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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 05-14-2011, 02:14 AM
Anderias86 Anderias86 is offline
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Exclamation 2002 525i Cracked head

so i finally took the head out and sent it to a shop that i always deal with and the guy had to weld the stupid little crack between Cylinder #3 and the water jacket on the exhaust side which is a common place for a bmw. the guy did a great job on welding and mechining and ect. my question is does anyone know how long this head will work for or has anyone done this job before and what were the results? ill be posting some pictures later. thanks
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  #2  
Old 05-14-2011, 09:26 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anderias86 View Post
so i finally took the head out and sent it to a shop that i always deal with and the guy had to weld the stupid little crack between Cylinder #3 and the water jacket on the exhaust side
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anderias86 View Post
i had the same issue on my car after a purchased it, i had top it off almost with a full cup about 10oz a day or driving for 100 miles, after further inspection i found out the cylinder #3 is getting all the coolant, so i had to take the cylinder head out yesterday and im sending it to get it machined tomorrow.
you can find all this out by doing a cylinder leakage test its simple and quick.
hope this help
02 525i
I'm curious what the cost was for the welding repair?
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  #3  
Old 05-14-2011, 10:46 PM
Anderias86 Anderias86 is offline
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just for the repair and weld and a complete valve job it was a total of $638 but he really did a great job, and he was the only one who had the guts to do it and gave me a 6 month warranty on it, and a bought a complete Gasket kit for $335 all this didnt cost as much as i would only go buy a used head.
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Old 05-15-2011, 05:22 AM
poolman poolman is online now
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You roll the dice and see what comes up. #3 cylinder is the one that goes on these engines. Your the first to post about makeing the fix with a weild. Hope that the repair lasts for you. Get back and let the forum know how this works for you later down the road.
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  #5  
Old 05-15-2011, 06:52 AM
franka franka is offline
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Should be just fine assuming the mating surface was milled. I'm sure they did that.

Welding on heads is done all the time. Only here, on this forum, is it new. That's because most here don't know much, about their BMWs, beyond the owner's manual and what BMW says.

And the majority of members here, and the types of threads here, are more interested in bling than in mechanical substance.

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Last edited by franka; 05-15-2011 at 10:20 AM.
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  #6  
Old 05-15-2011, 07:04 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Originally Posted by Anderias86 View Post
just for the repair and weld and a complete valve job it was a total of $638 ... Gasket kit for $335 all this didnt cost as much as i would only go buy a used head.
This is good information for the tribal-knowledge comparing options when an engine has been overheated!

I'm sure there is no way a cracked block can cost less than what you've done it for (essentially $1,000) since you seem to have done all the hard work yourself, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by poolman View Post
You're the first to post about making the fix with a weld. ... let the forum know how this works for you later down the road.
I was wondering about that.

I've been gathering all the overheated-engine stories for the past couple of months so as to create a linked paragraph of the costs & solutions available.

Quote:
- Summary advice to provide users who suspect a major engine repair due to overheating (1) & how to test an engine for blown head gasket, cracked heads, a warped block, cam seizures, contaminated bearings, coolant hydrolock, or piston, ring, or valve damage (1) (2) & a well researched reusable response to a particular user with a blown engine (1) & what questions to ask when severe heating-related damage is initially suspected (1) & what E39 engine swaps are most recommended (1) (2) (3) & how to lift & remove the engine (1) & where to obtain a new or rebuilt replacement short block or long block (1) (2) & why the E39 engines are so prone to heat-related damage in the first place (1) & real-world results from people faced with similar blown engine problems from which this advice came from (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15) (16) (17) (18) (19) (20) (21) (22) (23) (24) (25).
The OP seems to have kept the costs low by removing the engine himself and he seems to have done a fix (welding) that nobody else has reported trying ... so I too implore the OP to keep us informed (if for nothing else, to improve the tribal knowledge on options available to the next guy).

Quote:
Originally Posted by franka View Post
Only here, on this forum, is it new
Interesting observation, Frank. I've been collecting the sad stories (see the long list above) so that others have a starting point if this happens to them ... and most of the sad stories just stop. They drop off a cliff. We never find out 'how' they solved the problem.
  • They often start with a question about a persistent overheating
  • Then, as the responses flow in, it slowly dawns on them that the engine is toast
  • When they compare costs (all high) of their options, they just drop off the face of the earth
So, it's hard to tell 'what' most folks did when they suspected engine damage from overheating.

At least here, we know what approach was taken; now we just need to get a longer-term trip report from the OP (who I hope doesn't drop off the face of the earth himself!).

Quote:
Originally Posted by franka View Post
the majority of members here are more interested in bling than in mechanical substance.
Another interesting observation. I guess what you're saying is, for those members, new M-par wheels, M badges, shadowline tape, M steering wheels, bright angel eyes, LED taillights, loud CAI's, M bumpers, clear turnsignal lenses, etc., is more what they're tuned to (most of which seem, to me, to be trying to 'emulate' the astute marketing of the M series).

I'm somewhere in between, so there is at least a third category of users here:
  • bling
  • scared (need a better description for this type)
  • mechanical substance
See also:
- Bimmerfest member's personality profile (1)

I, for one, am uninterested in 'bling'; but still, I would be downright petrified of engine-removal tasks the OP seems to have performed with aplomb.

Last edited by bluebee; 05-15-2011 at 07:19 AM.
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  #7  
Old 05-15-2011, 07:40 AM
franka franka is offline
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In the non-BMW world outside of this forum, there are very high hp engines with all kinds of welded heads. Repairs, modifications of all kinds, etc have been done via welding since the first alum head was cast.

Reliable street V8s with 800 hp, racing motors with modified heads with lots of welding on/in them, going to 1500 hp and more.

Engines running high boost levels with welded heads.

Welded heads are a good, workable, dependable, ancient technology that works.

Its only here, in this protected world, that it is new.
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Last edited by franka; 05-15-2011 at 01:22 PM.
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  #8  
Old 05-15-2011, 09:25 AM
poolman poolman is online now
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Ok--let me start again. Main reason for not weilding of the head on the i6 engine around the #3 cylinder
has to do with thickness of the materail there. The metal is thin. It's advised regularly not to do it.
I hope his engine holds up and works fine. Most have gone the other route because of the thinness of the metal
in that #3 cylinder area. I have had alum weilded on many things I have owned in the past. I don't know if
it leads itself to sonic testing or not. If it does, it might have been what gave your indy the green light for
giving it the go.
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  #9  
Old 05-15-2011, 10:36 AM
franka franka is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
I, for one, am uninterested in 'bling'; but still, I would be downright petrified of engine-removal tasks the OP seems to have performed with aplomb.
Hi again, my friend BB.

Bling to engine removal. Pretty extreme, opposite ends of the full spectrum of threads here.

My point, whether I made it clear enough or not, is that the number of bling types of posts here (posts, not threads), easily out-weigh the number of maintenance and non-bling mod posts.
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  #10  
Old 06-03-2011, 10:10 AM
Anderias86 Anderias86 is offline
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Hi everyone i just finished assembling the engine and completed the installation and ran the car. i started it and ran it for about an hour to get all lifters to fill with oil and made sure that the coolant system is full then after that i did a leak test to see if Cylinder #3 is leaking through the welded spot and thank GOD it wasnt so i checked the rest of the cylinders just to make sure everything is working like it suppose to and all of them had no leak so i installed my spark plugs again and took the car for a 40 minute drive and it ran very smooth the engine is actually more quiet than before and more responsive i love it, it really paid off this whole work even though i was taking a risk for welding the head when everyone else said that it wont work but i proved them wrong and saved about $2000. so here you have it guys ill be posting pictures of the head after it was welded and surfaced. and if you have any questions let me know. :-) by the way i didnt have the VANOS aligning tool in my shop i bought that and included it for the cost of the repair the tool cost was about 400 new and the total cost for the whole project was....... $638cylinder head + $335 complete Gasket set + $400 Vanos tool = $1373 without labor since i did it myself.
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  #11  
Old 06-03-2011, 10:27 AM
franka franka is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anderias86 View Post
Hi everyone i just finished assembling the engine and completed the installation and ran the car. i started it and ran it for about an hour to get all lifters to fill with oil and made sure that the coolant system is full then after that i did a leak test to see if Cylinder #3 is leaking through the welded spot and thank GOD it wasnt so i checked the rest of the cylinders just to make sure everything is working like it suppose to and all of them had no leak so i installed my spark plugs again and took the car for a 40 minute drive and it ran very smooth the engine is actually more quiet than before and more responsive i love it, it really paid off this whole work even though i was taking a risk for welding the head when everyone else said that it wont work but i proved them wrong and saved about $2000. so here you have it guys ill be posting pictures of the head after it was welded and surfaced. and if you have any questions let me know. :-) by the way i didnt have the VANOS aligning tool in my shop i bought that and included it for the cost of the repair the tool cost was about 400 new and the total cost for the whole project was....... $638cylinder head + $335 complete Gasket set + $400 Vanos tool = $1373 without labor since i did it myself.
Not EVERYONE said it would not work. I was quite strong that it would work, look just a few posts above.

Congrats for having the courage to do it.
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  #12  
Old 06-03-2011, 02:57 PM
Anderias86 Anderias86 is offline
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:-) i didnt mean everyone in the forum lol but in my work place we usually replace the engine instead of sending the head to a machine shop, and when i decided to fix it instead of replacing they were telling me that it wouldnt work, and thanks for your reply's and the participation.
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  #13  
Old 06-03-2011, 03:54 PM
poolman poolman is online now
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Hope it works well for you on down the road. I questioned the decision from what I have gleened here from the many posts concerning the #3 cylinder problem. There have been many that have had this very problem
arise and your the first that I have read about doing the weilding job versus the installation of a new head from another engine. Great to hear that all is well.
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  #14  
Old 06-03-2011, 04:07 PM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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your engine didn't get any stress yet

let it run for some time in a heavy traffic and only then comment

Hope it REALLY work even many people said cracked head is a dead head

Good job

Last edited by champaign777; 06-03-2011 at 04:09 PM.
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  #15  
Old 06-03-2011, 09:32 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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I wish you luck ...

Keep us informed as your success (or failure) will be a fruitful lesson for many to follow ...
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Old 06-04-2011, 05:50 AM
franka franka is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by champaign777 View Post
your engine didn't get any stress yet

let it run for some time in a heavy traffic and only then comment

Hope it REALLY work even many people said cracked head is a dead head

Good job
Heavy traffic...

If the cooling system is functioning properly, heavy traffic will not have any affect. The engine oil and water temperature are regulated at all driving times and under all conditions, all ambient temperatures, etc.

If he's revved it to the rpm limit several times that is the max coolant pressure that will be experienced.

Welding either works or it doesn't. When it doesn't its because the weld job was poor and has cracks and if that is the case it would leak immediately.
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Old 06-04-2011, 07:57 AM
poolman poolman is online now
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Might be a great time to switch over the the Evens cooling system. That would take all the pressure off, stuff has to get over 300 degrees before boiling point. There are a few around that are using it in the BMW's.
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:11 AM
bmw_lover85 bmw_lover85 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franka View Post
Heavy traffic...

If the cooling system is functioning properly, heavy traffic will not have any affect. The engine oil and water temperature are regulated at all driving times and under all conditions, all ambient temperatures, etc.

If he's revved it to the rpm limit several times that is the max coolant pressure that will be experienced.

Welding either works or it doesn't. When it doesn't its because the weld job was poor and has cracks and if that is the case it would leak immediately.



To the OP: Glad the car is running great. Great job man.
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Old 06-04-2011, 05:21 PM
Jimmys 530i Jimmys 530i is offline
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I have had a head welded once for my customers 95 m3, but the welder didn't do a good job and it continued to leak.
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  #20  
Old 06-09-2011, 08:04 PM
Anderias86 Anderias86 is offline
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i checked the expansion tank today after driving about 400 miles and its still full, one thing that i have noticed in BMW's is that the teperature gage reads both the engine temp. and the transmission temperature so if you see that your car overheats in the park position after 5 minutes of idling, you should check your transmission for having enough fluid in it, also another way to determine if its a transmission overheat is that you will be at a dead stop but having your transmission shifted into D and wait if it does not overheat this will tell you that the engine is good and your problrm is with the transmission fluid being low.
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:11 PM
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jbonly21 jbonly21 is offline
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Is been about a month, how is the engine?
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Old 09-17-2011, 03:13 AM
Anderias86 Anderias86 is offline
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Engine is Great so far about 7000miles took it for a trip to phoenix and 2 trips to las vegas and no leaks or lost of coolant everything works....from my experience is that the head is weldable, you just have to take it to someone that really knows how to weld...and to get it smoothed out like factory finish....if anyone is in need of help on a cylinder head work and fixing the cylinder #3 problem let me know specially if you are in southern California..hope this post helped....like i said its been about 4months and 7000 miles of driving. :-)
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  #23  
Old 11-25-2011, 11:45 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anderias86 View Post
Engine is Great so far
Since we have been referring people contemplating welding to this thread ... may I ask how it has been going the past few months since your last report?

In addition, this is the latest on the suggestions for people who face overheating problems ...

- Summary advice to provide users who suspect a major engine repair due to overheating (1) (2) (3) (4) & how to test an engine for a blown head gasket, cracked heads, a warped block, stripped head bolt threads, cam seizures, contaminated bearings, coolant hydrolock, or piston, ring, or valve damage (1) (2) & what are the major factors in deciding whether to rebuild the engine, replace the engine, or sell the car (1) & a DIY for replacing the I6 M54 head gasket (1) (2) & replacing the V8 M62TU head gasket (1) & why these engines are so prone to heat-related damage in the first place (1) & welding the crack between cylinder #3 and the water jacket on the exhaust side (1) & what engine swaps are most recommended (1) (2) (3) & where to obtain a new or rebuilt head (1) replacement short block or long block (1) (2) & how to lift & remove the engine (1) & the most recent real-world results from people faced with similar blown engine problems from which this advice came from (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15) (16) (17) (18) (19) (20) (21) (22) (23) (24) (25) (26) (27) (28) (29) (30) (31) (32) (33) (34) (35) (36) (37) (38) (39) (40) (41).
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:53 PM
BimmerBruce BimmerBruce is offline
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I got some great advice on head gasket repair from a buddy of mine. I'm a do-it-yourselfer through and through, but it's just too big of a job for me to do myself. I took it in to get er fixed, turned out fine.
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Old 12-07-2011, 01:02 PM
franka franka is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmerBruce View Post
I got some great advice on head gasket repair from a buddy of mine. I'm a do-it-yourselfer through and through, but it's just too big of a job for me to do myself. I took it in to get er fixed, turned out fine.
Took it to who, what did they replace and how much did it cost?
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