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  1. #1
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    Valve stem seals big N54 problem with time?

    You guys tell me:

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    Much like the infamous bent rod scenario, it is definitely a scary possibility for those vendors selling turbos. That is now having to try to troubleshoot cars (after selling a set of turbos) to the customer who still has a smoking condition, and the expectation presents itself for the vendor to rule out their product thereafter. But all said it really seems like it is not much of a concern or not nearly as much as the turbos are themselves, based only on the simple fact that we are not ever getting any negative feedback of the such over numerous sets sold every week through the months and now over many years.

    More so the issues, at least from my perspective, is that EVERY turbo core set we see come back anymore simply has turbine seals that have lost all ductility and have no more tension. They are often so bad that when removing them they snap into numerous pieces. Anyway this creates a turbo that is a casual smoker, but still may function/make boost/etc, which is a common issue with the platform. Ultimately the customer who then bought the new setup we never hear back from, which is a good thing for everyone lol.

    Rob
    Last edited by Rob@RBTurbo; 11-05-2019 at 02:43 PM.

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    I thought this was common knowledge for several years now?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Weehe Click here to enlarge
    I thought this was common knowledge for several years now?
    For someone like you, probably. For noobs buying their used N54, I doubt it.

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    I suspect mine have signs of wear. White smoke only on start up.

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    What's the typical cost for something like this?

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Pretty substantial, Last time i looked up book time on an E90 i wanna say a head pull was 28 hours so you can imagine depending where you live and the standard billing rate you're talking thousands
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    2008 E90 335i VM Top Mount 6467 1.0AR, BMS PI, AIC controller, JB4 G5 ISO, Fuel-it STG 3 LPFP, Spec S3+, H&R Race Springs, Hotchkis Sway Bars, Koni Yellow adj, VMR V701, PSS tires, Forge 004 dual piston BOV's, BMS CP, 6X6X22" godspeed intercooler

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by djpaulie Click here to enlarge
    Pretty substantial, Last time i looked up book time on an E90 i wanna say a head pull was 28 hours so you can imagine depending where you live and the standard billing rate you're talking thousands
    That is substantial.

    So what is the replacement timeframe? Might as well do a walnut blast and a few other things if you are going to do it which clearly at some point you have to.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    That is substantial.

    So what is the replacement timeframe? Might as well do a walnut blast and a few other things if you are going to do it which clearly at some point you have to.
    replacement time frame meaning, when people should roughly expect them to go bad?
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    2008 E90 335i VM Top Mount 6467 1.0AR, BMS PI, AIC controller, JB4 G5 ISO, Fuel-it STG 3 LPFP, Spec S3+, H&R Race Springs, Hotchkis Sway Bars, Koni Yellow adj, VMR V701, PSS tires, Forge 004 dual piston BOV's, BMS CP, 6X6X22" godspeed intercooler

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by djpaulie Click here to enlarge
    replacement time frame meaning, when people should roughly expect them to go bad?
    Yep.

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    There's no reason to pull the head to do vavle seals. Its common practice to do them with the head still on the engine. We do this by pressurizing the cylinder with shop air though the spark plug hole to hold the valve up and then removing the springs and seals as you would if the head was removed. This saves lots of hours in dissasembly and parts.
    2008 BMW 535i SPORT | FBO+ | VTT GC LITES | JB4 | DPT BEF | BMS METH KIT | PROMETH DP KIT | PR COILS

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    That is substantial.

    So what is the replacement timeframe? Might as well do a walnut blast and a few other things if you are going to do it which clearly at some point you have to.
    Not sure on that, When I was an advisor I never saw any bad enough to merit replacement. Seemed though the ones starting to go bad I've seen people report going bad have a pretty large variance in age and mileage. I would imagine it's primarily based on use. If someone has one that they sits there majority of the time and then is tracked so constantly revving out I imagine a much shorter life then one which is driven daily and doesn't see constant peak revs.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Tuppidsay Click here to enlarge
    There's no reason to pull the head to do vavle seals. Its common practice to do them with the head still on the engine. We do this by pressurizing the cylinder with shop air though the spark plug hole to hold the valve up and then removing the springs and seals as you would if the head was removed. This saves lots of hours in dissasembly and parts.
    Yes, you can do valve stem seals without pulling the head. But having worked in a couple of shops and spoken to advisors at many others it would depend on the tech and shop it's self weather they would be willing to do and bill it this way. Typically if there is a book time for a job that is what is charged reguardless what the tech decides to do with it. I'm pretty certain wit would be billed out this way at more then a few shops. But if you can find a good shop you trust and they are willing to do it without pulling and charge less then that is great. Totally dependent on where you take it and the practices in that area.
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    2008 E90 335i VM Top Mount 6467 1.0AR, BMS PI, AIC controller, JB4 G5 ISO, Fuel-it STG 3 LPFP, Spec S3+, H&R Race Springs, Hotchkis Sway Bars, Koni Yellow adj, VMR V701, PSS tires, Forge 004 dual piston BOV's, BMS CP, 6X6X22" godspeed intercooler

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    I've ran shops for the last 15 years, and your completely right. There are some pretty $#@! shops (in my opinion) charging for cylinder head removal when they don't. I get it. I couldn't do it but to each their own. But i will say, book time on a 08 335i coupe valve seal job is 38hrs. At todays shop rates, thats half if not more than the value of the car. Most clients are going to deny that repair. Id rather do the job the easier way (without head removal), charge a more reasonalble 10 hrs or so and actually sell the job. Not to mention hopefully earn a lifetime client by showing them the facts and what we are doing to mitigate cost.
    2008 BMW 535i SPORT | FBO+ | VTT GC LITES | JB4 | DPT BEF | BMS METH KIT | PROMETH DP KIT | PR COILS

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by djpaulie Click here to enlarge
    Not sure on that, When I was an advisor I never saw any bad enough to merit replacement. Seemed though the ones starting to go bad I've seen people report going bad have a pretty large variance in age and mileage. I would imagine it's primarily based on use. If someone has one that they sits there majority of the time and then is tracked so constantly revving out I imagine a much shorter life then one which is driven daily and doesn't see constant peak revs.



    Yes, you can do valve stem seals without pulling the head. But having worked in a couple of shops and spoken to advisors at many others it would depend on the tech and shop it's self weather they would be willing to do and bill it this way. Typically if there is a book time for a job that is what is charged reguardless what the tech decides to do with it. I'm pretty certain wit would be billed out this way at more then a few shops. But if you can find a good shop you trust and they are willing to do it without pulling and charge less then that is great. Totally dependent on where you take it and the practices in that area.
    BMW just screwed this up on a friends S63. A valve fell into the cylinder after the work. They were going to just replace the head, not even the piston, even though it was clearly damaged. I had him call BMW USA to at least get a fresh piston put in if there was no damage to the walls. They're replacing the entire motor now.

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  15. #15
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by nyt Click here to enlarge
    They're replacing the entire motor now.
    Good. Make them pay.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Tuppidsay Click here to enlarge
    I've ran shops for the last 15 years, and your completely right. There are some pretty $#@! shops (in my opinion) charging for cylinder head removal when they don't. I get it. I couldn't do it but to each their own. But i will say, book time on a 08 335i coupe valve seal job is 38hrs. At todays shop rates, thats half if not more than the value of the car. Most clients are going to deny that repair. Id rather do the job the easier way (without head removal), charge a more reasonalble 10 hrs or so and actually sell the job. Not to mention hopefully earn a lifetime client by showing them the facts and what we are doing to mitigate cost.
    Most definitely I was an advisor for years and I couldn't agree more, however just knowing what I know about some less then great shops out there it's likely they sign people up for the full boat. It's a shame but it is also fairly common. some times the value of the car can be more then the $ it's worth to the customer, especially if it's highly modified which tends to be a common failure scenario people will pay to fix it.

    As nty posted the issue of them messing it up. I do have to say that an argument a lot of shops will take is that "it isn't the right way to do the job" so if they do agree to do it they will not offer the usual parts and labor warranty that they normally would which coming from a customer perspective amy be worth paying the extra in their eyes for piece of mind.
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    2008 E90 335i VM Top Mount 6467 1.0AR, BMS PI, AIC controller, JB4 G5 ISO, Fuel-it STG 3 LPFP, Spec S3+, H&R Race Springs, Hotchkis Sway Bars, Koni Yellow adj, VMR V701, PSS tires, Forge 004 dual piston BOV's, BMS CP, 6X6X22" godspeed intercooler

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    Yeah, BMW doesn't go internal. Why? I have no idea....the shortblock is like $30K Atleast from the warranty replacement invoice i saw.
    2008 BMW 535i SPORT | FBO+ | VTT GC LITES | JB4 | DPT BEF | BMS METH KIT | PROMETH DP KIT | PR COILS

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    If the work as being charged is the work as being performed? Then i got no issues with this. If the client has the pockets and the will to pay. I'll pull the head. It certainly doesn't take 33 hrs to pull a head on an n54 let alone 38 to pull the head, do the seals, and re-assemble. More money for me. But i wouldn't advice the average customer to go this route.

    And current Alldata book time is:
    Headgasket is 33.5hrs and 23hrs warranty

    Cylinder head R&R is 40.1 and 28.7 warranty but should include R&I Cylinder Head, Grind Or Renew Valves, Transfer All Necessary Components & Make All Adjustments.

    Valve Seals is 38 including cylinder head removal. No warranty book provided
    2008 BMW 535i SPORT | FBO+ | VTT GC LITES | JB4 | DPT BEF | BMS METH KIT | PROMETH DP KIT | PR COILS

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    That's a lot of time. I'd give a go to replacing them without pulling the head if possible.

    Or you could go full Tony and have the head off literally the day before a race, button 'er up and let 'er rip. The texts I got were hilarious.

    Chris
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Chris@VargasTurboTech Click here to enlarge
    That's a lot of time. I'd give a go to replacing them without pulling the head if possible.

    Or you could go full Tony and have the head off literally the day before a race, button 'er up and let 'er rip. The texts I got were hilarious.

    Chris
    Tony is a mad scientist LOL
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    Wait, so how are all these guys (let's say shiv, burger, etc) making or made such high hp and you've never heard of these valve seals going bad?

    Between this, oil pan gasket, turbos going bad, hpfp, belt getting sucked into the crank, vcg, injectors, etc -- why do we continue to drive these cars lol.

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    It's a maintenance item, not a break from high power. Stock N54s can have this issue. If you search it has been covered for years as an issue.

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    The platform is now over a dozen years old. Some maintenance may need to be performed lol.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Circularmotion Click here to enlarge
    Wait, so how are all these guys (let's say shiv, burger, etc) making or made such high hp and you've never heard of these valve seals going bad?

    Between this, oil pan gasket, turbos going bad, hpfp, belt getting sucked into the crank, vcg, injectors, etc -- why do we continue to drive these cars lol.
    Because you have to?

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    I've done the valve stem seals on my N55 with the head in the car. Wasn't all that bad, but, I know my way around the entire engine inside and out already. More time consuming than "hard." Finding a tool that worked to compress the springs took time. The overhead tool I used for cylinder 1 and 2 contacted the chassis on the rear cylinders. So, I had to cut it in half. I fabricated my own tool to do the intake side valve since the vavletronic bridge is in the way (later realized I could just use the bridge as the "bar" and leveraged the generic tool right off of it). I did not use shop air. I put a bunch of nylon rope down into the cylinder and then used the piston to hold the valve up. Worked great. Again, more time consuming than anything... put rope in, rotate crank, set compression tool up, swap seal, fight with keepers to get them back on the stem using one hand (grease and a small flathead worked great here)... once I got the hang of it the job went quick.


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