This article gives detailed instructions on removing the intake manifold from a BMW with the N52 6 cylinder engine. Even though we used a 2006 530xi touring wagon to perform this repair, this article can be applied to any vehicle with the N52 engine including most 2004-2013 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, X1, X3, X5, and Z4 series 6 cylinder models with minor modifications to the repair steps.
A BMW N52 intake manifold removal is necessary for performing many repairs including vacuum leaks and starter motor replacement.
The BMW N52 engine first made its appearance in vehicles in 2005. The N52 marked a new generation of efficient six-cylinder power plants and was a direct replacement for the aging M54 engine. The N52 was BMW's six-cylinder workhorse until it was replaced in 2013 by a new line of turbocharged four cylinders. It can be found in a vast array of BMW models produced from 2005-2013 including 1,3,5,6,7,X1,X5 and Z4 series cars and SUVs.
The N52 intake manifold is located on the left side of the engine block and is the heart of the vehicle's air management system. It comprises most of the engine's air management system components including throttle body, DISA valves, and intake ducting. It also is home to the crankcase ventilation system, oil separation valve, fuel tank ventilation, vacuum lines, and wiring harnesses. The vehicle's starter motor is also located directly underneath the intake manifold.
Being able to efficiently remove the intake manifold from the N52 engine is an important practice for those professional and home mechanics that are diagnosing and repairing intake system vacuum leaks, servicing the crankcase ventilation/oil separation valve system, or replacing the starter motor. Although it may seem intimidating at first, removing the N52 intake manifold is actually a very straightforward repair and can be performed without any special tools in about an hour. Before starting this repair, please note the following:
The BMW Repair Guide strongly recommends purchasing the following items before removing the intake manifold.
- Intake manifold gaskets - Always replace the six gaskets after removing the BMW N52 intake manifold. Reusing the old gaskets may cause a vacuum leak requiring the manifold to be removed from the vehicle again.
- Crankcase vent hose - The crankcase vent hose is actually a hard plastic pipe that runs from the oil separation valve on the bottom of the intake manifold to the valve cover. It is infamous for breaking during intake manifold removal causing a nasty vacuum leak and a rough idling engine. It should be considered an expendable part like the manifold gaskets and be replaced every time the manifold is removed. Please see our parts list below for ordering.
- Return pipe - Like the crankcase vent hose, the return pipe is connected to the oil separation valve and is prone to breaking during intake manifold removal. We strongly recommend having a replacement ready when doing this repair. Please see our parts list below for more information.
All N52, N54, and N55 engines
Always replace the gaskets when you remove your intake manifold. Since the gaskets compress when the intake manifold is installed, reusing them is a recipe for disaster. A gasket that does not seal completely will cause a nasty vacuum leak and a rough idle. Fits all BMW N54 and N55 engines.
All N52 six-cylinder engines
The crankcase vent hose should be replaced when doing this repair. Since they are made of plastic, they are prone to breaking during disassembly. Bapmic offers OEM quality parts at a fraction of the cost of Genuine BMW.
BMW N52 engine
The crankcase return pipe is notoriously difficult to remove without breaking, especially in older vehicles. Avoid vacuum leaks by purchasing a new vent pipe before starting this repair.
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