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Old 11-14-2007, 10:45 AM   #1
Mickey Knox
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Head Gasket Leaking - Decision to be made

Hello,

My Mechanic just called and informed me that my Head Gasket is leaking

sooo not a happy camper this morning!

I gather from a quick forum search that its going to be around $1.500 to $2.000 job, ouch.

Now before i do anything i have a few questions on this, and i need you guys to help me evaluate my options:

1.) While i have the gasket replaced, what performance upgrades should/could i throw in that make sense? I really have no good clue what can be done there

2.) Would a engine swap to a M3 engine be THAT much more expensive, considering i can probably get a nice chunk for the M50 Engine (only 120k mls on it, runs great minus the headgasket leak)

3.) I will be returning to germany for good in 2009 at the latest, i am planing to take my car with me (I was wondering for a while if that makes any sense as i keep hearing about Euro spec vs US spec build e36's and it apears the US engines have been gimped for some reason), so the question is should i ditch the car and just start over with a E36 bought in germany?

The car is a 1993 325is / M50 engine


thanks for your help

mickey
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Old 11-14-2007, 11:34 AM   #2
SickFinga
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Unless you car is heavily modified or there is a sentimental value attached to it there is no reason to take it with you to Germany. So, I'd say just put a regular gasket in, and be done with it.
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Old 11-14-2007, 12:01 PM   #3
Mickey Knox
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there is a method to this maddness

there is actually a VERY good reason to take the car back to germany. German TUV, which approves your car for street use in germany is beyond strict, parts on the car either need a.) whats called a "general operation license" for the particular car you are driving, or a special inspection (they dont like performance parts). for example, there is no legal way I know of to even get a street legal cold air intake for a bimmer that i know of.

why is this important? there is a loop hole i found out, if one imports a american car as part of a relocation, then the rules are different, essentially if it was street legal in the US, it can be approved in Germany, in other words if it was on the car when it got imported into germany it can stay on.

Also, getting a car back to europe is not as expensive as one would think, only $1600 by ship. SO far i have invested about 3-4k in upgrades, so unless somebody says US spec + upgrades << Stock Euro spec 325 i think its a good deal to bring her home.

looking around at engine perfromance parts my intial thought is to put at least performance cam shafts in it and replace the timing chain and tensioners. with the camshafts though, what are the MUST upgrade pieces to get it right? high flow injectors + chip? or do i need a different exhaust as well? Which cams would you guys recommend? I found a deal for used M3 cams plus custom jim conforti chip for 850 bucks, that any good?

thx
mickey
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Old 11-14-2007, 12:05 PM   #4
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Can you tell me why you're moving to Germany? And if so please do. (PM if you don't feel like saying publicly)
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Old 11-14-2007, 12:09 PM   #5
Mickey Knox
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moving to germany....

reason is i have to / want to

I am german, currently in the US on a "non-resident alien" visa as it is called. the visa is up in 2009 and there is no way to extend it or obtain a green card in time, me and my wife also really want to go back home at this point, family is over there and the grass is not ass green as we thought in the US. absence really makes you appreciated your roots more.

Also sick and tired of cops calling me crazy cuz i drive fast, cant wait to get back and see how fast my car really goes :-)

ta
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Old 11-14-2007, 12:57 PM   #6
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Oh you're in the US, sorry man, I didn't even look, I always assume everyone here is Canadian (or even more, from the GTA lol).

Is it a language barrier for her or just a general dislike for the culture? Anything specific (in addition to the cops and speeding)? I wouldn't want to live in the US but I'd never leave Canada personally.
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Old 11-14-2007, 01:07 PM   #7
Mickey Knox
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not really

language barrier is really no issue, we both speak english very well. I would say the most anooying thing about living in the US is the arrogance/ignorance of a lot of US citizens (not all fo them of course) I am just getting tired of the US >> rest of world attitude.

food is better in germany too. Now enough with the derailing of the Thread, I need help with my M50!!!!!!

ta
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Old 11-14-2007, 03:32 PM   #8
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If you can source a M3 S50 for cheap it would be worth the swap.
IMO if you have to yank the head for the head gasket I'd put in the M3 cams since it's already opened up.
I'd als install this on it before I shipped it over as well.
Made this kit for under 1000 bucks.
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...d.php?t=538535
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Old 11-14-2007, 03:44 PM   #9
Mickey Knox
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cool

so the Used M3 cams plus chip for 850 is a good deal?

http://store.bimmerworld.com/shared/...t=products.asp

will this upgrade be wasted without doing anything else to the engine at this point? I dont really have it in my budget right now to do these upgrades i am just taking the opportunity while th head is off to upgrade what i have my hands on anyways.

also, anybody know a good mechanic in the north boston area (unlikely but worth a shot)

thx
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Old 11-14-2007, 09:24 PM   #10
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Get your hands dirty and do it yourself That's how you'll save tons of cash.
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Old 11-15-2007, 02:28 PM   #11
Mickey Knox
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alright

I have been studying DIY's all morning and it in fact seems like it is doable without too much of a need for special tools, question that came up though, while the head is off is there any maintenance for the valve train i should consider? I will be putting in M3 cams and a m3 chain tensioner. Can the head be properly worked on by the machine shop with the valves installed or should they come out? If i do take them out which parts should be replaced?

thx
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Old 11-15-2007, 04:01 PM   #12
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I think you have to take them out. Also you might want to change the valve seals at the same time, and the valve cover gasket. Seeing it's all ripped apart.
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Old 11-15-2007, 04:17 PM   #13
Mickey Knox
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re

would it be common for the machine shop to do the valve work for me and put it all back together? I took a peek at the 101 projects for your 3 by the pelican parts guy and it looked like he send the head with valves installed to the shop and got it back all cleaned up, valves measured and cleaned etc.
also i found a suggestion to replace the hydraulic lifters. In essence i found about 1200 bucks worth of parts to replace on the valve train now i try to find out which ones are crucial

ta
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Old 11-15-2007, 05:49 PM   #14
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If you are taking the head apart to put in cams, do yourself a favour and do it right. That means spend the 1200 on parts, take the valves out and get cleaned. Get the lifters looked at and replace if needed. Get the head measured and machine, you likely need this anyways because of the leak.

I've had head gasket work done on two other cars, my mechanic refused to do the work unless I had the head machine as well.
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Old 11-16-2007, 03:30 PM   #15
Mickey Knox
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ok, below is my shopping list of parts to do some maintenance to the head/valve train. I plan to ttake the head off and bring it to a machine shop to have it measured and leveled, valves ground and refitted. anybody here that can get me this stuff cheaper? Did I miss any parts? Any parts on here i dont need?

  • 11-12-9-064-467-M17 Head Gasket Set, E36 325i/is/iC from 9/92 Brand: Victor Reinz $150.50
  • 11-12-1-721-938-M17 Cylinder Head Bolt Set, 323i/is/iC 1996-99, 325i/is/iC 1992-95, 328i/is/iC 1996-99, M3 1995-99 Brand: Victor Reinz $14.75
  • 11-34-9-064-457-M42 Valve Stem Seal Kit, 323i/is/iC 1996-99, 325i/is/iC 09/92-95, 328i/is/iC 1996-99, M3 1995-99 Brand: Goetze $10.25
  • 24 X 11-34-1-738-488-BOE Valve Spring, 325i/is/iC 09/92-95, As Needed, Each Brand: Genuine BMW $186.00
  • 24 X 11-12-1-735-534-M105 Valve Guide, I.D. 6 mm 12.73 mm, 43 mm Length, E36 325i/iC/is from 9/92, 318i/is/iC from 9/92, 323is/iC, 328i/is/iC, 318ti, M3 B30/B32, Each Brand: $138.00
  • 24 X 11-32-1-739-299-M40 Hydraulic Lifter, 318i/is/iC With M42 Engine 1992-95, 325i/is/iC 09/92-95, Each Brand: INA $420.00
  • 11-31-1-405-081-M40 Chain Tensioner for Crankshaft to Exhaust Cam Chain, M3 With 3.0L Engine 1995, upgrade for 325i/is/iC w/ M50 motor and 328i/is/iC w/ M52 motor, Each Brand: Ina $173.25
  • TOL-3017 Camshaft Holding Tool/Fixture includes 2 blocks 1 swivel lock and 1 flywheel locking pin, Fits M42, M44, M50, M52, M54, S50, S52 Engines, $145.70
  • 83-30-0-493-548-BOE Tensioner Pressure Tool, For BMW S50, M50 and M62 Engines, service manual reference #11-3-390, Each Brand: Genuine BMW
    $37.00
  • 2X 82-14-1-467-704-M9 Genuine BMW Antifreeze, 1 gallon Brand: Genuine BMW $39.00
  • PEL-SW50189 Red Line Water Wetter, 12 oz.


thx
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