mdshaw None
Jan. 18, 2010 3:50 p.m.

My son's college car - 91 318i has 220,000+ miles on it. We got it cheap last year since it needed a new gas tank & was sitting for @ a year. We added a Walbro hi pres pump, M3 front control arms, all new poly bushings, Vogtland springs, Bilstein shocks, hawk pads, rebuilt the shifter, 16" wheels, tires. Anyway it runs & handles great but we are concerned how long this motor will hold together - especially the timing chain. He drives it conservatively but would like to turbo charge it eventually by building a JY turbo for it. We know about turbos from my experience at heavily modifying a XR4Ti & a MkIII Supra. I'm thinking remove the motor, replace the bearings, rings, hone it, gaskets, timing chain, rebuild the head, Fidanza fw & clutch. How much just in motor parts & where is the best place to get a rebuild kit? I'll find a good machine shop to do the hone & head. Thanks for any input.

ddavidv SuperDork
Jan. 18, 2010 4:00 p.m.

Best prices I usually find are at Pelican Parts. I'd do the timing chain, but not sure I'd worry about the rest of it. Maybe drop the pan and have a look at the rod bearings. Have an oil test done and see what it reveals before spending a lot of money. While that is some miles, these cars don't much seem to care.

JohnW Reader
Jan. 18, 2010 7:08 p.m.

At 220k miles, it is quite likely that the timing chain has already been replaced.

If the chain and tensioner are quiet, you may not need to worry about it. You should probably pull the cam cover and inspect the cam gears. If they are starting to wear, it is time to replace them and probably the timing chain. Go to the m42club.com forums and search. There is a lot of good information there about preventative maintenance and things to look out for.

Also, while you're there, search about oil pan bolts. They have been known to break, land in the bottom of the pan and get sucked into the oil pump.

Slick92GSR New Reader
Jan. 18, 2010 10:46 p.m.

In reply to mdshaw:

lol.. i read this as i came in from prepping to re-install another M42 in my '93 E36 318is. Seems the biggest downfall of these motors are the cracking cylinder heads after overheating .. i picked up this last project and found the head cracked in three places.. picked up another motor after someone swapped a six into their own e30 and after swapping around a few parts.. looks like i should be good by the weekend. as John W said, look out for loose oil pan bolts and check out M42club. E30's are really fun..a great suggestion is swapping in an late model 6 cylinder motor, if or when the M42 expires..

good luck !!

laz New Reader
Jan. 18, 2010 11:24 p.m.

autohausaz has better prices on parts than pelican, though they don't have the extensive parts selection that pelican does.

Tim Suddard Publisher
Jan. 19, 2010 6:48 a.m.

We supercharged a worn out one of these cars that had the same kind of mileage. We had no porblems. You never know what the real mileage is on an E30, as ALL the odometers break at around 100,000 miles.

Bobby Thrash at Strictly German will sell you one of these engines for less than $1000, as they never break, so have no junk yard value.

mdshaw New Reader
Jan. 19, 2010 11:03 a.m.

LOL, Tim you are exactly right - the odometer is also broken. That's how I got my son to consider them was showing him all 3 of the articles on the E30 318is. It's been a great car - needs seats also now, the gears & levers are worn out. We will check the gears, chain & the pan bolts.

ClemSparks SuperDork
Jan. 19, 2010 11:28 a.m.
Tim Suddard wrote: Bobby Thrash at Strictly German will sell you one of these engines for less than $1000, as they never break, so have no junk yard value.

Seriuosly? $1,000 (or a little less) for an engine is considered no junkyard value?

Darn...I WANT to own an E30, but when I hear stuff like this, I just can't do it.

Clem

2002maniac Reader
Jan. 19, 2010 12:53 p.m.
ClemSparks wrote:
Tim Suddard wrote: Bobby Thrash at Strictly German will sell you one of these engines for less than $1000, as they never break, so have no junk yard value.

Seriuosly? $1,000 (or a little less) for an engine is considered no junkyard value?

Darn...I WANT to own an E30, but when I hear stuff like this, I just can't do it.

Clem

No way! I have picked up 3 M42s ranging in price from Free to $350

People can't ge trid of them and I'm sure Thrash doesnt sell many at $1k each.

93celicaGT2 SuperDork
Jan. 19, 2010 12:58 p.m.
ClemSparks wrote:
Tim Suddard wrote: Bobby Thrash at Strictly German will sell you one of these engines for less than $1000, as they never break, so have no junk yard value.

Seriuosly? $1,000 (or a little less) for an engine is considered no junkyard value?

Darn...I WANT to own an E30, but when I hear stuff like this, I just can't do it.

Clem

Yeahh... i didn't pay that much for any of my cars, and they all ran.

z31maniac
z31maniac Dork
Jan. 19, 2010 2:23 p.m.

All the timing chain components (sprockets, crank gear, chain, tensioner, guide rails) all said will run you around $400ish.

If they aren't making a racket don't worry about it.

Like others have said, drop the lower oil pan and check the upper oil pan bolts. Check M42club.org for more specifics.

I love my 318is. I'm considering building a bored out M42 with headwork and big cams.

mdshaw New Reader
Jan. 20, 2010 7:28 a.m.

Do they make a racket mostly at idle or higher rpm when going bad? Is it about a full day job? My son is back at college now. When he comes back for spring break we could do it.

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