where the hell did my head tap fall?

Seaneezy

Corporal
Mar 12, 2018
130
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e90 LCI 335i
Hey everyone,

I'm tapping my pcv ports and while loctiting my 3rd 10-32 socket screw i slipped it and it fell underneath the cam ledge. I tried grabbing it with my tweezers but somehow this $%#%er was slipping like butter and fell further in. I can no longer find it searching with my flashlight/boroscope in the pic attached. It may have flown and fell somewhere else in the engine bay but I'm not going to risk my Ferrea valves. Does anyone know where this could have gone, and if I am going to have to remove my camshaft ledges to retrieve it? (I don't do DIY chain timing so I will have to tow my car).
 

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Torgus

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Nov 6, 2016
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Jesus, that sucks. Unfortunately you really want to find it. I don't like to mess around with timing either if I can avoid it.

I think you should sell me the head and let me deal with the issue. I can send you a stock n54 head ahead of time to get you back up and running!
 
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ShocknAwe

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Jan 24, 2018
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GreyNBlueE92

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Oct 3, 2018
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Small magnet? Telescoping or on a wire might work. Blow it out with an air gun. There's a few ideas.
 

Seaneezy

Corporal
Mar 12, 2018
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Oh holy shitsnacks that sucks.

What about a tool like this since you were able to see it at one point? Are the head plugs magnetic?

!

Just bought that second one, hopefully the magnet is strong enough. The head plugs are stainless steel.

Small magnet? Telescoping or on a wire might work. Blow it out with an air gun. There's a few ideas.
I tried blowing it out with air but I'm pretty sure I just pushed it in farther.
 
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Coupes66

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Dec 26, 2017
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I had a look at the head off my original engine and there is a channel that runs between the intake valves to the exhaust side of the head. At a guess, I would say this is where the tool has gone. It would be easy to get if you removed the cam and ledges but that entails a lot of work. I would try a piece of wire with a loop or hook on the end could to try and fish it out.
 

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Bnks334

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Dec 1, 2016
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yeah there are some pretty deceivingly deep pockets in the head. Fish it back out. It's under there. The oil return holes are pretty small in diameter. I highly doubt the tap managed to drop perfectly straight down one lol
 
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WOT808

Specialist
Aug 7, 2017
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Shit i'm in the process of doing it and that is exactly what i'm afraid of...

Tape off the area. Use painters tape to create an L / wall between your Cam bearings and the horizontal surface of the head where the PCV ports are.
 

Torgus

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Tape off the area. Use painters tape to create an L / wall between your Cam bearings and the horizontal surface of the head where the PCV ports are.

Also, tape the tap to the tap handle encase it comes loose as to not let what happened to the op happen to anyone else.
 
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Seaneezy

Corporal
Mar 12, 2018
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I had a look at the head off my original engine and there is a channel that runs between the intake valves to the exhaust side of the head. At a guess, I would say this is where the tool has gone. It would be easy to get if you removed the cam and ledges but that entails a lot of work. I would try a piece of wire with a loop or hook on the end could to try and fish it out.
oh my god you are a savior! I was prepping to remove my oil pan because I was pretty sure that channel went to the pan. I might end up buying a camshaft lock in case I have to remove the ledges but I'll try with whatever I can get it out with first.
yeah there are some pretty deceivingly deep pockets in the head. Fish it back out. It's under there. The oil return holes are pretty small in diameter. I highly doubt the tap managed to drop perfectly straight down one lol
Put womans stockings/panty hose material over large vacuum head. Rig up smaller and smaller adapter to vacuum tubing size and fish the vacuum tube around?
Haha I'll try fishing it out with the thin magnet I bought up in this thread first but if not I might have to do this, I'm not pushing it any farther with the air compressor
 

Seaneezy

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Mar 12, 2018
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Shit i'm in the process of doing it and that is exactly what i'm afraid of...
I had shop towels covering the cam ledges and that worked fine. Of course the one time I forget to move it from my cyl 2 plug to cyl 3 plug is when the screw slips.

Also, tape the tap to the tap handle encase it comes lose as to not let what happened to the op happen to anyone else.
haha I did not drop my actual tap down the ledge, it was just the 10-32 socket set screw. If your tap is loose on the t-handle I would recommend disassembling and reassembling the t-handle so it stays tight. The one I bought from home depot was setup incorrectly so it would never grab the tap hard enough.
 

Bnks334

Lieutenant
Dec 1, 2016
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New York
haha I did not drop my actual tap down the ledge, it was just the 10-32 socket set screw. If your tap is loose on the t-handle I would recommend disassembling and reassembling the t-handle so it stays tight. The one I bought from home depot was setup incorrectly so it would never grab the tap hard enough.

I misread that as you dropped the tap itself. Still, it should be down in the middle of the head somewhere.
 

ShocknAwe

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Jan 24, 2018
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Good luck and let us know how the magnet snake works. Hope it doesn't just get stuck to the walls of the head itself.

Other thought is if you can use your bore scope to move it or magnetize the scope itself.
 
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besn54

New Member
Nov 10, 2016
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Chicago, IL
I once foolishly dropped half a valve keeper into an oil return hole in the N63 while doing valve stem seals, so I know your pain. What I did was order very tiny magnets off of ebay, stacked like 50 of them together and was able to pull it out without removing heads and etc. If you don't know where it went though that might be a bit tough...
 
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JimboFresh206

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Jan 29, 2018
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I can try and send pics later, but we have magnets at the shop that are like coat hangers, they are great for this kind of stuff. Good luck OP

 
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