Now comes a tough part. Removing the valve stem seal. From my experience, it's almost impossible to remove it with a standard pair of pliers because you have to reach very deep and you have very little working space. Midlock is also selling a expensive special tool to pull valve stem seals.

This was getting already expensive enough so I took an old pair of pliers and modified /grinded it so I could get a grip onto the valve stem seals. And another 'special tool' was added to my collection of tools:

Carefully grab the valve stem seal beneath the outer ridge and start to pull, twist and turn. Pull firmly, don't squeeze it:

The exposed valve guide with the inner and outer lower spring retainers:

The new valve stem seals comes with a couple of plastic guides, to prevent damage to the new seal while installing it:

Install the new seal:

Push it down until you can't push it further:

You need another special tool to install the seal completely. I used a small steel pipe for this:

Notice the inner side of the seal has some grooves that will hold seal in its place:

Use a small rubber hammer to press it onto the valve guide. Use some slight hammering and be very, very careful. The knocking sound will tell you if it's pressed all the way down (comes with experience):

Don't forget to remove the plastic guide: down, 23 to go. Just keep on going...take your time...after cylinder #12, you can do this blindfolded.

The completely worn old seals, stiff and brittle:

Keep the old seals so you are sure you've done them all (don't count them...there are 24 seals, trust me on this):

I also replaced the valve cover gaskets due to some oil leakage at the driver side. If it leaks badly, this could cause engine fires:

The old gasket broke into little pieces when removing it. No surprise it leaked. As most parts, cooked and brittle due to the extreme high engine temperatures under the hood:

Installing the new (original BMW) gasket. It was a completely different & better design:

This picture doesn't add much to the story, but gives a nice impression how much tools you need during the job (if you are as chaotic as I am). At least 5 tools dropped down next to the fusebox/E-box and caused lots of frustrations:

Reinstalling the oil spraying bar. Sealing the banjo bolts of the oil spraying bar (thoroughly decrease it before you apply sealant, clean also the bores):

Roof covered with parts waiting for reinstall:

I also resealed the intake gaskets, check the section 'intake manifold' for the newly added pictures to this story.

Total amount of parts and costs (1 Euro equals about 1 US dollar) :

BMW part number description amount price per piece/set
11 34 9 059 172 set of 12 valve stem seals 2 sets 26.42
11 12 1 725 003 valve cover gasket left 1 34.51
11 12 1 725 002 valve cover gasket right 1 34.51

Making a total of about 120 euro/US dollar. The valve cover gaskets are.....are.....HOW MUCH?!

Total amount of time : Gee, don't underestimate this. It took me 3 full days, in total about 30 hours, to do this job. But this is including fabricating the special tools and fiddle around with the Midlock tool. I also resealed the intake gaskets and replaced the hydraulic lifters.

Skills needed/difficulty level : No easy task, definitely not. Skinned knuckles and pain in the back.

Something improved after a couple of weeks of driving: the blue smoke screen absolutely decreased, but didn't disappeared entirely. The oil consumption dropped a tiny little bit, not as much as I hoped.

Well, it was worth the shot. On the contrary: the engine idles smooth like never before, no oil leakage from the valve cover gasket anymore and the camshafts are swimming in oil. So this weekend wasn't spoiled, OK?

Story by Sean750.

If you would like to add any comments, remarks and/or corrections to this procedure, feel free to email Mike Oswald and we'll put it on our site. Share your experiences with us so others may benefit from it.