mbruneaux Reader
8/2/18 5:56 p.m.

Hello all, as we all know buying cars that run are just too expensive!

I have been eying this Orient blue 740 E38 at the local BMW Indy shop for 7 months.  I have always loved these big powerful cruisers.  I always called them the "Cruise Missle".   The car is in beautiful shape, the interior is two toned and spotless. The blue is gorgeous, especially with the bling M wheels.

We have never owned a BMW before and in the last year we have accumulated three.  My 14 year olds '94 325I got crushed by a tree, We bought our neighbors garaged '98 528i 5 speed because our Suburban gets about 10MPG.  And after my wife said she was tired of shifting the 528 so I used that as approval to buy the 740 that needs an engine!! Timing chains snapped and all the valves are bent so worse case scenario is that we get a donor engine, replace ALL the chains, head gaskets, valve seals and gaskets. And for less than $5000 we have a beautiful family car that shouldn't leak or need any engine work for a few years.

In the original engine the story was that the timing chains had let go and all the valves were bent.  The M62 is an interference engine.

Brought it home, the garage was cleaned out and everything was organized.  That didn't last long. This has been a huge learning experience having never worked on anything German.  Love working on a rear wheel drive car, so many things are accessible.  It is taking me much longer than I had anticipated.

Started taking the engine apart to diagnose to find the extent of the damage.

All the valves were bent open.  Timing chains are a known issue for these M62 engines and this one must have let go while revving to the moon.

My garage is small and was built to house my '89 Conquest so the 740 is a little tight....

Donor engine shows up and my cheap engine stand takes a header so I'm working on the ground, better to find dropped pieces.



AngryCorvair MegaDork
8/3/18 12:31 p.m.

those cam blocks are *way* nicer than the ones in the $150 eBay kit i bought.  

i think your approach is solid.   buy a running replacement engine, and R&R the chains, guides, tensioner, CCV, seals, water pump, etc, before installing.

thread with lots of pix from when i did timing guides in-car (1998 740iL so no VANOS, but overall very similar):

AngryCorvair's E38

they are absolutely great highway cars, but they can definitely get it done on twisty country roads too.  looking forward to reading along!

EDIT:  I didn't replace my chains, so I still have them NIB (new in bag) sitting on a shelf.  I will send them to you for the cost of shipping.   I will also let you know what other bits i have leftover from that job -- somehow i ordered duplicates of certain bits and never sent them back.   free plus shipping from 48187.

AngryCorvair MegaDork
8/3/18 3:43 p.m.

Here's what I have, again free plus shipping unless you feel like paying me something for them.  Probably retail close to $300:

valve cover gaskets with coil cover gaskets -- victor reinz PN 15-31821-01 and 15-31822-01

upper timing cover gaskets BMW PN 11141741127 and 11141741128

valve cover bolt grommets (22 pcs) PN 11121726537

CAM-to-cam chains (2)

crank-to-cam chain (1)

cam-to-cam guide pieces PN 11311435028

front timing cover seal

tensioner strut with cap

again, all are new and have been in sealed bags since March 2017.

Dusterbd13 MegaDork
8/3/18 8:46 p.m.

As an also new bmw owner whos project escalated quickly, ive gotta say that here is the best place for info ive found yet.

Love the 7 series of that era. Almost picked up an m sport 740i, but it was just too rough. 

mbruneaux Reader
8/3/18 10:14 p.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair :

Thanks and will let you know if I need anything.  I've already ordered all the parts and several duplicates because it may take me a couple of tries to do it right.

mbruneaux Reader
8/3/18 10:16 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13 :

This is a great "Support Group" because as big a job this is to me for many on this board this is a cakewalk.  Whenever I think something is tough I look at this board and hang my head in shame.

mbruneaux Reader
8/3/18 10:18 p.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair :

I did a lot of research on what cam tools to use and found these to by by far the best. $260 but it's the master kit with all the necessary and beautiful components.  The instructions they have on their web site are great also for doing this job.  I'm sure I could get most of my money back when I'm done if I wanted to.  But after completing this successfully I would want to do it again!!

mbruneaux Reader
8/5/18 4:12 p.m.

Found this today in the donor motor....no

Dusterbd13 MegaDork
8/5/18 5:01 p.m.

That sucks. 


Ls swap it!!!!

TED_fiestaHP Reader
8/5/18 6:12 p.m.

  Might have enough good parts / assemblies between the two engines to make one good one, little more complicated, but should still have a good solution.   Great car!

mbruneaux Reader
9/8/18 3:40 p.m.

The bone yard replaced the motor and this one looks great.  We just got the heads on it and will start assembling the chains this week!   The boneyard hasn't asked for the bad engine back so I may actually have the parts for a complete 2nd motor.  The more I look at the engines even thought the chains snapped and the valves bent I think the short block is fine.

The second motor looks great but the chain guides were literally falling apart, it was not far from having the same fate as our original motor. It has a ton of carbon build up on the pistons and valves but found out why.  The oil separator that is inside the timing covers started falling apart and so th engine was sucking in oil mist.  It seems to be a common complaint for these motors of a certain age.  The plastic couplers get brittle, break and basically negate the oil separator.

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