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Top Dead Center

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I wrestled with the exhaust side yesterday, removing the downpipe, but I could not quite get to two of the nuts under the manifold.  So, I'm going to take that off with the head, we'll see if that works....


Moving on, I started to work on getting the engine to Top Dead Center.... I think I succeeded.  That is, after my bonehead move wherein I forgot to take the car out of gear and wondered why it was so hard to turn the engine..... ha


Anyway, here is where I ended up with the marks:


Here is the line on the timing chain sprocket against the oil bar...




Here is the Kugelfischer pulley line with the timing cover mark....




Here is the crank pulley notch lining up with the mark on the lower timing cover ....




And here is the rotor pointing roughly in the direction of the notch on the distributor body....




It does appear that both valves on #1 are closed when all these marks are aligned...


Next step....take off the distributor, remove the tensioner, and deal with the crank pulley...



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Everything looks good! One very important step, though, is to lock the flywheel with an appropriately-sized screwdriver. This is hugely important to prevent your timing chain from rotating!!!


I read a lot of articles on this topic, and ended up spending a bit of money on the VW locking tool, but I didn't have much luck with it. I had great success, however, with the short-shaft screwdriver that came with the car from the original owner. If it would help, I could send you a picture. It slid right in and held things just right. ***Again, don't skip this step.*** Read about it in the shop manual that was uploaded onto this site. It's all detailed by BMW in there.


BUT, all of that said, are you pulling off the head for just a couple of stuck nuts? That'll lead to project creep. You will likely have to machine the head, and deal with a whole lot of other gaskets, too.


Did you try spraying the stuck nuts with PB Blaster? Or try heating the stuck nuts with a torch. Attempt removal in that order. If you stripped the nuts, there are sockets that deal with that problem too. Hang in there, mate. 


Plan carefully, seek help if necessary, and good luck!

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Good thoughts, and I too have the VW locking tool which I have used before for another purpose.  I wasn't planning on locking the flywheel, but you have a good point.  I was just planning on doing the old "suspend the crank pulley and keep tension on it while the head is out" trick....


No, the stuck nuts are just a couple that are holding on the exhaust manifold, so I will just take the manifold off after I lift the head off.  I need to take the head off because I suspect I have either a cracked head (worst case scenario) or blown head gasket (medium case scenario).  This is my hypothesis based on the car consuming coolant.  In any event, I noted the old "blue smoke on the overrun" issue, which means the valve seals might be going, so I do want to refresh the head.  It's got about 75,000 miles (over 17 years) on the clock since the rebuild, so it might be time anyway.


My motivation is to prepare the car for a longish road trip to see some friends in Spokane this spring, to replicate a trip I took out there in 1982 with my old 74 2002 (non tii).  After that, I will need to make a decision about keeping this tii, or perhaps passing it on to a new owner.... who knows?



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I think you and I are on similar journeys with our tiis. 


Sorry, I wouldn't have chimed in if I had known you were planning to take the head off anyway. In that case, good idea. Taking the head off first will save your back and patience when it comes to dealing with those nuts.


One thing I learned about the head removal process was to be aware of the head's height limits. I had my head machined - but as little as possible - because it is really close to being the minimum acceptable thickness (the engine was rebuilt at least once by the previous owner (I'm the second owner). If I have to go down that path again, and if the head is still decent, I will buy one of the custom head gaskets sold by IE.


All the best with your trip preparations. My remaining work is to source new front/rebuilt calipers and install new master, clutch and slave cylinders. I attempted to rebuild the calipers, but the sleeves were just a little too rusted outside the seals to enable the pistons to slide freely enough (major letdown and loss of time).  





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Good tip about the head gasket. I know the engine has been rebuilt once (under my ownership) so I guess I will learn about the height issue soon.... Did you use a cutting ring gasket?  In my old receipts, I did see my old mechanic used one of those....


I've been thinking about brakes as well. I assume the tii rotors are still NLA, is that correct?  If so, have you thought about an alternative that might have parts that are at least avaiable (wildwood, big brake option, etc.)?  

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Walloth & Nesch in Germany have always maintained stock on tii rotors. I bought mine through them. I am now starting to see quite a few online BMW parts retailers offering them as well. Perhaps production has re-started. 


I think if I ever go the resto-mod route, I would go with the Wildwoods. They aren't that outrageously expensive, and their reputation adds a lot of value to the car. However, I spent a big chunk of time with a wire wheel on my angle grinder to take my original steelies down to clean, bare metal, before a thorough priming, painting and clear-coating... those little wheels won't fit on/around the Wildwoods (at least that's what their website says). 


The only caveat about W&N is that - at least to Canada - their shipping method is quite expensive (DHL). 


About the head gasket, yes I believe it was a cutting ring gasket (also from W&N). Why do you ask? Does their use necessitate a future machining if removed?



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Thanks for these data points, very helpful!  I've been out of the 02 game for a while, and so not sure what's happening with parts these days; it's good to hear that maybe things are getting back in production.  


What I have heard on the cutting ring gasket is that you do need to machine the head again once they're removed.  They apparently do put a small impression into the surface.


Thanks again!

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On 15 January 2017 at 7:05 AM, Hans said:

Thanks. I was trying to ID a cam recently - it had a "2" stamped on flange. 


This specifies a standard 264 degree cam.  See image below from the Blue workshop manual (available to download in the 'History and Reference' section of the FAQ Articles (click on Articles drop menu at the top of the page).





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