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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 01-18-2005, 02:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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My 1985 325e seems to slowly eat coolant. I've noticed a strange white liquid on my oil cap. Is this a sure sign that my head gasket is blown between an oil passage and a coolant passage? Worse still could there be a crack in the head itself?

Other than a loud whirring noise upon starting in extreme cold the car runs fine.

In the event that my head gasket is blown, has anyone replaced it on an e30 e? and how hard a job would that be?
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Old 01-18-2005, 02:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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the white liquid is the oil and water mixed together. so yes it is a head gasket leak, or a warped head. alluminum heads have a tendancy to warp over time, i just had to get my head machined a few days ago, back int he engine nad its spunkier then ever, well thats cause i put my cams in too:P but anyways. umm yeah take the head off, and take it to a machine shop and get them to check it, and if your over the 200,000 mark you prolly need to get it rebuilt, costed me 350$ canadian and i got a pretty decent deal.
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Old 01-18-2005, 02:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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How much damage is being done to my car if I continue to drive it in this state?
and will I need the entire engine rebuilt?
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Old 01-18-2005, 03:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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no, you wont need an entire engine rebuild, its just the head, you just pull her off, and send it to a machine shop, as far as damage goes, your burning coolant, unless you watch the temp you could over heat, and the warpage could potentialy get worse and then you will need a new head... your better off checking it, costs nothing to get checked except the pain staking taking appart procedure, and take lots of picture of the cam possitioning if your goin gto do it yourself, a head gasket it like 20-30 bucks or somthing like that, its prolly a good thing to just get a top end gasket kit, they're about 180$ canadian, for me, but i get 50% off at lordco, so it might be more, i duno its worth a check, and change all your gaskets, comes with every gasket from the head up, including the headers! so its a good deal.
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Old 01-18-2005, 04:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If any coolant is actually reaching the combustion chambers, it's very minimal. There's no white smoke in the exhaust. Either way, there's definitely no overheating trouble yet, I watch the temperature gauge like a hawk. I think the leak is only between the oil galleries and one of the coolant passages.

I can't possibly be without a car at this point in time, so I won't be able to remove the head any time soon. If the coolant consumption jumps a significant amount I'll bite the bullet and get something done. She's got 250,000 kilometres on her, by the way. Thanks very much for the advice.
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Old 01-18-2005, 06:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by 85-325e@Jan 18 2005, 03:06 PM
If any coolant is actually reaching the combustion chambers, it's very minimal. There's no white smoke in the exhaust. Either way, there's definitely no overheating trouble yet, I watch the temperature gauge like a hawk. I think the leak is only between the oil galleries and one of the coolant passages.

I can't possibly be without a car at this point in time, so I won't be able to remove the head any time soon. If the coolant consumption jumps a significant amount I'll bite the bullet and get something done. She's got 250,000 kilometres on her, by the way. Thanks very much for the advice.
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well if its minimal it can't be warped and if it is its minimal, so if you want, you can take the head of change the gastket, and take the head to get checked and you dont have to take the cams out if your old getting it checked and you could do it over a weekend, depends whether you do your own work or not, but if not just wait till you have a week or so to spare.
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