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B Goode's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Redondo Beach CA
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Question Can the oil filter housing be resealed?

My car is a 1995 325i.

I have confirmed that oil is leaking from my oil filter housing itself, not the gasket. On the back of the housing are two circular caps which are held in by locking pins, and oil is streaming from at least one of them.

I took the car to a BMW specialist, and they told me that the entire housing must be replaced ($450 part). Is this true? Has anyone attempted to dismantle the housing an reseal it?

Any advice appreciated.
Old 08-14-2006, 08:14 AM
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Hi there. The oil filter housing is a complex piece that mounts to the side of the engine, and there *is* a seal in between that seals the unit to the block (number 8 on the diagram). If there's no cracks or damage to the housing (usually not), then it's probably just this seal. There are three bolts that hold the unit on.

The seal is part number 11-42-1-719-855 and can be ordered right here, for a mere $3.50:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/cgi-bin/ksearch/PEL_search.cgi?command=show_part_page&please_wait=N&make=BMW&model=BE36&section=ENGoil&page=1&bookmark=1&part_number=11-42-1-719-855-M17

I would try replacing the seal first. You also may want to replace the aluminum sealing rings on the VANOS line too, or replace the whole VANOS line itself, as these leak all the time, and are a bear to get to.

Hope this helps - please tell all your BMW friends that this is the place to come for tech advice!

Wayne


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Old 08-14-2006, 11:15 AM
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This type of circlip seal is common but I don't know where you can get a replacement. You could try to pull the seal without damaging it and then reinstall with some gasket sealer but if it is as hard to get out as the ones in the tranny then there is no way to remove it with out damaging it. Tranny rebuild shops will probably stock this type of seal.

The gasket #8 that Wayne is talking about is cheap, easy to replace and leaks are more common there than the location you are talking about. Make sure that the leak is not from #8 before proceeding.

Don't spend $450 on a new housing. If you cant fix the seal get a used housing they are replaced by racers with the Euro version so you can get a US used for cheap.

Try to find a new plug gasket. Thats your best bet.
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Old 08-16-2006, 05:46 AM
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I'm still learning about posting photos, so here it goes:



These are the plugs that I was referring to. The one on the left (in this picture) was just covering an oil passage. The second one has some apparatus behind it, but it did not appear to be springloaded.

The O-rings had hardened and allowed oil past. The mechanic that I took it to made it sound as if this is common for engines with many miles (mine has 200K).

I tried a couple different sizes of O-rings. The metric 22/27mm (ID/OD, same as 7/8" ID - 3/32" thick) O-rings seemed to slide in too easy. I used 20/27mm (same as 3/4" ID - 1/8" thick), and barely got them to fit. It took about an hour's worth of cussing and careful work with a bar clamp to get them in. Looking back on it now, I think that maybe I should have used 11/16" ID - 1/8" thick O-ring and stretched it over the plug. That size may have worked OK too.

I did manage to get it back together (yes I used a new gasket to the block), and so far, no leaks!

Last edited by B Goode; 08-17-2006 at 01:32 PM..
Old 08-17-2006, 01:19 PM
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After I got the caps back on:

Old 08-17-2006, 01:34 PM
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hi there,

I had exactly the same problem. I started with 22x2.4 and they didn't seal for long, then finally used 22mm ID x 3mm thick O rings and they sealed well. Better than $1100 for a housing here in Aust. I'm surprised that BMW don't admit this is a wear item. I've seen many references to this problem.

Chris,
Brisbane, Aust.
Old 08-18-2006, 12:14 AM
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Lightbulb

i've been there done that the best for ever repair is what i did once i had the whole housing off and clean i then took liquid steel
and i cover the 2 holes with the caps in place ofcourse put enought so it sits flush let it sit until it dries to harden and then after a month my freaken front crank shaft seal went enjoy let me how you make out i try the seal too better of with the liquid steel method
Old 08-20-2006, 01:59 PM
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Hi Wayne, I have a housing leak too on my 92 non-vanos.

I assume I would just need the origns and part/gasket #8 form the diagram above, correct? let me knwo and i'l buy the parts.

Thanks, -Paul
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Old 02-16-2008, 09:49 AM
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I had the same leak from those O-rings, hardened with age. My independent garage told me it was a cracked housing, but later confirmed that it was just the O-rings.

I attempted to use 24mm x 3mm O-rings that Wayne lists for the housing (P/N 11-42-1-709-513-M9), but those were too thick-sectioned, and the original slow seepage turned into a bona fide dripping leak with them.

Since I was days away from selling that car (and the buyer was going to drive it 400 miles immediately after purchase), I elected to have another garage fix it. Don't know what they used, but it worked according to the buyer.

B Goode, I wish I'd had your experience with different O-rings sizes when I had the assembly out in my driveway! And great job at cleaning the housing!
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Old 02-19-2008, 10:26 AM
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Thanks for the compliment dfrost. I believe that a clean engine is a happy engine.

I posted this thread a while back, it's pretty cool to have it come back around.

Since I'm here, I thought that I would give an update - I passed 220,000 miles about a month ago. With the exception of the water pump, I am continually impressed with how robust these engines are. I had been planning on getting rid of the car and upgrading, but it passed California emissions in January, so I'm having a hard time letting it go.

So far, no more oil leaks (knock on wood). I have a good BMW shop that I trust for the big jobs, but even they told me that the entire oil filter housing would have to be replaced to fix this problem. I later explained to them how I fixed it, and they were surprised to know it could be done.

Happy driving
Old 02-19-2008, 03:17 PM
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Same experience as dfrost...

I had a slow drip from the o-rings and tried to replace them myself. That was a big mistake and the slow drip turned into a gushing flood. After trying this fix twice, I gave up and bought a new housing (although, I must say, I was getting very fast at removing/replacing everything by then).

Guess what? The housing has been redesigned. The metal plugs are now large bolts, sealed with metal crush rings.

If anyone is interested...I used some high-temp sealant and torqued the six filter housing bolts to 20ft-lbs. Additinoally, I torqued the oil pressure switch to 9ft-lbs (borrowed from my motorcycle setting). The vanos oil pipe was torque to 24ft-lbs.

-Larry in Cincinnati
1994 325i
322,000 miles
Old 02-19-2008, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B Goode View Post
I'm still learning about posting photos, so here it goes:



These are the plugs that I was referring to. The one on the left (in this picture) was just covering an oil passage. The second one has some apparatus behind it, but it did not appear to be springloaded.

The O-rings had hardened and allowed oil past. The mechanic that I took it to made it sound as if this is common for engines with many miles (mine has 200K).

I tried a couple different sizes of O-rings. The metric 22/27mm (ID/OD, same as 7/8" ID - 3/32" thick) O-rings seemed to slide in too easy. I used 20/27mm (same as 3/4" ID - 1/8" thick), and barely got them to fit. It took about an hour's worth of cussing and careful work with a bar clamp to get them in. Looking back on it now, I think that maybe I should have used 11/16" ID - 1/8" thick O-ring and stretched it over the plug. That size may have worked OK too.

I did manage to get it back together (yes I used a new gasket to the block), and so far, no leaks!

B Goode,

I was puzzled when my oil filter housing is leaking again after I had just replaced the #8 gasket in the diagram (Maybe it wasn't the #8 gasket because the gasket looks OK). You have solve my problem. Could you tell me how difficult it was to remove the circular caps on the filter housing? Any special tools involved? I spent 8 hours replacing the gasket and hopefully this time it will be 2 hours. Thanks
Old 03-16-2008, 09:52 PM
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Cory,

If you look closely at the pictures, you can see a small rectangular cut out right beside the cap opening. Just put a small screwdriver in there and pry the ring out - be careful not to fling it across the room or into your eye!

I was able to then take a small pair of channel lock pliers and grab the protruding part in the center of the cap and simply pull it out (regular pliers may work just fine).

The part that was the most difficult for me was putting the caps back in with new O-rings. I would suggest that you try to find several of the different size O-rings mentioned in this thread, and try to find one that fits snugly but not too tight to actually get it in place. If you put one in that fits too loose, it will just leak again.

Hope this helps - good luck with it.
Old 03-17-2008, 03:52 PM
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I just registered here, and had to reply to the fix of these o-rings. The best fix is the thicker of the o-ring sizes. The best way to get them in the housing is by getting a socket from your tool set and drive the caps in with the socket over the top of it, tapping the socket that is placed over the cap firmly but not with agression- even though it may a pain. It went quickly for me, about 3hrs total. But then I used air tools. No leaks out of the housing, but the stupid thing is leaking from somewhere else. DOH! Are the front main seals on this engine leaker too? I have a 93 325is.
Old 11-12-2008, 02:04 PM
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Old 11-12-2008, 02:04 PM
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