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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > NA Engine (non-turbo) / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications > N51 Camshaft Carriers cracked?



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      05-13-2019, 03:13 PM   #1
rj42894
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N51 Camshaft Carriers cracked?

Hello all,

I have a question i am trying to figure out,
I have came across an issue with my camshaft carriers suddenly cracking. I was driving the car home one day on the freeway and suddenly the car shut down to a stop. I pulled over and looked it over to find there was nothing obvious that i could diag. So i had the car towed home.

After further tear-down of the car i have come to the conclusion that that intake camshaft carriers are cracked and are prohibiting the engine from starting. According to BMW this is caused by oil starvation, which is mind boggling as i drained about 7-1/2 quarts of oil of of the motor.

Would i be able to simply replace the components? or should i give up on my old daily?

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      05-13-2019, 05:25 PM   #2
Eagle1oh7
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Whoa! I wonder what happened beforehand to cause this!
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      05-13-2019, 06:43 PM   #3
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Everything on those cams looks awfully dry and discolored from heat, presumably friction. Like the bolts look black on your cam holders.

I don’t see traces of oil anywhere? This is what mine looked like last time I had the cover off, everything shiny and oily...

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      05-13-2019, 10:29 PM   #4
rj42894
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The car has been sitting for several months.

I haven't touched it in a while as I have another car to drive for the time being, but I'd love to get it back on the road. I'm sure all the oil has drained to the pan since then.

I'm kinda at a standstill on what to do because I would like to see her running again.
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      05-14-2019, 12:20 AM   #5
hassmaschine
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Could be an oiling issue, definitely looks like those bolts got very hot. At the very least, you need a new head.

I'd probably just buy a whole motor and swap it. Maybe upgrade to an N52 vs the N51.
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      05-14-2019, 11:32 AM   #6
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Agreed, just drop a 'new to you' motor in. They can be had for ~$1000 I think. Way easier than trying to make this current motor continue to work, especially if there's evidence of oil starvation.
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      05-14-2019, 12:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hassmaschine View Post
Could be an oiling issue, definitely looks like those bolts got very hot. At the very least, you need a new head.

I'd probably just buy a whole motor and swap it. Maybe upgrade to an N52 vs the N51.
+1 those caps got pretty hot. I'm wondering what caused the lubrication failure. Maybe an oil pump issue since you stated the oil was full? Might be worth pulling the filter to see if there's any kibbles and bits in it.

Hass- Is it possible to just swap an N52 block/head in place of an N51 engine? Would there be programming required? I know the N51 has lower compression.
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      05-17-2019, 03:13 PM   #8
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Replacing head.

I'm currently thinking of just replacing the head since i don't think much damage could have been done. As i was driving, the engine just shut off, i threw it into neutral and tried to see if it would start again. Maybe that saved the engine, i'm not sure, but i can always take it off in my free time to see how bad it is.

Could anybody point me in the right direction when pulling this off ad what to check for on a n51/2 to call the engine officially shot? it's an X-Drive so i already know the oil pan is going to be a pain..

I'm hoping its a clogged/ Bad oil pump.
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