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7 Series - E38 (1995 - 2001)

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  #1  
Old 03-05-2014, 05:36 PM
dewats dewats is offline
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Location: Las Vegas
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 7
Mein Auto: 2001 740i
Chain guides or not

Hello all - I've got a new to me 2001 740i Sport that I picked up last month.

Some back ground info is that the previous owner was in Las Vegas last July and the transmission went out. The shop gave an estimate and was told to proceed with the rebuild. The $4600 bill was produced and the previous owner walked. The shop took title on the mechanics lien and listed it for sale in January for $8K. I got it for $5700 and have a clear title. The only things that don't work is the DVD drive for the GPS and the cassette drive.

I've been working on a few things to make it a daily driver. Had new master key cut and programmed. Fixed the cup holder, changed the thermostat to get rid of the SES light error. (one of them anyway). Picked up a lean condition vacuum leak the day after taking the filter housing and MAF off to get to the thermostat. That has been gone a couple days. Changed the power steering reservoir and flushed the fluid. Flushed and bleed the brake fluid. Gave her new tires all around and ordered the valve cover gaskets to fix some leaks and am ordering the lower oil pan gasket. I have lower control arms to install and get the alignment this weekend. Repair or replace the headliner bubble soon. I have a Bavarian Technic cable.

When I replaced the thermostat I can see a lot of oil and road grime around the valley pan. She does have several oil leaks in the pan and valve cover areas.

The local BMW Dealer was nice enough to pull the history and I can see where the radiator was replaced at 47K, The transmission had no reverse at 55K and may have been replaced then also, thermostat at 59K, O2 sensors and fuel pump at 68K, Transmission at 146K. Looks like it spent most of its service life and an indy shop.

I am considering replacing the valley pan and coolant pipe o-rings when I do the valve cover gaskets and oil pan gasket and maybe more.

The car idles great, runs strong and does not burn any oil that I can see. Meaning it is not smoking and the oil level has been stable for 750 miles.

So here are the questions. Should I consider replacing the timing chain guides at the same time as the rest of the engine work? Should I just pull the lower pan to start and see if there are any broken pieces first? then decide. Does the VANOS require work after the timing guide replacement? (new Bentley on order and should be here this weekend). I'd also like to just replace the coolant pump and belts at the same time and maybe the hoses. I live in Vegas so I prefer to replace these as wear items instead of waiting for them to fail in the heat. That is why I am also looking into the timing guides. I am looking to do all my own work except for VANOS if needed.

I've been a fan of the site for years and do not generally post so this is new. Many thanx.
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2001 740i Sport
2008 528i

Last edited by dewats; 03-05-2014 at 06:09 PM. Reason: added indy shop comment
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  #2  
Old 03-05-2014, 07:20 PM
CitizenOfDreams CitizenOfDreams is offline
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Location: Orlando, FL
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 953
Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 740i
Do you suspect the chain guides might be damaged?
Is there any other work inside the engine that definitely needs to be done?
If the answer is "no" to both questions, I would leave the guides alone. Opening the motor without a good reason is not "preventive maintenance", it's a waste of time and money.
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  #3  
Old 03-05-2014, 08:53 PM
dewats dewats is offline
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Location: Las Vegas
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 7
Mein Auto: 2001 740i
CitizenOfDreams - I appreciate your response. I like the idea of not digging into it if I don't really need to.

I only suspect the guides as a failure point based on a lot of reading. I haven't figured out if the failures I've read about are inevitable or were due to poor oil change intervals, low oil conditions or high mileage.

I don't know what my true guide condition is so I thought I would ask a general consensus of what people would do if it were their car. Agreed that opening it up for no reason would be a waste of money. I know I am going as deep as the valley pan and coolant pipes to fix leaks. I guess I'll do the lower pan gasket first and make sure there are no guide pieces in the bottom. I'd like to get the leaks under control for 40-50K miles so I don't tick off the Wife. Once I change what I want and know the base is well taken care of and it shouldn't strand me I'll start a oil analysis regimen and plan on keeping this thing for 10 years and drive it 7-10K a year. It is a lot more fun to drive than the wife's 528
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:53 PM
CitizenOfDreams CitizenOfDreams is offline
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Location: Orlando, FL
 
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Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 740i
Sounds like a good plan, fix the leaks and look for signs of potential problems in the process. Enjoy your 740!
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  #5  
Old 03-11-2014, 08:38 PM
dewats dewats is offline
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Location: Las Vegas
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 7
Mein Auto: 2001 740i
The pan was clear of any debris so I am good to stop and not open the front up more.

Once I got the accessories off the oil leaks really showed. The valley pan is covered in mixed oil and coolant. The upper chain solenoid seals are worthless and the cam speed sensor o-rings were leaking. The valve cover gaskets were very dry and brittle. Getting cleaner. Moving to the intake and valley pan next, then putting it all back together.
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