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Thread: Valley pan – I don’t get it
11-25-2010 02:00 PM #1
Valley pan – I don’t get it
This discussion relates to e39 540i Auto MY2003 with M sports option.
This (Valley Pan) is a long trough like container that has no outside connections. It is bolted to the engine block by some 16 or so bolts, with no gasket underneath! As of yet I do not know what is under it!
The top part is open like a trough and has a bead sort of gasket on which clips a plastic cover.
I have read all there is to read on this concoction on all the forums and for the life of me cannot understand why people are replacing this part because of the loss of coolant!
If there is coolant in there, what is the purpose?
What does this Valley pan do?
Is it supposed to be filled with something?
There is a lot of confusion and speculation on this subject, so with all due respect I am directing these questions to only those brave hearts that have held this Pan in hand!
11-25-2010 02:24 PM #2
Re: Valley pan – I don’t get it
There is coolant flowing through the engine under that, and there is a gasket (the bead gasket you mention) but I still don't understand the purpose of this part. To me it's the equivalent of drilling an unnecessary hole in something (in this case excavating a trough) just so you can immediately go and plug it up. Why have the hole in the first place? That opening should be permanently sealed shut! (Picture the same valley pan minus the bolts, gasket, and plastic cover, just cast with the block.)
It's probably shaped the way it is to have a certain volume of coolant and/or maintain a certain flow. If it were flat the engine would hold more, perhaps unnecessary, coolant.
A similar ridiculous situation is the freeze plugs in the I6 engine oil filter housing. Of course they leak. Those should not even be there. The housing should be molded as a totally enclosed unit. My best guess to either of the above is manufacturing concerns, but I would definitely like to know the real reason.
12-10-2010 06:27 AM #3
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