Check engine M60 - Problem / solution

Here's one for the archives...
I bought a used E34 540i several years ago. From the time when I bought the car it would throw check engine codes if I was coasting downhill for
an appreciable time, such as when descending a mountain pass. The standard stomp test revealed codes related to the lambda control (1221 and 1212).
Since the engine always ran fine, I did not worry about it much to begin with. But as the years passed the check engine light was more and more frequent. Recently, the same codes would be thrown if I started the car and allowed it to idle for a few minutes. After a time delay (3 minutes I think) the ECU tries to go into "closed loop", which is where it takes feedback from the O2 sensor(s) to adjust the intake mixture. Once the engine came up to full temp the codes at idle would go away, though the coasting downhill codes were many.
Conventional wisdom said vacuum leak somewhere on the intake manifold. Poking around, I could hear some air movement sounds but could not pinpoint a leak. Because the M60 motors are known to start leaking at the intake manifold seals, I bought all the required parts (online) and planned to do an intake manifold reseal.
The job was not a particularly easy one, but not that hard either. Mostly just time consuming... The worst part was cleaning all the gook from the manifold and the intake ports without getting crap inside the engine. Needless to say, 6 hours, $100 in parts (gaskets and a PCV plate) and a whole bunch of nitrile gloves and paper towels later, the problem is now resolved.
A few interesting side notes: Now, with my completely resealed, code-free intake, I still hear a hissing noise all around the intake manifold with the soundproof and cowling off. I think it is/was just normal injector and intake noise and is part of the reason the BMW engineers put the soundproofing on there to begin with. So, I probably could not hear the leak to begin with.
Also, when reassembling the throttle and pcv plates to the manifold (with new seals), do yourself a favor and go buy 13 new allen head cap-screws (metric 6mm) and heave those stinking, soft, BMW torq-head screws as far as you can.
Next project, tackling the "lifetime fill" transmission... before it is too late.
--
-Fred W

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 03 Mar 2006 09:18:58 -0500, Fred W wrote:

I'm have a E34 1994 530i V8 and am going through similar repairs. I am having a BMW dealer perform the repairs. I have had to replace quite a few things, even though it has reasonable mileage(80K).
The seals from every engine mount point, including the actual engine mount itself seems to degrade. The O2 sensors are only rated to 60K miles, so that was the first thing I replaced. The transmission fluid and filter are also in need of replacing. The fluid was nearly out when I bought it.
In general, the car has typical wear and tear, but there are no defects from what I can see. It's a very solid and stable car. I'm looking at putting a E.A.T. Ultrachip or a Conforti Turner Powerchip in the car. It's supposed to increase gas mileage a bit and give better burn on the gas being used. Requires 91+ octane, but it gives it a good deal more pep. Also, it uncaps the 160MPH limit- but I won't be doing that so I don't much care.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.