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E34 (1989 - 1995)

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  #1  
Old 01-27-2011, 07:23 AM
ricks5series ricks5series is offline
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M50 Cylinder Head Project

So far, I've removed everything except the head (awaiting tools via snail mail by next Monday).
Although I won't know until I take the head to a machine shop, I did call one place and explained to him the #3 cylinder is taking in coolant. He told me it's most likely cracked at the exhaust port of that cylinder, very common for M50's, and said he could repair it for $850 which includes the rest of the required work such as decking if necessary, valves, etc.

Does this sound like a reasonable price?

Are M50 heads repairable?

Like I said, don't know if this will be the case but I want to be prepared when it does go into the shop sometime next week.

I've decided I want to keep this car being that I've maintained it extremely well, both cosmetically and mechanically.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 01-27-2011, 08:09 AM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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It sounds like he's just buying you a replacement head instead of doing any repair....nonsense.

Cracks in heads can only be repaired by certified experts in such things. Its not a simple matter of heating the area with a blowtorch, pouring some metallic filler in and waiting for it to cool nicely. In fact, its very difficult to do, and its much cheaper to just buy a head. Hell, you can get an engine for something like $400-$500.

I'm sure this mechanic is not going to recast the entire head and give you new valves and stuff. Buy a new head yourself, use the money saved to :

1. Check the new head for straightness
2. Conduct a pressure test to make sure its not cracked, if it is, return it for a refund and a reimbursement on the pressure test
3. Have it skimmed down ever so slightly for some added compression. RESIST the urge to compensate for this by using a thicker head gasket.
4. Purchase an M50 Non vanos exhaust cam and swop it with your current vanos exhaust cam for some added power at higher rpms. This should only cost you something like $50-$80.
5. If you've got some money left over, purchase an S50 intake cam for higher lifts. Check with the shop first to see if it will fit a vanos motor. This could set you back up to $200.
6. Take the leftover cams from your old engine and throw it at the dude who claims he can repair your cracked head for $850.

Here's some cam duration in degrees and Lift information that you might find useful (and take your time to do some intensive research on this over the weekend before if you find the idea interesting) :

Motor.........IC/L.................EC/L
M50NV........240/8.8L..............228/9.7L
M50TU........228/9.0L..............228/9.0L
M52............228/9.0L..............228/9.0L
S50............252/9.3L..............244/9.5L
S52 (US M3)....252/10.2L.............244/10.2L
M50NV........240/8.8L..............228/9.7L
M50TU........228/9.0L..............228/9.0L
M52............228/9.0L..............228/9.0L
S50............252/9.3L..............244/9.5L
S52............252/10.2L.............244/10.2L

Euro
s50b30........260/11.3L..............260/11.3L
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  #3  
Old 01-27-2011, 08:33 AM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Use part of your savings to purchase a brand new large coolant hose, the one that's next to all the blue labels in your picture. It burst for my car last year, after the intake was removed and the throttle body was hung down (correctly, not badly). So its a wear and tear item of sorts and you'll save yourself alot of hassle by changing that out right now for a new one.

You should also overhaul your starter since its out there. This mainly involves dismantling the mechanism and greasing its innards with fresh grease. Please google for proper writeups and pictures on this.

The starter can also be protected from degradation by wrapping it in some kind of heat resistant aluminium foil. Please google for this and if you find definitive information, please post it here as I'm considering that myself.

Do remember to clean out your idle control valve...again because its now easily accessible.

Since the lower portions of the engine are visible, it would be a good opportunity for you to clean the surface with engine degreaser, soap and lots of water.

I'm not sure if the vanos unit can be serviced diy. If so, do that as well.

If you've got a bosch alternator, and if you're on a roll over here, change out the voltage regulator and carbon brushes on it.

If your budget permits, change out belts, the water pump, thermostat, the fan clutch and the 2 coolant sensors on the cylinder head, in that order of priority (from highest to lowest.)

Of course, clean out that idle control valve, check your air hoses for cracks, get a new bleed screw and radiator cap, keep the old ones as spares (especially that bleed screw - keep it safe).

Do all of this and your car will love you long time. So, even if you had not budgeted for it, you might as well find the money, borrow if you have to, in order to do a complete job (or as much of one), once and for all, while its all laid bare.

And yes, please make sure you decarbonise your pistons using GM's top engine cleaner and a wire brush, if need be. This is time consuming slow work but you must do it.

p.s. Clean out your intake manifold's insides thoroughly with degreaser/carb cleaner.

Last edited by robertobaggio20; 01-27-2011 at 09:13 AM.
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  #4  
Old 01-27-2011, 09:21 AM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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When the head is off, push some kind of a wire brush, plastic brush or flexible and mildy abrasive tubing down the coolant passages on the block. Try to do it such that it goes in one hole and comes out the other and you can seesaw it back and forth gently. This is the only way to dislodge the rust that has accumulated there. If there's a more effective way to do this, please let us know, this is important. I believe plumbers do use some kinda flexible tubing to push down pipes but have never checked if it can be adapted well to this situation.

After that, try to wash all that rust out before putting that head back. Perform the same procedure on the cylinder head as well. After everything is fixed up, flush the radiator twice, and flush it once a week, every weekend, for the next 3 weekends or for as long as it takes for you to no longer spot rust flakes in your water. Needless to say, use cheap, sweet smelling, brightly coloured antifreeze that you can buy from autozone or walmart for under $5 a can. It works better than bmw's coolant and you can buy several cans for the same price as one bmw coolant bottle.

Last edited by robertobaggio20; 02-02-2011 at 08:44 AM.
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  #5  
Old 01-27-2011, 03:15 PM
ricks5series ricks5series is offline
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[QUOTE=robertobaggio20;5804398]It sounds like he's just buying you a replacement head instead of doing any repair....nonsense.

Cracks in heads can only be repaired by certified experts in such things. Its not a simple matter of heating the area with a blowtorch, pouring some metallic filler in and waiting for it to cool nicely. In fact, its very difficult to do, and its much cheaper to just buy a head. Hell, you can get an engine for something like $400-$500.

I'm sure this mechanic is not going to recast the entire head and give you new valves and stuff. Buy a new head yourself, use the money saved to :

He is certified but as you pointed out, is a bit on the expensive side. I'll check around some more but hopefully the head isn't cracked. Will also consider your other suggestions on this reply Roberto.
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  #6  
Old 01-27-2011, 03:28 PM
ricks5series ricks5series is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertobaggio20 View Post
Use part of your savings to purchase a brand new large coolant hose, the one that's next to all the blue labels in your picture. It burst for my car last year, after the intake was removed and the throttle body was hung down (correctly, not badly). So its a wear and tear item of sorts and you'll save yourself alot of hassle by changing that out right now for a new one.

You should also overhaul your starter since its out there. This mainly involves dismantling the mechanism and greasing its innards with fresh grease. Please google for proper writeups and pictures on this.

The starter can also be protected from degradation by wrapping it in some kind of heat resistant aluminium foil. Please google for this and if you find definitive information, please post it here as I'm considering that myself.

Do remember to clean out your idle control valve...again because its now easily accessible.

Since the lower portions of the engine are visible, it would be a good opportunity for you to clean the surface with engine degreaser, soap and lots of water.

I'm not sure if the vanos unit can be serviced diy. If so, do that as well.

If you've got a bosch alternator, and if you're on a roll over here, change out the voltage regulator and carbon brushes on it.

If your budget permits, change out belts, the water pump, thermostat, the fan clutch and the 2 coolant sensors on the cylinder head, in that order of priority (from highest to lowest.)

Of course, clean out that idle control valve, check your air hoses for cracks, get a new bleed screw and radiator cap, keep the old ones as spares (especially that bleed screw - keep it safe).

Do all of this and your car will love you long time. So, even if you had not budgeted for it, you might as well find the money, borrow if you have to, in order to do a complete job (or as much of one), once and for all, while its all laid bare.

And yes, please make sure you decarbonise your pistons using GM's top engine cleaner and a wire brush, if need be. This is time consuming slow work but you must do it.

p.s. Clean out your intake manifold's insides thoroughly with degreaser/carb cleaner.
Other than the stealer, where do I find that octopus looking water line? I've thought of creating my own with cooper angel and T valves.

The single vanos is serviceable, I could replace the inner O ring.

New cap is in order for it may have led to the slow coolant leak which placed me in this situation.

Will also decarbonize the piston heads. Just figuring on how to turn the crank without dislodging the chain on the lower spindle.

As for the alternator, do you have a source where I can find the voltage regulator and carbon brushes?

Intake manifold has already been cleaned and the TB is next.

I've thought of removing the injectors and sending them to get ultrasonically cleaned, tested and rebuilt (a few parts are replaceable) but I'll hold off on that expense for now since the car was running and idling perfect before all this occurred. The ICV will definitely be cleaned though.

Thanks for the tips Roberto!


Last edited by ricks5series; 01-27-2011 at 04:38 PM.
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  #7  
Old 01-27-2011, 03:30 PM
ricks5series ricks5series is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertobaggio20 View Post
When the head is off, push some kind of a wire brush, plastic brush or flexible and mildy abrasive tubing down the coolant passages on the block. Try to do it such that it goes in one hole and comes out the other and you can seesaw it back and forth gently. This is the only way to dislodge the rust that has accumulated there. If there's a more effective way to do this, please let us know, this is important. I believe plumbers do use some kinda flexible tubing to push down pipes but have never checked if it can be adapted well to this situation.

After that, try to wash all that rust out before putting that head back. Perform the same procedure on the cylinder head as well. After everything is fixed up, flush the radiator twice, and flush it once a week, every weekend, for the next 3 weekends or for as long as it takes for you to no longer spot rust flakes in your water. Needless to same, use cheap, sweet smelling, brightly coloured antifreeze that you can buy from autozone or walmart for under $5 a can. It works better than bmw's coolant and you can buy several cans for the same price as one bmw coolant bottle.
Will do and I'll let you know if I come up with an ingenious way to clean out the passages.
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  #8  
Old 01-27-2011, 04:32 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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The usual parts shops like rockauto etc should have that octopussian coolant hose. It is a great idea to have it metalised...in fact, i remember seeing a kind of wrap being sold on ebay that will do just that. Either get a new hose and wrap with that, or find a hose that's made of silicone. This hose should only cost around $50 oem.

Completely forgot...how was the old head gasket when you took it off? If alright, then it should be a cracked head. A pressure test will reveal that as well. Unless the crack is very obvious (it rarely is), that would be something that you need to do.

Yes the silver looking thing in the picture is the idle control valve. The starter is behind that, further towards the back of the engine, and is dark in colour. Please look up how it can be serviced.

Alternator's parts...the online fellas, ebay, etc. You've gotta search for this, I failed to save my research properly. TTCummins, a member here, will be able to help you probably if you pm him. His replies on this subject :

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=451181

Hold off on the injectors (although it was a nice idea....good thinking !). If your car was idling fine, there's no need to spend money and get them cleaned ultrasonically, and deprive yourself of resources for the rest of the jobs listed above. However, you can do it at home yourself using carb cleaner and a switch mechanism that can be bought for a few bucks at a hardware shop. Please see :



Ultrasonic cleaner....ttcummins used one of those ultrasonic jewelery cleaners sold on ebay to clean injectors which he sent me later for shipping. Such a nice dude. So you can also do that if you wish. Very effective...have not had any problems with the injectors. But the injectors themselves are lower priority affairs because its not hard to remove the fuel rail etc and get at them to clean if you run into problems in future.

Switch in a new fuel pressure regulator if you can get it cheap, like for $20. Doubtful if you can. Switch in a lower rated fpr for significantly improved fuel economy, if you can find such a regulator. The current one is rated 3.5bars, get a 3.0 bar one. You can always do this later.

Change out to newer fuel hoses in the engine bay if your budget permits. New hoses always look so purty.

There's practically no limit to this if you want to take it all the way. Try to change, overhaul or service all the stuff for which the preparatory work has already been done for those.

Oh yeah.....CHANGE THE CRANKSHAFT POSITION SENSOR - GET A NEW ONE ONLY $60 ON EBAY. Sorry for the caps, pissed at myself for forgetting the obvious. Keep the old sensor as a working spare. Unplug all switches, clean them out with wd40 (both the input and output end of each switch) and plug them back in again.

Considering all the expense, you might as well get yourself a new fuel pump. $60 shipped on ebay....non oem is fine. New relays for the o2 sensor, dme and fuel pump too. Keep the old ones as working spares.

Your car will certainly love you long time after all this.
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  #9  
Old 01-27-2011, 04:50 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Hot cam your car, bro, at least with the NV (non vanos) exhaust cam. Research the hell out of this. Its worth it and you might as well upgrade your car's performance while you're at it.

1. Cylinder head issues and related parts.
2. Necessary servicing such as starter, alternator, belts, water pump, thermostat, crank sensor (change it out now as its usually difficult to get at) and rust and carbon removal from the block.
3. Hot camming. This could have easily been a #2 issue but i decided to be a tad conservative at the last minute.
4. Discretionary servicing such as octopussian coolant hoses, fuel pump, relays, etc. The joints at the existing coolant hose can always be reinforced if you run out of your budget before getting to this, so I'll classify it as discretionary. And considering the relative difficulties of changing out a new cam and a new fuel pump, the new cam comes ahead.

That's would be the order of work from highest to lowest priority, if I were taking on this job myself. Cheers.

Last edited by robertobaggio20; 01-27-2011 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 01-27-2011, 06:54 PM
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luckydog luckydog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricks5series View Post
So far, I've removed everything except the head (awaiting tools via snail mail by next Monday).
Although I won't know until I take the head to a machine shop, I did call one place and explained to him the #3 cylinder is taking in coolant. He told me it's most likely cracked at the exhaust port of that cylinder, very common for M50's, and said he could repair it for $850 which includes the rest of the required work such as decking if necessary, valves, etc.

Does this sound like a reasonable price?

Are M50 heads repairable?

Like I said, don't know if this will be the case but I want to be prepared when it does go into the shop sometime next week.

I've decided I want to keep this car being that I've maintained it extremely well, both cosmetically and mechanically.

Thanks
I think i would drop another working or rebuilt motor in .Rather than getting hosed by mechanics. Hell i ll give you a used 525i head free if you take care of the shipping. Ill have to pull it of the spare motor i have .I even have the multi port engine coolant hose if you are talking about if you need it. PM me.

Last edited by luckydog; 01-27-2011 at 07:02 PM.
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  #11  
Old 01-27-2011, 07:03 PM
ricks5series ricks5series is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertobaggio20 View Post
The usual parts shops like rockauto etc should have that octopussian coolant hose. It is a great idea to have it metalised...in fact, i remember seeing a kind of wrap being sold on ebay that will do just that. Either get a new hose and wrap with that, or find a hose that's made of silicone. This hose should only cost around $50 oem.

Completely forgot...how was the old head gasket when you took it off? If alright, then it should be a cracked head. A pressure test will reveal that as well. Unless the crack is very obvious (it rarely is), that would be something that you need to do.


Yes the silver looking thing in the picture is the idle control valve. The starter is behind that, further towards the back of the engine, and is dark in colour. Please look up how it can be serviced.

Alternator's parts...the online fellas, ebay, etc. You've gotta search for this, I failed to save my research properly. TTCummins, a member here, will be able to help you probably if you pm him. His replies on this subject :

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=451181

Hold off on the injectors (although it was a nice idea....good thinking !). If your car was idling fine, there's no need to spend money and get them cleaned ultrasonically, and deprive yourself of resources for the rest of the jobs listed above. However, you can do it at home yourself using carb cleaner and a switch mechanism that can be bought for a few bucks at a hardware shop. Please see :



Ultrasonic cleaner....ttcummins used one of those ultrasonic jewelery cleaners sold on ebay to clean injectors which he sent me later for shipping. Such a nice dude. So you can also do that if you wish. Very effective...have not had any problems with the injectors. But the injectors themselves are lower priority affairs because its not hard to remove the fuel rail etc and get at them to clean if you run into problems in future.

Switch in a new fuel pressure regulator if you can get it cheap, like for $20. Doubtful if you can. Switch in a lower rated fpr for significantly improved fuel economy, if you can find such a regulator. The current one is rated 3.5bars, get a 3.0 bar one. You can always do this later.

Change out to newer fuel hoses in the engine bay if your budget permits. New hoses always look so purty.

There's practically no limit to this if you want to take it all the way. Try to change, overhaul or service all the stuff for which the preparatory work has already been done for those.

Oh yeah.....CHANGE THE CRANKSHAFT POSITION SENSOR - GET A NEW ONE ONLY $60 ON EBAY. Sorry for the caps, pissed at myself for forgetting the obvious. Keep the old sensor as a working spare. Unplug all switches, clean them out with wd40 (both the input and output end of each switch) and plug them back in again.

Considering all the expense, you might as well get yourself a new fuel pump. $60 shipped on ebay....non oem is fine. New relays for the o2 sensor, dme and fuel pump too. Keep the old ones as working spares.

Your car will certainly love you long time after all this.
The head won't come off until the chain tensioner arrives on Monday but I'll certainly take note of the gasket to see if there is a breach, hopefully there is, which might rule out a crack in the head as you've stated.

OK, took the ICV out and cleaned it up, wasn't too dirty. It now swivels smoothly.

You're right about the injectors, I'll deal with them later since they are relatively easy to remove.

Found that odd hose for only $27 at rockauto-thanks!

I plan on buying a few feet of high pressure fuel line and replacing all of them.
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:09 PM
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luckydog luckydog is offline
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This is around the same price as your head repair estimate?http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/BMW-2...Q5fAccessories
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:20 PM
ricks5series ricks5series is offline
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This is around the same price as your head repair estimate?http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/BMW-2...Q5fAccessories
Sounds very tempting but removing the entire engine is way too much for me at this time. It isn't out of the question if things go south though.

did you get my pm?
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:27 PM
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luckydog luckydog is offline
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Originally Posted by ricks5series View Post
.

did you get my pm?
No ,what did it say just kidding. Maybe it is being filtered for content. Oh heres a clean one. http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/BMW-C...Q5fAccessories

Last edited by luckydog; 01-27-2011 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 01-28-2011, 08:19 AM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Shipping on a cylinder head....are we talking like 50 lbs? Rick, it may not be a bad deal at all, at around $190 for shipping when paid online at USPS, and would be a prime example of the camaraderie that's so wonderful about this forum. LD, do you have a spare NV exhaust cam for our friend too? Start looking for one please, he needs to hot cam his car (assuming of course that you're not going to use said cam for your car anytime soon).

Rick, please clean out your injectors using the makeshift kit in that video. It won't take you more than 30 minutes to construct and you'll only spend around 5 minutes per injector....so you're looking at 60-90 minutes max. Doesn't matter if you don't have an ultrasonic bath...after carb cleaning and backflushing, simply immerse all 6 injectors in a bath of denatured or rubbing alcohol and leave it that way until you need to reinstall. Yes, let it sit there for a few days. Agitate the bath from time to time to shake dirt loose. No schedule required, just whenever you happen to be passing by the bath.

Great news on that coolant and fuel hoses. Regardless, reinforce the portions where the coolant hose joins something, with self sealing silicone insulating tape (3M's version is a very safe bet) or wrap some steel braiding if such a kit is available.

My suggestions as to your procedure that I would adopt here in declining order of priority and budget allocation : whatever's related to your cylinder head, then followed by the hot cam, after which the key essentials such as alternator, starter, ICV, thermostat, water pump and CRANK SENSOR (please get a new one), vanos seal and engine belts, then the decarbonisation and derusting of your engine block, and finally followed by the fuel pump, the various relays and the two main radiator hoses.

Last edited by robertobaggio20; 01-28-2011 at 08:20 AM.
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Old 01-28-2011, 08:31 AM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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You might want to change out the blower motor and blower motor resistor while you're at it, since its accessible via the engine bay under the wiper blades.

No come to think of it, that's not too big an issue, you can wait till something goes wrong.
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Old 01-28-2011, 10:09 AM
ricks5series ricks5series is offline
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[QUOTE=robertobaggio20;5807209]Shipping on a cylinder head....are we talking like 50 lbs? Rick, it may not be a bad deal at all, at around $190 for shipping when paid online at USPS, and would be a prime example of the camaraderie that's so wonderful about this forum. LD, do you have a spare NV exhaust cam for our friend too? Start looking for one please, he needs to hot cam his car (assuming of course that you're not going to use said cam for your car anytime soon).

Roberto,
One of the main reasons I decided to keep this car is because of what you stated, "prime example of the camaraderie that's so wonderful about this forum". I really do appreciate your help and everyone elses.

Will consider the injector cleaing you menitoned.
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Old 01-28-2011, 05:29 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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[quote=ricks5series;5807506]
Quote:
Originally Posted by robertobaggio20 View Post
Shipping on a cylinder head....are we talking like 50 lbs? Rick, it may not be a bad deal at all, at around $190 for shipping when paid online at USPS, and would be a prime example of the camaraderie that's so wonderful about this forum. LD, do you have a spare NV exhaust cam for our friend too? Start looking for one please, he needs to hot cam his car (assuming of course that you're not going to use said cam for your car anytime soon).

Roberto,
One of the main reasons I decided to keep this car is because of what you stated, "prime example of the camaraderie that's so wonderful about this forum". I really do appreciate your help and everyone elses.

Will consider the injector cleaing you menitoned.
(Lowering voice to a whisper) Just had a wild idea. Do you think, if i play real nice, that I'll be able to trade the fuel injectors i once received from ttcummins all the way up to bmwjen's rhinestone-studded cowgirl 540i ? Y'know, like the guy who started with a paperclip and then traded himself up to a house in canada? lolol. Its still a great read after all these years :

http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/story?id=2171378

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_red_paperclip

Hotlilly, you listening?
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:01 AM
injunmort injunmort is offline
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cracked heads are not that common. when you remove it, take it to a machine shop and have them hot tank it. it will come out nice and clean, inspect it for cracks. the head gasket failing is a common problem on these cars. i would check that head has not warped by using a strait edge and if it is not, adjust the valve lash, replace stock head gasket replace head bolts and torque to spec from bentley. you will need a protractor wrench for the final tocquing. replace your water pump and hoses, change cps and you should be good to go. do the thermostat and housing as well, even if it is aluminum because they corrode and fail. rebuilding the head is a ton of work and you need special tools to remove the cam without breaking it. remanufacured heads are not cheap and not cheap to ship. you can do this for about $300.00 with no machine work or it could cost 1500-2000 if you go with the remaned head. fwiw.
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  #20  
Old 01-31-2011, 10:33 AM
ricks5series ricks5series is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by injunmort View Post
cracked heads are not that common. when you remove it, take it to a machine shop and have them hot tank it. it will come out nice and clean, inspect it for cracks. the head gasket failing is a common problem on these cars. i would check that head has not warped by using a strait edge and if it is not, adjust the valve lash, replace stock head gasket replace head bolts and torque to spec from bentley. you will need a protractor wrench for the final tocquing. replace your water pump and hoses, change cps and you should be good to go. do the thermostat and housing as well, even if it is aluminum because they corrode and fail. rebuilding the head is a ton of work and you need special tools to remove the cam without breaking it. remanufacured heads are not cheap and not cheap to ship. you can do this for about $300.00 with no machine work or it could cost 1500-2000 if you go with the remaned head. fwiw.
Thanks injunmort,
I do plan on doing everything you've mention especially purchasing a new wp and T-stat but others have also recommended replacing the cps. Since I'm limited in funds at the moment and the cps is working can I hold off and replace it at a later time?
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:16 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Originally Posted by ricks5series View Post
Thanks injunmort,
I do plan on doing everything you've mention especially purchasing a new wp and T-stat but others have also recommended replacing the cps. Since I'm limited in funds at the moment and the cps is working can I hold off and replace it at a later time?

Nope.

Sorry mate but this is mission critical. Its a real bitch to replace the cps.

Remember, there are 3 reasons why you're being asked to fix this now :

1. CPS failure is a common cause of no-start situations in the E34, and such no start situations are not infrequent, as we've all seen in the past couple of months. In order to avoid the extreme inconvenience of an unexpected and unpredictable failure, we should switch out to a new one at the earliest opportunity. [ The same goes for the fuel pump, and fuel, dme and o2 sensor relays. ]

2. The CPS connector is located under the m50 engine's intake manifold. The cps's head itself is easy to get to and unscrew on the car. You don't need to remove the engine fan to do this and you don't need to have dainty fingers. The problem is the other end of the cps...the one that connects to the wire harness. Its damn difficult to get to unless you're plastic man or you have dainty fingers...you'll find yourself removing the throttle body and the air hoses to get to it. Now that your engine has been opened up for the HG's job, you can easily change it out without any additional work.

3. A new CPS is not expensive, relative to all the things you'll ultimately be spending money on in terms of expected repairs and replacements and mid/long term maintenance. In fact, its $42 shipped, and there are 8 available, sale ends within 11 hours :

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Crank...Q5fAccessories


If you're not yet convinced, or you're considering sacrificing other more important things like that hot cam (more important only in your case as you've got that head out) in order to do this, well I have a temporary workaround for you even though i hate to put it out there as it might tempt you to not change it out. I did this for myself to make my life easier in future even though I got myself a new cps :

a. Remove the wire harness cps connector end of the cps from its holder (there's a stupid holder thingy under the intake manifold that keeps it in place).

b. Use a cable tie to tie the cps wire harness connector to one of the hoses that connects to the throttle body, or something in that area. I've cable tied mine to the dipstick. There is sufficient length in both the cps cable and its wire harness cable for you to drag it outwards to this point. You'll have to reroute the cable from its current "route" near the vanos head area where it is now.

There's absolutely no harm created by this to either the car or the cps as well.

c. In future, it will be way way way easier for you to both ohm out and check the cps resistances if necessary, and to change it out as well.

d. Curse the bmw engineers for making things more difficult than they have to be. Idiots.



rgds,
Roberto

Last edited by robertobaggio20; 01-31-2011 at 12:28 PM.
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  #22  
Old 01-31-2011, 12:20 PM
injunmort injunmort is offline
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you can hold off but the recommendation is to change the cps for about $60.00 because you have the belts off and the wire out as a result of doing waterpump and head work. it is not a big deal to go back later it just more one of those things that since you are in there anyway, might as well.
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:21 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Originally Posted by injunmort View Post
cracked heads are not that common. when you remove it, take it to a machine shop and have them hot tank it. it will come out nice and clean, inspect it for cracks. the head gasket failing is a common problem on these cars. .
Injunmort, my understanding is that you need to pressure test the head to detect cracks and mere visual inspection is worthless when we're dealing with hairline cracks and those cracks that may not be visible on the surface of the head.

Another thing....what do you mean by valve lash and what is involved in adjusting it? Please advise, thanks.
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  #24  
Old 01-31-2011, 12:35 PM
injunmort injunmort is offline
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i dont know of pressure testing or how you would do it with the head off, the way i have done it in other appications is to magnaflux the head after it has been cleaned. this was done on high output motorcycle engines. i think a careful visual inspection should suffice on a stock street car, my opinion only. being an ohc engine you can easily set your valve gap adjustments prior to reinstallation of the head on the car. easier than doing when it is reinstalled. unless there is a real reason to suspect a catastophic failure eg a severely warped head or an obvious sign of failure in the aluminum, severly burned valve seats i would bet it is just the head gasket.
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:50 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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What do you mean by magnafluxing the head?

And pressure testing is something done with the head off, the head is sent to a machine shop with a pressure tester that feeds in warm water at high pressure at one end of the water jacket. The other end of the water jacket is stoppered up. Then they watch to see if water escapes from anywhere.
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