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scottie
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Posted - Nov 16 2003 :  14:22:22   View scottie's Photo Gallery  Show Profile  Visit scottie's Homepage  Send scottie an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Poll Question:
88 Dinan M5

It's been a while since I've driven her. I just love the way this car drives. Entrance to 880 is 2 miles from my house. There is a cute little "S" curve. The M5 scoots through and flattens out. Snick, snick. I'm into 4th gear. So sweet. Just getting into traffic, accelerate sedately. Just about settled into 5th at 65mph when I hear a very loud and painful buzzing noise like bad gear grinding and I lose power. I immediately think I may have popped out of 5th. I dispress clutch and look at the shifter. It's still in fifth. Engine dies. Lights come on. I keep the clutch in and coast to the side. [2]

Try to restart. The engine is frozen. I let the car roll back into the grass a bit to get off the freeway.

Try to restart. Fan spins but it seems like no compression.



Getting cold. No coat. Turn on heated seat. Kill battery waiting 45 minutes for tow. Tomorrow I will remove the valve cover and have a look.

Today, pulled valve cover. Valve shims are everywhere. Dented and bent. There are impact dents and a few impact cracks in the cam box. I pull off the upper chain guide. The chain is intact and tight on the gears.

There is a small peice of yellow plastic in the upper engine that looks like a fragment of a lower chain guide.

My hypothosis so far is that the lower chain guide disentigrated causing the timing to jump. (Hence the grinding.) This lead to the pistons hitting the valves and popping the shims into the cam box.

I guess my vacation budget is now toast. A quick review doesn't show any major damage to the cams, but I am pretty confident they did not escape unscathed when those shims where flying about. The cam box will need to be rewelded, if not replaced. (I'll need an expert opinion on this.) Who knows what is going on inside....

Now the question. (Talked to Don about this today and got his expert advice. Thanks Don!)

I am not a rich man but I sure do like this car.

I didn't pay much for it; I was lucky.

Here are my realistic options right now:

Sell the car as is and take a loss of what will probably be a few thousand dollars, not terrible.

Or, freshen up my spare M106 motor - which I got essentially for free - and put it in...and have an M5 from hell. Running a sedate 13 lbs I would have one FAST M5!!

Sure, to M purists it would probably be a sin to deviate from restoring the S38 and putting it back in the car. However, based on how little I paid for the car initially, it may be silly of me to sell the car at a loss when I have the free turbo motor sitting there. With very little effort I could have my car back and it would be bitchin fast.

I could keep the S38 and restore it over time, or sell it and get some money together for my engine swap. [18]

Well what do you think (Please vote)

Choices:


(Anonymous Vote)

Scottie Sharpe
San Jose CA
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88 Dinan M5
1968 2002


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Ethan
Grease Monkey

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92 Posts

Posted - Nov 16 2003 :  16:46:35  Show Profile  Visit Ethan's Homepage  Reply with Quote
So sorry to hear of your misfortune Scottie! The S38 can be a fickle beast, as you now know.

At this stage it is important to pop the head off and give a close inspection of the pistons. If they are not holed, cracked, or badly dented up you can clean them up and just have the head redone at a cost of around $3.5K (assuming welding and some valve replacement). An S38 head that just needs guides, three angle grind, and mild porting will cost $2500.

If you do in fact need pistons, a set of JE's will run in the $1200. range. OEM BMW pistons are abut $300. each! And, with only 103K on the existing engine you most likely can get away without boring (if your cylinder walls escaped being damaged by valve pieces).

As with any rebuild you will have to decide how far to go. The farther you go, the more money you will spend. A basic rebuild where you do most of the tear down and assembly will run in the $7k range. I know, because I've done it. Philo, Ken H., Ian M635csi, WJosh, and Rich in Houston are all in the midst of it as we speak. With the exception of Ken H. all of the above people are in that $7k range. Ken H. is probably gone triple that with custom everything and a turbo... but he's going for 600+ horsies.

I think you should put your turbo engine in your M5! Screw the purists!

Hey, I'm in the Bay Area, I'm a professional drummer, I'm a welder/fabricator, I love BMWs, and I would like to help you with your car because you play drums too;-)

Drop me a line man.

Ethan

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scottie
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Posted - Nov 16 2003 :  16:53:35   View scottie's Photo Gallery  Show Profile  Visit scottie's Homepage  Send scottie an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Thanks Ethan!! Let's hook up. What part of the bay are you in?

Scottie Sharpe
San Jose CA
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88 Dinan M5
1968 2002


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Ethan
Grease Monkey

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92 Posts

Posted - Nov 16 2003 :  20:53:57  Show Profile  Visit Ethan's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I'm in Marin.

-E
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scottie
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Posted - Nov 16 2003 :  21:24:18   View scottie's Photo Gallery  Show Profile  Visit scottie's Homepage  Send scottie an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Cool! Well, next weekend, I'm going to pop the head off and have a looksee. I do not have a shop manual that covers the s38, but wish I did. Do you have any factory literature?

Scottie Sharpe
San Jose CA
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88 Dinan M5
1968 2002


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dnliii
Over 745 Posts!

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1405 Posts

Posted - Nov 17 2003 :  07:54:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Cost of a 400 horsepower M5 with 500 pounds of torque using the 745 turbo engine = 1500.00
Cost of a 260 horsepower M5 with rebuild of your existing engine
= 7000.00
More important, why are so many M5 owners having to rebuild whole engines?? I only know of one 745 that needed rebuilding and he had been running up to 22 psi [ almost 500 horsepower ] After two years of extra boost on my blue 745 [up to 20 psi] still no problems.
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scottie
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Posted - Nov 17 2003 :  08:08:36   View scottie's Photo Gallery  Show Profile  Visit scottie's Homepage  Send scottie an AOL message  Reply with Quote
The cost of the parts on the S38 is what kills you. The M102 and M106 parts pricing is more sedate.

The S38 is a more complex motor that has already been "tweaked" by the factory. The M106 motor was factory detuned so as not to kill people.

Scottie Sharpe
San Jose CA
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88 Dinan M5
1968 2002


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E30-E28 guy
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33 Posts

Posted - Nov 17 2003 :  08:30:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Scottie,

Sorry to hear that, a real bad sitution. This is about the third time I have heard this and I am going to go through my old service records tonight to make sure this work has been done on my car. If not, I am going to make an appointment to have it done this week.

I did not vote because I am not sure what the best option is. Your car is very very nice and being kind of a purist I would say that it is better to keep the original motor, but from an economic point of view the turbo motor makes sense. There are just not a ton of E28 M5's on the road and to lose one more this nice seems a shame.
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Afshin-Switzerland
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1847 Posts

Posted - Nov 17 2003 :  08:43:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sorry to hear that Scottie I hope you get that back on the road soon, and still be able to make it to Australia ...

Regards, Afshin.
1982 745i (5-Speed)


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Jim
Gas-fueled God

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305 Posts

Posted - Nov 17 2003 :  10:12:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sorry to hear about your breakdown, I know from experience how it feels to pull over to side with a feeling that something is seriously wrong. In general I think the M106 is the better option; simple, dependable and powerful. The decision maker for me would be the tranny. I wouldn't give up the five speed for an auto. How much work is it to make the Motronic work with the five speed?

Jim
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E30-E28 guy
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Posted - Nov 17 2003 :  10:25:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Actually Jim if you know anything about the G 280 tranny...

They are delicate and not very reliable. If he goes to the turbo he will probably have to drop a G 265 in for good measure as it will only be a matter of time until running that much power through that tranny kills it.
Not being a turbo guy, the thought of an automatic E28 M5 sends chills down my spine.
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