E46 M3 Headgasket Problems...... Buying a High Mileage M3?

Discussion in 'Faults, Fixes and Solutions' started by m thriller, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. 5 Jul 2017 at 10:27 AM #241
    AC427

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    Yes it will provide a definitive answer, get it done. After 92k the vanos will be a bit tired too
     
  2. 5 Jul 2017 at 1:35 PM #242
    Seppa

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    Bringing back an old thread.

    I have booked mine for a compression test tomorrow. based on M thriller write up it seems I have all the symptoms. I have done some digging online and it seems I could only find a couple of others thread with the same sort of symptoms pointing out to a failed head gasket.

    Funny I brought it to two specialists who did not mention the head gasket, Although one mentioned the need to do a compression test. Unfortunately this was 1 day before my road trip and could not do it on time. so here we are 4000 miles later just got back from a round trip around europe. ( It was great and will make sure to post a little somehting.

    Can anyone recommned a good indy for the job. I want the job done correctly but want to keep the cost as low as possible. I'm based in beckton.

    Cheers.
     
  3. 5 Jul 2017 at 4:36 PM #243
    niracka

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    If you wanted to keep the cost down probably wasn't a good idea doing 4k miles when you though it was gone! I hope for your sake you have got away without piston damage!

    Olly
     
  4. 5 Jul 2017 at 4:39 PM #244
    M33SWJ

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    Had mine replaced a few weeks ago...had gone between 5 and 6!!
     
  5. 5 Jul 2017 at 5:03 PM #245
    j3nks79

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    That's the first place they usually go as it's the hottest part of the engine
     
  6. 5 Jul 2017 at 5:05 PM #246
    M33SWJ

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    4 to 5 wasn't far behind
     
  7. 5 Jul 2017 at 5:29 PM #247
    Seppa

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    Hope so too. Didn't know until I read this thread it might be the HG nor what it meant.

    I need the job to be done correctly and would benefit from the right advice as to what is needed. I also have less than 25 days to have the job completed as I'm going away with the car beggining of August for a couple of weeks and I don't want to be walking in any garage rather go with recommendations.

    cheers,
     
  8. 7 Jan 2018 at 9:03 PM #248
    Jonnym3

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    What’s the cost for this work to be done guys ? And does anyone know who’s best to use in the Portsmouth area ?
     
  9. 7 Jan 2018 at 9:07 PM #249
    M33SWJ

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    I paid £2k a place in Basingstoke MPC autos, I also had to have the head skimmed happy with the work though.
     
  10. 7 Jan 2018 at 9:11 PM #250
    Jonnym3

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    Is that why it cost 2k bud ? I think mines fine as getting no noise and engine is sweet as a nut just want to get this done as a preventive. Cars only on 78k
     
  11. 7 Jan 2018 at 9:14 PM #251
    M33SWJ

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    No...it’s was around £1700 for just the HG, mine was pinking and had scorched the head..
     
  12. 7 Jan 2018 at 9:22 PM #252
    Jonnym3

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    Can’t wait to pay that one hahaha
     
  13. 16 Jan 2018 at 10:02 AM #253
    jhl

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    Hi all, first post here and I just wanted to chip in my 2 pennies on headgaskets.

    My 90k M3 developed a severe misfire when I put my foot down at low revs when cold (shan't be doing this again) - the normal judder that sometimes happens turned into a severe judder and EML came on. Garage (Mark Purcell in Oxford, highly recommended for regular jobs, although apparently they don't do HGs) reckoned a headgasket failure. Had it transported to Simpson Motorsport who took it apart.

    Headgasket was fine, it was the cylinder head bolts that were working loose somehow. It turned out to be a largely academic difference in the end as I paid for the gaskets to be done anyhow. I don't know if you can save yourself any work by just tightening the cylinder head bolts, but if you can, here's a heads up. It might be that. In particular there was a misfire logged for 3 cylinders, which is potentially a giveaway, as the chances of blowing the gasket twice simultaneously seems small to me. Anyway, the suggestion was that perhaps it had run hot at some point and expanded the bolts loose, but it certainly hasn't on my watch (a mere 4 months) and I doubt at any time in the previous 2 years (knew the previous owner). Any thoughts on this?

    With a valve adjustment and oil change, and every gasket that could be sensibly replaced the total damage was £1850, with 20 hours labour. (As an aside, the 330 the M3 is replacing managed to crack its coolant tank on the way to collect the M3 and got itself stranded in Cheltenham. Not a good couple of weeks. Lords of motoring, have mercy on me! No more!)

    And as a datapoint for high mileage headgasket failures: Mileage: 90k. Headgasket looked used, but nowhere near to failure, barely worn.
     
  14. 31 Jan 2018 at 3:41 PM #254
    sfh3l

    sfh3l On the path

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    This is a really good post and bang on. I know that head gasket failures are a lot more common now then when it was first written, because time, and mileage have moved on for us all.

    Anyone who has drive older cars, particularly those designed to run on higher quality(or leaded) fuel will be only too familiar with pinking. The bag of marbles description is the closest I get. My (E9) CSL needs modern 98 octane and a lead replacement additive or it pinks like a dog. Retarding the timing can also cure it, but it takes the edge off the performance too :(

    I think the reason the S54 is prone to h/g failures is because it is bored out to pretty much as far as it can go. As a result, the distance between the pots is very slim indeed and this is felt most acutely at the gasket, as the metal of the cast block is a good deal better at resisting repeated heat, pressure and stress than the material of the gasket itself. Add into the mix a relatively high compression ratio and all the elements are there for the gasket just to pop between two pots. Traditionally, h/g failures on cars involved the mixing of oil and water, or compression gasses getting into the coolant and pressurising the system, but on the S54 it is most often just between two cylinders and doesn't mess with the coolant or oil, which is a bonus. Still needs replacing though :(

    As for prevention, regular changes with good antifreeze will help, as this preserves the corrosion inhibitor's properties and helps the gasket as much as possible. On my E9 (admittedly a very different proposition) I've moved across to Evans Waterless Coolant. The idea here is no water at all = no ionic medium to assist in the natural electrolytic corrosion that is taking place all the time in our engines, where the ionic nature of water allows the most reactive elements to corrode fastest. It should also save water pumps and their bearings. The main benefit I identified though was that unlike water, it never pressurises, so the hoses are always under the same tension, without the cycling that happens from cold >> warming >> hot >> VERY hot when engine is stopped and heatsink takes place >> cooling again. Over time, this makes hoses get weak and baloon, which is the precursor to them going pop if they aren't replaced. The lack of water can only help the S54's gaskets too, I would imagine.

    Hey ho - I hope this helps and adds to the mix on this topic.
     
  15. 9 Jul 2018 at 5:28 PM #255
    Gouki

    Gouki On the path

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    Just to add some content to the thread. I’ve got a track E46 M3 and have started to experience the following symptoms at Brands Hatch Indy.

    1. Oil temp rises to 2/3
    2. Then water temp rises to 3/4 and then on to red slowly
    3. Only happens at full throttle.
    4. Initially happens only on warmer days
    5. Only on Trackdays
    6. Off full throttle temp of water drops quickly
    7. Worse with A/C on
    8. Temps stay within normal operating range if heaters turned up to full (32.0C).

    I have a new water pump and thermostat, fans and radiator appear to be in fine working condition. Car is on 130k.

    I plan to get head gasket done and a BMW motorsport thermostat fitted. Is there anything else people recommend to get done while in there? Vanos bolts, shells?

    Thanks!
     
  16. 7 Aug 2018 at 8:52 AM #256
    gooders

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    I've just had a very expensive year after many many years of hassle free driving and track days.

    I've got 107,000 miles and within days of each other, my vanos started getting a very noisy rattle.....and my engine was pinking.

    IMPORTANT INFO FROM MR VANOS...... I could hear my engne pinking UNDER LOAD whilst driving. I popped the bonnet to listen and revved her (NOT UNDER LOAD) and I could hear the vanos rattle.

    I assumed this was the same thing that I could hear whilst driving. WRONG.

    Mr Vanos told me that you can't hear the vanos rattle above engine and road noise whilst driving.

    What I could hear was PINKING. IF you can hear it UNDER LOAD, it's not the vanos.

    I was unlucky. I had two problems/faults arise within days of each other.

    I fixed the vanos, was ready to go to The Ring with all my pals.....only to find out that I now have a damaged head gasket.

    Gutted.
     
  17. 16 Oct 2018 at 10:21 AM #257
    EmptyTrash

    EmptyTrash On the path

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    hi i also have a rattle but we noticed my cams are baaadly worn having caused the valves to go out of place. but i have a video of my engine ticking


    please have a listen and tell me if yours sounded like that aswell.
     

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