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Second generation (E30) BMW 3 Series and the final 3 Series to sport the boxy '80s styling similar to the E32 7 Series and E34 5 Series.

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When should timing belt be changed

At how many miles should belt be changed.

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Hi there and not sure if you got your question already answered or even still need it to be answered :) What I seem to remember is that the M10 318 and 318 ('84-'87) has a chain, the M40 318 and 316 ('88-'91 & not many in the US) has a belt.

E36 = M50 = timing chain. E30 = M20 =timing belt

Although you did not specify the year, model, and engine size, here are some general guidelines:

All the 4 cylinder BMW 3-series (318i, 320i) had a timing chain.

From 1984 to 1991, the 6 cyl (325 series) had a timing belt.

From 1992 and up, the 6 cyl (323, 325, 328, 335 series) had a timing chain.

If the BMW you are inquiring about should have a timing belt, BMW recommends to change it every 60,000 miles.

Hope this helps a little.

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+ Agreed


it is my understanding since having a honda (belt) and moving to a jeep (chain) I have been told about this kind of issue. If you have a timing belt and the timing belt goes you can crack the head or bend a couple of valves, so depending on the mileage, better to do it if you are not sure its been done. Otherwise unless your crazy lucky a valve job + new valve stem seals while you there etc etc....I don't know about much about BMW's but i think it's the same kind of deal.


the e30 320i had a timing belt and was a 6 cylinder m20 engine


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