a pick). Disconnect the two sensors.
Remove the airbox is you have not yet done so. Then remove the cables from the clips holding the cables to the fuel rail.
using a 14mm wrench and a towel, loosen the fuel feed line into the fuel rail and allow to drain.
Remove the pressure sensor connector from the other end of the fuel rail. Then remove the wire clips attached to the fuel rail by pulling the wire loop portion down and out.
Remove the PCV hose from the valve cover by pulling the retention clips at the left and right of the hose by using a pick.
Remove the other end of the PCV hose by using a pick
At the fuel injectors, remove the three ground wires with an 8mm socket, then the six electrical connectors at the fuel injectors by prying the tab on the left of the connector. Remove the ground posts by dropping in a tall socket over the post, then partially inserting a 3/8" ratchet into the socket end and turning.
Use a 14mm socket to remove bolts holding the fuel rail to the engine head.
Use a 14mm wrench to loosen the fuel line to each of the injectors and use a rag to catch any residual fuel. Remove the fuel rail/lines.
Disconnect the electrical connector at the oil filter housing, then trace the vacuum lines running over the valve cover gasket to a connector under the oil filter. Remove this connector and pull the vacuum lines under the electrical wires and off the valve cover. At this point, the valve cover can be removed, but we HIGHLY recommend that you clean up any dust/dirt/oil that has accumulated in and around the valve cover, injectors, spark plugs, etc.
Finally, loosen all 28 of the E10 bolts holding the valve cover to the engine(the bolts are held onto the valve cover). Carefully pry off the valve cover from the head of the engine. You can use a screwdriver or putty knife, just be careful not to damage the mating surface. The gasket will probably be welded onto the head, so work around the valve cover and take your time.
Clean the mating surface from any old gasket material that has stuck to the engine head and valve cover, then wipe both clean. Try not to introduce any contaminants into the cams or timing chain assembly. Replace the gasket and torque down the perimeter torx bolts to 23Nm(6.25ft∙lb or 75in∙lb). When reinstalling the fuel lines, torque the nuts to 23Nm(17ft∙lb) using a 14mm crow's foot.