Broken Timing Chain 92 E36 - BMW Forum -

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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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 08-10-2005, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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On the back straight of Mt Tremblant this past weekend 3 laps into a session I was WOT in 3rd gear pushing just past 6000 rpm when a small pop occurred and the car went dead. The timing chain and the tensioner had come right through the front top of the valve cover. I got the cover off today and found that the small chain that connects the cams was broken. There is still tension on the main timing chain so I am hoping that only the intake valves are bent (there is no compression on any cyl.) The car is a reasonably low mileage car (83k) and is completely stock as I was running it in a showroom stock class until I got the time and money to make it an ITS car.

My questions are what happened and why and thought someone may have had a similar experience? Clearly the chain that connects the cams broke and the valves hit the pistons.

Is that connecting chain a known weak link? Do the OEM chains have a master link? if so, that's where it broke because there is no master link anymore (either flew through the top or is down in the motor. Have you seen tensioners fail?allowing the chain to jump the sprockets.

I was going to try to just redo the head but I am worried about pieces of the chain etc having gone down the oil passages, which makes me thing I should drop the pan, can that be done with the engine in the car?

Any thoughts, ideas are appreciated.

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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 08-10-2005, 11:46 PM
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hello hope this helps, i went through the Bentley manual and it said nothing about a master link, so the chain is one piece, also you were worried about the pieces of chain falling in the oil pan, well to remove and install the timing chain the Bentley manual says the oil pan needs to be removed, that sucks but it had to be done anyway, areason the chain broke was probably due to wear and extreme tension, this problem plagued the older m3's and m5's, well good luck
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