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E34 M5 (1988-1995)

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Old 08-26-2010, 07:50 AM
tntimbo tntimbo is offline
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Location: Germantown, TN
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 11
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Mein Auto: 88) M6, R1100GS, R90S, K1
Valve Adjustment

I have a 88 M6 that has been having some intermittant starting problems related to some wiring issues due to the improper installation of a Viper alarm system.

BMW tech got the wiring straightened out, and discovered the ignition switch also had some corosion problems. Starting issues now appear solved, but it is running rich.

They tell me I need the valves adjusted to solve the problem. I can't say as I have ever heard of the valve adjustment causing a rich mixture running problem, however, it is computer driven and I suppose there could be a connection.

Does this all sound ...."right"?

Question: How often do the valves require adjustment on a "M5/M6"? I have owned the car for 8 years and noticed it running rich in the past. (plugs fowled)

Valves have never been adjusted since I have owned the car and only about 10,000 miles have been put on the car since I have owned it.
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Old 08-27-2010, 12:15 PM
gahawkins gahawkins is offline
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Location: Rochester, NY 14506
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 22
Mein Auto: 1991 M5
The rich mixture seems odd to me, but the valves should be adjusted when they "are out of adjustment" for other reasons, including damage to the valves and seats. The trick, of course, is to know when they need it. You can just do it at the frequently specified intervals, which is expensive, or develop a good ear for the sound of poorly adjusted valves. My independent shop guy suggests the latter, and further feels that once the engine has settled in (maybe 50 K miles and one or two valve adjustments) it may not need adjustment again for a very long time. I have followed this advice on an E34M5 now with 140K; the last adjustment was at 60K. Neither me nor my mechanic can hear any unexpected valve noise and the car continues to run very, very well.
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