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Old 03-21-2004, 07:23 PM   #1
R_JAY
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Ack! Oil on spark plugs

Well, today I decided to change my spark plugs only to find oil on the number three coil. I know this means I have a valve cover gasket leak but shouldn't oil be on all the plugs? The other five were dry as a bone. Anyway, I just wanted to know if anyone's ever changed it themselves and how hard was it? Also, if anyone has the part number for the gasket can you please pass it along. Thanks guys
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Old 03-21-2004, 11:48 PM   #2
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the plugs are as far as I dare to venture.......sorry buddy, hopefully someone can guide you through it..........
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Old 03-22-2004, 01:43 AM   #3
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hey man.. is it wet oil like a leak or just some oil? check it again in a week or so.
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Old 03-22-2004, 03:04 AM   #4
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Well, i've been looking through some old reciepts and found one from nearly 2 years ago from BMW Mississauga where I think I changed the gasket while doing some other work. It gives a part number of 11-12-9-070-531 for $42. It also gives a part number of 11-12-1-437-395 for 16 E36 Bush Jack for $1.75 each. Anyone know what the hell that is? I'm gonna call them tomorrow anyway to find out. I'm just wondering if it's possible for the gasket to go bad in under 40km? I also noticed that there was oil residue ontop of the plastic cover that says BMW. It looks like somebody missed or spilled some when changing my oil. Is it possible that the spilled oil could have made it's way into the spark plug chamber? Should I change the gasket anyway to be safe even if it was done at the dealer? We're not talking about alot of oil here. It's very very little which is why i'm wondering if I should change the gasket or not.
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Old 03-22-2004, 03:50 AM   #5
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oil would leak a bit elsewhere besides your plugs if it was the valve cover gasket (know from experience)...if oil is getting on your plugs...then that means they're getting past the piston rings (which means they're wearing out..NOT good). because from wat i know, there should be NO oil in the combustion chamber (the spark plug is basically pointing down at the top of the chamber)...that means that with the A/F mix being ignited, so is oil...meaning..your burning oil? check your oil level too, if it is eating oil..then ur rings are about to go..which means new pistons (which means...JE higher compression pistons, better valve train and a more powerful motor lol)
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Old 03-22-2004, 03:59 AM   #6
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Nah Jon it's not that bad yet. I never took out the plug but E36's are known for having bad valve cover gaskets. The car doesn't burn any oil. It leaks some from the drain plug but doesn't burn
Anyway, I'm gonna leave all my maintainence to the experts from now on lol.
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Old 03-22-2004, 04:03 AM   #7
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but that doesnt make sense...because if its on the TIPS, why would the valve cover gasket have anything to do with it? because the tips arent exposed it is inside the combustion chamber.
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Old 03-22-2004, 04:18 AM   #8
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it could be leaking from many places, valve seals, head gasket, piston rings, but you said you found oil only on 1 plug, I would guess valve seals, easiest thing to do is to do a compression test & a leak down test
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Old 03-22-2004, 04:20 AM   #9
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The oil is not on the plug itself. If you have a worn valve cover gasket then the oil leaks into where the coil covers the plug. The plug itself is dry but oil is around where it sits. It's kind of hard to explain I guess but let me try to find a link that explains this better.
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Old 03-22-2004, 04:22 AM   #10
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OOHHH...so basically on the camshafts, and where the valve springs are there is oil?
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Old 03-22-2004, 04:33 AM   #11
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Come on guys stop trying to scare me This is what i'm talking about. Taken from a DIY link.

With the coil removed, you should be able to look down the hole and see the spark plug hiding in there. Figure 11 shows what the top of a normal looking spark plug looks like. However, as you remove the plugs, you may discover something peculiar. The way that the ignition system is designed on these BMWs, there is the opportunity for the spark plug holes to completely fill up with oil, if you have a leaky seal on your valve cover. When you pull out the spark plug connector / coil combo, you may find that it is completely submerged in engine oil, as shown in Figure 12 and Figure 13. Looking down the hole, you may not even be able to see the spark plug because the entire hole is filled up with oil (Figure 14 and Figure 15). While common sense says that this is not a good thing, the reality is that this is actually quite common, and doesn't seem to affect the performance of the car one bit. If you do find this oil in your spark plug holes, I would suggest that you go one step further and replace the valve cover gasket. This replacement procedure is very simple, once you have the coils removed, and should only take you about 20 minutes more, providing you have the actual gasket on hand. If you find oil in your spark plug holes, then you should definitely replace the gasket.
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Old 03-22-2004, 04:34 AM   #12
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just show a pic and put some arrows indicating where the oil is, I can probally tell you what the problem is

well if you already found info on it why are you asking us?
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Old 03-22-2004, 04:49 AM   #13
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well if you already found info on it why are you asking us?
The link doesn't tell you how to change the gasket. I never said I didn't know what the problem was. In my first post I said I know that I have a bad valve cover gasket but I wanted to know how hard it was to change it. Now I know that people don't read my posts
I'm gonna leave it up to Charlie and the boys at Chucks cause I have a whole lot of other stuff to take care of.
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Old 03-22-2004, 04:56 AM   #14
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i still think u need to do an all motor build up LOL
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Old 03-22-2004, 05:03 AM   #15
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i still think u need to do an all motor build up LOL
I'm seriously and I mean seriously thinking about that $2500 M3 motor for sale by M50E30. I dunno man right now i'm at the it seems too good to be true stage. I wanna hear the final details before making up my mind though.
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