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#1 (permalink) Old 09-29-2011, 05:49 AM
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recondition the cylinder head

Hi All,
I am planning on reconditioning the head of my 328i . the purpose is that because I am planning to rag the car and maybe either bore the cylinder out or turbocharge the engnie and want to make sure that the car is capable of handling it.

so here is my question, what are the things that i can do on the head.

for instance i know i should take a very thin layer off the head everytime it is taken off thus the next gasket fits ok. i also know that the vale guides should be checked and ...
so what are the other stuff that needs doing or checking in a head in order to refurbish it.

if i buy a spring compressor and fit the valves back in , would it be ok, does it need to be checked by machine or check the spring tolarence and ...?

in addition , what do u suggest to replace once the head is off , things such as the spring or tappet or ...

thanks to all
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#2 (permalink) Old 09-29-2011, 07:56 AM
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Head Work

You have to know what you are going to do with the motor before you start doing certain things to the head that will be a waste of money if you never do them, for instance. All heads can benefit from a port and polish valve job, this will allow more air in and out which is call cfm or flow, but are you changing the intake or turbo charging? if you stay N/A and you do not change the intake and or throttle body the head could very well flow more air than the intake will allow and at this point you will not be benefiting from the full potential of the head. Are you going the cam the head? here is where you decision to go Turbo or N/A has to be made for sure and at this point it is recommend that you change your springs to something more durable with a higher float rate, the float rate will can you from crashing your valves into your pistons. If you have the head worked on you want to take it to a machine shop here they will also pressure test it to make sure your not wasting your time boosting the motor if it cracks in the machine shop then it will crack when you boost it, they also can make sure everything is balanced ports, springs etc. and seat your valves properly, when remounting your head you have to consider how much was taking off the head it will effect your final compression ratio and this is where the size of head gasket comes in at i recommend MLS gasket but many still have success with stock gasket depending on what the final motor setup is going to be. there is a lot of studying i recommend you do to educate yourself on motor builds before you dig in the motor even if someone else is doing the work. This is some points to look at but there is more you need to know.
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#3 (permalink) Old 09-29-2011, 09:51 AM
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hi ,
Thank you for the detailed description

Well I am learning and reading books before doing the tuning and at the same time thought it will be beneficial to ask questions from other member.

What is a pressure test and how do they do it if u don't mind explaining it ?

In regard to the surface skim, i can use a thicker gasket to compensate for that, can't i ?
the air flow I am deciding to go with M50 manifold and Throttle body plus de cat and tail pipe which should ease the air flow and exit.

My main question was what are the things that can be done on a head and what is a benefit of it which you covered most of it

would u think a head can be assembled DIY if i buy the spring compressor or does it need any aligning or ... which would be better off to do at machine shop ?

thanks again
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#4 (permalink) Old 09-30-2011, 03:10 PM
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Is it the M50 or M52 Engine?
You could "Port" the inlet/outlet anyway without adding extra pressures (Turbo etc) and still see a good benefit. Couple this idea with a free flowing exhaust, fatter intake and a remap then you will still get a huge grin on your face when you hit the pedal !!!


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#5 (permalink) Old 09-30-2011, 03:12 PM
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Head Work

I recommend you have your head work done by a shop, Plane the head if you are going N/A the stock head gasket size would be fine or maybe a little thinner, being your going N/A you would benefit from a higher compression this will give you more Horse power and torque. do not go to thin as you will still have to check clearance for you valves and pistons, These facts i am not sure about. ARP head studs or Metric blue Head studs to mount the head back this will give you more clamping force from head to the block, which if you should nitro or race gas it can handle the pressures of the explosions. tuning is what you need to get away from detonation which will destroy your motor. High octane fuel only when you are dealing with high compression. your motor i believe is already 10:1 which is pretty high but if your going all motor you have room for more compression. Like i said there is a lot you have to understand to blue print your head but if you just want to get more air in unchecked, i wouldn't recommend doing it yourself, there is a balance you want your motor to have and in the end you have more horse power, their are certain tools you need to have to check clearances and you have to know how to use the tools to do the job properly,like changing your springs you can do it but you want to have it checked before you re install the head and find that after all that work you have to pull the head back off, trust me i pulled my head three times doing my build and it isn't pretty. then there is experience that you need to be successful. Pressure check, they mount the head under a solution and pressurize the chambers and jackets to make sure you do not have any cracks that the naked eye can not detect. bubbles will indicate a leak. If you want more power and a good job spend the money now not later. as i keep saying there is even more to it you really have to understand how it all works to receive the information, even to ask the proper questions that is how deep it is. I have seen guys do the backyard head jobs and break parts on the head after running there cars to death and i told them the same thing i am telling you now. Know what you want to do to the motor first get even more knowledge than what i am telling you and decide what you want, call the machine shop , shop around, BMW heads carry i different price tag most wanted to charge me $750 to port and polish my M42B18 head so be prepared.
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#6 (permalink) Old 09-30-2011, 03:19 PM
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Just to add again to Frozen's comprehensive description - Make sure you use a BMW gasket and not an Ebay cardboard rip-off LOL !
Get those valves grinded and clean everthing i.e,- MAF, Throttle body, ICV and your hands !!!


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