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Re-torquing head bolts.

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I have heard lots of different views on whether the head bolts need to be re-torqued after the car has been started or run in. What are you views?

The reliability of the sources of this information has varied and I am leaning towards not having to re-torque it but thought some of you guys might be able to chime in on the subject.

Would re-torquing the head ever cause a problem?

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I read the instructions that come with the gasket, and follow them.

More than anything, it's the composition of the gasket that determines

what to do.

For a while there, some gaskets said retorque, others didn't.

Recently, everything I've seen says to use a degree method and not retorque.

But I only use a couple of brands of gasket...

It may not be easily searchable, but a while back someone (CD) said that

even the factory recommendation has changed...

t

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engines--at least not for ours.

Shop manual says retorque after head removal (1k-1.5k miles?) and then again about every 15k miles!

What's the 21st century philosophy on that?

mike

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... the philosophy is that the manual is outdated...

Torquing is mostly dependant on the material that

the gasket's made out of, and that has changed...

quite a bit.

t

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ok, we've established what the manual says and it's outdated. So what are most folks doing? re-torquing every 15k or nothing?

GG

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FYI angle torquing (vs the ft/lb method) is not for M10engines--at least not for ours.

Shop manual says retorque after head removal (1k-1.5k miles?) and then again about every 15k miles!

What's the 21st century philosophy on that?

mike

Mike, BMW does have updated instructions for the M10 engine head bolt torque, see pic in thread link below. They are a duplicate of what's provided in the instructions included with newer gaskets.

If you have a Elring Klinger, Goetze, Victor Reinz, or any decent gasket AND the instructions match the old Blue Binder steps, that gasket is probably way too old to consider using, there is a finite shelf life to these parts & you always want a fresh gasket in a sealed package.

Do not use the original sequence of 35-45-55 ft/lbs, the gasket makers have determined a better method for the newer composition. Their new method deals better with 'gasket creep' and trust that their science is better than smart people guessing on the internet!

Here's a link to check out with BMW's service info for the M10, see the attached pic in the second post down in this thread from one year ago:

http://www.bmw2002faq.com/component/option,com_forum/Itemid,57/page,viewtopic/t,303926


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Guest Anonymous

HEADBOLTp3.jpg

I am aware of the manufacturer's updated headbolt tightening instructions. But I wonder whether there are circumstances that might be worth deviating from them.

For example, a friend had an E24 that had a weepy head gasket, where oil was weeping from the side where the head gasket. This was not a leaky valve cover/gasket or other gasket. The headgasket was new from the dealer and the headbolts were also new and the reuseable style - not the torque to yield variety. The head was torqued using the updated angle method by a shop with BMW factory trained mechanics. The dealer's response was to reinstall a new gasket. Same advice from another independent garage. I sheepishly suggested if the worst thing is redoing the work, why not simply retorque things. As accurate as the method should be, in theory, the torque on some of the bolts was far less than as originally suggested in the manual. After retightening the old fashioned method - voila - no more weeping. That was approximately two years ago.

I am not advocating the old method over the newer method, but I gotta say there are an awful lot of M10 and M30 engines still running around having used the old method or maybe even "older" methods.

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Guest Anonymous
...i would rather ERROR with the 'factory method' than try to second guess it

Even the factory's revised method can be performed poorly. Despite all the improvements, recalls still happen and the shops near me have plenty of warranty and other repairs. I do not know how it happened, but if head bolts are not tight enough, regardless of how they were tightened, failure may occur.

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