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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 10-28-2008, 10:51 AM   #1 (permalink)
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temp. problems

My '91 318is (m42) overheated & the connector that goes from the block to lower radiator hose failed. Replaced with new, as well as thermostat. Everything fine the first couple of drives, then two days later temp. went to hot with cold air from heater. Rough, erratic idle with white smoke from exhaust. No noticeable leaks...
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Old 10-28-2008, 07:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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white smoke from the tail pipe

plus other symptoms described can only lead to one conclusion. Head gasket is shot and leaking coolant into the cylinders under pressure....must pull head and replace gasket at a minimum...might as well have the valves cleaned up as long as you are in there that far anyway, but white smoke is definitley better(cheaper) than blue smoke... by far...best of luck....silversled
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Old 10-28-2008, 09:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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white smoke

I was afraid of that. I don't seem to have coolant in my oil though...
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Old 10-29-2008, 08:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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yes, if the oil doesn't look like melted marshmellow that would tell me, at least, that coolant leak is not that bad yet. Yet...I would keep my eye on the coolant overflow level and the oil filler cap anyway. But white smoke, I don't know, I have never seen white smoke out of the exhaust for prolonged periods that didn't have to do with the head gasket. good luck
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Old 10-29-2008, 08:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I have just replaced the head gasket in my 85 316, (the carby model of your car) which fixed the problem of all your above mentioned symptoms.. your better of fixing it now before you warp the head like the previous owner of my car did!
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Old 11-01-2008, 10:00 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Only about 20-30 min. driving so thats probably why no melted marshmallow gunk. I guess I'll tear into the top end then. Yea... Do I have to take the cams out to get the head off? Don't you need some million dollar hand-made special tool to remove them w/out cracking. Closest BMW franchise didn't want to do it. Said some techs weren't even born when car was! Referred to another franchise 45 miles away. How confidence inspiring!
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Old 11-04-2008, 10:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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No you dont have to take the cams out (or in my case, cam) but you will have to rotate them untill all valves are closed or close to it in order to shave the head if its warped in the first place. Me and my mate did it here in aussie and it took us about 15 hours... mind you we have never worked on BMW engines at all. The differences and advances in these engines are hectic compared to other engines of simular times or eras. And thats just the carb model lol
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Old 11-05-2008, 07:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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thanks mate!! I'm just to the point where I'm taking out the timing chain tensioner. About to remove head. I'm fairly new to this teutonic stuff too. lol happy motoring
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