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E21 (1975 - 1983)

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  #1  
Old 12-16-2013, 11:52 AM
TomGreasel TomGreasel is offline
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Location: Oak Brook, Illinois
 
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Mein Auto: BMW 320i
Anti Freeze Leaking into Engine

Reference: 1980 BMW 320i - E21
Owned since new. 55,000 miles.

I first noticed several drops of anti freeze on the garage floor near the front of motor (passenger side). It did not appear that the anti freeze was comming from the water pump. I later discovered anti freeze in the motor oil by using fluorescent dye. My immediate reaction was that it was the result of a blown head gasket. Without doing a compression check I removed the cylinder head. However after removing the head I did not find any evidence of a leaking head gasket. The head has been pressure checked and surface planned by a machine shop and found to be in good condition. I also removed the freeze plug in the area where I first detected the drops of anti freeze and the plug was not rusted through. During my inspection/observations I did not see any anti freeze on the side of the head or block, only drops on the garage floor. This may be due to the leakage occuring after running the car when the coolant was still under pressure.
I need help in determining what could have caused the motor to have anti freeze in it and the drops of anti freeze on the garage floor. Is it possible that the head gasket could bave been leaking and there be no "tracking signs" where it was leaking? Has anyone experienced problems with leaks occuring in the lower timing chain cover? Any ideas or suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Tom Greasel
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  #2  
Old 01-16-2014, 08:10 PM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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Mein Auto: E23;E30;E38;E32;E34 +
Have you checked the drain holes in the water pump? Is/was it due to the front engine cover being distorted / bad gasket?
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  #3  
Old 01-18-2014, 05:25 AM
TomGreasel TomGreasel is offline
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Anti Freeze Leaking into Engine

Hello Farther Figure: A distorted front engine cover is a possibility. However, I have had discussions with two very experienced E 21 engine specialists and they both are of the opinion that I probably have a cracked block. This is very difficult to determine by observation. The method is to magna-flux the block. The 1980 - 1983 blocks were cast a little "thiner" on the E 21 and were prone to crack at the bolt holes. The head bolts stretch over time and there was a line of thought that they should be re-torked periodically. This has proved to be the wrong thing to do but unfortunately over the years I have retorked the head bolts numerous times. The head bolts should only be re-torked after the 1st. 600 miles of installation. If the head bolts stretch over time this will possibly lead to a blown head gasket which is better than a cracked block. Thanks for you ideas. Tom Greasel
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  #4  
Old 01-19-2014, 09:16 AM
loki1120 loki1120 is offline
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Location: MD
 
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Mein Auto: 83 320i (everyday)
A few drops of antifreeze could come from many places on the M10 engine. First, I would look that your issue as two seperate problems. Depending on where the drops on the floor were found will give us a clue the front of the motor is full of placees, the water pump shift seal, or the pump mount seal, would drip around the crank pulley, anyone of the hose clamps can leak under pressure, all these would drip at the frount of the motor.. along the passengerside you have the freeze plugs and block drain, at the back there is that nasty heater hose coming out of the head which would drip at the back of the engine, then there's the heater hoses and valve at the back..

As for the antifreeze in the oil . . . it should have looked like a mocha latte' if it were leaking while the motor were running.. but if it was only drops in the oil means it leaked after the motor shut down so a crack in the block or the head or maaybe it 's just a fluke.. either way I'd RENT autozones coolent system test kit and pressurized the cooling system and see if the pressure bleeds down over time. this will also make the system drip at any leak points.. Good Luck

(oh if you loose coolent and it's not on the floor it's either in the oil or a cylinder so don't crank your engine without pulling the spark plugs)
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Old 01-19-2014, 01:43 PM
TomGreasel TomGreasel is offline
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Anti Freeze Leaking Into Engine

Hello Loki: I used the floursent dye sold at the parts store and put it in the radiator and I cannot tell how much anti freeze leaked into the oil pan. When I flashed the ultra violet lite on the dipstick it "glowed". However, it did not appear that the oil level had significantly increased. What I plan to do is put everything back together with new gaskets and seals and see what develops. Your suggestion of the possibility of lose hose clamps is well taken. I have a habit of leaving at least one clamp not properly tightened. Thanks. Tom Greasel
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  #6  
Old 02-02-2014, 06:18 PM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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Mein Auto: E23;E30;E38;E32;E34 +
Clean up and de-burr the parts carefully as you rebuild - makes a huge difference.
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Previous:
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