Hello there and welcome to the BMW Car Club of America.

If you are a BMW CCA member, please log in and introduce yourself in our Member Introductions section.

Engine rebuild

Discussion in 'E39 (1997-2003)' started by monbio98, Aug 30, 2011.

    monbio98 guest

    Post Count: 2
    Likes Received:0
    I have a 2002 540 6-speed that i would like to keep for a long time. The car has 171K miles. The body is cosmetically perfect and all major wear items in the on the drive train and suspension have been replaced. Recently the timing chain tensioner or guide has failed. the engine runs but it sounds like a bucket of bolts. A new engine is 14+K. My advisors do not recommend fixing the engine as it has to be pulled, and is 22 hour job plus parts. At the end of the day, you will still have an engine with 171K miles on it. He suggested finding a lower mileage used engine or scrap the vehicle. I have other vehicles, so i am in no hurry. Does any one know of a quality engine rebuilder? Any advise would be greatly appreciated as i would like to keep the car although I know it is may not be economically viable to do so.
    • Member

    MGarrison

    Post Count: 2,905
    Likes Received:151
    You might have better luck

    You might have better luck trying your local chapter contacts - if you can find someone local to do what you want, that's better than adding on shipping charges.

    You don't say if you're inclined to find another motor, or rebuild yours. Depending on what shape your motor is in, perhaps rebuilding would be just fine, assuming you can find a competent rebuilder.

    Either way, the engine has to come out, so you're stuck with that expense regardless; can't be rebuilt in the car.

    Rebuilding is expensive - thousands, I'd guess at least $5k, maybe twice that.

    So, a used motor almost assuredly would be less than rebuilding; however, if you have one of these motors out of the car, you'll definitely want to do all the things they typically need - valley pan gasket, addressing vanos issues (pumps, seals, etc.), oil separator valve, valve cover gaskets, oil pan gasket (checking oil pump bolts), water pump, other wear items, hoses, might as well do timing chain tensioner and so on while access is easy, yadda-yadda-yadda. If it were me and I had the budget for it, I'd want to do everything so it'd be starting with a relatively clean slate and could run to the next 100k relatively worry free.

    If there's a downside to that family of V8's, it's that the complexity of their design means just that much more to deal with as the miles accumulate, typically after 100k. And if you're doing all that much, you'd probably want one of those nifty-spifty Zionsville Autosport 100% aluminum very expensive radiators that won't fail, unlike the plastic componnents in the oem radiator. And the fan blade, don't forget to replace that. Anyway - you get the point, taking care of everything that needs addressing on these motors that are around the 100k mark is gonna be expensive. Not likely you'll find too many motors with extremely low mileage, and if you get something with even 60k or 80k on it, it still would be worthwhile to address everything that would be more expensive to do with the engine installed.

    Comes down to budget and what you want to do - just about anything can be done if you're willing to pay for it. If you're mechanically inclined, & have the time & ambition, perhaps it would be feasible to do varying amounts of the work yourself. Pulling a motor and reinstalling it isn't impossible, but you have to be careful, methodical, patient, and employ some creative problem solving to fill in the gaps that the Bentley Manual leaves out (sometimes the internet has answers). You also need a pretty good collection of tools (that ain't exactly cheap), and there are safety risks - you can hurt yourself working on cars (kinda sucks to get killed 'cause you dropped the car on yourself trying to get it on jack stands, for instance). That can save some money, but I've always found it takes me longer than the pros - and, it takes research. Without the experience, knowledge-base, and resources a BMW-dedicated shop has, you want to make sure you have the bases covered. Last thing you want when d-i-y'ing (after not killing or seriously injuring yourself) is to find out later you could have easily done what now is going to take 7 hrs of labor.

    Roundel vendors perhaps might be a reference for finding a quality re-builder.

    If you're driving an automatic, better count on some maintenance for that - unless an auto tranny has been regularly and well maintained, it could be on borrowed time by 150k.

    Of course, with the engine out, there's the other miscellanea to address - anything with the transmission and drivetrain, again, because you're already there. So, more potential expense.

Share This Page