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E34 (1989 - 1995)

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  #1  
Old 01-08-2013, 05:20 PM
Larrick Larrick is offline
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Is this the death of my 1994 525it?

The good news is that I have a follow up to the water pump replacement due to overheating problem. I was concerned with what I thought was an excessive amount of water vapor in the exhaust and have monitored the coolant level now for three months and there is no coolant loss. The bad news is that the engine has developed a blop, blop, blop, blop,blop...noise and a loss of power and a shake of the engine on accelerate. Would this be a valve? I just put $1500 into the cooling system and do not know if it is worth putting more money into the car. My son drives it and thinks that the problem may have occurred when he was in low gear(automatic) when he was using the engine to help brake the car going down hill. He is not positive. Does anyone have an opinion on the problem?
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  #2  
Old 01-08-2013, 05:27 PM
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luckydog luckydog is offline
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I don't think its a valve. maybe a fowled plug or vacuum leak. Once i got water in one of the spark plug well's and it had the same symptoms you describe.

Last edited by luckydog; 01-10-2013 at 08:20 AM.
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  #3  
Old 01-08-2013, 05:31 PM
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BMR_LVR BMR_LVR is offline
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I hope everything is okay with it. However, without a video with sound, there's really no way to tell.

Could you post a video of the engine at idle? Also, check to make sure all of the spark plugs are tight. Occasionally, one will come lose and cause an unusual noise (that could be like your description).

Also, have you done the stomp test?
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Most problems are usually something simple !

Quote:
Originally Posted by noego View Post
It's Deja Poo - as in, I've heard this **** before.
Steve

Calypso Red 1992 525i with 200K miles

1991 735i - Sold
1992 525i - Sold
1995 325is - Sold
2000 528i - Sold

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  #4  
Old 01-08-2013, 06:01 PM
Larrick Larrick is offline
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The lose plug is something I will check tomorrow. And look for a vacuum leak also. It is my son's car and I was able to look at it only briefly before dark today. I would need more assistance posting a video than overhauling an engine. I am a decent mechanic but have not embraced the digital age. I can get help if it proves necessary. If you say the word "plop" twice a second, that would approximate the sound. I thought it may be a stuck open valve and the compression air escaping and causing the power lose and sound but the loose plug is definately a possibility. Would a valve make a more"metallic" sound? The engine runs pretty smooth at idle and if you do not heavily accelerate or have to climb a hill the engine runs well enough as to not be very noticeable. I will also do a stomp test. You have given me hope. Thank you.
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  #5  
Old 01-08-2013, 06:57 PM
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BMR_LVR BMR_LVR is offline
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Does it sound like this?:



or this:



Both are loose plug(s)
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Most problems are usually something simple !

Quote:
Originally Posted by noego View Post
It's Deja Poo - as in, I've heard this **** before.
Steve

Calypso Red 1992 525i with 200K miles

1991 735i - Sold
1992 525i - Sold
1995 325is - Sold
2000 528i - Sold

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  #6  
Old 01-08-2013, 07:20 PM
Larrick Larrick is offline
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I will sleep much better tonight thanks to your videos. The first one sounds exactly like mine and second one has one addition noise (rattle) which I thankfully do not have. I would bet money that my problem is a loose plug. I will report back tomorrow evening. This forum is fantastic. I only wish I could be as much help to someone one days as you have all been to me over the past few years.
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  #7  
Old 01-08-2013, 07:24 PM
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BMR_LVR BMR_LVR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larrick View Post
I will sleep much better tonight thanks to your videos. The first one sounds exactly like mine and second one has one addition noise (rattle) which I thankfully do not have. I would bet money that my problem is a loose plug. I will report back tomorrow evening. This forum is fantastic. I only wish I could be as much help to someone one days as you have all been to me over the past few years.
Yeah, I think the second one has a vanos unit in need of repair/rebuild. I hope it's a simple loose plug. Easy fix

Make sure and let us know.
__________________
Most problems are usually something simple !

Quote:
Originally Posted by noego View Post
It's Deja Poo - as in, I've heard this **** before.
Steve

Calypso Red 1992 525i with 200K miles

1991 735i - Sold
1992 525i - Sold
1995 325is - Sold
2000 528i - Sold

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  #8  
Old 01-08-2013, 10:50 PM
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Monsignor Monsignor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMR_LVR View Post
Yeah, I think the second one has a vanos unit in need of repair/rebuild. I hope it's a simple loose plug. Easy fix

Make sure and let us know.
Also the vanos unit isn't too bad of a job either.

Thanks Steve. I have this issue with my E28, looking forward to tightening up the plugs

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  #9  
Old 01-09-2013, 06:56 PM
Larrick Larrick is offline
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Sitting down with a glass of brandy to celebrate. The Forum's diagnostic's were absolutely correct. My son and I pulled all the coils and discovered clean oil in many of the spark plug wells (as was predicted in a private message). The oil filler cap gasket was worn and cracked and obviously leaking oil into the spark wells. If you are sloppy when adding oil, the over spill can also run into the wells. This can cause conductivity problems. But the main culprit was a very loose spark plug. It was the third from the fire wall and in the position to receive the most direct flow of leaking oil from the filler cap. I do not know if that is just coincidence. A couple of the other plugs were not as snug as I would prefer also. We meticulously cleaned everything and installed new Bosh iridium plugs using anti seize on the threads and dielectric on connections. We fashion a new gasket for the filler cap and turned the key. Purrs like a kitten. Test drive was a dream. Thank you all for your intelligent and professional advice. I may have been a bit dramatic in considering this a possible death blow to an e34, but not contemplating a solution as simple as a loose spark plug ( in all my years having never experienced one) and the horrid noise being emitted by the engine, looking across the hood from my son, shaking my head and thinking of my repeated requests of him to "stop driving it like a sports car!" wrongly believing that he had abused the car. (I just want him to drive more safely, parents always want their child not to do what they did because....it was obviously unsafe!) I do have him believing that his driving habits may have led to the problem so he has promised to drive less" Indy style". It was a great day for cars and father/ son relations. Thanks again.
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  #10  
Old 01-09-2013, 07:11 PM
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BMR_LVR BMR_LVR is offline
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I'm so glad that it was so simple I'm sure youi know, but a worn valve cover gasket can leak oil into the plug wells also.

Feels great to get it fixed doesn't it
__________________
Most problems are usually something simple !

Quote:
Originally Posted by noego View Post
It's Deja Poo - as in, I've heard this **** before.
Steve

Calypso Red 1992 525i with 200K miles

1991 735i - Sold
1992 525i - Sold
1995 325is - Sold
2000 528i - Sold


Last edited by BMR_LVR; 01-09-2013 at 08:30 PM.
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  #11  
Old 01-09-2013, 07:18 PM
Larrick Larrick is offline
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I do not fully understand how oil can get into the spark plug wells except from the oil filler cap gasket. Where is the valve cover gasket? The black plastic "Top cover" is not considered the valve cover..is it?
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  #12  
Old 01-09-2013, 07:23 PM
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BMR_LVR BMR_LVR is offline
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The valve cover is what you see when you remove the engine cover and see the coils. There seals around the plug wells and when the VCG goes bad, oil leaks into the wells. There are many write ups here and if you Google. Pelican Parts has a good DIY for the M50 (I think it is under E36, but the engine is the same as yours).

Here ya go:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/tech...alve-Cover.htm

Hope this helps.
__________________
Most problems are usually something simple !

Quote:
Originally Posted by noego View Post
It's Deja Poo - as in, I've heard this **** before.
Steve

Calypso Red 1992 525i with 200K miles

1991 735i - Sold
1992 525i - Sold
1995 325is - Sold
2000 528i - Sold

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  #13  
Old 01-09-2013, 07:38 PM
Larrick Larrick is offline
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Location: Berkeley California
 
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Mein Auto: 1994 525it
Thanks. This the only BMW I have ever worked on and am learning as I go. I am used to a valve cover being a thin metal lid so it was a bit confusing. I do not mind asking stupid questions. I assume the only way to monitor the possible oil leak is to remove the coil above the plugs which had oil in the wells? The power loss was most probably due to the very loose spark plug (hanging on by a few threads) and the small amount of oil may not have had an effect of a misfire at all. Will a valve cover gasket leak cause a vacuum leak problem?
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  #14  
Old 01-09-2013, 07:54 PM
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BMR_LVR BMR_LVR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larrick View Post
Thanks. This the only BMW I have ever worked on and am learning as I go. I am used to a valve cover being a thin metal lid so it was a bit confusing. I do not mind asking stupid questions. I assume the only way to monitor the possible oil leak is to remove the coil above the plugs which had oil in the wells? Yes. However, the rate that the oil wells fill is dependent on how bad the leak is. The power loss was most probably due to the very loose spark plug (hanging on by a few threads) ABSOLUTELY and the small amount of oil may not have had an effect of a misfire at all. Small amounts of oil will not cause a misfire. If the pulg well fills up to the point that the coil connects to the plug, then yes, it can cause a misfire Will a valve cover gasket leak cause a vacuum leak problem? Yes it can if it's bad enough
See above in red.
__________________
Most problems are usually something simple !

Quote:
Originally Posted by noego View Post
It's Deja Poo - as in, I've heard this **** before.
Steve

Calypso Red 1992 525i with 200K miles

1991 735i - Sold
1992 525i - Sold
1995 325is - Sold
2000 528i - Sold


Last edited by BMR_LVR; 01-09-2013 at 08:34 PM.
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  #15  
Old 01-09-2013, 08:14 PM
Larrick Larrick is offline
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The oil filler cap gasket was very worn and nearly useless. The fact that the amount of oil in the wells seemed directly related to proximity to the cap and natural flow of oil from the cap leads me to believe (hope) that the oil had come from the failed cap gasket and not the valve cover gasket. Actually, I should check your appreciated link to Pelican parts and see if the problem areas of the vcgasket which need additional gasket seal coincide with the oily wells.
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  #16  
Old 01-09-2013, 08:43 PM
Larrick Larrick is offline
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It appears obvious that the circular gaskets surrounding the plug wells are the ones that could cause a problem with misfire. These cannot be under much pressure, can they? What would cause a leak? Could the overheating of the engine before the coolant system overhaul have caused the valve cover to deform? One things leads to another. The engine never reached Red on the temp gauge. At any rate, the valve cover gasket looks like a fairly simple job. I will wait and see and report back when I have some information.
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  #17  
Old 01-10-2013, 06:11 AM
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Monsignor Monsignor is offline
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Valve cover gasket is an easy job. The circular plug well gaskets are under the pressure of the valve cover being torqued down.

I'm replacing mine today also if you'd like a write up

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  #18  
Old 01-10-2013, 08:07 AM
Larrick Larrick is offline
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The pressure which I was referring to is the air pressure inside the valve cover itself. The pressure which would cause a gasket failure. I would assume that there is very little pressure and wouldn't that be released through what I thought was the pressure relief valve which comes out of the valve cover and connects to the carburetor.
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  #19  
Old 01-10-2013, 08:17 AM
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BMR_LVR BMR_LVR is offline
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Valve cover gaskets just go bad after a while. It is just part of the life of the beast. It sounds like yours needs to just be replaced.
__________________
Most problems are usually something simple !

Quote:
Originally Posted by noego View Post
It's Deja Poo - as in, I've heard this **** before.
Steve

Calypso Red 1992 525i with 200K miles

1991 735i - Sold
1992 525i - Sold
1995 325is - Sold
2000 528i - Sold

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  #20  
Old 01-10-2013, 08:21 AM
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Monsignor Monsignor is offline
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There isn't much pressure inside it as it is sealed by the valves and pressure is released through the PVC. the valve cover gasket is rubber and just ages is all, just as Steve said

Sent from Joe's Galaxy SIII via BimmerApp
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  #21  
Old 01-10-2013, 08:29 AM
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Bimmer1995318ti Bimmer1995318ti is offline
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I second the water in the plug, it occurred to me
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  #22  
Old 01-10-2013, 08:47 AM
Larrick Larrick is offline
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I will keep a close eye on any oil in the wells and plan on a new gasket soon. Does it make any sense to check and tighten the gasket bolts. We were loosing daylight yesterday and I was simply concerned with the cleaning and spark plug replacement to see if that cured the immediate problem.
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  #23  
Old 01-10-2013, 08:50 AM
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Monsignor Monsignor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larrick View Post
I will keep a close eye on any oil in the wells and plan on a new gasket soon. Does it make any sense to check and tighten the gasket bolts. We were loosing daylight yesterday and I was simply concerned with the cleaning and spark plug replacement to see if that cured the immediate problem.
a gasket is inexpensive and simple to replace. I'd just pull the trigger on it. Always double check bolt torque, especially in the motor
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