Thread: E39 no starter!
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:27 AM
Andy Mad Andy Mad is offline
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Location: High Wycombe
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 520 I se
E39 no starter!

Hi all, I am new to this forum so nice to meet you all!

I have a 520i SE which was driving perfectly well with no obviouse signs of any problem whatever, in fact as though it had just come out of the showroom!

I parked the car up on a Sunday afternoon but when I tried to start the car on the Monday it wouldnt start. It seemed to be turning over much faster than normal and only firing every now and again. We had some really cold weather at the time so I took the battery off and charged it and when replaced the engine still turned over really fast but wouldnt fire.

Next step was a compression test which showed little or no compression on two of the cylinders tested with about 100 psi on the third. The mechanic helping me out felt it was the head gasket so the car went to his workshop to have the head gasket replaced.

On removing the head the head gasket seemed to be fine, but it was replaced and the top half of the engine put back together. Still little compression. We also niticed that the crank would turn (manually) for about 1/8th turn before the cams would start to turn - is this right? is it just the tensioner taking up the slack in the chain? If so how does the timing stay correct?

I am also keen to know exactly how to set the timing up correctly. It has been set to the factory default marks on the pulleys on the exhaust cam but the engine seemed to lock on this setting so it was put back to the position it had been when the engine last ran but still seems to not be smooth when turned manually from the crank pulley bolt.

Long winded scene setting I know but if anyone has any thoughts I would be hugely grateful!


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