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Thread: S52 serious timing doosy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2023
    Denver, Co
    My Cars
    97 4DR M3 s52 Big Turbo

    S52 serious timing doosy

    Okay, so I have read through many posts and have not seen this issue yet.

    Everyone feel free to jump in but please finish reading the entire post before making the common timing points on this motor.

    Changing the vanos.. this motor is/was running with no issues other than the p1519 code for vanos

    Set the balancer to TDC mark, cams do not line up, spin balancer one rotation and cams are still no where near the 45 degree..

    I check TDC with screw driver, and set balancer to markings, I can see that I am short of the pin hole on the flywheel so I continue past TDC to pin hole. Piston #1 is still rising. The pin sets in flywheel and cams are much closer, still not there. Out of curiosity I pull the pin and continued to spin the motor, #1 continues to rise. When the #1 piston is at complete TDC via screw driver, the exhaust cam is perfectly flush for the cam block (holes on end facing up and #1 at 45 degrees) the intake is off a bit. I know this can be fixed down the road.

    My problem is, the flywheel is after market and no doubt it is in the wrong orientation. The balancer LOOKS factory with a BMW logo. There is no dowel hole in the front as many have stated. The TDC mark must be 10 teeth off. I feel the motor would not run if it was off and the balancer is simply spun and in the wrong orientation on the hub. Has anyone ever seen this? Am I losing my mind on this one?

    As it sits right now, I am about to leave #1 piston at TDC with the exhaust cam in what appears to be correct timing. And go for it. I'll verify the cam gears ECT after that obviously.
    The motor ran without excessive vibration, at high rpm and high HP. Should I unbolt and spin the balancer to line up or will that CAUSE a vibration?

    Okay team, shoot

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    My Cars
    1995 BMW M3 Coupe
    So your harmonic balancer has no hole for the dowel pin on the crankshaft sprocket? If you have TDC on piston 1 then Id mount your balancer to line up timing marks on it and your timing cover. Torque it down so it doesnt lose position. Then set front cam lobes so they are at 45 facing inwards to each other and put your cam locking blocks on the end of camshafts. With timing set on crankshaft/piston and locking blocks in place, you should be able to finish timing per Bentley manual instructions.

    Youd have to do two full rotations of the crankshaft to get your front cam lobes back at 45 facing each other.

    Let me know if Im missing something..

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    My Cars
    1997 328i
    Without the key in place I personally would never trust it for timing. My crank does not line up either but my flywheel is factory and the hole does line up. I would do as atomo suggests but skip realignment of the crank.
    Attn. NEWBIES: Use the search feature, 98% has already been discussed.
    Click the search button, select "search single content type", select the "e36 sub forum" specifically, try the "search titles" then try the "search entire posts".

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