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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 05-15-2014, 11:10 AM
Detailnerd Detailnerd is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 Bmw 325xi
01 325xi (2.5 m54) motor replacement

ok guys, so im getting fed up with the issues im having with this motor. i dont want to put anymore money into it and im considering replacing it with a lower mileage, 2.5 m54, that actually runs right..... any thoughts? has anyone done this diy?
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  #2  
Old 05-15-2014, 11:55 AM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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Engine swaps are never "inexpensive"....what`s wrong with your current motor ?
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  #3  
Old 05-15-2014, 03:09 PM
Detailnerd Detailnerd is offline
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well, i was told it had a valve issue. with no compression on cylinder 4. i wasnt sold on the fact that it was a valve issue. i changed the pcv, air distribution peice o rings, throttle body gasket, upper intake lower intake tubes and replaced a few vacuum lines that were disconnected due to rot. Originally it was running as if it had a miss-fire, it would run and idle.... just a bit rough. I checked all of the plugs and coils, both have good spark. the oil isnt milky.. i have yet to check the timing or to do a compression test my self, only because i havent got the tools at the moment.

after i replaced the pcv kit, it wont stay running at idle, and theres a new intermittent knock, not exactly sure where its coming from because i cant keep it running. and also it sounds like its trying to suck air on the left side of the motor near the plugs and coils. everything is bolted up correctly.
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  #4  
Old 05-15-2014, 06:17 PM
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Is the car auto, or stick ? If stick, are you aware if a "money shift" was ever performed ? Any history of overheating ?

A compression/leakdown test might be a good idea to help point to any internal damage....
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  #5  
Old 05-15-2014, 07:45 PM
Detailnerd Detailnerd is offline
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im not sure if it has ever over heated. the guy i bought it from said his daughter drove it... and it just started having issues with the miss-fire but never mentioned overheating. said his "BMW mechanic" said it was a valve, no compression in the #4 cylinder. said he put oil in the cylinder with no change. I'm not sure what a " money shift" is! It is a manual though. the next thing on my list is to do the compression test myself. Just looked up what a money shift is and i have no clue if it this car has suffered such a painful thing.

Last edited by Detailnerd; 05-15-2014 at 07:47 PM.
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  #6  
Old 05-15-2014, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Detailnerd View Post
im not sure if it has ever over heated. the guy i bought it from said his daughter drove it... and it just started having issues with the miss-fire but never mentioned overheating. said his "BMW mechanic" said it was a valve, no compression in the #4 cylinder. said he put oil in the cylinder with no change. I'm not sure what a " money shift" is! It is a manual though. the next thing on my list is to do the compression test myself. Just looked up what a money shift is and i have no clue if it this car has suffered such a painful thing.
I have a funny feeling this car suffered at the hands of an abusive previous owner....dipsh!ts who don`t know enough to pull over and shut the engine off when the temp gauge has been pegged in the red for the last 10 miles.
BTW, a "money shift" is when the driver wants to downshift to 4th gear, but selects second gear by mistake, forcing the engine to over-rev WAY past the redline, often causing bent valves in the process.
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  #7  
Old 05-16-2014, 01:19 AM
Detailnerd Detailnerd is offline
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I agree, it doesn't seem like it was well taken care of at all. it does have 212000 miles though. Motor swap seems imminent. I'll do the compression check, what about a top end rebuild? I paid less than 500 for the car. It's in really good condition as far as interior, trans, body, wheels tires, Clutch... So if I had to swap or rebuild, it's not the end of the world. I would have to do all of it myself because I'm not willing to pay labor, when I have all the time in the world to do it at the moment. I've heard of issues with taking the head off, something to do with the studs being weak, do people rebuild these things or just replace?


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  #8  
Old 05-16-2014, 03:01 AM
lgr122 lgr122 is offline
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Maybe getting fully working engine would be safer bet, when you're not sure how much damage this one has.

Would also allow going 330 instead of 325

But then again, if you're really not in hurry at all... you could first take this engine apart and see what's inside before final decision.
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  #9  
Old 05-16-2014, 06:04 AM
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Scott ZHP Scott ZHP is offline
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Beg, borrow or steal a compression tester and see what's up. A leakdown tester is even better if you have a compressor and can borrow one of those.
No point in throwing parts at it until you assess the basics.
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A bimmer with forced induction should have a proper manual gearbox. Anything less is like french kissing your sister.
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  #10  
Old 05-16-2014, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Detailnerd View Post
. I've heard of issues with taking the head off, something to do with the studs being weak, do people rebuild these things or just replace?
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The problem you illustrate here is a result of overheating to the point where the aluminum block actually anneals (softens) to the point where the head bolts will no longer take the correct torque value. Unfortunately, some folks only discover this upon reassembly, AFTER they`ve already spent a bunch of money on the rebuild. It`s always a crapshoot....

Right now, I would be concerned with getting a proper diagnosis done....lets see what the REAL problem is here....
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  #11  
Old 05-16-2014, 12:01 PM
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crowz crowz is offline
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Swapping in a new motor isnt always a bad idea but doing it without buying a $40 compression gauge and checking it first is stupid.

Id get a gauge and check it before doing anything else and with only $500 in the car Id put a motor in it if it really does have compression issues since its probably cheaper to buy a motor than fix it.
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  #12  
Old 05-16-2014, 12:17 PM
Detailnerd Detailnerd is offline
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yea, ive got a compression gauge on the way, ill be doing that in the next couple of days. ill keep you guys posted.. thanks for the input!!
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  #13  
Old 05-18-2014, 02:47 PM
Detailnerd Detailnerd is offline
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about to perform the compression test in next few minutes. will post the values shortly
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  #14  
Old 05-18-2014, 04:55 PM
Detailnerd Detailnerd is offline
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ok here are the results,

cyl #1 1st crank = 100
4 cranks = 190

cyl #2 " " = 98
" " = 180

cyl #3 " " = 90
" " = 185

Cyl #4 " " = 0 (the gauge didnt even attempt to move AT ALL! )
" " = 0

Cyl #5 " " = 95
" " = 195

cyl #6 " " = 95
" " = 190
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  #15  
Old 05-18-2014, 07:08 PM
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crowz crowz is offline
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Pull the valve cover next and see if a rocker busted or jumped off.
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  #16  
Old 05-18-2014, 07:56 PM
alpinweiss alpinweiss is offline
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I foresee a replacement engine in your near future. At 212,000 miles, your current engine is not worth repairing. Keep us posted on your progress.

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  #17  
Old 05-18-2014, 08:20 PM
Detailnerd Detailnerd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crowz View Post
Pull the valve cover next and see if a rocker busted or jumped off.
A rocker. makes sense. ok ill check tomorrow. Thanks!
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  #18  
Old 05-18-2014, 08:23 PM
Detailnerd Detailnerd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpinweiss View Post
I foresee a replacement engine in your near future. At 212,000 miles, your current engine is not worth repairing. Keep us posted on your progress.

Unfortunately so do I, but eh, awl well. The car is in such good shape other wise.. if it weren't, the way the motor is, it would be outta here already.
I want to love this car, I really do!
unless it ends up costing me more than its worth of course.
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  #19  
Old 05-18-2014, 09:05 PM
Detailnerd Detailnerd is offline
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Originally Posted by Detailnerd View Post
A rocker. makes sense. ok ill check tomorrow. Thanks!
Anything else i should look for while the valve cover is off?
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  #20  
Old 05-19-2014, 03:48 PM
Detailnerd Detailnerd is offline
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ok, pulled the valve cover off... no visual signs of anything broken, ill post a pic. you guys can tell me what you think. idk how much youll be able to see... but ill give it a go anyway. what can it hurt.
i think ill have to pull the head to check out the valves. worst case scenario, ill pull the motor and replace with a used one.
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  #21  
Old 05-19-2014, 04:00 PM
Detailnerd Detailnerd is offline
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well, im not positive how to upload photos, ive got a few, if interested ill email them to you.
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  #22  
Old 05-19-2014, 04:06 PM
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Used engines range from $1500 to $3000....that would probably be your best approach....
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  #23  
Old 05-19-2014, 04:27 PM
Detailnerd Detailnerd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
Used engines range from $1500 to $3000....that would probably be your best approach....
Right, what would I need to change if I wanted to put a s54 motor in this bad boy. will it fit?!
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  #24  
Old 05-19-2014, 04:30 PM
Detailnerd Detailnerd is offline
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erm, nevermind on that s54..... WAY too expensive
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  #25  
Old 05-19-2014, 05:19 PM
Detailnerd Detailnerd is offline
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Thanks for the input, i will keep everyone up to date.... anyone have a good running motor for sale?
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