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Old 11-21-2011, 09:33 PM   #1
noodles101
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what should i do? headgasket problem

so....... i have a headgasket problem .... lol

im loosing about a cup of coolant every 3 weeks.

its leaking very slowly and only sometimes from the passenger side engine area where o2 sensor and exhaust manifold is.

my car has 240k and everything works good on it except this headgasket problem

and i belive its around 1500~2000 to do the head gasket on it.

should i just keep topping my coolant and drive it?

is it even worth doing a head gasket work on a M52 motor with 240k on it?

should i just save some more money and do an engine swap? ( S52)

edit : i just got new rad / overflowtank due to my accident few months ago and ive never overheated my car before
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Old 11-21-2011, 09:55 PM   #2
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how well was the engine maintained and how hard do you beat the car?
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:10 PM   #3
noodles101
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yeah the engine is very very quiet and pulls smooth i have all service records of the car with regular oil changes of 7~8k oil change interval.

and its auto, and i drive like a grandma and i do alot of high way driving.
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Old 11-21-2011, 11:39 PM   #4
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I'd say make sure it's the headgasket first. It's leaking to the outside? A shop overheated my car during an etest and now i'm scared to shit my headgasket is leaking I swear there's a lot more white smoke/vapor than usual. It isn't overheating or anything.

What are some surefire ways to 100% rule out headgasket issues? Will a compression test show anything?
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Old 11-21-2011, 11:47 PM   #5
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^^ id like to know as well ..!!
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Old 11-22-2011, 12:08 AM   #6
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Best way is to do a leakdown test.

Start with a compression test. If it's a really slow leak though, it may not show up. By the sounds of it, it should.

Then, your leakdown test will tell you what the problem is. Pull out your dipstick, and open your overflow tank. If the leak is coming from the intake, it's an intake valve. exhaust = exhaust valve. Dipstick = rings. I'm guessing that if you have bubbles in overflow = HG leaking to cooling system.

Note that any of the above could also indicate a HG leak, if the leak is between cylinders. If that's the case, you should have at least two cylinders with lower pressure.

If you do the headgasket, make sure you get your head check/machined to make it true. They are known to warp.

Good luck!
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Old 11-22-2011, 12:17 AM   #7
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You should be getting it done for half of what you are expecting! I can give you some #'s if your shop is too expensive! Leaking outside is VERY rare, so get second oppinion.

If you dont want to fix it, you have a few ways of extending the life by a LOT.
(very cheap and effective too)
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Old 11-22-2011, 09:26 AM   #8
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Do the compression/leakdown tests to verify. If it is bad, fix it ASAP since the longer you drive, the more internal damage you will do since your oil is not lubricating well with coolant contaminating it. If it gets bad enough, I've heard that your engine will seize up. S52's are $2500 but many forum members claim that a M52 with S52 cams and software is pretty close in terms of output. If you think your motor is good, I would rather fix it since a swap is more of a gamble b/c you're taking the buyers word on the engine condition and even then it may need valve cover gaskets etc within a couple of years. If you repair your motor, put in S52 cams while you're in there since the cams have to be pulled for the HG job. Repairing your engine gives you new top end gaskets and seals and you're good for a few years; the bottom end usually last quite a long time (the only thing you might have to do down there is perhaps replace the oilpan gasket). Check out Tom in Cambridge (formerly Euroguy) for both the S52 and and the cams.

Last edited by kenmar; 11-22-2011 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 11-22-2011, 11:38 AM   #9
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^ you don't need to take the cams out for a HG job. You just have to be careful to lift the head out squarely so you don't bend one.
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Old 11-22-2011, 11:56 AM   #10
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im loosing about a cup of coolant every 2~3 weeks and i drive around 3k a month highways usually... is that alot of coolant loss?
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Old 11-22-2011, 12:16 PM   #11
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you shouldnt be losing any...

do the hg yourself?
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Old 11-22-2011, 03:51 PM   #12
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^ you don't need to take the cams out for a HG job. You just have to be careful to lift the head out squarely so you don't bend one.
Good to know since this makes doing a HG job more doable as a DIY job. But can a head be machined with the cams in place? Also, if you leave the cams in you wouldn't get to do the S52 cams...

The Bentley tells you to remove the cams which either requires the special BMW tool or the Pelican Parts technique. I guess removing the cams reduces the weight of the head a bit too since removing the head is apparently a 2-man lifting job.

If you do a compression test, you may want to do it more than once in order to verify the results. I did one recently and thought I was low on cylinder 5. One week later, I did it again and all cylinders were fine. My guess is that some dirt fell into 5 when I removed the plug (even though I vacuumed the plug well beforehand) and probably interfered with the compression

Last edited by kenmar; 11-22-2011 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 11-22-2011, 04:12 PM   #13
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^ that is true as well. If you need to get the head machined, you'll have to take the cams out. You don't need the special tool, but you will need to make sure they are lined up at TDC.

Once they are, find the lobes that is pushing down on the lifter. Loosen all the others nuts except for those ones. You can do this because none of the other lobes should be touching, so you won't be imposing any bending forces.

Next, loosen the nuts on that cap where the lobe is pushing down. Right before they're about to come off, turn the cam a bit so that there isn't as much pressure on the cap. It will prevent the nuts from flying off.
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Old 11-22-2011, 04:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noodles101 View Post
yeah the engine is very very quiet and pulls smooth i have all service records of the car with regular oil changes of 7~8k oil change interval.

and its auto, and i drive like a grandma and i do alot of high way driving.

If you drive like a grandma why are you even thinking about a S52 and all that engine work, puls its an automatic ? if someone can swap the gasket for less than 1000, ied go for just getting it swapped if your not down to doing it.

If the head really needs work (which is doubtfull if its not burning white smoke out the back) then considering an engine swap might be worth it, depending on how much work you feel like doing.. but thats another thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenmar View Post
Do the compression/leakdown tests to verify. If it is bad, fix it ASAP since the longer you drive, the more internal damage you will do since your oil is not lubricating well with coolant contaminating it. If it gets bad enough, I've heard that your engine will seize up. S52's are $2500 but many forum members claim that a M52 with S52 cams and software is pretty close in terms of output. If you think your motor is good, I would rather fix it since a swap is more of a gamble b/c you're taking the buyers word on the engine condition and even then it may need valve cover gaskets etc within a couple of years. If you repair your motor, put in S52 cams while you're in there since the cams have to be pulled for the HG job. Repairing your engine gives you new top end gaskets and seals and you're good for a few years; the bottom end usually last quite a long time (the only thing you might have to do down there is perhaps replace the oilpan gasket). Check out Tom in Cambridge (formerly Euroguy) for both the S52 and and the cams.
+1 should you feel like doing some work/ spending bunches of money
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DIY View Post
If you drive like a grandma why are you even thinking about a S52 and all that engine work, puls its an automatic ? if someone can swap the gasket for less than 1000, ied go for just getting it swapped if your not down to doing it.

If the head really needs work (which is doubtfull if its not burning white smoke out the back) then considering an engine swap might be worth it, depending on how much work you feel like doing.. but thats another thread



+1 should you feel like doing some work/ spending bunches of money
^^thanks for ur advice !
plus no white smoke and engine doesn't burn any oil.

i was actually planning on doing a manual swap lol now i gotta spend money on fixing the headgasket..

im trying to find a shop that can do it for good price.. i got quoted for $2000 .. and i think 2000 is little higher then i expected.
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