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E60 oil leak, intake manifold and swirl flap stuff

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E60 oil leak, intake manifold and swirl flap stuff

Postby RMT » Mon, 07 Feb 2011 22:04:55 UTC

My Feb 2006 build, 231 bhp, E60 530d m sport, with manual trans has an engine oil leak. :o It has just hit the 80k mark.

Background
I noticed this when the sump was wet when I took off all the underneath plastics to change the diesel filter on a mates 4 post ramp. For the avoidance of doubt, it is NOT a diesel leak. It would be also be a school boy mistake to think it is the sump or for that matter the dipstick tube as its neither. The law of gravity has a hand in all of this. The car has not dripped on the drive yet but thats cos it is trickling onto the under plastics. The oil leak is not huge but its there.

Source of leak
Further up the engine you can see that the leak is coming from the underneath of the intake manifold. This does not have gaskets in the old fashioned sense, just orange rubber housing things around the ports. The leak appears to come from the dreaded swirl flap housings. I have seen another post here that would suggest others have had this problem. I have not taken the manifold off yet as I am using the car but I am going to have to soon. I have taken the inlet manifolds off on E39s before and this is not much different other than there more plastics to move out of the way on an E60 and the air intake sensors appears to be on the side of the E60 manifold as opposed to at the back of the E39. So far so good.

The dilemma and 3 questions
My car should have the later modified manifold with plastic swirl flaps rather than metal from what I have read in these posts and total BMW articles etc etc. This suggests that if they go west, they will not kill the engine, merely give it something to chew should they get past the jacket/shoulder or collar or whatever it is BMW did to stop them getting into the engine. So up to now, I have just put this potential issue to the back of my mind. Now I am looking at taking the manifold off to cure this leak, this leaves 3 choices.

1. Take off manifold and undo swirl flaps, and then put gasket sealer in the swirl flap gaps and put it all back together - may cure leak but it could be viewed by some as a bodge and it sort of is one.
Question 1 Has anyone done this and cured an oil leak like this?
2. De flap the manifold and put in the billeted ( larger) plugs - I assume this is possible for my car and that the o rings that come with the plugs would stop any wayward oil.
Question 2 - I read in a post here that I now cannot find that someone said that deflapping later cars with diesel particulate filters was a bad thing to do. This may have been armchair mechanic hearsay or it may have been correct. Can anyone shed light on whether deflapping a car with a DPF causes any bother?
3. Spend close to £400 on a new manifold and fit it and forget it for another 80k assuming I keep it that long. I am minded to do this but not just yet.
Quesion 3. Interested in thoughts on this, it may depend on what the view is on question 2. Also does anyine know if BMW acknowledge these manifolds are prone to leak oil.

I would be grateful for any sensible replies that may aid my decision over all of this. This also suggests that the later manifolds are far from bullet proof but I leave that to the forum to work out. Let me know your thoughts on Q 1 - 3. Thanks RMT
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Re: E60 oil leak, intake manifold and swirl flap stuff

Postby slim_boy_fat » Mon, 07 Feb 2011 22:14:45 UTC

As a 'quick' diagnostic, I'd remove the undertray and clean all the engine area revealed. Your leak might just be coming from the oil filter housing or similar source.

Easier than stripping off the manifoild and all that entails? :idea:
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Re: E60 oil leak, intake manifold and swirl flap stuff

Postby RMT » Mon, 07 Feb 2011 22:22:57 UTC

I am 99% certain that the leak is coming from the intake manifold. It is not coming from the oil filter housing and such like, I have already checked all of that. The source of oil leak from the highest point of the engine is at the intake manifold swirl flap housing area and its from two of the six of them. RMT
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Re: E60 oil leak, intake manifold and swirl flap stuff

Postby tdi130pd » Thu, 10 Feb 2011 00:13:55 UTC

I had the same issue - oil leaking below the manifold. Turned out to be a blocked breather which was causing excessive back pressure and forcing oil back through the manifold gaskets. I'd change the breather 1st to see if it makes a difference before stripping down the manifold.
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Re: E60 oil leak, intake manifold and swirl flap stuff

Postby Arunas B » Thu, 10 Feb 2011 01:28:23 UTC

tdi130pd wrote:I had the same issue - oil leaking below the manifold. Turned out to be a blocked breather which was causing excessive back pressure and forcing oil back through the manifold gaskets. I'd change the breather 1st to see if it makes a difference before stripping down the manifold.

Manifold gaskets has nothing to do with breather. The pressure always there, because turbo pushing air to the engine. E60 inlet manifolds always leak from swirl flap housing seal. I tried to use sealant on them but they starting to leak after wile again. To stop the leak cheap way is to deflap manifold using blanks, or expensive way to buy new manifold. The worst thing form that leak is if it leaks alot, oil gets in to the starter motor and later on starter gets shortened and burns out.
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Re: E60 oil leak, intake manifold and swirl flap stuff

Postby RMT » Thu, 10 Feb 2011 07:29:16 UTC

I have pretty much decided that I am going to de flap the manifold. I also thought that sealant would be a temporary fix as Arunas B has said, thanks for a useful reply. :) I have ordered the blanking plugs. Re deflapping the manifold......... The bmw mag article on doing this is a bit silent on what best to do with the actual actuator or the later stepper motor ( mine should be this one) that moves the swirl flap rod on the manifold. I would assume the actuator can be removed and pipe blocked. Is it customary to leave the stepper motor in place or remove it, any thoughts? I know it will probably not be a significant issue but any views would be useful for me or anyone else doing this. RMT
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Re: E60 oil leak, intake manifold and swirl flap stuff

Postby roadhog » Thu, 10 Feb 2011 11:16:05 UTC

I left mine in place as well as the actuating rod that runs the length of the manifold. No point interfering with it IMHO.
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Re: E60 oil leak, intake manifold and swirl flap stuff

Postby RMT » Thu, 10 Feb 2011 17:40:16 UTC

Thanks for that roadhog. I may well do the same. :)
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Re: E60 oil leak, intake manifold and swirl flap stuff

Postby jasonh » Thu, 10 Feb 2011 20:17:19 UTC

I think the O-rings round the swirl flaps and the dowty type seals around the shaft of the swirl flaps leak.

I had quite a bit of oil on the side of the engine. I removed the swirl flaps - they were the later type (thicker spindle) but were still steel - and used the self-tapping screw solution. I now have no leak from the spindles (because they're gone) but the O-rings are leaking oily gunge. I know because I cleaned it all off when I did the job and I've been back in since to change a couple of glow plugs.
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Re: E60 oil leak, intake manifold and swirl flap stuff

Postby jasonh » Thu, 10 Feb 2011 20:19:19 UTC

Oh and I removed the long stainless steel swirl flap actuator rod but left the actuator present and functional.
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Re: E60 oil leak, intake manifold and swirl flap stuff

Postby Arunas B » Thu, 10 Feb 2011 23:15:43 UTC

Then defalping inlet manifold you throw vacuum solenoid and that long stainless steel actuator away because its no use after flaps removed, only thing you leave is vacuum electronic valve connected to wiring loom. And also you can disconnect vacuum feed nose from vacuum rail and cap off that connection on the rail.
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Re: E60 oil leak, intake manifold and swirl flap stuff

Postby RMT » Sat, 12 Feb 2011 18:32:00 UTC

I've deflapped it, its all back together and running. Oil was leaking from all of the swirl flaps but not now as they have gone and are replaced with blanking plates and o rings. :) I will post some pics and a few things to note re this. :) I have a few things to mention that the total BMW mag does not re the manifold and its swirl flap inhabitants :shock: . RMT
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Re: E60 oil leak, intake manifold and swirl flap stuff

Postby RMT » Sun, 20 Feb 2011 11:56:28 UTC

The swirl flaps were all leaking oil when the manfold was off. The info here is also relevant to those thinking about leaving swirl flaps in an 'out of warranty car'. I am not going to repeat the stuff in the BMW mag to install swirl flap blanking plates but here a few points.

Here is the first stupid problem I encountered when removng the manifold. despite wd40 and gentle persuading, the pipe was stuck fast to the egr and broke off. Image
Its not really a problem as I was able to cut it shorter and refit.
The 2cm or so it lost will have no effect. The alternative is to trace the pipe back to its home in one of the pipe rails under the manifold and replace it.

Here the manifold is offImage
Note here - When I took an E39 one of these off in the past , I removed the egr. The bottom bolts in situ are difficult to remove but you can do it. I noticed in the BMW mag shots that they left it on. This is a much better idea so I did on this one aswell. When prising off the intercooler hose to free the egr, be careful you do not bend the spring that twirls the egr flap open.

See the orange washer on the slam panel at front of the car
Image

I told you all about these in 2009, (see E39 530d running fault) they fall off. They fall off on e60s the same way as they fall off on e39s. They live on the botton of the shouldered washers that run through the square port side of the manifold. When taking the manifold off, they cannot go anywhere until it has been lifted beyond the studs. So if you want to ensure these do not fall into the ports ( they are rubber and metal composite) consider blocking the ports with cloth or cardboard to limit the risk of thse falling down there. It is difficult to get in, but I would suggest this. I did not do this and one fell off ( it was three the last time) but it did not go in a port. It was the end one at the bulk head the came off. Its difficult to get a clean pull away with the manifold so thats why the washers coming off is a risk. I blocked the ports with cloth after removal anyway.

I bought the blanking plates from PMW. Image
They sell you both sizes as you may not know which size you need until taking the manifold off. I bought the two sizes, used the bigger 32mm ones, sent the others (22mm) back and got a refund. See the photo of both sizes. The purchase of these and return and refund is a very slick process and I would recommend using PMW. Their website also looks good.

Now heres the thing - Look at the swirl flap housings here - they are all oily and leaking
Image
The photo does not show it too well but they are. Heres another that shows it better.
Image

Look at this swirl flap. You will see it is metal with a rubber jacket. I scraped it so you can see the flap. Mine is the later manifold from 2006 and the flaps are metal.
Image

I have read a post here and a load of claptrap elsewhere that these manifolds are much better and safer. I think not. The metal torx screws can still come loose and they will finish off your engine if let loose. If the rubber jacket is supposed to either stop the screws coming loose or prevent a flap from going down a port, I fail too see how either would prevent an engine being wrecked.
Even more so, see the next pic
Image
The rubber was soft and perished and not as it should be. Then again what would you look like after 80k inside a manifold. Point is, whatever purpose the rubber jacket serves, its not much cop at 80k. You can also see one of those orange metal and rubber washers I go on about on the second swirl flap pic on the manifold. All I am saying is dont be fooled into thinking 2006 onwards is fine as its not. When the blanking plate people say all cars from 20o0 - late 2007 / early 2008 are affeceted by all this swirl flap business, take note. Nuff said re that.

Anyway, here are the blanking plates installed Image

Compare this with the earlier pic with the swirl flaps in place. I have removed the rod and vacuum actuator thingy, I have plugged the pipe in the other gizmo with a bolt, see the pic and I reconnected the other pipe when refitting. Arunas B earlier mentioned this. I now know exactly what he meant. You can do what I did, plug one pipe and connect the other or you can leave the pipe connection I plugged blank, trace the other pipe that I reconnected back to the rail under the manifold where there are other pipes, take it off and cap/blank off the rail connection. You reconnect the loom connection into the black gizmo in any event.


Here are the offending swirl flap items removed. Image

I was not in a hurry to take the manifold off to do the flaps as I thought - wrongly I suspect - this later manifold would be safer. I did this cos it was leaking oil and the blanking plate fix is cheaper than £400 on a new manifold. My car is out of AUC BMW warranty. If it was under warranty, I would not have done this as it would invalidate it unless you have a very understanding BMW dealer.

This may help fill a few gaps for those thinking about all of this.

When you refit, I fitted all of the rubber washers into the manfold and put it on that way. Once onto the studs its plain sailing back to where you began. Last but not least, to get at the manifold on an e60 you do have to take off loads of plastics around the bulkhead and also the strut brace but if you are planning on taking the manifold off, this should not bother you. A swift mechanic who does this a lot could do in under 3hrs, set aside the day if you are are not this and take your time. Hope this is of use. RMT. [:D]
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Re: E60 oil leak, intake manifold and swirl flap stuff

Postby djblack » Sun, 20 Feb 2011 20:47:28 UTC

jasonh wrote:Oh and I removed the long stainless steel swirl flap actuator rod but left the actuator present and functional.



Me too....

I would add that I replaced the vaccum hose from the manifold side of the valve as it was really badly perrished and a very loose fit.

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Re: E60 oil leak, intake manifold and swirl flap stuff

Postby Arunas B » Sun, 20 Feb 2011 21:36:54 UTC

DJBlack wrote:
jasonh wrote:Oh and I removed the long stainless steel swirl flap actuator rod but left the actuator present and functional.



Me too....

I would add that I replaced the vaccum hose from the manifold side of the valve as it was really badly perrished and a very loose fit.

David



Because vacuum hoses after time gets really bad as mentioned above, so I recommend to cap it on the vacuum rail because if you leave old hose and its after some time will brake off and will cose leak in vacuum system. I also recommend to replace all vacuum hoses to silicon ones because they last much longer and it easy job when manifold is off.
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Re: E60 oil leak, intake manifold and swirl flap stuff

Postby Arunas B » Sun, 20 Feb 2011 21:57:39 UTC

RMT wrote: A swift mechanic who does this a lot could do in under 3hrs, set aside the day if you are are not this and take your time. Hope this is of use. RMT. [:D]



We doing this every day so if it's one man its 1hr, if we working together its 40 min. I don't recommend to rush it if its your first time. Also if your car made before 2004 it will have 22mm swirl flaps. For this type swirl flaps you don't need to buy alloy blanks, old swirl flap bodes can be easily converted in to the blanks. 32mm bodes can be converted too but oil leaking issue will not be properly fixed. They have bad designed seals and they always leak oil. So for 32mm I recommend use alloy blanks.
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Re: E60 oil leak, intake manifold and swirl flap stuff

Postby RMT » Mon, 21 Feb 2011 19:23:05 UTC

Arunas B wrote:
RMT wrote: A swift mechanic who does this a lot could do in under 3hrs, set aside the day if you are are not this and take your time. Hope this is of use. RMT. [:D]



We doing this every day so if it's one man its 1hr, if we working together its 40 min. I don't recommend to rush it if its your first time. Also if your car made before 2004 it will have 22mm swirl flaps. For this type swirl flaps you don't need to buy alloy blanks, old swirl flap bodes can be easily converted in to the blanks. 32mm bodes can be converted too but oil leaking issue will not be properly fixed. They have bad designed seals and they always leak oil. So for 32mm I recommend use alloy blanks.


Arunas B - I dare say I am a bit out of touch with repair times, as I am not doing car stuff every day - I forget how quick things can be done :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :)

Your points are all very useful re this. :)

The rear vacuum hose seemed in good condition but I think I will trace it back to the rail and cap it off as you suggest.
One question - what do you use to cap off the rail. I notice on the front rail one pipe was capped of with a plastic cap, more than likely from factory. Do you cap it off with some sort of plastic cap, what do you use for this?
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Re: E60 oil leak, intake manifold and swirl flap stuff

Postby Arunas B » Mon, 21 Feb 2011 23:28:33 UTC

[quote=RMT] Do you cap it off with some sort of plastic cap, what do you use for this?[/quote]


I'm ordering rubber caps from dealers part no8
http://bmwfans.info/parts/catalog/E60/S ... ith_tubes/

But you can make you own cap using one of the two screws left then you take of swirl flap actuator/solenoid. Stick screw with silicone sealant into short bit of vacuum hose. And make sure that you use vacuum hose that has white stripe on. It's the last bit of vacuum hose that comes from swirl flap electronic valve to actuator. Why the one with the stripe, because there two type of vacuum hoses on thees cars. String braided and striped ones. The striped ones last three or four times longer than string braided. As I mentioned above about replacing vacuum linings so the string braided ones most likely has to be replaced because they always cracked, or just hanging there and soon you touch them they fall apart.
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Re: E60 oil leak, intake manifold and swirl flap stuff

Postby Arunas B » Mon, 21 Feb 2011 23:36:54 UTC

Forgot to mention about striped vacuum hoses. They are colored. Blue striped one goes to erg and vacuum controlled turbo, white one goes to swirl flap actuator, red one goes to engine mounts. String braided ones just vacuum feed from main vacuum rail to electronic vacuum valves.
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Re: E60 oil leak, intake manifold and swirl flap stuff

Postby RMT » Tue, 22 Feb 2011 10:59:37 UTC

Arunas B - thanks for this. I will get the cap from BMW. All my hoses are the rubber type on this car rather than string braided. I remember replacing braided ones on my e39 530d in particular from the vacuum explansion tank to the rail and these had all crumbled to bits as you say :shock: . Mine on E60 are currently intact. :)
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