Head gasket failure - repair or scrap :(

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Robin82
Joined: Fri 28 May, 2010 03:04
Posts: 80

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Head gasket failure - repair or scrap :(

Post by Robin82 » Wed 03 May, 2017 12:59

Well I'm absolutely gutted. My head gasket has gone. A few days ago my engine overheated suddenly and smoke started to pour from the grills, luckily I was about 10 yards from my driveway so managed to cut the engine more or less right away.

There was a huge amount of pressure that had built up within the cooling system and A LOT of coolant pouring from the radiator. Initially I thought the radiator had just blown, so replaced the rad but over pressure issues still remained. I was informed that it could be one of a few things including broken water pump, thermostat and the dreaded cracked head gasket. I've had a pressure test today and my fears have been validated.

I've been quoted numerous prices £1200, £1000, £850 and £680. All include skimming the head. So as the zed is probably only worth £1600 (1997, 117k with usual extra/alloys, sports suspension etc) my dilemma is do I pay to get it repaired or sell the alloys and scrap. :shrug

What are your thoughts?
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swabyk
Joined: Mon 18 Jul, 2016 18:38
Posts: 88

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: Head gasket failure - repair or scrap :(

Post by swabyk » Wed 03 May, 2017 13:12

One option might be an engine swap, theres some on ebay from £150, obviously fitting is not going to be cheap but you might be able to put in a new engine with half the milage of your own!

If you do scrap it, let me know what wheels you've got, im after a new set :)

Good luck buddy

Robin82
Joined: Fri 28 May, 2010 03:04
Posts: 80

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: Head gasket failure - repair or scrap :(

Post by Robin82 » Wed 03 May, 2017 13:34

swabyk wrote:One option might be an engine swap, theres some on ebay from £150, obviously fitting is not going to be cheap but you might be able to put in a new engine with half the milage of your own!

If you do scrap it, let me know what wheels you've got, im after a new set :)

Good luck buddy
haha ok I'll keep you informed. I never thought about replacing the engine. There are a few about on ebay. I wonder if its less labour hours to fit an engine as opposed to replacing and gasket and skimming the head....
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swabyk
Joined: Mon 18 Jul, 2016 18:38
Posts: 88

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: Head gasket failure - repair or scrap :(

Post by swabyk » Wed 03 May, 2017 13:48

Im far from being a mechanic but would assume it has to be massively easier to drop in a new lump than start skimming heads etc....

Boosh
Joined: Sun 30 Nov, 2014 22:40
Posts: 304

  Z3 roadster 1.9i

Re: Head gasket failure - repair or scrap :(

Post by Boosh » Wed 03 May, 2017 13:58

It is! And a secondhand engine is much easier to find (and cheaper) in the UK. In France, it cost me €1.8k for the engine, and €1.5k to fit it last year (2002 1.9) but the mileage was halved (127k to 62k), and had a 1yr warranty on it. And all that was caused by the fan relay failure...
Hope you find a (cheap-ish) way to keep your Zed,

Boosh.

zgeekster
Joined: Wed 19 Apr, 2017 08:25
Posts: 21

  Z3 roadster 1.9i

Re: Head gasket failure - repair or scrap :(

Post by zgeekster » Wed 03 May, 2017 14:01

Hi

I would suggest a straight engine swap - as its a 1.9 there is loads of room to get around it, with basic knowledge and ensuring you have a like-for-like engine, you can have it done in a weekend, easily.

However, if you're scrapping it, I'd happily have all your suspension and brake components!

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BladeRunner919
Joined: Fri 17 Feb, 2012 20:18
Posts: 2221

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: Head gasket failure - repair or scrap :(

Post by BladeRunner919 » Wed 03 May, 2017 14:09

The Z3 is very easy to swap the engine from, because the whole front of the car unbolts, meaning the engine comes straight out, rather than up-and-over. Get an engine from ebay, an engine crane (I think I paid about £120 for mine), undo a few bolts and away you go. Well, more or less.

Robin82
Joined: Fri 28 May, 2010 03:04
Posts: 80

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: Head gasket failure - repair or scrap :(

Post by Robin82 » Wed 03 May, 2017 14:54

BladeRunner919 wrote:The Z3 is very easy to swap the engine from, because the whole front of the car unbolts, meaning the engine comes straight out, rather than up-and-over. Get an engine from ebay, an engine crane (I think I paid about £120 for mine), undo a few bolts and away you go. Well, more or less.
It sounds like swapping the engine is a more viable option. One of reasons I love my Zed is the DIY factor, although swapping an engine is probably a little over my skill level. I've fitted a radiator and a camshaft sensor before so that's about my limit.

I'm looking on ebay now and there are a few engines available for around £250.
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BladeRunner919
Joined: Fri 17 Feb, 2012 20:18
Posts: 2221

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: Head gasket failure - repair or scrap :(

Post by BladeRunner919 » Wed 03 May, 2017 15:35

If you know which end of a spanner to use, and it sounds like you do, then it's not remotely complicated, just a bit more long-winded than swappng a radiator. I suspect that if you just got on and did it, you'd wonder what you were worried about.

Robin82
Joined: Fri 28 May, 2010 03:04
Posts: 80

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: Head gasket failure - repair or scrap :(

Post by Robin82 » Wed 03 May, 2017 15:44

BladeRunner919 wrote:If you know which end of a spanner to use, and it sounds like you do, then it's not remotely complicated, just a bit more long-winded than swappng a radiator. I suspect that if you just got on and did it, you'd wonder what you were worried about.
Ha! You are starting to convince me of actually giving this a go. Engine cranes are about £100 on ebay. I've just been quoted £250 + VAT to fit not including fluids or any filters etc. Anything I should be looking out for when sourcing an engine? (from ebay).
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John Wilson
Joined: Fri 12 Jun, 2009 13:11
Posts: 240

  Z3 roadster 2.0
Location: Diss

Re: Head gasket failure - repair or scrap :(

Post by John Wilson » Wed 03 May, 2017 16:29

Do you really need to skim the head anyway. I have had head gaskets go on other cars in the past and Ive always just whipped the head off and bunged a new gasket on without any problems.

Robin82
Joined: Fri 28 May, 2010 03:04
Posts: 80

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: Head gasket failure - repair or scrap :(

Post by Robin82 » Wed 03 May, 2017 16:38

John Wilson wrote:Do you really need to skim the head anyway. I have had head gaskets go on other cars in the past and Ive always just whipped the head off and bunged a new gasket on without any problems.
You make it sound so easy John!! :wink: I guess its one of those things you dont know until you open it up. The best quote I've got is £680 all in including skimming, so I guess a bit less without the skim. Half of the mechanics flat our refused to quote.
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mrscalex
Joined: Fri 13 Mar, 2015 09:14
Posts: 803

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: Head gasket failure - repair or scrap :(

Post by mrscalex » Wed 03 May, 2017 16:49

I'm doing a 2.2 engine swap now. You just need to be methodical. Mine is taking forever as I'm restoring the whole front end at the same time.

However £250+VAT fitted sounds like a good price to me. That's either half a day at £60ish an hour or a full day at £30ish an hour. Realistically it has to be the former. But 4 hours is really going it in my view even for a professional.
ImageImage
1999 Z3 1.9 Boston Green (Dimitri) - My brother's car owned from new and restored by me
2001 Z3 2.2 Topaz Blue (Trudy) - My car rebuilt from a write-off
2002 Z3 2.2 Titan Silver (Okus) - Project car waiting for a new engine
2001 Z3 2.2 Topaz Blue (Debra) - Donor car/breaker
1998 Z3 1.9 Boston Green (Allsworth) - Donor car/breaker now gone to Z3 heaven
Always happy to try and help with spares :)

John Wilson
Joined: Fri 12 Jun, 2009 13:11
Posts: 240

  Z3 roadster 2.0
Location: Diss

Re: Head gasket failure - repair or scrap :(

Post by John Wilson » Wed 03 May, 2017 16:58


You make it sound so easy John!! :wink: I guess its one of those things you dont know until you open it up. The best quote I've got is £680 all in including skimming, so I guess a bit less without the skim. Half of the mechanics flat our refused to quote.
Sorry, I didnt mean to sound cocky. I was just thinking that it is easier to remove the head then the whole engine if youre doing it yourself. I can understand garages not giving you a quote as they dont know what else could need doing underneath. But as you stopped as soon as it happened, you've probably got away with it. And you wont have an engine to get rid of afterwards. Having said all that, Ive never removed the head from a Z3, so I dont really know how easy it is.

Robin82
Joined: Fri 28 May, 2010 03:04
Posts: 80

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: Head gasket failure - repair or scrap :(

Post by Robin82 » Wed 03 May, 2017 17:00

mrscalex wrote:I'm doing a 2.2 engine swap now. You just need to be methodical. Mine is taking forever as I'm restoring the whole front end at the same time.

However £250+VAT fitted sounds like a good price to me. That's either half a day at £60ish an hour or a full day at £30ish an hour. Realistically it has to be the former. But 4 hours is really going it in my view even for a professional.
Just got off the phone to an indy mechanic - and he's advised swapping out the engine - if i can source a decent one - is a much better option. Quoted £250 inc VAT to fit. I think he charges about £40 an hour.
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bentley-boy
Joined: Mon 28 Oct, 2013 19:35
Posts: 248

  blank

Re: Head gasket failure - repair or scrap :(

Post by bentley-boy » Wed 03 May, 2017 20:45

Hi, what engine type is it (twin cam or single)? Where are you? I have a 1.9 from a 2001 car, was in excellent running order when removed with no known issues. Can also fit or do your original engine. Based in Leicestershire.
Regards, BB

mrscalex
Joined: Fri 13 Mar, 2015 09:14
Posts: 803

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: Head gasket failure - repair or scrap :(

Post by mrscalex » Wed 03 May, 2017 23:20

Robin82 wrote:Just got off the phone to an indy mechanic - and he's advised swapping out the engine - if i can source a decent one - is a much better option. Quoted £250 inc VAT to fit. I think he charges about £40 an hour.
If he does a good job that's a bargain.

If you do try it yourself I would allow for the car being off the road for a period. It is straightforward if you are methodical but you only need to break something and have to wait 3-4 days for a replacement and the time mounts up. I'd certainly think in terms of 2 weeks if you only have evenings and weekends.

I hired an engine crane for 2 days for £20 in Swindon. It was lightweight but strong and dismantled to fit in the back of a hatchback.

With my 2.2 I struggled a bit to get it past the steering column but then I was insistent on pulling it out with the exhaust manifold, inlet manifold and gearbox all attached. As previously noted the front panel is easy to remove and makes life a lot easier. When it goes back in I'll be removing the steering column and there will be no subframe/suspension - the whole engine bay will be completely empty. Then I'll bring the subframe up from underneath and bolt the engine up. A 1.9 should be a lot easier. Your mechanic may well not need to remove anything much if he's experienced at swinging engines around and presumably he is.

If you want a reputable breaker and a guarantee these are big specialists recommended to me by a well regarded independent in Swansea who says he's never had a bad engine from them. They may be a little more than some on ebay but they weren't a lot more when I spoke to them and they certainly knew what they were talking about.

http://www.bmw-spares.com/
ImageImage
1999 Z3 1.9 Boston Green (Dimitri) - My brother's car owned from new and restored by me
2001 Z3 2.2 Topaz Blue (Trudy) - My car rebuilt from a write-off
2002 Z3 2.2 Titan Silver (Okus) - Project car waiting for a new engine
2001 Z3 2.2 Topaz Blue (Debra) - Donor car/breaker
1998 Z3 1.9 Boston Green (Allsworth) - Donor car/breaker now gone to Z3 heaven
Always happy to try and help with spares :)

Robin82
Joined: Fri 28 May, 2010 03:04
Posts: 80

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: Head gasket failure - repair or scrap :(

Post by Robin82 » Thu 04 May, 2017 12:33

bentley-boy wrote:Hi, what engine type is it (twin cam or single)? Where are you? I have a 1.9 from a 2001 car, was in excellent running order when removed with no known issues. Can also fit or do your original engine. Based in Leicestershire.
Regards, BB
The engine is an M44 140bhp which I believe is twin cam? Funnily enough I also live in Leicestershire - south east. Whats the mileage on that engine? So you say you can also fit?
cheers
Image

Robin82
Joined: Fri 28 May, 2010 03:04
Posts: 80

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: Head gasket failure - repair or scrap :(

Post by Robin82 » Thu 04 May, 2017 12:42

mrscalex wrote:
Robin82 wrote:Just got off the phone to an indy mechanic - and he's advised swapping out the engine - if i can source a decent one - is a much better option. Quoted £250 inc VAT to fit. I think he charges about £40 an hour.
If he does a good job that's a bargain.

If you do try it yourself I would allow for the car being off the road for a period. It is straightforward if you are methodical but you only need to break something and have to wait 3-4 days for a replacement and the time mounts up. I'd certainly think in terms of 2 weeks if you only have evenings and weekends.

I hired an engine crane for 2 days for £20 in Swindon. It was lightweight but strong and dismantled to fit in the back of a hatchback.

With my 2.2 I struggled a bit to get it past the steering column but then I was insistent on pulling it out with the exhaust manifold, inlet manifold and gearbox all attached. As previously noted the front panel is easy to remove and makes life a lot easier. When it goes back in I'll be removing the steering column and there will be no subframe/suspension - the whole engine bay will be completely empty. Then I'll bring the subframe up from underneath and bolt the engine up. A 1.9 should be a lot easier. Your mechanic may well not need to remove anything much if he's experienced at swinging engines around and presumably he is.

If you want a reputable breaker and a guarantee these are big specialists recommended to me by a well regarded independent in Swansea who says he's never had a bad engine from them. They may be a little more than some on ebay but they weren't a lot more when I spoke to them and they certainly knew what they were talking about.

http://www.bmw-spares.com/
Yes I thought that was a good price obviously that's just to fit so fluids filters etc on top. I think if I had the space and time I would attempt however for the cost that's involved it's probably not worth the added stress/hassle if something goes wrong. I also use the zed as a daily driver so currently without a car!

Thanks for the link I'll give them a call. :thumb:
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spurs fan in a coupe
Joined: Fri 18 Apr, 2008 20:24
Posts: 1435

  Z3 coupe 2.8
Location: woking

Re: Head gasket failure - repair or scrap :(

Post by spurs fan in a coupe » Thu 04 May, 2017 18:46

Where you based mate? I have a few 1.9 zeds around for breaking in Woking Surrey
we expres: " He did hear the bells ringing, but doesnt know where where the clapper hangs".

Robin82
Joined: Fri 28 May, 2010 03:04
Posts: 80

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: Head gasket failure - repair or scrap :(

Post by Robin82 » Thu 04 May, 2017 20:58

spurs fan in a coupe wrote:Where you based mate? I have a few 1.9 zeds around for breaking in Woking Surrey
Hi mate I live in Leicester so probably a little too far out of reach :(
Cheers
Foxes fan in a zed
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bentley-boy
Joined: Mon 28 Oct, 2013 19:35
Posts: 248

  blank

Re: Head gasket failure - repair or scrap :(

Post by bentley-boy » Thu 04 May, 2017 21:08

Robin82 wrote:
bentley-boy wrote:Hi, what engine type is it (twin cam or single)? Where are you? I have a 1.9 from a 2001 car, was in excellent running order when removed with no known issues. Can also fit or do your original engine. Based in Leicestershire.
Regards, BB
The engine is an M44 140bhp which I believe is twin cam? Funnily enough I also live in Leicestershire - south east. Whats the mileage on that engine? So you say you can also fit?
cheers
Ah, mine is an M43 single cam, the later engine.

Robin82
Joined: Fri 28 May, 2010 03:04
Posts: 80

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: Head gasket failure - repair or scrap :(

Post by Robin82 » Thu 04 May, 2017 22:09

bentley-boy wrote:
Robin82 wrote:
bentley-boy wrote:Hi, what engine type is it (twin cam or single)? Where are you? I have a 1.9 from a 2001 car, was in excellent running order when removed with no known issues. Can also fit or do your original engine. Based in Leicestershire.
Regards, BB
The engine is an M44 140bhp which I believe is twin cam? Funnily enough I also live in Leicestershire - south east. Whats the mileage on that engine? So you say you can also fit?
cheers
Ah, mine is an M43 single cam, the later engine.
Ah shame nevermind.
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Robin82
Joined: Fri 28 May, 2010 03:04
Posts: 80

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: Head gasket failure - repair or scrap :(

Post by Robin82 » Fri 05 May, 2017 13:11

spurs fan in a coupe wrote:Where you based mate? I have a few 1.9 zeds around for breaking in Woking Surrey
After getting a few quotes shipping costs for pallet delivery seem to be quite reasonable (around £40). Currently looking at a couple of engines on ebay but I'd rather buy from a fellow zed enthusiast. What's the mileage on those engines you have?
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