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Old 07-29-2010, 07:21 PM   #1
bart325is
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Join Date: Jul 2010
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e30 head bolts - to replace or not to replace

Hello all. I just picked up an 87 325is a couple of months ago. It has almost 300,000 kilometres on it with the original hex head bolts. The previous owner bought a head gasket set and a new set of torx bolts when he bought it in 98 but never installed them and kindly included them with the sale.

My question is, since this engine has run 300K on the original bolts, the head gasket doesn't leak (externally anyway), should I change the head bolts. I'm thinking I should leave well enough alone.

Everywhere I've read says "change the head bolts". I'm looking for someone who's had a first hand experience with a head bolt snapping after 200-205k kilometres.

Any thoughts?

Thanks.
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Old 07-29-2010, 07:34 PM   #2
E30M42cab
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Leave it. That's part of the fun of driving an e30... you know it's going to break, you just never know when... and when it does break, you know exactly what the problem is. I've been nervous every time I get in the car for the past 8 year of my life!!
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Old 07-29-2010, 08:49 PM   #3
bart325is
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I'm thinking if they are going to snap, they would have snapped by now.

So:

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Old 07-29-2010, 09:26 PM   #4
325isStephen
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If your changing your head gasket and therefore removing the head bolts, I would recommend replacing them as they are torque to yeild. If your going to bother fixing a problem such as a headgasket, why not take an extra step and spend an extra 30-40 dollars to make sure you don't need to do it again. The gasket kit is well over 100 bucks, I wouldn't want to have to buy another one let alone do the work to change it again.

If you have no problems with the car (overheating, losing coolant or oil mixing with coolant, no external leaks, not blowing out rads or anything of that nature) I don't see why you would even think about replacing the head gasket let alone the bolts.
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Old 07-29-2010, 09:35 PM   #5
bart325is
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Originally Posted by 325isStephen View Post
If your changing your head gasket and therefore removing the head bolts, I would recommend replacing them as they are torque to yeild. If your going to bother fixing a problem such as a headgasket, why not take an extra step and spend an extra 30-40 dollars to make sure you don't need to do it again. The gasket kit is well over 100 bucks, I wouldn't want to have to buy another one let alone do the work to change it again.

If you have no problems with the car (overheating, losing coolant or oil mixing with coolant, no external leaks, not blowing out rads or anything of that nature) I don't see why you would even think about replacing the head gasket let alone the bolts.
That's what I'm looking for. Thank you very much.

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Old 07-29-2010, 09:38 PM   #6
e30_kid89
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I vote leave em, to change them you gotta clean out all the oil out of the bolt holes and you wont be able to do that with the head on.
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Old 07-29-2010, 09:51 PM   #7
Bullet Ride
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My car is at 306xxxkm on what I'm assuming are the original head bolts. Head bolts and head gaskets are one of those things where "if it ain't broke don't fix it'

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