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  • Head Gasket Alignment Issue

    Hi Guys,

    I took a little break from the car for a few months, was just getting too frustrated. Anyways back on the horse now.

    I discovered I was having a coolant/oil mixing issue and think I have found the reason. The head gasket sealing surface for the coolant passages on the lower side of the engine are going THROUGH the coolant passages (see photos). I've never seen anything like this. Is this a manufacturing issue for the gasket? What is a possible fix, something like an all metal gasket?

    Thanks
    Shaun

  • #2
    Very likely that the sealant being mis applied by the mfgr is what caused your problem. I'd def say it was a mfg problem. Just out of curiosity, was this a Victor Reinz head gasket? Reason I ask is because I've had problems with several of that brand. One of them, the compression ring in one of the cylinders was off-center by a little bit and the side of the piston scuffed thru it causing a gasket failure. I now only use BMW factory gaskets.
    Ron ///Man

    • '91 Gr-A Former CiBiEmme / Ravaglia - Sold
    • '90 M3 Faux EVOII Alpineweiss 36K Orig Owner - The Queen
    • '91 M3 Faux EVO III Brilliantrot Euro Driveline - The Rocket
    • '91 M3 Faux Gr-A Club Racer DM - The Alter EGO
    • '89 M3 M3T / ITR Club Racer
    • '94 Spec E36 - Eh....
    • '09 M3 - Tarmac Terrorist
    • '04 330Xi Sport 6 Speed - Snowmobile
    • '07 530 Xi - Highway Star
    • http://www.imwcarparts.com/e30-m3-parts.htm


    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Ron ///Man View Post
      Very likely that the sealant being mis applied by the mfgr is what caused your problem. I'd def say it was a mfg problem. Just out of curiosity, was this a Victor Reinz head gasket? Reason I ask is because I've had problems with several of that brand. One of them, the compression ring in one of the cylinders was off-center by a little bit and the side of the piston scuffed thru it causing a gasket failure. I now only use BMW factory gaskets.
      On my last build, I got a Reinz valve cover gasket. It not only leaked, but had sharp metal poking out of all the edges that cut the crap out of me when I tried to work on it.

      Replaced it with a BMW gasket...problems solved.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Ron ///Man View Post
        Just out of curiosity, was this a Victor Reinz head gasket?
        I remember reading on the forums about problems with Victor Reinz. No this was a BGA gasket that I actually had 2 of. I ran one after I burned an exhaust valve for a year no issue before I rebuilt the motor. It seems odd to me that one gasket was ok and the other has this issue.

        At the same time I bought a BMW gasket as well incase these were crap. I measured the distance from the seal to the edge and its was a few mm different from the BGA one. I am assuming BMW is using a third party to manufacture these, so even that could have issues?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Ironhead View Post

          On my last build, I got a Reinz valve cover gasket. It not only leaked, but had sharp metal poking out of all the edges that cut the crap out of me when I tried to work on it.

          Replaced it with a BMW gasket...problems solved.

          Iron,

          I hate to use Victor Reinz on anything.
          On S38 the valve cover gasket they placed the
          small orange/red silicone which suppose too seal
          the back cam box cover and the actual cam tray
          were they meet.
          The Silicone suppose to be from the bottom. So
          when you put the gasket the silicone is under the
          gasket. Instead they placed that silicone on top
          of the gasket were you put the valve cover.....

          Very bad quality product.......I see shops use
          Victor Reinz Cylinder Head gaskets..........they
          last nothing.

          On my S38 I have re-used the factory several times
          and still hold up well.

          Regards,
          Anri
          sigpic

          - 1990 E30 M3 DS Shwartz S38-B36 (3.6) Sold ! But never forgotten.
          - 1990 E30 M3 DS Euro S38-B38 3.8 340hp. I promise, I will hide the 2 cyl under the dash which "Engine King". Mr. Paul Rosche took away to make the S14...
          - 1988 E24 M6 Shwartz/Track Toy S38-B36 Goal is close to 50/50 I pushed the engine almost 15 inches for weight distribution will see...
          - 1988 E24 M6 Shwartz/Natur, Daily driver.
          - S38 is an addiction, enthusiastic manner and the perfect match for my E30 M3.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by First E30 M3 View Post


            Iron,

            I hate to use Victor Reinz on anything.
            On S38 the valve cover gasket they placed the
            small orange/red silicone which suppose too seal
            the back cam box cover and the actual cam tray
            were they meet.
            The Silicone suppose to be from the bottom. So
            when you put the gasket the silicone is under the
            gasket. Instead they placed that silicone on top
            of the gasket were you put the valve cover.....

            Very bad quality product.......I see shops use
            Victor Reinz Cylinder Head gaskets..........they
            last nothing.

            On my S38 I have re-used the factory several times
            and still hold up well.

            Regards,
            Anri
            I also had a couple of head gaskets that didn't last for long. The sealant gave up rather quickly. Once however I was forced into using a Reinz because BMW had no stock of factory gaskets with no estimated ship date. That was the one where the compression ring was misaligned. Suffice it to say, steer clear of this brand for anything. I've heard similar horror stories with their S52 gaskets. Why the parts suppliers still sell them is beyond me. I'm sure there are lots of uninformed customers who are buying them and are learning the hard way...
            Ron ///Man

            • '91 Gr-A Former CiBiEmme / Ravaglia - Sold
            • '90 M3 Faux EVOII Alpineweiss 36K Orig Owner - The Queen
            • '91 M3 Faux EVO III Brilliantrot Euro Driveline - The Rocket
            • '91 M3 Faux Gr-A Club Racer DM - The Alter EGO
            • '89 M3 M3T / ITR Club Racer
            • '94 Spec E36 - Eh....
            • '09 M3 - Tarmac Terrorist
            • '04 330Xi Sport 6 Speed - Snowmobile
            • '07 530 Xi - Highway Star
            • http://www.imwcarparts.com/e30-m3-parts.htm


            Comment


            • #7
              I had the same issue with my s14 valve cover gasket by vr. The sealant for the rear timing case cover was on the wrong side of the gasket. Crap.

              I had to use a BMW head gasket on mine thank god as it is a 2.5 and there are no aftermarket options from my understanding.

              I think my next time I will try a cometic MLS as I have had good luck with those before, and I could spec the thickness I want.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by basketcase View Post
                I had the same issue with my s14 valve cover gasket by vr. The sealant for the rear timing case cover was on the wrong side of the gasket. Crap.

                I had to use a BMW head gasket on mine thank god as it is a 2.5 and there are no aftermarket options from my understanding.

                I think my next time I will try a cometic MLS as I have had good luck with those before, and I could spec the thickness I want.
                I have heard a lot of reports from people who had bad luck with Cometic gaskets on the S14. Apparently the MLS gasket doesn't handle the close cylinder spacing well, or something like that.

                Just something to consider...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yes I heard that too, but I built an M20 stroker and I don't think the spacing is that different?

                  I used, and will always use, Hylomar spray on my head gaskets. Cometic approved its use. I like the idea of measuring my piston to head clearance and speccing a head gasket thickness to get the right clearance, eg 1.2mm or .8mm. So if the motorsport head gasket is too thin, but the OEM one too thick (or thin) I can get cometic to make the right thickness. Did that on my m20. Engine still going well I think...

                  ARP head studs also help I think. Better clamping than bolts.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yeah...I never tried an MLS myself....just wanted to make sure you were aware of their "rep" on the S14. Sounds like you are.

                    It's funny...I don't know if the concerns are accurate or not, but a failed head gasket on a freshly built engine is such a PITA, I have never tried the MLS just because I "knew" the stock gasket from BMW would work well.... I didn't need a non-stock thickness, so I figured why take the chance?

                    My point is...internet scuttlebutt tends to make us very conservative in parts choice.
                    Last edited by Ironhead; 08-31-2018, 04:20 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have a brand new Goetze 2.3l head gasket in storage if you need it. They use to be the OEM supplier iirc. Bought it from Korman a few years ago in case of a rainy day.
                      1987 325is - 185-195k
                      1988 M3 - 141k

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