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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The car has only done about 70K miles but I was too late in changing the timing belt. It broke, or at least that's what the AA man said has happened.

I've managed to remove the upper timing belt cover but simply can't fathom how to remove the lower half. Here's a photo of the front of the car with the upper timing cover already off, as marked 1:



The Haynes manual gives this job only 2 spanners, to indicate that it should be dead simple. I removed the bolts on the main fan assembly (2 in my photo) and expected it to fall away but it won't budge. The lower cover (3) won't come away either, although I've removed all the bolts I can see. I suspect it's being held in place by the main gears and pulley bits on the main crankshaft (4). I removed about 5 bolts here, too and expected all those cogs and bits would fall away but they won't. Where am I going wrong? Does anyone know, please?

Also, the timing belt and camshaft don't turn when the crankshaft is rotated, suggesting that the timing belt is indeed broken. But the bit I can see of the belt seems taught and won't pull out. Perhaps it's held captive by cogs further down.
 

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The crank pulley is held on with 6 bolts, here http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?model=HA12&mospid=47367&btnr=11_0266&hg=11&fg=20

Will need to be removed if you are doing cambelt.

You can then remove the lower cover http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?model=HA12&mospid=47367&btnr=11_1116&hg=11&fg=10

What happen to the car in the first place to make you think the belt has broke?

I would put the car in gear, handbrake off then rock the car and see if the engine turns over, or put a ratchet on the lower pulley with the car out of gear and see if you can turn over, if yes then turn it over till the timing marks are aligned and check if correct
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Many thanks for the links to those diagrams. Much better than Haynes! I already removed the 6 bolts in the first diagram, part no. 3. Then I removed the pulley, part no. 2 before I took the above photo. Should the vibration damper (part no. 1) just come away or do I have to remove any more bolts or anything?

I’m sorry if I’m making an easy job seem like hard work, but how do I get the vibration damper and any other pulley bits off the end of the crankshaft, given I've already removed the 6 bolts?

I’m not even sure of my engine type. From the year, I assumed it’s the M40 engine. Haynes doesn’t say anything beyond removing those 6 bolts. But for M10 and M30 engines they mention needing to undo the ultra-tight centre nut on the crankshaft. Do I need to do that on my engine, as pictured?

The engine just conked out doing about 30 mph. When I turn the crankshaft with a spanner with the gearbox in neutral, neither the timing belt or camshaft move at all. I assume the timing belt is broken lower down and that's what I want to check out.
 

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Many thanks for the links to those diagrams. Much better than Haynes! I already removed the 6 bolts in the first diagram, part no. 3. Then I removed the pulley, part no. 2 before I took the above photo. Should the vibration damper (part no. 1) just come away or do I have to remove any more bolts or anything?

I’m sorry if I’m making an easy job seem like hard work, but how do I get the vibration damper and any other pulley bits off the end of the crankshaft, given I've already removed the 6 bolts?

I’m not even sure of my engine type. From the year, I assumed it’s the M40 engine. Haynes doesn’t say anything beyond removing those 6 bolts. But for M10 and M30 engines they mention needing to undo the ultra-tight centre nut on the crankshaft. Do I need to do that on my engine, as pictured?

The engine just conked out doing about 30 mph. When I turn the crankshaft with a spanner with the gearbox in neutral, neither the timing belt or camshaft move at all. I assume the timing belt is broken lower down and that's what I want to check out.
You may need a puller on the pulley, you could try a light tap around the pulley, better with a wooden or rubber mallet...

So.. The crank turns then? no movement at all from the belt? Im not so sure the belt is broke, maybe a tensioner has gone?? causing the belt to 'jump' off the crank. Usually the belts will split and fray first before going... But i maybe wrong.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So.. The crank turns then? no movement at all from the belt? Im not so sure the belt is broke, maybe a tensioner has gone?? causing the belt to 'jump' off the crank. Usually the belts will split and fray first before going... But i maybe wrong.
Thank you for your suggestions on how to remove the remaining pulley elements. I'll try that.

There's no movement at all from the belt but the top half of the belt looks in good condition and won't pull out. The impact of a belt breaking or jumping the sprockets would be the same, presumably. Is it almost a certainty that valves and/or pistons have been damaged? When I turn the crankshaft with a spanner, though, there are no grinding noises or anything as if the pistons are hitting the valves.
 

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If you are able to turn the crankshaft while the camshaft is motion less, then its not good mate. Whether the belt has snapped or not, the fact that both the cam and crank are able to rotate independantly means almost cetain engine damage.

Have seen many timing chain/belt issues where its either snapped or come off over the years..........Only one car which suffered a timing belt snap and actually survived. It was a Rover 216 of all cars, belt snapped while owner was doing around 30, we put a new belt on it, timed it all up, engine seemed to rotate as normal by hand, turned the key- Damn thing fired up and Compression tests check out!!

I would remove the lower cover as you are planning, see whats gone on- since you are doing the work yourself- put a new belt on it, time it up and see what happens.......you may get lucky. but unlikely dude.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Whether the belt has snapped or not, the fact that both the cam and crank are able to rotate independantly means almost cetain engine damage.
I fear you are right, with your experience!

I hit the vibration damper (large cogged wheel) quite hard from various directions to try and break it away from the crankshaft axle but it simply won't budge. Neither will the radiator fan assembly come away. Haynes must be joking when they give this job only two spanners. The Haynes manual is hopelessly inadequate. Your forum is proving much more helpful, thank you.

I could try a puller but I only have one intended for hub removal and I don't know if I can attach it to that vibration damper. To be honest, the remote likelihood of there not being severe engine damage, means I should probably abandon any attempt to repair the engine, but instead break the car for spares.
 

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If you like the car and want to keep it mate. I would get a second hand engine, the M40 engine are fairly cheap now and not too bad to change on an e34. Just remember to do the cambelt and tensioner on the new engine. Thay are a peice of piddle when the engine is on the floor.
I managed to get an engine for 200 quid for an old 316 i had. The guy even let me run it up and check it before he took it out.
If the rest of the car is in good nick mate i personally would go the engine route rather than put valves etc in it and rebuild it. :thumbsup
 

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If you like the car and want to keep it mate. I would get a second hand engine, the M40 engine are fairly cheap now and not too bad to change on an e34. Just remember to do the cambelt and tensioner on the new engine. Thay are a peice of piddle when the engine is on the floor.
I managed to get an engine for 200 quid for an old 316 i had. The guy even let me run it up and check it before he took it out.
If the rest of the car is in good nick mate i personally would go the engine route rather than put valves etc in it and rebuild it. :thumbsup

I agree, even if the head is buggered, a rebuild is going to be costly.

Cheaper and easier to source a 2nd hand engine and drop it in..........if this was my car- this is what I would do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If you like the car and want to keep it mate. I would get a second hand engine, the M40 engine are fairly cheap now and not too bad to change on an e34.
You're probably right but I don't think this is practical or cost-effective for me, unfortunately. Even if the car was in good running order with a new MOT, it can't be worth much. By the time I've found a new engine, hired an engine crane, scrapped the old engine, etc, the costs would really mount up. Unfortunately I don't have a large workshop or space in which to work on the car properly, either.

Also, what chance of finding an engine in such good condition as this one WAS with only 70K miles? It ran beautifully. If I decide to repair the car, wouldn't it be better to repair that engine, rather than fit another one with potentially higher mileage and uncertain history?

I also started to remove the exhaust manifold but the bolts on the lower side will be difficult to reach, without a pit. My aim was to remove the cylinder head, to see what damage has actually been done. But then the cost of a new head gasket, new valves, etc start to come into it, so I've almost given up on removing the head. There's little to gain, other than curiosity. If I can't even remove the vibration damper or radiator fan how am I going to pull the cylinder head off?!

Am I correct in thinking that the parts should sell on eBay for more than the entire car, as some sort of project vehicle, for somebody who might want to repair it? The car was in excellent condition, in almost all regards, the second before the timing belt snapped.
 

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Thats up to you arthur mate. I would prob try and sell as a complete car, it just saves you having loads of parts and half a car taking up space. But thats up to you to decide. :thumbsup
Just keep an eye out for what others are going for and set a realistic target in your head.:thumbsup
 

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You're probably right but I don't think this is practical or cost-effective for me, unfortunately. Even if the car was in good running order with a new MOT, it can't be worth much. By the time I've found a new engine, hired an engine crane, scrapped the old engine, etc, the costs would really mount up. Unfortunately I don't have a large workshop or space in which to work on the car properly, either.

Also, what chance of finding an engine in such good condition as this one WAS with only 70K miles? It ran beautifully. If I decide to repair the car, wouldn't it be better to repair that engine, rather than fit another one with potentially higher mileage and uncertain history?

I also started to remove the exhaust manifold but the bolts on the lower side will be difficult to reach, without a pit. My aim was to remove the cylinder head, to see what damage has actually been done. But then the cost of a new head gasket, new valves, etc start to come into it, so I've almost given up on removing the head. There's little to gain, other than curiosity. If I can't even remove the vibration damper or radiator fan how am I going to pull the cylinder head off?!

Am I correct in thinking that the parts should sell on eBay for more than the entire car, as some sort of project vehicle, for somebody who might want to repair it? The car was in excellent condition, in almost all regards, the second before the timing belt snapped.
If you have the space to strip your car for parts then if would be worth it, as scrap values have plummeted to around £30 per tonne...

To remove the head you will need to remove ancillaries(pipes etc..), valve cover/rocker cover, head bolts, inlet/exhaust manifold... and a whole lot of pull to remove the head.. Maybe... a few valves may just be bent, but pay close attention to the piston crowns. If they are badly damaged, then its game over for the engine really... Maybe a few valves being bent maybe all that needs replacing, probably best case scenario really....
 
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HOLD ON!!!!!! HOLD ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i know where there is a really good engine, its still sat in the car and i heard this engine running, its a sound engine, the car has service history too, pm me your number and i will give you a call.
The cam belt on these is a simple job, i did mine a few months back, i had the same trouble with the bottom pulley, its infact in two parts, the inner part is the bit the belt goes round and the outer part gets stuck to the inner bit over time and when you are trying to pull it off you are pulling against the belt thats why it wont budge, you will see what i mean when you get it off, be careful not to prize the bottom pulley too hard and break any teeth on it as the crank sensor works from these, the engine i know about is only in leicester so its not a million miles away, be a shame to scrap your car if you like it mate, i got an engine crane too :thumbsup
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Update - just after a year after I last looked at the 518i engine problem, I've managed to remove the timing belt. The teeth were stripped on a section of a few inches of the belt, which presumably led to engine stoppage. Wikipedia say that's a more common failure mode than outright belt breakage. What would cause that then, all of a sudden? I still haven't been able to remove the main cog (vibration damper, etc) which blocks removal of the lower timing cover, even though I removed the radiator and bonnet to gain better access and attacked the cog with penetrating oil, a hammer, a crowbar and the like. It simply won't budge but it's all a bit academic now - I'm going to break up the car for spares. Thank you again for your help and suggestions last year.
 
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