Help! Trying to find engine casting #... - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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#1 (permalink) Old 09-26-2005, 10:07 PM
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Help! Trying to find engine casting #...

I'm trying to confirm if my new-to-me 1994 540i is Nikasil. Somehow tho, I haven't been able to follow these "easy" instructions: "How do you tell which material is in your short block ? That part is fairly easy. But it requires getting under the right front of the car. All M60 and M62 blocks have casting numbers on the right side, directly alongside the 3rd cylinder, slightly above the coolant drain bolt" (http://www.bimmerwerkz.com/forum/sho...light=nikasil).

Here is a picture looking down on the right side of my V8 (top cover removed). You can see in the pic where I brushed off a number on the right-center of the photo. There is also a bar code at the left of the photo. Both of these two number strings start with "1 7..." and have the same number of characters, but neither of them match each other nor do they match the supposed casting numbers for nikasil engines (1 725 963 or 1 742 998).

Would someone please kindly point me to where I find the official casting number on my engine? Thanks!
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#2 (permalink) Old 09-27-2005, 09:51 PM
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what does Nikasil mean?
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#3 (permalink) Old 09-28-2005, 12:34 AM
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Reply about Nikasil...

For those of you who have somehow managed to not come across the infamous Nikasil issue: Search wikipedia.com, they have a good article. In summary, in about 1993-1995, BMW used Nikasil instead of Alusil to line the cylinders in their E34 engines. Although these engines worked great using high-quality gasoline in Europe, Nikasil actually breaks down in the presence of sulfur.

In the U.S., we've had a problem of high amounts of sulfur in our gasoline (companies are required to leave no more than 1000 ppm of sulfur in gas). Thus after 30K, 50K, 100K mi, etc, many unhappy BMW E34 owners were coming back to BMW with engines that had completely lost compression and wouldn't start anymore. BMW issued an extended warranty of 6 years and 100,000 miles (from date of purchase) to all affected BMW owners, whether they bought their car new or used.

It tends to be that the more refined, higher grades of gasoline have less sulfur content. That is why it would be good if your E34 has used premium fuel all its life. Region also has something to do with sulfur-levels... where I live in Chicago, sulfur levels are among the highest in the nation, while in Califeornia, gov't allows no more than 30 ppm. The good news is that by 2006 a new Teir II gov't regulation will require all fuel across the nation to have sulfur levels of no more than 30 ppm (mainly for enviromental reasons).

I just got my 1994 540i (E34) recently and found out about this issue after my purchase I will probably rough it out, though, and treat my car well in hopes that it will do the same to me .

So back to my question: ***Where EXACTLY is the casting number on my engine?? Thank you in advance for your help!
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#4 (permalink) Old 09-28-2005, 01:56 AM
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well if they dont match the nikasil part numbers then i would recon that it isnt a nikasil engine...goto a bmw dealer, they can tell you.

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#5 (permalink) Old 09-30-2005, 07:19 PM
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I know some say you can see the casting number from the top, but I don't see how (unless you are a contortionist with a mirror). I found the best way was to look up from underneath.

If you think of your V8 as a "V", the top forms a cup (so to speak). The number is cast into the block on the lower underneath part of the "V" so that the "cup" shades it out. When you look from the top you are looking into the cup. You need to look up from below to see the number.

Some say you won't need to remove any covers. Again, I don't see how. I had to remove the plastic cover underneath the front of the car. It is roughly 1' by 3' wide and held in place by 4 plastic nuts. It protects the oil pan. Once I removed the cover I could look up and see the casting number. In my case, 1 745 872a.

Hope this helps

<img src='http://bmw-540i.com/images/540i/540i.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />
<a href='http://www.bmw-540i.com' target='_blank'>My BMW 540i website</a>
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#6 (permalink) Old 10-08-2005, 09:43 PM
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!!!!!!

:lol: wow... Cambridge, thanks for pointing me to where to find the casting number. Again, I have a 1994 540i, yet I carefully noted the embossed casting number to be 1 745 872c !!! I've only had the car for two months, but if I understand this correctly, one of the previous owners must have replaced the original engine with an alusil short block (?) Someone slap me on the face, I must be dreaming...
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#7 (permalink) Old 10-08-2005, 11:59 PM
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Fantastic!

Glad to hear the good news! Seems like you picked up a nice bonus.

<img src='http://bmw-540i.com/images/540i/540i.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />
<a href='http://www.bmw-540i.com' target='_blank'>My BMW 540i website</a>
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#8 (permalink) Old 10-09-2005, 12:19 AM
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Fantastic news!

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