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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 10-11-2009, 07:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Smile timing belt change question

Gentlmen and Ladies,

Good evening to everyone. I want to change the timming belt, tensioner, and water pump for good measure and havn't had the pleasure of performing this task as of yet. Any of you that have taken on this job yourselves, could you tell me about how long the job "should" take? I do have some mechanical skills, just have never changed a timing belt before. Any hidden suprises that I should lookout for? Any advise, helpfull hints etc would be greatly appreciated. Also, what else I might want to tackel while I'm in this area of the vehicle. Thank you in advance for your helpfulness.

Cheers,
Docho
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Old 10-11-2009, 07:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Gentlmen and Ladies,

Good evening to everyone. I want to change the timming belt, tensioner, and water pump for good measure and havn't had the pleasure of performing this task as of yet. Any of you that have taken on this job yourselves, could you tell me about how long the job "should" take? I do have some mechanical skills, just have never changed a timing belt before. Any hidden suprises that I should lookout for? Any advise, helpfull hints etc would be greatly appreciated. Also, what else I might want to tackel while I'm in this area of the vehicle. Thank you in advance for your helpfulness.

Cheers,
Docho
Never did a timing belt on a BMW, but this link will help you. It rates it a 6 on the difficulty Level:

Pelican Technical Article: BMW E30 Timing Belt Replacement

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Old 10-11-2009, 09:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks JB. That article will help.

Cheers,
Docho
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Old 10-11-2009, 09:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Go to the 5 series section and download the e34 Bentley manual -- the m20 525i has the same engine and the procedure is covered to the dot in there.
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Old 10-11-2009, 11:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks Torque, I downloaded the manual. This will be of great value when performing this task. Have you did a timing belt before? If so, what would you say would be a good time estamite to complete the job?

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Old 10-11-2009, 11:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks Torque, I downloaded the manual. This will be of great value when performing this task. Have you did a timing belt before? If so, what would you say would be a good time estamite to complete the job?

Docho
Me and my dad did one on my old 525i once, and honestly I don't remember any particular difficulties with it. But then again my dad works on cars for a living, so that plays a large part in it.

Shouldn't take more than 4 hours even for your first time doing it.
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Old 10-11-2009, 11:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks again. I appreciate you help.
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Old 10-12-2009, 06:31 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Timing belt

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Thanks again. I appreciate you help.
I did the belt on my 87 325i and it was a chore but not as bad as it looks. Just got to make sure u line the dots up. Good luck
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Old 10-13-2009, 09:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Budget a weekend of time. If you get done early, count it as a bonus. With my son's vert, changing the water pump was the worst of it, as getting the fan clutch off was a certified pain in the rear (and I had the right tools). On another timing belt change (not mine), the snag was with the vibration damper behind the bottom pulley not dislodging after the six pulley bolts were removed.

If the distributor cap/rotor and accessory belts need changing, this would be a great time to take care of those tasks as well.

Taking off the hood, removing the splash guard, and removing the radiator will give you more room to maneuver. Cleaning the water pump mounting area of old gasket material and using gasket adhesive with the new water pump gasket will improve your odds against a do-over because of a leak. Finally, buy a torque wrench if you don't have one in your tool kit.

Adios for now,

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Old 10-14-2009, 05:44 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks RM. All this is very good to know. I appreciate your response.

Docho
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Old 10-21-2009, 12:34 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Hey I've rebuilt the head twice and replaced the motor once in my 84 323i, it is an easy job to do about 1-2 hours if you've done it before. just make sure you follow what it says in the bently manual, oh ya to make it a hell of a lot easier you might want to take the hood off so the front of the motor is directly in front of you, and make sure you put the engine at TDC before removing the old belt. good luck
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