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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 08-07-2011, 11:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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1994 325i headgasket job - need guidance!

Hey all,

New member here! I'm supposed to replace the headgasket on a a friend's '94 325i he recently bought. I'm new to BMW's. Could someone point me to a walkthrough, and/or give me any tips or tricks? I'm thinking it's an M50 so I've got the added complexity of VANOS but I'm not sure. How hard is the job? Also, I've re-used head bolts on different cars before, and head bolts for the BMW are ridiculously expensive (I'm sure you know where I'm going with this...lol!). Can they be re-used or is it not worth risking?

Any advice/photos/tips/etc appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Head Job

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Originally Posted by 850wagonT5 View Post
Hey all,

New member here! I'm supposed to replace the headgasket on a a friend's '94 325i he recently bought. I'm new to BMW's. Could someone point me to a walkthrough, and/or give me any tips or tricks? I'm thinking it's an M50 so I've got the added complexity of VANOS but I'm not sure. How hard is the job? Also, I've re-used head bolts on different cars before, and head bolts for the BMW are ridiculously expensive (I'm sure you know where I'm going with this...lol!). Can they be re-used or is it not worth risking?

Any advice/photos/tips/etc appreciated. Thanks!
First thing you need to do is find a book for that car. Then when you dig in lock the flywheel with something or the tool where as there is a hole in the fly wheel the will lock the block in the number 1 top dead center. make the cam locking tool to lock the cams in place so you do not have to line them up. the best thing to do is to release the timing chain from the crank that sprocket only goes back one way where as the cam gears you can place them back improperly. you do not have to move the cams to move the head even though it is easier it will be so much more work to put the cams back after you torque the head down. do not use the head bolts over they are a stretch type of bolt and have reached their limit the first time they where installed. if they are very expensive go aftermarket with head bolts and change them to head studs.... research all aspects of changing the head gasket before you dive in..it will be time consuming but not impossible. buy a full set of gaskets profile, valve cover etc. it will not be easy just take your time and follow procedures... i am hoping you have done a head gasket before, and understand how a valve train works in reference to the pistons. i hope this helps a little. keep posting we will help as much as possible.
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Old 08-08-2011, 05:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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What It Takes To Pull Off A Successful Home-Grown Port Job. It is important to line up the head gasket with the bolt holes and dowel pins in order to it is easy to see the amount of material that needs to be removed in order to Todd McKenzie of McKenzie Racing in Oxnard, California, for some guidance........
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Old 08-08-2011, 05:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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What It Takes To Pull Off A Successful Home-Grown Port Job it is important to line up the head gasket with the bolt holes and dowel pins in order to it is easy to see the amount of material that needs to be removed in order to Todd McKenzie of McKenzie Racing in Oxnard, California, for some guidance
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