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E34 (1989 - 1995)

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  #1  
Old 10-05-2010, 09:13 PM
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Mein Auto: 1976 Ford Gran Torino
Timing Belt Replacement?

Car in question is a 525i, approaching 200K, M50TU engine, 1995 model. Timing belt was replaced by a Houston BMW dealer at 63K and again at 130K but there is no record of it being changed since. It's certainly due. It's an interference engine. I'm not going to not do it.

But alas, I live in the country, about an hour south of Dallas. My local mechanic told me if I brought a BMW to his shop he wouldn't work on it. He's got a Fusion and a Grand Cherokee out front with just as complicated engines but he won't touch this car. So basically I'd have to take this car up to Dallas to be serviced, or I would have to do the work myself. I have done major engine work (head gaskets, water pumps, fuel pumps) to PUSHROD engines but I've never worked on a cammer before.

How involved is the timing belt replacement on the M50TU engine? I would of course buy a service manual for the car but what do I need in the way of specialty tools or equipment? Is it a job that can be done on a lazy Saturday or will it consume the weekend? I don't rely on a car to get to work but I don't want it to sit in the side yard like the Cutlass Ciera eyesore out there now with a steering column I can't seem to reassemble...

My other question would be, if I took this to a BMW dealer, Classic for example, and requested a timing belt change, what would they charge? They weren't exactly forthcoming over the phone and wouldn't even give a ballpark estimate. If this is a $300-$500 job, I might be willing to have it done for me so I don't destroy an engine by my own hand. If this is a much more expensive job (over $700, which is about what I'm paying for the whole car) I'll just be forced to do it myself.

Also, a side question about carpet. The carpet in this thing is awful. Again, $700 car that runs, who cares how it looks, but I do. It's supposed to be parchment. Most is chocolate brown with a hint of jet black. Is the stock BMW carpet fairly sturdy, i.e. will I be able to scrub it pretty clean after taking it out of the car? Because Pelican wants $700 PER PIECE for replacements. Again, $700 car, I'm not spending double the purchase price for new carpet. I'd cut some out of a junkyard car first. I bet the E34's down at UPI are cleaner than this mess.
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Alan Moore - Wichita Falls, TX

00 Durango | 98 Silhouette | 95 Cutlass Ciera | 76 Gran Torino
shopping for an E34/E39 540 manual
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  #2  
Old 10-05-2010, 10:56 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Dude,

The m50tu runs on a timing chain. You don't need to change it or adjust it, ever. I hope that puts a smile on your face. It did on mine when i first found out.

And as for carpets...ebay would be a better place to look for them :

http://cgi.ebay.com/BMW-E34-5-Series...#ht_1019wt_698
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  #3  
Old 10-05-2010, 11:46 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by occupant View Post
Car in question is a 525i, approaching 200K, M50TU engine, 1995 model. Timing belt was replaced by a Houston BMW dealer at 63K and again at 130K but there is no record of it being changed since. It's certainly due. It's an interference engine. I'm not going to not do it.
I'm quite curious as to what got changed at 63k and 130k. Could you take another look at your receipts or maybe call up the old dealer to confirm? Perhaps you could take a picture of your engine and post it here that will settle it for sure.
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  #4  
Old 10-06-2010, 03:35 AM
occupant occupant is offline
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Sounds to me then like seller doesn't know what he's talking about then.

I'll know for sure Saturday. Maybe this is an older model like a '90, or the timing chain was replaced for being noisy? I'll keep you posted. What else would a typical 60K or 120K service entail on one of these? Maybe because it cost several hundred bucks, he thinks a "timing belt" was included??? Car's a mess inside, I'm sure it was not treated as a BMW but as an appliance car like a Camry or Accord. A 2003 Accord is in the background of the pics he sent me.

It does make me happy to know it's a chain. But I meant the carpet is a mess. The mats are factory and they look better than the carpet does, I'm sure they were cleaned because they're easy to remove and powerwash in a self-serve car wash. The carpet I am reading here online in this forum, is difficult to remove without cutting it under the console or something. I'm willing to take this interior as far apart as needed short of pulling the whole dash. If the carpet can be removed that way, great. If not I have to use a less messy way of cleaning it so it can be done in the car.
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Alan Moore - Wichita Falls, TX

00 Durango | 98 Silhouette | 95 Cutlass Ciera | 76 Gran Torino
shopping for an E34/E39 540 manual
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  #5  
Old 10-06-2010, 05:59 AM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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I don't think the carpet can be removed for cleaning. You've got to renew it an at interior specialist's shop where they'll strip out the old one and put in a new carpet. Its up to you, but i feel its worth it.

If this is a 1995 e34, there is no timing belt, confirmed. The e34s with the timing belt (M20 engines) stopped in 1989-1990. The 1995 car comes with vanos, BMW's first generation variable valve timing for the intake valves with 2 fixed activation points.

I would ask the current owner to fax over the receipts to you for inspection. If there really was a timing belt change, then he got royally ripped off by the dealer lolol. I guess you can go to the dealer, point it out to them, threaten to goto the papers unless they pay for revamping your interior including leather, and yeah get them to throw in new front and rear windshields and windshield rubbers while you're at it.
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  #6  
Old 10-06-2010, 06:17 AM
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I'm not too worried about it, it's a $700 car! But I did confirm, it is a 1995 model. The seller got it confused with a 1990 model he had on the lot. This car has NO records at ALL! Isn't that lovely?!!

I'll try my best at cleaning the carpet in the car with the seats out. I have one of those Little Green Machine things that did quite well on the black carpet in my wife's Durango. If I can make this look passable, it should last me a few years. It's just that this carpet is so light in color it makes me wonder if I should add in a little bleach. That works on our living room, not sure about a car carpet. But after I take care of the inch-thick goo between the console and seats and the black mess everywhere, I can then focus on some of the less critically important yet equally annoying features. You know the kind, where only the driver's window works, the radio only works with the headlights on, the central locking locks but doesn't unlock, the light in the trunk only works when the trunk lid is partially open, et cetera.

Yeah, it's THAT kind of $700 car, the one that runs and drives fine but has all the little irritating features. The kind of car that gets passed from buyer to buyer and they never sort anything, just get fed up and pass it on. I'm the kind of guy who ends up with the car and spends whole weekends chasing down one shorted wire. I fix it right, I enjoy the learning experience, and then it takes me awhile to start not liking the car anymore. But still...it's like dating girls...all about the chase!
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Alan Moore - Wichita Falls, TX

00 Durango | 98 Silhouette | 95 Cutlass Ciera | 76 Gran Torino
shopping for an E34/E39 540 manual
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