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Old 03-11-2012, 02:58 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Rancho Palos Verdes
Posts: 160
My Ride: 1999 e46 323i
Head Gasket Replacement Shortcut DIY

I recently replaced my head gasket on my 323i 1999. But it is leaking again. I think the mistake I did was to scratch some of the new gasket material on the new gasket - the black stuff that goes around the piston hole cut out - and installed it anyway.

Car has not overheated - not even a little. But I know I have water being blown out and some oik in the coolant and a gunky oil cap.

Here's my question:

I know how to replace the head gasket the long way. But having done it once before, I realized there may be a much faster way to do this job and I want to know if anyone has done it like I am about to decribe:

1. Remove the hood
2. Remove the intake manifold
3. Remove the Valve cover
4. Remove the chain tensioner
5. Remove the head bolts
6. Install hoist
7. Gently hoist up the head a few inches
8. Remove old Head Gasket through the gap
9. Clean surfaces through gap as best as possible
9. Install new Head gasket through the gap
10. Lower the head carefully
11. Reassemble

This would eliminate taking off anything on the exhaust manifold side and the Vanos and chains.

Of course you can not inspect and test the head this way, but I recently had that done and am reasonably sure that's not the problem. Anybody done this?
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