Warhammer 40k Forum and Wargaming Forums banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,385 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Every now and then a project comes along where you want to document the pain for future generations. This is one of those times. But before I go into showing you the images, first let me set it up:

In April I bought my first car. A used 1980 BMW 528i. Good reputation for the type of car, decent fuel economy, built when cars where still metal. A nice little first car.

Except this car had no service history, came with oil thicker than frozen molasses and a battery that was 7 years old and was trying it's best to impersonate a ball.

No big deal though. I quickly sorted out the battery, popped in new spark plugs while I was at it, ended up replacing the connectors for the battery as well as the alternator and had her up and running again.

So it was time to handle the issue of the oil. So I took the car to the same place my mother and her husband get their oil changed. In goes a new filter, the old oil is drained and it's looking okay. Until I go to leave the oil place. Suddenly the car that was running rather well (all things considered) is now pouring blue smoke out the exhaust, the idle is rough enough to make you think that a family of badgers were having an argument inside of it and it would often stall if not kept at least 1000 RPM.

Now the quick fix would have been to through an oil thickener in there and called it a day. But I knew that I'd had blue smoke before the oil change and that the new, thinner (as in not polluted) oil was just exploiting the same way the old oil was leaking into the engine and I wanted to fix it.

Thus begins Zion's Journey into the engine block. Thus far I've broken a ratchet (it now spins like a party favor but doesn't actually do anything useful anymore), had to do a fair amount of swearing and limbo practice, but the head is off finally and I've got pictures to show what I'm looking at now. I'll bring more pictures as things come along if people find this interesting.

First is the head gasket (warping/twisting occurred when separating it from the engine block where it was practically glued on place):


And a close up of some of the bits that didn't come off with the head gasket that I still need to carefully scrape off:


Here's what the fuel injectors look like (as I wanted to make sure they weren't clogged or dirty):


And here's the valves (I'll get another shot of them when I get them disassembled, and yes that is the exhaust manifold. I couldn't get it off when it was in the engine bay because of those 4 nuts you can see which are completely frozen and were in danger of being stripped, so I disconnected the manifold from the exhaust itself and pulled it out that way. I plan on trying to get the exhaust manifold off though so I can make sure everything is clean and smooth again before it all goes back together.):


Here's a look at the pistons:


And here is a close up of one of them so you can get a better look at what I can see:


And finally a shot of the gunk that's coating the bottom half of the engine compartment rather thickly:


As soon as she can be driven to a car wash she's getting a bath.

Almost forgot to mention that the head gasket is basically leaking oil, it's soaked it up pretty heavily, and I've seen signs of gasket bits around one of the valve heads. Additionally all the gaskets, save 1, are basically fused into the parts they seal. The one came off nicely, and there was one that was missing on the intake and has been fixed with some silicone.

I've got a full head gasket kit that should just about cover all of this. It makes me rather glad I decided to get in there because the gaskets look ancient.

So there you go, that's my adventure so far.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,182 Posts
How are you cleaning off the old head? Its normal to get them skimmed when you take the knackered old gasket off.

Looks like a nice big job.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
My car repair days are behind me, in fact I don't even own a car at the moment. That said good luck with this, you're making me want to buy a car to work on though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,150 Posts
Holy crap... that looks worn. I used to do all the work on my old cars but then I treated myself to a newish model and I'm not allowed to touch it lol. (warranty) It's always fun to get stuck in and the sense of accomplishment when every things running great is awesome :)

I look forward to seeing how you get on with it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,385 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
How are you cleaning off the old head? Its normal to get them skimmed when you take the knackered old gasket off.

Looks like a nice big job.
I was considering very carefully as to not gouge the block. I'm thinking with a putty knife honestly.

It's a big enough job that I'm going to be right annoyed if this doesn't solve the issues with the burning oil and horrible idle.

My car repair days are behind me, in fact I don't even own a car at the moment. That said good luck with this, you're making me want to buy a car to work on though.
Isn't that the best kind of project though, one that gets other people inspired?

Holy crap... that looks worn. I used to do all the work on my old cars but then I treated myself to a newish model and I'm not allowed to touch it lol. (warranty) It's always fun to get stuck in and the sense of accomplishment when every things running great is awesome :)

I look forward to seeing how you get on with it.
She's only 33 (34 in Sep, yes I know when she was manufactured. Shut up.) so she's not REALLY old yet, but for a car she's up there a bit. I don't like that you really can't do a lot of work on newer cars because of the computer equipment you need to reset things and so on just to keep it running, or to turn the damned "Check Engine" light off (also that's a horrible light because it's too damned vague. "Check Engine", well I checked and it's still there! Now tell me what's ACTUALLY wrong already!).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,868 Posts
Zion, make sure to cover things up when not working on them. I did engine repaid before for people who would pull every component apart possible and would allow it to sit in the open, even inside a garage I advise slipping things in plastic bags and folding it over to keep it (crudely) air tight.
If you have rust in some place I highly advise taking a steel brush, brushing the rust off, and covering it with a thin coat of used oil. If you're working on this for an extended period this will help to slow (not prevent) further rusting.
When you're getting to the step where you reassemble the components to the block, it wouldn't hurt to steam clean the over all engine bay/compartment.
Also, I'd look into replacing the fuel injectors. Now is a good time to do so since the vehicle is, as you said, undocumented.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,385 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
It's been a couple of weeks since I last posted. Sorry about that. The combination of weather and waiting for a valve spring compression tool to come in the mail kept me from getting much done.

Zion, make sure to cover things up when not working on them. I did engine repaid before for people who would pull every component apart possible and would allow it to sit in the open, even inside a garage I advise slipping things in plastic bags and folding it over to keep it (crudely) air tight.
If you have rust in some place I highly advise taking a steel brush, brushing the rust off, and covering it with a thin coat of used oil. If you're working on this for an extended period this will help to slow (not prevent) further rusting.
When you're getting to the step where you reassemble the components to the block, it wouldn't hurt to steam clean the over all engine bay/compartment.Also, I'd look into replacing the fuel injectors. Now is a good time to do so since the vehicle is, as you said, undocumented.
Actually rust hasn't been an issue anywhere near the engine. The body on the other hand needs some touching up. I've been keeping it covered to keep the moisture, dust, pollen, and dandelion seeds out in between days I can work on it. When she's reassembled (at which time she hopefully will be driveable again) I'm taking her to a car wash that has a pressure washer and hitting those lower parts of the engine bay that are all gunked up.

So I've finally got the head pulled apart and have some new pictures for you guys. Here's the old valve seals:



As you can see, they were a right mess. They actually broke when I went to remove them and had to be wrenched off with pliers.

The exhaust valves look like this:



And the intake valves look like this:



So, dirty as hell, but otherwise in good shape.

As for the fuel injection, it's still in great shape and I don't see any a signs of any issues. If I had the money I'd spring for a new one, but since I don't and it works fine it'll have to do for the time being. All things considered it's not the worst thing to get to and remove so doing it at a later date is completely feasible anyways.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,523 Posts
looks fun. long term sort of sense. been awhile since i screwed around with cars. good luck. keep posting. very interesting so far.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,422 Posts
Looks a lot of good work there Zion! It's a long slog but I'm sure it will be hugely rewarding to get it right, have a clean running engine and take it for a spin every day.

How are you finding parts availability? In Australia, it can be killer, with the cost of getting the parts to you more than the parts themselves!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,385 Posts
Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Looks a lot of good work there Zion! It's a long slog but I'm sure it will be hugely rewarding to get it right, have a clean running engine and take it for a spin every day.

How are you finding parts availability? In Australia, it can be killer, with the cost of getting the parts to you more than the parts themselves!
There is a website that I've been shopping from who has a big collection of OEM parts which has helped.

Fun fact, I have to replace 1 valve guide. I've got the part in but I don't know how to get the old one out....yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
480 Posts
I would walk away from that nightmare. Its gonna cost far more than what its worth. Save resto work for classics and limited edition models; thats the kind of work that will -multiply- the vehicles value rather than break even or go under. That kind of shit is practically a side business for me.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,385 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I would walk away from that nightmare. Its gonna cost far more than what its worth. Save resto work for classics and limited edition models; thats the kind of work that will -multiply- the vehicles value rather than break even or go under. That kind of shit is practically a side business for me.
Well thanks for trash-talking my car. I know it's not in great shape and the moment, and I know it's not worth much (in the US that is. You can sell one for maybe $5K USD here, but you sell one in Germany and it goes for closer to 40K Euros), but considering it not only ran with tar for oil, $2 spark plugs in it and seals that were shot but it ran GREAT I think I have a keeper.

It's not all about having the shiniest car (though mine is -gold-), or the fastest (these babies can still able to handle the autobahn after 30+ years), or the most expensive car. It's about having the car that works for you.

I've got a solid car here that just needs some maintenance done because no one has done any in forever. I started with a budget of $5K dollars. I bought her for $1,389 and have put about another grand or so into her. I'm under budget (albiet now pretty broke thanks to having to pay shipping on -everything doubled my costs), I've gotten a better understanding of my car now than most people do of theirs and despite the frustrations of things at times, and bashing my knuckles open once I'm still happy with the car I bought. I don't feel like I was ripped off (though I am not happy with how poorly the dealers maintained it, I am getting my money's worth in this day and age).

So no, my car is not a "nightmare" nor is it intended to be resold for millions. But she's a good car, a solid car that is worth the time and effort to take care of her who was just left in a bad way by some previous owners who didn't understand how to do that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
480 Posts
Whoa buddy, pump those rusty brakes. Im a service advisor, its more or less my job to give advice. Its free so you dont have to take it. And thats exactly how I would deliver it to a friends so please dont take offense. Whatever floats you boat man, but to me it would just be a hassle.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,385 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Whoa buddy, pump those rusty brakes. Im a service advisor, its more or less my job to give advice. Its free so you dont have to take it. And thats exactly how I would deliver it to a friends so please dont take offense. Whatever floats you boat man, but to me it would just be a hassle.
I'm honestly not upset, but you got to understand this is the only car I have, I don't have money to go out and just buy another one and I need this car to work so I can work. I'm not trying to flip it, or do anything special with it, just get it back to being a reasonable daily driver that I can use.

And you should know as anyone who deals with cars, no one really likes being told that their car is a "nightmare". That's about on par with calling it a piece of shit and even if it is true I never knew anyone who'd let other people bag on their car like that.

Yeah, the work sucks and I don't like the fact that I'm correcting someone else's fuck up. But -I- can and am doing it, and I'm not doing a bad job (at least I haven't yet) which is more than I could say for a newer car that would require diagnostic tools to work with it and reset the computer.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top