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7 Series - E38 (1995 - 2001)

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Old 03-22-2013, 08:24 AM
PaystarCEO PaystarCEO is offline
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Location: Charlotte, NC, USA
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 7
Mein Auto: 2000 740IL
TIMING CHAIN - Help please

My 2000 740iL has been a dream to drive but I noticed a tapping sound coming from inside the front of the engine. My normal indy mechanic called me back with the bad news - said my Timing Chain is "broken or stretched" and needs to be replaced. He is actually referring me to another BMW shop to do the work - estimated price is $2500. (ACTUALLY $4950)

I didn't know chains could stretch. Could this be a different problem? Or do chains indeed stretch and is this a problem that happens after about 200,000 happy miles?

1. Does this problem really exist?
2. Is $2500 ($4950) reasonable to fix it it (assuming the above is true)

Let me know asap as I have to give my guy the word here shortly on what to do.

Thanks all.

Last edited by PaystarCEO; 03-25-2013 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:19 AM
Magnum Magnum is offline
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Location: Somewhere Between Here And There
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12
Mein Auto: 740
If the chain was broke, I doubt the car would even run.

Probably more like your timing chain guide[s] failed / broke.

I just recently finished up this job myself, it's a big one. Tell him to drop the oil pan and look for plastic pieces to verify the guides actually failed. If no plastic pieces exist in the oil pan, you may be able to get away with just a tensioner [though doubtful with 200K miles].

Look at my home page pics and that is [more than likely] where the mechanic will be going to fix your car.

BTW, get a firm quote, in writing if possible, for the $2500 you were quoted. That seems pretty cheap to me, plus he said he's sending it out, so.....

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Old 03-25-2013, 08:00 AM
crcuevas crcuevas is offline
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Location: Biloxi, MS
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 29
Mein Auto: 2001 740il
Yeah $2500 is cheap. I just finished mine also. I got an estimate of $3k to $3.5k for labor only not including parts. But I'm in the south
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:31 PM
PaystarCEO PaystarCEO is offline
Registered User
Location: Charlotte, NC, USA
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 7
Mein Auto: 2000 740IL
First estimate was off by a lot.

Here is the last estimate. THOUGHTS ANYONE?

LABOR = $3420

PARTS = $1512

TOTAL = $4932

$30 - Crank Seal $30
$130 - Lower Chain $130
$94 - Upper Chains $47 x 2 = $94
$111 - Tensioner $111
$28 - Lower Gasket Set $28
$40 - Top Rail - $10 x 4 = $40
$90 - V/C Gasket $45 x 2 = $90
$250 - Upper Tensioner $125 x 2
$24 - Upper Seal - $12 x 2 = $24
$145 - Lower Guide $145
$90 - Left Guide $90
$180 - Lower Guide $180
$8 - W/P Gasket $8
$20 - Coolant $20
$54 - Oil $54
$18 - Fliter $18
$10 - O Rings $10
$90 - Oil Separator $90
$100 - Misc $100
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:14 AM
kimokk kimokk is offline
**Bimmer DIYer**
Location: Alexandria, VA
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 161
Mein Auto: 00 740iL, 97 M3, 06 X3
Looks about right. The labor book rate is around 24-30 hours. You can save on some of those parts though. You don't need the cam chain tensioners (upper tensioner $250), you just need the four plastic guides that go on those. If all those parts are BMW OEM then the price is about right but you can source them for less online through oembimmerparts, EACeuroparts, or Tischer BMW, etc. Oembimmerparts sells the timing guides kit for about $325 but you still need the other things listed up there. Look at this list from EACeuroparts I think they come out to $650 without the cam chain tensioners.

You should also get a new crankshaft bolt to ($15) since they stretch form the huge torque. HTH and good luck.
BMW '00 740il w/230,xxx miles, DIY timing chain guides complete! M60 Manifold, BDC Throttle Body, Performance gearing 3.46 LSD, Magnaflow Mufflers
BMW '97 ///M3/2/5 w/105,xxx miles
BMW '06 X3 w/130,XXX

Last edited by kimokk; 03-26-2013 at 05:15 AM.
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