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Old 01-04-2010, 10:13 PM   #1
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HOW TO: Valve Seal Replacement

I've been chasing some oil consumption gremlins in my 54K mile E55 for a while now. Having a car that burns a quart of oil every 1000 miles might be "within spec", but it still pisses me off. I'm used to the Japanese import cars that burn nothing...ever. The tell-tale puff of smoke at startup lead me down the path to replace valve seals as a place to start. If that doesn't solve issues, a motor pull and ring replacement might be in the works.

Let me start out by saying that this is not a job for the faint of heart. It would literally be easier to yank the engine and do this outside the car. It's a VERY time consuming project and I spent close to 10 hours on it in my spare time and I'm no n00b with a wrench. Space is tight, and lots of specialty tools are needed:

TOOLS NEEDED:
* external torx set
* regular torx set
* cam lock guides
* valve seal pullers
* 12mm socket (aka valve seal drift)
* 27mm socket to rotate crank
* pan to drain coolant into
* rags...lots of rags
* valve spring compressor
* 17mm box wrench
* magnetic pickup tool
* cylinder pressurization tool-thingie
* probably some other sheit I'm forgetting



Start the fun by removing stock airbox, coil packs, and spark plug wires. Go ahead and remove one spark plug per cylinder...only one though:
Click the image to open in full size.


Next, remove the valve covers and attached breather tubes:
Click the image to open in full size.


Rotate the crank clock-wise to 40 degrees TDC (marked on the underdrive pulley) and attach the cam sprocket locking plates. They are the shiney things with all the camera flash glare marked with the red arrow:
Click the image to open in full size.


The cam sprocket plates help keep the cams in a position where they won't interfere with the pistons...and to help aid in timing the motor afterwards.


Next, remove the cam rocker bridge:
Click the image to open in full size.


I removed JUST the passenger side camshaft as well. The factory service manual says to remove both, but I didn't find this necessary. Plus, good luck getting an E18 socket on the driver's side cam sprocket with the oil filter housing in the way. Thanks Mercedes.

Before you can remove the cam shaft, you need to remove the timing chain tensioner. The timing chain tensioner is conveniently located behind the alternator...so that needs to be removed to gain access.

Next comes the fun part. That was lie actually. The supercharger needs to come off. The reason for this is that it's completely in the way for using the valve spring compressor tool. You can try it without, but only the front-most intake valves will be accessible.

Supercharger in place:
Click the image to open in full size.


Drain the coolant since the air-water intercooler is attached to the supercharger. There's a plug on the side of the radiator:
Click the image to open in full size.


Fuel disconnected, rail removed, throttle body removed and then we have a 113 engine sans supercharger:
Click the image to open in full size.



Now it's time to pressurize the cylinders. This prevents the valves from dropping into the cylinder when the springs are removed...also allows you to get the springs off the valves. Put the cylinder pressurization tool into the one open spark plug hole. The second plug should still be in place. The manual says to put the piston you are working on at TDC. I found this to be a futile effort since the crank just wanted to spin anyway. I just let the cylinder sit at BDC (bottom dead center...if that's even a term) and it all worked fine:

Click the image to open in full size.


Valve spring compressor tool in the case:
Click the image to open in full size.


Valve spring compressor tool in use:
Click the image to open in full size.


With the spring compressed, use a little magnetic pick-up tool to carefully pick out the retaining locks. There are two per valve and they each form a half-circle around the valve stem holding the retainer and springs in place.

With the locks and retainer off, you now have access to the valve stem seal:
Click the image to open in full size.


Grab your valve stem seal pliers and pull the old one off:
Click the image to open in full size.


Here's how the new seals come. You get 4 seals per package and 2 condoms. The condoms are used to prevent the milled end of the valve stem (and the locking ring) from damaging the valve seal while installing. I put a little Permatex assembly lube on them prior to installing just for added lubrication:
Click the image to open in full size.


Condom first, THEN lubed up valve seal. Use a 12mm deep socket as a drift to push the new valve stem seal onto the valve guide:
Click the image to open in full size.


Here's where things got even more retarded. Since space is so cramped inside the engine bay, I needed to make this funky extension thingie for the spring compressor so I could get to the exhaust valves. I used a scrap piece of flat steel stock, drilled some mounting holes, then drilled and tapped a series of holes for the compressor to use. Again, this would be easier to do with the motor out of the car:
Click the image to open in full size.


With all of that nonsense, you're done. Install things in reverse order making sure to tighten per the factory service manual torque specs. Timing the engine is critical as well so make sure you also consult the FSM for this procedure also.

The car is "put away" for the winter so I'll have to wait until Spring to tell if it helped my oil burning issues. Hopefully this guide showed everyone how much of a pain in the *** this whole thing is and not to attempt it without copious amounts of top-shelf gin.
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Old 01-04-2010, 10:34 PM   #2
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Very impressive. I am in awe.....
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Old 01-04-2010, 11:15 PM   #3
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Good job, great pics, nice write up, hope that valve stem reseal solves the oil consumption.
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Old 01-05-2010, 12:07 AM   #4
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My car burns a quart of oil every 1000 miles also, and it's extremely annoying. Wonderful write-up and thank you for your efforts!!

Where can you find info on timing the engine after this process is complete?
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Old 01-05-2010, 02:44 AM   #5
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I feel like we have another Finney in our midst! Nice job tearing into the M113K!
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Old 01-05-2010, 07:40 AM   #6
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Fantastic write-up and kudos for the bravery to tackle this at home. Very ingenious use of flat stock to combat the tight space. I applaud you!!

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Old 01-05-2010, 08:34 AM   #7
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Excellent technical post, thanks for sharing. Can you elaborate more on what you found? Did the old seals feel hardened? The replacement seals seem a bit beefier than the original, are these from MB or did you outsource some generic seals? What model year engine are we looking at? Last, did you find excessive oil in the intake when you removed it?
Again, thanks for taking the effort to photograph and document your R&R.
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Old 01-05-2010, 08:46 AM   #8
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Man what a great Job! you are SO LUCKY you did not break the cylinder air pressure. When collapsing the valve spring to remove the retainer keepers. Then rotating the crankshaft back & forth to find TDC with a loose timing chain. I can see that you used all the right timing plates to get the valve timing back in order.. Well anyway , Nice write up & Pictures, You did a great Job. with some innovation for those hard to get to Spots.
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Old 01-05-2010, 09:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowprofile View Post
Excellent technical post, thanks for sharing. Can you elaborate more on what you found? Did the old seals feel hardened? The replacement seals seem a bit beefier than the original, are these from MB or did you outsource some generic seals? What model year engine are we looking at? Last, did you find excessive oil in the intake when you removed it?
Again, thanks for taking the effort to photograph and document your R&R.

Thanks for the kind words gents. The old valve seals didn't look too terrible, but they were showing some signs of fatigue. I'm not 100% convinced that this is the only thing going on inside the motor though.

The valve seals were purchased from www.europartsamerica.com and are an OEM equivalent. They are $4.11 a pack, and you need 6 packs. The total cost of the parts is FAR outweighed by the work you put into it. Lame, but that's the way these things go.

The engine is out of a 2003 E55 so it's still the same 211.076 model 113.990 engine. There wasn't much if any oil in the intake. There was some coming out of the PCV valve on the driver's side, but this will hopefully get trapped with a catch can. Not sure if it's excessive or not, but only time will tell how fast the catch can fills up. If I find it's pouring a lot into the can, that's usually a good sign of rings.

Here's a note on timing I found on the interweb. It's pretty standard, but you need to make sure that the timing marks on the cams are aligned with the 40 degree TDC mark on the crank as shown here. After you get things the way they look here with the tensioner installed, spin the crank a few times just to make sure you haven't jumped a tooth on the chain and it comes back around looking exactly the same.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 01-05-2010, 09:51 AM   #10
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God how I live for this stuff

Gret write up, and I love to see owners getting their hands dirty

GREAT JOB my friend
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Old 01-05-2010, 03:14 PM   #11
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job well done!

btw: I wanted to change my valve cover gaskets on my C32. What is the correct process to apply the gaskets?
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Old 01-05-2010, 05:37 PM   #12
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WoW, how many hours takes to do this job ?
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Old 01-05-2010, 06:16 PM   #13
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Changing valve cover gaskets should be pretty easy:

1. Remove air pipes and air box
2. Disconnect and remove coil packs
3. Remove valve covers

The seals just push in and out so they are pretty easy to change once you've got the valve covers off. I changed mine out when I was putting everything back together.
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Old 01-05-2010, 08:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjlindgr View Post
Changing valve cover gaskets should be pretty easy:

1. Remove air pipes and air box
2. Disconnect and remove coil packs
3. Remove valve covers

The seals just push in and out so they are pretty easy to change once you've got the valve covers off. I changed mine out when I was putting everything back together.
any particular sealant or silicone on the gaskets?

thanks!
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Old 01-05-2010, 09:44 PM   #15
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Nope, they are rubber gaskets so they seal just by contact. No silicone gasket maker or any of that jazz.
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Old 01-05-2010, 09:52 PM   #16
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nice write up
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Old 01-05-2010, 11:08 PM   #17
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hopefully this takes care of your issue. great work and thanks for sharing.
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:42 PM   #18
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Did this solve the oil issue??
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Old 03-26-2011, 02:30 AM   #19
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Great write up. This is one of those jobs I detest with a passion. I would almost sell a car before going through the effort-but that is me. Just no time these days.
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Old 03-26-2011, 02:30 AM
 
 
 
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breather, c55, cover, gasket, gaskets, guide, mercedes, pliers, replacing, reseal, seal, seals, valve, w210, w211



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