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Thread: the build back

  1. #1
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    the build back

    After overheating my 94 840 due to a broken aux. water pump, the build back has begun. With the cold weather and work, I've managed to gather the parts required, purchase a replacement set of heads, have them completed rebuilt and begin tear down. I'll be investing time over each week to methodologically tear down the top end. It is clear though that as I get deeper in, more parts continue to be needed. As an example, the knock sensors literally came apart with one twist of the bolt. That's OK though as I want to have a reliable motor and already know this is not about penny pinching.

    Lastly, I am continually encouraged by this forum. thank you. It does help jump start one's motivation when it wanes. And so it begins!

    IMG_3380[1].jpghead1.jpgparts.jpgengine.jpg

  2. #2
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    Those knock sensors seem to be made of exploding plastic - but overheating them certainly doesn't help them! All the rubbery bits need replacing including the hollow fixings for the manifold - they will have been permanently compressed at this age anyway.

    But well done for taking it on!
    Timm..2007 E64 650i Individual Sport..1999 E31 840ci Individual Sport..ex owner of 2000 E38 740..1999 E38 740i V8 M62..1998 E38 735i V8..1993 E32 730i V8..1988 E28 518i


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  3. #3
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    Good luck! I am just finishing up something similar on my '96 840. Here's mine about as far down as I went while the engine was still in the car. Tim is a far more experienced resource, but hopefully I can help out if you run into issues
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    tvjake2's Avatar
    tvjake2 is offline SoCalEights - CA BMW CCA Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timm View Post
    Those knock sensors seem to be made of exploding plastic - but overheating them certainly doesn't help them! All the rubbery bits need replacing including the hollow fixings for the manifold - they will have been permanently compressed at this age anyway.

    But well done for taking it on!
    Timm - Are the knock sensors important to replace? I've got two showing they are not working properly but I have no engine pinging, even in hot SoCal weather.

  5. #5
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    Without the knock sensors working the engine will not deliver its full power or economy - many owners would not even notice the slight reduction in power. This is because the ignition timing will have been retarded to a 'safe' setting - whereas the ECU (with the knock sensors working) will attempt to squeeze more power by advancing the timing to the point of detonation.
    Timm..2007 E64 650i Individual Sport..1999 E31 840ci Individual Sport..ex owner of 2000 E38 740..1999 E38 740i V8 M62..1998 E38 735i V8..1993 E32 730i V8..1988 E28 518i


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  6. #6
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    Thanks Tim, agree on all rubber being replaced. While cleaning the throttle body a "fine" looking rubber plug was cracked. It would be poor form not to ring fence all the perishable rubber hoses while I'm in there.

    Thanks Spandrel. Appreciate the offer. How close are you to running again? Any tips?

    Now that i'm back in the swing of it, today I disassembled the intake manifold and cleaned the throttle body and traction control body as well. The neat thing was I used a 200W ultrasonic cleaner I bought off Facebook to degrease. Using Grease Lighting and a 45 minute sonic bath for each part, I'm quite pleased. Next update next weekend. The plan is to remove the front end of the engine and including the valley pan. If all goes well, I start on the drivers head and plan to do one head at a time, given I have a replacement set ready to go.

    body.jpg elbow.jpg cleaner.jpg
    Last edited by Gregsgroup; 02-11-2018 at 07:17 PM.

  7. #7
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    I'm down to adding fluids. Hopefully try to crank it over sometime this week. The ultrasonic cleaner is a good idea - I made do with a couple of bottles of Fast505 and a lot of elbow grease. Definitely replace anything rubber that you can see - it will just crumble if mine was any indication. And take pictures. LOTS of pictures, at every step. The crank bolt stymied me for a while - needed an 1100 ft-lb impact gun to get it off after the 9 foot cheater bar just tore my counterhold bar instead. Also be sure to put marker dots on the new head bolts and holes so that you can track the multiple 60į turns to properly set them (remembering that 60į is one corner to another on the hex head) (and you'll need a hell of a cheater bar for the last step)

  8. #8
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    Make sure when you tighten the knock sensors you torque them to spec, thatís what calibrates them.

  9. #9
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    Thanks Killian665.

    Quick question. I’ve cleaned up the valley pan area and begun removal of the top timing chain covers. I removed all 6 bolts and can’t seem to remove the drivers side cover. It rocks a little yet that’s it. I didn’t want to force it. The water pump is still attached. Am I missing something?

    Next weekend is alternator, exhaust manifolds and water pump if necessary and , hopefully drivers side head.

    As as an aside, just made an offer on an 08 Mercedes CL 63... we’ll see. I commute 300 miles from MA to PA each week for work and want something new beyond my X5 335d. 1st world problems

  10. #10
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    Did you remove the chain tensioner first? It goes through the bank 1 timing cover from the left. Itís like a 16mm deep. If you didnít its pressing against the left guide rail and preventing you from pulling the cover off.
    Last edited by killian665; 02-26-2018 at 10:32 AM.

  11. #11
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    And there you have it.....thanks.

  12. #12
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    While you have the heads and manifolds off this makes it very easy to get to the oil seals in the bank 2 engine mount arm, where itís bolted to the block. The oil filter housing lines run to that arm and flow through it in to the block. Iíd take the time to replace all those o-rings while theyíre easy to get to.

    Number 4 in the diagram, I believe there are 2 of them. Then you also have the orings on the oil lines themselves where they mate to that arm, number 5. This is a colossal pain in the ass with the engine totally assembled in the car so now is the time.


  13. #13
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    I’m having a very good case of, while I’m in there. Thanks for the tip. Also ordering an altenator as well.

  14. #14
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    Careful with "while I'm in there". I scope creeped my way from "just fix the oil leak" to an empty engine bay and the block torn almost completely down, and all new rubber and plastic...

  15. #15
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    So true Spandrel. I'm enjoying the process and invest a few hours each week taking ground. On the passenger side, I have to unbolt the lower exhaust manifold flange and the head will come out with the manifold attached. The drivers side looks to be less straightforward with very little room to work. Any tips. In the meantime, I clean years of oil leaks away.
    clean 2.jpgclean.jpg
    Last edited by Gregsgroup; 03-05-2018 at 04:14 PM.

  16. #16
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    Well, here was my response to getting the manifolds off:

    I recommend disconnecting the manifolds at the block and leaving them in place. Remove the heads, then, do what is necessary, and then put them back with the upper manifolds still lying there. The Tetris required to put the manifolds back on after the heads are in place is maddening, and includes removing the engine mount bolts and jacking the engine up to get the drivers side in around the power steering pump...

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregsgroup View Post
    So true Spandrel. I'm enjoying the process and invest a few hours each week taking ground. On the passenger side, I have to unbolt the lower exhaust manifold flange and the head will come out with the manifold attached. The drivers side looks to be less straightforward with very little room to work. Any tips. In the meantime, I clean years of oil leaks away.
    clean 2.jpgclean.jpg

  17. #17
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    The passenger side head shouldn’t be terrible yet the drivers side, oy! Since I have a weeping power steering hose, my thought is to remove the altenator and power steering pump to get more access. Definitely a while I’m in there mindset.
    Last edited by Gregsgroup; 03-05-2018 at 09:33 PM.

  18. #18
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    Wow....took all of 6 hours but the heads are off the car. i left the manifolds in place and worked around in tight quarters. Here's what I did:

    - for the most part, the passenger side exhaust bolts were easy to access. Its amazing that all the bolts have come off quite nicely. Perhaps its because the car had such a multitude of oil leaks, everything stayed coated.

    -for the most part, the drivers side were an absolute pain but took the same time to remove as above. For these. I unbolted the motor mounts (which need replacing) and removed the power steering reservior (a few hoses are weeping, will replace those as well), jacked the engine up for better access.

    -the cylinders bores look great (finally, good news) and you can see that cylinder 6 is blasted clean due to the head gasket leak. The odd thing is that when I looked at the head gasket, it looked fine to the eye. The compression test and visual inspection of the piston tops on 6 and 7 tell a different story. in the second photo, the scratches should come out once I clean the piston tops. Plan on using seafoam. If anyone has another product suggestion, let me know.

    -next weekend I'll remove the lower oil pan to check the clearances of the oil pump and begin to set up the heads I had machined and rebuilt, cleaning everything I can.

    This was a good milestone to put fuel back in the tank to see this project through. Overall a good day, now to lunch, order parts and finish up for the weekend.

    IMG_3422.jpg IMG_3423.jpg
    Last edited by Gregsgroup; 03-11-2018 at 12:52 PM.

  19. #19
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    Brilliant - as long as the cylinder bores are OK you have dodged the bullet!
    Timm..2007 E64 650i Individual Sport..1999 E31 840ci Individual Sport..ex owner of 2000 E38 740..1999 E38 740i V8 M62..1998 E38 735i V8..1993 E32 730i V8..1988 E28 518i


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  20. #20
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    looks good! (why is your timing chain so silver? mine was oil stained quite dark...)

  21. #21
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    Good afternoon. Its been a few weeks and here is an update:

    Upon further examination, my engine bores wrapped. As you can see from the attached photos, cylinders 7 & 8 were scored due to piston expansion (You called it Timm).

    IMG_3462.jpg
    IMG_3463.jpg

    Fortunately I've been able to source a replacement Alusil engine out of a 95 540 that was involved in a accident. it looks brand new inside albeit it it did have a few small leaks which have been cleaned. I also installed a new valley pan, new knock sensors, cleaned under intake coolant and oil pipes with new seals and gaskets, new coil boots and my cleaned intake with new 4 hole injectors, a new water pump, new PVC and a new gasket for the throttle body as well as swapped the right side timing cover (540 is different).

    IMG_3460.jpg

    I was going to remove the engine only but decided to remove both the engine and tranny as one unit. So out comes the radiator, condenser and power steering cooler. Glad I did, found a weeping power steering leak which is one of the reasons my car is so full of grime.

    IMG_3464.jpg

    Also found the cause of my headlight woes. Yikes! Max already has my replacement harness and headlight rebuilt kit on the way.

    IMG_3467.jpg

    I continue to take ground, slowly but steadily. Anyone interested in a rebuilt set of M60 heads? Before they go on Ebay, I figured I'd ask here first.
    Last edited by Gregsgroup; 04-08-2018 at 12:47 PM.

  22. #22
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    Blast! But more power to your elbow for not giving up!
    Timm..2007 E64 650i Individual Sport..1999 E31 840ci Individual Sport..ex owner of 2000 E38 740..1999 E38 740i V8 M62..1998 E38 735i V8..1993 E32 730i V8..1988 E28 518i


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  23. #23
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    A good day!. My son James and I pulled the engine from the 840. I've also included a photo of the engine we're planning to put in and the obligatory empty engine bay. Spent most of remaining time today cleaning the engine bay. Those photos will be posted tomorrow. Lastly, as we are a community of like-minded enthusiasts, here’s “us”. Nice to meet all of you.

    Tonight, I have quite the parts list to order. New starter, alternator, AC compressor, transmission mounts, oil lines and all new rubber hoses and seals. Once I button this up, I don’t want to work touch these same parts again. Besides, I’m sure there will be other things to fix.

    IMG_4799.jpg IMG_4803.jpg IMG_4802.jpg IMG_4804.jpg James and I.jpg

  24. #24
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    tvjake2 is offline SoCalEights - CA BMW CCA Member
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    Awesome. Congrats.

  25. #25
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    Brilliant stuff - keep up the good work!
    Timm..2007 E64 650i Individual Sport..1999 E31 840ci Individual Sport..ex owner of 2000 E38 740..1999 E38 740i V8 M62..1998 E38 735i V8..1993 E32 730i V8..1988 E28 518i


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