B3.3 - Head Gasket?

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Mr Scruff
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B3.3 - Head Gasket?

Post by Mr Scruff » Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:06 pm

This post is cathartic as much as anything - not much I can do until garages open on Monday...

But....

Driving my e46 B3.3 yesterday. Did about 25 miles pottering about, stopped twice to do things, everything running wonderfully.

Pulled into my driveway and the car started running terribly, really lumpy idle to the extent that it wouldn’t run without some gas.

Checked this morning and it’s still the same but something has leaked/is leaking from the car. Slightly oily sheen but no colour or smell.

My fear is that this is coolant, and previous owner didn’t have a strong enough antifreeze mix. Wondering if recent cold weather has meant head gasket? However:

1) Aware this is pretty unusual on the 3.3, more common on the 3.4?
2) If that was the case how come it was running so well for the 2 hours or so before?

Does look to me like the coolant has dropped though. Also think there might be water in the PAS fluid too but can’t see how that can link to rough running.

To say I’m annoyed/disillusion is an understatement. Car is high miles at 164k but it’s had a lot of love and attention over the years (there’s a huge progress file from the PO on this very forum). I bought in May this year and it’s alrady swallowed quite a lot of cash, not looking forward to spending more to repair this one.

Ikule
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Re: B3.3 - Head Gasket?

Post by Ikule » Sun Nov 10, 2019 6:52 pm

Well if it is the head gasket then have a look at the thread about mine when it started weeping at the back of the block on the 3.2 engine,
which is the same bore size as your 3.3 as you can see from the head gasket part number below, (your additional capacity comes from a longer stroke crankshaft),
the amount and correct grade of antifreeze is important and, I think, that's where things went wrong with mine as mentioned in the thread.

https://thealpinaregister.com/forums/vi ... 38&t=15257

Hopefully it turns out to be something else on yours and is a quick fix, good luck.

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Steve C



'98 B10 3.2 #88 (for summer cruising)
'04 Mini Cooper S (commuting/sacrificial shopping trolley target....)
'94 325i Coupe SOLD
'88 Vauxhall Senator 3.0i SOLD
'90 Astra MkII GTE 16V (Turbo conversion) SOLD

Mr Scruff
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Re: B3.3 - Head Gasket?

Post by Mr Scruff » Sun Nov 10, 2019 7:33 pm

That seems remarkably familiar - and mine is #88 too.

Am hacked off with it tbh. Tempted to leave it in the garage and sulk but not really a long term option. I’m midway between Phil at CPC and the guys at TCS in High Wycombe- will get it recovered to one or the other and just tell them to fix it.

(Maybe. Or just flog it broken. Or fix it then sell it. Or part exchange it. Or or or....)

ali
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Re: B3.3 - Head Gasket?

Post by ali » Sun Nov 10, 2019 9:26 pm

What does it look like under your oil filler cap ?
Is the expansion tank still full?
Did the temp gauge go through the roof at any stage ?
B3 3.3 Touring #108
B10 V8 #540
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Mr Scruff
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Re: B3.3 - Head Gasket?

Post by Mr Scruff » Sun Nov 10, 2019 9:56 pm

Oil looks fine, no gunk/mayo. Temperature didn’t spike at any point and needle remained in middle of gauge.

Expansion tank is low and there are active drops from bottom of car (or at least there were when I put it back in the garage this morning). I’ve got a couple of trays under it to see what I can collect.

Who knows, guessing head gasket as seems to make sense but in all honesty I’m just guessing. I’m about 10 miles from Phil at CPC so will make a call tomorrow and see if I can get I recovered to him for a proper diagnosis.

Mainly just venting. I bought in May, since then it’s had 2 new tyres, front wheel refurb, some paint, the auto-electrician has been out to sort the heated seats and some warning lights, it’s had a service and checkover and just this week £500 on getting the audio sorted.

Henry
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Re: B3.3 - Head Gasket?

Post by Henry » Tue Nov 12, 2019 7:43 pm

Watching with interest :shock:
B3 1999 (090)
E30 M3 1990
X5 4.6is
VW Mk4 R32

Mr Scruff
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Re: B3.3 - Head Gasket?

Post by Mr Scruff » Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:56 pm

And so off goes #88 to CPC. Fingers crossed for a simple - and cheap - verdict!

I'm going to move the rest of the comments into the main thread for this car:

https://thealpinaregister.com/forums/vi ... &start=165
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Rav
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Re: B3.3 - Head Gasket?

Post by Rav » Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:26 pm

That looks lovely - even if it is on the back of a breakdown lorry....
1999 #032 Alpina B3 3.3 saloon (UK Press Car) - Buchloe Beast
2000 Porsche Boxster S - viola
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Mr Scruff
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Re: B3.3 - Head Gasket?

Post by Mr Scruff » Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:35 pm

Thanks, I do love the way these cars look (when they're not on the back of a breakdown truck! :lol: )

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Charles
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Re: B3.3 - Head Gasket?

Post by Charles » Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:59 pm

It's in safe hands - they've done all but one of the HGs on my B3S along with everything else that's been needed. Ideally, see if you can get Boris to do the work.
Charles
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Metrics
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Re: B3.3 - Head Gasket?

Post by Metrics » Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:10 pm

Charles wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:59 pm
see if you can get Boris to do the work.
Hope he's more honest and sincere as a mechanic compared to being our Prime Minister

:wink:
2012 Alpina D5 BiTurbo No. 13
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Mr Scruff
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Re: B3.3 - Head Gasket?

Post by Mr Scruff » Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:00 pm

Charles wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:59 pm
It's in safe hands - they've done all but one of the HGs on my B3S along with everything else that's been needed. Ideally, see if you can get Boris to do the work.
Still hoping that my armchair diagnosis isn’t that at all, and instead it’s something entirely simple :shock: Well, a man can dream...

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