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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 11-15-2011, 06:08 PM
ganny76 ganny76 is offline
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Location: Florida
 
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Mein Auto: 325i
Head Gasket

Ok, bought a 2001 325i auto, 167k miles, for my. Daughter. She had it a month and ran it hot. Replaced rad, thermo, and water pump. Still running hot. Father in law carried it to have a pressure test done and they said blown head gasket. What am i getting into? How much? I paid $4500 for the car. Should i just go trade it? Can it be done DIY? Im not a great mechanic, but my father in law is good on american cars. Thanks in advance.

Last edited by ganny76; 11-15-2011 at 06:09 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-15-2011, 06:46 PM
Variocam Variocam is offline
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Mein Auto: 2007 328i, 2004 325i
Is this car your daughter's daily driver? Can she afford to be without it for an extended period of time? If you can confirm it's the head gasket, first do a bunch of searching to see if you can find a DIY (I kind of doubt there is one, but it's worth a look). If you can't find one, you might want to buy a Bentley manual, and read through the procedure on head removal with your father-in-law, and decide if it's something you want to take on. It's got to be a huge job, what with the need to time the cams and all, but if you take your time and exercise great patience, I'm sure it's doable. Paying somebody to do it would probably cost a sizable percentage of the purchase price of the car. Good luck.
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  #3  
Old 11-15-2011, 06:47 PM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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Unfortunately, just one episode of overheating can warp the head and/or block....everything is aluminum. If there are no cracks, the block & head *can* be resurfaced, but this is not an easy or economical repair by any stretch of the imagination.
No easy answers for this one....
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  #4  
Old 11-15-2011, 08:08 PM
alpinweiss alpinweiss is offline
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Your daughter's BMW has the M54 engine. In my opinion, it is a great engine UNLESS it is overheated.

The M54 engine has chain-driven double overhead cams. This is a complex engine; and head removal is not a quick or easy process. I think the standard labor rate for removal and replacement of the head is around 9 hours.

The bigger issue, IMO, is that the engine has 167k miles. It may, or may not, have had good previous maintenance. I would hesitate to spend major money on an engine that is such an unknown. You may disassemble it and find damage to the head or to the block. Certainly, the timing chain, tensioner, and guides will be worn, due to the mileage.

Perhaps buying a good used engine is the best option. But I can see this exceeding what you paid for the car. As Fast Bob said, there are no easy answers.

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  #5  
Old 11-16-2011, 03:52 PM
ganny76 ganny76 is offline
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Found a place in town that will sell me a used motor with a 3 year warranty. $1500 plus installation or install myself. What you think?
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  #6  
Old 11-16-2011, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganny76 View Post
Found a place in town that will sell me a used motor with a 3 year warranty. $1500 plus installation or install myself. What you think?
As long as it doesn`t knock or burn oil, that`s a good deal....I`ve seen just the head sell for that much....
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  #7  
Old 11-16-2011, 04:43 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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After reading at least 50 of these threads, here is all the advice I could put together into a single sentence for someone in the OP's situation:

- Summary advice to provide users who suspect a major engine repair due to overheating (1) & how to test an engine for blown head gasket, cracked heads, a warped block, cam seizures, contaminated bearings, coolant hydrolock, or piston, ring, or valve damage (1) (2) & why the M54 engines are so prone to heat-related damage in the first place (1) & a one-paragraph summary for the next owner with a blown engine (1) & what questions to ask when severe heating-related damage is initially suspected (1) & welding the crack between cylinder #3 and the water jacket on the exhaust side (1) & what engine swaps are most recommended (1) (2) (3) & where to obtain a new or rebuilt head (1) replacement short block or long block (1) (2) & how to lift & remove the engine (1) & real-world results from people faced with similar blown engine problems from which this advice came from (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15) (16) (17) (18) (19) (20) (21) (22) (23) (24) (25) (26) (27) (28) (29) (30) (31) (32) (33) (34) (35) (36) (37) (38) (39).
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  #8  
Old 11-16-2011, 04:48 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Variocam View Post
If you can confirm it's the head gasket... see if you can find a DIY (I kind of doubt there is one, but it's worth a look).
From a search of 'head gasket' in the bestlinks:
- Replacing the M54 head gasket (1)
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  #9  
Old 11-16-2011, 06:49 PM
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smolck smolck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganny76 View Post
Found a place in town that will sell me a used motor with a 3 year warranty. $1500 plus installation or install myself. What you think?
Great price. Go for it. It is pretty easy to remove the front end of these cars, making engine removal a joke. Very easy process.
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now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
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