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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 01-30-2012, 01:39 AM
vwvannut vwvannut is offline
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Mein Auto: 1992 325i
1992 325i e36 Head gasket leak 200k miles

Alright i've been loosing a small amount of coolant (refill from warning light every 150 miles). Pressure tested the cooling system today and found my leak...head gasket at the rear of the engine on the exhaust side. How hard is it to do the head gasket on this car? Any tips or suggestions. The Bentley makes it look a hell of a lot more complicated than my old E30. Car still drive fine, not overheating, no water in the oil. What special tools will I need to lock the position of the cams, TDC, etc. any other items that should be replaced (tensioner, pulleys, etc). How many mile do most people go on these cars on the original head gasket, I had assumed they were bulletproof.
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  #2  
Old 01-30-2012, 05:22 AM
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jonesin jonesin is offline
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Well, those of us who pay attention to maintenance in our cars, get to use the same headgasket for the entire life of the car! (Well over a half million miles isn't uncommon enough to turn heads).
However since the block is cast iron, and the head is aluminum, they expand and contract at different rates. This makes for a very unhappy owner whence o'er heating occurs!

This is the reason for the mantra of: 'replace ENTIRE cooling system every 75-90k miles.

For level of complication? Well, Pelican rate it 9 of 10 difficulty, with


Here's their write up:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/tech...ead-Gasket.htm


Now just to make you even happier this fine morning, I really feel the need to mention this:

Odds are better than even that you didn't notice your car overheat, else (prudence dictates)- with you asking for our help here -, to have mentioned it with a cooling problem, so I'll put it out here, that you have; in addition to needing a new head gasket, also need a new (or at least resurfaced head). Now you're looking at some big money. Probably at least half (if not more) of the value of the car. If you think I'm being mean, well, not only do I not really care, but since you've been a member here since 2007, you likely frequent the site now and then, (though you evidently don't post much), and really should know better than this.


Best 'o luck in your pickle.

Ed.
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  #3  
Old 01-30-2012, 10:18 AM
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DinanM3e36 DinanM3e36 is offline
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Damn I've never had a prob with headgaskets and I put well over 200k on my first e36 (17 years ago lol) from driving to BR from Dallas over and over, if it's not mixing in the oil (yet) I would try every off the shelf fluid additive before attempting or paying for a headgasket job
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  #4  
Old 01-30-2012, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DinanM3e36 View Post
Damn I've never had a prob with headgaskets and I put well over 200k on my first e36 (17 years ago lol) from driving to BR from Dallas over and over, if it's not mixing in the oil (yet) I would try every off the shelf fluid additive before attempting or paying for a headgasket job
Sorry mate, this is terrible advice. Never ever, ever, ever, ever put anything in to both coat your water jackets (making them conduct less heat), let alone clog your water jackets (making the passages physically narrower and thus moving less coolant through them).

Doing this practically guarantees that you will pooch your engine. Plus likely heater core, etc.

If you are starting to second guess your diagnosis, get a CO tester and check your coolant for traces of oil.

EDIT:
http://repairpal.com/how-to-test-for...gasket-failure
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I grew up in a time when the internet was just a baby. Grammar back then versus now... holy cow. You could watch the degradation of society as the internet became more mature.

HAS KEN HAD HIS MEDS YET?

Last edited by jonesin; 01-30-2012 at 10:24 AM.
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  #5  
Old 01-30-2012, 10:28 AM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonesin View Post
Sorry mate, this is terrible advice.
Shocking...
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  #6  
Old 01-30-2012, 10:31 AM
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I'm becoming less in mind of Good Ole Roderick now and more Burning 2nd...
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I grew up in a time when the internet was just a baby. Grammar back then versus now... holy cow. You could watch the degradation of society as the internet became more mature.

HAS KEN HAD HIS MEDS YET?
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  #7  
Old 01-30-2012, 10:40 AM
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DinanM3e36 DinanM3e36 is offline
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Well if he's waiting till the light comes on to fill back up I figured what the hell, your prob already doing damage, and may not have too much time before it really goes to ish, it could prolong it a lil, Just saying
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  #8  
Old 01-30-2012, 10:42 AM
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DinanM3e36 DinanM3e36 is offline
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Shocking...
This guy again...a bad day phishing is better than a good day at work huh
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  #9  
Old 01-30-2012, 10:44 AM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Somebody has got to monitor the endless stream of fallacy spewing from your keyboard.
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  #10  
Old 01-30-2012, 10:45 AM
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DinanM3e36 DinanM3e36 is offline
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I feel the same way about you snoopy
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  #11  
Old 01-30-2012, 10:49 AM
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DinanM3e36 DinanM3e36 is offline
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Always off topic attacks? I mean really buddy I'm just trying to help him, over 200k leaking head gasket doesnt refill till over heating... Do the math there's not alot of life left there, and having a headgasket replaced may cost more than the car is worth,
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  #12  
Old 01-30-2012, 10:52 AM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Because if saving money is the main concern, adding some sort of stop-leak will only make matters more expensive. Chances are it won't work, and in the process it will gunk up everything inside the cooling system, when all he needed to do was replace the head gasket in the first place.

It was not off topic. You gave bad advice. Stop-leak additives are never a good idea.
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  #13  
Old 01-30-2012, 10:55 AM
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DinanM3e36 DinanM3e36 is offline
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Call your local BMW place man, then Blue book your car, and either pay or take a chance
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  #14  
Old 01-30-2012, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
Stop-leak additives are never a good idea.
With the sole exception of Lucas Power-steering Stop Leak. That actually is a good product.
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I grew up in a time when the internet was just a baby. Grammar back then versus now... holy cow. You could watch the degradation of society as the internet became more mature.

HAS KEN HAD HIS MEDS YET?
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  #15  
Old 01-30-2012, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Pressure tested the cooling system today and found my leak...head gasket at the rear of the engine on the exhaust side.
Most likely cylinder head is not good, it rotted away at one of the bigger coolant ports on the back of the head
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  #16  
Old 01-30-2012, 11:12 AM
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And fix a flat! For when you get that flat and you haven't checked your spare in like 4 years.
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Maybe I haven't been here long enough to realize the knowledge you have to share. But, from all I can tell you are just an over opinionated, rude, prick.

My .02
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  #17  
Old 01-30-2012, 11:17 AM
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Call your local BMW place man, then Blue book your car, and either pay or take a chance
You can always flush the ish out, just saying,
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  #18  
Old 01-30-2012, 11:24 AM
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I won't be a troll today so I can be a translator.

Z is right in our cars leak stoppers just cause more issues 99.9% of the time. Most of the people on this forum like to tackle big projects and fixing the head gasket is right up our ally as well as an engine swap if we can't. Stop a leak? Maybe in a less temperamental engine but ours tend to reject out right those products. Even if we are just tryin to bandaid the broken parts.
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Maybe I haven't been here long enough to realize the knowledge you have to share. But, from all I can tell you are just an over opinionated, rude, prick.

My .02
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  #19  
Old 01-30-2012, 11:25 AM
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You can't though. That's the issue with it. Once it has gunked up your engine, it's pooched.
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I grew up in a time when the internet was just a baby. Grammar back then versus now... holy cow. You could watch the degradation of society as the internet became more mature.

HAS KEN HAD HIS MEDS YET?
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  #20  
Old 01-30-2012, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
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Somebody has got to monitor the endless stream of fallacy spewing from your keyboard.
Nothing against anyone but this is about to go in my sig line.
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Maybe I haven't been here long enough to realize the knowledge you have to share. But, from all I can tell you are just an over opinionated, rude, prick.

My .02
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  #21  
Old 01-30-2012, 11:33 AM
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DinanM3e36 DinanM3e36 is offline
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There are several block sealer products out with sodium silicate in them, the most popular being the K&W brand. The alchemists called sodium silicate "water glass" since it turns to glass when dried. When added to coolant, first it is sucked into a crack by the intake suction, then the exhaust blast dries some of it out and turns it to glass, making the leak smaller. This continues with each stroke, the leak getting smaller and smaller as concentric layers of glass are laid down, until the leak stops leaking. Genuine MOPAR antifreeze, recommended in Chrysler owners manuals, contain a small amount of sodium silicate to stop internal leaks as they develop. Hence, leaking head gaskets and cracked heads are usually only a problem if you haven't been using genuine MOPAR antifreeze as Chrysler recommends.

Here are the major complications:

1. Most products add metal to the mixture to strengthen the glass, so that it is more durable. Products without metal produce a "town car" result, where the fix may only last a year or so, provided that you don't take it on the highway and heat it up.

2. They often clog up the heater cores, so it is best to disconnect the heater when treating the car, and for a period following treatment.

3. As indicated on the label, it is very important to flush all of the antifreeze out before treating, and flush all of the block sealer out before replacing the antifreeze. I reuse the old antifreeze for a few hundred miles, then flush and replace it and reconnect the heater.

4. I believe that you should drive the car hard during treatment, to get the the crack to shift in any way it can to fully fill it in. However, I first drive gently to mostly seal the crack, then vent any gas in the head, then put the pedal to the metal to finish the job. I suspect that the Higway Patrol wouldn't let them put this on the can.
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  #22  
Old 01-30-2012, 11:36 AM
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with the exception of lucas power steering additive, which i have seen work on multiple vehicles with a wide variety of issues, and cd-2 for sticky valvetrains, i am not a big fan of additives in general.

maybe back in the day when there were still zerk fittings on waterpumps stop leak worked (read the label, it states it lubricates bearings even though there hasn't been a lubricatable bearing for a gazillion years...)

the only thing i have seen it do is gum up the rest of the cooling system. with things like heater control valves, heater cores (didn't have them, either, back in the day...) and smaller coolant passages, the chances of this sort of thing happeneing increases.

with 200k on the engine it may be best to go with a used engine, even if the op is enough of a diy'er to do a hg. especially since it would be the most economic and time benefit procedure to refresh the hoses and gaskets (and even a clutch if manual) when the engine has been removed.

things like aluminum stat housing, new waterpump, t-stat, plugs, belts, idlers, tensioners, motor mounts, and cooling system hoses (bypass & heater), clean the icv, throttle plate, and new starter as well.

you know, the stuff that would really sux to have to do in 3-6 months from now.




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  #23  
Old 01-30-2012, 11:36 AM
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http://www.allpar.com/fix/cracks.html
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  #24  
Old 01-30-2012, 11:41 AM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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I believe everything I read on teh internetz.
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  #25  
Old 01-30-2012, 11:41 AM
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So now you're saying to flush all coolant out of the car, use just this 'liquid glass with bits of metal in it' , then drive it hard like that, and this is supposed to fix issues?!?

Please, for love of all that is holy, just drop this one here. You have just enough pseudo-science, (like that you'd get from a BA) to make people think you speak here from a knowledgeable position.

Secondly, Chrysler anti-freeze, while well and good for a Chrysler, is NOT a G-05 approved coolant. It is a G-04. Not good enough.
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I grew up in a time when the internet was just a baby. Grammar back then versus now... holy cow. You could watch the degradation of society as the internet became more mature.

HAS KEN HAD HIS MEDS YET?

Last edited by jonesin; 01-30-2012 at 11:42 AM.
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