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RE: BMW cambelt change



> The recommended timing belt change is 40,000 km or 2 years.
> 
> Kwok Shiung
> Singapore

Kwok,
Your reply is misleading.
	E30's came with many different engines. 
	In the US 325i/e/is models came with M20 engines. Early 318's had
the (E21 carry-over) M10 engine. AFAIK, it also had a chain. Somewhere
around '87, M10 engine was replaced by an M40 engine. The US market never
got the M40 316/318 cars. In '91 4-cylinder engines made a come back in the
US in the M42 incarnation. M42 engines used a chain (same goes for E30 M3's
S14 engines), so M10/M42/S14 engines can be safely excluded from this
discussion.
	Thus we are back to the M20 engines. BMW recommends replacing the
timing belt in M20 engines (M20B25 for 325i, M20B27 for 325e, B23/B20 for
323i/320i, etc) every 60K miles or 4 years, whichever comes first (just like
Nick Brearley recommended in an earlier post). The timing belt change
procedure is the only item on the 60k miles interval 'to-do' list. Some
people recommend shortening the mileage interval to 50K miles.
	Outside of the US market, E30's came with M40B18 engines in
316/316i/318i models. M40 engine does have a timing belt. AFAIK, M40 timing
belt should also be replaced every 60K (50K?) miles. If anyone knows
otherwise, please let the list know!


John Smith <john@jssm.demon.co.uk> asks:
>
> >If there's a digester out there who know the *official* BMW
> >recommended time to change the engine timing belt
> >for an E30? [...]
> >I also be interested
> >to learn of about any belts that have actually failed in service.

My mechanic has two M20 engines whose timing belts had let go due to owner
neglect. One went south after 80K miles. The other timing belt lasted just
over 100K miles. Both engines are now (very big) paper weights. Used M20B25
engines can be had for under $500 in the US. It is cheaper to replace rather
then fix them. 

alex f

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