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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 07-04-2015, 11:46 PM
LastStock LastStock is offline
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Mein Auto: 1993 325i
1993 325i Misfiring/valve cover gasket

Hey guys,
So this is my first time posting here and I am pretty Noobish so just bear with me.

Ok so I have a cylinder misfiring on my 1993 325i that I just picked up the other day for $1,000. I thought it was bad spark plugs (I know the previous owner didnít take care of anything on the car) and bad oil. I had the oil changed and then changed all 6 spark plugs myself to give it some fresh spark. I noticed oil on all of the old 6 plugs (quite an amount of oil too) and oil pooling in the plug wells. I looked on some forums and people were saying that the valve cover gasket needs to be replaced. I talked to a friend of mine who has some car experience and he suggested I find out which cylinder is misfiring, then change the valve cover gasket, clean the spark plugs and the spark plug wells, and go from there.

So basically we think (more like hope) that the oil on the spark plug is causing the misfire and that the valve cover gasket replacement will fix the problem.
I read online that oil on the plug can cause a misfire however a few people I have talked to said that oil wouldnít do that.

Any thoughts or ideas? I am really hoping itís not a compression issue(I will be testing the compression if the valve cover gasket doesn't fix it).

Thanks guys!
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  #2  
Old Yesterday, 12:46 AM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Welcome to Bimmerfest!

The oil could well have ruined the spark plug boot(s) below the coils, allowing the spark to short between the inner connector and ground. They are pretty cheap, and easy to replace.

Yes, you need to change the cover gasket ASAP. That's a pretty simple job to start your BMW knowledge pool. Here's a DIY tutorial:

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

Don't forget to change the bolt gaskets, too. There are many vendors who carry the valve cover gasket kits, including several who are Bimmerfest sponsors. They have the spark plug boots, too.
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  #3  
Old Yesterday, 12:58 AM
LastStock LastStock is offline
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Ok thanks for the response! so you think that replacing the boots (i'll go ahead and do all 6) can fix the misfire?
I am picking up a Fel-pro cover gasket kit from O'Reilly tomorrow. I'll go ahead and pick up the boots then as well.
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  #4  
Old Yesterday, 07:30 AM
smithpatrick smithpatrick is offline
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Mein Auto: 01 325i, 1990 325i, 320i
I have had oil in plug wells before

Yes the valve cover with seals will stop the oil inflow. The boots may be damaged, inspect first, then buy. Clean everything good and good luck. I get alot of parts for some online seller in AZ. Who no one seems to say.
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  #5  
Old Yesterday, 09:34 AM
LastStock LastStock is offline
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Ok cool thanks.
I did a spark test to find which cylinder was misfiring. It was my first time doing it and I was told that when I had the boot out and grounded, it would run horribly if that cylinder was working. I would know which cylinder is having issues when the car would run how its been running.
Well I did the test and every single plug ran like the car has always been running.
any ideas?
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  #6  
Old Yesterday, 02:51 PM
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drivinfaster drivinfaster is offline
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it would be easier to simply unplug one coil at a time. the one that produced little to no change is the suspect cylinder.

from there, swap that coil to another cylinder and repeat the test to see if the "little to no change" symptom followed the coil to the other cylinder, or if it remained with the initial suspect cylinder.



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  #7  
Old Yesterday, 07:36 PM
Daggerty Daggerty is online now
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How do you know it's a misfire? Did you pull the codes?
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  #8  
Old Yesterday, 08:18 PM
LastStock LastStock is offline
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Ok so I knew it was a misfire because when I would floor it at low rpms it would gurgle real bad then would hit a "sweet spot" and I would then feel the power. It would also idle real rough.
So today we took the valve cover off, replaced the gasket and replaced the spark plug boots. plug #4 was just horribly dirty with oil and god knows what.
With the cover off we cleaned what needed to be cleaned, put it back together, installed the new boots and BAM! fixed. Running better than ever. Pulls beautifully and sounds amazing in 4th/5th with low rpms.
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  #9  
Old Yesterday, 08:29 PM
Daggerty Daggerty is online now
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Ok just making sure it wasn't just a misfire at idle, good to here you solved the problem. Hope you enjoy your purchase.
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  #10  
Old Yesterday, 08:42 PM
LastStock LastStock is offline
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Mein Auto: 1993 325i
Thank you guys for your help! I am extremely happy with the purchase and it is already a very fun car
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