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Old 10-25-2009, 11:33 PM   #1
drewus
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Default Head Removal

Hi all,

Does anyone have detailed instruction on how to remove the head from an 87 325i ? The second cylinder intake rocker arm was broken when I went to adjust the valves. I asked at another forum and they suggested that I pull the head. I have worked on cars before but, I never pulled a head from a car. Is it easy as they say?

I am assuming that I have to take off the head so I can have clearance to pull out the camshaft and rocker shafts? Do I really have to pull out the camshaft just to pull out the rocker shafts?

I am also replacing all the belts gaskets and O rings but, i wasn't planning to replace the head gasket since it is fine.

Any suggestions? I was also told to raise the engine, remove the fan and radiator to have the clearance to pull out the rocker shafts if I did not want to remove the head.

Heads up.. I am replacing all the mounts on the car, u joint, all shift components and replace the canvas top. It's a vert project

This is my project for the winter an d all your input will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-25-2009, 11:53 PM   #2
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http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/tech...ead-Gasket.htm
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Old 10-26-2009, 12:06 AM   #3
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You could try looking on here. I started doing a head gasket write up now as I am in the process of doing this myself. Also, if anyone else looks at it, let me know if you see something wrong. I am still working on it so any info to make it right would be nice.

http://www.e30performance.info/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=890

Also, no you don't need to pull the cam. You're going to have to release the tension on the cam however to get the shaft out. In order to do that, pull all the rocker retainers. This is kinda like a puzzle game cause you have to keep spinning the cam around while moving rockers off the lobes. That's how I have done it in the past. You might want to think about getting all new rockers and maybe even new rocker shafts as well. Sometimes they can be a real bitch to get out depending on how much buildup is on the shafts....but they will eventually.

For someone who has done many head gaskets before, this can easily be done in an afternoon. On a scale of 1-10...it like a 7-8 probably. You said that you're not going to replace the head gasket....sorry my friend you have to. If you pull the head, the gasket is junk. Its a one time use thing and so are the head bolts. Just get a quality head gasket though. Stay away from victor reinz head gaskets... they seep oil badly after 10k miles...


Lastly, you were told that you can replace the rocker with out pulling the head...well you can but you need to make a little tool to do. The tool is for compressing a valve spring so you can release tension on the rocker shaft and slide to back. I have never done this before...but yeah. You can do it.
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Old 10-26-2009, 12:08 AM   #4
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ive heard of people changing broken rockers without removing the head before, although ive never done it myself.
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Old 10-26-2009, 03:27 PM   #5
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The HG is pretty cheap, I'd go ahead and replace it unless there was a really good reason not too. Also when you take the head off you will likely find that the old head gasket gets a little damaged.

There's been some times when I did not bother to replace the HG, but it had little or no hours on it, and I was going to use stronger bolts that would compress it more then it had already been deformed. I don't think that either of those apply to you. I'd replace it.
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:13 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the input. I will remove the head however, I don't have an air gun to torque all the bolts to the right pressure. I will be doing it by hand. Is that safe to do?
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:23 PM   #7
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The head bolts??? or just any bolts.

You have to follow the procedure when installing the head bolts. I haven't gotten to that point just yet though. You are going to want to get a torque wrench to do those too.

Most of the other bolts... I jsut tighten as much as I can. That being said....don't take a 2ft long 1/2" breaker bar to torque down a 10mm bolt. Use good judgement, or get a manual to use as a reference. If something is called out for 18 in lb and something else is 18 ft#, they do not get the same amount of torque.
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:55 PM   #8
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ten2doyle102, Thanks for the info. I looked at your writeup on removing the head and it is great. I will follow your writeup. I have a 87 325e as well as a parts car. I was thinking of removing the head on that as practice before I tackle the i head. But, I was also thinking of stealing one of the rocker arms from the 325e head and putting it in the i head.

Or.... take the head from the i and put it in the 87 325e but, my concern is the ECU. Isn't that programmed differently or can I use the ECU from the 325i?
This is the deal. The 325e's electrical, interior and exterior is mint but, it won't start. The 325e has a 2.93 LSD, The 87 325i is a vert, has 16 inch rims, 3.23 LSD, low profile tires, the interior is shot to hell, the top is worn to crap, the electric doesn't work in the cluster/ wipers/signals, BUT it starts right up with no problems with the exception of the broken rocker arm. What should I do?

Take the i head and put it in the 325e?
Fix up the vert by using the parts from the 325e?

I plan on drifting with the car so the vert is not a good idea but the body is mint. I can always transfer the body parts from the vert to the 325e, i.e. panels, rims..

What would you do?
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Old 10-27-2009, 01:46 PM   #9
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Default A question related to the head gasket

I am rebuilding the head gasket on my 1990 325is as well. When I removed the old head gasket, I noticed that some holes in the original gasket were smaller than the aligned holes in the head and block. I believe these were intended to keep the coolant flowing from the block to the head. Has anyone noticed what I'm talking about? would these smaller holes restrict the flow and thus cause the engine to overheat?
Thanks,
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Old 10-27-2009, 02:25 PM   #10
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I do not know why they are smaller, but that's just how they are. It should'nt lead to any kind of overheating though.

Some people actually have the coolant passages in the Head welded to increase strength in boost applications.
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