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From digest.v7.n1011 Sat Jan 24 00:23:23 1998
From: "brett anderson" <>
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 1998 20:37:27 -0500
Subject: Re: e36 M3 timing noises and Marbles (fixed) READ THIS BA

> From: EliaBar <>
> Date: Thu, 22 Jan 1998 13:47:37 EST
> Subject: e36 M3 timing noises and Marbles (fixed)
> Well, after three trips to my local dealer and multiple days with a Saab
> loaner car. The timing chain noises are gone.
> The noises were occuring between 1-3k rpm., as well as, on start up &
> decelleration. They would be described as the box of marbles syndrome;

> and vibrations can be felt on the timing cover (in front of the M power
> plastic cover). The first visit was diagnosed as a plastic detent

> under the valve cover to control oil flow, is what the delaer told me.

> did not solve the problem!! Second visit they found out what needed to

> ordered.... Vanos controller, timing chain, cam gear, and new style

> tensioner. These were all installed on my last visit and the problem is
> solved!! No more marble noises.
> Elia Barbicas
> Northern Ohio Chapter
> 95 M3
Before this post causes a lot of dealers, a lot of grief, I would like to point out a couple of things.

First, there is no updated timing chain for the M3, not saying that Elia is lying, more likely the dealer is.
Second, one of the items, but definitely not all, replaced, obviously cured Elia's problem, but it seems to me that this particular dealer decided , after the first misdiagnosis , they seem to have decided to replace everything to guarantee a good result.

>From my experience, the problem here was the Vanos unit only. I have had
several complaints, interestingly enough, of a box of marbles, and each time, the Vanos unit has been at fault. STOP, don't run off to the dealer asking for a Vanos unit because your engine makes some noise at start up. This noise is most prevalent at decel, and is described quite accurately as a box of marbles being rattled.

Brett Anderson

BMW and ASE master technician

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