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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 12-24-2012, 10:35 AM
Metlic53 Metlic53 is offline
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Should i buy this head? Mine is Cracked

well after i had a tech look over my 01 325i he said my head has a crack, their heads are way too expensive at 3000 bucks so i found this one on ebay what do yall think? I wont need to take it to a machine shop and the tech said he will put it in and swap my cams over for 800 bucks.


http://www.ebay.com/itm/BMW-M54-Rema...36b884&vxp=mtr
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  #2  
Old 12-24-2012, 11:30 AM
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You need to be aware that if the engine overheated, it`s possible that the block softened up and will no longer allow the head bolts to be torqued correctly. This happens quite frequently, and renders the engine useless.
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  #3  
Old 12-24-2012, 11:43 AM
Metlic53 Metlic53 is offline
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Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
You need to be aware that if the engine overheated, it`s possible that the block softened up and will no longer allow the head bolts to be torqued correctly. This happens quite frequently, and renders the engine useless.
the first thing the tech said was it doesnt appear to have been overheated
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  #4  
Old 12-24-2012, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Metlic53 View Post
the first thing the tech said was it doesnt appear to have been overheated
Bulldinky....heads *don`t crack by themselves*....
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  #5  
Old 12-24-2012, 12:17 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Would TimeSerts solve this problem if it came to that after he bought the rebuilt head?
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  #6  
Old 12-24-2012, 12:27 PM
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Would TimeSerts solve this problem if it came to that after he bought the rebuilt head?
I don`t know if I would trust them with the pressures/expansion/contraction, etc. involved with a head job....
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  #7  
Old 12-24-2012, 12:34 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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They do list this application on their website as I recall. And I think someone on another board has used them successfully. Just wondered if that was an anomaly?
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  #8  
Old 12-24-2012, 12:46 PM
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They do list this application on their website as I recall. And I think someone on another board has used them successfully. Just wondered if that was an anomaly?
If I *did* take that route, and it worked, I think I`d be pretty tempted to sell that car quickly....
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  #9  
Old 12-24-2012, 01:26 PM
titan silber titan silber is offline
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$3000? You're not far away from a crate engine from BMW! If you're a car club member the discount on one is fairly substantial. If my engine falls out that's what I plan to do. Even if it costs me $7000 to get it all done , the car is worth more than that to me. To me, the E46 is the last great 3 series.....
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  #10  
Old 12-24-2012, 04:38 PM
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We keep a thread handy for people faced with overheated M54 engines ... oh ... it didn't overheat (ummm ok) ... here's that thread anyway ... hope it helps the OP:

- 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 the last 50 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) (42) (43) (44) (45) (46) (47) (48) (49) (50)
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Last edited by bluebee; 12-24-2012 at 04:39 PM.
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  #11  
Old 12-24-2012, 06:10 PM
Metlic53 Metlic53 is offline
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What is timeserts? And that overheated thread is pretty hard to read lol, so how do I know when I need a new head? All he said was the compression numbers were fine but the radiator leak down test or whatever didnt pass, it started spraying water out of the radiator cap which means the valve was letting water past? I think that's what he said. All in all I'm still a little confused
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  #12  
Old 12-24-2012, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
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All in all I'm still a little confused
You`re a *lot* more than that, my friend....
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  #13  
Old 12-24-2012, 08:04 PM
Metlic53 Metlic53 is offline
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hmmmm is 800 for a head and 800 for install a good deal though?
I want to get a second opinion but i'm not sure who to take it to
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  #14  
Old 12-24-2012, 08:34 PM
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hmmmm is 800 for a head and 800 for install a good deal though?
I want to get a second opinion but i'm not sure who to take it to
That`s another thing....where are you located ?

(And *don`t* say "Conroe" or we`ll break your friggin` legs.... )
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  #15  
Old 12-24-2012, 08:49 PM
Metlic53 Metlic53 is offline
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im down her in Conroe texas, 40 miles or so north of houston
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  #16  
Old 12-25-2012, 06:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metlic53 View Post
What is timeserts? And that overheated thread is pretty hard to read lol, so how do I know when I need a new head? All he said was the compression numbers were fine but the radiator leak down test or whatever didnt pass, it started spraying water out of the radiator cap which means the valve was letting water past? I think that's what he said. All in all I'm still a little confused
You need to have a clear discussion with your mechanic, or get a second opinion. There must be several good BMW mechanics near Houston. Ask specifically if you have a cracked cylinder head, a cracked radiator, or maybe just a cracked radiator cap. If its the latter, buy a new cap, screw it on by hand and enjoy the holidays. From the sound of it (and I'm not trying to be insulting) you don't know much about cars and are getting confused by terminology.

Good luck. Merry Christmas.
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  #17  
Old 12-25-2012, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metlic53 View Post
What is timeserts?
With the decisions & effort facing you, you'll need to do a lot of reading:
- Helicoils (1) vs Timeserts (1) for stripped oilpan (1) & head gasket thread repair (1) & Metric/SAE bolt conversion factors (1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Metlic53 View Post
And that overheated thread is pretty hard to read
Hmmmmm... you intimated you have a M-A-J-O-R repair in front of you. If a bit of reading is too much effort - then just wait for the two gotchas you're potentially facing:
a) Money (lots)
b) Complications (potentially a few nasties are awaiting)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Metlic53 View Post
how do I know when I need a new head?
Ummm... Did you read the test thread we pointed you to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Metlic53 View Post
the radiator leak down test or whatever didnt pass
Hmmmm... if it were that alone, we'd all be replacing our heads since every single one of us had had a coolant leak at one time or another.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Metlic53 View Post
I think that's what he said. All in all I'm still a little confused
You have a lot to learn, my friend. And you start by reading up on what OTHERS did in the same situation (since no situation here is unique).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
You`re a *lot* more than that, my friend...
+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan2263 View Post
YAsk specifically if you ha.ve a cracked cylinder head, a cracked radiator, or maybe just a cracked radiator cap
+1

If the OP doesn't have a good mechanic, I suggest he start here:
Finding a reputable BMW indy in your area (1) (2) & the consumers' checkbook method of finding a good mechanic (1) & repairpal labor/job/shop rates by zip code (1) & other things to consider replacing while you're already there (1)
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Note: Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
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  #18  
Old 12-25-2012, 03:18 PM
Metlic53 Metlic53 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan2263 View Post
You need to have a clear discussion with your mechanic, or get a second opinion. There must be several good BMW mechanics near Houston. Ask specifically if you have a cracked cylinder head, a cracked radiator, or maybe just a cracked radiator cap. If its the latter, buy a new cap, screw it on by hand and enjoy the holidays. From the sound of it (and I'm not trying to be insulting) you don't know much about cars and are getting confused by terminology.

Good luck. Merry Christmas.
i know plenty about cars, my dad is a mechanic but he wants nothing to do with that bmw, he says everyone can afford to buy a bmw they just cant afford to own a bmw. I've swapped motors from jeeps, im a jeep guy that bought a bmw. i usually do all work myself to save money, i run a 2002 camaro SS with 450 HP, CAM, NANO Nitrous, Stall and lots of other mods. i put it all in myself. I'm just having alot of trouble with this BMW, i know nothing about them, i'm still learning, i probably should never have bought one. The tech said it was a crack in the # 3 cylinder and it needs to be replaced. He said the radiator and cooling system was in top notch shape. I'll go find someone else that will look at it, i paid him 75 bucks to diagnose it and i got a discount cause he is a friend. i'm sure the next diagnosis wont be that cheap.
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  #19  
Old 12-25-2012, 03:25 PM
Metlic53 Metlic53 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
With the decisions & effort facing you, you'll need to do a lot of reading:
- Helicoils (1) vs Timeserts (1) for stripped oilpan (1) & head gasket thread repair (1) & Metric/SAE bolt conversion factors (1)



Hmmmmm... you intimated you have a M-A-J-O-R repair in front of you. If a bit of reading is too much effort - then just wait for the two gotchas you're potentially facing:
a) Money (lots)
b) Complications (potentially a few nasties are awaiting)



Ummm... Did you read the test thread we pointed you to?



Hmmmm... if it were that alone, we'd all be replacing our heads since every single one of us had had a coolant leak at one time or another.



You have a lot to learn, my friend. And you start by reading up on what OTHERS did in the same situation (since no situation here is unique).


+1


+1

If the OP doesn't have a good mechanic, I suggest he start here:
Finding a reputable BMW indy in your area (1) (2) & the consumers' checkbook method of finding a good mechanic (1) & repairpal labor/job/shop rates by zip code (1) & other things to consider replacing while you're already there (1)
I'm going to call european auto techniks and see how much they will diagnose it for. If they come back and say the same thing then what do yall suggest? New Head?
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  #20  
Old 12-25-2012, 04:48 PM
Metlic53 Metlic53 is offline
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ok i called the tech and he explained, he pressured up the 3rd cylinder and water sprayed out the radiator cap. all other cylinders were fine
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  #21  
Old 12-26-2012, 05:16 AM
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Easy there, I didn't mean to offend. You were clearly getting confused by terminology so I jumped to a conclusion I maybe shouldn't have.

Now that we know it failed the leakdown test, and you have a major problem, if it were me, I would skip the new head and look for a low mileage engine in good shape. This is the perfect opportunity to upgrade it to a 330. It's basically plug and play.

As Fastbob pointed out, M54's are very strong engines and don't "just fail" without an underlying cause such as overheating. I'd be worried about the overall health of the block at this point.
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  #22  
Old 12-26-2012, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan2263 View Post
Easy there, I didn't mean to offend. You were clearly getting confused by terminology so I jumped to a conclusion I maybe shouldn't have.

Now that we know it failed the leakdown test, and you have a major problem, if it were me, I would skip the new head and look for a low mileage engine in good shape. This is the perfect opportunity to upgrade it to a 330. It's basically plug and play.

As Fastbob pointed out, M54's are very strong engines and don't "just fail" without an underlying cause such as overheating. I'd be worried about the overall health of the block at this point.
OP, this^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^is probably the best solution given your current situation. Rebuilding a BMW engine can run you *thousands* more $ than you had originally planned on....
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  #23  
Old 12-26-2012, 11:58 AM
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Look here which was just updated moments ago regarding cylinder #3 cracks:
- 2002 525i Cracked head


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  #24  
Old 12-26-2012, 01:17 PM
Metlic53 Metlic53 is offline
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You didn't offend me, I'm just blunt I guess
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  #25  
Old 12-26-2012, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Metlic53 View Post
You didn't offend me, I'm just blunt I guess
It's all good.
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