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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 04-01-2013, 08:15 AM
pastman pastman is offline
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Timing chain replacement?

Hello Members:

I've owned a 2007 328xi coupe for a little over 2 years now. I'm just past 90K now. Except for brake rotors, this car has been trouble free. What's the scoop on the timing chain? Has anyone had any problems or needed to replace one? Any comments would be sincerely appreciated.

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Alan
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  #2  
Old 04-01-2013, 08:24 AM
Phil325i Phil325i is online now
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I might be wrong, and I think BMW is too quick to claim 'lifetime' for many components, but with regular oil changes a timing chain really should be a 'fit for life' item.
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  #3  
Old 04-01-2013, 08:46 AM
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Zeichen311 Zeichen311 is offline
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Timing chains do stretch slightly over time but there is a tensioner to take up the slack. The tensioner will eventually reach its limit but it takes a loooong time. Absent a lot of high-RPM operation, I wouldn't give the chain much thought until at least 200,000 miles. If you tend to baby the engine, 250,000 or more. As noted, that assumes regular oil changes and proper warm-ups.
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Last edited by Zeichen311; 04-01-2013 at 09:13 AM.
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  #4  
Old 04-01-2013, 08:47 AM
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tturedraider tturedraider is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil325i View Post
I might be wrong, and I think BMW is too quick to claim 'lifetime' for many components, but with regular oil changes a timing chain really should be a 'fit for life' item.
^this -- timing chains do not require replacement.
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  #5  
Old 04-01-2013, 10:17 AM
ctuna ctuna is offline
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You seldon see a broken timing chain thread here.

You seldon see a broken timing chain thread here.
In fact I have only see one which was the result of a redline shift.

(time frame a couple of years)
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  #6  
Old 04-01-2013, 10:17 AM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pastman View Post
I've owned a 2007 328xi coupe for a little over 2 years now. I'm just past 90K now. Except for brake rotors, this car has been trouble free. What's the scoop on the timing chain? Has anyone had any problems or needed to replace one? Any comments would be sincerely appreciated.

A yawning sinkhole in the performance market, I see no aftermarket BMW timing chains!

I, for one, am very concerned. Understand, I'm not one o'those love-'em-&-leave-'em lease guys....no. I'm an owner who had modified, and I have a "long term" view.

I lean toward having Rollmaster make a custom chain. Pre-stretched, it is an Aussie product. I figure: If it survives there, California's no problem at all. And let's not stop at chain - ya'll gonna need nitrided gears. Yo! Gears wear too!

I believe I've given you a good direction. What's your next move?


.

Last edited by CALWATERBOY; 04-01-2013 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:34 AM
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Zeichen311 Zeichen311 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tturedraider View Post
^this -- timing chains do not require replacement.
Well-l-l, I hate to say "never" but the point being, one often needs/wants to crack open & rebuild an engine for other reasons (ring/valve wear, main seals, etc.) by a quarter-million miles or so--at which time, check the chain while you're in there. Otherwise, yeah, effectively lifetime.
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  #8  
Old 04-01-2013, 10:43 AM
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DSXMachina DSXMachina is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeichen311 View Post
Timing chains do stretch slightly over time but there is a tensioner to take up the slack. The tensioner will eventually reach its limit but it takes a loooong time. Absent a lot of high-RPM operation, I wouldn't give the chain much thought until at least 200,000 miles. If you tend to baby the engine, 250,000 or more. As noted, that assumes regular oil changes and proper warm-ups.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tturedraider View Post
^this -- timing chains do not require replacement.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeichen311 View Post
Well-l-l, I hate to say "never" but the point being, one often needs/wants to crack open & rebuild an engine for other reasons (ring/valve wear, main seals, etc.) by a quarter-million miles or so--at which time, check the chain while you're in there. Otherwise, yeah, effectively lifetime.
Properly lubed, the t-chain and tensioners/guides will last as long as the crank bearings. When the engine is eventually torn down for a rebuild, a chain kit (and crank and cam gears) is part of the job.
Until then, be happy we don't have timing belts!
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:08 AM
alpinweiss alpinweiss is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil325i View Post
I might be wrong, and I think BMW is too quick to claim 'lifetime' for many components, but with regular oil changes a timing chain really should be a 'fit for life' item.
I also do not believe in "lifetime" for much of anything, especially fluids. But the BMW timing chain and gears seem to be really robust, and have very few problems.

Unfortunately, this does not apply to all other brands of cars. Some makes (which shall not be named here), have had notable failures with timing chains and tensioners. BMW seems to have done well in this area.

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  #10  
Old 04-01-2013, 01:30 PM
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DSXMachina DSXMachina is offline
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Originally Posted by alpinweiss View Post
I also do not believe in "lifetime" for much of anything, especially fluids. But the BMW timing chain and gears seem to be really robust, and have very few problems.

Unfortunately, this does not apply to all other brands of cars. Some makes (which shall not be named here), have had notable failures with timing chains and tensioners. BMW seems to have done well in this area.

Wide chain links and lots of direct oil spray.
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  #11  
Old 04-01-2013, 03:48 PM
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bear-avhistory bear-avhistory is offline
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Can I ask why the question? Has someone told you that a new chain is required? Timing belts generally get replaced at 110K miles but as was mentioned above the chain is a rebuild item.
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  #12  
Old 04-01-2013, 05:05 PM
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galahad05 galahad05 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
A yawning sinkhole in the performance market, I see no aftermarket BMW timing chains!

I, for one, am very concerned. Understand, I'm not one o'those love-'em-&-leave-'em lease guys....no. I'm an owner who had modified, and I have a "long term" view.

I lean toward having Rollmaster make a custom chain. Pre-stretched, it is an Aussie product. I figure: If it survives there, California's no problem at all. And let's not stop at chain - ya'll gonna need nitrided gears. Yo! Gears wear too!

I believe I've given you a good direction. What's your next move?


.
I can't imagine the sheer annoyance the gear whine would cause.
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:15 PM
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Salvator Salvator is offline
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Originally Posted by bear-avhistory View Post
Timing belts generally get replaced at 110K miles....
I've always heard (and followed) the 90k rules... but i guess it's whatever the manufacturer calls for...
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:20 PM
ctuna ctuna is offline
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This is one of the reasons I wanted a BMW over and Audi

This is one of the reasons I wanted a BMW over and Audi.
There are others of course.
About every other car you buy will need a new belt and the cost of changing
some of them can be quite high plus I have had two broken belts leave me stranded
with a valve job afterwards. (one a honda prelude(later a factory recall) the other and Acura Integra and the belt was only a year old on that one)
The research I did on the Audi A4 suggested the timing belt change would
be 2k plus because of the fact that just about the whole front end needed
to come off to change it.
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  #15  
Old 04-01-2013, 08:11 PM
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galahad05 galahad05 is online now
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Why would Audi use timing belts?!? No manufacturer worth its salt would use timing belts over chains.
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:19 PM
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MMME30W MMME30W is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
A yawning sinkhole in the performance market, I see no aftermarket BMW timing chains!

I, for one, am very concerned. Understand, I'm not one o'those love-'em-&-leave-'em lease guys....no. I'm an owner who had modified, and I have a "long term" view.

I lean toward having Rollmaster make a custom chain. Pre-stretched, it is an Aussie product. I figure: If it survives there, California's no problem at all. And let's not stop at chain - ya'll gonna need nitrided gears. Yo! Gears wear too!

I believe I've given you a good direction. What's your next move?


.
*Looks over at post date of April 1st*.

Edit : HOLY CRAP!! Clicked on link - my bad.
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Last edited by MMME30W; 04-01-2013 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Salvator View Post
I've always heard (and followed) the 90k rules... but i guess it's whatever the manufacturer calls for...
Acura TL was a 105K mile replacement item. It does vary by mfg.
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:01 PM
ctuna ctuna is offline
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So what percentage or auto makers uses timing chains.

So what percentage or auto makers uses timing chains.
Even BMW use to use belts in some of its cars.
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:27 PM
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galahad05 galahad05 is online now
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Without doubt belts are cheaper.
They also"wiggle" more at higher rpm, causing fluctuations in valve timing at these higher rpms.

Of course, pro engine builders say the same thing about chains.
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Last edited by galahad05; 04-01-2013 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:39 PM
alpinweiss alpinweiss is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by galahad05 View Post
Why would Audi use timing belts?!? No manufacturer worth its salt would use timing belts over chains.
Audi now mostly uses timing chains in their engines. The 2.0T engine for Volkswagen/Audi changed from timing belt to timing chain during the 2008 model year. This engine is now the mainstay in the Audi lineup in the US.

Why would a manufacturer use a timing belt instead of a timing chain? A timing belt reduces the complexity of an engine, as well as the weight. A timing belt typically makes less noise than a chain. Replacing the timing belt and tensioner will renew the entire drive system for the camshafts (wear on the timing gears is usually minimal).

A timing belt makes more sense in countries where engines accumulate a large number of miles (kilometers), and labor rates for auto repair and maintenance are low. Most customers in the US prefer engines with a timing chain.

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Old 04-01-2013, 10:56 PM
ctuna ctuna is offline
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My guess is most people don't even consider this.

My guess is most people don't even consider this.
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:19 PM
sptt144 sptt144 is offline
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Had to replace the tensioner in my Altime SER at 110K but that was due to the guide rails (plastic) breaking and allowing the chain and tensioner to loosen all the way (known issue with QRD35 engines). Chain was fine. Just put in new tensioner, guide rails, and seals (also waterpump since it didn't have the external one). Runs like a champ but was a FRICKEN BEAR to tear into!!! Had a Mercedes up to 250K before I sold it. No Timing Chain issues. Waterpump was external. Easy to fix everything DIY. Road like a limo but had to peddle very fast!
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:04 AM
marine24 marine24 is offline
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My last car was a 96 VW Passat VR6, and they stated the timing chain was a 'lifetime' part, (meaning 100k miles). I replaced it at 156k and found that the chain was fine but the tension guide was completely worn out; had two grooves cut into it from the chain. Most of the 'lifetime' parts refer to what a manufacturer considers the expected life of the vehicle (apparently about 100k and they think it'll fall apart). I'm at 98k on my 2007 e92 335i and was considering the same thing; when do they expect it to need to be changed?
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Old 04-03-2013, 06:07 AM
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E30's had timing belts which should be changed every 50-60K miles or 5 years. They are quieter than a chain but a pain to change that often. My experience is that someplace north of 300K miles is a likely change mileage. M3 went 284K miles when I sold it and the timing chain showed no remarkable wear.
It the timing slips which is what happens to a timing change it will change the timing and on a zero clearance engine like we have will most likely make piston to valve contact.

Your timing chain is hardly broken in...

Last edited by fun2drive; 04-03-2013 at 06:09 AM.
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Old 04-03-2013, 07:12 AM
hondo402000 hondo402000 is offline
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what about the cam sprockets? I remember seeing in american V-8's back in the 80's they had a timing chain, but the sprockets had teeth coated in nylon, the chain didnt brake but the sprockets wore out
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