[E46] Head gasket - Doing it myself

Discussion in 'Engine maintenance, upgrades and modifications' started by Davewagon, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. 19 Jun 2018 at 11:33 PM #21
    Chady

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    Did exactly this myself surprised how much valves were letting buy, just required lapping
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018
  2. 19 Jun 2018 at 11:45 PM #22
    Chady

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    From memory bmw do a full gasket set ,, but doesn’t include the head gasket, so gets expensive,
     
  3. 19 Jul 2018 at 2:55 PM #23
    Matthead

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    How’s this coming on? I’m about to embark on the same journey myself :thumbsup:
     
  4. 19 Jul 2018 at 3:29 PM #24
    Davewagon

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    Yes, progress is being made. I'll follow up with some pictures in the next few minutes.

    The problem is that the car is at my parents, and by the time I've gotten there, unpacked the tools etc, I don't have much time before I have to pack up again and drive back to Northampton to collect the missus from the train station.
    So weekday progress is slow going, weekends are better, but also taken up by pre-arranged events etc...

    Also had about a week's delay in getting the head back from the machinist...
     
  5. 19 Jul 2018 at 4:07 PM #25
    Davewagon

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    So I decided to go ahead with the full works on the head, this added an extra bit of time to the machining shop’s schedule and left me time for parts to be delivered etc.

    I also decided to replace the CPV seal while waiting (and with the exhaust manifolds removed, it was far easier to get access).

    I didn’t have a drag-link socket though, and didn’t want to buy a big flathead socket just to butcher it, so found the closest most ghetto fitting tool I could find…

    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]


    Picked the clean and shiny head up, complete with 3x bent valves (souvenirs?) and set about winding in some new exhaust manifold studs (a few of the crusty old ones came out as I was unscrewing the manifold nuts)…

    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]

    After that it was time to clean up the block and refit the cylinder head…

    Cheers, Dave
     
  6. 19 Jul 2018 at 4:30 PM #26
    theworkerb

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    Excellent work, love the use of the coin haha
     
  7. 24 Jul 2018 at 4:40 PM #27
    crossie

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    What guide are you following?

    Or have you done this before?
     
  8. 25 Jul 2018 at 10:14 PM #28
    blitzmo

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    Nice work
     
  9. 26 Jul 2018 at 4:35 PM #29
    Davewagon

    Davewagon On the path

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    No, never done anything like this before

    There is no one guide that I'm following - a healthy mix of everything...

    Previous threads on here and other forums,
    Beisan guides are very thorough but only get you so far,
    BMW TIS documents are all available online,
    m3support.net is a handy tool
    various youtube videos (50skid does a lot of m54 engine strip down stuf which helps)

    It's basically a lot of reading, finding something you don't understand and then research that particular bit

    I have about 30-40 tabs open on my browser to cover it, and as I complete a 'next step' I close those tabs down and I can track my progress.

    It demystifies the whole engine (a little bit anyway) - just taking too damn long
     
  10. 26 Jul 2018 at 4:59 PM #30
    Davewagon

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    I’ve cleaned up the block with a few bits of grit paper and wd40, cleaned out the cylinders and fitted the gasket (Genuine BMW = £144).

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Gingerly placed the head on, feeding the timing chain through and washed the new bolts in a light film of oil, ready to be torqued down…

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I also used a torque angle gauge (but didn’t grab a picture) to help with the TTY specs of the headbolts. It was a tense job.

    Fiddly job of refitting the exhaust manifolds (actually much less fiddly than removing them in the first place) I’ve kept the heat shield off for now in case there is an exhaust blow upon starting her back up…

    Spent some time cleaning up the throttle bodies and refitted, along with fuel rail, and the aluminium water pipe. All with new seals/gaskets…

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And re-installed the cams (with plenty of assembly lube)

    [​IMG]

    I’ve re-measured the valve clearances, and the re-work of the cylinder head has tightened up a lot of the gaps up – but the new valves that have been installed are WAY out – so I’m waiting for the replacement shims I need to arrive…


    In the meantime, I have begun to replace the seals/gaskets in the VANOS unit with the Beisan systems replacements…

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And that’s where I am at the moment, another potentially productive weekend taken up by some bollox social activity, so will be back working on the car next week.

    Aim to get intake manifold and airbox refitted during the week and hopefully VANOS bolted back on the following weekend…

    Cheers,
    Dave
     
  11. 26 Jul 2018 at 5:14 PM #31
    Chady

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    Keep up the gud work. Something to watch out for , make sure the small chain tensioning guide, that the tensioner spring assembly pushes on,is on the correct top side of the lower guide :thumbsup: or you will find you can’t get the chain on the sprockets..
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
  12. 26 Jul 2018 at 9:06 PM #32
    crossie

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    good work
     
  13. 8 Aug 2018 at 5:26 PM #33
    Davewagon

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    Well, not as much progress achieved as hoped for…

    Replacement shims arrived to bring the new valves back into spec.

    Now, I hadn’t purchased the tool as I had previously taken the shims out after removing the cams and had planned to pop new ones in just before replacing them. The head work and new valves meant I had to re-measure the clearances (with the cams back in) and so now I was in need of the tool.

    But I’m too tight to buy one, and didn’t want to wait for delivery anyway so…

    I had a little magnet hanging around (only 2mm thick) and seemed the right size and shape.

    [​IMG]

    Stuck it to the topside of my feeler gauge (which were already handily bent to a helpful angle) and voila…!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Low profile (low cost) shim tool!

    So, shims replaced and all in spec, started to replace the intake manifold too as I had a bit of spare time.
    Hoping this weekend to make much more progress.

    Cheers,
    Dave
     
  14. 9 Aug 2018 at 1:41 PM #34
    Raif

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    Nice one. Its rewarding doing it yourself and I think you do a better job because its your own car and your not rushing to have it done within a certain time frame.

    Definitely made the right choice regarding the valve stem seals etc. Only thing I would say regards to the clearances and shims is measure at least 2/3 times and make sure you're happy.
     
  15. 10 Aug 2018 at 11:33 PM #35
    Davewagon

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    Cheers mate. You are certainly forced to take care and focus on what you are doing. But it's all achievable isn't it, and can be done to a high standard.

    Yes, I spent ages checking and re-checking the bloody things. My back still aches from it.
     
  16. 10 Aug 2018 at 11:36 PM #36
    Davewagon

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    So hoping to crack on this weekend…

    Made a start tonight by re-installing the thrust washers and centering sleeves onto the cam shafts. For this I used new replacement bolts from BMW (although the old ones hadn’t unwound or backed out)…

    [​IMG]

    Looking at the wear on the lower chain guide, I think I caught it just in time…

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    You can see sunlight coming through the material at the edges…

    [​IMG]


    Replaced it with another BMW item – so it will eventually wear again over the coming years – probably should have gone for the uprated unit from Hack, it probably just seemed too pricey at the time.

    Have reassembled the sprockets and chain (just final torques to nip up to on a few bolts) and called it a day outside…

    [​IMG]

    Spent the rest of the evening completing the Beisan seals/gaskets on the Vanos unit and assembled it together (pump disc etc) ready for installing back onto the car.

    [​IMG]

    Cheers,
    Dave
     
  17. 11 Aug 2018 at 8:20 AM #37
    Chady

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    Regarding that upper tension guide,, you’ll also get wear on top part of the mateing face of the lower guide but not as severe,,,, I’ve also noticed the oil pump guide get pitted as it wears, worth checking if your taking the timing chain cover off,:thumbsup: ..feel you’re back pain:eek:
     
  18. 4 Sep 2018 at 10:22 PM #38
    Davewagon

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    Thanks for the warning. I didn't go as far as to remove the timing chain cover this time. But something to keep in the back of my mind.
    Cheers
     
  19. 4 Sep 2018 at 10:29 PM #39
    Davewagon

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    Right, well I have finished! (Actually a few weeks days after last post but have been completely carried away driving the thing to update here! Also allowed me to do an extended shakedown to make sure it works)
    I left off with the vanos seals being replaced/upgraded.
    The following day I set about installing the vanos unit and triple checking the timing. A good deal of prep for this involved reading and re-reading every relevant TIS, online advice and Beisan guide I could find (a running theme over the last few months).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
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    Once installed, it was a fairly straightforward process of reattaching everything, replacing o-rings and washers as you go and re-routing the wiring and connectors that had been shifted out of the way.

    The rocker cover was given a bloody good clean, this thing was disgusting with gungy oil. Used a LOT of ‘shop rags’.
    [​IMG]

    But finally got everything back together and filled up with the amber nectar that is Castrol Edge (a timely discount from ECP came in very handy!)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Popped the fuse for the fuel pump back in (that I pulled to stop the car when parking her up) and disconnected the coilpacks in order to build oil pressure…
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/swuBysUMfBwLrsdK6


    Refitted coilpacks and then crossed fingers, looked up the heavens and turned the key…
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/jHYbYmmc4vtV3xkt7


    I literally couldn’t believe it when the car purred into life and settled into a perfectly normal idle. No misfires, no clanging of valve to piston contact.
    Just the ticking of injectors and smoke. A lot of smoke.

    I must admit, I wasn’t prepared for smoke (or fire?) so we panicked a bit before realising it was the copperslip grease burning off from the exhaust manifold bolts (I had wipe a little on the end of the studs in an attempt to stop them corroding too heavily) – so it cleared up in a few minutes.

    Let the car warm up and get up to temperature, bleeding the coolant etc. Cleared codes using INPA and called it a day.

    And that I think is it done. I’ve done a few hundred miles in the car now and pleased to report it is performing better than ever (as far as I know). I’ll be doing a fresh oil change this weekend for piece of mind but for now all I’m doing is being on the look-out for the next problem…

    [​IMG]

    The S54/M3 paranoia is strong!

    Cheers,
    Dave
     
  20. 4 Sep 2018 at 10:55 PM #40
    R60BBA

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    Well done mate.

    Looks like your cars had a bit of shoddy workmanship in the past but good to see you putting things back in order.
     

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