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From Thu Nov 6 01:12:43 1997
Thu, 6 Nov 1997 01:12:42 -0800
From: Dale B <>
Thu, 6 Nov 1997 01:12:42 -0800 (PST)
Subject: e30 timing belt and oil pan info
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 1997 01:12:41 -0800 (PST)
Cc: ()

Hi Jim,
I knew that Phil doesn't sell parts, I don't know why I had that on there, it's gone now.

> I emailed Phil Marx cause you had him listed as a recommended source for
> parts. He emailed back and said he doesn't sell parts. You may want to
> check yourself and if so correct the listing.

Absolutely Step #1, order a Bentley E30 repair manual from BMP in Tyler, they can have it to you by friday or saturday. You need this manual if you are working on this car!

> I'll give you the question and see if you can steer me to the best
> source:
> I'm new to maintainance and am half
> >into a job and need advice and parts. I cracked the pan on my 1985 323i
> >with the small six. I finally got the pan loose and couldn't get it off.
> >It doesn't seem to want to clear without pulling the fan and etc. SO my
> >friend told me that the timing belt is gonna need replacing(it's been
> >about 50k since the last one)
> >
> >Would you:
> >1. give advice on replacement of timing belt?(Also, could I have just
> >loosened the tie barto get just the pan off?)

The timing belt is easy:

  • pull fan with 32mm(??) open end wrench, I use a big adjustable
  • pull fan shroud
  • pull distributer cap, 8mm 1/4" drive socket with universal actin as a VERY short extension
  • pull rotor, 5mm allen wrench (optional)
  • pull all belts, on the A/C belt, it helps to loosen the comp in it's mounts
  • I think you need to pull the lower pulley...
  • remove upper timing belt cover, 3 10mm bolts I think
  • remove lower timing belt cover
  • align the cam sprocket with it's mark and the mark on the head
  • also align the mark on the crank with it's mark
  • loosen timing belt adjuster
  • remove timing belt
  • excellent excellent excellent excellent time to replace water pump
    • the water pump may last 100k, but you should plan on replacing it with a german made one every time you change the timing belt
  • install a new tensioner also, under $20 for the BMW one
  • install new belt, you didn't move the cam or crank did you??
  • let the adjuster ride with it's tension on the belt,
  • rotate the engine by crank, 3 full revs backwards to properly

    seat the belt

  • now tighten the tensioner
  • reassemble

> >2. Do I need the special skinny wrench to get the fan pulley off? What
> >other tools?

Some people say yes, but I haven't. also, remember it's reverse thread!!

> >3. tell me if US parts will fit. Seems like I read that if you go with
> >the U.S. part number you have to replace the tensioner as well?

> >4. I'll also need a new pan gasket. And a new pan if I can't get the old
> >one welded(It's cracked and weeping oil as opposed to a big hole)

Once you have the belt and stuff off, I'd take a closer look at the front of the pan. you will surely need to jack up the engine to get this pan out, or drop the subframe and rack& fun Should be lots of salvage yards you can order a pan from with a bad engine, broken timing belt is very common due to not replacing them...

> >5. Last and not least--what have I left out to ask or get that I need
> >to?

> >6. Are any of the parts just as easy to get at the dealer or locally?

I'd just buy them from the dealer, that way you know you are getting good parts, with a local parts place, it's a crap shoot. Or mailorder them from BMP in Tyler TX I think.

> >Thanks in advance and I look foward to your reply.
> >
> >Jim Hunter
> >
> >1404 Rockcliff Austin, Texas 78746
> >(512) 329-5635

hope this helps

                       |            Dale Beuning           |
                       |       email:     |
                       | web: |
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