Having acquired a 96 (N) 328i Auto Coupe minus engine I am trying to locate an engine for it. I have all the original electrics, engine loom, ecu's ect.
I'm a bit of a newbie to BM's so forgive me if I talk rubbish but I could do with a bit of help fairly quickly.
I've read about the Nikasil engine problems so set about trying to locate a non Nikasil engine. I have a couple of photos showing one way of identifying whether the engine is a Nikasil or non Nikasil unit. From what I can see there is a small hole on the left hand side of the engine - just under the starter motor. It appears that on Nikasil lined engines, this hole is just a depression in the casting and has never been machined whereas on a non Nikasil engine, its drilled out but filled by a blanking bung held in with one bolt.
I located and engine at a very reasonable price which the seller states is from a 98 S reg Auto Coupe - single Vanos. To be sure its the right engine I sent the seller the photos showing the casting differences above. He has come back to me and this is where it gets confusing...............................the hole beneath the starter motor is indeed drilled and from the photo he's sent, I can see a gear like item in the hole - similar to a ring gear. The seller states that the crankshaft position sensor came out of the hole. Clearly BMW don't put the hole there for a laugh so what he says is reasonable but I can find no mention of there being a crankshaft position sensor there on a 328i. The engine that came out of the car certainly had no sensor - just the blanking bung.
I've talked to one guy who seems to know a little about BM's and he says the engine is probably a twin Vanos - he says that's where the sensor goes on a twin Vanos. A twin Vanos engine is no good to me and I'm supposed to be travelling down to London on Thursday to collect the engine.
I can get the seller to send me some photos of the engine - can someone please tell me a reliable way of checking the engine type? I think the engine covers will be missing.