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To remove the Engine or not...

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So heres the deal... I have a few issues I am trying to get sorted at once, and need advice on what is the fastest way to get this job done. I have all of the parts ready to go on (thank you, discount from ordering parts at work :) ), but trying to figure out what is best.

What needs to be done:

Replace the head, with all associated gaskets to go with it.

Replace the timing chain and tensioner guides, gaskets, and the seal.

Replace the oil pan gasket (might as well since I am in there and have everything drained).

I don't have my own garage so I will need to either use the one at work (unlikely as we have limited shop space), convince my local mechanic to let me work on my car alongside him (more expensive option, will probably have to sign some stupid release waver, but I will have more access to equipment... I won't let anyone work on my things without me keeping a close eagle eye), or I could do it at a friends garage, but he lives a bit far from me and I would need to try and get it done in a weekend in order to be able to drive back from there.

Considering how much will have to come off of the motor, I figured it may just be quicker to pull it to do the work. If it were my mini I would just drop the subframe and have the car apart in under an hour (love those things). But I have yet to fiddle with the 2002 much so I would like someone whos done it to chime in.

Something to keep in mind: I am far from a novice mechanic, so lets base the time to get things done around an experienced mechanics time frame, rather then an amateur. Also it's my daily so I can't be out of commission for long.

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Guest Anonymous

Heres the problem, when workin on a near 40 year old you will find more that needs to be done, rush now and you will be back at it next weekend, down at the ranch we like to say do it right or do it twice Dave Miller

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Heres the problem, when workin on a near 40 year old you will find more that needs to be done, rush now and you will be back at it next weekend, down at the ranch we like to say do it right or do it twice Dave Miller

I have this well in my mind, but hoping for the best as the car has been extensively gone over by the PO (with receipts to go with it). If I pull the engine I may as well do the clutch and throwout bearing (making that wonderful noise that they do). I just can't let this turn into another project... I have too many as it is :(. That is the point of doing all of the gaskets and timing chain while I am in there. I can't foresee anything major coming up once I start digging, that cannot be fixed at a later time.

One of these days I'll have my own garage, and boy, what a happy man I will be.

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Pull the engine. It takes just a few hours, and it's so much faster

and easier to clean things up better.

Make notes, and then you can go back later and replace the things

(like heater hoses) that you don't have with you.

For the head, there's no reason to pull it. But front and bottom covers

are easier out, and then you can do the rear main while you're there.

My take.

t

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If you've got a noisy throw out bearing then you have your answer! Engine's quick and easy to pull, just mark around your bonnet bolts carefully with a pen or something, that way you won't have to spend ages getting it fitting just right again.

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I've done all of the things you listed without a garage, and on the street in front of an apartment. Soon afterward, I drove the car cross-country, and several years of autocross after that with no leaks or problems from that work done. So yes, it can be done. Ideal? No. But, I had no problem reaching all of those parts within the car. The oil pan gasket is a bit rough to lay on your back to do it and wiggle it around the subframe, but it can be done.

However, if you have the money, time, and desire to do a full rebuild on the engine, go ahead and pull it. That's what I did recently. Looking back on the amount of work that required just to disconnect everything and pull it out, I'd still just leave the engine in the car if I was only doing the head, chain, and oil pan.

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For the head, there's no reason to pull it. But front and bottom covers

are easier out, and then you can do the rear main while you're there

t

If I read the OP's post correctly, he's not replacing just the head gasket, but the head itself. I'm guessing it's damaged in some way.

I agree with pulling the engine, it can be done quickly. Order a SACHS complete clutch kit from Rockauto, you can get a good deal on the complete kit with T/O bearing and everything- you'll just need a pilot bearing. Since your car is a 74, it probably has the older style ball bearing one-if it's the original engine- the later engines (75/6 2002,320i,318i) all had the needle bearings if I'm not mistaken, just offering my 2 cents.

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I did the same. In the engine bay. Can be done in a weekend if you don't run into any issues that require outside bench services. Might get some oil pump shims. I've also had timing cover and pan bolts strip. Have some helicoil on hand. See my build page for a few photos.

Daron

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For the head, there's no reason to pull it.

Oops. I MEANT, to do the head, leave the engine in the car. But when

you add the front and bottom covers, now it makes sense to pull it.

t

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If it was me and I knew I didn't have an issue with the clutch, front trans seal and/or rear main seal I would just pull the radiator and do it in the car. Yes, a 2002 engine is easy to pull, but for me this particular job would be more hassle than its worth. The more you remove the more that can go wrong, like a broken exhaust stud that now you have to fix.

My oil pan has a simple baffle (an old IE weld-in one-piece) and I can still pull the oil pan by reaching in and disconnecting the oil pump before pulling the pan. It's tight, but I have done it a number of times, so no biggie. If I had to I would drop the subframe a touch for clearance.

Certainly can be done in a weekend, as long as no serious unexpected issues arise. Just my '02 cents. Best of luck either way.

Fred '74tii & '69GT3

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Thanks for the advice guys. The throw out bearing just developed recently and is very minor... Very livable. I'm leaning towards leaving it in place.

The head is burning oil, and for the cost of replacing guides and everything, I picked up a new head with oversized intake valves (eventually will turbo), new rockers, shafts, cam, etc. it's also a 1988 cast e12 so it has lots of life left on it. Also means I can change it all in a weekend without waiting to have my core replaced.

I'm thinking of doing oil pan one weekend, then head and timing cover another in order to keep things organized. Sure, it means more oil, but if anything it will just mean I get to better flush the system. I'll leave the clutch for when I do a 5 speed swap.

Secondary question... 1mm oversize intakes clear the piano tops on a stock lift cam, correct? I'll be checking with putty of course, but if I made a crucial error and need new pistons I'd like to know before I get it apart.

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I like to pull the engine whenever I'm doing anything non-trivial. It makes me feel like I'm giving my supercar its "engine out service" ; )

You can do things like rear main seal, make sure the distributor housing is sealed properly, oil pan gasket, etc while you're in there and just take your time and not have to lean over the fender for hours. Pulling and reinstalling the motor isn't that much work.

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FWIW

Head, Timing cover and Oil pan should be done at the same time since you need to loosen the pan to install the front covers properly....

Do the head by itself if you want...But the front covers and Pan need to be done together. Also the head gasket bridges between the top and bottom front cover and will be a leak risk if you do the covers after the head work.

Dave Ganzer

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