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From digest.v4.n560 Wed May 8 07:30:17 1996
From: John Smith <>
Date: Wed, 08 May 1996 10:15:00 GMT
Subject: 325i '89 water leak problem solved

Firstly, many thanks to all those that offered suggestions (and moral support) as to possible reasons for the sudden coolant loss on my '89 325i - as detailed in an earlier digest. I suppose I was hoping for an easy (ie inexpensive) solution.

After checking hoses, looking for leaks, replacing coolant filler cap it was obvious there was somethings really nasty going on here. By way of a recap... the engine compression was fine - engine performance was excellent

  • - just the disappearing water trick problem!

I was hoping that this wasn't a cracked cylinder head - and even though several opinions came in for that I couldn't really see how - as compression/performance was so good AND there was no excessive pressure in the cooling system itself.

When I took the cam-cover off - what a
horrible sight! Creamy sludge mess everywhere. (Prev. week had just replaced the sythetic oil too :-(). The big decison then was either to take it to BMW - or do so it myself. I thought I'd give it a try - which was quite a difficult choice because my garage is only 18'x9' and full of stuff making the useful area only about 5'x 9' :-)

Ages later... I had the cyl head off and manifolds off etc Arranged with local engineering firm to collect it and check for warpage and pressure test it (a special thanks to members of this group for emphasising that this should be done). First report was that the head was warped longitudinally - later they called with the real news. The pressure test: the head was "porous" and spraying water everywhere!!!!!!

Well, that was the trouble - but interestingly the cylinder head was *not* cracked as such. Looks like a materials problem somewhere maybe?

BTW the car has done 100k miles - the cylinder bores, piston crowns, valves and injectors were *all* in excellent condition. Virtually no buildup of deposits anywhere.

  • -John
  • --john smith.
  • --john smith.
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