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Newbie starts Valve Spring replacement

Posted by Earendil 
Stage one, ready the engine for removal of the head.

I had intended to do a little "How to", but since the Bentley describes how to get to the point of removing the head so well, this first part will be more like a picture book of my weekend grinning smiley

Friday after work I headed out to the car. The sun was out, and it was a hot 55 degrees, and I had intended to just take some pictures...

Before starting.


Does that spring look like it's very springy?


Misc view of the inside.


A few "pictures" later and I had managed to drain the coolant and remove most of the hoses. As soon as the sun set, it wasn't so warm any more, and I headed home.


Saturday! I had intended to just work up to the point where I got lost or needed a tool that wasn't in my carpenter tools inventory. I managed quite a bit...

Here we are with the radiator out, as well as A/C Radiator out. Over the summer I had removed most of my rusted A/C system, knowing that I didn't ever want to pay to replace it, and it opens up the bay a lot more.


Quite the view through the grill without those pesky radiators, aye? I'm starting to think a person could have removed the...doohicky the valves pivot on. I'll remember what it's called after I hit "post message" I'm sure.


Removing the grill itself provides for a nice camera angle. Getting close to that timing belt! When I was attempting to line everything up, I remembered something I discovered the last time I did the timing belt, 3 years ago. That discovery was that my timing belt was installed one tooth off. Since my car had been running just fine, the collective that is BENN advised me to put the new one on the same way, which I did. I wonder if the collective will say something different now? I'll bring this up again during reassembly, I'm sure.


Airbox and AFM out, and the engine compartment is starting to look a little slim.


Just about everything is removed, just need to get those fuel hoses off.


Ready for takeoff! Actually, still need to remove the head bolts...



The head bolts came off without a hitch. For anyone else considering removing the head bolts, this was the only "gotcha". I had a 17mm wrench, but there was no room to use it. So I went with a 3/8 socket wrench, with its standard foot long arm. This would not have been enough (with my strength) so anyone else going to do this should have a breaker bar handy. I didn't have that (at least not in a 3/8), but I did have a highly sophisticated tool that I keep in my trunk, a broken handle off a branch cutter. Essentially a 3 foot metal pipe, but with a soft grip B)
After removing the bolts in the Bentley specified order, and hearing squeaks and pings that sounded like bolt heads twisting off, I removed all the bolts without much trouble.

At this point I really wanted to remove the head. I rocked it around to make sure it'd come loose, and it did. However I was working alone, and knew that, yes I could get the head out of the engine bay, but there was no way I was going to do it without causing sever damage to it and myself. So I covered it up for the evening, and am going to have to find someone to help me remove it.
I also realized that even if I did remove it, I have no place to put it yet. The Bentley doesn't describe what to expect when the head is off, but pictures tell me that it isn't a smooth bottom, and that I need to have a table with a hole it it to place the head on.

All in all I spent about 3 hours on saturday getting to the point where I could remove the head. It went a lot faster than I thought it would, especially since I was working alone.

If you made it this far... you deserve a prize or something.
How about answering/musing some questions instead? smiling smiley

Most of the bolts I removed were very crisp and new looking, with a slight coating of clear grease. However 3 of the bolts were soaked up to their heads in dark engine oil. Is this cause for concern? If every bolt was equally hard to remove, how did oil get in there? I could only see an inch or so into the bolt holes, and couldn't see anything but air.

I'm thinking of building a little wood platform out of two by fours that I can set on a regular table to raise the head up off the table. I can't find information on how deep this needs to be though. Any thoughts on the matter? I'd rather have it prepared and ready before I remove the head.

Thanks for reading smileys with beer

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

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Earendil
Most of the bolts I removed were very crisp and new looking, with a slight coating of clear grease. However 3 of the bolts were soaked up to their heads in dark engine oil. Is this cause for concern? If every bolt was equally hard to remove, how did oil get in there? I could only see an inch or so into the bolt holes, and couldn't see anything but air.

I'm thinking of building a little wood platform out of two by fours that I can set on a regular table to raise the head up off the table. I can't find information on how deep this needs to be though. Any thoughts on the matter? I'd rather have it prepared and ready before I remove the head.

Thanks for reading smileys with beer

You are talking about oily head bolts? It could be that during working off the bolts, the head loosened a bit and oil from the head drained and went into the bolt holes.

On the platform: as the valves are above the lower surface of the head, use a soft material to put it on, such as wood. Doesn't look like there's a need to build something to raise the head to give the valves clearance.

On the timing belt: I'd check everything and make sure it's put on correctly!

Enjoy the work!
Project is moving along smoothly B)

Two comments to make...
1. Put the T belt back on properly; BMW designed it that way so why tempt fate with a belt that is one tooth off and jumps one more?

2. When you put those new head bolts back in; make absolutely sure the bolt holes are not filled with oil. Any excess oil in the holes can lead to incorrect torquing sad smiley
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Michiel 318iS

You are talking about oily head bolts? It could be that during working off the bolts, the head loosened a bit and oil from the head drained and went into the bolt holes.

Perhaps... It was the drivers side bolts, the very front and very rear bolts, in other words the first to be loosened. Probably makes no difference smiling smiley
Can you think of anything to keep an eye out for? Or just forget it and do as Peter says, make sure the holes are clean before putting the new bolts in?

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On the platform: as the valves are above the lower surface of the head, use a soft material to put it on, such as wood. Doesn't look like there's a need to build something to raise the head to give the valves clearance.

On the timing belt: I'd check everything and make sure it's put on correctly!

Enjoy the work!

Really? I guess this write up gave me impression that something drops below the level of the head. But maybe they were doing additional things that required that. I'm hoping I'll understand all of this when I can get the head off and see what the inside looks like. It's still a little bit of a blackbox to me.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

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Archeo-peteriX
Project is moving along smoothly B)

Two comments to make...
1. Put the T belt back on properly; BMW designed it that way so why tempt fate with a belt that is one tooth off and jumps one more?

Perhaps. So there is no wisdom in "If it aint broken, don't fix it" ? smiling smiley
I'll probably put it back. The timing belt being off a tick should be the LEAST of my concerns when I fire this engine back up.

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2. When you put those new head bolts back in; make absolutely sure the bolt holes are not filled with oil. Any excess oil in the holes can lead to incorrect torquing sad smiley

Great advice. And this brings up a good point, what's a good cleaner for all the oil on the outside, and grime on the inside, that won't harm anything? Is this even a concern?
That's right, I know very little about engines smiling smiley

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

Put the timing belt on correctly, it will only improve your engine performance (or better: your performance won't be deteriorated as it was before)
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Earendil

Perhaps... It was the drivers side bolts, the very front and very rear bolts, in other words the first to be loosened. Probably makes no difference smiling smiley
Can you think of anything to keep an eye out for? Or just forget it and do as Peter says, make sure the holes are clean before putting the new bolts in?

Nothing bad should have happened to the block thread. Check the old head gasket for eventual leaks (not that I expect any there), clean out the holes as Peter said and torque the new head bolts as described in the Bentley.

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Earendil

Really? I guess this write up gave me impression that something drops below the level of the head. But maybe they were doing additional things that required that. I'm hoping I'll understand all of this when I can get the head off and see what the inside looks like. It's still a little bit of a blackbox to me.

It could be the valve is a little below the surface when fully open, you could check for that. If that's the case, you could also put some shorter bolts in the head bolt holes as a spacer (use some cardboard or rubber in between the bolt head and cylinder head surface). Then the head surface never has to touch anything.

Prevent for head surface damage at any time, even the smallest scratch, as it will cause leakage. Curing that means shaving the head off.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/07/2010 03:14PM by Michiel 318iS.
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Earendil
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Archeo-peteriX
Project is moving along smoothly B)

Two comments to make...
1. Put the T belt back on properly; BMW designed it that way so why tempt fate with a belt that is one tooth off and jumps one more?

Perhaps. So there is no wisdom in "If it aint broken, don't fix it" ? smiling smiley
I'll probably put it back. The timing belt being off a tick should be the LEAST of my concerns when I fire this engine back up.

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2. When you put those new head bolts back in; make absolutely sure the bolt holes are not filled with oil. Any excess oil in the holes can lead to incorrect torquing sad smiley

Great advice. And this brings up a good point, what's a good cleaner for all the oil on the outside, and grime on the inside, that won't harm anything? Is this even a concern?
That's right, I know very little about engines smiling smiley

Just use Varsol or equivalent solvents to remove the build up. Sometimes the varnish looking discolouration just can't be removed without caustic materials and won't harm anything if it is left alone.

I think that using a pressure washer with something like Simple Green would also do a good job. Just make sure to dry it off well and perhaps give it all a spray with WD40 to dissipate any moisture that's left and put a protecting seal on it while out of the car.

As for the oil around those couple of head bolts; it could be the head gasket. The gasket has a special ring around the circumference of the cylinder walls that makes that seal tight but out where the bolts torque down, the gasket material can absorb oil and sometimes weep. This is a common problem on 4th generation Honda Civics and I've seen it on other engines as well.
Needless to say, you will be putting a new head gasket on so there is nothing to worry about smiling smiley
It looks like things are going real well. Tearing into an engine is fun, isn't it? What's really fun is starting it up after you get it all back together. You'll be there before you know it.

Add another vote for putting the timing belt back they way it was done at the factory. Fixing an engine is fun. Fixing an engine because you screwed something up is not so much fun, and that's exactly what might happen if you put the belt back off a tooth.

I keep brake cleaner around for small cleanup jobs. It'll dissolve almost anything. Simple Green is good for big jobs. You could probably use the Simple Green to clean the head and brake cleaner to blast the oil out of the head bolt holes in the block. I'd follow the brake cleaner in the holes with a blast of air. You can use those computer duster cans (I know - it isn't air) if you don't have a compressor. Put a rag around the little tube or the air nozzle if you have a compressor before you blast the air so you don't get a face full of oil.

Don't worry about some special hole in the workbench for the head to sit in. If you have some little blocks of wood you can use them to keep the head from resting on the valves that probably stick out when they're open. A variety of little wood scraps is always useful for holding things up on a workbench.
There's another thing to watch out for because it can be awkward.

There is a pipe under the intake manifold that joins the intake manifold straight down into the oil pan.
You can see it dead centre in this photo.


See also parts 9, 10, 11, & 12 in this realoem diagram

When removing the head with the intake manifold attached, be sure to pull straight up to uncork the end of this pipe.

The pipe has a rubber O-ring at the top and bottom ends to seal the connection. You should order replacements for those O-rings, as they can be a mysterious source for vacuum leaks.

There should be a washer at each end, and a spring at the bottom end. When the pipe is all cleaned up it should slide smoothly up and down in the rubber O-rings with the spring keeping the pipe firmly seated up into the bottom of the intake manifold. Take note of the order in which the spring, washers, and O-rings fit. And put a bit of grease on the O-rings so the pipe slides in without damaging the new O-rings.

It is a BITCH trying to get this pipe realigned into the hidden hole under the intake manifold when you are later trying to carefully set the heavy cylinder head with manifolds attached back into place.

There is a trick though.

When you re-insert the pipe with the spring, back into the hole in the oil pan, wrap the spring with a couple of zip ties to keep it fully compressed. Then seat the pipe as far as it goes down into the hole in the oilpan. Now it shouldn't touch the intake manifold at its upper end. After you have the head reseated properly, you can cut the zip ties and feed the pipe up into its proper spot, fitting it up into the bottom of the intake manifold. Piece of cake.

When I was first told about that trick I was left scratching my head, what do you mean, this pipe actually moves? On my engine the bottom end of that pipe was so kacked up with dirt and rust and crap, I didn't even know that there was a spring at the bottom end of it. It cleaned up real nice though. Just make sure you're not dropping any dirt down into the oil pan when you pull the tube out.
I got some help this evening and moved the head from my engine bay to the work bench. I'm hoping to have some time before the weekend to clean it up a bit and remove both the manifolds.

So far I'm hearing Varsol/Break cleaner/Simple green for the gunk on the outside. What about the carbon buildup on the inside? Should I attempt to clean the inside at all? I don't want to damage the seals with something that will melt them away. However I DO want to clean things up enough that I can check for cracks and other possible damage.

Ferd, thanks for the advice on that pipe between the manifold and the oil pan. Unfortunately I completely forgot about it and lifted the head out without giving it a second thought. I didn't even think about it until we had the head on the work bench. Since it was already dark out (Car is outside) I didn't bother going back to check on the damage/missing pieces. Still missed at myself for forgetting.

I'll report back in the next few days, probably with pictures.

Cheers guys, and thanks for all the advice so far!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

Don't worry about the tube, it will still be there. The important time is just before and during the reinstallation of the head smiling smiley
Okay, Round two (pictures pending).

I had intended (yet again) to just do a little bit of work, mostly cleaning. Ha!

Two hours later and what was a single piece (Head + both manifolds + fuel rail + coolant attachment) was now in oily grimy pieces all over my bench.
I removed both the rocker shafts and rocker arms. Only a slight bit of trouble here, hopefully no permanent damage done. There was enough buildup on the shaft that it didn't just "slide out" like all the writeups say. I had to use a dowel to knock it 3/4 the way out before I could use my hands to twist and pull the rest. The end of one of the rocker shafts is noticeable dented from the repeated impact. I'm somewhat concerned with what reinstalling them will entail.

When removing the exhaust manifold there were two types of nuts: Easy to twist, and hardashell to twist. The 12 nuts were split about even in those two categories. 10 nuts in, only just breaking each loose, I figured out what the difference was. The easy to twist off ones were bring their studs with them! eye popping smiley I thought I was fracking over my head (no pun intended) but after some internet reading it looks like these are replaceable studs, and I wasn't actually breaking them off? What do I need in order to reattach them? Do I just screw them back in by hand, or use some sort of loc-tite product? I'll probably end up buying new studs to put in, as I doubt I'm getting these nuts off.

I also attempted to clean up the outside of the head and associated parts. Ran out of rags and shop towels before I got around to the intake manifold.

Saturday morning I'll head back up and clean up the cylinders themselves and look for cracks. I'll also finish cleaning the head and check it for warping and cracks. Are there known trouble spots on the M20 that I should pay close attention to?

After checking everything over and verifying my engine has a few more miles in her, I'll order the parts... or most of them. I'm already up near $500 worth, which doesn't count the $60 valve spring compressor I just ordered, or torque wrenches. It only covers the springs, gaskets, nuts, bolts, water pump, and timing stuff. I may have to wait for the next paycheck sad smiley

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/12/2010 12:03PM by Earendil.
In order not to damage parts, when putting it down (like the cylinder head on your workbench) or when hitting it (your rocker shaft), use softer materials, so you don't damage it. A piece of wood, a nylon block, a copper hammer, they're all being used such that deformations will be taken by the wood/nylon/copper instead of the valuable part you're hitting.

If the stud threads are clean, I wouldn't bother replacing them, just tighten them back in, be happy you didn't snap any of 'em (or bolts on the end for that matter). It just means the block end of the stud was happier to turn than the nut end.
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Michiel 318iS
In order not to damage parts, when putting it down (like the cylinder head on your workbench) or when hitting it (your rocker shaft), use softer materials, so you don't damage it. A piece of wood, a nylon block, a copper hammer, they're all being used such that deformations will be taken by the wood/nylon/copper instead of the valuable part you're hitting.

I do like this idea. I started by using the long metal piece that is coated in rubber/plastic that comes as part of the E30 tool kit. Not sure what it's name is, but its used to line up wheels. Well it was strong, fit in the holes, and was coated in rubber at one end. I thought it was perfect and was using it until I realized I had broken away the hard rubber leaving a metal contact. This is what did the damage.
I went looking for a wood dowel that would work, and almost made one, but gave up and used what one of the write-ups was using - a socket wrench extension. It actually worked quite well (a 3/8) and was just small enough to fit through the holes. Actually I believe I used a 10mm long socket which fit perfectly on the end of the rocker shaft. This worked on the second shaft without leaving a mark. I also used a soft rubber hammer the entire time, hoping for a slower acceleration of the metal. Not ideal, I know.

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If the stud threads are clean, I wouldn't bother replacing them, just tighten them back in, be happy you didn't snap any of 'em (or bolts on the end for that matter). It just means the block end of the stud was happier to turn than the nut end.

And I'm pretty sure the studs are clean, at least on the block side. The problem is that the other side has a nut rusted onto it, and I'm not sure how I'm going to get that off without trashing those nice threads. And for the record, one nut did twist a stud in half. Fortunately the stud broke right at the end of the nut. Makes me think it had sustained some damage in the past, as it wasn't all that hard to break.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/12/2010 03:33PM by Earendil.
rkj
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Earendil
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Michiel 318iS
In order not to damage parts, when putting it down (like the cylinder head on your workbench) or when hitting it (your rocker shaft), use softer materials, so you don't damage it. A piece of wood, a nylon block, a copper hammer, they're all being used such that deformations will be taken by the wood/nylon/copper instead of the valuable part you're hitting.

I do like this idea. I started by using the long metal piece that is coated in rubber/plastic that comes as part of the E30 tool kit. Not sure what it's name is, but its used to line up wheels. Well it was strong, fit in the holes, and was coated in rubber at one end. I thought it was perfect and was using it until I realized I had broken away the hard rubber leaving a metal contact. This is what did the damage.
I went looking for a wood dowel that would work, and almost made one, but gave up and used what one of the write-ups was using - a socket wrench extension. It actually worked quite well (a 3/8) and was just small enough to fit through the holes. Actually I believe I used a 10mm long socket which fit perfectly on the end of the rocker shaft. This worked on the second shaft without leaving a mark. I also used a soft rubber hammer the entire time, hoping for a slower acceleration of the metal. Not ideal, I know.

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If the stud threads are clean, I wouldn't bother replacing them, just tighten them back in, be happy you didn't snap any of 'em (or bolts on the end for that matter). It just means the block end of the stud was happier to turn than the nut end.

And I'm pretty sure the studs are clean, at least on the block side. The problem is that the other side has a nut rusted onto it, and I'm not sure how I'm going to get that off without trashing those nice threads. And for the record, one nut did twist a stud in half. Fortunately the stud broke right at the end of the nut. Makes me think it had sustained some damage in the past, as it wasn't all that hard to break.

I've been watching your progress and I must say, for a newbie you're doing well, of course the real test is yet to come so go slow and if you're in doubt about something ask first and make as little damage as you can (sounds like you're doing that anyway). Taking the head off was a good choice grasshopper smiling smiley

The exhaust studs are expendable so order a new set; if there are any with questionable threads (on the nut side) chuck em and start with a clean stud; you'll thank me later, when it counts. The new nuts (I usually get them from BAV) come with a crimped locking shoulder on one side of the nut, I run a tap through these and use lock washers and neversieze everything, on all hardware thumbs up everywhere.

Look and see if you can come up with a brass drift/punch, they're great for getting shafts to move but try not to force things too much; cams especially, they're brittle and love to break.

Did you pull the cam gear off to get at the seal?

With the head off, run your fingernail up the wall and see what you have for a ridge (the top 1/8 inch of the cylinder wall), in fact, lower every piston the BDC and check the whole jug for scores and when the piston is at TDC see if you can move them sideways with all your fingers on the tops.

If you plan on removing carbon use a dull blade and a soft touch.

Rick
Don't have time to do much besides post these pictures. I'll post again this evening.

Building a work bench. Carpentry! Something I know and have all the tools for smiling smiley


The slightly cleaner head




Time to start on the cylinders. I've already started on the right most one.





After cleaning






I used a nylon bristle brush with a wood top, a small plastic scraper, and break cleaner. What do you think, should I attempt to clean them more? The tools I used are kind of at their limit smiling smiley

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

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Earendil
What do you think, should I attempt to clean them more? The tools I used are kind of at their limit smiling smiley

It looks pretty clean to me.

Rub a little motor oil on the cylinder walls if you got brake cleaner on them. You need to keep a little oil on them to prevent corrosion while they're exposed to moist air and it'll be good to have some oil on there when you start the engine.

John
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rkj
I've been watching your progress and I must say, for a newbie you're doing well, of course the real test is yet to come so go slow and if you're in doubt about something ask first and make as little damage as you can (sounds like you're doing that anyway). Taking the head off was a good choice grasshopper smiling smiley

Thanks for the kind words smiling smiley
The real test is yet to come, of course. Since I was born I've been good at taking things apart. My track record for putting them back together is slightly poorer winking smiley

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The exhaust studs are expendable so order a new set; if there are any with questionable threads (on the nut side) chuck em and start with a clean stud; you'll thank me later, when it counts. The new nuts (I usually get them from BAV) come with a crimped locking shoulder on one side of the nut, I run a tap through these and use lock washers and neversieze everything, on all hardware thumbs up everywhere.

Yep, I just ordered a set a few days ago from Pelican...Or maybe it was Bav. In any case, both places had a long lead time so I went ahead and just ordered them ahead of everything else.

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Look and see if you can come up with a brass drift/punch, they're great for getting shafts to move but try not to force things too much; cams especially, they're brittle and love to break.

Thanks for the tip!

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Did you pull the cam gear off to get at the seal?

If I'm thinking of the right gear (the one the timing belt rotates on) the answer is yes. However you have to remove it to get the rocker shafts out, so it didn't have much to do with the seals. I'm waiting for the "gasket head kit" to arrive, and see which gaskets are actually in the kit, since no vendor gives me a good answer...or at least one I understand smiling smiley

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With the head off, run your fingernail up the wall and see what you have for a ridge (the top 1/8 inch of the cylinder wall), in fact, lower every piston the BDC and check the whole jug for scores and when the piston is at TDC see if you can move them sideways with all your fingers on the tops.

If you plan on removing carbon use a dull blade and a soft touch.

Rick

So, the inside of my cylinders has visible scoring, but not up and down the wall, at an angle. I suppose I'd describe it as if something "spiraled down the cylinder". However I can not feel the scoring with my baby soft fingers, and every cylinder has the same look. Thoughts?

I can also move all the pistons side to side when at TDC, some more than others. However the movement is 1/4 mm to 3/4 mm. Do you think this is too much movement?

I have more pictures, and I'll describe my last endeavors tonight at some point.

Hopefully everyone here knows how much I appreciate the help. You are all quite amazing smileys with beer

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

Quote
John Yust
Rub a little motor oil on the cylinder walls if you got brake cleaner on them. You need to keep a little oil on them to prevent corrosion while they're exposed to moist air and it'll be good to have some oil on there when you start the engine.
John

Done!
So if the block is aluminum, what are the pistons and rods made from? Is the inside of the cylinder aluminum as well, or some other metal insert?
Just curious smiling smiley

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/16/2010 04:42PM by Earendil.
On our M20 engines, the block is iron (just the head is aluminium)
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Earendil

So, the inside of my cylinders has visible scoring, but not up and down the wall, at an angle. I suppose I'd describe it as if something "spiraled down the cylinder". However I can not feel the scoring with my baby soft fingers, and every cylinder has the same look. Thoughts?

I can also move all the pistons side to side when at TDC, some more than others. However the movement is 1/4 mm to 3/4 mm. Do you think this is too much movement?

What you're seeing on your cylinder walls is just exactly what you want to see. It is scoring and it was put there when the block was machined as a brand new engine (or at rebuild time, but I doubt that's been done yet). It looks like something spiraled up and down the cylinder wall because that's exactly how it was made. After the cylinder is bored to the correct size, it's honed to get that finish. Honing is done with a tool that has 2 or 3 blocks (usually, they can be made other ways too) of abrasive material that are spring loaded to push out against the cylinder walls. They're mounted on a motor (your drill if you're rebuilding an engine at home) and pushed up and down in the cylinder as the motor turns, leaving a spiral pattern on the cylinder walls. The grooves hold oil to lubricate the rings as they move up and down in the cylinders. It's really good to find them still visible. A smooth cylinder bore is a sure sign of an engine that's getting pretty worn out. I'll bet you don't have much of a ridge at the top either. That's what Rick was talking about - the highest spot the rings touch in the cylinder. An engine with a lot of wear will have a big ridge that you can easily catch a fingernail on.

The pistons are probably fine since you have plenty of hatching (the scoring) in the cylinders. They're aluminum. The rods are steel. I'll have to admit, I'm not sure about the cylinders. It looks like they might be steel sleeves in the cast iron block when I look at pictures in the Bentley.

Are you sure you're not a BMW service tech just playing with us geezers to see what we'll say? smiling smiley You seem to be doing better than the average beginner with only wood shop tools.

John
rkj
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John Yust
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Earendil

So, the inside of my cylinders has visible scoring, but not up and down the wall, at an angle. I suppose I'd describe it as if something "spiraled down the cylinder". However I can not feel the scoring with my baby soft fingers, and every cylinder has the same look. Thoughts?

I can also move all the pistons side to side when at TDC, some more than others. However the movement is 1/4 mm to 3/4 mm. Do you think this is too much movement?

What you're seeing on your cylinder walls is just exactly what you want to see. It is scoring and it was put there when the block was machined as a brand new engine (or at rebuild time, but I doubt that's been done yet). It looks like something spiraled up and down the cylinder wall because that's exactly how it was made. After the cylinder is bored to the correct size, it's honed to get that finish. Honing is done with a tool that has 2 or 3 blocks (usually, they can be made other ways too) of abrasive material that are spring loaded to push out against the cylinder walls. They're mounted on a motor (your drill if you're rebuilding an engine at home) and pushed up and down in the cylinder as the motor turns, leaving a spiral pattern on the cylinder walls. The grooves hold oil to lubricate the rings as they move up and down in the cylinders. It's really good to find them still visible. A smooth cylinder bore is a sure sign of an engine that's getting pretty worn out. I'll bet you don't have much of a ridge at the top either. That's what Rick was talking about - the highest spot the rings touch in the cylinder. An engine with a lot of wear will have a big ridge that you can easily catch a fingernail on.

The pistons are probably fine since you have plenty of hatching (the scoring) in the cylinders. They're aluminum. The rods are steel. I'll have to admit, I'm not sure about the cylinders. It looks like they might be steel sleeves in the cast iron block when I look at pictures in the Bentley.

Are you sure you're not a BMW service tech just playing with us geezers to see what we'll say? smiling smiley You seem to be doing better than the average beginner with only wood shop tools.

John

Hey Tyler, You're feeling for scores with your nail, not your fingers eye rolling smiley

John's right about the honing marks, if they're cross hatch they are in fact a good thing to see but I'm sure you're just seeing them in the lower reach's of the jug, the top half I'm sure have been wiped out long ago. The fact that you can move the pistons a touch at TDC is fine (especially with your mileage), just as long as there are no long score (vertical ones) marks that would indicate a broken ring etc.

You might consider testing the valve guides and putting in new seals too; if the guides are still somewhat tight the new seals will hold fine- I can run you through that process when the time comes. If however, the valves are rockin back and forth in their seats and when their at lift points the seals are a waste of time and guides will have to be attended to.

The cleaning you're doing looks real good (It looks like you've been careful), excellent thumbs up

Make sure those head bolt thread bores/threads are clean, dry and that the new headbolt screws in (all the way down) with no drag or fetching up. When you're installing the head coat the threads with a touch of light oil for a proper read on the torque wrench.

Did you rent a spring compressor and have you started pulling the valve gear yet?

Rick

So far I give you high marks for your tenacity and general care/workmanship smileys with beer Keep it up, you'll be there in no time.
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rkj
Hey Tyler, You're feeling for scores with your nail, not your fingers eye rolling smiley

I did that too smiling smiley

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John's right about the honing marks, if they're cross hatch they are in fact a good thing to see but I'm sure you're just seeing them in the lower reach's of the jug, the top half I'm sure have been wiped out long ago. The fact that you can move the pistons a touch at TDC is fine (especially with your mileage), just as long as there are no long score (vertical ones) marks that would indicate a broken ring etc.

Actually, I'm pretty sure that spiraling went way above half way. I'll check again and maybe take some pictures. I still have pictures from last weekend to post...

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You might consider testing the valve guides and putting in new seals too; if the guides are still somewhat tight the new seals will hold fine- I can run you through that process when the time comes. If however, the valves are rockin back and forth in their seats and when their at lift points the seals are a waste of time and guides will have to be attended to.

I'd love to do this. Could you describe how to "test" the valve guides? The Springs all come off in the next week, and I would guess that you want to test the valve guides after taking the springs off, and before putting the new set on. In fact i"m looking for things to do while I wait for parts (which will be ordered with tomorrows paycheck).

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The cleaning you're doing looks real good (It looks like you've been careful), excellent thumbs up

I guess I didn't mention this before, but what about the carved grooves in the top of the piston? There is certainly still carbon buildup in those grooves, which I assume are there for engineered flow dynamic reasons. Thoughts on making a special attempt at getting those cleaned out perfectly? I may try something a little hardly than plastic on them if I go in for a second round.

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Make sure those head bolt thread bores/threads are clean, dry and that the new headbolt screws in (all the way down) with no drag or fetching up. When you're installing the head coat the threads with a touch of light oil for a proper read on the torque wrench.

Did you rent a spring compressor and have you started pulling the valve gear yet?

Will do with the head bolts. I bought a Spring compressor, not knowing that one could be rented. However in an area as small as mine, there may not be a place to rent one. It came during the week, and I haven't had a chance to back up to my car since. I do still need a couple torque wrenches though... Any opinion on something like this wrench? I'm looking for one that won't cost me an arm and a leg, but is accurate. What I don't need to pay for is long lasting durability. I'm not a mechanic, It's not going to get used tens of thousands of times before the end. Likely it'll get used a couple dozen times in its life. However I also need a second one to handle the larger values. So I'm looking at at least 2 wrenches, and don't really want to pay $100 per wrench right now. Is that my only option, or will something like this do?


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So far I give you high marks for your tenacity and general care/workmanship smileys with beer Keep it up, you'll be there in no time.

Thanks smiling smiley

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1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

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John Yust
What you're seeing on your cylinder walls is just exactly what you want to see. It is scoring and it was put there when the block was machined as a brand new engine (or at rebuild time, but I doubt that's been done yet). It looks like something spiraled up and down the cylinder wall because that's exactly how it was made. After the cylinder is bored to the correct size, it's honed to get that finish. Honing is done with a tool that has 2 or 3 blocks (usually, they can be made other ways too) of abrasive material that are spring loaded to push out against the cylinder walls. They're mounted on a motor (your drill if you're rebuilding an engine at home) and pushed up and down in the cylinder as the motor turns, leaving a spiral pattern on the cylinder walls. The grooves hold oil to lubricate the rings as they move up and down in the cylinders. It's really good to find them still visible. A smooth cylinder bore is a sure sign of an engine that's getting pretty worn out. I'll bet you don't have much of a ridge at the top either. That's what Rick was talking about - the highest spot the rings touch in the cylinder. An engine with a lot of wear will have a big ridge that you can easily catch a fingernail on.

I didn't check for the ridge, I'll go back and do that this weekend. Or today is I decide that my lack of work really is worth leaving early...


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Are you sure you're not a BMW service tech just playing with us geezers to see what we'll say? smiling smiley You seem to be doing better than the average beginner with only wood shop tools.

John

You got me, I'm a service tech. I was hired by Peter to keep the forum on its toes, which is why we sometimes butt heads, to give the illusion that we aren't associated in any way grinning smiley

I may only have carpentry tools, but the person that owns them makes all the difference. My Father owns the carpentry tools, a Chemestry major who switched away from Philosophy when he decided to be a family practice doc. He did a significant amount of work on my childhood home, including all of the trim work. I get my desire to learn new things from him, which is why I went to school for Graphics design, came out with a Computer Science degree, and hang out with you guys on the weekends smileys with beer

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1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/18/2010 05:40PM by Earendil.
More Pictures!

A few from last weekend, and a few from tonight.



Here we see what a normal and undamaged rocker shaft looks like when using a 9mm socket to pound it out with.




And here we see what a BMW plastic covered tire tool does to it. Whoops... Thoughts on that dmg? It doesn't seem like it should have any ill effect what so ever, but perhaps I'm not thinking of something.



Here are the bottoms of the intake rocker arms. Notice the worn section where one of the broken springs was obviously making contact with it. Exactly how weak are these wrocker arms to begin with? Should I replace it? Or call it a free rocker arm polish?



Bottom of the cylinder head. I'm having major problems here. The head gasket left large chunks of its self on the head. I cannot scrub them off, I cannot melt them off with gas or other solvents. I finally gave up on the safe ways, and busted out one of those carpentry tools and skill sets, a BAMF chisel. Using its perfect edge I was able to shave off a lot of the gasket, but I didn't dare go all the way down to the aluminum. Any tips or tricks are very welcome here. Right now I'm trying to figure out which would be worse, to leave bits of gasket on there, or remove bits of aluminum head...




Here you go, Rick! I told you those curved lines went all the way up smiling smiley
Now please tell me that what you see is still a good thing...Oh, and sorry about the crud on the side. Didn't realize I chose a dirty cylinder until after I got home with the pictures. There was also ZERO lip on the top of the cylinder. This was supposed to be a good thing, yes?



Used my new tool to remove the first spring tonight. Out of all these pieces, guess which one the broken one is!!



That valve looks okay, I think.



Parting shot. Ouch...




I got paid today, so I'm drawing up the parts list. I do have the girlfriend and another friend visiting for their Spring break (yes, I date them young), so we'll see how much I can get done. But if the parts get here mid week, I may have her up and running by the end of next weekend! Also, I heard from a guy that there is a place 20 minutes away that rents Torque wrenches. Dunno what they have, but they rent for $16 a week a piece. So may be worth it in my current circumstances.

Thanks once again for following, as well as any comments!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

A few questions on parts:

Right now the only parts I intend to replace inside the head, besides gaskets and springs, are the [url=http://www.pelicanparts.com/cgi-bin/smart/more_info.cgi?pn=11-34-1-288-544-M30&catalog_description=Valve%20Stem%20Seal,%20325/e/es/i/is/iC/iX%20(1984-91),%20M3%20(1987-91),%20Each%09%20
%26nbsp;%26nbsp;%20]"Valve Stem Seals"[/url]
I'm only replacing the spring seats (top and bottom) and the spring holder (valve collet) on the two valves with broken springs.
See [url=http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?model=1413&mospid=47322&btnr=11_1186&hg=11&fg=25]Real OEM[/url] for a reference picture.

I've also just noticed that what I damaged on the rocker shaft might be number 5 in that diagram. Since PelicanParts has them for $1.75, I'm going to go ahead and get one and worry about whether I need it, or can even replace it, later smiling smiley

Cheers!

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[b]1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles[/b]
[b]2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles[/b]
[img]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-bux48yVyoS0/TnalWFvyo2I/AAAAAAAAAUM/uCTrOou1MJg/E30Sig.jpg[/img]
Good call on getting the new rocker. They are a known weakness of M20 engines, usually the first thing to go due to over-revving.
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Earendil
A few questions on parts:

Right now the only parts I intend to replace inside the head, besides gaskets and springs, are the Valve Stem Seals.

If you're buying the complete "Head Gasket Set", you might want to check, but when I bought mine it included a full set of Valve Stem Seals. That's them in the top middle of this photo. Also included are three re-useable yellow "condoms", that you slip over the top of the valve stem before pressing the new valve seal down the stem. Those prevent the sharp edges of the valve collet retaining grooves in the valve stem from tearing the new valve seals.

Also included are the four D-shaped rubber plugs that fit into the cutout through which the rocker shafts slide out of the cylinder head. On my engine the original plugs had become hard as rock. I was amazed at how different the new rubber ones were. When pressed into their slots, they bulge up well above the surface of the cylinder head, lifting the valve cover gasket. You might want to put a little gasket sealer into that area to ensure a tight seal when the valve cover is pressed down onto the rubber plugs.



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I'm only replacing the spring seats (top and bottom) and the spring holder (valve collet) on the two valves with broken springs.
I'm sure you already know this, but just in case, you do have to use new head bolts. Do NOT re-use the old head bolts.

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I've also just noticed that what I damaged on the rocker shaft might be number 5 in that diagram. Since PelicanParts has them for $1.75, I'm going to go ahead and get one and worry about whether I need it, or can even replace it, later smiling smiley
The rocker shaft is a hollow tube with holes drilled into it so that oil can be pumped to each rocker pivot. Those number 5 plugs are there to cork each end of the hollow shaft. It looks like those plugs thread into the ends of the shaft. I have no idea how those are supposed to come out again since they have a flat face and there's no way to grab a hold of them to unscrew them.

I'd be inclined to leave the mashed one in there, but just make sure you've cleaned off those little metal chips so no debris ends up in an important oil passage somewhere.
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Ferdinand
If you're buying the complete "Head Gasket Set", you might want to check, but when I bought mine it included a full set of Valve Stem Seals. That's them in the top middle of this photo. Also included are three re-useable yellow "condoms", that you slip over the top of the valve stem before pressing the new valve seal down the stem. Those prevent the sharp edges of the valve collet retaining grooves in the valve stem from tearing the new valve seals.

I bought the Pelican head gasket kit. They don't define the contents, and when I asked they said it included "Every gasket you need from the head gasket up". Not very helpful for a noobie smiling smiley
I wouldn't have guessed that the valve stem seals would be part of the deal. Oh well, I payed $9 for the set, so at least I'm not sitting on a $50 part.

I'll be honest, I'm not sure what exactly these condoms are for (laugh it up). Why include only 3 when there are 12 valves? Or are they not permanent fixtures, but are instead used for installation of the valve seals?

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Also included are the four D-shaped rubber plugs that fit into the cutout through which the rocker shafts slide out of the cylinder head. On my engine the original plugs had become hard as rock. I was amazed at how different the new rubber ones were. When pressed into their slots, they bulge up well above the surface of the cylinder head, lifting the valve cover gasket. You might want to put a little gasket sealer into that area to ensure a tight seal when the valve cover is pressed down onto the rubber plugs.

Funny you should mention those. I ran across that little item on a different forum, and thought to myself that it was a cheap part, and I should replace it. It was because I went to replace those 4 plugs that lead me to notice my busted outer valve spring. So I have 4 pretty new ones, but I'll be just fine with installing another set.


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I'm only replacing the spring seats (top and bottom) and the spring holder (valve collet) on the two valves with broken springs.
I'm sure you already know this, but just in case, you do have to use new head bolts. Do NOT re-use the old head bolts.

Yep smiling smiley
I have a new Torx head set coming, and I'm hoping that an E16 torx socket is what I need....because it's what I got!

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I've also just noticed that what I damaged on the rocker shaft might be number 5 in that diagram. Since PelicanParts has them for $1.75, I'm going to go ahead and get one and worry about whether I need it, or can even replace it, later smiling smiley
The rocker shaft is a hollow tube with holes drilled into it so that oil can be pumped to each rocker pivot. Those number 5 plugs are there to cork each end of the hollow shaft. It looks like those plugs thread into the ends of the shaft. I have no idea how those are supposed to come out again since they have a flat face and there's no way to grab a hold of them to unscrew them.

I'd be inclined to leave the mashed one in there, but just make sure you've cleaned off those little metal chips so no debris ends up in an important oil passage somewhere.[/quote]

That was kind of my feeling. The shaft isn't any shorter, because I didn't damage the edge. And It should still hold a seal, which I imagine is the only other function of the end.

What is your gut instinct on looking at that polished/worn rocker?



Nomis got the impression that I had already decided to replace it, but I haven't. My concern with "just replacing it" is that I'm slightly afraid that I wouldn't be able to slide a new rocker arm onto the shaft. Sure I was able to slide the old ones off past the buildup without too much trouble, but they are also worn a little. I would also guess that one would want equally weighted rockers, and I don't know how different brand rockers match up in the weight category. And of course, I don't really want to spend another $130 on rocker arms for the intake side smiling smiley

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

Quote
Earendil
I'll be honest, I'm not sure what exactly these condoms are for (laugh it up). Why include only 3 when there are 12 valves? Or are they not permanent fixtures, but are instead used for installation of the valve seals?
They look like half of a gel capsule. It's just a little plastic sleeve that temporarily fits over the tip of the valve stem to give the valve seal a smooth surface to slide down over, rather than risk tearing the seal as it slides over the notches of the valve collet retaining grooves. If you're careful you can re-use the same sleeve for all 12 seals. But, on the assumption that you're going break it, they give you a couple of spares.


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Also included are the four D-shaped rubber plugs ...
Funny you should mention those. I ran across that little item on a different forum, and thought to myself that it was a cheap part, and I should replace it. It was because I went to replace those 4 plugs that lead me to notice my busted outer valve spring. So I have 4 pretty new ones, but I'll be just fine with installing another set.
They were one of the sources of big oil leaks on my old 325e cylinder head. That and a leaky head gasket. They were baked rock-hard on my engine and I was shocked to see how different the new rubber ones felt in comparison.


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Do NOT re-use the old head bolts.
Yep smiling smiley
I have a new Torx head set coming
Excellent.

Just wanted to make sure you weren't tempted to save money by re-using the old bolts. You'll see when you torque the new head bolts. Those bolts get cranked down to some ridiculous tightness and get stretched to yielding. I can't remember the actual process, it's in the Bentley, but after you torque them down you're supposed to give them each a further 90-degree turn (or something like that). I remember thinking, ya gotta be kidding. I was using a long-handled wrench for leverage and thinking, if this bolt snaps off now I'm going to end up knocking all my teeth out when I punch myself in the face with the end of this wrench.

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What is your gut instinct on looking at that polished/worn rocker? Nomis got the impression that I had already decided to replace it, but I haven't.

My gut instinct, because I'm cheap, would be to re-use it. But I'd hate to say go ahead and use it as-is, only to have it break on you later. You've now seen how much work is involved in taking out the rockers. After you've done it once, it's easier the second time. But it would still be a shame to have to do all this work again.

If it's already cracked, then of course don't put it back in. If it has a notch cut out of it, or it is scratched, causing a point of stress concentration, then replace it. But if it is merely "polished" smooth, it might even be an improvement.

The rockers could last another few hundred thousand miles with no problem at all, or they could break tomorrow. Some people would say now is an opportunity to replace all of them, just because you can. It's up to you.

Here's what they look like when they get busted:
[i70.photobucket.com]
[www.m5board.com]




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My concern with "just replacing it" is that I'm slightly afraid that I wouldn't be able to slide a new rocker arm onto the shaft. Sure I was able to slide the old ones off past the buildup without too much trouble, but they are also worn a little.
That buildup is just varnish, gummed up old burnt oil. If you can't convince the gunk to come off with solvent, I wouldn't be afraid to use some fine sandpaper to buff it off. You don't want to be scratching gouges into the shaft, just polishing it. Then it should be easy to slide the rockers on or off.

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I would also guess that one would want equally weighted rockers, and I don't know how different brand rockers match up in the weight category. And of course, I don't really want to spend another $130 on rocker arms for the intake side smiling smiley
It should be possible to replace the rockers individually. You're never going to notice any imbalance in the engine if one is slightly different from the others.
rkj
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Earendil
More Pictures!

A few from last weekend, and a few from tonight.



Here we see what a normal and undamaged rocker shaft looks like when using a 9mm socket to pound it out with.




And here we see what a BMW plastic covered tire tool does to it. Whoops... Thoughts on that dmg? It doesn't seem like it should have any ill effect what so ever, but perhaps I'm not thinking of something.



Here are the bottoms of the intake rocker arms. Notice the worn section where one of the broken springs was obviously making contact with it. Exactly how weak are these wrocker arms to begin with? Should I replace it? Or call it a free rocker arm polish?



Bottom of the cylinder head. I'm having major problems here. The head gasket left large chunks of its self on the head. I cannot scrub them off, I cannot melt them off with gas or other solvents. I finally gave up on the safe ways, and busted out one of those carpentry tools and skill sets, a BAMF chisel. Using its perfect edge I was able to shave off a lot of the gasket, but I didn't dare go all the way down to the aluminum. Any tips or tricks are very welcome here. Right now I'm trying to figure out which would be worse, to leave bits of gasket on there, or remove bits of aluminum head...




Here you go, Rick! I told you those curved lines went all the way up smiling smiley
Now please tell me that what you see is still a good thing...Oh, and sorry about the crud on the side. Didn't realize I chose a dirty cylinder until after I got home with the pictures. There was also ZERO lip on the top of the cylinder. This was supposed to be a good thing, yes?



Used my new tool to remove the first spring tonight. Out of all these pieces, guess which one the broken one is!!



That valve looks okay, I think.



Parting shot. Ouch...




I got paid today, so I'm drawing up the parts list. I do have the girlfriend and another friend visiting for their Spring break (yes, I date them young), so we'll see how much I can get done. But if the parts get here mid week, I may have her up and running by the end of next weekend! Also, I heard from a guy that there is a place 20 minutes away that rents Torque wrenches. Dunno what they have, but they rent for $16 a week a piece. So may be worth it in my current circumstances.

Thanks once again for following, as well as any comments!

That one damaged shaft end; It's a plug in there I think- check the parts books, if it's a plug trash that shaft, it's a goner.

Any rocker with marks on them I'd toss too; like Ferdy sez, those scratches or marks set up weak spots that break later. Make sure the riding surfaces on the rockers are not flattened out, that goes for the adjusting wheels too. The surface on the rocker face, where it meets the cam should have no bad looking scores or flat spots; you should be able to check this with a visual (you can hold it up to a light, sunlight might be fine) and feeling it with your finger (the fleshy part this time).

They sell (I use the Napa kind) a gasket removal spray, it takes a few times but it's a wonderful kind of stuff that works on alloy surfaces- be careful Tyler, use this stuff outside, it's evil shit for your well-being.

Wow, I'm seeing the honing marks way up at the top of the cylinder; that's amazing. It just goes to show what Bmw's steel is all about.

Small ridge is wonderful Tyler, yes.

You are going to put the valves back in the holes they came out of, yes?, it's a good practice if you're using the old guides and valves. Also, feel the tops of the valve stem, sometimes they can be peened over and that makes it rough for the new seal install, even if you have the protectors.

One caution on head bolt installation, I use the three stage tightening thing; 1) bring them all, in sequence, up to 30 lbs 2) 60 lbs 3) bring them home and then that "after they're hot thing", these bolts stretch like a mother... Don't forget the light coating of thin oil.

Checking the guides; with the valves (hopefully in their same hole) up against their seat see how much wiggle they have*** illustration*, make a fist and slide a pencil in so a good part of it sticks out one side, take the end of the exposed pencil and wiggle it at its end. This is basically the type of test it is. Now, back to our regular scheduled broadcast. After you've tested for the slop with the valve in the closed position pull it out and test it where it would be when the valve is open, and then a touch further just for good measure.

Some how we are going to agree on an allowable wear range on this but first give me what YOU think you have and then we'll get a little closer to what you actually have- this is going to be hard over the computer but lets give it a try...

Rick
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rkj
That one damaged shaft end; It's a plug in there I think- check the parts books, if it's a plug trash that shaft, it's a goner.

Any rocker with marks on them I'd toss too; like Ferdy sez, those scratches or marks set up weak spots that break later. Make sure the riding surfaces on the rockers are not flattened out, that goes for the adjusting wheels too. The surface on the rocker face, where it meets the cam should have no bad looking scores or flat spots; you should be able to check this with a visual (you can hold it up to a light, sunlight might be fine) and feeling it with your finger (the fleshy part this time).

Got it.

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They sell (I use the Napa kind) a gasket removal spray, it takes a few times but it's a wonderful kind of stuff that works on alloy surfaces- be careful Tyler, use this stuff outside, it's evil shit for your well-being.

I'll pop into my small local Napa after work and see if they carry such a thing. I wouldn't have guessed that they made something specific to removing gasket!


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You are going to put the valves back in the holes they came out of, yes?, it's a good practice if you're using the old guides and valves. Also, feel the tops of the valve stem, sometimes they can be peened over and that makes it rough for the new seal install, even if you have the protectors.

Yes, I'm making sure all parts that aren't being replaced go back into their original location.

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One caution on head bolt installation, I use the three stage tightening thing; 1) bring them all, in sequence, up to 30 lbs 2) 60 lbs 3) bring them home and then that "after they're hot thing", these bolts stretch like a mother... Don't forget the light coating of thin oil.

I guess I'd have to double check, but this procedure appears to be quite different from what is in the Bentley for the M20. If it is different, could you explain why you suggest your method?

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Checking the guides; with the valves (hopefully in their same hole) up against their seat see how much wiggle they have*** illustration*, make a fist and slide a pencil in so a good part of it sticks out one side, take the end of the exposed pencil and wiggle it at its end. This is basically the type of test it is. Now, back to our regular scheduled broadcast. After you've tested for the slop with the valve in the closed position pull it out and test it where it would be when the valve is open, and then a touch further just for good measure.

Some how we are going to agree on an allowable wear range on this but first give me what YOU think you have and then we'll get a little closer to what you actually have- this is going to be hard over the computer but lets give it a try...

Okay, I tested all valves in their original guides as I was removing them this morning. All valves have little to no play "side to side" (direction parallel to the camshaft), and they all have under 1.0 mm of play "up and down" (perpendicular to the camshaft), with the majority having closer to 0.5 mm of play. Note that these measurements are not on the stem side, but on the cylinder side. Is this within a limit that you feel good calling it one way or the other, or should I attempt to take a video of it?

I'm taking Friday off work to start putting it all back together, hopefully increasing the chance that my baby will be back by Monday.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

rkj
Tyler sez

Okay, I tested all valves in their original guides as I was removing them this morning. All valves have little to no play "side to side" (direction parallel to the camshaft), and they all have under 1.0 mm of play "up and down" (perpendicular to the camshaft), with the majority having closer to 0.5 mm of play. Note that these measurements are not on the stem side, but on the cylinder side. Is this within a limit that you feel good calling it one way or the other, or should I attempt to take a video of it?

I'm taking Friday off work to start putting it all back together, hopefully increasing the chance that my baby will be back by Monday.

Yes, side to side is what we're testing (wiggling the valve stem in the guide back and forth). You need to check the play both when the valves are closed and the open position. 1mm sounds excessive, the play should be all most imperceptible for a seal to hold oil from getting in to the cylinder but, you might have to chance it- oil the stems up good when you're assembling. I usually put a little white grease on the protruding valve stem (once the valve is in place in the head) so the seal does not run dry on start up.

Grease is a great way to hold things in place too, like valve keepers and such, watch your fingers eye rolling smiley


If you didn't have a smoking condition (out the exhaust) from loose guides to start with (and you would know if you had) you'll probably be fine with those clearances.

Rick
Awesome, I would take a day off work (tomorrow) and end up getting sick (yesterday) :?

I did however start on the reconstruction tonight. I put all the new valve seals in! yay! I also attempted to get the left over gasket off with gasket remover that I bought at Napa... no effect. Hours of soaking, multiple soaks, nothing. I guess I'll take the chisel to it one last time and see if I can't do more harm than good. There isn't a lot left, but there is more gasket material there, than there is head material I would accidentally remove with a chisel, so I suppose that makes it a good idea... That is one very poorly constructed sentence, but I'm tired and sick and can't think how to fix it.

For tonight I just have one question really. After a delay in the shipping, I finally got the "head gasket kit". I knew what everything was just by looking at it (I was good at shape matching as a baby!), except for the following pictured items. Note that the quantity is also accurate, and I tossed in a match box for size comparison. Ideas? Note that the metal rings come in two different sizes.
I haven't the foggiest where any of this goes.




I'll have a good long update tomorrow night or saturday.

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1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/25/2010 10:24PM by Earendil.
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rkj
Yes, side to side is what we're testing (wiggling the valve stem in the guide back and forth). You need to check the play both when the valves are closed and the open position. 1mm sounds excessive, the play should be all most imperceptible for a seal to hold oil from getting in to the cylinder but, you might have to chance it- oil the stems up good when you're assembling. I usually put a little white grease on the protruding valve stem (once the valve is in place in the head) so the seal does not run dry on start up.

When the valves are in the closed position they are rock solid with no movement. The distance I quoted was the distance at full open, or a bit past, at the cylinder end. i.e. all movement would have been exaggerated. On the valve stem side the movement would have been closer to 0.1-0.2mm if any at all.


Quote

Grease is a great way to hold things in place too, like valve keepers and such, watch your fingers eye rolling smiley

This is where an automotive background would keep me from asking stupid questions. What kind of grease would I use for this?


Quote

If you didn't have a smoking condition (out the exhaust) from loose guides to start with (and you would know if you had) you'll probably be fine with those clearances.

Rick

Nope, no smoking condition, and I'm relatively sure that all my oil loss was out the sides of the engine and not the tail pipe. Any problem I may have had should be further mitigated by new valve stem seals. The old ones were hardly made out of anything that could be considered rubber any more!

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1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

Quote
Earendil
Awesome, I would take a day off work (tomorrow) and end up getting sick (yesterday) :?
Bummer. For your sake, I hope it's not the same flu I've been fighting for a week now. Fever, stuffed up lungs, ears plugged up, sinus pressure so bad it feels like all my teeth will fall out. After a week of that I've been reduced to thinking it's actually a good sign of progress that I'm now coughing up what looks and tastes like dead birds. yeuck.

Quote

I finally got the "head gasket kit". I knew what everything was just by looking at it (I was good at shape matching as a baby!), except for the following pictured items. Note that the quantity is also accurate, and I tossed in a match box for size comparison. Ideas? Note that the metal rings come in two different sizes.
I haven't the foggiest where any of this goes.


Starting with the metal rings, those look a lot like the crush gasket that goes on the oil pan drain plug. That's a clue. Except, with respect to the head gasket kit, they are more likely to be for the up-to-four separate temperature sensors that screw into the thermostat housing. See parts 11 and 14 in this realoem diagram. It's interesting though that RealOem says three of them are supposed to be the same size, and only one different. I'd say, unless yours are leaking, it's best to leave sleeping dogs lie and not touch the existing sensors unless necessary.

Stick 'em in a plastic baggie, and include a note reminding you what they're for, then toss 'em in a drawer somewhere and forget about them. Trust me, the note is important. Otherwise you'll rediscover them in a few years and wonder why the heck you saved them when you can't remember what they're for. But you won't throw them out because you know you wouldn't have saved them if they weren't important, so you'll chuck them back in the drawer. You'll repeat this process every few years until your wife finally makes you clean out the garage and throw all the mysterious unlabelled bits of junk into the garbage. The very next day your thermostat sensors will spring a leak, guaranteed, because sometimes life's just like that.

If the the head gasket kit included stuff for the thermostat housing, then maybe the big fat O-ring is meant for the thermostat, #6 in the same drawing. According to realoem, it should be 60x3.5mm.

They should have given you a new camshaft seal, right? Look at #5, 4, & 8 in this diagram. The camshaft seal (#5) presses into what they call the "GUIDE COVER" (#4), then the O-ring (#8) seals the guide cover to the cylinder head. That O-ring (#8) is supposed to be 53x2mm, which looks like it might be the smaller of the two big O-rings in your photo.

Now we're just left with those other four O-rings. Did you order replacement O-rings for that pipe connecting the intake manifold down to the oil pan, like I told you to do? So sue me. It looks like you didn't need any extras because they already included a couple in the complete head gasket kit. Now you've got four, eh. See part #9 in this diagram. They don't list the dimensions for this O-ring, but I'm pretty sure those look familiar. You need one at the top and one at the bottom. Try not to drop any grunge down into the oil pan!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/26/2010 07:47PM by Ferdinand.
rkj
Quote
Earendil
Quote
rkj
Yes, side to side is what we're testing (wiggling the valve stem in the guide back and forth). You need to check the play both when the valves are closed and the open position. 1mm sounds excessive, the play should be all most imperceptible for a seal to hold oil from getting in to the cylinder but, you might have to chance it- oil the stems up good when you're assembling. I usually put a little white grease on the protruding valve stem (once the valve is in place in the head) so the seal does not run dry on start up.

When the valves are in the closed position they are rock solid with no movement. The distance I quoted was the distance at full open, or a bit past, at the cylinder end. i.e. all movement would have been exaggerated. On the valve stem side the movement would have been closer to 0.1-0.2mm if any at all.


Quote

Grease is a great way to hold things in place too, like valve keepers and such, watch your fingers eye rolling smiley

This is where an automotive background would keep me from asking stupid questions. What kind of grease would I use for this?


Quote

If you didn't have a smoking condition (out the exhaust) from loose guides to start with (and you would know if you had) you'll probably be fine with those clearances.

Rick

Nope, no smoking condition, and I'm relatively sure that all my oil loss was out the sides of the engine and not the tail pipe. Any problem I may have had should be further mitigated by new valve stem seals. The old ones were hardly made out of anything that could be considered rubber any more!

Well, from what you say the guides should hold up fairly okay, just hope for the best and being all the valves went back in their respective guides is a plus. The grease you usually use for a front end is fine for valve keepers or small light stuff, I have fiber grease if I need to hold bearings in a race that has to get turned every which way on install though. Thrust washers in transmissions have to be gasket shellacked in place, grease is not enough to hold them in place when you're installing a lay shaft/cluster gear assemblies.

Rick
Okay, my update is lacking fun pictures and a conclusion, so I'll keep it brief for now.

I was sick all weekend, but that didn't keep me from trying to complete. Put most everything back together on saturday, everything that didn't require a torque wrench. Sunday morning I finally got the torque wrench, and it finally started raining. So with a giant trash bag over the hood, I started on the head bolts. In the Bentley specified order: 22 ft-lbs done. 90 degree turn done. second 90 almost done. My E14 torx socket broke in half on the #10 bolt. @#$% :X
Fortunetally there is ONE place in the gorge that sells an E14 torx socket, though it's Napa, 45 minutes away, and it was 4pm on a sunday. So today I'll go pick that up. The bigger problem I have is that once I get it, I'm not sure exactly how far I was on the #10 bolt before the socket snapped. I guess I'll just undershoot. Undershooting is far better than over torquing, right?

Once I get those down, I'll put the coolant in, reattach the exhaust pipes to the manifold, new spark plugs put in, and she should be set. I'll be recording the start up, so that if she bursts into flames I at least have a good video to show for it.

The only other issue I'm aware of is that I might have swapped the fuel in and return hoses. But the only problem with this is that the engine won't get fuel, right? The regulator won't flow in reverse, so the worst that I think could happen is that I burn out my fuel pump if I leave it going for too long. I'm hoping that it's obvious in one of the pictures I took that I have at home which is which. It just occurred to me that I could hotwire the pump and make it pump fuel, that should tell me pretty quick which one is which smiling smiley

On second thought, maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to remove the fuel lines when I first start her up. The starter will crank the engine without firing, potentially revealing problem before high explosives are involved, and this should also tell me which fuel line is which. Yes, I'll be safe with the fuel lines if I do this smiling smiley

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1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

Quote
Earendil
I'll be recording the start up, so that if she bursts into flames I at least have a good video to show for it.
Oh ya. THAT will make it all worthwhile.

Quote

The only other issue I'm aware of is that I might have swapped the fuel in and return hoses.
Fuel-in goes directly to the injector manifold. Fuel-return comes out of the regulator.

At the other end, the fuel is coming from the fuel filter, whereas the fuel-return line goes straight back to the tank.

If your car has the old-style fuel filter mounted in the engine compartment somewhere below the power steering reservoir, then it should be easy to trace the line coming from the filter. If yours is the new style, with the filter under the car back by the left rear wheel, then you have to look under the car to trace the fuel line back.

Running the fuel pump to check which fuel line is spouting fuel is kinda dangerous. It comes outta there at high pressure. Don't go burning your car up now!
Quote
Ferdinand
Quote
Earendil
I'll be recording the start up, so that if she bursts into flames I at least have a good video to show for it.
Oh ya. THAT will make it all worthwhile.

Yeah, I thought so smiling smiley

Quote

Fuel-in goes directly to the injector manifold. Fuel-return comes out of the regulator.

At the other end, the fuel is coming from the fuel filter, whereas the fuel-return line goes straight back to the tank.

If your car has the old-style fuel filter mounted in the engine compartment somewhere below the power steering reservoir, then it should be easy to trace the line coming from the filter. If yours is the new style, with the filter under the car back by the left rear wheel, then you have to look under the car to trace the fuel line back.

I have the new style, it was raining, the car is parked on gravel, and the passenger side is jacked up so I can get to the exhaust manifold easily. That's why I didn't trace it back... but maybe I will.

Quote

Running the fuel pump to check which fuel line is spouting fuel is kinda dangerous. It comes outta there at high pressure. Don't go burning your car up now!

I have a couple gallon jugs left over from mixing new coolant. I can stick the hoses in there and be pretty safe...unless I take up smoking between now and then.

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1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

We're going to do this in the good news/bad news style of story telling.

The good news.
Despite mother nature deciding to SNOW on me while I wrapped up my car last night, I managed to do it. After charging a dead battery, my car fired up after 3 or 4 cranks.
For some reason I was expecting either a ball of flame, or the sound of a Ferrari engine. I got nothing so exciting. The engine ran rough and sounded different, which I was expecting, but it continued to sound different after a minute, which I was not. However the idle was spot on 700 rpm without a noticeable change in the needle. I gave her a little gas but met major hesitation up to 1800 rpm or so. After a while I got up the guts to go higher because I wasn't hearing metal sounds yet. After 2000 rpm the engine smoothed right out. However it hesitated below 1800 again when dropping down.

I tinkered some more, checked for leaks, and finally decided to start her back up and go for a drive. One should never get emotionally attached to a car, because as I slowly pulled her out onto the road, I couldn't help but think this could be the last time I drive her. Between being nervous that I'd hurt her, the initial gravel road (can't hear the engine) and the fog, I went really easy on her. However I wasn't having driveability problems around 1000rpm. When I hit the paved road the engine sounded fine, again with no problems. No warning lights, engine temp is up, so I decide to push her a little bit. She climbs up to 3000rpm without a problem. I couldn't say if all her power was there. my loaner car has been an 84 chevy S-10 (with all of 94hp), and I never hit WOT. However, nothing sounded out of place.

After that 8 minute drive I brought her home, let her idle, notice no hesitation problems at low RPMs, and checked her over again. This is when I noticed...

The Bad News.

There is way too much white "smoke" coming out the tail pipe. It was probably there the entire time, but it was cold and I was working by flashlight, so I didn't take note.
I went ahead and drove it 15 minutes home trying to convince myself that I can't possibly be blowing coolant past my brand new seal. I started it this morning, and there was hardly any white exhaust out the tail pipe...than she warmed up, and it started. @#$%. The only problem on installation that I had was with that one head bolt, which on its second set of 90 was probably only turned 75-80 because I wasn't sure where it was at when my socket broke.

I'm going to try and bleed the air out of the system one last time after work, and make sure the coolant is at the proper level. At this point I should be able to tell for sure how much coolant I'm eating. My understanding of vaporizing coolant is that it HAS to be the head gasket, right? The car runs as well now as it did before removing everything, but I haven't tried pushing her too hard.

Being sick and spending half of last night awake and coughing hasn't improved my mood much either... I don't want to take her apart again sad smiley
The only thing that makes me feel the least bit happy is that the engine is really pretty right now. It's a stupid thing to feel good about, considering, but it's about all I have. *sigh*

So right now I think the plan is to take it all back apart. Double check the timing belt to see if that could have caused the rough lower idling, and put another head gasket on. Unless someone can suggest other things to try or do before that...

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1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

Been doing some reading and thinking... I suppose I could have cracked my head somehow, aye? Maybe I'll do a compression test and see what that reveals. I can also check spark plug colors when I'm doing this. After about 20 minutes of total driving, I didn't see coolant in the oil, or oil in the coolant last night. I'll double check that again too.

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1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

Now I'm more scared, and a little confused. The biggest headache and pain for me, is not knowing how this is all going to turn out.
So I took it for a 2.5 mile drive up and around a hill during lunch. Before starting the car, I checked the dip stick and oil cap for signs of coolant, none found. Checked my coolant level, and made sure it was spot on. Bled the system of air one more time, and took off. Car appeared to drive fine, but again I didn't push her. Temperature rose and stayed spot on the entire time. While driving I couldn't see white smoke behind the car, but it's sunny and 55 degrees, and I was going 25-30mph. When I got back, I parked but left the car running so I could check the tail pipe. Nothing visible coming out. I revved the engine to 2000rpm and still nothing out the tail pipe, but I did notice it's now running pretty rough! So I turn the car off, and check all the same spots again. Coolant level, good. Dip Stick, clean. Oil cap, @#$%. Nothing visible inside, but on the bottom of the cap there it was, a little white residue.

So now I'm confused. I can't imagine why the coolant/oil mix didn't show up until now on the cap, but why the sudden lack of coolant out the tail pipe? I don't think I'll be running the car any more, not with the possibility that the oil is compromised. I guess I'll also pop the valve cover off and make sure all the head bolts are still there sad smiley

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1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

Quote
Earendil
Oil cap, @#$%. Nothing visible inside, but on the bottom of the cap there it was, a little white residue.

So now I'm confused. I can't imagine why the coolant/oil mix didn't show up until now on the cap, but why the sudden lack of coolant out the tail pipe? I don't think I'll be running the car any more, not with the possibility that the oil is compromised. I guess I'll also pop the valve cover off and make sure all the head bolts are still there sad smiley

That residue doesn't mean anything by itself. It's time to take a couple of deep breaths, or do whatever it is you do to calm down. It's NOT time to go taking the car back apart. There's probably no reason for that. I wouldn't change the oil either. I would just use the car for short trips and see how it all goes. If you do have a problem, you'll know soon enough to avoid any major damage. Keep an eye on the oil and coolant. If they stay clean and unmixed and the car runs fine, then go for longer trips. Everything is probably OK.
Pull the plugs and see what they look like. You might have fouled plugs.

alan
rkj
Quote
alanrw
Pull the plugs and see what they look like. You might have fouled plugs.

alan

Might the exhaust be full of old antifreeze from the pull down?

Rick
Quote
John Yust
That residue doesn't mean anything by itself. It's time to take a couple of deep breaths, or do whatever it is you do to calm down.

Quote
alanrw
Pull the plugs and see what they look like. You might have fouled plugs.

Quote
Rick
Might the exhaust be full of old antifreeze from the pull down?

Thanks guys, you're always the slow to judge, quick to wisdom. You all may very well be correct.
I pulled the valve cover and inspected everything under it to the best of my abilities. Nothing out of place, and no sign of coolant.
I pulled all the plugs and checked their gap again, and their condition. Most of them were brownish, and at least one of them had buildup across the gap. Note that these plugs had about 12 miles on them.

It is, as I think about it, highly likely that the tail pipe collected all kinds of sh*t while I was cleaning the engine. In fact if I think about it, when I went to clean the bolt holes with a compressor and hose, I found out that I had failed to drain the coolant from the block, and only drained it as far down as the pump. This resulted in the engine and myself getting a nice coolant shower as the air forced into one side of the block, moved the coolant out the other. It's quite likely that the tail pipe which is right there, and angled up, captured a bunch of this.

I also did a compression test, which though I wouldn't bet my life on the accuracy of my cheap gauge, it is surely accurate when measured against it's self.
In PSI, I got 145-140-145-140-145-145
So with that done, and nothing coming out the pipe, I drove 8 freeway miles to a friends house and back. No sign of coolant on the return.

I now only have two problems, which I could attribute to any number of things, and perhaps should start a new thread. But I'll mention them here.

First, I kept getting the 1221 oxygen sensor fault. I think I read someplace that excessive rich conditions can flat out kill the O2 sensor. What about excessive everything-I-dumped-in-the-engine? A good sniff at the tail pipe says that I am NOT running rich, so unless I'm running lean, perhaps the O2 sensor is toast?

Second, if the car is at idle around 600-700 RPM it's fine. If I turn the lights on, a squeaking/swooshing sound develops in the engine bay. It sounds *almost* like a belt, but not as high pitched. I know enough about electricity to know that the only thing mechanical that happens when I turn the lights on, is that the Alternator has increased resistance, but would that cause the belt to squeak? Or perhaps my alternator is going out? Of note, as soon as the RPMs climb to the point where the alternator should up the voltage, the squeak/swooshing goes away. I'll dig out the multi-meter tomorrow and make sure the voltage in the car is correct.

I *think* at this point I can say that my engine is okay. I was kind of surprised when my car started right up without any problems the very first time. I was sure with all the digging and touching of ancient parts that I would break a wire, or bump a sensor the wrong way. Perhaps it's time to do a full sweep of the sensors and wiring again!

Pictures soon...

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

Thank you everyone who had advice or kind words for me during this very trying experience. Seriously, from the bottom of my heart.

A fellow software engineer who has a car mechanic as a brother told me today that he can't stand working on cars. I told him that I didn't much like it either, but I *loved* learning, and would do anything at least once if it meant better understanding the complicated devices in my life. So while I fully enjoyed this, I think I'd like to graduate to an advisory position, and not tear down my engine again for some time smiling smiley

Thank you all once again. Long live BENN smileys with beer

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1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

Black + Clear coat Spray Paint: $10
Time spent painting while waiting for other things: 15 minutes
Looking at a shiny engine, that can be cleaned with a wet rag: Priceless.





And the manifolds are now reattached to the head.







Tuesday night. I really wanted to get done with this!!





Sorry, there is no video. By the time I started her up it was near dark, and nothing I had would take a video in that light.
More pictures to come.

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1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

Good onya for sticking to it!

Unplug the O2 sensor and see how the car runs without it. If it runs better (maybe not perfect, just better) then the "coolant bath" has killed the sensor.
Agreed, possibly some coolant went down the exhaust pipe and killed the O2 sensor. As to the alternator, check the belt tension. If that is OK, possibly the belt got fouled during the major repair?

It does sound like everything is OK, just a few details to sort out.

alan
rkj
Quote
Earendil
Thank you everyone who had advice or kind words for me during this very trying experience. Seriously, from the bottom of my heart.

A fellow software engineer who has a car mechanic as a brother told me today that he can't stand working on cars. I told him that I didn't much like it either, but I *loved* learning, and would do anything at least once if it meant better understanding the complicated devices in my life. So while I fully enjoyed this, I think I'd like to graduate to an advisory position, and not tear down my engine again for some time smiling smiley

Thank you all once again. Long live BENN smileys with beer

Hey Tyler, That picture of you in your rain gear strikes me (been there) and is especially cool (it's all about dedication) thumbs up

Like the guys are saying about the 02 sensor is true. The belts (even if they were new before the valve job) maybe be dirty after all your cleaning so they might have to be dealt with at some time soon. Taking charging readings is a great idea. All that black looks good, you used a satin finish, yes?

I know what you mean about taking your car apart; when mine is I'm a bit cranky...

Well done smileys with beer
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Earendil

smileys with beer That's awesome!

Sure there was some money involved in the bits and pieces and tools required. And sure, an experienced mechanic could have done this with his eyes closed in half the time it took you to do it. Okay so that work would have come with a guarantee and warranty so you wouldn't have to worry. But for sure it would also have come with a shocking bill of at least $1,500 or more.

Nothing replaces the satisfaction of knowing you did it yourself, and you took the time to give it some love by cleaning and painting stuff. Now you have truly bonded with this car.

Hats off to you dude! We're all proud of you and cheering!
Tyler, great job! Especially for a novice. You may be a little proud of yourself.
The Saga Continues...

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1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

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