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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 05-05-2005, 07:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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An easy one guys .... how do I tell if my car has a timing chain or timing belt?
I looked it up on the internet, but it says BMW changed over to chains in 1994.

My car is a '1994' 318is coupe (m42 or m43 I think)

Cheers!
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Old 05-05-2005, 07:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
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M42, M44 and M43 have chains.

That means all 16V E36's has chain.
And 318i's 8V from 94.

Or wait, did you in the US ever get the M40 engine?


All 318is (unless the s denotes coupe) have timing chain.

EDIT: M42 and M44 engines are 16V DOHC engines. And M40 and M43 are 8V SOHC engines. The first two in 318is and the latter two in 316i and 318i.
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Old 05-05-2005, 10:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info.
After a bit more research I found out it is the DOHC 16V M42 B18 engine

So now I know it's a timing chain ... phew!

Do these ever need changing? I assume they should be checked for tension/wear?

Thanks again!

Phil.
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Old 05-05-2005, 04:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally posted by bmwpip@May 5 2005, 05:09 PM
Thanks for the info.
After a bit more research I found out it is the DOHC 16V M42 B18 engine

So now I know it's a timing chain ... phew!

Do these ever need changing? I assume they should be checked for tension/wear?

Thanks again!

Phil.
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Yes checking them sometime is good idea. But normally they don't have to be replaced. Get's real nasty when they do break however.

They aren't terribly expensive, so changing them when it's apart for changing the guides etc when it's starting to reach high miles could be an idea.

I had a M42 with 16kmiles on it and the chain seemed fine when I took it apart to change head gasket. That is in a pretty demanding climate.
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