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BMW, 3.0i has two Timing Chains. Primary Timing Chain can be
reached by removing the Harmonic Balancer. Lower Timing Case Cover. Vanos Adjusting Unit.
Secondary timing chain replacement will require removal of several components and Vanos Adjusting Unit.
You cannot retro fit a late engine with vanos to an early model that uses the non vanos set up .There simply is too much else that needs to be changed as well. You best bet is hang in there and find the correct type of engine for your car.
I had the same issue with my 2000 528i. You more than likely need to have the Vanos seals replaced. BMW will tell you that the Vanos unit needs to be replaced but the problem is more than likely isolated to the OEM seals that shipped with the Vanos. This issue has been reported by several BMW owners. This issue has been thoroughly documented and reported to BMW in an effort to seek a corrective fix. Since BMW failed to address the problem, the guys that investigated the issue started their own company providing superior Vanos seals to the deficient OEM Vanos seals.
The company is Beisan Systems, LLC. I ordered their Vanos seal kit and had them installed at a local BMW performance shop for less than half of what BMW wanted to charge me for a Vanos replacement with the same faulty seals. Besian also provides step-by-step DIY instructions; if you have the time.
Look under the hood in the engine compartment.The emissions sticker will tell you if it is obd compliant...If it is manufactured in the u.s. since 1996 , federal laws require it to be obd compliant..I would give the manufacturer of the scanner a call to check compatability...Good Luck!!!
Your fuel injection pressure is probably leaking down causing gasoline
to leak into the cylinders and resulting in a hard hot starting
condition due to "flooding" of the engine. Try holding the accelerator
pedal all the way to the floor of the car like your trying to go
maximum speed down the highway and crank the engine for 10 seconds or
less at a time. That tells your computer to enter the "clear flood"
mode and stop injecting gas into the engine. Ask your repair shop to
measure the fuel pressure and see if the pressure is bleeding off too
The lifters can be cleaned by getting the engine nice and hot and then adding an engine flush to the oil and leaving the engine running at a high tickover for about 15 to 20 minutes, and then giving the car an oil and filter change.
Are you sure its the tappets and not the timing chain?