Y50 (06-10) M45/V8 Valve Cover Gasket Replacement

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reefscape15
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Car: 06 M45 Sport

Y50 (06-10) M45/V8 Valve Cover Gasket Replacement

Postby reefscape15 » Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:27 am

So I finally figured out how to copy and paste with this old computer......duh....

I have had some oil consumption issues with this engine so far, at random increments I'll get home and check the dip stick to find that sometimes it's full, sometimes it's almost down a quart. It doesn't seem to matter how I drive the car (heavy footed, or just simple highway cruising speeds), and it was not a consistent loss of oil, so now I've just gotten used to checking it every day before I take it out.
I had started to notice some smoke coming out from under the hood once I parked the car, and it was definitely oil burning. So I poked around and found that the right side valve cover was dripping a little bit of oil down on the the heat shield of the exhaust. Time for a fix!

Anyways, I'll kind of just write what i did according to each picture, I'll try to keep everything in order of how I took things apart and put them back

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These first 2 pictures just show the dampness that had occured from the oil being dripped on the heat shields and burning off.

First thing that needs done is to take all the 3 big plastic cover pieces off the top of the engine. I've had mine off for a while already due to replacing left side cam angle sensor, I just never put them back on...Once you remove those pieces, you will have to take apart all the connectors from the main wiring harness that comes from behind the intake runners in the back of the engine bay. If youre unsure of getting them back together correctly, you can lable each side of the connector, but when you get to putting things back together, everything pretty much only reaches to where it came apart from. So this harness stretches all the way around to the front of the engine bay and has the connectors for the coils and some other things that will all need taken apart
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You can work the harness towards the back of the engine bay and lay it on top of the intake manifold to keep it out of the way
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I also figured this out later than I should have, but you will need to remove the right side of the cowl at the bottom of the windshield, remove the battery, and then remove the battery tray. All the plastic cowl pieces and the covers around the battery compartment just have plastic push in fasteners, the battery tray has 3 12mm bolts that you will have to remove
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Once the battery is out of the way, you will see a small black rubber plug in the side of the battery compartment. This needs to be removed to gain access to the lower rear bolt on the valve cover.
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Screwdriver in this photo is pointing to where the rubber plug is located
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You will want to take all the ignition coils out. They're all 10mm bolts for them, and once loosened youll kind of have to wiggle them back and forth while slightly pulling them up through the valve cover. Please take care not to snap them, cause I'm sure they're not cheap, but they do have a slight amount of flex in them that makes is pretty easy to get them in and out.

Once the coils are out, you can take all the bolts out that hold the valve cover on, I think there were 12 of them, all 10mm. You will definitely want a couple 3" socket extensions, and a 6" extension, and a wobble joint (U-Joint, Flex Joint) socket extension Some of the bolts are a real pain to get to. For the lower rear bolt, it's easiest to put your socket and extension through the little hole in the battery compartment where that little rubber plug was.

There are 2 hoses that need taken off the valve cover as well, one goes right to the PCV valve, the other larger one just goes to a port on the valve cover.

I had to use a flathead screwdriver to pry the valve cover back and forth a bit, it was pretty stuck on there due to the old gaskets, but just work it back and forth in any direction and it will eventually losen up. Take care in this part as well, cause these valve covers are made from a plastic composite of some type, and I'm sure they'd crack if too much pressure was exherted on them.

Once you get the cover off, you'll have to check the entire surface for any pieces of old gasket, or any silicon that might have been put on at some point. It takes some time and alot of gentle scraping to get any of that stuff off.
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This picture is just to indicate where my gasket was leaking the most, you can see all the residue on the outer edge of the metal.
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This is the old gasket, as you can see it was very brittle, to the point where it cracked apart just taking it out
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AR000 is the gasket for the right side, AR010 is the left side
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I wiped the valve cover down and made sure it was free of dirt before installing the new gasket. There's a little channel in the valve cover that the gasket kind of seats into, it makes it pretty easy to put back together. When putting the cover back on with the new gasket, make sure everything is lined up, and feel all the way around the valve cover to make sure the gasket stays in place, and hasnt folded over or anything. Once you are confident that your gasket is in the proper location, you will have to give a somewhat forceful shove to the valve cover to seat it over the spark plug grommets. Once it's seated, you can start putting everything back together, get all the valve cover bolts tightened up, I had them all hand tight and then did 1 turn at a time on each bolt until I had all the bolts snugged up. I'm sure there's a torque spec on the bolts, but the way you have to bend the ratchet around to get to all those bolts, I'm sure a torque wrench wouldn't fit where you need it. So I just tightened everything down, not extremely tight, but pretty firmly fastened.

Re-route the harness back towards the front of the engine, making sure to connect everything that you have taken apart. Put the battery tray back in, instal the battery, make sure any hoses that may have been taken apart or accidentally pulled off are reconnected, then start the car up! I let it idle for about 15-20 mins, just enough time to grab a beer and sit down and relax for a bit. I revved the engine to 2500rpm and held that for a minute or 2, then checked as best as I could visually for any signs of drips or anything. Once you're satisfied with the right side, it's time to get started on the left side.

I hadn't had any drips on the left side gasket, but you can see some seepage
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For the left side, you'll have to remove the air box, pull the MAF out of the flexible intake tube part, and then take the intake tube off.
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Again, you will have to get the main harness out of the way, disconnect all the connectors. There is a bracket that mounts to the valve cover that holds a portion of the harness, remove this 2 10mm bolts. There is a little blue wire connector on the very back of the engine that needs taken apart, and it was the worst part of the entire project. It's almost impossible to reach, and it's fastened down to a bracket that you cant get access to remove, so you'll have to probably break the back of the fastener off. I did this with a very long flathead screwdriver and a bunch of whacks with a hammer....I was getting pissed.....but it did come apart.
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Once the harness is out of the way, remove all the ign. coils.

You'll have to pull this hose off, which is full of coolant. I taped off the end of the metal part where the hose went so that coolant didn't keep dripping out of there
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Again, there will be a rubber plug that needs removed from the brake resivior compartment so you can gain access to the lower back valve cover bolt
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Same as the side before, take care prying the valve cover off. There is an A/C line that's kind of in the way, but you can flex it out of the way as you start pulling the valve cover off
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Again, check all surfaces of the metal and the inside of the valve cover for any old gasket material or silicone. Left side gasket is AR010
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Work your way around the valve cover tightening all the bolts a little bit at a time, reconnect all the wire connectors and hoses. And I think that's about it! Once it's all bolted back together, fire up the engine and let it idle for a while, grab another beer. After I let the car idle for a bit and felt confident in zero leaks, I took it up and down the road for a bit, putting it under heavy load. Full throttle all the way through the rpm's in 2nd and 3rd. No leaks!

I know I'm not the best writer, and if you guys have any questions, please dont hesitate to ask. This is pretty much an all day job for 1 person. I'm a pretty competent mechanic and it took me 8 hours start to finish. Definitely work saving the labor cost to have a shop do it though. I guess that's it. CHEERS!


cruzad3r
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Re: 06 M45 valve cover replacement

Postby cruzad3r » Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:17 pm

i'm surprised you didn't use any rtv around the edge as well. it looks like the V8 is somewhat involved compare to the V6. I've done it before swapping the engine and it was around 3 hours. just the driver left side only.

Note to those who want to do this: label your injector/coil wiring harness. plugging in the wrong harness will mess up the firing order of your engine, will cause a CEL, engine stumbled and busted CAT.

reefscape15
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Car: 06 M45 Sport

Re: 06 M45 valve cover replacement

Postby reefscape15 » Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:49 pm

Good point on labeling everything before you take it apart. On this engine, the harness is wrapped so tight, you wouldn't be able to mix up the connectors for the coils, but it's a good habit to get into either way.

I thought about using some rtb, but the only bit of it that I had to scrape off was from where the cam end covers meet up with the head, and there was some that squirted out when it got put together at the factory. These gaskets were the thickest I've ever seen, so I felt confident that they'll hold without any extra stuff. I'll be keeping an eye on it for sure!

There's not a lot of extra room in the engine bay with the 8 in there, kind of a pain in the a** to do anything on it

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Ilya
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Re: 06 M45 valve cover replacement

Postby Ilya » Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:36 pm

Good work. Will add this to the FAQ.

reefscape15
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Re: 06 M45 valve cover replacement

Postby reefscape15 » Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:19 pm

Ilya wrote:Good work. Will add this to the FAQ.
Thank you man, I know I didn't write up the best thing, but hopefully it can help some people who want to tackle this project.

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Re: Y50 (06-10) M45/V8 Valve Cover Gasket Replacement

Postby EdBwoy » Sat Apr 01, 2017 9:10 am

Thanks for sharing reefscape15. Knowing what you know now, how long do you think it would take you next time? Or rather, apart from stopping to take pictures, what other obstacles pushed it to an 8-hour job?

reefscape15
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Re: Y50 (06-10) M45/V8 Valve Cover Gasket Replacement

Postby reefscape15 » Sat Apr 01, 2017 9:44 am

I'm not sure how much time you could cut off of this. I did pull the wheel and inner fender plastic off on the right side cause I thought that little rubber plug was located there. That would've saved some time, but really there wasn't all that much stuff to get out of the way. I took my time for sure, I didn't need it to be finished at any specific time, so that was kind of nice

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mexillis
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Re: Y50 (06-10) M45/V8 Valve Cover Gasket Replacement

Postby mexillis » Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:39 am

DAMN! Good job! I hope I don't have to do this anytime soon. Good thing you poked around to find a gasket leak. Did you clean the bay afterword so you can see any new leaks appear?

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Re: Y50 (06-10) M45/V8 Valve Cover Gasket Replacement

Postby EdBwoy » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:24 pm

reefscape15 wrote:
Sat Apr 01, 2017 9:44 am
I'm not sure how much time you could cut off of this. I did pull the wheel and inner fender plastic off on the right side cause I thought that little rubber plug was located there. That would've saved some time, but really there wasn't all that much stuff to get out of the way. I took my time for sure, I didn't need it to be finished at any specific time, so that was kind of nice
You weren't kidding on the time it takes! I tackled this job yesterday. More accurately yesterday into today, starting at 4 PM, ending in the wee hours of the morning.
See, I've replaced many M45 valve cover gaskets, but those have all been with the engines outside the vehicle. The 2003 M45 engine bay was waaaaayyyy more spacious and straightforward. I asked my time allocation question earlier knowing too well the Y50 has some tight packing.

The left side was a pain to work around. Even with RTV around every single bolt hole, there were enough obstacles to knock the gasket off the VC on the way in. I must say though, these replacements didn't hold themselves in the VC that well. All the VK45DE gaskets I get from eBay have been able to stay put even when I turned it upside down and shook it. These were loose.
The kicker? Dry-rotted hoses which are all on the left bank. It takes a certain level of creativity (and a spare VK engine :gapteeth: ) to find little vacuum hoses at 12:30 AM, but I made it work.
That definitely added a couple of hours to the job.
On the right side, 2 of the 3 12mm bolts holding the battery tray were corroded. I tried all different combinations of tools to get the bottom one in the tray but I had to employ the services of my hole saw at the end.
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Tools-up to tools-down lasted about 12 hours, but there were a few long breaks to eat, run to Autozone for tools and chat with the staff there, business calls, social calls... etc. I think a little under 9 hours was what it took me under the hood, all obstacles and extra tasks accounted for.
I tackled the spark plugs as well as the PCV valves at the same time. It only made sense


Verdict: Even for a non rookie, this isn't the kind of job you start on a Sunday afternoon intending to have the car ready for work on Monday; start on Friday evening after work to account for any kinks in the plan.


***
Yes, I thought of video documenting the process but I didn't have a helper to handle the DSLR and my camera-duty phone overheated within 15 minutes so it was game over.

LIBRILZ
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Re: Y50 (06-10) M45/V8 Valve Cover Gasket Replacement

Postby LIBRILZ » Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:04 pm

I did mine recently, it didn't take me long at all, I would say 3 hours and that was with grabbing a beer here and there and chatting it up, lol

also didn't know about the rubber plug, that would've made life easier

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Re: Y50 (06-10) M45/V8 Valve Cover Gasket Replacement

Postby EdBwoy » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:51 am

LIBRILZ wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:04 pm
I did mine recently, it didn't take me long at all, I would say 3 hours and that was with grabbing a beer here and there and chatting it up, lol

...
I should have held a camera in one hand. I seem to work faster that way.


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