Hi All,

Newbie to the 3 series, and thank you for your replies in advance. I have always liked the 3 series. I bought one from a customer who could not get it to pass smog in CA. I live in Oregon where there is no smog requirement. I now have Oregon plates on it and can drive it. It runs smoothly but leaks oil.
My goal was to sell it to friends in Oregon who have a teenage daughter ready for her first car. The car has 314K miles. From a look back at receipts it seems the owner kept it up very well until he sold it to his teenage son who let it go a bit. So here is my question. The car leaked oil rather badly, I got under it and sourced what I thought was the problem, loose oil pan bolts mostly in the front section of the oil pan. They were barely finger tight. I got them tightened and that stopped most of the leaking. I dropped the car off with the mechanic to replace the pan gasket and he told me the oil leak is coming from the middle of the head on the spark plug side of the engine. I believe him because when I dropped the car off and got out, I could smell burnt oil. The previous owner told me her son was driving and the heater core let go. I wonder how far he kept driving it after that happened. In any case the mechanic bypassed the heater core at that time . There is no water in the oil at this point, but I wonder if the head got warped? What do you all think? I just found a 1 year old rebuilt head for sale for 250 and wonder if I should take the chance that installing this will cure the problem. I hate to junk the car or part it out , it had a new timing belt installed about 15K miles ago and way back in 04 the head must have been replaced or possibly the entire engine, could not find a receipt for any of that but assume since the car runs so well something must have been done. One of the receipts in ' 04 recommended replacing the entire engine due to cam, and rocker ware that was so bad the valves could not be adjusted, the mechanic at that time stated he felt the engine was worn out and should be replaced, it had 270K miles on it at that point.
I asked my mechanic to give it a compression test and check the spark plugs for oil which he will do tomorrow. An engineer owned this car from new in '85 until he passed it on to his son in '08 and then passed on himself last December. Do you think a the rebuilt head will do the trick? Or should I leave it alone and part it out? Or any other thoughts will be appreciated. Thanks all, I value your time in any comments on this, the e24 forum has been a great place for me over the years and I am planning on buying another 3 series at some point in the future and will come here for recommendations.

Regards Kerry