Considering Purchase of 94 530i - Has 'miss with suspected bad head gasket' ... - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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#1 (permalink) Old 07-12-2009, 03:26 PM
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Considering Purchase of 94 530i - Has 'miss with suspected bad head gasket' ...

... per the seller. I haven't gotten my hands or eyes on it yet but am curious if this is common and if there are any tell-tale signs that it may be a deeper issue. I have had a wide variety of engines apart and am fairly savvy about what to look for in 'general' but was wondering if the folks here may have some vehicle specific hints or idiosyncratic quirks that I should keep in mind.

And as a follow up ... is the head gasket R&R on this motor pretty straight forward ?

My intent is to use this car for a daily driver for my work which will put a lot of miles on it. Stop and go as well as some longer stints. I really like the compromise of comfort, handling and durability of this era 5 series.

Any help or input is welcome...

Thanx in advance
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#2 (permalink) Old 07-12-2009, 07:10 PM
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I'd be weary about buying a car with a shot head gasket. Especially when the seller doesn't want to get it fixed. It makes me wonder if there are additional problems there as well.
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#3 (permalink) Old 07-12-2009, 07:52 PM
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Right.... I appreciate the input but I am actually looking for real information. The owner would fix it if he had the choice but that isn't really the question. I am hoping that some one may have some more valuable insight relating to the symptoms, repair experience, other things to look for given the information supplied.

I have since looked at and driven the car. It is using a bit of coolant, has the miss on what seems to be two of the drivers side bank of cylinders, and that is it. There wasn't any noticeable pressurization of the coolant tank. It drove really well, shifted great and felt super tight given the quick short drive. I am willing to take a slight risk as the asking price is worth it.

Any one have any experience with pulling the heads on this motor? Any one have a head gasket go out and repair it?

Any real productive input would be welcome....

Cheers!
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#4 (permalink) Old 07-13-2009, 12:27 AM
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BimmerE39 is right, that doesn't sound like a great car right now. You aren't going to get a whole lot deeper insight, if nayone can tell you anything it will be their experience with something somewhat like you are describing, since none of us can get up under the hood and have a look or drive we wont really know. My advice is do one of two things: 1. If you are handy with engines and could figure it out yourself and feel like there is nothing else wrong with the car and the price is attractive, go for it. 2. Save the money you would use on it and continue saving and buy something that has no problems and wont need fixing up. By the time you fix the problem, and the problems that are probably also there you will have spent the moneyy it would have taken to get a very nice, smooth running 540i, or 530i or what ever you want, E34s aren't that expensive if you look in the right places. Good luck with what ever you choose.

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#5 (permalink) Old 07-13-2009, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasei View Post
BimmerE39 is right, that doesn't sound like a great car right now. You aren't going to get a whole lot deeper insight, if nayone can tell you anything it will be their experience with something somewhat like you are describing, since none of us can get up under the hood and have a look or drive we wont really know. My advice is do one of two things: 1. If you are handy with engines and could figure it out yourself and feel like there is nothing else wrong with the car and the price is attractive, go for it. 2. Save the money you would use on it and continue saving and buy something that has no problems and wont need fixing up. By the time you fix the problem, and the problems that are probably also there you will have spent the moneyy it would have taken to get a very nice, smooth running 540i, or 530i or what ever you want, E34s aren't that expensive if you look in the right places. Good luck with what ever you choose.
While I appreciate the opinions I am looking for less of a lesson on how to buy a car and more of the type of information about what the repair is like - from someone who may have done it.

Is there anyone here that may have that type of experience?
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#6 (permalink) Old 07-13-2009, 01:00 PM
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Fine...first off. If it is determined that there is a problem with a head gasket, you are going to have to replace both head gaskets even if only one is damaged. You're obviously going to have to compression check the heads to see they're still good. Also, you're going to want to identify what caused a headgasket to go bad to begin with and fix it. Otherwise, what would have been the point?

I helped a buddy of mine replace both head gaskets on an M62 which is very similar to the M60 in the '94 530i you are looking at. Bottom line it was a real PITA which is why I said what I said above. He bought the car damaged like that and it's not been the most reliable car in the world.
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#7 (permalink) Old 07-13-2009, 01:02 PM
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my head gasket leaks oil and i hope its only the gasket, i got told you can tell if the head is cracked if you check the coolant then drive it and if it uses alot its probly cracked. i dont no if it true but i dont no any other way to check then pulling the head off.
good luck
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#8 (permalink) Old 07-13-2009, 10:44 PM
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Lightbulb

You're looking at an engine in a 15-year old car with a lot of mileage on it. You wish to hear that it is only a head gasket to be replaced. There, go buy it.

In my opinion, that engine never came out and now is a good time to rebuild it checking all metals bottom and top, and bringing it to spick and span. From what happened to the engine I would thoroughly check also the transmission, suspension, drive train, admission, exhaust, and ignition, just to mention the indispensable items to move the beast. You may not wish to hear what I wrote but somebody ought to say it so you make your decision objectively. I can feel you're hot for the car so make sure you see the forest, not only the trees. Good luck.

Sorry about the preaching. Cheers. Bim

Last edited by Bimmermann; 07-13-2009 at 10:47 PM.
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#9 (permalink) Old 07-13-2009, 11:10 PM
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Wow Bimmerman ... you missed the mark on what I want to hear.... I wanted to hear ( read ) that some one had information on the dynamics of the repair.... I have been buying and selling cars for almost 3 decades and know how to do that ( as I expressed )...

Thanks though for the time and energy anyway....

I have already found the answer elsewhere.

Salut.
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#10 (permalink) Old 07-14-2009, 12:35 PM
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I bought my 530 under similar conditions as it was supposedly overheating but it turned out to be just a bad temperature sender. I had begun to do my homework as to what is required to change the head gaskets. First, you need a special Torx socket ($25) to get to the head bolts, which need to be replaced (one time use, $40), then you need to buy a cam timing tool ($160 on Ebay if lucky) to hold all 4 camshafts in place while the TDC is set and the cam sprocket bolts are tightened. Prepare to spend at least $400 in gaskets because the head gasket set (about $180), get this, comes WITHOUT the head gaskets which are about $60 a piece and is also missing the 22 rubber grommets ($22) for the valve cover nuts. I got the gasket set since my car was leaking oil very badly and needed to be done anyway.
Which brings me to the point, is he sure that the miss is a head gasket? In this engines when the valve cover seals go bad, oil tends to accumulate in the spark plug area and if it gets bad enough, could short the coils. Coolant loss could be the infamous valley pan gasket, which you can no longer get by itself as you have to buy the pan with a sealant bead on it (another $75). I would do a compression test and have the cooling system pressure tested to locate, confirm the leak. it could even be the water pump seal!

Last edited by jimoreno; 07-14-2009 at 12:38 PM.
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