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  #41  
Old 12-12-2016, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by semcoinc View Post
Yeah Danny, I spent several hours one night reading every step of these DIYs

https://www.germanautosolutions.com/..._diy.php#thumb

DIY: Timing Chain Guide & Timing Chain Replacement

and it was not exotic but a ton of tedious and precise work (not a stranger to this type of DIY work, but as a rookie to it, I'd sure feel better with a pro supervising me).

This year I tore into the front of my M62 to deal with a SEIZED alternator! I have never heard of such a thing but it happened on my X! I did all the stuff on the front of the engine, tensioners, pulleys, belts, every cooling hose, and of course the alternator.

Check out my post on that disaster here:

http://www.xoutpost.com/1093483-post44.html

My vehicle maintenance philosophy is to maintain to a long term up-time reliability standard and if I'm touching a 92K mile component during a job, I'm highly motivated to evaluate putting in a new one. After this alternator job I learned of the chain guides issue (which was just a little deeper from what I see), but that issue seems to occur from what I've seen, at much higher mileages.

At 6K miles or so/year, I'll be a few years away from guides, but if something changes, I'll get it out to you. :thumb up:

Mike
You shouldn't have any issues with the chain guides until at least 160k miles. Even at that mileage the guides are usually fine unless the car has gone through a lot of heat cycles in a cold climate or hasn't been maintained well. The X5 that I bought had the guides die at 213k miles, which is a pretty long run when you think about it. I see some people replacing their guides at less than 120k miles which is completely ridiculous and unnecessary.

The thing about the chain guides is that they don't destroy the engine with no warning. They generally start to make a harsh metallic noise once the plastic on the guides is gone. At that point you can still run the engine, but it'll be noisy and you'll start seeing P0011/P0021 camshaft timing codes due to the chain slack. You'd have to run the engine with bad guides for a pretty long time for the chain to wreck the engine.

Both my X5 and the 740i have a horrible racket and P0011 codes when they run, but guess what, they still run fine on all cylinders! You could probably limp around in them for quite a while without wrecking the engine.

Here's a video I took of my X5's engine running with obviously bad chain guides:



Link if the embed doesn't work: https://youtu.be/y6VZMN1TbII
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  #42  
Old 12-12-2016, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by semcoinc View Post
Yeah Danny, I spent several hours one night reading every step of these DIYs

https://www.germanautosolutions.com/..._diy.php#thumb

DIY: Timing Chain Guide & Timing Chain Replacement

and it was not exotic but a ton of tedious and precise work (not a stranger to this type of DIY work, but as a rookie to it, I'd sure feel better with a pro supervising me).

This year I tore into the front of my M62 to deal with a SEIZED alternator! I have never heard of such a thing but it happened on my X! I did all the stuff on the front of the engine, tensioners, pulleys, belts, every cooling hose, and of course the alternator.

Check out my post on that disaster here:

http://www.xoutpost.com/1093483-post44.html

My vehicle maintenance philosophy is to maintain to a long term up-time reliability standard and if I'm touching a 92K mile component during a job, I'm highly motivated to evaluate putting in a new one. After this alternator job I learned of the chain guides issue (which was just a little deeper from what I see), but that issue seems to occur from what I've seen, at much higher mileages.

At 6K miles or so/year, I'll be a few years away from guides, but if something changes, I'll get it out to you. :thumb up:

Mike
A seized alternator or collapsed bearin on the alternator will choke the engine on an m62. I had this happen to me on my 540i m sport. Luckily for me it happen right as I pulled into my driveway.
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  #43  
Old 12-12-2016, 06:01 PM
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Lucky for me it happened close to my house and I limped it back without serpentine belt and temp that never went but a smudge past center on the gauge.

Yeah, it choked it right down all right.

Mike
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  #44  
Old 12-12-2016, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannyzabolotny View Post
You shouldn't have any issues with the chain guides until at least 160k miles. Even at that mileage the guides are usually fine unless the car has gone through a lot of heat cycles in a cold climate or hasn't been maintained well. The X5 that I bought had the guides die at 213k miles, which is a pretty long run when you think about it. I see some people replacing their guides at less than 120k miles which is completely ridiculous and unnecessary.

The thing about the chain guides is that they don't destroy the engine with no warning. They generally start to make a harsh metallic noise once the plastic on the guides is gone. At that point you can still run the engine, but it'll be noisy and you'll start seeing P0011/P0021 camshaft timing codes due to the chain slack. You'd have to run the engine with bad guides for a pretty long time for the chain to wreck the engine.

Both my X5 and the 740i have a horrible racket and P0011 codes when they run, but guess what, they still run fine on all cylinders! You could probably limp around in them for quite a while without wrecking the engine.

Here's a video I took of my X5's engine running with obviously bad chain guides:



Link if the embed doesn't work: https://youtu.be/y6VZMN1TbII
Gonna have to disagree with you on chain guides not going before 160,000 miles on an X5. We have had 8 X5s under 110k that have exhibited chain guide deterioration on the X5s at our shop. You are correct that the vehicle can still be run but they will be noisy and just a matter of time. On my personal 4.6is the guides started to go at 99k mikes and what gave it away was a whirring sound that I thought was one of the pulley bearings, alternator bearings,or a/c compressor bearings. When I went in to replacing the timing cover gaskets it was evident that part of the guides were deteriorating and contributing to the whirring sound. It's strange that the M62 engine in the X5 wear earlier than the car applications. I think it has something to do with made in South Carolina vs Germany. Just a guess. Another theory could be the M62 in the X5 is lugging around/working harder than the M62 in the car due to considerably more vehicle weight of the X5.
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  #45  
Old 12-12-2016, 07:12 PM
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The reason I say that is because of my personal experiences. Here are the mileages of each car I've done guides in:

1. 200k+ (wasn't sure of mileage because cluster was fubar) 2001 540i: Guides were completely gone, chain was rubbing on metal. Poorly maintained Arizona car with zero service records.

2. 194k miles, 2003 540i/6: Replaced guides preventatively due to paranoia. The U-guide had the tiniest bit of wear, no plastic pieces in the oil pan otherwise. This could have gone another 20k miles easily. This car was a California car since day one, and had complete maintenance records from when it was new.

3. 160k miles, 2000 540i/6: Replaced guides preventatively. They were completely intact and could have easily gone to 200k. This was a car from the northeast that had ended up in Arizona over the years, no maintenance records.

4. 159k miles, 2000 540i/6: Guides were completely shattered to bits. This car was maintained very poorly and lived in NJ. A cheap shop had done the guide job and completely wrecked the engine. The owner then replaced the heads and did the chain guide job again, messing up the timing a little. I ended up buying the car at that point and redid the job properly, timing it perfectly with no codes.

5. 188k miles, 1997 740il: Guides were perfectly intact, car was owned by one person for over 10 years with good maintenance. Note that this was a pre-Vanos M62 engine, which are known to go longer without guide failure. By my estimates it could have easily gone to 220k without guide failure.

6. 160k miles, 2004 Range Rover HSE: The U-guide had begun deteriorating on the driver's side, but there were no signs, noises, or engine codes, so it was still very much within spec. It could have easily gone another 20k with no issues, the other guides were in perfect condition. This was a one-owner vehicle that lived in the south its whole life. The engine was pretty neglected though— at 160k the valve cover gaskets were still original, as was almost everything else.

7. 160k miles, 2001 740i: Guides are fully gone on this car that originated in California and moved to Michigan. No idea how well it was maintained, but the inside of the engine is quite varnished so I'm thinking the previous owners ran very long oil change intervals or used cheap oil.

8. 213k miles, 2003 X5 4.6: Guides are fully gone on this car that originated in California and ended up in Michigan. From the service records I can tell it was very well maintained, and the inside of the engine looks very clean, indicating good oil change intervals and/or proper oil.

Basically it's a total crapshoot but you're very likely to go past 150k miles on original guides. I'd say that the engines in the 540i work way harder since people beat on those cars, whereas most X5's, like it or not, are used as suburban mom kid-haulers. Very few X5's see heavy usage with towing and off-roading, most never leave the pavement (same goes for Range Rovers).

But who knows, maybe my experiences aren't the norm.

Also, while the X5 was assembled in the US, I'm pretty sure the engines have always been made in Germany, and with the same exact parts as the German-made BMWs. Aside from the oil pans and oil separators/CCV the engines are more or less interchangeable.
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  #46  
Old 12-12-2016, 11:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannyzabolotny View Post
The reason I say that is because of my personal experiences. Here are the mileages of each car I've done guides in:

1. 200k+ (wasn't sure of mileage because cluster was fubar) 2001 540i: Guides were completely gone, chain was rubbing on metal. Poorly maintained Arizona car with zero service records.

2. 194k miles, 2003 540i/6: Replaced guides preventatively due to paranoia. The U-guide had the tiniest bit of wear, no plastic pieces in the oil pan otherwise. This could have gone another 20k miles easily. This car was a California car since day one, and had complete maintenance records from when it was new.

3. 160k miles, 2000 540i/6: Replaced guides preventatively. They were completely intact and could have easily gone to 200k. This was a car from the northeast that had ended up in Arizona over the years, no maintenance records.

4. 159k miles, 2000 540i/6: Guides were completely shattered to bits. This car was maintained very poorly and lived in NJ. A cheap shop had done the guide job and completely wrecked the engine. The owner then replaced the heads and did the chain guide job again, messing up the timing a little. I ended up buying the car at that point and redid the job properly, timing it perfectly with no codes.

5. 188k miles, 1997 740il: Guides were perfectly intact, car was owned by one person for over 10 years with good maintenance. Note that this was a pre-Vanos M62 engine, which are known to go longer without guide failure. By my estimates it could have easily gone to 220k without guide failure.

6. 160k miles, 2004 Range Rover HSE: The U-guide had begun deteriorating on the driver's side, but there were no signs, noises, or engine codes, so it was still very much within spec. It could have easily gone another 20k with no issues, the other guides were in perfect condition. This was a one-owner vehicle that lived in the south its whole life. The engine was pretty neglected though— at 160k the valve cover gaskets were still original, as was almost everything else.

7. 160k miles, 2001 740i: Guides are fully gone on this car that originated in California and moved to Michigan. No idea how well it was maintained, but the inside of the engine is quite varnished so I'm thinking the previous owners ran very long oil change intervals or used cheap oil.

8. 213k miles, 2003 X5 4.6: Guides are fully gone on this car that originated in California and ended up in Michigan. From the service records I can tell it was very well maintained, and the inside of the engine looks very clean, indicating good oil change intervals and/or proper oil.

Basically it's a total crapshoot but you're very likely to go past 150k miles on original guides. I'd say that the engines in the 540i work way harder since people beat on those cars, whereas most X5's, like it or not, are used as suburban mom kid-haulers. Very few X5's see heavy usage with towing and off-roading, most never leave the pavement (same goes for Range Rovers).

But who knows, maybe my experiences aren't the norm.

Also, while the X5 was assembled in the US, I'm pretty sure the engines have always been made in Germany, and with the same exact parts as the German-made BMWs. Aside from the oil pans and oil separators/CCV the engines are more or less interchangeable.
I agree with you that on some of the M62 engines the guides can go a long time before changing. I can only speak from what comes in the shop and we have done quite a few timing guides where those that were X5s happened at a lower milage whereas the ones on the sedans ad tourings occurred at a much higher mileage. We have a done a number of Range Rovers but most of them have been around the 150-160K miles mark.

I should also add that quality oil changes and frequency of oil changes affects these engines greatly and the condition of the guides.
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  #47  
Old 12-13-2016, 08:40 PM
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Last night, I started taking apart the engine in the X5. Removing the intake and air filter housing was quite easy, it was one 10mm bolt and 4 pop clips. That was the only thing I wasn't already familiar with, after that it was standard M62tu stuff.

I gotta say though, I didn't miss all the secondary air system crap. My Range Rover didn't have any of that stuff which was awesome. That got me thinking about how hard it would be to delete the whole secondary air system on the X5. The trickiest part would likely be coding it out of the DME so there wouldn't be any check engine lights for it. It would be so nice to get rid of the miles of vacuum hoses and that stupid little vacuum cleaner.



The ignition coils are all mismatched which is pretty funny, but as long as they work I don't particularly care. If they start dying I'll replace all of them at once. Everything was pretty clean and dry around the valve covers since the valve cover gaskets were replaced quite recently.

The valve covers were old but not particularly nasty, just typical worn M62tu valve covers. I dropped them off at my powder coating guy's place today, they should be ready late this week or early next week. I'm getting a nice two-tone black and silver finish done, it should turn out pretty sweet.

With the passenger side valve cover removed, I got my first look at the engine. It looked pretty decent and not overly varnished considering it has 213k miles.



Then I looked closer...



Yep, those are chain guide plastic pieces laying around there. The engine must have flung them up there at some point. Good thing I didn't drive this home from Seattle, eh?



These are most likely from the tensioner chain guide on the passenger side. From what I could see, the guide plastic is completely gone on both the U-guide and the tensioner guide. What's surprising is that the chain really doesn't have much slack, but that's probably because the driver's side plastic guide is still somewhat intact. This engine could have either run for another 5k or exploded on the next startup, haha.

The other valve cover came off pretty easily, but I had to push some cooling hoses out of the way first. This is what the engine looks like at this point, after about 2 hours of disassembly:



Next up is to drain the cooling system, remove the expansion tank, remove the fan shroud/fan, and I'm also considering removing the washer fluid reservoir as well since it's huge and annoying.

I've also decided that I'll be doing the valley pan gasket and the intake manifold gaskets since that won't require too much extra labor.
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  #48  
Old 12-13-2016, 08:45 PM
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Nice progress so far! Amazing that guide piece was just laying there
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  #49  
Old 12-14-2016, 11:01 AM
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My 4.6is is on 120k miles and I'm already starting to have nightmares about the guides - I've got zero service history but the engine is absolutely silent on startup and when running so hopefully I should be ok until I have time to tackle it.
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  #50  
Old 12-14-2016, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by V8 00USH View Post
My 4.6is is on 120k miles and I'm already starting to have nightmares about the guides - I've got zero service history but the engine is absolutely silent on startup and when running so hopefully I should be ok until I have time to tackle it.
There is no need to worry unless you start to hear some type of sound. If you have leaks on the engine at the timing cover then this is a gold time to have the work done or at least inspect the guides. Even if they are in tact they do get brittle and then tend to break. Again if your vehicle is absolutely quiet then don't worry about it at this time.
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