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E36 M3 (1992-1999) {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999


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Old Tue, Aug-09-2016, 01:12:19 PM   #11
englishtom1596q
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Default Re: Rattling noise in engine?

Hey guys check your spark plugs also. One of mine came loose and it sounded like a knocking noise coming from the middle of the engine almost like a bad crank bearing.

Vanos sounds almost as if the timing chain at the front of the valve cover is loose and knocking on the valve cover.
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Old Tue, Aug-09-2016, 08:15:50 PM   #12
tooshfty
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Default Re: Rattling noise in engine?

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Originally Posted by englishtom1596q View Post
Hey guys check your spark plugs also. One of mine came loose and it sounded like a knocking noise coming from the middle of the engine almost like a bad crank bearing.

Vanos sounds almost as if the timing chain at the front of the valve cover is loose and knocking on the valve cover.
So it could be the vanos after all? Is that the infamous "marble in can" sound people speak of? Cause to me this problem Nate and I are having sounds like something is like ticking.
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Old Wed, Aug-10-2016, 02:57:43 AM   #13
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Default Re: Rattling noise in engine?

From what I've gathered, all 3 of those common "ticking" sounds kind of sound similar but not exactly the same. A good BMW mechanic who has worked on tons of these cars should be able to help diagnose it fairly quickly, hence why my car is in a shop. I don't mind wrenching but you gotta know when to hand it over to someone who can make your life easier. Not to mention faster and more pain-free lol. Basically the best I could gather on my own was it could be VANOS, timing chain tensioner, or most likely the valve lifters. OR, 2 of these issues both at once. That being said, that's pretty much a blanket diagnosis so it's not worth much. No word back from my car yet but I would suggest bringing your car into someone.

PS: Vibrations and noises travel through an engine in weird ways, what sounds like an issue from one area might be something totally different resonating.

Last edited by Nate047; Wed, Aug-10-2016 at 03:13:56 AM.
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Old Wed, Aug-10-2016, 09:18:17 AM   #14
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Default Re: Rattling noise in engine?

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Originally Posted by Nate047 View Post
From what I've gathered, all 3 of those common "ticking" sounds kind of sound similar but not exactly the same. A good BMW mechanic who has worked on tons of these cars should be able to help diagnose it fairly quickly, hence why my car is in a shop. I don't mind wrenching but you gotta know when to hand it over to someone who can make your life easier. Not to mention faster and more pain-free lol. Basically the best I could gather on my own was it could be VANOS, timing chain tensioner, or most likely the valve lifters. OR, 2 of these issues both at once. That being said, that's pretty much a blanket diagnosis so it's not worth much. No word back from my car yet but I would suggest bringing your car into someone.

PS: Vibrations and noises travel through an engine in weird ways, what sounds like an issue from one area might be something totally different resonating.
Totally right, it is the safer bet to bring it in to someone to get it at least diagnosed but would ya mind sharing what the diagnosis is when you hear back?
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Old Fri, Aug-12-2016, 01:00:05 PM   #15
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Default Re: Rattling noise in engine?

I have a small noise coming from my car but I've identified it as coming from the AC compressor when its engaged. Might just be the clutch/bearing assembly on the front (crossing fingers). I need to see if that's easily replaceable while in car.
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Old Thu, Mar-09-2017, 05:00:31 PM   #16
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Default Re: Rattling noise in engine?

to the OP (tooshfty), did you ever find the problem? Thx.
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Old Thu, Mar-09-2017, 08:22:57 PM   #17
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Default Re: Rattling noise in engine?

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Originally Posted by tooshfty View Post
YES THIS IS THE EXACT SOUND! Thats what mine sounded like the first time I stopped, but since then its HARDLY noticeable at all, like I cant really tell. Does yours speed up as you rev the engine? However no low oil lights or anything, no codes just the rattle. Not even any performance differences besides the noise.
Here is a video of mine....


It sounds like the other video. I fixed mine. My car sounded like the red car from the outside. Literally like a diesel. It is the chain slapping on the guides.

If you are lucky, you need a lower timing chain tensioner. Go buy the BMW one (~$125 iirc) and swap it out. You will need a deep socket to do it. You do not really have to do too much to get to it. It is a little fiddly. There are a few DIYs on how to do it.

Now, if it still rattles after changing the tensioner, you are in for a fairly major repair. That is what happened to mine. In the end, I had to replace both timing chain guides, the chain, and the upper tensioners. I also opted to change the vanos with the DrVanos kit at the same time. It was expensive as I had a shop do it. It means lowering the pan, taking the valve cover off, and also taking the front part of the engine apart. It cost me a fair bit of money to have a qualified mechanic do it at a race shop. If you need to go this route, make sure you do a compression test to see if your engine is worth saving. Mine had perfect numbers and I decided it was worth saving. The cost of the repair was relatively close to the cost of a cheaper S52.
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Old Fri, Mar-10-2017, 01:25:06 AM   #18
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Default Re: Rattling noise in engine?

OP...that noise in dropbox...I'll bet it's your idler pulley.
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Discussing Rattling noise in engine? in the E36 M3 (1992-1999) Forum - {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999 at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)