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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #151  
Old 04-09-2011, 09:48 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
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I met with Alex540 when he picked up his heads from Morgan Machine and Speed, just to get a look at the shop and the kind of work they do. Tim Morgan is sort of a crusty, cantankerous type who is extremely exacting about his work--an archetypical machinist. After grousing about how much time he had to spend on the job for the amount of money he made, he gave us a long show and tell lecture about his work, and he took us on a mini tour of his shop to show us his machinery--which wasreally impressive--and some of the engines he was working on, like 1962 Ferrari V-12's, old Maserati V-8's, Lancias (impressive crankshaft!), and a Chevy big block racing head, with enormous intake valves. I would've taken pictures of them, but I felt a little self-conscious because it was kind of an imposition.

I did take a couple shots of the work on Alex's heads. When we got there, everything was wrapped in plastic. Here's an example of one of the heads:



Morgan pointed out to us why he didn't do much performance work with the heads. He said BMW has already done extensive work to avoid "shrouding" of the valves, ordinarily a common problem with this kind of head design and valve geometry. He pointed out how the factory had cut into the edges of the combustion chamber to relieve the area around the valves:



He did, however take a series of cuts into the port just beyond the valve seats, in effecting "radiusing" them to improve gas flow.



Another shot here. It might be easier to see the radius he cut if you look closely at the port in the lower right-hand corner. He said he used synthetic poly-crystalline diamand cutters to surface the valves and valve seats, which he said would result in a 100% airtight seal. Fpr example, he said that if he were to use his felt-tip to make a mark on the valve seat, it would leak.



Here are Alex's valves, in a holder that Alex made to keep them in order:



I think both Alex and I felt we could have searched far and wide and not found anyone better for the work.
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  #152  
Old 04-10-2011, 07:36 AM
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Very nice indeed!
It's almost a shame to put it back on the block! It should be framed :-)
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  #153  
Old 04-12-2011, 06:39 AM
franka franka is offline
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You were looking for a leak down testor. FYI for all.

http://www.jegs.com/webapp/wcs/store...+-+down+tester
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  #154  
Old 04-12-2011, 11:00 PM
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Flug540 Flug540 is offline
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Bob, thanks for joining me at the shop and thanks for the awesome pictures. I'll take some more pictures soon and post, it really looks nice! It's very frustrating to me that lately I have very little time to work on the project, I've got too much work in the office and a lot of family stuff to take care of all at the same time. The past weekend I only got like three hours to work on the project, but I'm booking the entire coming weekend for the car, man I miss it so much!

In the three hours that I had I cleaned the engine block head surface and the pistons. Also, I measured the bores and I'm looking for some advice on that. The result table is attached.

EDIT: Please note that the sign in the table is reversed, negative numbers show greater bore diameter and positive - smaller.

Here's what TIS has to say about this:
Bore diameter (new condition): 92mm (+0.014)
Permitted out-of-round of cylinder bore (new condition): 0.007mm
Permissible total wear tolerance between piston and cylinder: 0.1mm
In each cylinder I measured at the bottom, in the middle and at the top. At each location I measured in the direction of travel and in the perpendicular direction (cross). I marked each difference that is above 0.007mm in red.

As I'm writing this I just realized that I think I also need to measure the pistons to find the distance between the pistons and cylinder walls. But I'm not positive what TIS means by "total wear tolerance between piston and cylinder". Is it (CYL_DIA - PIS_DIA) or (CYL_DIA - PIS_DIA) / 2?

Do you guys have any comments regarding the bore measurements? Am I OK?

Quackers, I believe you mentioned you had a mechanic friend, I wonder what he would say about this.
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Last edited by Flug540; 04-13-2011 at 02:38 PM.
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  #155  
Old 04-13-2011, 12:28 AM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
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Alex, you're getting into technical detail that I can't really help you with, but I'd think that with variances of only hundredths of a millimeter from new tolerances, you should be okay. I may be wrong, but I think the surface of the cylinder walls is coated and can't be bored true. I hope you can get an authoritative answer to your questions. Were you able to run the engine enough to tell whether it was noisy before you tore it down? Any sounds of piston slap?

The block looks great, by the way.
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  #156  
Old 04-13-2011, 04:03 AM
Kwickness Kwickness is offline
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540i Engine

This is off topic sort of but i have to ask how do you get your engine so clean. Mine has gotten dirty and i have been afraid to wash as i would a ford or chevy as it has way more electronics that can get wet and a lot tighter places to wash in.
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  #157  
Old 04-13-2011, 06:55 AM
franka franka is offline
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Alex...Did you do the measurements at all about the same time, same day? I'm thinking about variances in ambient temperatures.

Also about the temperature of the gage picking up heat from your hand over a period of time. Like if your gage was at some cold ambient temperature at the beginning and later warmed from handling for a period of time.

In what order did you do the measurements? Did you do all of one cyl bank at a time and in series? Or did you follow firing order or what? What I'm getting at is to know the temperature differentials and the measuring sequence and then look at the data in respect to that.

I would expect the wear in the cross position to be greater than in the car's axis direction since the piston is free to rotate on the wrist pin in the cross plane.

Just some thoughts.

Bobdmac is correct in that the cyl walls are coated directly on the aluminum block. The coating its very thin but it is suppose to hold up well. Complete rebuilds require iron cyl liners to be installed.
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Last edited by franka; 04-13-2011 at 07:05 AM.
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  #158  
Old 04-13-2011, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdmac View Post
Were you able to run the engine enough to tell whether it was noisy before you tore it down? Any sounds of piston slap?
I can't really say for sure as this is the only M62 that I've ever listened to, but I thought it sounded good, here's a clip of it (try to ignore the A/C compressor rattle ):



Quote:
Originally Posted by Kwickness View Post
This is off topic sort of but i have to ask how do you get your engine so clean.
I don't know if my method will work for you since I cleaned mine after I took it apart. I used different methods depending on what I was cleaning. To clean the body and parts around the engine I used cloth tissues/a tooth brush/cloth on a long wooden dowel in really tight spaces with soapy water/acetone/gasoline depending on whether I was cleaning oily parts or just plain dusty/dirty. Compressed air is your BIG friend in the entire cleaning process, it was the first time I used the compressor for cleaning and I loved it. All plastic/rubber parts I cleaned with soapy water and a cloth tissue. On the outer shell of the engine I mostly used a toothbrush/cloth/gasoline. Gasket surfaces I cleaned with acetone and a scotch brite. The pistons were cleaned with a HF gasket scraper followed by acetone and a scotch brite.

I did not use pressurized water but I've heard a lot of people do it on these cars and it turns out OK, although I don't think I'd do it myself to my car.
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  #159  
Old 04-13-2011, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franka View Post
Alex...Did you do the measurements at all about the same time, same day? I'm thinking about variances in ambient temperatures.

Also about the temperature of the gage picking up heat from your hand over a period of time. Like if your gage was at some cold ambient temperature at the beginning and later warmed from handling for a period of time.

In what order did you do the measurements? Did you do all of one cyl bank at a time and in series? Or did you follow firing order or what? What I'm getting at is to know the temperature differentials and the measuring sequence and then look at the data in respect to that.

I would expect the wear in the cross position to be greater than in the car's axis direction since the piston is free to rotate on the wrist pin in the cross plane.

Just some thoughts.

Bobdmac is correct in that the cyl walls are coated directly on the aluminum block. The coating its very thin but it is suppose to hold up well. Complete rebuilds require iron cyl liners to be installed.
Thanks a lot for the insight! I did the measurements all at the same time in the last 20 or so minutes of my 3-hour span last Saturday. I did the measurements in the order of the cylinders starting at #1 then to #2 and so on. In each cylinder I first measured at the bottom in the direction of travel, then in the cross direction then moved to the middle and then the top.

I then went back and verified some of the measurements that I thought were suspicious, but I pretty much got the same reading.

I know the gauge is extremely sensitive, but is it sensitive enough to be affected by the warmth of the hands? Maybe, I didn't think of that.

I was actually very surprised to find that the round cylinders not only aren't round, but also aren't cylinders (since the walls are not parallel) , but I guess that's normal. Just wondering if mine are too much out of round.
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  #160  
Old 04-13-2011, 10:29 AM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
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Alex, if the engine was warmed up in that video, it sounds pretty quiet at idle, but ideally you'd rev it and let off the throttle to listen for piston slap. Your car has around 100,000 miles, right? Given the overall durability and longevity of the V8, I'd imagine you should be okay. But since you had low compression, it might be worth replacing the rings.
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  #161  
Old 04-13-2011, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdmac View Post
Alex, if the engine was warmed up in that video, it sounds pretty quiet at idle, but ideally you'd rev it and let off the throttle to listen for piston slap. Your car has around 100,000 miles, right? Given the overall durability and longevity of the V8, I'd imagine you should be okay. But since you had low compression, it might be worth replacing the rings.
The car has about 80K, I think you are right and it should be OK especially at this mileage. Although it is tempting to go further and replace the rings, I'd rather not, unless it is highly recommended. To replace the rings the engine has to come out, I don't know if I want to do it now When I did the compression test, adding oil did not change anything, which I think is a good indication that the rings seal fine. Also I saw bubbling in the intake valves during the leak down test, so I hope all my leakage was from the valves.
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  #162  
Old 04-13-2011, 01:01 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
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Are you sure the engine has to come out to replace the rings? Couldn't you drop the pan, disconnect the rod bearing bolts, and push the pistons out the top to expose the rings?
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  #163  
Old 04-13-2011, 01:04 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
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Originally Posted by 540alex View Post
When I did the compression test, adding oil did not change anything, which I think is a good indication that the rings seal fine. Also I saw bubbling in the intake valves during the leak down test, so I hope all my leakage was from the valves.
Oops, I responded a little too quickly. In view of your last paragraph (above), I agree that replacing the rings is probably not indicated.
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  #164  
Old 04-13-2011, 01:17 PM
franka franka is offline
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I wouldn't touch the rings due to your tests results and the mileage.

Besides, the current rings have seated on the coated cyl walls and that system is working fine. I wouldn't mess with it.
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  #165  
Old 04-13-2011, 01:45 PM
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Flug540 Flug540 is offline
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Agree, the rings stay.

Regarding ring replacement, TIS says that the engine has to be removed. Although it might be possible to slightly lift the engine with a hoist so that both the lower and the upper pans would come out. Then theoretically you should have enough access to the bolts. If not, the subframe has to come out, not sure how involved that is.
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  #166  
Old 04-13-2011, 02:37 PM
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Someone just pointed out that I had too many negative measurements and I realized that the sign in the table is actually reversed. This is due to the gauge which shows a negative reading with a greater distance and a positive reading with a shorter distance. So the negative numbers show greater bore diameters. Sorry for the confusion.
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  #167  
Old 04-13-2011, 03:33 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540alex View Post
Agree, the rings stay.

Regarding ring replacement, TIS says that the engine has to be removed. Although it might be possible to slightly lift the engine with a hoist so that both the lower and the upper pans would come out. Then theoretically you should have enough access to the bolts. If not, the subframe has to come out, not sure how involved that is.
fugedaboutit.
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  #168  
Old 04-13-2011, 05:50 PM
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Quackers Quackers is offline
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Hi again Alex.
Just a couple of things I would say here.
Firstly regarding the figures you quote, in all honesty I'm not sure how to read them. But I would be surprised if a V8 with 80k miles on it had got to the point of being beyond manufacturer's tolerances.
You have obviously spent a lot of time cleaning the engine and it's a credit to you. However, without wishing to sound like the voice of doom, I would say one thing. I'm not entirely convinced that cleaning the pistons right to the edge is a good idea. I personally would have left a small amount uncleaned near the edges. This is because as you now have a perfectly sealed top end, all the combustion pressure will now be put on the rings. How effective they will be I have no idea. It may be that they will be fine and hopefully that will be the case. I'm not saying that you should change the rings! Only a (wet) compression test would be able to confirm or deny that. To be honest, piston rings are made of tough stuff :-)
Best of luck in your endeavours.
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  #169  
Old 04-13-2011, 06:02 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quackers View Post
You have obviously spent a lot of time cleaning the engine and it's a credit to you. However, without wishing to sound like the voice of doom, I would say one thing. I'm not entirely convinced that cleaning the pistons right to the edge is a good idea. I personally would have left a small amount uncleaned near the edges. This is because as you now have a perfectly sealed top end, all the combustion pressure will now be put on the rings. How effective they will be I have no idea.
How would leaving the perimeter of the piston crowns uncleaned result in less pressure on the rings?
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  #170  
Old 04-13-2011, 06:07 PM
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Flug540 Flug540 is offline
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I'm also puzzled, I can see how in theory some residue on top of the cylinder walls (the area above the rings) can affect compression somewhat, but I don't think the residue on top of the pistons can do anything to the compression.
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  #171  
Old 04-13-2011, 06:08 PM
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It's something that used to be done with older engines (some years ago!) The small build-up of coke on the edge of the piston and just around the corner can help "seal" the area during combustion. Or so it was thought at the time :-)
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  #172  
Old 04-14-2011, 01:28 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdmac View Post
I may be wrong, but I think the surface of the cylinder walls is coated and can't be bored true.
In fact, I was wrong:
In the same way as the M73 engine, the crankcase of these engines is made from an aluminium alloy (Alusil) in a chilled casting
process. The cylinder barrels are not coated. The required surface quality of the cylinder barrels is achieved by means of an
etching process as part of the production process.
The above is from this document: M62 Engine Details.pdf
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  #173  
Old 04-14-2011, 01:39 PM
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Flug540 Flug540 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdmac View Post
In fact, I was wrong:
In the same way as the M73 engine, the crankcase of these engines is made from an aluminium alloy (Alusil) in a chilled casting
process. The cylinder barrels are not coated. The required surface quality of the cylinder barrels is achieved by means of an
etching process as part of the production process.
The above is from this document: M62 Engine Details.pdf
Good to know, I thought I did not see any coating there.
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  #174  
Old 04-14-2011, 02:46 PM
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Apparently Alusil has a high silicon content and the bore etching exposes more of the silica, which gives better wear properties and a good surface for oil to cling to.
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  #175  
Old 04-22-2011, 08:44 PM
franka franka is offline
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Updates?
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