I began my rebuild when I did a compression test and noticed I had poor compression in cylinders 2-6 (about 142 psi, the bottom of the service limit). Cylinder 1 head 160 psi. A leakdown test showed leakage into each adjacent cylinder. Of course my engine also had the oil consumption problem (1 quart every 1000 miles) that every M54 engine has, which is caused by the oil rings which wear down prematurely (the M52TU used different oil rings which did not have this problem). There was also coolant loss, which I didn't measure precisely.
To see all the videos in the #m54rebuild series: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLqJG4ZyPIF6OflXtgLWJOFdsiuc-UrZJX
To view all the specs and torques for BMW M54/M52TU engines: https://goo.gl/jLvcgR
BMW E12 socket: http://amzn.to/2i9w99y
If you are interested in the Eastwood wrench I'm using, you can get that here: http://www.eastwood.com/digital-electronic-torque-angle-wrench-1-2-drive.html - I don't love this tool because you have to reset it each time you want to measure torque angle which slows you down a whole lot. I wouldn't buy this tool if I was a professional technician, I would get the snap on for sure.
I know that's a strange title, but what I'm doing before I remove the cylinder head is loosening and then retorquing the head bolts to see if the threads in the block have been stripped out. This happens when these cars have been overheated. It's very common on engines with aluminum blocks. Happens on Toyotas, Hondas, everyone, so it's not a BMW only thing.
In order to fix this if it happens to you, and you are removing your block from the car, I suggest you look at this particular video:
That is exactly the way I would have repaired my block if I found that I needed to--using my drill press. You can also repair the block with the engine in the car.
This guy makes his own alignment blocks with all the taps and guides and drill bits which you can purchase from him for around $380: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJvuGMc8XYg
In all cases, to repair this damage, you need to drill a larger hole, , chamfer the top of the hole (very important), tap new threads, and finally screw in a Time-Sert which provides you with fresh steel threads.
You can buy the Time-Sert 1090 kit which is very similar to the above guy's kit only it's about $450 but it comes with everything you need. You can find that kit here: http://amzn.to/2i6XkPL
I suppose the first one at $380 is a pretty good deal but make sure that kit comes with the time-serts ($27) AND the lock-tite ($20), otherwise you might as well get the time-sert kit.
To use either of these kits which have the alignment plates, you need to have some good threads in the holes next to the ones that have stripped.
You can also make your own alignment plate if you have the means (use the old head gasket as a template for the holes) but aren't removing the block from the car:
This video is for entertainment purposes only. 50sKid assumes no liability for any repairs or modifications performed by the viewer as a result of the information contained in this video.