How to Replace timing chain on BMW 325D E90 2006-2010


Special tools

  • Camshaft alignment tool – BMW No.11 6 321.
  • Camshaft locking tool – BMW No.11 6 322.
  • Crankshaft alignment tool – BMW No.11 6 480.
  • Crankshaft locking tool – BMW No.11 8 010 (AT version GM-5).
  • Crankshaft locking tool 1 – BMW No.11 8 182 (AT version 6HP-19).
  • Crankshaft locking tool 2 – BMW No.11 8 183 (AT version 6HP-19).
  • Crankshaft locking tool 3 – BMW No.11 8 185 (MT version).
  • Flywheel timing pin 1 – BMW No.11 5 180.
  • Flywheel timing pin 2 – BMW No.11 6 080.
  • Timing chain tensioner locking pins – BMW No.11 3 340.

General precautions

  • Disconnect battery earth lead.
  • Remove glow plugs to ease turning engine.
  • Turn engine in normal direction of rotation (unless otherwise stated).
  • Observe tightening torques.
  • If fitted: Mark position of crankshaft position (CKP) sensor before removal.
  • Do NOT turn crankshaft via camshaft or other sprockets.
  • Do NOT turn crankshaft or camshaft with timing chain removed.

Valve timing procedures

  • Removal/installation of timing chain requires:
      • 6 cylinders: Engine removal.
      • Cylinder head removal.
      • Sump removal.

NOTE: Refer to Technical Data module for tightening torques.

  • Engine at TDC on No.1 cylinder.
  • Remove blanking plug from cylinder block.
  • Insert flywheel timing pin [1] .
  • Ensure camshaft lobes are positioned as shown [2] [3] .
  • Install camshaft alignment/locking tool on inlet camshaft [4] .
  • Ensure camshaft alignment/locking tool abuts cylinder head.
  • Install camshaft alignment/locking tool on exhaust camshaft [5] .
  • Ensure camshaft alignment/locking tool abuts cylinder head.
  • Ensure timing marks on rear of camshaft gears aligned with upper edge of cylinder head [6] .
  • If not, adjust camshafts as follows:
      • Hold inlet camshaft with spanner on hexagon [7] .
      • Slacken inlet camshaft sprocket bolts [8] .
      • Align inlet camshaft. Use camshaft alignment tool [4] .
      • Ensure camshaft alignment tool abuts cylinder head.
      • Lock inlet camshaft alignment tool in position with locking tool [9] .
  • Tighten camshaft sprocket bolts [8] :
      • Tightening torque: 4 cylinders – 15 Nm. 6 cylinders – 14 Nm.

    NOTE: Camshaft sprocket bolts MUST only be used once.

  • Camshaft rotation can be prevented using spanner at position shown [7] .
  • Remove flywheel timing pin.
  • Remove camshaft alignment/locking tool.
  • Turn crankshaft two turns clockwise. Check valve timing.
  • To lock upper timing chain tensioner:NOTE: Only upper timing chain tensioner can be reset with front timing chain cover in place.
      • Remove blanking plug [10] .
      • Turn inlet camshaft slowly clockwise to compress the upper timing chain tensioner.
      • Camshaft rotation possible using spanner on hexagon [7] .
      • Insert timing chain tensioner locking pin [11] .
  • To lock lower timing chain tensioner:
      • Remove timing chain cover.
      • Compress tensioner plunger. Fit timing chain tensioner locking pin [12] .
  • To unlock timing chain tensioners:
      • Remove locking pins [11] [12] .
  • Fit new crankshaft pulley central bolt.
      • Tightening torque: M10 – 40 Nm + 120°. M18 – 100 Nm + 150°.

NOTE: Camshafts can be turned without valves contacting pistons when crankshaft is set at 45° BTDC on No.1 cylinder.

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Bent Valves
Timing Tools?
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Bent Valves

What happens when your chain or belt breaks. 

The timing of course becomes way off. Your crankshaft will always spin making the pistons move up and down. However the valves will remain in the position they were in when the belt or chain stopped working. 

Half of the valves will be stuck open and in the way of the pistons. Not all engines, but most. The piston out of valve time will smash right into the open valve and bend the, The only way to fix that is to remove the head and place those valves. 

If you think your valves might have been damaged.

Remove all the spark plugs, valve covers. With both valves in the closed position insert a compression tester hose in place of the spark plug and inject air into the hose and see if the cylinder can hold air. If both valve are closed and air can not be held, chances are you have bent valves.   


Timing Tools?

Do you need special tools to time your engine? Not always, on all my post I'll indicate that in each post if you do or not. 

But what are these special tools? Normally you would just line up some marks on the cam and crank gears and simply be done with it. However when these tools are needed they are very very important. 

The last one I did was a 2013 Range Rover 2.0 Turbo with dual cams. There were not timing marks at all. 

There is a small threaded plug on the back of the engine that I removed to insert a special threaded pin that would rest up against the weight of the crankshaft to prevent for DTC of the #1 piston. No further clockwise rotation would be possible. At that point I installed the supplied crankshaft lock by removing the starter. 

Then you line up the back of both camshafts to a notch in each camshafts to each other that a flat tool connects to each cam so they are in line with each other. But first you would make sure both intake and exhaust valves are closed DTC of the cams. 

And the last tool was to lineup the crankshaft position sensor. 



The most important thing in any major engine work is to rotate the engine by hand at least two complete rotations. And do it easy and slow and with the spark plugs removed. 

Why remove the spark plugs? you may ask. Simple, with the plugs in place you'll be creating compression, making the engine harder to turn by hand and perhaps giving you the misconception of valves hitting the pistons or is it compression.  

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