Materials to Maintain Your ZHP IIIII Hand Protection IIIII Tools to Maintain Your ZHP
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Location
    Englewood, NJ
    Posts
    54

    M56 Valve Cover Swap

    Im planning an m56 valve cover swap to get rid of my CCV, since its giving me issues. Ive gone through the e46fanatics thread and came out somewhat confused. I'd like to get some clarification on a few things and hopefully document the process here for anyone in the future. I'm doing this specifically on a 2004 330i ZHP


    Questions:

    1. Cleaning and maintenance of m56 valve cover:
    - What is a safe way to clean the inside of a valve cover if you find it in a junk yard/used car?
    - If you open the oil chamber on the CCV, the gaskets are probably old and you will mess them up, how do you replace the gaskets? Should you open this chamber at all?
    -Anyone know the part number for the chamber torx screws?
    -How do you maintain the new CCV going forward, do you just replace the cap and membrane? Or does it not need cleaning?
    -Is it really safe to reuse the m56 valve cover and spark plug gaskets since they are metal infused?


    2. Wiring harness:
    - Our post facelift have the correct coil packs, so do we just reuse our same harness, do we need the m56 harness at all?

    3.Hoses (This is where I am most confused)
    -the stock ccv has:
    a hose to the dipstick (gets eliminated by either capping oil dipstick or using m56 dipstick)
    a line to the port on the valve cover
    a line to the front of intake manifold (black piece on top, I think its called the air distributor)
    which has a bypass that goes to rear of intake manifold

    How does the new hose setup look like? I've seen two alternatives, one is cap the back of the intake manifold, and just use original m56 valve cover hose to go to front of manifold/air distributor. I've also seen some sort of two way valve that lets you run hoses to both ends of the manifold, what is the preferred approach here?

    If I go with the second approach, what are the appropriate parts needed to fabricate the two hose to both intake inlets?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Marin, CA
    Posts
    101
    I have done this:

    1. I soak the inside with simple green. It would be smarter to use simple green extreme, but the green stuff cleans it up. I wouldn't remove the inner cover. Cap the hose connector on the cover and fill the chamber. Let soak 2 hours, rinse thoroughly with a hose and repeat.
    2. Use the m56 coil harness. Needs modification to work with MS43
    3. Get the m56 dipstick tube or cap the ccv end of your dipstick. Not sure if there is consensus on the single v dual connection to the distribution manifold. It connects to one end on the actual m56 so I suspect one connection is fine

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    3,114
    Whew. I got u buddy. Lemme break this out.


    Questions:

    1. Cleaning and maintenance of m56 valve cover:
    - What is a safe way to clean the inside of a valve cover if you find it in a junk yard/used car?
    I used soapy water, plastic scrapers, and a lot of elbow grease. You don't need to make it sparkle, just remove any buildup.

    - If you open the oil chamber on the CCV, the gaskets are probably old and you will mess them up, how do you replace the gaskets? Should you open this chamber at all?
    Yes, open it up and clean out any buildup. The gaskets will fall apart but you can reseal with gasket maker. Lemme see if I can add pics.





    -Anyone know the part number for the chamber torx screws?
    Nah you don't need em all. Just seal the hole...



    How do you maintain the new CCV going forward, do you just replace the cap and membrane? Or does it not need cleaning?
    Get your valve cover and CAREFULLY pull the cap off to clean it out. You may not need to replace the membrane. Don't if you don't have to (some of the replacements are thicker and cause problems). Idk if anyone is still making good fitting caps, but I glued mine together with E6000 and it held up just fine.



    Is it really safe to reuse the m56 valve cover and spark plug gaskets since they are metal infused?
    Ehh I wouldn't but it may be ok. I just have more money than time and cannot afford to risk having to redo this project over $75 or whatever it is for the M56 VCG.

    Wiring harness:
    - Our post facelift have the correct coil packs, so do we just reuse our same harness, do we need the m56 harness at all?
    No harness bits needed. Our coil packs fit right in.

    Hoses (This is where I am most confused)
    -the stock ccv has:
    a hose to the dipstick (gets eliminated by either capping oil dipstick or using m56 dipstick)
    a line to the port on the valve cover
    a line to the front of intake manifold (black piece on top, I think its called the air distributor)
    which has a bypass that goes to rear of intake manifold

    How does the new hose setup look like? I've seen two alternatives, one is cap the back of the intake manifold, and just use original m56 valve cover hose to go to front of manifold/air distributor. I've also seen some sort of two way valve that lets you run hoses to both ends of the manifold, what is the preferred approach here?
    Both might be preferred just to spread the load but I couldn't figure out a good way to do it so I didn't.

    This what I did. Took the distribution piece and hose:


    Slit the hose so I could remove the connector for the rear:


    Capped that bitch:


    Then plugged it back in - bingo bango removable cap:


    Then I went to AutoZone and found some Dodge hose that was the right size:


    Cut it, added the connectors, and made it fit:


    @704sw made one of the original hoses work, which is definitely preferred. It may be documented in his build thread.


    All that to say I've been running the dogshit out of this setup for 3 years and it hasn't given me any problems.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Irvine, CA
    Posts
    746
    Pizza's da man!

    Here's @704sw 's info regarding re-using a hose from the air distribution rail to the front of the VC (link):

    Quote Originally Posted by 704sw View Post
    Neither, actually. I re-used the M54 hose #11617504535 ($7 at ECS for Uro, $13 for Rein, $46 for OEM):



    Photo of that item's location in the original CCV system, taken from GrahamE39 on Bimmerforum. Note in the below picture it is "connecting line #11611440317" (different part number because the pictured car was an M52TU).



    Because of the pre-shaped bend in the hose, and the orientation of the Y-shaped NORMA fitting, I needed to flip the hose as shown in the below pictures. The M56 outlet and intake manifold's inlet use the same size NORMA fitting, so reversing isn't an issue.

    In the first photo you can see it is routed above the fuel injector electrical connection thingy (that's a technical term), and that the second port of the Y-fitting is closed off with a vacuum cap. In the second photo you can see that the only real downside to reusing this hose is that it creates a slight lift on the intake manifold's beauty cover. I'm really not worried about that, though, because you only see that lift when looking from the side. From straight-on it looks tidy.





    My old brittle hose snapped when I tried to use it, but a new one from Rein was cheap. Works great, no VC leaks or vacuum leaks.


    Regarding the cap:

    I also replaced the m56 valve cover CCV cap. The cap was brittle and already had a couple cracks at the tab locations. The original diaphragm was intact and not ripped so I just reused the original piece after a little clean up.

    A forum member on e46fanatics reproduced the cap and diaphragm (link). The fit and finish is fantastic, matches the originals. I don't think he's selling caps anymore, unfortunately. But he made the 3d print file available in that thread for people to print their own. I should have bought a couple extra.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Marin, CA
    Posts
    101
    Simple Green soak:
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    If you pick up the M56 hose, it is very easy to harvest the connectors:
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Marin, CA
    Posts
    101
    I strongly recommend against removing the cap unless you must. It ALWAYS breaks. Some have heated the head (usually by installing it and driving it for a while) and had some success removing it. I am amazed (and impressed) that @ZHPizza succeeded in gluing it together. I failed completely. I bought an aluminum cap from Paraklas over at e46fanatics.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Location
    Englewood, NJ
    Posts
    54
    Thank you all this is the best forum ever. I have a much better idea now of all that is involved, its actually not bad at all. So it looks like all I need is the valve cover and some vacuum caps, probably a new hose just to be safe. Do I really not need the harness AT ALL?

    Did you just buy an assorted kit of vacuum caps and use whichever fit? Or did you all buy specific fittings?

    Also the GAS CCV guy just got back to me about filling in an order, itll be a couple months though, would you all say youre happy with your m56 valve cover swap? Or would you prefer the GAS CCV if given the choice? If I get an aluminum cap and some spare membranes it looks like the m56 valve cover is simpler to install and you also get the benefit of the upgraded gasket and metal cover, but it seems like the GAS CCV is designed to be more serviceable from the get go.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    SF Bay, CA
    Posts
    1,179
    Quote Originally Posted by REF84 View Post
    Thank you all this is the best forum ever. I have a much better idea now of all that is involved, its actually not bad at all. So it looks like all I need is the valve cover and some vacuum caps, probably a new hose just to be safe. Do I really not need the harness AT ALL?

    Did you just buy an assorted kit of vacuum caps and use whichever fit? Or did you all buy specific fittings?

    Also the GAS CCV guy just got back to me about filling in an order, itll be a couple months though, would you all say youre happy with your m56 valve cover swap? Or would you prefer the GAS CCV if given the choice? If I get an aluminum cap and some spare membranes it looks like the m56 valve cover is simpler to install and you also get the benefit of the upgraded gasket and metal cover, but it seems like the GAS CCV is designed to be more serviceable from the get go.
    I haven't done this mod but did a bit of research. Harness, assuming you have a ZHP which has the push-on style coils, you can just re-use. It will flop around a bit since the M56 harness has a couple tabs that bolt onto the valve cover, you could probably just take a couple p-clamps and wrap those around the plastic shroud and bolt down. Vacuum caps, your local autozone should have an assortment of and you can just bring the fittings in and test fit them.

    Personally I'd lean towards the M56 valve cover swap. You can pick up a full kit off forums for $200-250, but if you are lucky enough to find one in a junkyard somewhere (these cars were sold new in NY and a handful of other states) you can pick up the parts for a fraction of the cost. The GAS solution is a beautifully machined piece, but the M56 solution is cheaper, even with the CNC'd cap from E46F.
    2004 BMW 330CI ZHP (well, technically ZAM)


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Irvine, CA
    Posts
    746
    Yes, as others have said, if you have ZHP then you don't need new harness/coils. Assorted vacuum caps, and use what's needed.

    For securing the harness, there's metal brackets (2) that clip to the harness and secure to the VC with 2 small screws. I can't find the part numbers on realOEM, though. Probably easy enough to just fab something up.

    Let me know if you can't find VC and parts local to you. I have one for sale. Shipping's expensive though, it's big and heavy.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    W/S, NC
    Posts
    141
    FYI the dipstick tube for the M56 is different, so unless you want to cap off the extra port on yours, try to get one from an M56. The harness is pretty much identical except the M56 one has provisions for it to bolt to the valve cover that the facelift M54 one doesn't have.

    I'm gonna nerd out for a minute here. Bear with me...

    The best use of an M56 Valve cover I've seen was a guy that cut and welded the oil fill cap off the front, smoothed it out, and relocated the fill cap to where the CCV diaphragm cap goes using an M54 oil fill cap. He completely gutted the integrated CCV system

    This essentially nets you a functionally stock metal valve cover for your M54.

    I know what your thinking.... BUT WHY!?? The whole point of it is ditching the factory CCV setup, right?

    One, metal doesn't warp or break like plastic tends to.

    Two, if you're running boost, especially a turbo that mounts higher up, you don't have to worry so much about melting your valve cover

    Three, and not trying to hurt any feelings, but for an OCD fool like me you can still run the factory M54 CCV system or a proper catch can setup, that drains back into the dipstick, should you be so inclined.

    BUT WHY THO!?!

    Basically the system on the m56 valve cover wasn't designed to be serviceable. Yeah you can RTV the plates back in that are underneath. Then you can get a new Russian diaphragm. And that OG Greek dude is CNC'ing custom caps to replace the plastic one. A few other dudes are 3D printing them. But in all the reading I've done on it, to me, it seems like it's more trouble than it's worth when the factory CCV system seems to work just fine. Some dudes go thru all that work it's it's still not measuring vacuum like it would stock.

    If you're gonna do it though, Pizza's right on with his method.
    - 2005 Titanium Silver 330i ZHP 6spd -


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