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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 02-26-2014, 07:12 PM   #1
corpus94
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: San Antonio, TX
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My Ride: 2002 330ci
Engine replacement experiences...opinions.

So my beloved 2002 330ci has a massive problem with the sixth cylinder getting zero compression. I've thrown about $1000 or so in parts at it. New plugs, coils, boots, disa, oil separator and hoses, o2 sensors....local mechanic hooked up computer and no compression. Says its less expensive to replace motor than to get in there and work on it. Usually do maintenance myself, but this is probably beyond my scope and I really don't have the time to learn and be without a car for that long.

So....what experiences have others had with an engine replacement? Is it less expensive or better than to try and have somebody open it up and work on it? Should I just get another car? Engine is gonna be like $1500-$1700 and labor is going to be $700-$800.

The car isn't overheating, but will run ok for a bit then start misfire with no power.

Opinions? Suggestions?

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Old 02-26-2014, 07:26 PM   #2
HLG600
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What kind of condition is the rest of the car in? If the car overall was absolutely mint then I'd replace the engine. Otherwise, if it's rough overall, might be wroth it to look at a different car.
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Old 02-26-2014, 07:27 PM   #3
2003silver330i
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What kind of warranty are you getting if you go with the engine swap?
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Old 02-26-2014, 07:34 PM   #4
corpus94
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Its in ok condition. I need to replace bumper. I'spent money on rims 4 years back, tires a year or so ago. New suspension like 3 years ago. All the other crap I just bought. It needs expansion tank too.

I will get 6 months on engine and no real labor warranty as dude is doing it on the side. But he is really fair and people jave great experiences with him.

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Old 02-26-2014, 08:33 PM   #5
lszlszx
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Zero compression on one cylinder will cause constant power loss, not on and off?
You trust this mechanic?

You don't check compression with a computer, but a compression tester.
A wet compression test will tell you if the problem is in the head, or bottom.
If it's the valves, it would cost less to do a valve job, than replacing the engine.

A leak down test should also be done.

What is the mileage?
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Old 02-26-2014, 09:19 PM   #6
corpus94
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We did a compression test on the first three cylinders, but not all to check for blown head gasket, as it got hot, but they were good. He then hooked it up to a computer another day and saw no fire in 6th cylinder. It was getting hot as I had a coolant leak I was topping off. It has also been losing oil at like a qt every 1.5k miles that I top off as well. It isn't from the likely suspects though as ofhg and vcg have been done.

The car has like 157k miles.

I can do a wet compression test as I have the tool but I have no way of doing a leak down test.

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Old 02-26-2014, 09:54 PM   #7
lszlszx
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Go ahead and test compression on cylinder 6. I doubt if it'll be zero.
Leak down test isn't absolutely necessary.

But here's another thing that doesn't make sense: you're saying the engine got hot, so you could only test compression in the first 3 cylinders?

The engine isn't running when compression is tested, all spark plugs should be out.
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Old 02-27-2014, 08:19 AM   #8
corpus94
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I didn't mean it got hot because of testing, I did the testing because it was getting hot in case it was a head gasket issue, which it wasn't.

I've decided not to go the new engine route. If it is going to cost me more that $2k to fix it, then I am just going to get a new car. Just sucks to have already pumped all the money I have into it and not be able to recoupe those costs.
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Old 02-27-2014, 11:53 AM   #9
2003silver330i
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If you have already put a lot of money into the car you might want to rethink getting rid of the car only to buy another used vehicle with problems. I was in the same boat as you and decided to go with an engine swap because I was not willing to let all the money I had put into the car up to that point be all for not. After the engine swap I have been trouble free for 10 months now except for a few minor hiccups. I had a loose connector plug to the headlight as well as the throttle body and a loose bolt to the alternator. These were easily and quickly fixed by pushing the connector plugs on tighter and making sure the alternator bolt was tight. I got in a rush towards the end of the engine swap and probably could have avoided those issues had I taken my time. The point is that I now have a mechanically flawless car with no worries instead of another used car causing me headaches.
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