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Old 04-08-2008, 12:42 PM   #1
jaym3smg
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Finished valve adjustment

Hey all, thought I would post a few pics of the valve adjustment I did on the M3 in case anyone is interested in doing it themselves.

It really wasn't that hard and it's fun if you like doing this sort of thing. It's even more fun when the car starts after.

I followed this guide:

http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=113415

If you're planning to do this, here's some info that's not in the thread:

- The shim magnet tool is not just useful, it's required. Don't even bother doing this without it.
- This isn't a difficult job if you do your due diligence. Make sure you're labeling or organizing all the parts that you're disconnecting or unscrewing so you can put it all back the right way after. I even labeled the ignition coils and bolts even though it probably doesn't matter. I wanted to be sure though.
- A set of bent feelers is also pretty much required, the straight feelers would be a nightmare on the valves in the back.
- Take breaks, being bent over a car for hours at a time is tedious, unless you're... well you get the joke already.
- Well placed plastic shopping bags will keep you from losing shims. So even if you do drop one, you won't have to look far.
- The spark plugs are DEEP inside the engine! DEEP! I needed to use two extensions in addition to the plug socket to loosen the plugs up so I could turn the cams. So make sure you have a few extensions to do this.
- Don't be dumb like me and leave the car in gear. I kept turning the fan to turn the valves and my car kept moving backwards for some reason.
- When checking the shims record everything. The feeler that goes, the feeler that doesn't, the size of the shim when you remove it, the one you replaced it with, everything.
- This was a lot of fun actually, that valvetrain was a thing of beauty, and I learned a lot about the inner workings of this car. I've never seen an ignition coil before.








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Old 04-08-2008, 12:43 PM   #2
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Old 04-08-2008, 04:32 PM   #3
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Dude how often do you do oil changes? That's a nasty looking cam tray.
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Old 04-08-2008, 07:05 PM   #4
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I do oil changes between oil changes, so no worries. The thing is I don't know how often the LAST person did who owned it from 2003-06. I actually did an oil change 1000km ago.

Why is it nasty looking? Just curious, I don't know how to tell.. it looked fine to me, I've seen shots of others & this one looks the same..

Perhaps the camera shots were dark?

-J

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Old 04-08-2008, 08:10 PM   #5
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The dark orange tint to everything shows neglect, probably used dino oil. To give you an idea of what a cam tray should look like after frequent synthetic changes, my S52 with around 150k:



Shot of a properly maintained S14:



Supposedly the orange baked on crap cleans up after some time with frequent synthetic changes.
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Old 04-08-2008, 08:21 PM   #6
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Really? I looked at a lot of valve adj threads on other forums before I did mine and I have yet to see an S54 without the copper tint to it... The pics r dark, but the copper tint I was expecting...

Not saying you're not right, just the engine never saw anything but Castrol TWS, and before I owned it it was supposedly dealer maintained at Budds.

Were those shots taken the day after the engine was shut off? Wouldn't the copper tint be attributed to it being coated in oil?

-J
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Old 04-08-2008, 08:35 PM   #7
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If it was done at Budds I'm sure that it got the right oil but if it was a lease, I'm sure the guy took it in at the service interval lights, which I think are something silly like 14k miles. Do you have service records? Not that it's any cause for concern, you're doing the right thing now so that's all that matters. My only purpose in saying what I said was to ensure that you're not neglecting it and going by the service lights. If you're doing frequent TWS changes, then sleep easy. I bet the next time you go to do the valves it'll be nice and silver again.

BTW, here's a shot of my S38, while doing the valves. Not the best shot I know but I know that engine wasn't treated the greatest before the rebuild, and as you can see there's still almost no orange tint because I've been treating it to synthetic every 5k for a year, so yours will wash off too:

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Old 04-08-2008, 08:36 PM   #8
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Did some searching, I think maybe the S54 engine is different, but you've piqued my curiosity

I'll be in the dealer in a few days, gonna ask a tech what the color of a well maintained S54 is... and if there are differences between these engines.

Thanks!

-J
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Old 04-08-2008, 08:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigD View Post
If it was done at Budds I'm sure that it got the right oil but if it was a lease, I'm sure the guy took it in at the service interval lights, which I think are something silly like 14k miles. Do you have service records? Not that it's any cause for concern, you're doing the right thing now so that's all that matters. My only purpose in saying what I said was to ensure that you're not neglecting it and going by the service lights. If you're doing frequent TWS changes, then sleep easy. I bet the next time you go to do the valves it'll be nice and silver again.
You know, I'll bet he did. Hmm... ok. Yeah I track the car so I make sure the oil is changed between changes, and then some.

I plan on keeping this for a while, 3 more years at least (E92 M3 CSL version for NA FTW ) so I want to make sure its well cared for.

I'd be livid if I found out it wasn't!

-J
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Old 04-08-2008, 08:46 PM   #10
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The S54 isn't all that different from any of the 3 engines I posted pics of, except it has an extra vanos setup and an extra pair of cylinders over one of them. The head is still aluminum and aluminum isn't orange. Here's what my S38 head looked like after the rebuild:

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Old 04-08-2008, 08:47 PM   #11
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Good pic man, thanks... Ok, I'm convinced then. Man that irritates me!

Well I'll keep doing those changes every 6k. Hopefully that will clean it up.

I was pleased at first because there wasn't any grit or anything nasty in the valvetrain. Glad that its no big deal.

-J
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Old 04-08-2008, 08:52 PM   #12
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Yeah, didn't mean to make you feel bad man, sorry. Just keep taking care of 'er and don't worry about it. Like I said next time you open it up I bet it'll be clean.
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:02 PM   #13
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Oh, no! You didn't make me feel bad, lol! I am just miffed that it wasn't cared for as well as it could have been... guess I'm not so surprised, those service intervals are way too far apart, and there's the pics to prove it

-J
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