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KillerDynoSoar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: London, England
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Loud Tappets??

I have just recently purchased a E30 325i S as a compliment to my 911. Ultimatly it will be a full hot street track day car.

Anyway I have previously owned a 325i touring and have noticed that my new E30 has a very loud tappety engine, where as my old touring with many higher miles was not.
Previously I have owned VW's and its common that once the engine warms the tappets quiten down. However on my new car the noise is anyoying as it seems my engine is too tappety even when hot.

Whats going on? Do I just need to adjust the tappets or is there something else that may be worth looking into?

my car is a European 1986 325i S.
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Old 07-04-2005, 02:41 AM
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The E30 valve train has solid lifters, thus the louder tappet sound. Hydraulic lifters are quieter but cost more and have a limited service life. BMW has not offered a hydraulic option. Has it had a recent valve adjustment? Loose valves chatter a lot. Shop manuals indicate a 10K mile interval between adjusting the valves. As they are always torqued to the same measurement, Over-tightening will not help the sound level. If the motor has high miles, a valve job may be called-for. ~Nothing like a clear head~

Hope this helps...

Josh
Old 07-13-2005, 05:06 PM
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The car has not had a recent valve adjustment at all as I have just bought the car and I do not think its been done regularly enough.. I was hoping that once I had adjusted the valves the niose would come right down.

A valve job sounds costly and really I didn't want to got to that much expense.

Hopefully a good service and adjustment should solve the niose issue or at the least calm it down.

Thanks again.
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Old 07-14-2005, 02:17 AM
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A good valve job around here is about $100.......not that steep if you're not willing to do it yourself.
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Old 07-21-2005, 10:08 AM
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Johny, you must mean a good valve adjustment is only $100 U.S. For a valve job is usually quite more.

Killerdyno, all the E30's with the M20 engine that I have seen and heard have had more valve train noise than I'm use to. And it appears to be a normal occurance according to the other owners at experts I have talked with about it. Even after adjusting my tappets, I still had more noise than on any of my 911's.

Just make sure they are adjusted and let her rip!

Last edited by makaio; 07-22-2005 at 08:37 AM..
Old 07-21-2005, 02:53 PM
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Thanks thats great information. I am going to completely service the car and I think I can live with the niose if its characteristic of the engine. Hopefully the new K&N filter and free flow exhaust will drown the tappy niose out a little

Thanks again.
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Old 07-22-2005, 03:04 AM
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I agree - a valve adjustment is the first step to solving this...

-Wayne

One of the most common maintenance tasks on the E30 BMWs is the adjustment of the valves. I recommended that the valves be adjusted about every 10,000 miles. If your valve clearances are too tight, then your valves might not be closing all the way, and you will not obtain optimum performance. Likewise, if the clearances are too loose, your valves will not open all the way, and you will also have a very noisy valve train.
Before adjusting the valves, I recommend that you make sure the engine is stone cold. Although BMW has specifications for adjusting the valves when the engine is warm, doing this may result in inaccurate settings. Don’t start the engine for four hours before adjusting the valves; letting it sit overnight is better. The first step in the valve adjustment process is to remove the valve cover. On the E30 cars, this is usually a very easy process, although inevitably one or two brackets or components tend to get in the way (see Photo 1). While removing the cover, check the condition of the rear grounding strap. While some of these may look okay, in many cases they are frayed and about to break. Also count all the washers and nuts as you remove them – it’s easy to drop one into the recesses of the cylinder head without realizing it. I also recommend that you remove the spark plugs when performing a valve adjustment – they probably need replacing anyways, and their removal makes it far easier to turn the engine over. You may need a deep spark plug socket to get at all of the plugs. See Project 8 for more details.
After the valve cover are removed, you need to set the engine at Top Dead Center (TDC) for piston number one (see Project 20). You can rotate the engine by placing a XXmm wrench on the fan pulley nut and turning the engine clockwise. Make sure that the transmission is in neutral and the parking brake is on before attempting to rotate the engine.
The goal is to adjust the intake and exhaust valves for a particular cylinder when they are both closed. This will occur when the lobes on the camshaft are pointing downwards, away from the rocker arm, and the valves are closed. At this point, you should be able to move the rocker arm with your fingers and feel a slight click as you rotate the rocker back and forth ever so slightly. This click, or slack in the rocker is the clearance that you are adjusting (see Photo 3).
When the engine is at TDC for piston #1, it’s time to adjust the valves for that cylinder. Both the intake and the exhaust valves can be adjusted at the same time. For each valve, loosen the 10mm retaining nut around the eccentric adjuster. Now, place the valve adjustment feeler gauge tool in-between the valve and the adjuster (see table 1 for values. Using a stiff piece of wire, or the BMW spring-loaded adjustment tool, apply slight pressure to the adjuster (see Photo 4). Then tighten down the retaining nut. A light coat of engine oil on the feeler gauge blade helps the whole adjustment process. Recheck the clearance after you tighten up the screws, as they have a tendency to move when the retaining nut is retightened.

6-cylinder 4-cylinder
Adjustment when engine is cold (coolant temp below 95°F / 35°C) 0.25mm (0.010 in) 0.20mm (0.008 in)
Adjustment when engine is warm (coolant temp above 176°F / 80°C) 0.30mm (0.012 in) 0.25mm (0.010 in)
Cylinder Firing Order 1-5-3-6-2-4 1-3-4-2
Crankshaft rotation between adjustments 1/3 turn (120°) 1/2 turn (180°)

Now, rotate the engine crankshaft 120 degrees using the fan pulley if you have a 6-cylinder engine, or 180 degrees if you have a 4-cylinder. The next valve in the sequence should be ready to be adjusted. For the six-cylinder engines, the order corresponds to the firing order of the engine, 1-5-3-6-2-4. For the four-cylinder engines, the firing order is 1-3-4-2.
When you are finished, rotate the engine back to TDC for cylinder number one. Now, go back through the rotation procedure and check the clearance of all the valves using the feeler gauge. If any feel too tight or too loose, then repeat the adjustment procedure for that valve.
When the whole process is complete, replace the valve covers and tighten them to about 11 ft-lbs (15 Nm) in a criss-cross pattern starting from the inside four nuts. Use a 3-step process to tighten the nuts (hand-tight, snug-tight, final torque). Make sure that you use a new valve cover gasket, don’t forget to install the washers underneath the nuts, and be aware that the fuel injection harness has a tendency to get in the way of the valve cover – bolting down the cover with the harness trapped inside creates a rather large leak. Following a successful valve adjustment procedure, you might feel a significant increase in power, and a significant decrease in the valve train noise.


Picture 1: Shown here is the top valve cover of the six cylinder E30 engine. To access the valves underneath, simply remove the cover by removing the eight screws that fix it to the top of the cylinder head. Depending upon which model car you have, you may have to remove a secondary bracket or two in order to gain enough clearance to remove the cover.

Picture 2: Shown here is the top of the engine with the valve cover removed. The set of six rocker arms at the top of the photo control the opening and closing of the intake valves, while the rockers at the bottom control the exhaust valves. Valves are adjusted in pairs, with the intake and exhaust set at the same time. The numbers on the drawing show the cylinder numbers for the six cylinder engine – the four cylinder engine is similar, but without the number 5 and 6 cylinder. Begin by placing the engine at Top Dead Center (TDC), and then adjust the valves in sequence according to the firing order (1-5-3-6-2-4 for the six cylinder, and 1-3-4-2 for the four cylinder). Before you close up the cylinder head, check the condition of the oiling tube fittings – these have a tendency to loosen up some times. Use a flare-nut wrench (see Project 45) on these fittings to make sure they are snug (yellow arrows).

Picture 3: This diagram shows the correlation between the rocker arm and the camshaft when the valves are in position to be adjusted. The pair of valves for a particular cylinder are adjusted when the lobe of the camshaft is pointing downwards from the rockers, and the valves are closed. This is very easy to see when the valve cover is off and the rockers are exposed. At Top Dead Center for cylinder number one, the camshaft lobes for both the intake and the exhaust camshaft will be pointing downwards, away from the rocker arm. The clearance that needs to be adjusted is indicated by the red arrow.

Picture 4: The actual adjustment of the valves is very easy on these cars. Using a 10mm wrench, simply loosen up the retaining nut. Insert the spring-loaded valve adjustment tool into the small hole in the eccentric adjuster. Rotate the eccentric adjuster so that there is a large clearance between the valve and the adjuster. Insert the feeler gauge between the adjuster and the valve stem. Pull back on the spring-loaded tool to close the gap. Finally, tighten the 10mm retaining bolt into place.
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Wayne R. Dempsey, CEO, Pelican Parts Inc., and Author of:
101 Projects for Your BMW 3-Series • 101 Projects for Your Porsche 911 • How to Rebuild & Modify Porsche 911 Engines • 101 Projects for Your Porsche Boxster & Cayman • 101 Projects for Your Porsche 996 / 997
Coming in 2014:
• 101 Projects for Your MINI Cooper
Old 07-25-2005, 12:55 AM
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Thanks alot Wayne. I have the 101 Projects for your BMW on order and its taking a whole 4 weeks to arrive!!

I already have your other 2 books for my Porsche and I have to say that your books are awesome.

Many thanks.

Alam
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Old 07-27-2005, 02:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by KillerDynoSoar
Thanks alot Wayne. I have the 101 Projects for your BMW on order and its taking a whole 4 weeks to arrive!!

I already have your other 2 books for my Porsche and I have to say that your books are awesome.

Many thanks.

Alam
I would cancel that order and re-order it from www.101projects.com when I actually finish it.

I'm done with 99 out of 101 projects, and it will be released in March 2006...

-Wayne
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Wayne R. Dempsey, CEO, Pelican Parts Inc., and Author of:
101 Projects for Your BMW 3-Series • 101 Projects for Your Porsche 911 • How to Rebuild & Modify Porsche 911 Engines • 101 Projects for Your Porsche Boxster & Cayman • 101 Projects for Your Porsche 996 / 997
Coming in 2014:
• 101 Projects for Your MINI Cooper
Old 07-29-2005, 11:06 PM
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Old 07-29-2005, 11:06 PM
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