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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

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 11-06-2015, 08:42 AM
Rick25m3 Rick25m3 is offline
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Broken timing chain

i have a 95 m3 that I just rebuilt, but the timing chain broke. I am sending the complete head minus lifters to the guys a autohead performance (great guys that are extremely helpful and usually answer myemails with phone calls) to fix the bent valves and see if they find any clues to the cause of the failure.

My question is, other than the head bolts and gasket are all of my other seals good to reuse? Also, the lower chain guide is very worn at the top, could this have been caused by the lower tensioner holding too much pressure on the guide or would it have occurred after the chain failed? All of the parts in question were purchased new for the rebuild. Thanks for any help guys.
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  #2  
Old 11-06-2015, 06:52 PM
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drivinfaster drivinfaster is offline
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not a good idea to reuse any gasket as they are 1 time use designs.

as for the guides being worn, yes, it is quite possible that caused slop in the chain which could have caused the chain to fail by a piece of the guide or tensioner getting caught in between the chain and teeth of the sprocket.

how many miles were on the engine??

what do the pistons look like??




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  #3  
Old 11-06-2015, 07:08 PM
Rick25m3 Rick25m3 is offline
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220k before the rebuild, about .4 on the guide total before the chain failed. I'll know how the pistons look tomorrow afternoon when I take the head off
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  #4  
Old 11-06-2015, 07:54 PM
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wait, what??!!! i am lost...you rebuilt this thing and put 0.4 miles on it and the timing chain grenaded??

did you use the cam lock and vanos tools?? the guide that you mentioned, was it also replaced and is worn in that amount of time?? how did it not make any noises if that is the case??





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  #5  
Old 11-06-2015, 08:00 PM
Rick25m3 Rick25m3 is offline
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I used a timing kit that included the locks as well as the "lower tensioner simulator" which was a waste of money since I had an old tensioner and everything was replaced with no odd noises until it failed. I'm stumped as to why it broke and why the guide shows so much wear
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  #6  
Old 11-10-2015, 06:33 AM
Rick25m3 Rick25m3 is offline
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Quick update, there was contact on the exhaust side of all six cylinders. It wasn't making odd noises but there are marks on the pistons that tell the tale.

Should I look into adjustable cam gears or should a thicker MLS head gasket along with using the timing blocks and flywheel lock pin be good enough? I'm just going to make up for the machining that has been performed on the block and head instead of using a victor reinz gasket. By the way this engine has JE 11.5:1 pistons.
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  #7  
Old 11-10-2015, 02:38 PM
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bronx1987 bronx1987 is offline
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Didnt you turn the engine over multiple times by hand before turning it on?

Also if you run such high comp pistons, they should have come with deeper valve pockets as they would have been designed to use with factory thickness head gasket.
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  #8  
Old 11-10-2015, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick25m3 View Post
Quick update, there was contact on the exhaust side of all six cylinders. It wasn't making odd noises but there are marks on the pistons that tell the tale.

Should I look into adjustable cam gears or should a thicker MLS head gasket along with using the timing blocks and flywheel lock pin be good enough? I'm just going to make up for the machining that has been performed on the block and head instead of using a victor reinz gasket. By the way this engine has JE 11.5:1 pistons.
So the block AND the head were decked, and you were running high compression pistons with a standard thickness head gasket? The valve to piston contact is likely what caused the timing chain to fail........
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  #9  
Old 11-11-2015, 07:50 AM
Rick25m3 Rick25m3 is offline
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The total amount of material taken off was only 0.004", it would have to have been a timing issue. Is there a trick to using the kit? Everything I have seen makes it appear to be pretty straight forward.
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  #10  
Old 11-11-2015, 04:07 PM
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that's not a lot of material to remove, so if i were to venture a guess i would think that maybe you had the cams out 90 degrees on the exhaust side since they all made contact.

pics of said carnage?? it would totally suck to redo this only to wind up not being certain when reassembly time comes and then second guess yourself only to possibly revisit this scene.

not that *that* has ever happened to me any time.....i, uh,...read about stuff like that happening, yeah,...that's it,....i read about it...




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  #11  
Old 11-11-2015, 05:27 PM
Rick25m3 Rick25m3 is offline
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The head is already at the shop. The valves, other than the ones that were open when the chain stopped moving, were pretty straight. The pistons were what gave it away with small marks where the contact occurred. I think everything appeared good until the lifters pumped up and that's when the interference occurred.i have a picture verifying the first lobes were up and in with the cam locks on and lower chain installed..
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  #12  
Old 11-17-2015, 06:20 AM
Rick25m3 Rick25m3 is offline
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After hunting for answers I found that JE sold me pistons with a 1.291" compression height, which happens to be the compression height of the s52 from the factory. Combined with the .015" total taken from the head and the block I believe that I have finally found my problem with a total difference of .062".
rookie lesson learned, don't trust that you got the right parts.
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  #13  
Old 11-17-2015, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick25m3 View Post
After hunting for answers I found that JE sold me pistons with a 1.291" compression height, which happens to be the compression height of the s52 from the factory. Combined with the .015" total taken from the head and the block I believe that I have finally found my problem with a total difference of .062".
rookie lesson learned, don't trust that you got the right parts.
This makes total sense! If there's any way to prove this was an error on JE's part I'd go back to them and ask for some financial consideration to help defray the cost of having the head redone.
If you hadn't had the valve to piston contact, you still would have had a ridiculous compression ratio.....
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Old 12-21-2015, 08:36 AM
Rick25m3 Rick25m3 is offline
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Bringing this thread back to say the car is up and running! Thanks to everyone that gave input. I'm so happy to be breaking the motor in finally and only doing small jobs from this point forward on the car.
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Old 12-21-2015, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick25m3 View Post
Bringing this thread back to say the car is up and running! Thanks to everyone that gave input. I'm so happy to be breaking the motor in finally and only doing small jobs from this point forward on the car.
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  #16  
Old 12-21-2015, 03:59 PM
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glad that you got it running again!!





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