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      06-25-2018, 09:31 PM   #1
Kaane
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2008 128i Sludge from Hell project

I just picked up a 2008 128i for my son for his first car.

80k miles. It was super cheap paid $2400.

Interior is filthy, it has a dent on passenger quarter panel. Doesn't run, from what I was told it seized up.

I towed it home and started taking it apart.

Here is the oil filter lol.... I don't think there was an oil change in 30k miles.



Sludged up beyond anything i have seen looking through the oil cap.

I pulled the plugs, they look crusty, but not too bad. I used a borescope and the pistons look ok.

Battery is dead, so I haven't even tried cranking it yet. I will probably put some fresh oil in it and crank it tomorrow once it's charged.

Son wanted to learn how to wrench, so it will be a father son project.

Worse case scenario bottom end is toast and it will either get rebuilt or get a new motor.

Interior has no damage, but is beyond filthy, coffee or coke spills everywhere.

Pics of the car.



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      06-25-2018, 10:13 PM   #2
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is this a flood car? Harvey got it or something, thats water in the oil
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      06-25-2018, 10:17 PM   #3
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2009 BMW 128i  [5.00]
Looks like a cool and interesting project!

This is my first car (in my signature), and it's kinda become the father and son project (mostly son, he's got a GTI to fiddle with). Right now we're building a 3.73:1 (stock is 3.23:1) diff with an LSD, it's been stressful but educational, so far (broke a near-irreplaceable bearing shim).

Picked it up with 159k miles for $7000. Thing runs like a champ, though, it's going on 174k miles now! Track days and everything at this age, too!

Once you guys get it fixed up, it's going to be a phenomenal first car. Enough power to move but not enough to get into really bad situations, very forgiving chassis, reliable (when maintained and looked after), decently efficient (30mpg highway is easy, but I'm struggling to break 20mpg in the city) and a car that can be modded to accommodate improved driving skills pretty easily.

Welcome to the forums, good luck with the rebuild, can't wait to see it running and driving again!
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      06-25-2018, 10:23 PM   #4
Kaane
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Quote:
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is this a flood car? Harvey got it or something, thats water in the oil
Nah, no flood. Clean title. The flash makes the oil look like it has coolant in it. It does not, its dark brown.
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      06-26-2018, 05:11 AM   #5
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I've not had occasion to try it, but one of the old-timer's tricks for cleaning up seriously sludged engines is to drain the oil, replace the filter, and fill the pan with kerosene or diesel. Run at idle until hot, drain, new filter, repeat. A less aggressive version substitutes ATF.

At this point I'd think you have little to lose trying any of them. In any case, buy a case of filters and a lot of your chosen lubricant - cleaning that up will take some time.
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      06-26-2018, 09:05 AM   #6
Kaane
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I just might pull the head and manually clean everything. Depends on the condition of the bottom end. Ordered the stupid lift pads, car doesn't have 1 on it, so I can't put it on the lift yet. I don't think any amount of flushing would get all the crud from all the solenoids and entire oil supply.
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      06-26-2018, 11:57 AM   #7
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Yes and no. There are going to be some areas where pressurized fluid is going to be the only way to clean. Manual cleaning is fine for the big areas, of course.
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      06-26-2018, 01:05 PM   #8
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There a lot of good used N52 engines around; maybe worth considering
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      06-26-2018, 04:59 PM   #9
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I got a new battery connected and tried to crank it. It cranked very slowly, it did start for a split second and died. I tried a few more times and I think I killed the starter or it was already bad. Starter smells burnt and now I have zero crank.

I drained the oil and it was all like syrup. Put new oil and filter.

I pulled both vanos solenoids and they were totally gunked up. I am pretty sure vanos is non functioning due to the sludge. I cleaned them, but i am sure the oil passages are still dirty.

So I wonder if the slow crank / smoked starter is due to some internal resistance in the motor or just a bad starter. Either was I think I will have to pull the motor and do a top to bottom inspection.
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      06-26-2018, 05:38 PM   #10
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I'd suggest charging up the battery and, if you can get any cranking at all, pull the plugs and squirt a little very light oil (Marvel Mystery Oil is what I'd use) into the cylinders. Cranking without the plugs may allow you to get things spinning enough to build oil pressure and start loosening things up.
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      06-26-2018, 05:44 PM   #11
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A gallon of seafoam and a few cases or cheap oil to run thru it. That's what I would do. Keep changing the oil until it gets clean(er).
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      06-26-2018, 05:57 PM   #12
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I'd pull the plugs, find the fuses to disable the ignition and fuel pump before trying to crank it. See if you can get some diesel or atf to circulate without the engine running, marvel's supposed to be very good to lubricate the cylinders.

It sounds as though the starter suffered badly, and with the oil like that I suspect if the engine's not in trouble yet, it will be if you fire it up.
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      06-26-2018, 06:26 PM   #13
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Pulled the intake manifold off, got the starter out. It's toast. Smells like burning lol.

I will get a new starter and pull the plugs and get it cranking for a while to see if I can move some of the sludge around. When I squirted some brake clean into the oil filter housing it wouldn't even drain.

Also need a new pcv hose, stupid plastic is brittle and snapped when I was pulling the intake off.
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      06-26-2018, 09:44 PM   #14
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Removed the Vanos filters.

A bit dirty.

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      06-26-2018, 10:19 PM   #15
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The more I take this engine apart, the less I like it.

Searched for some replacement engines and found a 67k mile motor from a 2012 128i, 25 miles from me for $1000

I think I will just bit the bullet and start with a low mileage non sludged motor.
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      06-26-2018, 10:27 PM   #16
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2009 BMW 128i  [5.00]
LS Swap?

Someone did it in an E90...
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      06-26-2018, 10:40 PM   #17
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Lol,

I already had a LS3 swapped E36 M3.

My old ride.





LS3 anyone?

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      06-29-2018, 06:04 PM   #18
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Wow, quite a mess (and a nice motor swap). Another reason that the alternate motor might be a good idea is the lack of a cylinder liner in the block. I would not be optimistic about the aluminum bores surviving the terrible treatment that motor had. Brittle plastic would be consistent with it operating too hot - like due to no lubrication.
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      06-29-2018, 11:45 PM   #19
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Went to pick up a new motor. It was from a 2012 car, 67k miles. Got it home, found a sticker on it and it's a fricking N51... even though the junkyard said it was N52.

Total pain the ass. They are closed now and can't return it until monday. They don't have another low mileage motor, so I will have to grab one with 90k miles. It's from a 2010 528i.
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      06-30-2018, 01:16 AM   #20
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Damn nice E36 - Wow
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      06-30-2018, 10:46 AM   #21
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Damn nice E36 - Wow
Thx!
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      06-30-2018, 10:58 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaane View Post
Went to pick up a new motor. It was from a 2012 car, 67k miles. Got it home, found a sticker on it and it's a fricking N51... even though the junkyard said it was N52.

Total pain the ass. They are closed now and can't return it until monday. They don't have another low mileage motor, so I will have to grab one with 90k miles. It's from a 2010 528i.
Sounds like an opportunity to give your son the motor of his dreams, which is either a N54 or N55 depending on whether you intend to change out the turbo(s).
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