weber magic

A sad day, a choice to make. Opinions please. Sick M62

15 posts in this topic

About 2 weeks ago a friend of mine said I should find out when or if the timing chain guide on my M62 b4.4tu engine had been done as unbeknownst to me it's a common fail point of this engine.

On Friday after a very relaxing 3 day break in the Malvern Hills, I hitched up our caravan and enjoyed the effortless tow home I've come to expect from our glorious 540 touring which we are lucky enough to have running on LPG and with. in my opinion the added bonus of a 6 speed manual gearbox.

On Saturday morning I went out to shuffle cars around on the drive, I first fired up my Jeep Cherokee which is very noisy and then the 540 which was parked noose to noose with the jeep. For this reason it took me a little time to discern the unusual clattering noise which to my horror appeared to be coming from the 540.

After some investigation it would appear that the clattering noise is coming from the drivers side bank right at the front of the cam which I gather is because the timing chain tensioner has let go, needless to say I am gutted but this throughs me into a quandary and here in lies the point of my post.

I paid £1000 for the car in 2013. I bought it from the supplying dealer who had looked after it from new and where kind enough to print out reams of paperwork for me on what had actually been done to the car. It had, had the same owner all its life and wanted for nothing. In 2013 it had covered 197k but it drove like a brand new car. We had it converted to run on LPG in 2015.

It now has 227k and still drives perfectly and everything works as it should however begins to need some body work with a rusty rear wheels arch, front wing and a tiny blister appearing under the tailgate glass.

The front shocks and springs could do with a refresh also.

It has not yet failed an MOT!!! Every year the MOT tester is at pains to tell me that the emissions are perfect, exactly as it left the factory. The engine is/was superb and is testimony to regular servicing however and this is the real dilemma. The head gasket has gone and has been gone for some time. I believe that due to a coolant leak I just could not locate, the engine air-locked and boiled over. I was able to bleed the system and cure the water leak and the car has run perfectly ever since, however it now leaks oil outwardly from the head gasket just under the exhaust manifold. It leaks about a litre between oil changes (7k)

So that is the dilemma. As I see it there is no point spending the money on the timing chain guides on an engine that has a leaky head gasket. Another forum member has suggested I could try re-torquing the head bolts but I have been worried about stripping the threads in the block. Does anyone have an opinion on this?

I suppose my real dilemma is as follows. My car is something of a rarity I suppose. It's a high OBC manual V8 touring. It also does the equivalent of 40 mpg. It's got high milage but it drives superbly. It now needs major surgery and bodywork. On the other hand a quick look at the price of E39's on eBay has given me pause for thought. I have always thought if it went bang I'd just sell it for spares, break it etc but now it's happened and seeing the price of decent E39 touring's I am reluctant to do so. Even with the mega miles my car has done, I guess if the engine was good it might be worth a lot more than I thought.

I always said when it bit the dust I'd buy a completely sensible estate car, something geared towards economy and be happy with my E23 and E24 as toys but now it's happened and I come to look there really isn't another estate car which has the same presence as an E39 sport tourer not to mention I'd have to start using the word estate instead of touring!!!

The obvious answer is to get another engine and drop it in doing the chain guides as a precaution or even explore the possibility of fitting the far more durable m60 set up. I just feel It would seem a shame to lay waste to the original engine because it is/was so strong.

In any case I will not be making a decision or acting hastily. I have other commitments and we have other cars we can use but I would love some advice on the possibility of re-torquing the head to stop the oil leak, what if anything I could do to repair the head gasket situation and people's general thoughts on what I should do with the car.

Sorry it's such a long post and I thank everyone in advance for gali g time to read it and any constructive thoughts you may have.

I took this photo of the car on Sunday morning as I stared forlornly at it beached on the drive. My mighty 540 now a sad mess.

IMG_7238.JPG

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I'd determine for certain if the chain guide has gone first, you might be able to see if there is slack in the chain from the oil filler cap using a long screw driver, its the chain nearest the front of the car, if not take the cam cover off. Bit of a faff but then you can decide what to do.

 

Edited by Oneball

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Remove the oil filter and check for metal filings. If you're lucky the slack chain hasn't chewed through the valve cover sending aluminium filings around your engine (which would be terminal).

You should be able to find a junkyard engine for not much money (a 4.6 from an x5 fits which would be even better).

If the car is a good spec I'd be tempted to fix it, they drive so well I'm not sure what to replace mine with when it eventually dies.

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Even in its current form - its still probably worth more than you paid for it.

I don't think re-torquing the head would do any favours - they are torqued to spec for a reason and wouldn't back-off over time. To apply more clamping force to the head gasket I would see as a bit of a bodge - if it does anything at all.

 

Personally I would fix up the engine - thats just me, but I love these cars. It may not make financial sense to everyone.

For comparison, a friend of mine has a 2011 Golf GTi - the cam chain tensioner let go overnight and killed the engine when he tried starting the next morning, he is looking at spending near to £3.5k on a car he paid £15k for last year - which makes me like these old e39's even more.

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I know a man with a 4.6is x5 lump your car is crying out for.

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I know a man with a 4.6is x5 lump your car is crying out for.

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What's involved in making that fit and work?

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£2k in cash to buy it, your time to swap it. You might need to modify the exhaust where it meets the downpipe, but I'm not 100% on that. 

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Surely you'd use e39 manifolds. Pretty sure BMW used same ones for everything.

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Manual 540. It's a desirable combination broken or fixed. It would be a shame to break it for parts.

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What's involved in making that fit and work?

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It's been done here, lots of information and details:

4.6is M62B46 into '03 540it. From day one.

https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?share_fid=1629&share_tid=2245302&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ebimmerforums%2Ecom%2Fforum%2Fshowthread%2Ephp%3Ft%3D2245302&share_type=t

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Even with suitable facilities putting a 4.6 engine looks a pretty daunting exercise to me. If the current engine is basically as sound as you suggest I think I would see whether that is repairable first. As a starting point it would be a good idea to follow up the suggestion of checking the oil filter for metal. If you find this then the engine is scrap but if not you could remove the relevant head to see the nature of the head gasket problem and then decide whether the chain guide could be replaced..

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On 31/01/2017 at 10:39 AM, AlexGSi2000 said:

I don't think re-torquing the head would do any favours - they are torqued to spec for a reason and wouldn't back-off over time.

 

Are you 100% sure of that 'fact' ?

 

I can tell you from 1st hand experience that they DO slacken off (at the flywheel end only) on Saab 9-3's for example. Nobody can quite explain why.

weber magic likes this

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