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There goes another one!
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Charles
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:23 pm    Post subject: There goes another one! Reply with quote

You've guessed it - the Head Gasket has gone! Somewhat earlier than expected at 64k miles and it appears to have caused a bit of additional damage Shocked

Pictures to follow, but it looks like the piece of gasket between the cylinders came apart and the loose bits rattled around cylinder 1 enough to cause a partial failure in the piston.

The time has come to do away with the ALPINA HG as this is becoming boring. After long discussions with Phil Crouch, we have an alternative winging its way over from the States. Not only has it been tried and tested on US M3 engines (the same block as the B3S) that have been souped up (turbos and superchargers), but it comes in different thicknesses to allow for the various head skims over the years.

We've also decided to replace the standard head bolts with a stud system to ensure the head remains exactly where it is placed when it goes back on - as there is an argument to say that bolts will loosen very slightly over time, allowing additional stresses to the HG.

Some of you will probably be wondering why I am even bothering with this but, to be honest with you, I love this car and wouldn't know what to replace it with. There's also a certain stubbornness about keeping the old girl going, having spent so much time, love and money on her.

More news to follow with pictures, but hopefully #049 will be back on the road shortly.
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shaziman
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good news and bad news Charles! Oh well, another 100k wouldn't do any harm on that car!

Photo blog would be great on the process of uprating the bolt system, but i fear that getting head on and off may be a pain as the when the head would be lifted, it would hit the scuttle panel, which is quite intrusive on the E46. I suspect it has to be removed anyway, but its just a thought.
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Hodge
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are a fantastic test bed of longevity, the car that is, not you Very Happy

Cheers
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Charles
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hodge wrote:
You are a fantastic test bed of longevity, the car that is, not you Very Happy

Hostage to fortune, more like Shocked
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Charles
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B3S Touring (49/116) - been to the moon and now on the way back!
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jolls
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to hear this Charles. As you have mentioned it is somewhat earlier than expected but it is refreshing to read your point of view and keeping positive about the situation. What else can you do? Buy another one? I'm always of the opinion "better the devil you know" when it comes to cars and if I was in your situation I would do exactly the same.
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Charles
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jolls wrote:
Sorry to hear this Charles. As you have mentioned it is somewhat earlier than expected but it is refreshing to read your point of view and keeping positive about the situation. What else can you do? Buy another one? I'm always of the opinion "better the devil you know" when it comes to cars and if I was in your situation I would do exactly the same.

Thanks Jolls,

I have taken the position that the HG will go regularly and (normally) predictably every 80k miles or so. The first went at 80k, the second at 100k and third at 64k - averaging 81k miles - so the latest one is early but within the law of averages.

I always said that I would look at alternatives this time round - hence the non-ALPINA gasket that we are sourcing. The stud option is another alternative and I am also looking at replacing the hydraulic tappets/lifters as they have become noisy as well as some more work to quieten the VANOS. This is all planned work - based on my long-term experience of how the engine behaves - so it is just a case of putting money aside over the year(s) and spending it when needed.
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Charles
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B3S Touring (49/116) - been to the moon and now on the way back!
Renault Grand Espace - not mine but the wife's!
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Charles
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shaziman wrote:
Photo blog would be great on the process of uprating the bolt system, but i fear that getting head on and off may be a pain as the when the head would be lifted, it would hit the scuttle panel, which is quite intrusive on the E46. I suspect it has to be removed anyway, but its just a thought.

And a good one - thank you.

I've asked Phil to take plenty of photos and I'll discuss with him the scuttle panel issue - which I'm sure that he has a solution to anyway.
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Charles
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B3S Touring (49/116) - been to the moon and now on the way back!
Renault Grand Espace - not mine but the wife's!
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Jamie



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you post a link to the HG? Would be useful for future reference...
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Ikule
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to hear it's gone again Charles, but it will be interesting to see how you get on with sourcing the alternative, is it a Cometic metal gasket perhaps?
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ALPB1033
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to hear that again Charles. By the way what is the HG part no(just in case I need one when mine turns 200k and plans for the overhauling the engine) and does it fit the 3.3 as well?
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simon13
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



You can remove the pollen filter housing very easily, the head comes off easy but phil knows this.

I can fully understand why you like the car so much, i think ours is getting better the miles the engine covers at the moment.

Surely yours is the highest mileage B3s in existance Charles?
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Charles
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I flew back into the UK this morning so am still catching up with Phil about the details. As soon as I have more information about the gasket then I'll pas it on.

As for the highest mileage B3S in existence, as Carlsberg would say .... Very Happy
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Charles
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B3S Touring (49/116) - been to the moon and now on the way back!
Renault Grand Espace - not mine but the wife's!
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Jamie



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you get the info about the gasket? Thanks Smile
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Charles
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not yet - but I am expecting more information this week. I plan to do a full write up once the work is finished, so I'll tell more in due course.

Phil's rather busy trying to get things completed before the arrival of another Crouchlet and my gasket is still being held by HMRC at Heathrow!

Patience Very Happy
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Charles
Teacher of Chemistry and driver of ALPINAs - not necessarily in that order Wink
B3S Touring (49/116) - been to the moon and now on the way back!
Renault Grand Espace - not mine but the wife's!
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Charles
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Word has it that the new HG should be arriving in Amersham today Very Happy
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Charles
Teacher of Chemistry and driver of ALPINAs - not necessarily in that order Wink
B3S Touring (49/116) - been to the moon and now on the way back!
Renault Grand Espace - not mine but the wife's!
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