Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Associate Editor
5/11/18 11:16 a.m.

The BMW 318is came with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder, designated as the M42. After cleaning and inspecting our new purchase, it seemed that the engine was really the only major issue with the car. After removing the valve cover, we noticed something was missing, something important. The timing chain had broken and was laying at the bottom of the front cover of the engine. Since the M42 is an interference engine, this caused the valves to hit the piston and deform. We'll have to rebuild the top end of our engine. In the video below we explain how the timing chain snapped and remove the engine from the car.


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Type Q
Type Q SuperDork
5/11/18 12:12 p.m.

" ..BMW 318is: What's Wrong With the Engine?"

It's missing two cylinders? smiley

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Associate Editor
5/11/18 3:55 p.m.

Bump for a new video being added to this update!

irish44j UltimaDork
5/11/18 4:43 p.m.

Man, that's pretty rare (knock on wood) and usually the result of other carnage with the tensioners or guide rails.

iceracer UltimaDork
5/11/18 6:11 p.m.

Hope that catch pan is empty.

irish44j UltimaDork
5/11/18 6:29 p.m.

If anything, running M42s are a dime a dozen. I've bought a couple of them (including transmission) for $300 each. That may be the way to go here - cheaper than rebuilding, really. 

Of course be sure to scavenge your engine for useful things, especially if the timing gears are in good shape and the crank thrust bearing surface is good (both pretty uncommon on high-mileage M42s).

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