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E30 (1982 - 1993)
God's Chariot. The E30 was produced primarily from 1982 through 1991. The cabriolet was the one exception which was produced through 1993.

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  #1  
Old 03-19-2013, 12:35 PM
Chaunceton Chaunceton is offline
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Cracked Head, What Now?

The machine shop tells me the head is cracked and used ones probably aren't the best idea. The cost of a new head (that they would charge me) is $1200. By the time I get my e30 back the bill will be around $2500. What do I do? I just can't afford that? Anybody know where I can get a cheaper head?
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  #2  
Old 03-19-2013, 01:09 PM
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IEbimmerguy IEbimmerguy is offline
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Your best bet is finding a good head in a wrecking yard, and having the machine shop clean it up. Look for the latest head you can find, from an M20 engine. This includes e30, and e34. Look over the engine, and look for evidence of water in the oil under the valve cover. One way to get an untouched head, is one with the vin sticker still attached. That head will probably NOT have been skimmed before.
I paid $75 for a used head with warranty, and then pain $218 for it to be cleaned and new guides in California last October. Hope this helps you. I did all the labor on R&R on the engine.
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:11 PM
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Newman271 Newman271 is online now
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Salvage yards, craigslist, ebay.. the list goes on. I would never spend that much on a stock head.. You could buy a aftermarket ported and polished head for that costs.
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:14 PM
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Newman271 Newman271 is online now
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also, since your car is a 89'.. make sure the head comes with the double valve springs otherwise it's a "e" head with single valve springs and will float valves at 5500rpm and prolly Blam-O!! the engine.
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  #5  
Old 03-19-2013, 01:54 PM
Chaunceton Chaunceton is offline
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I just worry that a parts yard head will be just as likely to crack as the head on my engine that just cracked. I found a rebuilt head on eBay for $700, that seems more reasonable. Is that still too much?
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  #6  
Old 03-19-2013, 07:37 PM
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downhiller downhiller is offline
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yes. the chances of a yard head being cracked is about 1/1000. it could happen but its rare. i would run to the yards and see what they have. you can still find a much better deal
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:00 PM
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IEbimmerguy IEbimmerguy is offline
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If buying a head from a salvage yard, you'll either find one that's already been shaved too much, or has been cracked and sent the car to the bone yard in the first place. So, look for signs of milky oil (bad) and try to get a head that's never been off the engine. (Original vin sticker on head) That's your best bet, in finding a great one. I assume you're looking for an 885 head, so peer through the intake for those numbers, before you start disassembly.
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:56 AM
Chaunceton Chaunceton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IEbimmerguy View Post
If buying a head from a salvage yard, you'll either find one that's already been shaved too much, or has been cracked and sent the car to the bone yard in the first place. So, look for signs of milky oil (bad) and try to get a head that's never been off the engine. (Original vin sticker on head) That's your best bet, in finding a great one. I assume you're looking for an 885 head, so peer through the intake for those numbers, before you start disassembly.
What is that 885? Just a part number to distinguish it from other BMW heads?
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:58 AM
Chaunceton Chaunceton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by downhiller View Post
yes. the chances of a yard head being cracked is about 1/1000. it could happen but its rare. i would run to the yards and see what they have. you can still find a much better deal
How is it so rare? Maybe the head in a parts car isn't already cracked, but isn't there a higher likelihood that it will crack in the next 50k miles than a rebuild/refinished head?
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  #10  
Old 03-20-2013, 09:29 AM
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IEbimmerguy IEbimmerguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaunceton View Post
what is that 885? Just a part number to distinguish it from other bmw heads?
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  #11  
Old 03-20-2013, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaunceton View Post
How is it so rare? Maybe the head in a parts car isn't already cracked, but isn't there a higher likelihood that it will crack in the next 50k miles than a rebuild/refinished head?
ive seen/heard of very few cracks head on these cars. normally for a head to crack, the head gasket blew/water pump crapped out and the owner just kept driving for a year with poor maintenance.

theres always coolant additives that can help lower the chances of overheating the head. besides doing say an electric fan conversion and running a lower temp t stat, using redline wetter water and a aluminum radiator will help keep the coolant temps lower.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:03 PM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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Corrosion is more common than cracks and easier to spot on the gasket faces..
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  #13  
Old 03-27-2013, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by BMWFatherFigure View Post
Corrosion is more common than cracks and easier to spot on the gasket faces..
and broken bolts
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  #14  
Old 03-27-2013, 07:31 PM
kmorgan_260 kmorgan_260 is offline
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I have had very good luck with used heads for M50 and M52. Most machine shops will clean and pressure test it for you for under $100. At that point you know if it is solid and can have them do any machine work if needed. Good luck.
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