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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 04-19-2012, 06:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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New head gasket leaking, what next?

On my '91 M20 I Just replaced my head with a new head casting, cam, valves, etc... all work done at a local reputible machine shop.

I got it all back together, runs like new. Now a week later after about 200 miles I notices a small spot under the front of the engine. It's leaking oil at the head gasket, right behind the distributor, a very small amount. Changed the oil, No coolant leak. Never overheated either.

Any advise? Start over? ugh... The amount of leakage wouldn't amount to anything more than an aggravation, but it irritates me that after all that work, it isn't right.

I polished the top of the block clean, and the head was newly machined. I torqued properly, then 90 degrees, then 90 degrees again.

What could've gone wrong?
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Old 04-19-2012, 07:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Its not comeing out of the head gasket. You need to check your rocker cover gasket, and the little rubber instert gasket things under the rocker cover gasket. Also check the tightness of the rocker cover itself.
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Old 04-19-2012, 07:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Pictures would prove it, but I think m20enginebuilder is right. Most likely leaking from your valve/rocker cover.
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Old 04-20-2012, 06:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Pictures would prove it, but I think m20enginebuilder is right. Most likely leaking from your valve/rocker cover.
The only reason I even thought of that being the culprit is because during assembly of my m20, I had gotten it all together minus the cooling system and decided to test-fire it. I had totally spaced those 4 little rubber plugs that go into the cylinder head under the rocker cover gasket when i went to fire it, and little did I know(until after I test ran it and saw oil on the front of the engine) that I had forgotten those little pieces. Until later, when I was at dinner with my family and it THEN hit me OH CRAP! I totally forgot to put those rubber pieces into the engine and THATS where that oils comeing from! So after I got done with the family, I went out back, in the dark with a flashlight, removed the rocker cover, installed them IN THE DARK and put it back together, test fired it again, and NO OIL!
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Old 04-20-2012, 09:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Haha. Good story. I agree it's probably not head gasket cause you would see coolant mixing with the oil and white smoke.
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Haha. Good story. I agree it's probably not head gasket cause you would see coolant mixing with the oil and white smoke.
Also, I noticed when I did my top end overhaul, there isnt any oil that goes down into the oil pan from the front of the cylinder head.
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah, rocker gasket... Also, did you install an original BMW uprated gasket after the "Skim"? Or was it a complete head?
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