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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 04-14-2007, 11:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Broken Timing belt, possible valve damage?

9/87 325 I 163,436 miles
Last winter on a really cold day I attempted to start this vehicle and it broke the timing belt.
The engine never started but it did turn over a number of times with the starter.
I am well aware of the fact that this is an interference engine but I have little actual experience around this particular engine. What's the consensus out there among those that have in fact worked on this engine.
Replace the belt and hope or pull the head?
I apologize if this is a redundant posting but I haven't been able to find a definitive answer.
Is it possible for the valve and engine to survive a broken belt or not?
If I replace the belt and the valve are in fact bent do I risk further engine damage?
Any and all assistance that you can offer will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!
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Old 04-14-2007, 01:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If it broke while running or cranking, you have bent valves. You have zero chance that you didn't. The impact of the piston hitting the valve is very severe replace all rocker arms that are associated with any bent valves.
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Old 04-14-2007, 10:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks Starmavin,
No good news but at least a definitive answer.
Guess I will start pulling the head tomorrow.
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Old 04-18-2007, 11:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have come to the forum several time for information and have always been assisted, so I feel some sort of an obligation to do my part by closing this thread.
You were absolutely right. Even though the engine never started I have 6 bent valve, 6 broken rocker arms and it even broke the cylinder head casting in two places over the rocker arm shaft.
Conclusion: If your belt has broken and or slipped you have bent valves or as in my case an expensive boat anchor.

Advise: Change the timing belt as recommended. Evey 50 or 60,000 miles or 5 years which ever comes first. It is a bit of a pain to do but I can assure you it get worse.

Thanks!
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