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chemicalal

1983 E28 528i - Head Gasket!?

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Hi All,

 

Hope that you are well - I recently bought the above car (my 11th E28 over the last 12 years, so you think I'd know what to look for!!!) and I suspect that the external oil leak from the rear of the engine is a head gasket related issue (Holy sh*t). I had no idea that a blown head gasket could only present in this manner - I did all the usual checks (white/blue exhaust smoke, oil cap, radiator cap etc) and its all fine. The car does not overheat although the last owner did change the radiator so i'm guessing that it could've overheated in the past.

Its immaculate in every other way. My question is could a rear oil leak present from anywhere else in there - The oil seems to be coming down and onto the gearbox bell-housing and then onto the ground. I'm really struggling to get a good look behind. There is a sensor screwed into the head at the rear passenger side that looks a bit oily, but underneath is clean so I don't think its this.

I've heard of a thing called a "duck" gasket (or rear camshaft gasket) and again feeling by fingers alone, there doesn't seem to be any oil in that area (it seems to be coming from lower down sadly).

Any ideas/options on the culprit?

I can't believe that I've managed to pay a small fortune for a car with a suspected head gasket issue, given that I have a fair idea about these old cars!!!!?

 

Any help/commiserations gratefully received.

 

Al   

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I don't know the car or engine at all, but If that's the head at the top and the block at the bottom, it's hard to imagine all that oil got there out of the head gasket. How would it go up and cover the head? Is there a cam cover above the head that might have a leaking gasket? 

It might be a good idea to clean it all up and see if you can then see where it's coming from. 

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Thanks for the replies chaps!

yep the oil pressure switch is up on the opposite side and it would be lovely to think that this was the cause and not the HG. However, it’s pretty viewable and accessible and it’s been dry whenever I’ve felt it. Given the amount of oil in the pic and the palm sized puddles of oil I get on the floor underneath I’d have thought I’d see/feel something there!?! 

The BMW specialist I’ve got it with just now thinks it’s this sensor too (I’m worried about this on two counts though. 1) I know he doesn’t want to tackle a HG job as he’s busy 2) surely he should KNOW it’s the sensor?!?! 

 

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Theres a gasket & cover Colloquially called the duck gasket (not sure if my ‘82 528i has this as I’ve been told it doesn’t) Realoem shows it does!?!? I’ve tried to look/feel to identify if I have this cover and am struggling. 

Maybe someone can advise? It obviously has a cam cover and gasket but again easy to check for oil leaks and I’ve found nowt by feeling this at the rear. 

Do you think it’s near impossible for a head gasket oil leak to cause the coverage shown in the pic?!

Edited by chemicalal

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Start simple. A rocker  gasket is cheap enough as is a sensor or even ptfe tape. Give it a good clean up and see where it starts to weep from. 

 

It it doesn't sound particularly like a head gasket. 

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What i would add too is that if you have the undertray still fitted this can confuse where a leak is from as the tray catches it and then dumps it on the drive somewhere else!

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Hi Duncan, no undertray. 

My mech is doing a full service incl oil spray bar check and valve clearances so will change the cam cover gasket. Full service is $1300 but this seems pointless if there is a HG issue. 

Hence my questions. 

Thanks very much for your help!! 

Fears are allayed somewhat by both your comments!!

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Yeah, its approx 730GBP with the current exchange rate (although god knows what'll happen on Tuesday......little bit of politics there!) 

Things are more expensive here, but then salaries are much higher.

This does include valve clearances, oil spray bar, all fluids and filters (incl autobox) and a full check over. I'm also getting the oil pressure sensor changed, the in-tank pump changed, the alternator bushes done and the front shocks/top mounts (Bilstein B6) changed. All for the princely sum of AU$4000!!

 

Genuine parts here are laughable! Costs from the dealers are jaw-dropping (quoted a combined AU$1800 for both fuel pumps from BMW and could get genuine parts from Pelican Parts in the US for US$500 posted!) They really take the absolute P*SS. 

Quoted $2000-4000 to get the HG done (incl head skimming if required) so you can hopefully see why I was trying to get all your thoughts - Needless to say I'll be utterly gutted if a $4k bill turns into $8k.

 

I've just been onto the Ivo Christov site and bought the batteryless SI board - so hopefully this will get my temp sensor working too. Anyone fitted one? 

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I have had an HG leaking oil at the RH front corner of an M30 engine. It didn't cause any problems, just a bloody annoyance that was cured by replacement.

Totally agree with your comments re BMW parts pricing.

Edited by Taffy 1

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12 hours ago, Taffy 1 said:

I have had an HG leaking oil at the RH front corner of an M30 engine. It didn't cause any problems, just a bloody annoyance that was cured by replacement.

 

That wasn't a leak, that was the patented BMW chassis preservation system; without that small weep from the front of the engine spraying oil liberally all over the chassis rails most of the cars would have been long gone years ago.

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