Getting Back on the Road

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Getting Back on the Road

Postby grpB_ENGR » Mon Nov 23, 2015 2:32 am

Hello!
I'm the new owner of a 1990 All trac with only 79k miles!
A few days ago, I received a text message from my friend with a screen shot of the local trading journal.There was an E36 BMW for sale that he thought I might be interested in, but what caught my eye was the all trac listed above it!

The car has a reconstructed title, and the front bumper isn't in the best shape. It needs new rear tires before it will pass inspection, and there is a loud rattling sound that seems to be coming from the timing cover area of the engine but only between 1400 and 1600 RPM (Any ideas? Nothing seemed loose upon a quick visual check, but I'll have to to more digging). Previous owner had bought it for his daughter to drive, but when he realized he couldn't install car seats, it ended up sitting in his yard for the past year. Aside from the rattling and the terrible brakes, there is a slight misfire. Overall the car seemed to drive okay, so I took it home.

The plan for today was new pads, rotors, and spark plugs. I finished up the front brakes, and I've got the rears off to get the rotors resurfaced tomorrow. To my surprise, the spark plug wells were filled to the brim with motor oil! So it looks like I'll also be ordering a new valve cover gasket.

I have some experience repairing and maintaining my own vehicles, but not a whole lot so I'm sure all have plenty of questions and reading to do on here while trying to get it back on the road in time for winter.

Thanks for the read. I'll have some pictures up tomorrow!
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Last edited by grpB_ENGR on Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
grpB_ENGR
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Re: Getting Back on the Road

Postby CTechBlueDragon » Mon Nov 23, 2015 2:14 pm

One or more of the valves may be needing adjustment, I would say they had the cover off and failed to silicone it back after they figured out it was too costly to repair. Make sure you put a very small bead of silicone on the top and bottom of the new gasket and especially at the corners where the cams and distributor pass through. Clean it very thoroughly with some acetone or degreaser. You should probably check the valve lash while its off and make sure nothing is loose in there. Then take the top timing cover off and see if you can tell if the idler pulley needs replaced. You might have to loose the engine and let it droop down on the timing side to replace it, you might as well replace both pulleys and the belt if you go that far. Chances are with that low of a mileage this thing has been nothing but problems for its owners, and it more than likely has not had the belt replaced and its a quarter century old. Then do a compression test to see why its misfiring if the plugs don't help.
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Re: Getting Back on the Road

Postby grpB_ENGR » Fri Dec 04, 2015 9:30 pm

Thanks for the advice!
I finally got the valve cover gasket in today after ordering it once and having to return it because the inner seal was missing. I will look into checking my valve clearance in the next couple of days.
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