E91 Straight Six Bearding

E91 Straight Six Bearding

Author
Discussion

paulguitar

9,737 posts

74 months

Saturday 21st November 2020
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g3org3y said:
V nice, congrats. I've always thought the Coupe better suited the non sport look. cool (unlike the saloon and Touring which really benefit from the M Sport kit)
Thanks. smile

Yes, I think it looks rather good unmolested. I do think I'd prefer Msport seats though, so will look to put some in if it's not too complicated a job.

paulguitar

9,737 posts

74 months

Saturday 21st November 2020
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ferrisbueller said:
paulguitar said:
Evening all. I realize this is not a shooting brake, but are coupe owners allowed to join in here? I will be getting this a week from tomorrow, N53 330i SE:

I recognise that, primarily due to the wheels. Can't think where I saw it, was it an ebay purchase?
It was advertised here on PH. The seller seems an excellent chap, I am very much looking forward to getting the car. bounce

beambeam1

105 posts

4 months

Monday 23rd November 2020
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E91 325i is starting to give me grief... starts up then dies immediately and subsequent attempts at start just cranks for ages with nothing happening. 2E77 is the code coming up which googling indicates is a power at ignition issue but just wanted to see what other folk have remedied this with if they have encountered it before?

In the process of checking the spark plugs I reckon the valve cover gasket has gone too as found oil in ignition coil chambers 2 and 3... great.

zippyonline

Original Poster:

353 posts

127 months

Wednesday 25th November 2020
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JakeT said:
A friendly reminder for owners of the petrol variety (namely N52) owners to have a check of those DISA valves.

I replaced the starter and CCV system in mine over the past couple of days, and found...



Followed by the flap and pin inside the inlet. Fortunate it didn't cause any real damage. I checked the smaller one, and that was fine. A new one from BMW is £260, though. eek
Yup, been there done that, got the t-shirt. Just to add some notes for others, like Jake I had a low speed idle/stumbling. Mine happened at just shy of 200k miles, I literally felt the difference in the car at the time (I'd been to Birmingham and on my way back when I stopped at the lights the silky smooth idle had gone), it was like a tiny misfire. I spent a while trying to find it and at the same time attended to a few little things that needed doing anyway.

Anyway - a non functioning (i.e. butterfly valve disappeared) on the DISA valve will probably be thrown up by the computer as a shadow code, so load Carly/INPA etc and it should show up - it won't throw a CEL. You can check the large one without dissembling the manifold, and you can change it without pulling it out - just a bit of a wiggle. However if it's broken - you probably have to take it out to find all the bits of your butterfly valve, mine were sitting in the head against the valve of cylinders 1 & 2..plastic butterfly vane, so no damage done! Found the shaft somewhere inside the inlet manifold...

BMW revised that part - they use a metal shaft rather than a plastic one now, so failure shouldn't happen again. Yes they are pricey! You can buy rebuilt kits for them - but you have to split the unit to rebuilt it...


084 (25-03-2017) by Chris Reeves, on Flickr

I did this to the small one as a "preventative" measure...turns out I could never glue the casing back together well enough and the back flow off and lost the sprockets inside. I've also not read of any failures of the smaller DISA valve inside the manifold (which if you're good with your hands and know where all the bolts are, you can do without removing the inlet manifold - I've done it!) - so don't worry about that! If your small DISA goes, it feels like a turbo car with a bit of lag.... I had to buy a new larger DISA. This and the water pump are probably the two big N52 things to worry about as far as I can tell, I've changed the water pump, and done this...and engine wise I'm still good at 223k miles now. Everything else has been to be honest general 3 series stuff and really wear and tear - which isn't unexpected at this age/mileage.

zippyonline

Original Poster:

353 posts

127 months

Wednesday 25th November 2020
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stevesingo said:
JakeT said:
croissant said:
That's interesting. I have a 330i N52 and it has an occasional stutter in high gears at low rpm. I've just learned to keep the revs up when driving and don't experience it.

I've always suspected something might be up with the disa. Is it difficult to remove and have you noticed any improvement since changing to a good one?
I drove around it too. But sometimes it catches me out if I'm lazy with the gears.

It's not a mega job to check the large one. The inlet bits need to come off, and a bracket that holds a wiring bundle in my case. You might be able to get away without removing some bits though.

Mine's a silver top N52, so no help there, Mike. I think the N53 valve cover can come off without removing the injectors, though. You can get a new diaphragm though, I'd replace that first. Someone on here had a russian kit that works fine, and they said it cured an oil consumption issue they had. Is yours using some oil now?
Honestly, I don't think any stutter at part throttle is related to DISA issues as if a valve is inactive, stuck open or close, or missing (effectively open), then the symptom you would expect is lower torque in the rev range where the valve should be operating such as;

Small valve stuck open = reduced torque at low engine speed
Small valve stuck closed = reduced torque in mid range

Large valve stuck open = reduced torque in mid range
Large valve stuck closed = reduced torque at high rpm

Both Stuck open = Reduced torque low and mid rpm
Both Stuck closed = Reduced torque mid and high rpm

I have had a sticky large valve in the past and the car was flat at the top end. Sometimes it would open later than programmed and instead of a progressive increase in torque as the rpm passes 4500rpm, there was a pronounced jump at 6000rpm.

IME hesitation at low rpm, part throttle is VANOS issues where the cam position lags behind target. WHen the engine is on cat warm up during the first 90sec of so immediately after cold start, the issue doesn't show as the exhaust cam position is set to aid cat warm up.
I think my idle stutter was due to the bits of the inlet butterfly sitting on the inlet valves. It wasn't so much a stutter, as more an occasional hiccup. It maybe didn't help that I happened to lose a cylinder at a similar time (original coil packs at 185k+ miles, so I'll let them off!), but it was definitely a non normal idle, and the engine sounded a bit rattly (all relatively speaking for a silky smooth straight six - still sounded better than generic 4 pot!).

JakeT

3,827 posts

81 months

Wednesday 25th November 2020
quotequote all
zippyonline said:
Yup, been there done that, got the t-shirt. Just to add some notes for others, like Jake I had a low speed idle/stumbling. Mine happened at just shy of 200k miles, I literally felt the difference in the car at the time (I'd been to Birmingham and on my way back when I stopped at the lights the silky smooth idle had gone), it was like a tiny misfire. I spent a while trying to find it and at the same time attended to a few little things that needed doing anyway.

Anyway - a non functioning (i.e. butterfly valve disappeared) on the DISA valve will probably be thrown up by the computer as a shadow code, so load Carly/INPA etc and it should show up - it won't throw a CEL. You can check the large one without dissembling the manifold, and you can change it without pulling it out - just a bit of a wiggle. However if it's broken - you probably have to take it out to find all the bits of your butterfly valve, mine were sitting in the head against the valve of cylinders 1 & 2..plastic butterfly vane, so no damage done! Found the shaft somewhere inside the inlet manifold...

BMW revised that part - they use a metal shaft rather than a plastic one now, so failure shouldn't happen again. Yes they are pricey! You can buy rebuilt kits for them - but you have to split the unit to rebuilt it...


084 (25-03-2017) by Chris Reeves, on Flickr

I did this to the small one as a "preventative" measure...turns out I could never glue the casing back together well enough and the back flow off and lost the sprockets inside. I've also not read of any failures of the smaller DISA valve inside the manifold (which if you're good with your hands and know where all the bolts are, you can do without removing the inlet manifold - I've done it!) - so don't worry about that! If your small DISA goes, it feels like a turbo car with a bit of lag.... I had to buy a new larger DISA. This and the water pump are probably the two big N52 things to worry about as far as I can tell, I've changed the water pump, and done this...and engine wise I'm still good at 223k miles now. Everything else has been to be honest general 3 series stuff and really wear and tear - which isn't unexpected at this age/mileage.
I thought you'd had the same issue reading this thread some time ago. I bought a new one, just because BMW could have it in next day so I wasn't sat around twiddling thumbs too much. My smaller DISA valve was also okay. Possibly less mass to move around and subsequently wear on the shaft and other internals. Strangely I had no shadow codes in the DME for mine, a scan brought nothing up. Maybe because the gears were still working, and it could move. There was just no flap on the end. hehe

I think later N52s and N53s came with the metal pin for the flap, to save this sort of thing happening.

ETA: I agree with the waterpump and DISA valves. Some people also see starter issues, but not enough to be seen as a 'common' issue.

Edited by JakeT on Wednesday 25th November 09:49

Fulla

373 posts

176 months

Saturday 28th November 2020
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Afternoon, I am starting to look at 3 series tourings and am drawn to the 330 and 335 petrol E90's.
Previously had an original 320, E36 325i and E36 M3 but that was many years ago.
Looking for advice on what to look out for on these cars, I was hoping to spend around £5k but could go upto £10k if I can twist the wife's arm to stretch the budget. High mileage doesn't worry me as long as it has a good service history with more then just regular service spend.
I live in London so it needs to be ULEZ and at this stage don't mind an auto as I have a manual sporty car already. I also have looked at the 5 series as on some the seats and interior looks more plush but am not sure I really need the extra space. Car will have to carry a Doberman in the rear and the 3 look's to be the perfect size for this.
Would welcome your input on what to watch out for, to check or being pointed in the right direction for good internet sites to visit. Oh and what spec I should be looking for, I see exclusives, business editions, SE's, Sports, M so it's little confusing from the old days of the E36....
Thanks for your help - Fulla.

RocknRollOutlaw

54 posts

70 months

Saturday 28th November 2020
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RocknRollOutlaw said:
Hello all

I believe that a previous owner or three of my new car is here somewhere. Here is my manual LCI 335i which I spent a long waiting to come up for sale. My old E92 was no longer practical so I had decided on an E91 for the dog with a big petrol engine for me. She really is a lovely example but unfortunately it hasn't been the smoothest of beginnings. She developed a coolant leak almost immediately, but since that was fixed everything has been going well!

The first thing I did was code out the US style front indicators that were always on for some reason. And then I took the lowered suspension springs, which I suspect may have been a little tired, and threw them straight in the bin. The ride quality was terrible, especially on these rural Surrey roads and it scraped on absolutely everything. 4 new springs and shocks later and it's like a different car. Next thing on the list will be a decoke as I don't think it has had one in about 50k miles. Some pictures smile




I seem to have been quite unfortunate with this car with various fluid leaks mainly. It has been in the garage for one thing or another since I got it! It had a cracked valve cover replaced and oil filter housing gasket replaced just a few weeks ago, then a walnut blast yesterday which I thought would be the end of it. Then the low oil level warning light came on today which would suggest another substantial leak somewhere or perhaps, hopefully, a dodgy sensor. Hopefully I'll get some trouble free miles out of it soon. The other half is already wanting me to get rid of it!

g3org3y

15,944 posts

152 months

Sunday 29th November 2020
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Fulla said:
Afternoon, I am starting to look at 3 series tourings and am drawn to the 330 and 335 petrol E90's.
Previously had an original 320, E36 325i and E36 M3 but that was many years ago.
Looking for advice on what to look out for on these cars, I was hoping to spend around £5k but could go upto £10k if I can twist the wife's arm to stretch the budget. High mileage doesn't worry me as long as it has a good service history with more then just regular service spend.
I live in London so it needs to be ULEZ and at this stage don't mind an auto as I have a manual sporty car already. I also have looked at the 5 series as on some the seats and interior looks more plush but am not sure I really need the extra space. Car will have to carry a Doberman in the rear and the 3 look's to be the perfect size for this.
Would welcome your input on what to watch out for, to check or being pointed in the right direction for good internet sites to visit. Oh and what spec I should be looking for, I see exclusives, business editions, SE's, Sports, M so it's little confusing from the old days of the E36....
Thanks for your help - Fulla.
Manual E91 examples are pretty rare. I find the auto box on these to be pretty decent and for London driving, would be ideal imo.

All the petrol 6 cyl models are ULEZ compliant.

Earlier examples of the 330 have the N52 engine. Considered quite reliable, weak points are the electric waterpump (quite expensive) and a can also be quite leaky (cam cover, oil filter gasket, sump pan gasket etc).

Later examples of the 330 have the N53 engine. These are a bit more niggley with coil and injector issues that can cause rough running and throw up EMLs.

Sorry, don't know much about the 335i to comment.

IMVHO, the M Sport kit looks great on the E91. M Sport models also get the stiffer sport suspension, sport seats (v nice) and some other M badged bits.

Fulla

373 posts

176 months

Sunday 29th November 2020
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g3org3y said:
Manual E91 examples are pretty rare. I find the auto box on these to be pretty decent and for London driving, would be ideal imo.

All the petrol 6 cyl models are ULEZ compliant.

Earlier examples of the 330 have the N52 engine. Considered quite reliable, weak points are the electric waterpump (quite expensive) and a can also be quite leaky (cam cover, oil filter gasket, sump pan gasket etc).

Later examples of the 330 have the N53 engine. These are a bit more niggley with coil and injector issues that can cause rough running and throw up EMLs.

Sorry, don't know much about the 335i to comment.

IMVHO, the M Sport kit looks great on the E91. M Sport models also get the stiffer sport suspension, sport seats (v nice) and some other M badged bits.
Thanks for the reply. Agree the M-kits look nice and there seems to be lots of 318i's with them on. Are the smaller 6cyl engines any more reliable? Thinking maybe I don't need the extra poke....

pmorg4

77 posts

77 months

Sunday 29th November 2020
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Fulla said:
Thanks for the reply. Agree the M-kits look nice and there seems to be lots of 318i's with them on. Are the smaller 6cyl engines any more reliable? Thinking maybe I don't need the extra poke....
Not much difference between 325i or 330i of the same year reliability wise. As stated above, N52 engines are pretty reliable, newer N53 less so, and that applies to both 325i and 330i.

I dot't have much knowledge of the 4-pot engines (which in the E91 is anything below the 325i) but I understand they can be prone to pretty serious timing chain failures with little notice.

ferrisbueller

25,619 posts

188 months

Sunday 29th November 2020
quotequote all
4-cylinder to.be avoided.

g3org3y

15,944 posts

152 months

Sunday 29th November 2020
quotequote all
Fulla said:
Thanks for the reply. Agree the M-kits look nice and there seems to be lots of 318i's with them on. Are the smaller 6cyl engines any more reliable? Thinking maybe I don't need the extra poke....
The 325 felt under powered to me when I took an N52 325i Saloon for a test drive. Needed a lot of revs to get a shift on. That was in comparison to an E36 328 I was dailying at the time, let alone the E91 330 which is definitely a step up.

Do not bother with the 4 cylinder models.

Fulla

373 posts

176 months

Sunday 29th November 2020
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g3org3y said:
The 325 felt under powered to me when I took an N52 325i Saloon for a test drive. Needed a lot of revs to get a shift on. That was in comparison to an E36 328 I was dailying at the time, let alone the E91 330 which is definitely a step up.

Do not bother with the 4 cylinder models.
Ok so look's like the consensus is 6 cylinder 330. I have seen a newer 328i which looked nice but it was near £9k and if I can get something at £5k or under that would be perfect....
And are there must have specs?

Question on the leather - seems the nicer stuff which starts at Nappa on BMW's is a unicorn spec on the 3 series. What does the Dakota feel like? From the pictures none of the 3 series leather looks that nice.
Does have me looking at 5-series as well as there seems to be a few with very comfy looking seats. Plan to get out a view test a few from next weekend. Am in no rush so will just keep looking and hope more will become available in the New Year.



paulguitar

9,737 posts

74 months

Sunday 29th November 2020
quotequote all
Fulla said:
Ok so look's like the consensus is 6 cylinder 330. I have seen a newer 328i which looked nice but it was near £9k and if I can get something at £5k or under that would be perfect....
And are there must have specs?

Question on the leather - seems the nicer stuff which starts at Nappa on BMW's is a unicorn spec on the 3 series. What does the Dakota feel like? From the pictures none of the 3 series leather looks that nice.
Does have me looking at 5-series as well as there seems to be a few with very comfy looking seats. Plan to get out a view test a few from next weekend. Am in no rush so will just keep looking and hope more will become available in the New Year.
I got an E92 330I today. The Dakota is nothing special, but perfectly acceptable. The N53 is a lovely engine, loads of torque which makes it feel relaxing to drive. Mine's a manual. Here it is:











ferrisbueller

25,619 posts

188 months

Sunday 29th November 2020
quotequote all
Fulla said:
g3org3y said:
The 325 felt under powered to me when I took an N52 325i Saloon for a test drive. Needed a lot of revs to get a shift on. That was in comparison to an E36 328 I was dailying at the time, let alone the E91 330 which is definitely a step up.

Do not bother with the 4 cylinder models.
Ok so look's like the consensus is 6 cylinder 330. I have seen a newer 328i which looked nice but it was near £9k and if I can get something at £5k or under that would be perfect....
And are there must have specs?

Question on the leather - seems the nicer stuff which starts at Nappa on BMW's is a unicorn spec on the 3 series. What does the Dakota feel like? From the pictures none of the 3 series leather looks that nice.
Does have me looking at 5-series as well as there seems to be a few with very comfy looking seats. Plan to get out a view test a few from next weekend. Am in no rush so will just keep looking and hope more will become available in the New Year.
The newer 328 is a turbo'd four cylinder.

I've Dakota in my E90 and it has aged well and the sports seats are comfortable.

Any 330i touring is relatively rare, manuals especially so. Don't expect a glut of them to hit the market and if you're very particular on spec you could be sat waiting a long time.


Fulla

373 posts

176 months

Sunday 29th November 2020
quotequote all
ok so that's the newer one off the list then!
I've joined E90post.com so once mods have fully enabled my account I'll post a wanted in the classified and see what pops up.
Noticed there is Nrth Ireland one on Gumtree for under 6k but it looks little grubby and it's a long way to go for a car.

Andy advice for PPI's on these. Are there specialists that will go view the car? I have always had PPI's on the Porsches I have owned and they are invaluable.

ferrisbueller

25,619 posts

188 months

Sunday 29th November 2020
quotequote all
Fulla said:
ok so that's the newer one off the list then!
I've joined E90post.com so once mods have fully enabled my account I'll post a wanted in the classified and see what pops up.
Noticed there is Nrth Ireland one on Gumtree for under 6k but it looks little grubby and it's a long way to go for a car.

Andy advice for PPI's on these. Are there specialists that will go view the car? I have always had PPI's on the Porsches I have owned and they are invaluable.
If you read through this thread you'll find the bulk of a good buying guide. I'm not sure what a basic PPI could find that you wouldn't find yourself - I'm not a fan of some of these generic PPIs you can buy. Many of them are just done on a driveway. IMO, if you want an inspection, you would be better off asking for it to be taken to a decent local BMW indy for them to go over it for a couple of hours and check everything with it up in the air.

Many of the "normal" issues on these cars are such that if there's no invoice or proof of works, then assume it needs doing. These would include the water pump and rocker cover gasket, for example.

You want to look at history and see receipts for work done, not just service indicator readings in the car, which can be reset. Personally if I see a car like this on Woosung Ling Long Ditchfinders then I pass immediately. This may mean I dismiss decent cars but if someone isn't spending on something like a tyre then they're scrimping elsewhere IMO.


g3org3y

15,944 posts

152 months

Sunday 29th November 2020
quotequote all
Fulla said:
ok so that's the newer one off the list then!
I've joined E90post.com so once mods have fully enabled my account I'll post a wanted in the classified and see what pops up.
Noticed there is Nrth Ireland one on Gumtree for under 6k but it looks little grubby and it's a long way to go for a car.

Andy advice for PPI's on these. Are there specialists that will go view the car? I have always had PPI's on the Porsches I have owned and they are invaluable.
Yes, as has been mentioned, the next gen 3 Series 328i is 4 cyl turbo. frown

I've got no problem with Dakota leather at all. Seems to wear well and it seems a lot better quality than the crappy stuff I had in my E46.

I find the Sport seats in the E91 to be really comfortable, actually more so than the Sport seats in my E63 6 Series. For some reason I just don't get on with the lumbar support on the latter. I've not spent enough time in my wife's X5 with the Comfort Seats to comment on how they compare.

Fulla

373 posts

176 months

Sunday 29th November 2020
quotequote all
ferrisbueller said:
If you read through this thread you'll find the bulk of a good buying guide. I'm not sure what a basic PPI could find that you wouldn't find yourself - I'm not a fan of some of these generic PPIs you can buy. Many of them are just done on a driveway. IMO, if you want an inspection, you would be better off asking for it to be taken to a decent local BMW indy for them to go over it for a couple of hours and check everything with it up in the air.

Many of the "normal" issues on these cars are such that if there's no invoice or proof of works, then assume it needs doing. These would include the water pump and rocker cover gasket, for example.

You want to look at history and see receipts for work done, not just service indicator readings in the car, which can be reset. Personally if I see a car like this on Woosung Ling Long Ditchfinders then I pass immediately. This may mean I dismiss decent cars but if someone isn't spending on something like a tyre then they're scrimping elsewhere IMO.
Agree with everything you have said and will have a look through the thread. For the Porsches I only use 1 specialist but they travel which helps, ad it gives me peace of mind . Year ago I sold my 993 on 165k with 2 large lever arch files full of receipts that helped, along with it's condition, to get a good price. I'll want to see receipts that prove it has been well looked after.
Can't agree more on the tyres, it's the contact point and if they are not good quality brands that are the same all around I would also walk. If your not willing to spend on the right tyres then it tells a story for the rest of the maintenance. Thank you for your input.