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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I'm new here but I've had by BM compact for a couple of years now...

Head gasket went just before christmas :hissyfit.

I've had a friend of a friend who is good with cars (but not a mechanic!?:frown) check it out and it turned out the cylinder head had a small crack in it. Got a second hand head from a breaker (with the same cast number), had that skimmed etc and he's put it all back together again.

The car turns over but doesn't start. He has checked all the sensors and even took it all apart to see what's going on. He now believes the timing isn't quite right but he isn't too confident on how to go about getting the timing right (in case he breaks the cam's or pistons or something?)... Can anyone please help with giving us some guidance on how to get the timing right?

It's an E36 Compact(1995) 316i 4cylinder M43 engine. Haven't got the VIN to hand coz I'm at work at the mo...(should be on some paperwork at home, my mates had the car for a month now!:mad)
 

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You have a chain, so iirc, you have to lock the camshafts and the crankshaft in the TDC installation position with special tools and align the spockets to the camshafts.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for that NealP! I'll run that by him and see if he's already done that or not...

I'll let you know....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi Neal,

I've just spoken to the guy who's got my car and he said he's got the cylinder at TDC but he's not sure about the positioning of the cam pulley. Apparently there's a 'pick up sensor' on it and there's 4 different ways it can go on? Does this mean anything to you?

Remember Chinese whispers from school? This is a bit like that only my car's at stake here!
 

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On the chain sprockets, there will be guide arrows. Both arrows on the sprockets need to pointing up at the 12 'o' clock position if the crank and cams are in line with TDC. That pick up sensor would be the crank sensor.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Neal,

Repairman says 'there is no key way on the cam pulley. So how do you time the cam up? The pullet can bolt up 4 different ways...' :confused

I think once he's got this info, we should be away :eek:ptimist

If you are able to guide us with this bit it would be very much appreciated...
 

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It's hard to explain without pics as I am just recalling from memory. I do remember the sensor plate also faces up as well. Is there any chance you can get yourself a workshop manual like Haynes? They probably have a section on camshaft timing in there somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
He's had a look at the Haynes manual but no joy. He's ask a few other people, compared it to other compacts engines and even taken my old cylinder head back to the engineering shop (where they skimmed the replacement head) to see if they could give him any pointers and they said he had it exactly how they would (same way you described yesterday).

pelican parts have a bit on cam timing etc... I haven't got a clue about these kinds of things so I'll get him to have a read. Thanks for you help anyway...

If anyone else has any pointers please speak now!!!

So close, yet so far....
 

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Right dude........been a while since I've done one of these but your mechanic is right, there is no key way on the camshaft sprocket, meaning you have to manually line it up on the end of the camshaft........but I can't remeber how:D

do you have the camshaft locking tool at all?

because as far as I can remeber.......there are no real timing marks once you take the camshaft sprocket off.......as NealP says the 2 arrorw on the sprocket are the only ones and they should point straightup when at TDC.


If you had the camlocking tool then what you could do is get the crank at TDC and lock the flywheel in place.

then undo the chain and use the locking tool to get the camshsaft in line........then bolt the sprocket up with the arrows faced up at 12 with the chain loosely on it bolt it up as close to the centre of the camshaft as possible.

hope this makes sense
 

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IIRC the arrow points down on the cam, can have a look on Autodata to be sure if you need me to, you should use the cam locking tool any how as without it you will not get proper chain tension.

Also are there any dots on the square of the cam? when at TDC the lobes on cylinder 4 will be rocking and the front lobes cylinder 1 will be pointing up and away from each other
 

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IIRC the arrow points down on the cam, can have a look on Autodata to be sure if you need me to, you should use the cam locking tool any how as without it you will not get proper chain tension.

Also are there any dots on the square of the cam? when at TDC the lobes on cylinder 4 will be rocking and the front lobes cylinder 1 will be pointing up and away from each other

Arrows need to point up dude........autodata don't really show anything mate.

but you are right......the only way to check if at TDC is to also check that cam lobes on 1 and 4 are on the rock- iirc there are no other timing marks but as you say- the cam locking tool will accurately lock the cam to TDC:thumbsup
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for your help gents.

I've mailed my guy the link to this thread so he can read your advice and take it from there. Not sure if he has the cam locking tool or not.

I called Cooks Ferry to see if they had one to rent or sell but they don't sell em. The Cooks Ferry dude did say that the square on the cam could be lined up with a ruler so it is in line with the head, then held with mole grips, the fly wheel could be locked in place with a long bolt and bobs your uncle!

We'll see.

Keep you updated.
 

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The cam arrow does point up when at TDC, the valves will also be rocking on cylinder 4 when the cam is in the correct position.

And to get the correct chain tension and cam timing the cam locking tool should be used. A drill bit can be used to lock the flywheel at TDC or a DTI used to find true TDC if you have one. You can get a adaptor that goes down the plug hole to use a DTI, great for aftermarket performance cam set up
 
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