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Mike's Alpine White 1991 318is (now with BBS RS001s!)

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    Engine Mounts, Drive belts, and Oil Pan Investigation

    It's been a rough week at my house. I won't get into details, but thankfully everyone is OK. I needed a bit of an outlet, so before picking up the kids from school I knocked out a few things: drive belts and engine mounts. After they went to bed I dropped the lower oil pan (M42s have upper and lower pans) to check on some things and changed the oil.

    My drive belts were in decent shape, but the alternator belt always seemed a tad loose, even with the tensioner fully extended. It turns out the previous owner had put the wrong size belt on the alternator (1030 vs 1025). So now I have 3 new and correctly sized belts.



    The M42 doesn't have any aftermarket engine mounts available. You can get E36 M42 mounts and file off a locator nub for about half the price, but I read conflicting things on that, so I went with OEM. I also ordered all new hardware.



    I'm fairly certain the old engine mounts were original. They were about an inch shorter than the new ones (due to age/collapsing/etc). After raising the charcoal canister, I was able to access the top nuts using some extension and a swivel socket.



    Old left vs new right:



    Installed:





    Lastly, the oil pan. I wanted to ensure there weren't any loose bolts. During some extensive engine seal work a couple years ago I had new timing guides installed, so I wasn't expecting to find any of those. Prior to that I had done the lower oil pan gasket myself to fix a leak and ended up heli-coiling 6 of the holes in the upper pan. When I opened it up everything looked great. We'll see if I introduced any new leaks when I installed the pan (new gasket + gasket sealer).



    Prior to last week, I managed to get out for some photos of the improved ride height. Usual spots, so nothing exciting. I did find a new photo spot and I'm hoping to get there soon.









    I've hit up a few Cars and Coffee events with the kids. I was able to check out fresh_TD's minty '91 318i again as well at Katie's Cars and Coffee in Great Falls, VA.



    Last edited by mike.bmw; 06-20-2019, 03:02 AM.

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      Really great stuff.

      Your car is the benchmark for my recently acquired 318is.

      Wonderful.

      Bill

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        Glad to see you are still making your car better. It brings me joy to visit every year or so and see progress.
        world renown Harry Potter expert
        sigpic

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          Love everything about this car. Good work!
          My 1991 318is Progression Thread

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            Since you've got new mounts in, can you give the engine a wobble and tell me approx how far it moves side to side? If I push on the intake manifold from left to right there's a good 15mm movement (3/4in?) and I'm not sure if that's normal. Mounts were fitted to my old car for a few thousand km, stored for 3 years, then fitted to the new car. Want to know if they've had it or not
            sigpic

            (clicky on piccy to get to thread)

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              Originally posted by Bill Brown View Post
              Really great stuff.

              Your car is the benchmark for my recently acquired 318is.

              Wonderful.

              Bill
              Originally posted by phreshkid View Post
              Glad to see you are still making your car better. It brings me joy to visit every year or so and see progress.
              Originally posted by Nairb View Post
              Love everything about this car. Good work!
              Thanks, guys!

              Originally posted by econti View Post
              Since you've got new mounts in, can you give the engine a wobble and tell me approx how far it moves side to side? If I push on the intake manifold from left to right there's a good 15mm movement (3/4in?) and I'm not sure if that's normal. Mounts were fitted to my old car for a few thousand km, stored for 3 years, then fitted to the new car. Want to know if they've had it or not
              I will try to take some measurements later today, but I don't think it moves much. Definitely not 3/4". My old mounts were pretty shot as I can compress them with my hand and it appears the liquid inside was making it's way out. The car drives MUCH better with the new mounts. Shifting feels better, on/off throttle transitions feel better, and there's less vibration in the cabin.

              Comment


                I got out of the house early this morning for some photos (5:30AM). Unfortunately I left the camera battery on the charger at home, so I didn't get back to the spot until 6:15AM. The light was still decent so it worked out.

                The location is under a bridge alongside the Washington and Old Dominion Trail in Virginia. I've biked and run this trail many (many is an understatement) times over the years. Only recently did I see some cars parked here for overflow parking and thought it might be a cool place to take some photos.





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                  Car looks good Mike!

                  Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
                  '91 318i (Alpine) - daily
                  '88 325ix (Zinno) - drive here and there!

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                    Beautiful car ! Perfect ride height too !
                    -His-
                    87 e30 325i
                    87 e24 m6
                    05 e83 x3
                    94 e32 740i 5spd
                    -Hers-
                    89 e30 325i
                    18 f48 x1

                    Comment


                      Originally posted by econti View Post
                      Since you've got new mounts in, can you give the engine a wobble and tell me approx how far it moves side to side? If I push on the intake manifold from left to right there's a good 15mm movement (3/4in?) and I'm not sure if that's normal. Mounts were fitted to my old car for a few thousand km, stored for 3 years, then fitted to the new car. Want to know if they've had it or not
                      Ok, so I've confirmed mine doesn't move more than 1/4". Here's how I measured it:

                      I placed some tape on the wiring harness cover (static point). I marked a line on the tape which lined up with the 90 degree elbow for the ICV attached to the engine. I then (not pictured) taped a straight, thick coat hanger wire to the top of the intake manifold so the end would line up with the mark on the tape. I rocked the engine back and forth and never saw the wire move more than 1/4" past the mark. Not perfect measurement, but a quick and easy way to gauge how much the engine moves relative to a static point.

                      Comment


                        Originally posted by hendrixvodu View Post
                        Beautiful car ! Perfect ride height too !
                        I dunno about that, I think it could be lowered with some coilovers.
                        If it's got tits or tires, it's gonna cost ya!

                        Comment


                          Originally posted by mike.bmw View Post
                          Ok, so I've confirmed mine doesn't move more than 1/4". Here's how I measured it:

                          I placed some tape on the wiring harness cover (static point). I marked a line on the tape which lined up with the 90 degree elbow for the ICV attached to the engine. I then (not pictured) taped a straight, thick coat hanger wire to the top of the intake manifold so the end would line up with the mark on the tape. I rocked the engine back and forth and never saw the wire move more than 1/4" past the mark. Not perfect measurement, but a quick and easy way to gauge how much the engine moves relative to a static point.
                          Absolutely perfect, that's 100% what I needed. You're a total gentleman.
                          sigpic

                          (clicky on piccy to get to thread)

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                            It has been about a month, here are some updates.

                            Transmission Mounts

                            I replaced these a few weeks ago. The old ones were in decent shape, but the new ones were $7 each and it's a very easy install so why not. I haven't noticed much of a difference to be honest. There was a noticeable difference when I replaced the engine mounts about a month ago.



                            Intermittent Ticking (Lifters) Issue Resolved?

                            At the risk of jinxing myself, I believe I can close the book on my ticking lifters.

                            Over the past couple months the loud ticking became more and more common. It never affected drivability or performance. I posted about it here.

                            I dropped the oil pan to verify everything looked good, which it did:



                            I removed the valve cover to inspect everything, which also looked good:



                            I replaced the timing chain tensioner, which had no effect.

                            I checked the spark plugs, wires, and coils. No effect.

                            I added Liqui Moly Lifter Additive, which quieted them down somewhat for half a day, then it came back louder.

                            I changed the oil from Mobil 1 15W50, to a thinner Rotella T6 5W40. The seemed to have no effect as well.

                            Eventually I became fed up of not being able to properly diagnose this and I wasn't 100% sure it was lifter noise. For all I knew it was a crazy loud injector or an odd exhaust leak. I made an appointment at RRT to have them figure out the issue.

                            I took the car to RRT earlier in the week and gave them the list of what I've done, photos, videos, and other information. After looking at the car they called me back to the garage. The car was totally silent. No ticking. It's like my kids: angels at school, but not always the best behaved at home.

                            So Alex, JW, and I chatted for a bit and they sent me on my way. That was 5 days and 300 miles ago. The car has not ticked since then. The car went from ticking on a regular basis to not ticking at all. I have some theories:
                            - RRT fixed something in ~15 minutes that was glaringly obvious and didn't want to tell me because I'd feel like a moron.
                            - The thinner Rotella T6 5W40 cleaned out the oil passages and removed varnish from an offending lifter. It just took a few hundred miles to do it's work.
                            - The Lifter Additive, which was only run for 500 miles with the Mobil 1 15W50, may have continued to work it's way through the system after draining the M1 and filling the T6.

                            As of right now the engine sounds like the regular old M42 sewing machine and that makes me happy.

                            Mileage turnover
                            I always miss these, but I was stopped at a light, looked down, and saw it about to roll over 144K miles. Yes, I synched the trip meter with the odometer when I got the car. :)



                            Track Days (bro)
                            I'm signed up for a 2 day HPDE with BMW CCA NCC in September. Looking forward to that! This group requires a shop to perform a tech inspection. I'll be taking the car back to RRT next month for that and an alignment.

                            Cars and Coffee
                            I've been busy, but I've managed to make it out to a couple C&C events and catch up with friends.





                            Steering Wheel Search
                            I may have eaten my steering wheel budget with the track day registration costs, but I'm on the lookout for a good condition Nardi Blackline steering wheel. Please let me know if you come across one!
                            Last edited by mike.bmw; 07-21-2019, 04:11 AM.

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                              Some photos around town...







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                                This is sick.

                                Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

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