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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
There is an opportunity to purchase an M5 with a broken timing chain at a good price. According to him, the owner was driving when the car stopped. He tried starting it again, which didn't work, and had it towed to the local German auto shop. He was quoted $3,500 for the replacement of the chain. He claims inability to fix it due to financial hardship. I should mention that NICB reports that car has a salvage title, but I haven't seen an actual history report on the vehicle.(-if anyone has a spare report, PM me for the VIN... would be much appreciated :))

I have a few questions:
1. What could have caused this to happen?

2. Is this a DIY job in any way?

3. Is the $3,500 figure accurate?

4. Could this have caused major damage to the engine itself? I have located a replacement engine for $4k after receipt of the older engine. In the case that a replacement is needed, how much should the procedure cost?

I have not seen pics of the car yet, but apparently it is a one-owner car in very good condition...

Thanks for the help.
 

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There is an opportunity to purchase an M5 with a broken timing chain at a good price. According to him, the owner was driving when the car stopped. He tried starting it again, which didn't work, and had it towed to the local German auto shop. He was quoted $3,500 for the replacement of the chain. He claims inability to fix it due to financial hardship. I should mention that NICB reports that car has a salvage title, but I haven't seen an actual history report on the vehicle.

I have a few questions:
1. What could have caused this to happen?

2. Is this a DIY job in any way?

3. Is the $3,500 figure accurate?

4. Could this have caused major damage to the engine itself? I have located a replacement engine for $4k after receipt of the older engine. In the case that a replacement is needed, how much should the procedure cost?

I have not seen pics of the car yet, but apparently it is a one-owner car in very good condition...

Thanks for the help.
Is it the main timing chain? 3500 sounds about right, much needs to come of in order to change the main chain
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Yes, I suppose that's why he can't afford to get it fixed. I'm guessing the valves are bent since he tried starting it after the chain broke, which might mean the cylinder heads are bad...
 

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If the chain broke while the vehicle was running then expect to be replacing more than just the chain. Generally when timing belts/chains snap pistons meet valves.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If the chain broke while the vehicle was running then expect to be replacing more than just the chain. Generally when timing belts/chains snap pistons meet valves.
From my understanding, the S62 is a non-interference engine, which means that the pistons wouldn't be damaged. Either way, replacing the chain is only $500 less than getting a different engine, not including any messed up valves, cylinder heads, etc.
 

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From my understanding, the S62 is a non-interference engine, which means that the pistons wouldn't be damaged. Either way, replacing the chain is only $500 less than getting a different engine, not including any messed up valves, cylinder heads, etc.
Really? Non interference? That surprises me if true.
 

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I'm not 100% sure, but I read it on this forum. Like I said, I've located a replacement and am just trying to weigh my options to see if repairing this car will be worth it in the end.
How well do you know the car and how much do you know about the replacement motor? How much to install the motor? Doing a clutch while you are in there? Mileage? Other worn parts, like suspension?

And then, once it is together, if there is anything else wrong, your nickel. Of course, you may be able to part out some of the blown motor. So, fair amount of risk depending on what you know; if the risk is not too great, or the price justifies the risk, then go for it.

Regards,
Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
According to the owner, the car just had a new clutch, radiator, and fuel pump installed. I've had quotes from $1,500 (mediocre shop) to $2k (high end shop) for the replacement. The replacement has a 3 month warranty on it. If the car does indeed have a salvage title, and since its obviously in need of major engine repair or more like replacement, I think I'd get it real cheap, but then I have to consider if the car is actually worth repairing due to the supposed salvage title...
 

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Maybe I'm going mad, but I could have sworn I read a thread with a similar story (from the owner's prospective) either on this board or on bimmerforums.
 

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Figure you need a new motor. The $3500 estimate is too rosy. Replacing the chain is potluck and NO shop can predict zero collateral damage without total teardown inspection. Bad chain often means bad block & head job on S62 and M62. You could dump $2K labor into it before the bad news arrives. The shop is sucking the owner into a time and material investigation job that could reach $20K. I would discourage you from becoming the owner.

A reliable motor replacement job will likely cost $12K or so. Finding a $5K used motor that is known good and not stolen is incrediibly unlikely unless you have 1-3 years to search for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Actually, I talked to the owner of the shop. The car's owner doesn't have money to do any further inspection -- he's apparently facing foreclosure and stuff. Like I said, I've located a used motor w/ 93k miles on it for $4k with a 3 month warranty. What makes you think this engine is bad, if the seller is willing to stand behind it? I realize that repairing the original engine is probably out of the question at this point.
 

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Actually, I talked to the owner of the shop. The car's owner doesn't have money to do any further inspection -- he's apparently facing foreclosure and stuff. Like I said, I've located a used motor w/ 93k miles on it for $4k with a 3 month warranty. What makes you think this engine is bad, if the seller is willing to stand behind it? I realize that repairing the original engine is probably out of the question at this point.
I am not claiming the motor will be bad. I am just saying there's a good possibility and it's mileage is approaching a point where rod bearings are shot and it could blow within a year or so. Of course the owner of the used motor will stand behind it for 3 months in order to entice a buyer. Fact is, the buyer of the used motor accepts all financial liability and risk while the seller has no risk. If the motor turns out bad, the buyer will absorb $2K or more in labor fees and you will be stuck with a bum car torn apart that needs stored and no motor. This is the definition of a disaster. The seller of the motor will simply get his defective motor back which is what he deserves. You absorb all shipping and labor fees. you will be his guinea pig.
 

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Actually, I talked to the owner of the shop. The car's owner doesn't have money to do any further inspection -- he's apparently facing foreclosure and stuff. Like I said, I've located a used motor w/ 93k miles on it for $4k with a 3 month warranty. What makes you think this engine is bad, if the seller is willing to stand behind it? I realize that repairing the original engine is probably out of the question at this point.

1. You have NO IDEA if the chain is bad or if $3500 will fix it. That is an ESTIMATE. For all you and the shop owner knows, $3500 and you could have an engine that doesn't run or runs 100 miles and dies.

2. I'll 'stand behind' the motor you buy...no problem. Oh, wait, by stand behind you meant a written contractual agreement that I will pay you if anything goes wrong? Different thing. The 'warranty' is only as good as the company or person behind it, AND YOUR ABILITY TO MOUNT A LAWSUIT IF THEY SCREW YOU!

3. If all you need is 3 months of driving for 4k, why not lease a new M5? $1333 a month is about right.

I'm being flip, but there are so many things that can and do go wrong with deals like this- and with motors with absolute black holes for history... the risks are astounding.

A
 

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I still don't see how a Duplex chain should snap.....never seen that before!
Althought the piston design,it would really surprise me if the valves don't meet the piston,because the valve has quite much lift.

And again,how did the shop determine the chain broke?Are valve covers or chain covers already away?
 

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A) bankrupt owner blows car - tries to sell it with B.S. estimate (since no one really knows what the problem/damage is)
B) assume engine gone
C) another 'potential' motor for resonable price
D) assuming blown car gotten DIRT CHEAP & cost of donor engine & installation ALL goes well
E) costs of completed project likely to be more hassle, and MORE money than just finding a decent one for sale with NO problems

F) WALK AWAY...
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Suppose I get the car for $2k, since it is possibly salvage and needs a replacement engine. $3k car and shipping +$4k engine + $2k installation = worst case, $9k for a 2000 M5 w/ 93k miles. That is assuming the timing belt is actually broken... suppose I brought it and took it to the local mechanic, and it turns out that it didn't need the chain replaced and it was misdiagnosed to begin with. Or perhaps, with the help of this forum, I can replace the chain and cylinder heads myself... just throwing out a few different scenarios here...

By the way, Merry Christmas folks!
 
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