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Cammsport

Bullet proofing an M52

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Short of the long... After the recent purchase of 1995 E36 328i coupe, I'm curious as to how I could get the best reliability and fuel economy from it. 

Long of the long...The drive to work is about 30 mins of open road driving in a rural ish area (hence the quest for reliability, a breakdown would suck). Currently getting ~750kms. I've ordered some regular maintenance items from pelican parts; spark plugs, oil/air/fuel/cabin filters, trim clips (more rattles than i could've imagined), valve cover gasket, paint touch up kit and a couple other random bits. Recently fitted new radiator, thermostat, metal impeller water pump and BMW coolant.

I've bought little aesthetic pieces for it like some BBS RT wheels, MSport front lip, leather rear seats (on the hunt for fronts) and plan on reupholstering the headlining and door cards (I'm going to need a new daily, for my new daily :wacko:).

Look forward to hearing any hints, tips or tricks.

 

e36 front.jpg

e36 rear.jpg

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About the same as my E39 on my highway commute. Shorter final drive option and speeding don't help, i can tell you that much.

Other things: Check for vacuum leaks, clean maf, good t-stat, test\replace old O2 sensors, clean injectors, Im sure good vanos seals and DISA valve help also.

 

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Essentially a reliable lump, hardly even tickled when married to an auto box.

You've done most of the cooling system which is really the only thing that goes "bang" on these with no warning. Might have paid to do the hoses at the same time but just give them a good clean and visual inspection and replace them when you next do the coolant. If you're still using the original plastic thermostat housing you'll want to replace that also - either with another stock one or an aluminium aftermarket version (opinions vary).

 

 

Edited by M3AN
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Vanos seals are worth doing.

Use good quality oil and filters, and regular oil changes.

Check for vacuum leaks.

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Also check the tensioner pulleys because they have a tendency to explode.... ask me how I know this one.... Oh and the fan clutch can also give grief apparently.

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Yea the fan can go, but more often its on the e39's for some reason.

Electric fan conversion for the win.

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Forgot to mention I also changed the trans fluid and filter. "jatco jerk" remained so manual swap is on the cards. 

10 hours ago, zero said:

Yea the fan can go, but more often its on the e39's for some reason.

Electric fan conversion for the win.

I've done an electric fan conversion on my E30 M52 swap, clears up so much room. Not a bad idea on this as well, cheers. 

 

On 14/01/2018 at 5:18 PM, zero said:

Vanos seals are worth doing.

Use good quality oil and filters, and regular oil changes.

Check for vacuum leaks.

Might look into vanos seals mid-term. Doesn't seem to be giving me trouble right now. Any way to see if it's working as it should? Doesn't seem to be any noticeable crossovers etc. Do you have a preferred engine oil? 

 

10 hours ago, Mad_Max said:

Also check the tensioner pulleys because they have a tendency to explode.... ask me how I know this one.... Oh and the fan clutch can also give grief apparently.

If it doesn't cause too much pain, care to share the consequences of the pulleys giving up? 

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5 hours ago, Cammsport said:

If it doesn't cause too much pain, care to share the consequences of the pulleys giving up? 

I was heading to Christchurch for an end of year do for a client. The top one on my old 328I decided to suicide while I was going uphill at around 100k, large bang heard then you lose everything..... no power steering, no alternator but worst of all, no water pump. Really quick way to cook a motor and spend 4 1/2 hours stuck on the side of the road. And all because I got busy and thought I'd change it when I got back, something that would've taken 10 minutes with the right tools and a new pulley at home cost me plenty.

So I now carry spares with me just in case lol. 

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5 hours ago, Cammsport said:

manual swap is on the cards. 

Forgot to mention too, if you're doing a manual conversion, track down a new diff. 3.15 or 2.93 gears will be what you want, unless you get the G240 box with proper overdrive. All other boxes have a 1:1 final drive gear so you'll be sitting around 3k rpm at 100kph with the original 3:46 diff ratio, which will knock a bit out of the economy.

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14 hours ago, Cammsport said:

Might look into vanos seals mid-term. Doesn't seem to be giving me trouble right now. Any way to see if it's working as it should? Doesn't seem to be any noticeable crossovers etc. Do you have a preferred engine oil? 

If your car has done more than 60k then the vanos seals will be ready to be replaced. The material bmw used fails.

I like castrol edge 5w30, but everyone has their personal favorites. Just don't use cheap rubbish.

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if it is just a daily etc don't worry about vanos seals. Correct that they have probably failed, but the expense is not worth replacing, them even when DIY, if your only gain is to be fuel economy. A bit different if you like to throw around on a back road or on a track etc.

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Yea, each to their own, I've done the vanos seals on all my beemers, and its always been an improvement each time.

Smoother, more low down power, better on fuel.

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fuel economy gain is marginal at best. as I said above, if this is the objective as is the OPs question, you are waiting your time. Parts alone will take you a long time to recover from your fuel saving, and when you do you will be back to having destroyed seals, not to mention if you have to pay someone to install.

Also there is zero mechanical damage that can result because of not tending to them, unlike most other areas on the motor that fit the OPs objective better.

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19 hours ago, Cammsport said:

Might look into vanos seals mid-term. Doesn't seem to be giving me trouble right now. Any way to see if it's working as it should? Doesn't seem to be any noticeable crossovers etc. Do you have a preferred engine oil? 

just in response to this, its a continuously variable system, it is not Off or On like some other manufacturers at this age.

Correct oil is 10W40, I use Penrite, but really any brand name will do. Some swear by Castrol for no reason other than thats what BMW etched into the filler cap 20 years ago.

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+1 on Penrite.  Buying the 20L drums of it s a very economical way of buying good oil.

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11 hours ago, _ethrty-Andy_ said:

fuel economy gain is marginal at best. as I said above, if this is the objective as is the OPs question, you are waiting your time. Parts alone will take you a long time to recover from your fuel saving, and when you do you will be back to having destroyed seals, not to mention if you have to pay someone to install.

Also there is zero mechanical damage that can result because of not tending to them, unlike most other areas on the motor that fit the OPs objective better.

Yea, agree if you are only doing it for fuel consumption its not worth it. If you are doing it for the other benefits then yes, and fuel consumption is just a bonus.

 

BTW the replacement seals dont fail early like the origional bmw ones do as they use a different material.

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