The BMW I bought I got for pretty cheap because it needs some odds and ends. One of those odds and ends is a head gasket. I have every intention of doing all the work on this car myself so I have been doing a bit of research, picked up some parts and a repair manual and dug right in.

I started by pulling the engine apart, Valve covers, Intake manifold and more. The intake manifold on this car (BMW M42 engine) is a two part unit. The upper intake manifold is quite easy to remove then you get to the lower intake manifold. Turns out some very intelligent BMW engineer decided that the Main wiring harness needed to intertwine the lower manifold, so in order to remove this you need to unplug just about everything in the engine. I am sure this brilliant engineer had the best intentions, but good lord, had they simply made the main harness box an L with wires going down the side of the manifold instead of a T with the wires going through repair would be 100 times easier.

Head Gasket Replacement

Head Gasket Replacement

Head Gasket Replacement

After a wrestling match with the wiring harness I finally overcame that obstacle and was able to remove the head. I made my own cam lock tool for the moment figuring I could time it later when I needed too. With the head off I was able to see where the leak was.

Head Gasket Replacement

Head Gasket Replacement

I began to clean up the head using scotch bright pads and oven cleaner. Turns out that stuff works great and the head was cleaning up much quicker than I anticipated. Unfortunately the cleaner it got the quicker I found a problem

A crack appears

Yes, that is correct, It looks as though this head has a crack in it. There is good news, I know that there are 2 M42 engines sitting just down the street for me to pick parts from. So I will head down there tomorrow to see what the head on those engines look like. The bad news, well this project is definitely on delay.

Closeup of the crack