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Old 01-16-2018, 08:49 PM   #1
cocofunk
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Default Help with figuring out this weird oil spilling issue? Bay Area

Hey all, I have 3 BMWs - do my own wrenching, one of them is an e30 with S50 swapped in.

I have a 1996 318ti that leaks about a quart of oil per tank of gas. Oil is all over the undercarriage and burns throughout the exhaust piping. I have looked under the car to find where the leak is coming from and it looks like oil pan gasket rather than oil filter gasket (even though I know the oil filter gasket leak is misleading).

Can someone help me with diagnosing this issue? Also, the accel pedal has this weird vibration over 3500rpm. I think this has to do somehow with this weird leak, but maybe it is something else. Can anyone who knows this engine help me out or drive this car to check it out?
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Old 01-16-2018, 10:49 PM   #2
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My M44 leaked twice around oil filter housing during my 70K ownership. Degrease the engine and see where it comes from. That is a stupid amount of oil to be leaking and M4X do not like being low on oil.


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Old 01-17-2018, 02:52 AM   #3
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Valve covers can easily leak in the back where the moon shaped cutouts are. How high up on the exhaust are the "burn" marks? Crawl under the car just bast the front tire and shine a light up towards the head along the downpipe. If it's the valve cover, the side/back of the head would be covered in oil. If the head is relatively clean, maybe timing covers. How does your steering rack look? If it is covered in oil, timing covers or even front oil seal in the lower timing cover could be leaking.
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Old 01-17-2018, 03:03 AM   #4
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Ive ran my hand (with a latex glove) all around the perimeter of the valve cover and it is dirty, but DRY. I honestly think it is the timing cover/front seal. Steering rack looks a bit dirty, but I have never refilled it and there is no noise or rough steering. I measure the engine oil every day or two and it noticeably disappears. I am betting it is the timing cover or front seal because it seems so far forward.

As far as oil, it goes all the way behind the cat and even the back hatch of the car is spotted with oil. Spots of oil all over the back hatch as well :///

Engine has 310k miles. When does the timing cover go?
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Old 01-17-2018, 10:20 AM   #5
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It can go any time. Could also be oil pan gasket... Maybe burning oil?

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Old 01-18-2018, 12:02 AM   #6
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You said you do your own wrenching and own 3 older BMW's, so you know it's gonna leak oil. It has 310K on it. Clean it off and see where it leaks from. There is no set time/mileage when it goes. Wayy to many factors to pin point a time. At that mileage though I would replace timing and front main at least.
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Old 01-18-2018, 07:13 AM   #7
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This is probably my 6th pre 97 BMW, never have I seen leaking like this. Plus, all the BMWs I've owned before have been inline 6s. But I have to face the music. I am just going to do it all. Water pump, tstat, front seal, rear seal, front timing cover gasket, timing chain tensioners, guibo, etc - just gonna do it all.
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Old 01-18-2018, 10:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cocofunk View Post
This is probably my 6th pre 97 BMW, never have I seen leaking like this. Plus, all the BMWs I've owned before have been inline 6s. But I have to face the music. I am just going to do it all. Water pump, tstat, front seal, rear seal, front timing cover gasket, timing chain tensioners, guibo, etc - just gonna do it all.
Careful with that scope creep.... I started with timing covers and am now all the way to full cooling system, oil filter housing, sap delete, full suspension.... Ugh...

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Old 01-18-2018, 05:41 PM   #9
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I definitely hear you; This is a car I am going to eventually make into a track car (s52 swap). But I do not want to start with the swap as of yet. I want to get this M44 more sound and reliable to autoX and track while I build the engine and susp. Scope creep is inevitable - haha
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Old 01-19-2018, 03:06 AM   #10
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There's also a rubber profile gasket between the lower chain case and the underside of the head. The profile gasket between upper and lower covers butts up against it. Where they meet can be a source of leaks. A word of warning - if you remove the lower chain case to replace that gasket, there's a good chance that you'll need to remove the head in order to get the new (uncompressed) gasket in.

If you shine a flashlight rearwards of the base of the oil filter housing, you'll see oil puddling on the block, if there's a leak there. The oil pan tends to leak on the "downhill" side (passenger), as the level of oil is close to the mating surface. If that's the case, the leak is worse the more oil is in the pan.
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