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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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  #26  
Old 02-07-2013, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by shadow 2 View Post
How low is really low?
1 quart low with prolonged high RPMs causes enough load to do light scoring. From what's on Smolck's cams I wouldn't worry, it's not going to cause any damage; very light surface scuffing from the looks of it. If you get ingrained groves I would worry because of the metallic shavings coming off.
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  #27  
Old 02-07-2013, 10:34 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Is this a well known issue that I was somehow oblivious to? I had never heard it until the place I bought the VCG from mentioned I should try the "OE" gasket.
Yes, well known. Many over on the other board report having more than one fail on them. And them when they got the OE, they felt it fit tighter in the half moon spaces.
Mechanic there said he had more than a dozen fail on customer cars.
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  #28  
Old 02-08-2013, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by av98 View Post
1 quart low with prolonged high RPMs causes enough load to do light scoring. From what's on Smolck's cams I wouldn't worry, it's not going to cause any damage; very light surface scuffing from the looks of it. If you get ingrained groves I would worry because of the metallic shavings coming off.
I agree. It is very light surface scoring. No grooves or anything at all like that. Oh well. I can report that after 200 miles of driving my oil level has not moved. That is a marked improvement over pre-repair.

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Originally Posted by GoForthFast View Post
Yes, well known. Many over on the other board report having more than one fail on them. And them when they got the OE, they felt it fit tighter in the half moon spaces.
Mechanic there said he had more than a dozen fail on customer cars.
Amazing. I had no idea.

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Engine looks great. Best mechanic for it too.
Thanks!
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now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....

Last edited by smolck; 02-08-2013 at 05:27 PM.
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  #29  
Old 02-08-2013, 07:30 PM
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I put a VR gasket on my E36 about 30k miles ago. Just noticed the other day the back spark plug well had oil in it when I had the valve cover off working on my vanos. I ended up putting gasket sealer on all the spark plugs wells between the head and gasket also between the gasket and the valve cover. It felt like the VR center gaskets were already getting hard and brittle.
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  #30  
Old 02-10-2013, 02:02 AM
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My cams look better but 4 of the cam bearing journey had very light scoring :/ So it doesn't matter if they look nice on the lobs it's what the bearings look like. Been using Mobil1 0w-40 since 40k and changed every 7.5k
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  #31  
Old 02-24-2013, 10:23 AM
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The other thing I forgot to mention that needs to be checked even with light scoring is if the cam lobes are out-of-round. Basically with enough scuffing over time the lobes develop a groove or valley on the lobes. This can cause the valves not to operate optimally as the cams were designed for and hence a loss of power or efficiency. Just put a flat level surface (such as a wooden ruler) across the lobes with the scuffing and verify that there are no gaps. Try this across all the level surfaces of the scuffed lobes as you turn them around.
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