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Subject: Cracked heads

Posted by Cliff Robb on August 27, 1997 at 09:42:13:

In Reply to: Re: Cracked heads posted by Malice on August 21, 1997 at 20:24:03:

: : : I too have a heating problem, that I'm slowly sorting : : : out. Unfortunately I should have replaced the fan clutch : : : when I replaced the water pump. How do I tell if my : : : head is cracked, short of removing it and having it checked : : : at the machine shop.

: : Since your car is a '79, you have the early design head which is more prone to cracking. Do you know if the car has ever overheated? Hopefully not. Two things to look for: Oil slime in your coolant overflow bottle, and/or milky slime in your oil. If neither of those things exist, & the engine seems to run good, the head is probably o.k. You ca also check your spark plugs to see how they are burning. You would like to see a hazy light to medium brown color. Check the other posts regarding overheating here & you will find all your solutions.

: Hello,

: I have a '79, too. I have the milky film in the oil and a fair amount of white smoke with the exhaust. It has never overheated while in my hands. Could it be a broken head gasket?

: What is the value of a '79 528i in such condition? Interested?

More that likely there is a small head crack. Depending on the mileage of the engine, a rebuild is probably in order. The head will have to be replaced, & make sure you get the newer style head made from '80 on. Sorry to say, unless the car is otherwise in pristine condition, it's probably not worth a whole lot. The '79's were the least desireable of the 528i production run(79-81) due to the head problem, & the fact that only a 4-speed trans. was available. The car could be retrofitted with a 5-speed easily though. Get a catalog from Metric Mechanic in Kansas City(, if you would like to keep your car & upgrade it, they have everything you could possibly want. They could help you with the head problem as well. Good Luck.

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