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    Timing chain

    Ok, I'm looking for a consensus here. My M5 has 82,000 miles on it. Never been on a track, and I don't push it hard - never over 4500RPM. Still got the original timing chain & guide. Am I heading for trouble yet? If not now, when? Any guess on cost for the job?
    Thanks, guys.


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    Wow - Never over 4,500rpm?

    Doc Dave - I guess you should do the timing chain, but as soon as it is done take it over 5K. I do that all the time as part of regular driving. I don't think there is anyone on the list that will tell you it will cause any damage as all. BMW's redline is 6.5K. You are really babying the car. It is far more capable then you are giving it credit. I would be more concerned about the damage caused by lugging the engine. You don't drive it below 2K - do you?

    Dean M5 (175,000) '88 ///M5
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  3. #3
    lkfoster
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    Re: Timing chain

    When a timing chain goes depends on a number of variables. Some things wear out with use and other things with age and temperature.

    For example, when I did my chain at 170k miles the rubber-coated ramps are fine, not much wear and no signs of being brittle. The plastic guide, the most common failure point, was also not brittle but had almost totally worn through the mounting holes. This was for a car that gets driven in a warm climate, rarely gets spun up into the higher rpms and has almost always had Mobil 1 synthetic to help keep oil temperatures down. Others have had much different results.

    Parts and tool costs for my chain was around $1,800 usd. Labor, albeit largely unskilled (me), was free.

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    Re: Wow - Never over 4,500rpm?

    Does it GO below 2K? No, I let her run, just don't beat her too hard. Good, quick 2-lane driving most of the time, occasional on-ramp romps (love to shake up the young guys in the Civics & Eclipses).

  5. #5
    Bruce
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    I did mine myself at about 75k miles 2 years ago

    the parts were in great condition. No significant wear on any of the parts. If you pull the valve cover and take a long careful look you may be able to see the plastic guide and see if it is worn. Mine was not at all. Check the sprokets for being pointy.

    Where are u located? Maybe someone that has taken one apart can take a look with you?

    THe job is quite straight forward. The hardest part is cleaning everyting before putting it back together. The hub nut is the critical technical part, but easy with the right tools. Overall I would say 4 hours to take apart, 4 to put it together,, and 8 hours of cleaning parts. There was a little cutting of the long rail needed. Somewhere that is doccumented. Ask again if you want this explained.

    Steve H got me the parts, (make sure you have the teeny O-Rings that go into the pivot of the long tensioner rail) for WAY Less than $1800

    I wonder if I should start a business of travelling to people's houses, and doing the work on site? Could be good M5 fun.

    Bruce

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    Re: I did mine myself at about 75k miles 2 years ago

    I'm located in Upstate New York, not far from Albany. I'm currently short on time for pulling things apart (family crisis), but I've got a good work area - may consider tackling it later this summer or fall. I'd be open to consultation, if anybody's in this area. Until then, I'll just have to be gentle with her.

  7. #7
    lkfoster
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    Oops, a bit less but not by much

    I went back and checked my records. Parts, courtesy of Steve Heygood, were $1,220 usd and tools were another $276. This was for everything that could be replaced, including sprockets and oil pump. Tools included a 3/4" drive 600 ft-lb torque wrench from eBay.

    It took me a weekend. It took me more time getting all the accessories off and the oil pan out than the actual chain replacement.

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    good writeup on todd kenyons site


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    Re: Timing chain

    We talkin' S38 double row chain? If so, I've never seen one break. The single row chains in the M88 are the ones that break.

    Anyway, it's not the milage on the chain that kills. It's the age of the chain **guides.**

    They get brittle and break apart, sometimes just falling into the pan, sometimes jamming the chain and sprockets. Scottie Sharpe
    84 745i 15 lbs boost, BMWTurboPerformance.com MAF kit, 17x9 3pc BBS, clean underwear, Executive Interior
    88 Dinan-badged M5, M88 motor with 2 row conversion, Dinan Stage 4 suspention, Dinan 17x9.5 3pc wheels, 255/40 Conti Sport X 4, Racing Dynamics software, e34 rear brakes, B&B Stainless steel Exhaust, F&R LaDue stainless steel strut bars.
    67 1602 Ireland coil overs, brembo brakes, Dual Weber 45
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    Second that!

    I'm with Dean and I've got a non-M 3.5. The only time I drive it and it doesn't get over 4500rpm is when I'm driving it from the driveway into the garage less than 2 carlengths away.

    I don't usually run it above 6000, but I've been known to bounce it off the rev limiter, too. In fact, that's why God invented 'em ... rev limiters, that is.--
    C.R. Krieger
    '88 535is - Da Red Dog

    <img src="http://memimage.cardomain.net/member_images/2/web/578000-578999/578895_4_full.jpg">

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    Don't kid yourself. Some guy on the E24 board

    had a relative low mileage (~85K miles) S38 timing chain failure. One of the plastic guides broke off, and fell into the chain. Instant engine rebuild... This was reported 3-4 years ago (sorry, I don't recall the poster), and it prompted me to have mine (low mileage M88) changed.
    A year later, a guy with another low mileage euro M5 (M88) lost his timing chain.

    If there is doubt, there is no doubt!
    Cheers!
    John
    85 M635CSi
    86 657CSi
    88 M3

  12. #12
    Bruce
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    after the damage happens.. how can you tell what

    happened first?
    I did mine and changes the chain and guides etc.. but from all i have read the root cause is not clear. For sure after the problem the plasic is broken but how can anyone be sure the plastic broke first.

    My guide was changed at around 70k miles in 2004. I have the part, it is still in good shape.

    Just so that we dont react to rumours.

    B

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    Yes, that was me.

    And it was NOT the chain that broke, but the guide that caused the failure. I have never heard of a double row chain failure on an S38 or an M30 motor. Scottie Sharpe
    Provider of Mass Air Flow Conversion Kits for BMWs
    www.scottiesharpe.com/store

    88 Dinan-badged M5, M88 motor with BTP mass air flow conversion, Dinan Stage 4 suspention, Dinan 17x9.5 3pc wheels, 255/40 Conti Sport X 4, Racing Dynamics software, e34 rear brakes, B&B Stainless steel Exhaust, F&R LaDue stainless steel strut bars.
    91 318iC
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