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PCV repair question

  #1  
Old 11-23-2018, 11:05 AM
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PCV repair question

Mods: Although this is on my R60, I posted it here since itís more of a general N18 issue than model specific. Please move if you deem appropriate.

Hello folks! Iím hoping someone here can chime in and help out here. I am pretty sure Iím having the issues related to a failed PCV diaphragm.
I have been getting a little bit of a rough idle on cold start, have confirmed the sound of air hissing at that PCV cover on the VC. When I checked the oil cap with the engine running, it was vacuumed on there tight enough that I could not remove it, and when I pulled the dipstick, the idle dropped immediately and ran even rougher. And before all of these issues raised their heads I had been pulling my hair out trying to track down a small boost leak that I now think was coming from there as well... it presents itself as a tea-kettle type of whistle under load, but isnít audible under higher boost pressure (up 22psi with RPM tune). And could usually be heard the most right before the diverter opens.

So I suppose I have 2 questions actually.
1) Has anyone heard of boost leaking/whistling from the valve cover and not just vacuum? I am not entirely positive this is where the whistle is coming from, since it only presents when being driven and itís hard to stick your head in there while moving, lol.
2) My biggest question: I am on a fixed income and I am cheap! Lol. I found the replacement diaphragm on eBay and they say you can replace that only and have instructions and what not. I have seen several posts mentioning these diaphragm replacements, but have not really seen much regarding whether or not anyone has actually tried it or not. I am seeking input from anybody who has attempted this repair and how the results turned out? I searched the site, but that did not get me the answers I need. I am really tempted to order one up, they are only $18 right now (Black Friday) but donít feel like wasting $ if itís pointless to even try it. I know somebody out there is cheap like me and has to have tried this as an alternative to valve cover replacement at the ridiculous cost for them.
or if anybody has any other suggestions, I am always trying to learn more about these little go karts, please send me your thoughts! Thanks.
 
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  #2  
Old 11-23-2018, 01:32 PM
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Just to add:

I messaged another member here who, it turns out, has done this. It worked. He said it fixed his problem. Also was advised to be careful removing the cover, as there are 5 internal clips that hold it together and they are easy to break, but it can be epoxied back on if that happens.
So I decided to give it a go, and ordered one up. It will take a few weeks, at least, to arrive since it’s coming internationally from Russia. But when it does, I will post my results here.
I am also considering making a tutorial for it, since there isn’t a lot out there, and what is leaves some to be desired. If anybody is interested, let me know, if there’s a demand, I’ll make one up for anybody else that decides to try it.
This is something that could save a lot of us a few hundred dollars, so I’m kind of excited to try it out.

Im still looking for anybody else that wants to chime in on it. As well as opinions on my “whistle “ too, since that is still in question for the time being.
Cheers
 
  #3  
Old 11-25-2018, 09:49 AM
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Ok, well the good news is that it all appears legit so far. I didn’t use eBay, I ordered direct from the company using PayPal. They have sent me a shipping notice with a tracking number for the Russian Post, lol. It appears that it is on its way to me. :-) I imagine international mail takes a while, so I’m not really expecting to see this thing until around Christmas at least. eBay showed a delivery window of January 1st -5th, so I’m assuming it will take at least that long to get here. I guess I will just keep waiting impatiently.
 
  #4  
Old 11-27-2018, 06:06 PM
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Keep us posted
 
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Old 11-27-2018, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Jorge Perez View Post
Keep us posted
I definitely will. It may be a good few weeks before it shows up. I donít know exactly how long it takes. But I got an update from the Russian post office, it was released by their customs and was at the Russian border this morning.
I am so impatient! Ha ha
 
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Old 11-28-2018, 08:40 AM
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What terms do I use on google to find the link? Would like to keep one around as a backup.
 
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Old 11-28-2018, 08:45 AM
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Here’s a link.
https://vanos-bmw.com/

or you can google Mini Cooper N18 PCV diaphragm..... or N14 depending on which one you have. If it works, I’m going to order another one too, just to have a back up available.
 
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Old 11-29-2018, 09:11 AM
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Thanks! Had a N12 and ended up emailing them for confirmation which they promptly responded.

For future reference, this is the diaphragm for the N12 with photograph instructions under product details.

https://vanos-bmw.com/product/111276...ini-repair-kit
 
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Old 11-29-2018, 09:24 AM
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Cool deal, they make them for a bunch of different cars, including, obviously, most othe BMW models that have the integrated PCV in the valve cover.
 
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Old 11-29-2018, 09:40 PM
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Be nice to see a good write-up which is application specific to our car here, Grumps. Thanks for pioneering it.
 
  #11  
Old 11-30-2018, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Yupetc View Post
Be nice to see a good write-up which is application specific to our car here, Grumps. Thanks for pioneering it.
Iím happy to give it a go! I kept looking and looking, but never really found much about anybody actually doing this, other than it seemed to work, lol. I found a person here in an old thread who did it. They said it worked and gave me some tips for removing the cover over it.
So ...... what the heck.... Iíll be a guinea pig for it, lol.
Iíll document and either take photos or maybe video while I replace it, then if all goes like I hope and it works, Iíll make a write up with pictures so others can have a better idea of how to do it. It looks simple to do....too simple! Lol. Iím glad to see thereís some interest on this topic. I canít believe that itís not out there already. The difference in cost between this and a new valve cover is huge. Iím in it for about $25 including shipping. For that price, I have to try it! The worst case scenario is buying the valve cover anyway, so if I can save almost $375 Iím all in! I know mine is bad, I have most of the symptoms up to and including an audible leak at the back corner of that cap over the diaphragm. Thereís some light oil seep right there, and I have vacuum on my oil cap when itís running. And beside that, Iím hoping itís also the source of a little boost leak that presents as a little whistle that I havenít been able to locate....I think itís from there too.... I hope itís from there too...lol! I have checked everything else multiple times.
Sorry for the ramble. I hope that this will turn out to be a simple and cheap solution to the problem. Then anybody who has the PCV issue can just look at my guide and say, ďoh I can do this myself in no timeĒ and save some money for folks
Fingers Crossed
 
  #12  
Old 12-01-2018, 02:55 PM
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Well it appears to be traveling much quicker than I had expected. It’s now in the US at JFK airport. I just received an email with updated tracking info...once it was translated from Russian, lol. Google translate is my new friend! :-)
 
  #13  
Old 12-03-2018, 10:07 PM
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Hey there anyone who’s watching this thread. The surprising news is that this little sucker is on the move! I really am surprised at how fast it’s moving along, I figured going through customs in both countries would delay it for quite a while, but it’s already out of New York and going through MA right now!
It may very well beat the jug of oil and oil filter I ordered the other day. Which is surprising to me, since I really didn’t expect to even hear much about this thing until the first of the new year at least. I suppose that’s a good thing though.... I wasn’t even thinking of it when I ordered them, all I was thinking was “yep, it’s about due”, but I think I remember reading on their website that you should change your oil after you do this and run it for a little bit. I think I saw something about it probably having a rough idle for the first few minutes and maybe blowing out a little black smoke.... but I was just skimming the thing real quick since the directions that I was looking at was for a different BMW engine, but the process of replacing it is the same, supposedly, lol.


 
  #14  
Old 12-03-2018, 10:31 PM
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Oh and back on track...... I sent the guy who I had PM’d with previously another message asking him about the glue placement he used.
The response I got back was to be really careful and take your time removing the cap. He said just work around it a little at a time and not try to pry one side up all at once. I guess when he did his, he broke a couple of the clips that attach it. He said he glued it with some epoxy and put back with a weight on it (it has an internal spring) until it dried. Here is where we need a solution.... more on that in a few..... anyway, after he was done, he said everything was great..... until he was going up a hill and the cap blew off and sprayed oil everywhere! He ended up sourcing a used valve cover with a good PCV and gently prized the cover off of it using a thin screwdriver and a hook type tool to get it off without breaking any of the tabs or clips or whatever, He says he snapped that one on his valve cover and everything has been good since..... about two years I think he said! I’m still confident, but wanted to disclose this as a warning.
Now with that’s said, and with the personal experience of somebody who has no incentive to lie. My only real concern now it what to do if I break any clips? The Vanos-BMW website says not to worry if you break them, just epoxy it. So...... ha ha!
Mom sure that there has to be some kind of epoxy or glue that will bond well enough to our valve covers. I have no clue what kind of composite plastic like material or polymer or whatever the heck it’s called is. I’m sure someone knows, or at least knows what to use that will bond with it, but there must be something out there that will work. I’m hoping someone will holler out an idea or two.
Im going to dig into their website a little bit too, to reread that info, and see it they mention what kind of epoxy to use.
Cheers!
 
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Old 12-06-2018, 04:04 PM
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Anybody have any glue/epoxy recommendations?
i just received a text from USPS and my package just arrived at the distribution center in Seattle! It may very well be here by tomorrow!
 
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Old 12-07-2018, 01:30 PM
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Hello to anyone who may be following this!
Guess what showed up in the mail this morning !
now I need to figure out a good adhesive just in case. Going out to look around right now.
I’ll report back on whether or not it was successful.
If it is, and there is interest, I’ll do a write up and/or video.
Fingers crossed
 
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Old 12-08-2018, 10:46 AM
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Adhesive test found what I wanted! The clear winner for bonding to this stuff is JB Weld Plastic-Weld. The loctite plastic bonder is really nifty for lots of things, I’m sure, but not for this! My test piece snapped right off under just a little pressure.
but the JB Weld appears to be even more permanent that I expected! It’s on there forever! Lol. And as an added bonus it cures in 1 hour! (At 40 degrees F and above) since it’s not that warm here, it’s going to take a little bit longer, but still far less than the 24 hours most of them require to fully cure. That means that not only can I do the diaphragm replacement today. I’ll be test driving it today as well! Bonus!!
hang in there curious friends who have stuck with this thread so far. I’ll post my preliminary results later today, and after a couple days to be sure all is well, I’ll give a final report and then start on an easy how-to if it all works out.
wish me luck!
 
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Old 12-08-2018, 06:59 PM
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I've been following Grumpy! Good work, I have a couple n14 clubbys but I still enjoy learning and possibly using other ideas on my cars.
 
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Old 12-08-2018, 08:20 PM
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They make the diaphragms for N14 and N54 motors as well.
 
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Old 12-08-2018, 09:04 PM
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Ok folks, here’s my preliminary report. It seems to have been successful! I got a late start and when I finished, I only ran around the block a couple of times real quick, because I had to go have dinner with the Grumpy Family. I’m about to go out for an extended drive to check it out for real, but here’s what I have so far.
First of all, I had that “it just seems too easy” queasiness for the past couple of days because I tend to overthink things, lol. I was so paranoid about breaking the clips after getting the story from the only person I found who had tried this that I spent 2 days trying to find the right glue just in case! Lol. Although it ended up being unnecessary, I’m glad I had it on hand.
The cap wasn’t too bad really, I went slow and careful, and managed to get it off without issue. The diaphragm I pulled out was most definitely toast! It had at least 4 or 5 tears or holes that I could see in my quick inspection. I cleaned everything really well with brake cleaner on a Q-tip. Put the new diaphragm on with the newly clean spring, aligned the cover and a quick smack with my palm snapped it back in place!
So according to the very brief information I found on their website they said that it may run rough and possibly blow a little black smoke at first, so I was prepared for just about anything up to and including the whole valve cover shooting off into the unknown.
So after I buttoned it back up, taking out the airbox gives you more room to maneuver. I started him up and sure enough it did start to run pretty rough for about 15 seconds. Then it smoothed out. And I mean SMOOTHED OUT! I don’t know if I have felt it idle so smooth and quiet as long as I’ve owned it! It was quite surprising to say the least. So I took it around the block a few times and it felt and sounded great!
I don’t want to get too excited until I put some miles on it, but so far it looks really good, and one helluva lot cheaper than buying a new valve cover!
I’ll probably put something else up tomorrow morning after I drive around for a bit tonight. I’m the meantime here’s a few pics. Note the rips in the old one! It felt ......old..... as well. It wasn’t dry, and it wasn’t brittle..... but those are the words that come to mind when thinking of how the rubber felt. It was a goner for sure!


 
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Old 12-08-2018, 09:11 PM
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Old 12-08-2018, 11:56 PM
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Well I went out and put darn near 100 miles on it tonight. I guess I never realized how much my mileage had tanked! Driving in the same roads in sport, in the same slightly spirited way. It’s gone from an average of 19.2 to 25.5 mpg! It happened slowly and I just kind of figured that it was the way I drive it with the tune, but doing everything the same I picked up over 6 mpg! It’s crazy! The car feels good too, smooth as butter and strong. Only time will tell, but right now, im very pleased!
This is a way for all of us to save money when BMW says you have to buy a new vc sometimes after only 20K. Not for me thanks! Anyone interested can save some dough, and it’s really pretty simple to do.
 
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Old 12-08-2018, 11:58 PM
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A rubber with those rips and you could have produced a new MINI in 9 months or so.

sorry


The Grumpy family made me LOL
 
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Old 12-08-2018, 11:59 PM
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Right?

Ha ha, it’s fitting sometimes, but I thought it sounded good. Lol.
 

Last edited by MrGrumpy; 12-09-2018 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 12-09-2018, 01:59 AM
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The environment and future DIY mechanics thank you :-) Good work.
 

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