B3s Touring no. 104 6 sp Manual conversion completed 12/3/18

Thought we'd tempt out our budding photographers. Share your photos. We'll add different themes from time to time.
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simon13
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Mon May 27, 2013 9:25 pm

As some may know I bought this off Bruce earlier this month, after he started a thread on it in general chat. I can't help myself so here it is. I had it recovered from Scotland down here to surrey. So I've bought it blind but I needn't of worried as the car is as Bruce described and better in some respects. A credit to him



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Anyhow with the milege hitting 113,000 and the jobs that's mount up at this kind of milege and it was running rough with a potential headgasket going/gone which these are famous for Bruce threw the towel in.



For me to have a go and revive her to former glory


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We had all 3 here the other night with my mate Steve over who I sold the e30 to last year. I had to get the camera out as its a real rarity to have 3 generations of these together



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With the bi turbo running well, we can divert to this baby!


Suspected head gasket, which they are famous for across the fire rings. Although some mayo was present



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So onto a compression test see whats what. It was running badly anyhow

So the results where

No.6 190 psi
No.5 215 psi
No.4 220 psi
No.3 175 psi
No.2 145 psi
No.1 135 psi

Hmmm, all over the shop, no 10% deviation here! My moneys on pots 1 and 2 sharing some air! So this warrants further investigation.




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Rocker off, this explains the mayo. These engines always end up like this if they sit like this clearly has for a while. They get damp under the rocker, how I don't know




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I thought i'd time it up to check how things were. Now this slots over both cams and sits down on the head when all is well. The timing is out on this! No way it was ever going to fit!


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this is the same tool being used my e36 top end rebuild. This is how it sits when the timing is spot on. there was no way it was going on the e46!




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Something well awry here, the chain has been wearing the bolt heads down on the back of the vanos unit! The unit is also stamped up with "99" on it. Theres no way a 2004 built alpina would of left the factory with a 99 vanos unit in my eyes




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The chain is worn, the sprocket is f ** ked its all ball bagged here really and theres aloads of play in the vanos gear in every direction. I can't remember if this is normal when off the engine?


No wonder it felt flat? It can't of gone very well like this even before the now potential headgasket going?



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Horrid, these where nasty when they were 5 years old. No chance of getting this undone on the car.......so to plan B. But First




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My favourite BMw tool for removing the cams on these 24v sixes also does the 318iS engines



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Cams out, inlet unbolted. Theres surprisingly a lot more room on the exhaust side than an e36 so I was able to unbolt the manifolds from the head with ease tbh.



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Head off and just like they all do! big time here



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It was going here and on another also which eplains the other iffy compression readings.




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Even with timing out its not had any contact in my eyes



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So that's where its at. I'm going to get the head pressure tested to be sure. And get some expensive alpina bits on order


Theres other job to do while i'm waiting like discs and pads all round, wishbones as theres play in the ball joints on both sides and the rear bushes are gone.
Last edited by simon13 on Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:42 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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jamesa
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Mon May 27, 2013 10:33 pm

Thank you Simon,

Great info ...
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polynesian2
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Mon May 27, 2013 11:46 pm

Fascinating. Good luck with the work, though luck doesn't seem to have much to do with your level of knowledge.

I would love this car to replace our E91... It's such a classy alpina. Have fun with it and keep us posted on your progress.
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AidanB10
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Tue May 28, 2013 12:21 am

Great start to the thread!

Enjoyed your E34 thread, so i'll be watching this one too! 8)
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drewjak
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Tue May 28, 2013 5:18 am

Brilliant, looking forward to reading and viewing the pics on this thread.

Interesting pics of the vanos, i have this thing about my vanos that it was never done right when i had it done, as it has always had a slight noise ever since, this has now made me very paranoid and wanting to take a look inside very quickly.:?

Especially as i remember him showing me that the cam locking tool wouldn't fit and looking just like it does in your pic !

IIRC the vanos piston is supposed to be quite tight and have very little if any loose movement in it apart from its intended movement of in and out

Im sure a man of you knowledge will be well aware that there are rebuild kits available from http://www.beisansystems.com/index.html in the usa , and from what i remember the sprockets and chains etc are all relativly cheap and available from the dealers.
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Chas
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Tue May 28, 2013 7:47 am

Nice one Simon. Does Bruce know if the Vanos was ever replaced, and if so, by who?
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Tue May 28, 2013 8:54 am

Fascinating Simon you are relentless, and so informative, keep up the good work

Cheers
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simon13
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Tue May 28, 2013 10:06 am

Well the experts on e30zone seem to think that as this type of single vanos engines went out of production in 1999 that the date stamping is normal. Alpina bought up a large stock of these for their needs on the e46 and Z4. Which makes sense

Another theory which can makes sense is the exhaust cam sprocket has slipped over time to cause this. Theres a lot of adjustment in it. Another zoner reports have this rough running problem on his alpina 3.2 engine and it was this that caused it.

So maybe its not? i'm hoping that replacing enough of the bits and timing it back up with a new gasket will yield a result!!

My camera is broke so i'm on the i phone for now.

I'm going to have another look at the vanos unit get some pics up. Sharing info always get the results as we don't know it all!
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Tue May 28, 2013 3:54 pm

Another fascinating write up Simon

Look forward to the next update
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Tue May 28, 2013 5:54 pm

When I rebuilt my vanos on my b3s I had the same issue with the cam locks not lining up with the block. It made me think the timing was off but seeing yours is the same and someone else commenting on theres not lining up did alpina do something different with the cams or is there an alpina specific tool to lock the cams?
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drewjak
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Tue May 28, 2013 7:23 pm

jonny320is wrote:When I rebuilt my vanos on my b3s I had the same issue with the cam locks not lining up with the block. It made me think the timing was off but seeing yours is the same and someone else commenting on theres not lining up did alpina do something different with the cams or is there an alpina specific tool to lock the cams?

This is something that i have thought about, if Alpina set them different as they use their own inlet cam and a standard exhaust cam.

From reading many things e46 related over the years, i dont think its uncommon for the timing to be out on them when a lock is offered up to them.

Another problem is the alignment of the crank pulley at TDC as you apparently have to have a mirror at the correct angle to get it right ,as if you don't it looks like the pulley mark is in the right position but isnt, but the engine is very capable of adjusting to compensate enough to still drive ,just not to its full potential.

Maybe Phil Crouch could shed some light on the timing set up, or either e mail Alpina And ask them?
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simon13
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Tue May 28, 2013 8:26 pm

and i'm guessing with the vanos rebuilt and the timing correct its performance was transformed jonny?

I would assume that the engine is timed up like any other 6 pot single vanos bm engine. My 3.2 e36 certainly was.

I ordered a headgasket today. £424+VAT :shock: the fact there are 3 in stock at Northampton tells you all you need to know about it! BMW GB never keep alpina bits in stock. Bar wheel badges and alpina scripts.

It was a rainy day so I've got a lot of running about done quick. Heads at the machine shop for a pressure test to be sure.


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These are the rear springs, I've dropped them off to be shot blasted and re powder coated. Seeing as that's an e36/46 favourite snapping rear springs and the no doubt huge cost or replacement alpina springs


Back to the vanos




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inside the unit. Looks ok to me but again I've nothing to compare




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You can see where this big washer has worn against the back of the unit. There is also a lot of play in this part of the unit. I guess its no there when the gear is engaged in the cam.



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Where the chain has worn on the bolts. Question is wheres all the swarf/shit gone...........I'm hoping for an oil filter rescue/oil pump filter save but we might need to peek the bottom end jorunals to be sure



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This the inlet sprocket, its all burred and knarly



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exhaust side sprocket, the teeth are worn uneven and they're getting a bit to spikey i think.


All ideas on a postcard to the usual address.
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simon13
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Tue May 28, 2013 8:30 pm

drewjak wrote:
jonny320is wrote:When I rebuilt my vanos on my b3s I had the same issue with the cam locks not lining up with the block. It made me think the timing was off but seeing yours is the same and someone else commenting on theres not lining up did alpina do something different with the cams or is there an alpina specific tool to lock the cams?

This is something that i have thought about, if Alpina set them different as they use their own inlet cam and a standard exhaust cam.

From reading many things e46 related over the years, i dont think its uncommon for the timing to be out on them when a lock is offered up to them.

Another problem is the alignment of the crank pulley at TDC as you apparently have to have a mirror at the correct angle to get it right ,as if you don't it looks like the pulley mark is in the right position but isnt, but the engine is very capable of adjusting to compensate enough to still drive ,just not to its full potential.

Maybe Phil Crouch could shed some light on the timing set up, or either e mail Alpina And ask them?
Well i'm assuming this is like the other engines and you can lock the crank at TDC. The the cams and off you go as such. The slight trick is having the little vanos tool to get the unit to engage properly. Because if it doesn't it can all go wrong quickly.

I know Phil Crouch well, so maybe a call to pick his brains will help like you say. He wants some brickwork doing!
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Charles
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Tue May 28, 2013 11:34 pm

simon13 wrote:I know Phil Crouch well, so maybe a call to pick his brains will help like you say. He wants some brickwork doing!
Phil set the timing on mine after changing the last (!) HG, so he should know the answer.

However, he might mutter about the "flywheel" as I have the upgraded ALPINA part (courtesy of a cracked BMW original part) and the locking pin hole was in completely the wrong place to be of any use. Eventually established TDC the old fashioned way with a long shafted screwdriver sticking out of the cylinder :shock:

As for the cranks lining up, Phil had the appropriate tool for the job ...
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simon13
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Thu May 30, 2013 10:00 pm

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Potential brainwave..............

this pic is my e36 B3




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not the best but if you look in the first pic theres 3 M6 nuts holding the show together.

Where are they on this e46 pic? I never took any off. Theres non in the box I've put all the vanos/chain stuff in........

Could be my answer I think. Question is why? or has someone been forgetful? Not alpina surely!!



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I don't have a pic of what this should look like from my e36.... would help greatly here
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