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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 09-23-2013, 10:54 PM   #41
ti317
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Sorry about your engine. I can't believe you thought about parting your car out, though. Car engines have been blowing since they were invented. As long as you don't spend the $$$ for a new engine, it can be less expensive to replace or rebuild one than you might think. BTW - you can better than $2385 with a used engine from a totaled E46.
He could but with his recent experience I think paying a little more for a 2 year warranty may make him sleep better.

While it's down, have them do the cooling system if it's not too much to lay out. Fresh engine, fresh cooling system, no worries.
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:39 AM   #42
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Sounds like the car was overheated by the previous owner and was immediately put up for sale. That burble you say you felt at start up was likely coolant in the combustion chamber leaking through a cracked head or headgasket. Over some time, that water got into the oil and likely destroyed connecting rod bearings. That led to loss of oil pressure and an overall chain reaction metal to metal contact. Heat build up, something seized (likely a connecting rod/piston) and metal got flung around inside and poked a hole through the engine. That's my best guess on what happened based on the events and symptoms you describe. Sorry about your loss.
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Previous owner did indeed overheat the engine for a short time. This was proven by the fact that the heads were warped. Head gasket was not able to torque to spec.*

Professional post! Thanks for the heads up!

Let this be a lesson everyone can learn from! Always maintain the cooling system in these cars on a proactive basis! Looks like I was accurate in my assessment based on the description you gave. YIKES!

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Last edited by Mango; 09-24-2013 at 01:41 AM.
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:13 AM   #43
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Yeah, I can go through an interesting decision process. I typed that when the dealer called and quoted me $6,660 for a used motor and installation, or $11,000 for a crate engine from BMW (quote does not include supplemental parts like new hoses).

The good news is that while the engine is off the vehicle I'm going to replace all boots, radiator, radiator hoses, radiator fan & clutch assembly, water pump, pulleys, disa valve, gaskets, filters, front & rear seal, CCV, clean ICV, & clean throttle body.
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:18 AM   #44
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The fact that I bought the 330 from a guy that purchased it new from Germany in 2001, and used it to get to a train station 12 miles away for his work commute left the car in great condition. The fact that he didn't know shite about engines left me with a dying motor. Whatever I bought this clean ass car for..........wait for it...........wait for it $1,500!!!! He was going to donate it to charity because "the god damn dealers cost him so much for a repair". LOL He already had a new car when I bought it. He's a very wealthy lawyer in his late 50s and would've been happy to send this beaut to a junkyard.

Now I just need to find a reputable Chicago garage, and I'm on my way.
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:19 AM   #45
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:30 AM   #46
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Today was a bad day......blew up engine 330CI m54b30

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, and used it to get to a train station 12 miles away for his work commute left the car in great condition. The fact that he didn't know shite about engines left me with a dying motor.
This driving behavior may be what led to the failure. Build up of water in the oil for nearly the whole life of the car.




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Old 09-24-2013, 08:55 AM   #47
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Professional post! Thanks for the heads up!

Let this be a lesson everyone can learn from! Always maintain the cooling system in these cars on a proactive basis! Looks like I was accurate in my assessment based on the description you gave. YIKES!

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Nice diagnosis.

While I know the term is used in jest (the PIMP acronym) lets not blur the lines here. The difference between a professional and an amateur is the professional is compensated for their skill and expertise. Lets leave its usage to the actual pros here on the forum.
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:07 AM   #48
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Today was a bad day......blew up engine 330CI m54b30

Yewzer- you got it, he'd never burn off condensation via a healthy variance in RPM & speed.

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Old 09-24-2013, 09:47 AM   #49
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Nice diagnosis.

While I know the term is used in jest (the PIMP acronym) lets not blur the lines here. The difference between a professional and an amateur is the professional is compensated for their skill and expertise. Lets leave its usage to the actual pros here on the forum.
I do get paid, though. I opened a car-related business earlier in the year.
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:48 AM   #50
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I do get paid, though. I opened a car-related business earlier in the year.
Really? Turning wrenches? Enlighten us - what exactly is it, surely the mention of it here might possibly expand your business. Perhaps you could even be a sponsor here on the board.
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:04 AM   #51
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Really? Turning wrenches? Enlighten us - what exactly is it, surely the mention of it here might possibly expand your business. Perhaps you could even be a sponsor here on the board.
He does sponsor here, both in paid membership and contribuiting valuable information for these cars. something most do not do. most ppl here are just takers, taking the info and trash talk.
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:21 AM   #52
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He does sponsor here, both in paid membership and contribuiting valuable information for these cars. something most do not do. most ppl here are just takers, taking the info and trash talk.
I understand your meaning and I too have thanked him for his contributions but the actual business sponsors here might disagree with you (on the other hand, they are thrilled with Mango for all the parts they have indirectly sold because of him).
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:10 PM   #53
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He does sponsor here, both in paid membership and contribuiting valuable information for these cars. something most do not do. most ppl here are just takers, taking the info and trash talk.
I knew I was doing it wrong!

On a serious note though, Mango is on of the best and most prolific sources of information here. You may not like his style but hard to argue with his facts. He has already saved me hours of grief and not a few dollars.
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Old 09-25-2013, 10:50 AM   #54
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Having a major issue deciding whether it's wise to put the $5 g into the car, or just get a new car.

I will not purchase a car out of warranty. It's either build this engine, or get a damn car. ARGH!
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Old 09-25-2013, 11:42 AM   #55
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get another car.
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Old 09-25-2013, 11:50 AM   #56
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Having a major issue deciding whether it's wise to put the $5 g into the car, or just get a new car.

I will not purchase a car out of warranty. It's either build this engine, or get a damn car. ARGH!
The question to ask yourself is, can you repair this car for less than it costs to replace it? If you spend five-large on repairs, will the result last longer than spending the same money on another car? Will the result be a better driving experience than you get with BMW?

You have a low mileage, and low period of occupation -- the car was not sat in for hours on end while it was being used by the previous owner -- so it should be in very good condition. I'm not sure you have diagnosed the problem properly that the engine has -- 70k miles and a failed connecting rod just seems wrong to me, my experience is that my BMW engines give more than 200,000 miles of reliable operation.

I had a '94 with the M50 engine that was closing in on 250k miles. I currently have another '94 that has 150k miles. My daughter has an '00 323 with the M52 that has more than 190k miles, and my other daughter also had an '00 323 that had more than 175k miles.

My limited experience is that the BMW inline six is a very robust motor.

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Old 09-25-2013, 11:56 AM   #57
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The question to ask yourself is, can you repair this car for less than it costs to replace it? If you spend five-large on repairs, will the result last longer than spending the same money on another car? Will the result be a better driving experience than you get with BMW?

You have a low mileage, and low period of occupation -- the car was not sat in for hours on end while it was being used by the previous owner -- so it should be in very good condition. I'm not sure you have diagnosed the problem properly that the engine has -- 70k miles and a failed connecting rod just seems wrong to me, my experience is that my BMW engines give more than 200,000 miles of reliable operation.

I had a '94 with the M50 engine that was closing in on 250k miles. I currently have another '94 that has 150k miles. My daughter has an '00 323 with the M52 that has more than 190k miles, and my other daughter also had an '00 323 that had more than 175k miles.

My limited experience is that the BMW inline six is a very robust motor.
did you read the thread? i made a specific evaluation based on the op's description and turns out i was correct. OP's PO overheated the car.
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Old 09-25-2013, 12:07 PM   #58
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$1500 deal - you knew it would not be perfect. Add $5K, still could be a good car for the money. Before spending a penny search for other problems - flood - rust - other. Could be the PO was happy to get more than scrap value from car. I'm a fan of keeping older cars alive, but sometimes it just does not make sense. You have to do what is right for you and ignore internet jabber
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Old 09-25-2013, 06:00 PM   #59
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It's true.

I'm researching the most important components to replace while the engine is out of the car. 330 engines are great, but they have poor cooling systems. Their aluminum block, and more specifically, the head are not very durable under poor cooling conditions. I want to let her live. I'm thinking new Gaskets, Filters, A really good flush of all lines, new rear seal, etc. I'm also still thinking, new car.
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Old 09-25-2013, 06:02 PM   #60
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It's true.

I'm researching the most important components to replace while the engine is out of the car. 330 engines are great, but they have poor cooling systems. Their aluminum block, and more specifically, the head are not very durable under poor cooling conditions. I want to let her live. I'm thinking new Gaskets, Filters, A really good flush of all lines, new rear seal, etc. I'm also still thinking, new car.
The E46 actually has an excellent cooling system. The E46 is praised due to its dynamic handling and that's achieved using light weight materials. Can't have it both ways. Maintain the cooling system and you'll never experience a problem.
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