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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I was watching this auction on BAT for a 138k mile M5: 2001 BMW M5

A commenter asked if the timing chains had been done and the seller answered, "No. Timing chains are not an issue on the s62, that is more of an issue on m62s. I’d recommend doing some googling and seeing what other m5 owners say. Many go 200-250k+ without touching them – some will replace the tensioner for preventative maintenance, but usually people only do this if engine is out for some reason." No one refuted his assertion or mentioned anything else about timing chains or guides. The seller acquired the car in 2016 and did not get previous maintenance records.

When I bought my 117k mile M5 last year with no maintenance records, I did a lot of research here and elsewhere. I came to the conclusion that while it's more urgent on M62s, at 117k miles my S62 was getting close to borrowed time for the timing chain guides and had them replaced (with the chains). Did I jump the gun, was the seller above downplaying the timing chain guide risk to get a higher price, or is the reality somewhere in between?

Thanks, Cory
 

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Curious to hear others' thoughts on this, but I wouldn't say you wasted money. From what I understand they're plastic guides and I imagine they will wear out and become brittle with time, even if they don't have many miles. I imagine there's some survivorship bias where you only hear about the cars going 250k+ without replacement, and not the failed engines.
To add a datapoint, I just bought a 217k e39 M5 that has not had the guides replaced as far as I know. To be on the safe side I did replace the tensioner, as has been documented on this site.
 

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Was the engine making an ugly noise? Did you have plastic pieces in the oil pan? If no then you jumped the gun IMO.
Yes there are many instances of failed TC guides over the years. But if you don't have signs of failed guides my advice is just to replace the tensioner (which is simple to do and cheap) every 50K miles or so.
Others have done the guides at the same time as doing rod bearings because with that task you are halfway there or more to getting to the guides.
 

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117k on mine as well, and I have not replaced them, and not planning on doing it. perhaps I'll replace the tensioner.
 

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About to hit 118k here soon. I replaced the tensioner at about 103k miles last January. No odd noises and didn't find any plastic in the oil pan or pick up last summer when I replaced the leaking lower pan gasket. Going to check again though in the coming months just to be sure. I may do it regardless for peace of mind.

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I don't think it's a problem with S62. Our thermostat opens at 79 degrees vs M62 thermostat at 108. Huge difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the responses. So it seems unanimous - I wasted thousands of dollars.

The guides removed from my car didn't look great but they were definitely still intact.

With the exception of the very un-BMW turbo 4 in my wife's F30, all my BMWs have had silky smooth straight 6s (M20, M30, M54). When I got the M5, I thought the engine noises were not normal but have learned since that the S62 sounds different than other BMW engines. I don't blame them but it would have been nice if the very reputable indy BMW shop had told me that before I gave them $7k to do the VANOS and timing chains/guides. Oh well, maybe I'll recoup a little when I pass the M5 on to the next caretaker.

Cory
 

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172K and 20 years on the original guides and rod bearings. A stuck valve (unrelated total fluke of an issue) required an engine replacement but the guides and rod bearings were totally fine! The S62 in general seems like a very "generally" reliable engine that amazingly doesn't ask for much in my experience (over 60K in the driver's seat myself and 9yrs of ownership).
 

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It would be very interesting and helpful for the board if you could post up some picture of your timing chain guides after they were removed if you have them,

I am driving an 03 M5, so 18 years old, 107K miles, original guides. I do have the tensioner in stock, but since I have zero noise related to any of this, I have yet to replace it.
 

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I don't think you should wait for noise to replace the tensioner. Buy from FCP Euro and replace every 25K.
 

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120k on my ‘01. Recently replaced the oil pan gasket and the pan had zero debris. No noises either. Going to ride it out. Will replace the tensioner at 150k or so.
 

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What is the part # for the tensioner.
Are they one or two piece ..I mean upper and lower or just one.
how hard to replace?

Thank you
 

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What is the part # for the tensioner.
Are they one or two piece ..I mean upper and lower or just one.
how hard to replace?

Thank you
All you need right here. Very easy to replace. Plenty of threads an videos on how to do it.

You'll also need a gasket listed here.

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I don't think it's a problem with S62. Our thermostat opens at 79 degrees vs M62 thermostat at 108. Huge difference.
This one massive difference between the M62 and S62 has enormous long term consequences, all negative, for the M62.
 

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My M5 has 145K miles and I decided to change the timing chain tensioner. No noise from the timing chain, just seems like good PM type thing to do. Both FCP Euro and Pelican Parts were out of stock and item is backordered. I ended up ordering from Ebay and that supplier is now out of stock.
 

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HA, FCP euro probs out of stock due to all E39M5 owners replacing them every 25K cuz, "Lifetime"
 
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For those of you wanting a comparison of timing guide wear. Crappie cell phone pictures, so I'll just put several up, and you can compare.
An S62 guide with 210,000 miles that had a rod come out, vs an M62 with 95,000, that also had a rod ventilate the block.
The 95k has more grooving than the s62.
950548
950549
950550
950551
 
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