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    Pulling an M62TU to replace failed guides

    I'm getting ready to replace timing guides on my current M62TU. They have been getting progressively noisier over the past 15k miles, and just recently started making a huge racket. The racket got dramatically worse with a steady grinding noise from the timing case when I installed a new main chain tensioner last week, so I'm certain the issue is the guides. Last time I had the driver side valve cover off I noticed the cam chain tensioner was getting loose, so I'm gonna swap that out too.

    I am pulling the block to do the job so I can also reseal everything, including the upper oil pan and rear main seal (which were compromised and leaking badly thanks to a plugged CCV - I fixed this some time ago, but the damage to the gaskets had been done). I will pull with the transmission attached and remove it afterwards to protect my fingers. To date, I have pulled off the front of the car, removed all the cooling system stuff on the front of the block, disconnected the engine wiring harnesses, detached the A/C compressor from the block, detached the driveshaft at the guibo, and disconnected the heater hoses at the rear coolant manifold.

    I'd really appreciate any advice when trying to pull this thing with the (6 speed) transmission attached). My hope is that I can lift the engine just off the mounts and then pull it forward. Has anybody tried this approach, and is there anything I am likely to get stuck on on the way out?



    [As background, my previous 540i died in a hail of bent valves (only the passenger side for some reason) when neglected timing guides entirely failed (at under 140k all guide plastic failed, the center U-shaped guide lost about 2/3 of its metal and the timing chain flew off). Fortunately, I've caught this one in time at 150k. I think the guides are generally not destined for real long life in the M62TU, but I think they can last longer with a good chain tensioner, so I recommend changing the tensioner at the first sign of chain noise.]


  2. #2
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    Yes | No

    All I can think of is to make sure the car is >>

    high enough to permit tipping the front of the assembly so that the trans clears the firewall.

    It's a lot of work to pull the engine, but the repair work will go much easier.

    Drain the trans; otherwise, the lube will leak out of the output shaft, and make a mess.

    I assume you have an engine hoist, and a stand, on which to mount the engine.

    Good Luck, that's a major effort to mount.

    Do you have the Bentley Manual?

    Might check with Beisan before buttoning up the engine; by then, they may have a solution for the VANOS noise problem. They are currently mounting an investigation.
    Ed in San Jose. BMW CCA member since 1987 (Nr. 62319). Golden Gate Chapter. '97 540i 6 speed. Build Date 3/97. Aspensilber over Aubergine leather.

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    Much easier 2pull it with the tranny disconnected(

    Do you have the special torx to remove the flywheel, and the block w/screw to adjust the chain tensioner? You will need them. The special pilot shaft to align the clutch too.
    As edjack said tipping it will be required if you pull it with the tranny connected. If that becomes a problem you could always move the whole assy forward and then unbolt the tranny.
    I'm assuming you are going to replace the clutch and PP? If you intend on re-using the PP after you unbolt it you will need the jig to reset the self adjusting part of it.
    Please post pics, we love pics!
    Good luck, if I lived closer I'd give you a hand.

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    Re: All I can think of is to make sure the car is >>

    Should have mentioned I have a lift, engine hoist, transmission jack, engine stand, timing tools and the Bentley manual (embarrassed to say I haven't consulted it yet because the timing system advice doesn't cover the M62TU).

    Thanks for the advice on the transmission fluid, which I hadn't considered.

    I'd love to fix the VANOS, but I'm giving this thing my best shot this weekend, with the goal of getting it on the road sometime next week. Perhaps I'll crack it again when/if the VANOS fix comes. At least that probably won't require removing the lower timing cover, which is what sucks so bad about the job I'm preparing to do.

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    Arg!

    I did not intend to replace the clutch, which is in good shape with just 30k miles on it, or any related parts. Somehow I didn't think about it at all. Any chance I can get the flywheel off and reinstall everything without the special tools? If not, I may just do the job from the front and replace the rear main seal and upper oil pan gasket when I have to do the clutch. Thanks for the heads-up.

    I suppose I could do the timing guides fairly easily with the engine in the car, given that I've removed the front of the car. My plan for to hold the timing chain was to use zip ties. The crank and cams will be locked in place with the cam lock fixtures and TDC pin. The great unknown for me on the timing work is whether I will have to pull the sprocket on the driver side exhaust cam in order to change out the cam chain tensioner.

    I have no plans to change out the chains. When my last 540's timing system blew up, the main chain managed to take chunks out of the timing covers without appearing damaged in any way.

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    Yes | No

    U will not be able to remove the flywheel unless (

    you pull the PP off. That will give you access to the flywheel bolts.
    After 30K your clutch should still be in A1 condition unless you side step it at 5K.
    I borrowed the flywheel Torx tool from my locak dealer when I did my clutch and PP a few years ago.
    All of the guides can be done from the front.
    I haven't had any of the tensioner parts of guides off yet, but thing that the exhaust tensioner can come out without removing the gear.
    If you need to remove the exhaust gear that shouldn't be a problem. Just be careful when you remove and re-tighten the bolt, no sudden blasts of torque. The cams are hollow, I don't know what it takes to snap them.

    When you install the new guides that will take up room that the tensioner has now displaced so that will need to be reset, it's all in Bentleys.


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    Re: U will not be able to remove the flywheel unless (


    So your flywheel was in good shape when you replaced your clutch?

    Thanks on all counts!


    I'll take and post pics of the guide replacement. And to caution others, I'll try to dig up pics of the damage done by the complete timing failure in my last 540 (an automatic - good car, but I'm glad it happened to that instead of my current car!).

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    Flywheel looked good, that was back on '08 (m)

    It's still fine with no slipping under a lot more torque and HP than OEM. I replaced the clutch, PP, throw out bearing, sleeve, and all of the seals.
    Here's the link showing some of the special tools, some home made.

    http://bimmer.roadfly.com/bmw/forums/e39/8967853-1.html

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    Which tensioner?

    is it part 19 or 16 they both say CHAIN TENSIONER and how hard was it to change? is there alot involved?
    and is #6 the part that held your chain on before it came off?


    Andreas
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    86 325es (wrecked by careless driver)
    87 325 300k (project for life) aka 1BADETA/Christine
    00 540is 6spd 180k (daily driver)

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    Great writeup

    Seems we can always count on you. Thanks!

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    #19

    There's an updated version made by Febi that sells for about $60 on autohausaz and other places. That tensioner is the only one you can access from outside the covers. Remove the air filter box to get access. It takes about 10-15 minutes and could prolong the life of your rails and quiet the beast down a bit if you're already getting some rattle from the chain. On mine, the new tensioner was 1/2 inch longer than the old one, which had a deteriorated spring.

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    Failed guides- dig out your oil pump pickup

    [M62TU]
    I did my guide replacement this weekend, which turned out to be a very long job because it's already a long job and I hit a couple snags thanks to poor luck and mediocre planning. Fortunately, the car is running great, which means the one guess I had to make (orientation of the exhaust cam sprocket and position of the cam chain on the sprocket) turned out to be correct. I'll try to find image hosting for a few of the pics, but for now I have a couple observations about the job:

    * Buy a new oil separator, because you will never want to dig in there again.
    * Even if you have the cams and the crankshaft locked with special tools, mark the chain and sprockets as soon as you get the front cover off. I did it as a precaution and it saved my bacon. When I started reassembly thinking I hadn't moved the chain, I was absolutely wrong. Without the marks I would have been screwed.
    * The cam to cam chain tensioners cannot be replaced without removing the exhaust cam sprocket, because the mounting studs for the tensioners are long enough that there's no way to lift the tensioner far enough with the chain in the way. I replaced the driver side cam tensioner and it sucked. The left-hand threaded bolt on the sprocket took a heck of a lot more than the specced 75 lb-ft to remove. More like 200, and the cam had to be counter-held in the middle (the cam locks start to pop off under this much force)
    * When pulling a sprocket you have marked, don't have a catch pan full of brake parts cleaner underneath. I dropped my driver side exhaust sprocket in the cleaner, which instantly dissolved my marks. One of my marks (out of 4) was still barely visible, and I had to guess on how that corresponded with my marks on the chain and the cam.
    * The crankshaft bolt is unbelievably tough. It took two guys at least 4 feet out on a pipe, probably somewhere between 800 and 1000 lb-ft.
    * My special tools kit came with a long TDC pin for the flywheel. The primary steering link is in the way, and I disconnect the idler arm and drop the link about 3/4 of an inch to insert the pin.
    * This job would be scary without the cam locks.
    * The guide which failed was the center u-guide. The plastic/nylon liner fractured into chunks some of which fell into the oil pan, some of which got sucked into the oil pump pickup, and some of which were held against the rail and the timing case by the chain. The chain was rubbing the bare metal of the u-guide, but luckily it had not eaten through any of the metal.
    * If there are chunks of rail in your oil pan, chances are theres a bunch of smaller pieces inside the oil pump pickup. The design of the pickup allows pieces to get sucked in and hidden. (the opening in the pickup allows you to see only a small portion of the pickup screen). I almost didn't check when the opening looked clear, but I had a lot of material in there I had to dig out. My guess is I would have had 50% oil pressure if I'd left the screen as it was. It would have sucked to do the job only to lose the engine to low pressure.
    * The racket when I first fired it up scared the crap out of me. But 5-10 seconds later, all was well.
    * The engine is now quieter than it's been since I've owned the car. I think my primary chain tensioner has been weak for the last 30k miles.

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    think I can, I think I can't . Eurodavid
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    I get the willies every time looking @ this. I


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    I know Ucan do it said the big eng 2the little eng






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    Yes | No

    Nice info, thanks. I'm sure someday I'll need (m)

    to replace my guides too. Did you do this with the engine in or out?
    Did you use the BMW crank holder? A guy I know said he had a 6 ft pipe on his and it was a bear getting the bolt free.
    The center link was in the way? Did you try and turn the wheel to get more clearance? Looks like my pin will fit in without turning the wheel.


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    So it when you changed the tensioner it got worse?

    I want to change it but if you said it all got worse after i would try to avoid it. When you install a new one does it put more force on the guides?

    Andreas
    Queens NY
    BMWCCA# 186796
    86 325es (wrecked by careless driver)
    87 325 300k (project for life) aka 1BADETA/Christine
    00 540is 6spd 180k (daily driver)

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    Yes | No

    Did it with the engine in

    But the whole front clip removed.

    I bought the bargain ZDMAK kit, like $130 for cam locks and the TDC pin. My pin is pretty long, which is probably part of the problem. Or I'm a retard and could have saved myself effort by turning the wheel.

    I know this is totally unsupported, but I figure in operation the crankshaft gets temporary power pulses that exert even more torque than than required to break the crank bolt free. So I just torqued against the TDC pin with the car in gear. I did not counter hold on the front of the crank. I've also heard the counter hold tool breaks before the bolt comes free.


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    The tensioner didn't make the problem worse

    In fact it eliminated some rattling. But, it made the grinding noise on my already damaged u rail even louder. My guess is installing a new tensioner at some point 10-15k miles ago could have prolonged the life of my rails. The new tensioner puts more consistent force on the guides as opposed to impacts from the slapping chain.

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    Yes | No

    Did you get any performance change?



    Andreas
    Queens NY
    BMWCCA# 186796
    86 325es (wrecked by careless driver)
    87 325 300k (project for life) aka 1BADETA/Christine
    00 540is 6spd 180k (daily driver)

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    Re: Did you get any performance change?

    Overall my impression is its stronger. Possible explanations include:

    * Taking the slack out of the chains made timing more precise and I really am getting more power
    * My hopeful imagination after all that work

    Definitely quieter though. And after seeing the condition of the center u-guide rail, I'm certain I would have had extensive damage if I let it go a few hundred more miles.

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