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7 Series (E23, E32, E38, E65, E66) General discussion and technical help for all year 7 series cars.

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Unread 06-06-2007, 10:24 AM   #1
elsabor67's Avatar

Name: elsabor67
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Location: Germany ('Till 2010)
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M60 E32 Engine question

Hey guys,

I'm asking this question for a good friend of mine. He has a European 1993 730i with the M60 V8 engine. He has been having a problem with the engine misfiring and blowing white smoke at times.

A man that was interested in buying his car told him that there were some engines that BMW made that incorporated for the heads a nickel/aluminum/silicon mix to build the heads so they can be supposedly lighterand stronger. He also told my friend that they tend to fail alot and that he should check to see if there has been any recalls about it.

I have tried alot of places and done searches but can't find anything on it. If anyone can goide me in the right direction would be greatly appreciated. I checked on realoem.com and each head is worth over $3500. Thanks in advance.

How do I spell relief??
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Unread 06-06-2007, 11:29 AM   #2
TerryY's Avatar

Name: TerryY
Title: Senior Member
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Join Date: May 2005
Rate My Car: 7 / 340
Nicasil is the cylinder bore lining--has nothing to do with the heads.

The problem with Nicasil was that high sulphur levels in the gasoline scarred the cylinder walls. I personally presume that sulphuric acid was produced during combustion and ate the nickel plating that holds the lining together,

Two quick tests:

1) Open the drivers door with the car idling in gear and the brake on.
Is the top outside corner of the door visibly moving? If the answer is yes, it has a vacuum leak - some causes of vacuum leaks have simple cures.

2) pull the passenger side (LHD) spark plugs. If the two back ones are black and oil wetted the motor has the nicasil pitting problem. The only resolution is an engine block replacement or sleeving the block.

There are fancy tests to do the same thing but they cost money with no better answers.

Test one is actually what a dealer will do first to see if it is a vacuum leak versus just normal wear. Then in the US at least he will hold out his hand and ask for about $13,000 to $14,000 US to fix it.

If he is running non synthetic oil then putting in a heavy synthetic like Mobil 1 15/50 will minimize the smoking.
It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others. Mine sometimes feels that way.


Aloha Oregon
'95 840
'98 SVT Cobra
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Unread 06-06-2007, 06:02 PM   #3
c1apton's Avatar

Name: c1apton
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white smoke usually indicates "steam" like a head gasket going -->south. Check coolant level, check dipstick for droplets of water moisture mixed in w/oil
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Unread 06-20-2007, 08:53 AM   #4

Name: Bubba
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User not setup in Rate My Car.
Click here to set it up.

Brett Anderson, owner of KOALA motorsports (koalamotorsports.com) has a good read on Nikasil engines on his website.
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