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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 03-03-2005, 06:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi, I have got a car back that was stolen from me 3 years ago and as I have a 328 a friend is going to buy it off me. I have checked the car as best i can and from what i see it drives fine, doesnt overheat, steers straight etc. I have fitted a new rad, brakes and serviced it.

He has taken it to a local specialist who has come back and said the timing chain is going to need replacing as it seems very worn (he also said this could occur as a result of driving the car with low oil (which it had when i collected it)). The car has 110k on it. He has quoted 350 for the work.

Is this feasable or is this an attempt at a con? Is there an easy way to tell as the guy only had it a day and checked it thouroughly and said the rest of the car is fine, it had prefect score on compressions tests and looked fine. Also some websites suggest changing the tensioner? Would this solve the problem?

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 03-03-2005, 09:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds like total BS to me. Number one, he would have to take apart the whole head on the car to see the chain which is no small job and requires a new valve cover gasket. There is a chain tensioner as you said and yes it that can wear out and there is also a little push pin thingy on there that can fall out of place that can cause issues. But this guy is total bullshit. Those chains are meant to last a lifetime and don't wear down like a belt!
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Old 03-04-2005, 05:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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What sort of work would be involved in doing the tensioner and would any special tools be required for doing this?

Thanks
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Old 03-04-2005, 11:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally posted by jrhaile@Mar 3 2005, 07:39 PM
Sounds like total BS to me. Number one, he would have to take apart the whole head on the car to see the chain which is no small job and requires a new valve cover gasket. There is a chain tensioner as you said and yes it that can wear out and there is also a little push pin thingy on there that can fall out of place that can cause issues. But this guy is total bullshit. Those chains are meant to last a lifetime and don't wear down like a belt!
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Acutally, you don't need to pull the head to see the chain. If you remove the valve cover, the chain is visible. They can crack and wear, although it takes significantly longer than with a belt. Depending on the vehicle, they will need to remove the front cover of the engine, which may or may not involve taking the oil pan off. Then, new front crank seal, new chain, new tensioner, and reinstall of the chain. The last time I did one, it took me 7 hours to do. So, at $60 / hour for labor, the price may seem a little high, but it's close to accurate.

Hope this helps!
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Old 03-04-2005, 11:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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That was on a RWD, too. FWD will take a little longer, as you'll need to partially lift the block to access the front cover bolts.
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