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Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > Driveline, Engine & DME Tuning

Driveline, Engine & DME Tuning
Talk about driveline improvements, NA tuning and DME tuning your E46 BMW here. This includes diffs, intakes, exhausts, chips, software and OBD tuning.

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Old 02-20-2012, 12:18 PM   #1
mcfly1204
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ZHP Engine Replacement Question

I have a 2004 ZHP with ~74,000 miles that likely needs to have the engine replaced. I had the car towed to an independent shop that I am comfortable with, but they were not comfortable quoting me a used engine for the car. Their reasoning was that they typically only get a 90 day warranty from where they get their used engines, and they could not find one with low enough mileage (30-40k). I have contacted a local BMW dealership, and they seem to have no problems with installing a used engine, and claim they can more than likely locate a used engine with at least a 1 year parts and labor guarantee for ~$3,000 less than a factory refurb. (which is what the independent shop quoted). To me, if an engine is guaranteed for at least a year, and has around 70k miles, I would think any lingering issues would present themselves within that time span, and could be remedied before the warranty is up. Does anyone have any advice or suggestions on the matter?

**edit**
I am starting to wonder if I have any other options. When I took the car to the independent shop, they pulled the plugs and could see oil in all six cylinders. They cleaned out all of the oil from the cylinders and ran compression test on each cylinder, all of which failed, something along the lines of 140psi/100/60/50/40/40. His thought is the damage is probably greater than just a blown head gasket, but again, I do not think this can be confirmed until the engine is stripped down. Once the engine is stripped down, is it possible to test the block and/or head for cracks, or are there methods to see if the head is warped? My fear is spending money to have the engine stripped to find out I need to go ahead and replace the engine anyway. Things to note, the coolant was virtually empty, though there were no previous signs of overheating, and there was only ~3.5 quarts of oil in the pan, but keep in mind there was oil in every cylinder.

As far as the engine goes, does anyone have an estimate for what it would cost to swap out the cams in 300 engine for those in my ZHP engine? Also, are the cams, as well as an ECU flash, the only difference between a 330 engine and a ZHP engine? Thanks.

Last edited by mcfly1204; 02-21-2012 at 07:23 AM.
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:32 PM   #2
jared_wiesner
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70,000 miles is not much on these engines if they are well maintained. I'm not sure what happened to yours, but yes I would be comfortable with the dealers 1 year parts and labour warranty and a 70k motor. Is that 3000 for the whole job, parts and labour!? That's a great price from a dealer if it is
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:43 PM   #3
dwtaylorpdx
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Given the number of known minor issues with 80K M54 engines,,, (Oil pump nut, Vanos Actuators, Waterpump)

If it was me I'd buy a low mileage used engine MYSELF, take it to a good re-builder and have the top end totally done.
Have the bottom end freshened up. At least here in my part of the country we have a couple really good privateer shops,
they will work with you and in the end you'll spend less than the dealer. Both the shops I use also give me a 1 year warrantee on hard parts.

A small specialty rebuilder can also often salvage your motor or at least minimize the investment loss....

The cams on the ZHP are NOT cheap, so unless they are ruined I'd hang on to them!!!!

Good luck and enjoy the ride.

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Old 02-20-2012, 02:09 PM   #4
mcfly1204
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This issue that got me to this point is virtually identical to the one outlined here:

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1594879

The main difference is that I was letting my car warm up unattended, (after the fact I read this is a big no-no) as opposed to driving when the issue occurred. What this means is that my engine was choking on oil for 5-10 minutes before I could hear the revs going up and down as the car was idling. It is worth noting that there were no indications of overheating, low oil levels, or low coolant levels prior to the incident. My driving habits, short trips typically between 25-40mph, and the fact that I live in a colder climate, Northeast Ohio, initially lead me to think the CVV malfunctioned, but I do not know how to prove this. Essentially the issue could be a blown head gasket, but as far as I know, there is no way to verify this until the engine is broken down. What I do know is that all six cylinders failed a compression test, and the independent shop thinks more damage was done due to the amount of oil in the cylinders and the fact that the car was idling unattended for 5-10 minutes.
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:51 PM   #5
mcfly1204
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Thus far, no one has had any luck locating a used ZHP engine. I cannot justify the cost of a factory refurbished engine, ~75% of the overall value of the car, so my options appear to be running out rather quickly. Essentially I can shell out for the factory refurbished engine, or I can sell the car as is. My main concern with selling the car in its current condition is that I am uncertain of how to come up with a reasonable price for the vehicle. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:04 PM   #6
jared_wiesner
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Why not just put an m54 in and install your zhp cams, voila zhp m54.
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:26 PM   #7
mcfly1204
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jared_wiesner View Post
Why not just put an m54 in and install your zhp cams, voila zhp m54.
Approximately how much would it cost to have the cams replaced as well as to have the ECU reflashed?
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:36 PM   #8
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Why do you think you'd need to re-flash your ECU ?

What area of the country do you live in ?
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Nitrous is a little trickier than boost, but it's not the spray that kills motors, it's STUPIDITY!!
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:39 PM   #9
mcfly1204
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Depending on the cost of swapping out the cams, I may or may not have it done when the engine is replaced. I was assuming the ECU that came with the used engine would be used. I am located in Northeast Ohio.
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:42 PM   #10
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcfly1204 View Post
Depending on the cost of swapping out the cams, I may or may not have it done when the engine is replaced. I was assuming the ECU that came with the used engine would be used. I am located in Northeast Ohio.
No, you should use the ECU that you have in your car already.

For me the best way to go about it would be to simply find a used 330 engine swap your old cams and stick it in your car.

It all depends on one and only thing: how much money you have ! If you have money then drop your car off at BMW dealer and pick it up within a few days and its done, hassle free BUT a very expensive experience. Or you can find the engine yourself, buy it yourself (because keep in mind the shop that does repair will have at least 500$ profit just on the price of the motor itself ) and simply let the shop do the labor.

Just to give you a rough estimate on what it would cost if you were to live where I do.
-330 motor with 70k miles - $2000 (thats if you buy yourself, the shop will tell you that it'll cost $2700 when they actually paid 1800 at the wreckers yard )
-swap the cams and install the motor - $1200
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