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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 04-13-2009, 05:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question How do you know when valves need adjusting?

Just wondering.....my engine makes a slight ticking noise and was wondering it needed to be done...engine runs excellent still though!:rof
I'm concerned about the ticking resulting in heavy repairs if i leave it alone. Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-13-2009, 06:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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ticking is OK...I just did my valves last August and am going to have to do them again here shortly. The ticking really doesn't hurt anything and should become less noticable as the engine warms up. It's really a matter of how much it bothers you. If it's noticable in the car performance however, that's a problem. I swear, always go around twice though and double-check if you do it yourself....I always seem to get 11 out of the 12 just right, and then there is the rogue valve lash. And you don't know which one it is!! And you can't check this out without reassembling the whole thing!! And then you have to wait for the engine to cool!!! Hence, my check twice or thrice if you do it yourself, saves a ton of effort (measure twice, cut once).....good luck
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Old 04-13-2009, 06:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It's normal for the M20 engine to have some ticking after the valves are adjusted.
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Old 04-15-2009, 04:17 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Couple signs of the valves needing to be adjusted.
Poor power
Poor cold starting
Backfiring
Loud ticking (louder than normal valve operation)
Poor fuel efficiency (burning way too much gas)
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Old 04-15-2009, 06:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well i think my valves are fine then....it ticks but theres no power loss and the fuel economy is absolutely fine (34 mpg). thanks for the advice everyone!
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Old 04-16-2009, 02:20 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I have had beamers from 1986 to 2000 models and all ticked.
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Old 04-16-2009, 07:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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and always keep this in mind in regard to valve adjustment...a valve too closed is much worse than a valve too open. Just because the engine becomes really quiet upon cold start, like it wasn't before, that could be bad in the long run....valves are weird....gotta watch those valves....damn
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Old 04-17-2009, 02:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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come to think of it....my mom leased a 04 325xi a few years ago (gone since 06 ...) and if i remember correctly that also ticked slightly after 20,000 miles. Thanks again!
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Old 04-17-2009, 06:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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always keep in mind there are 2 different kinds of valve adjustment ways...one is hydrolic lifters (which BMW may have gone to by 2004, I don't know) which require no adjustment and then there are solid lifters like my 88 has, those have to be adjusted.....hydrolics are maintenance free while solid lifters require periodic adjustment....race car engine always use solids cause the are more durable under high stress conditions, if you have valve ticking after prolonged running on a hydrolic lifter engine then you have a lifter/s down. If solid lifters then an adjustment may be in order....good luck
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