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Bulletin: BMW N47 Head Gasket Differences

Models Affected: BMW 118D, 120D, 123D, 220D, 318D, 320D, 420D, 520D, X1, X3, X5

Engines: N47D20C, N47D20A-B, N47D20D

Years: 2007 – 2017

The team here at Southside Cylinder Heads have come across a variation between head gaskets on the BMW N47 Diesel Engines.  Both head gaskets look nearly identical however they are not interchangeable and using the wrong gasket will result in oil being pushed into the cooling system.

The information in regards to which gasket suits which exact model is confusing and difficult to decipher, so the best advice we can give is check very carefully against your old head gasket before fitting the new one.  Below is some pictures to help pinpoint where to look for the differences between the two.  It is the area in the middle that causes the problems, there is an oil feed that is blocked on one gasket (bottom picture) and the other gasket doesn’t have this extra piece on the edge to block the feed, and also has a different position for the water jacket holes in that area.

So far the problem has been identified in the N47D20C engine series, however we would also advise caution when dealing with the N47D20A-B and N47d20D engines.  If you need any further information call Southside Cylinder Heads on (07) 33435899.  The cylinder head and engine reconditioning experts servicing Brisbane and Australia wide.

 

Engine Temperature Alarm

 

Engine Temperature Alarms  –  For Piece Of Mind

 

We are seeing an increasing call for aftermarket engine temperature monitors and alarms, this is because of two reasons.

1. More vehicles are being released that don’t have a traditional temperature gauge on the dashboard.  Manufacturers are replacing temperature gauges with warning lights on the dashboard if the engine gets too hot.  Often by the time the light is triggered, or indeed seen by the driver, the damage is already done and you could be up for expensive head gasket replacements or engine repairs.

2.  Cheap piece of mind.  Everyone is busy these days with a million things on your mind as you drive from place to place, meaning sometimes small warning lights on the dashboard go unnoticed.   The TM1 unit not only gives you a real time display of engine temperature, it also sounds an alarm when the engine temperature starts to climb to unsafe levels,

 

((( Audible))) Engine Temperature Alarm

Real time engine temperature monitoring

Suitable for  all Cars, Trucks, Boats, Bikes, Tractors & Machinery

Now also records the highest engine temperature reached

 Accurately displays engine temperature and alarms with a Warning light, Loud buzzer & Display messages if engine is overheating

The TM1 is ideal for alarming Engines, Gear boxes, Transmissions, Transfer boxes, Pumps, in fact any thing that operates between 1 to 125 degrees Celsius.

Takes temperature readings from the metal rather than the water, so if you run out of water you still get an accurate temperature reading

 

 

The unit has a neutral white LCD screen with an automatic back light so it blends into both old and new dash boards. It displays big numbers that are easy to read in either bright sunshine or at night. All functions and alarms are accompanied by individual display messages, including advanced messages such as ‘Sensor Not Connected’ should the sensor cable be cut.

The sensor fits like a washer under any convenient bolt on the engine that is near the heat source, here it rapidly detects the slightest changes in engine temperature.  The device is monitoring metal temperature rather than water temperature.  The warning alarm sensitivity can be set to suit your individual engine and needs.

The alarm is set by either observing the engines highest normal running temperature, or interrogating the Highest Temperature Reached function. Then the alarm is set to a higher temperature by using the push button on the front . Typically the alarm is set to between 5 and 10 degrees above the engines normal running temperature, this usually equates to the warning buzzer sounding at just one or two needle widths above the normal mark on most car temperature gauges.

Because you’re not breaking into the cooling system, the TM1 is the quickest, easiest and safest system on the market.   Setting the unit correctly is critical to the performance of the unit.  Contact Southside Cylinder Heads about fitting a unit in your vehicle today, it could just save you thousands.

 

Trade Customer Rewards!!!!

have-a-drinkGive us a call to find out how you can have a drink on us this Easter long weekend.  Southside Cylinder Heads, Engine Reconditioning Australia is Queensland and Brisbane’s best for Cylinder head repairs and full engine rebuilds.  

Minimum repairs, standard rebuilds and performance upgrades are all catered for. Easter promotional offer is only valid for trade customers

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All About Cylinder Head Hardness

With the advancement in engine technology more components than ever before are being manufactured out of aluminium.  The 70’s and 80’s seen the introduction of aluminium cylinder heads into mainstream family cars and now almost all new engines use aluminium heads and in many cases an aluminium engine block as well.

metal-hardness-tester-th-130-250x250-1

Southside Cylinder Heads
Digital Hardness Tester

Although both strong and light, aluminium is also a relatively soft metal that needs to be alloyed with another metal in order to have enough hardness to be used in an engine.  Typical alloying compounds are silicon manganese, copper manganese and iron.

When we talk about cylinder head hardness it is basically the ability of the component to resist being permanently deformed when a load is applied. Testing the hardness of your cylinder head is a vital part of the reconditioning process and the most widely used hardness test in the automotive field is Brinell Scale.

Depending on the manufacturing process and alloying metals used, cylinder heads will have different hardness levels from new, so for instance a new Mazda 6 cylinder head may be 125hb but a Toyota Corolla head may be only 110hb.  You would expect a new cylinder head to be in the vicinity of 100-130hb.

The only accurate way to test your cylinder head hardness is with a calibrated digital tester.  Our testing is conducted in 3 spots on the gasket face of each cylinder head and the average result is recorded.  Industry standard minimum hardness is 65hb and any heads with a reading below this level are unsuitable for reconditioning and must be replaced.  Unfortunately many workshops still use the outdated and unreliable manual “ball tester” that relies on a ball bearing in a tube to bounce above a line.  This type of tester is relatively cheap but has proven to be inaccurate in determining a cylinder heads suitability for reconditioning.

What causes the hardness level to deteriorate?

The single biggest factor that effects your cylinder head hardness is excessive heat.  Most modern engines operate at a temperature of approximately 88°c – 105°c.  When your engine overheats and exceeds its normal operating range, the increased heat puts major stresses on the aluminium cylinder head and starts to deteriorate the hardness value of the head.

Once the temperature of the aluminium reaches about 200°c – 250°c permanent softening of the alloy begins and the hotter and longer your engine is exposed to these conditions the more damage is done.  To minimise the damaging effects of overheating be sure to switch off your engine at the first signs of overheating and have your vehicle checked.

What will happen if I use a soft head?

Using a cylinder head that is soft (tested at 65hb or less) greatly increases the likelihood of premature head gasket failure as it has lost its structural integrity and ability to withstand load and stresses that occur during engine operation.  As well as gasket failure a soft head may also be more susceptible to warping and cracking as the weakened component continues to be subjected to the high loads and stresses of the combustion engine.

A key sign to look out for is head bolt recess or indentation caused when the load applied by the head bolts is too great for the soft aluminium and the bolts will start to sink into the head. These bolts pulling through the aluminium will prevent the correct load being applied to the head gasket and failure will be imminent.

If you have overheated your engine and suspect the cylinder head hardness may be affected, or you just want to be on the safe side, bring your head in to us and we can do a hardness test while you wait (in most cases), and best of all its free!

For more information on cylinder head hardness check out: http://www.aagaskets.com.au/PDF/CylinderHeadResearchInvestigation.pdf