BMW 3 Series 318i E46 manual petrol , 2003, (N42 engine 1995cc)

Hi all, I am new to all these forums and such like, and to my new BMW car, so I have a lot to learn, and this is my first ever posting.
The valve stem rubber seals on this car need replacing, what I need to know is do I have to remove the head , or can I use the compressed air method, or rope trick to hold up the valves .?
Would using these ‘s methods cause me a problem with timing ?,
Other’s have said that by using the compressed air method or rope trick that the timing is not effected, but would be effected if the head had to be removed…however!…nobody I know has worked on this bmw n42 engine , therefore I am hoping that some of you guys might have , and can offer me much appreciated advice.


3 thoughts on “BMW 3 Series 318i E46 manual petrol , 2003, (N42 engine 1995cc)”

  1. I do not show a 318i for 2003. Are you certain of the year, make and model? A 1993 318i has a M42 engine.

    Your friends are correct, if you remove the head you will mess with the timing and if you do not remove the head you will not mess with the timing. You should be able to use the either method compressed air or rope.

  2. Hi, Yes! I can confirm my facts are correct …here is the reg No, RK03 ZHX…..BMW E46 318i SE Saloon.2003

    Thank you for your assistance & confirming the rope trick or the compressed air method to replace the valve seals would not effect the timing

  3. That Model has the 2 litre N42 Valvetronic engine. You will need to remove the valvetronic gear to access the inlet valves. I find that binding the shafts together with thin mechanics wire, and removing the unit as one will save you about 5 hours putting it all back together again. While you`ve got the rocker cover off, and can lock the cams in place, consider replacing the timing chain tensioner plunger, The original items had a design flaw which would allow the plunger to retract too far allowing the timing chain to actually skip over the inlet cam sprocket teeth. a replacement one from BMW wont allow that to happen, preventing the common cam timing problems of this model.Done a few, not too bad, and if you`re going to change the valve stem seals using compressed air and string, you clearly have mad skills lol. Good luck

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