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3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

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Old 06-10-2004, 05:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey everyone. Thanks for taking the time to check out this post. I am posting this for a friend of mine who actually owns the car. I'm just trying to help him out. I usually perform the maintenance on this car for him, but unfortunately he lives a good distance from me, so I am unable to physically look the car over. Anyway, he states that there is a "Loud" ticking noise coming from the engine compartment area. He let me hear it over the phone but its hard to make out other than an exhaust leak. The car has over 190k on the clock. Anyway, he was told that it could be a rocker arm thats broken. Has anyone had this problem or seen this problem on this model year BMW? He was also told that in order to replace a bad rocker arm that the head has to be removed. Any truth to this? I have seen the valve train on this car before and he has shaft-mounted rocker arms. This is the only reason I can think of without looking at the manual as to why the head would have to be removed. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions about this? Any other common problems with this year vehicle related to the engine? I would appreciate any information that you can provide on this situation. Trying to save this guy from having to spend a bunch of money on this for no reason. Thanks in advance for any help. Feel free to email me if you don't want to respond here.
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Old 06-10-2004, 09:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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When was the last time he had the valves adjusted? The M20 engines will always have a clicking noise from the rocker arms and from the injectors. If the rocker arm was broken it wouldn't make any noise cause the arm would be off and the car would run very poorly.
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Old 06-11-2004, 02:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the response. I discussed this further with my friend and he stated there wasn't a loss of power, so I informed him that its probably not a broken rocker arm. Obviously if it was broken, there would be a cylinder down on either the exhaust or intake. I made him aware of that. Also if it was a broken rocker arm I would say there would be noise as the cam lobe rotated around and hit the floating piece of the rocker arm, but I don't believe it would be that loud.
Anway, he took it to a BMW Mechanic who found that a "clip" had come off and was allowing the rocker arm to move around on the shaft. Its a good thing the mechanic was honest. The mechanic also replaced the head bolts while he was in there. Apparently they have been known to break. Any truth to that? Thanks for your responses.

JT
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Old 06-11-2004, 07:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Glad you got the car fixed. Yes, the earlier engins head bolts have been known to break. At our shop we always have an updated set of head bolts in stock.
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