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Old 07-22-2015, 03:00 PM   #1
zeitgeist57
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Default Head cracked - welded aluminum fix?

I already texted a couple of people for opinions, but unfortunately I discovered last night that the head to my BMW 318 (M42B18 - 1.8L 16v 4-cyl) is cracked at the #3 cylinder by one of the intake valves and a waterjacket. The headgasket LOOKED to be alright, which the crack would explain why the cooling system was pressurizing and overheating without much in the way of steam out of the exhaust.

I've already dropped it off with Mike @ M&M Head Service in Delaware who rebuilt the 300ci inline-6 in my Ford F100 a few years ago. He said they would disassemble the head and clean the parts/valves, then his cast aluminum welder will look at what it takes to repair the crack. Provided it can be properly welded (grind, weld, oven bake to cool down the head properly), they will machine the head and reinstall everything. Range for entire R&R and repair is $300-$500.

I've gotten guarded responses from people, and I'm certainly aware this can be a risky repair though I do have faith that if someone can fix it, it's M&M. Anyone gone through this process before?
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Old 07-22-2015, 03:12 PM   #2
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http://www.ebay.com/itm/BMW-Rebuilt-...63c7fe&vxp=mtr


never had any luck fixing craked aluminium heads
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Old 09-15-2015, 12:27 PM   #3
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UPDATE (It's been awhile)...

Ended up getting a used head off of a 1993 318 from Wirthman Bros on the east side of Columbus back in the beginning of August for $175 (they wanted $250 with cams, but let it slip that they've had it since 2012. I asked if they really wanted to still hold onto a 4-cylinder head any longer??) - very happy I found one local as shipping would've been a bish.

Mike @ M&M Head in Delaware has been swamped, so I took the used head to NAPA where they proceeded to clean, machine, swap out worn valve guides, do a valve job, and reseal the valves (plus R&R of the cams!) for $450. I wouldn't take a high-performance, custom application to them, but they did well with a stock-replacement head job.

I took my time getting the head back on and intake/exhaust buttoned up, but it runs smoooooooth. Very happy with the outcome - - - - - with one exception...

The f***ing gatdammm COOLANT CROSSOVER PIPE cracked when I was connecting a hose to it. Apparently it's a thermal plastic, $9 pipe that degrades over time. I bought a new pipe and fixing it shouldn't be an issue...except that I gotta remove the 2pc intake manifold in the process!

Still...very happy. Look forward to finally getting this thing back on the road!
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Old 09-15-2015, 12:53 PM   #4
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Nice fix. Glad to see it (mostly) worked out for you.
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Old 09-16-2015, 08:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeitgeist57 View Post
UPDATE (It's been awhile)...

Ended up getting a used head off of a 1993 318 from Wirthman Bros on the east side of Columbus back in the beginning of August for $175 (they wanted $250 with cams, but let it slip that they've had it since 2012. I asked if they really wanted to still hold onto a 4-cylinder head any longer??) - very happy I found one local as shipping would've been a bish.

Mike @ M&M Head in Delaware has been swamped, so I took the used head to NAPA where they proceeded to clean, machine, swap out worn valve guides, do a valve job, and reseal the valves (plus R&R of the cams!) for $450. I wouldn't take a high-performance, custom application to them, but they did well with a stock-replacement head job.

I took my time getting the head back on and intake/exhaust buttoned up, but it runs smoooooooth. Very happy with the outcome - - - - - with one exception...

The f***ing gatdammm COOLANT CROSSOVER PIPE cracked when I was connecting a hose to it. Apparently it's a thermal plastic, $9 pipe that degrades over time. I bought a new pipe and fixing it shouldn't be an issue...except that I gotta remove the 2pc intake manifold in the process!

Still...very happy. Look forward to finally getting this thing back on the road!
usin too much torque?
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Old 09-25-2015, 09:37 AM   #6
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Hardy har har, Bill...they say the greatest revenge is living well, so...



THE PHOENIX RISES FROM THE ASHES.

Sean @ Northend Wrench said that half of my radiator was filled with air. He pulled the fan switch at the top passenger's side of the rad and filled it until it lipped out. Plugged it back in and bled the last of the air bubbles out. Operating temps are perfect, heater works once again.

He also noticed my NEW Brembo-blanks were contacting part of the rotor backing plates in the rear, so he milled a bit off the hats on a lathe. Rolls like a champ now.

There was also a massive crack on the downpipe just ahead of the O2 sensor. I welded it up with my HF welder and used new Grade 8 bolts. Exhaust leak is gone, and the idle/throttle response are crisp and strong.

All in all, it was an amazing project that I couldn't have done without friends. The car runs stronger and smoother than ever before (I attribute a lot of that to the exhaust leak and it running considerably richer before!) and I couldn't be happier with the outcome.
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