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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 01-26-2013, 05:39 PM
byebiturbo byebiturbo is offline
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Valve Cover Blew Up

Hey everyone, new to the forums here. I come from a VW/Audi background and I must say, I am LOVING the BMW scene so far.

I picked up a 98 328is where the previous owner claims he did a money shift into 2nd getting off the highway. From what he told me, the car started misfiring and lost most of its power, so he shut it off, got it towed and put it up for sale.



I got the car towed home, where I thought I'd crank it and see exactly what was going on... bad idea lol. It cranked for less than 2 seconds before an extremely loud pop happened, blowing the valve cover into pieces over my neighbour's lawn:



So far from my research, I have found that this can happen from a frozen PCV. However, upon removing the valve cover and pulling the spark plugs, I found this:

Cylinders 1-6 (from right to left)



I also did a compression test and found 110-130psi on the first 5, but no compression whatsoever on number 6.

I don't mind getting another motor and swapping it in, but does anyone have any idea what could possibly be going on? I'd rather just swap a head over if that is all I need, as I initially thought he just bent some valves until I pulled that last plug...

Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old 01-26-2013, 05:46 PM
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drivinfaster drivinfaster is offline
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ummm.....if the plug on the far left is #1, then i would expect to not see much (if any) compression in the #1 cylinder....

#6 is closest to the firewall.

the first hint is 'money shift'. this does *terrible* things to the motor.

i'd plan on a motor, as the plug that is all damaged could only have been damaged by the parts in the cylinder, which would be valves and piston.

in order to have the piston contact the plug, the con rod would have to be all but swinging in the breeze, which is not exactly what i would expect from a money shift. i would more likely say that the valvetrain took a severe hit, lost a valve or two (but no more than 4.... ) and that was boucing around inside the cylinder.

if that is the case, then the cylinder wall is scored, the piston is toast, as well as the head.

so, yeah....looks like a motor.



df
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Old 01-26-2013, 05:51 PM
byebiturbo byebiturbo is offline
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The far left is #6, I ordered them wrong in the picture lol my bad. :P

The thing is that the piston doesn't look damaged at all... and it moves up and down at the same rate that the others do when cranking it. :S
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:04 PM
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drivinfaster drivinfaster is offline
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how'd you see the piston without a boroscope?? that's a tiny, difficult to access hole to inspect the entire piston face...

and the cams cover the valvetrain, and the lifters the valves themselves, so until the cams are removed, the only way to even come close to checking if the valve dropped is to get the cams on the #6 cylinder to the valve fully cosed position and see ifthere is a gap between the lifter and the cam. see if it wiggles around. (it shouldn't)

or, pull the cams.....


either way, you are going to find nasty stuff in there.....




df
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:21 PM
byebiturbo byebiturbo is offline
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Well from what I could see while it was cranking, the surface that was visible was all smooth. I'll be pulling the head off as soon as it's warmer, way too cold up here right now.
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:59 PM
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drivinfaster drivinfaster is offline
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yeah, it should warm up in, what, june, right??

pics when you do....





df
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:19 PM
byebiturbo byebiturbo is offline
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No no just to a more comfortable near 0 Celsius temperature. It's currently the coldest that it's been all winter.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:31 PM
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Where are you located in Ontario?
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:06 PM
byebiturbo byebiturbo is offline
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Kitchener
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:23 PM
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