Rod bearing failure - what to do?

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Rod bearing failure - what to do?

Post by srhutch » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:42 pm

Jembo wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:00 pm
I was planning on replacing the shells at around 80k (that’s likely to be in 15 years time the way I’m going) where it’s had quite a few extra oil services in its lifetime - now I see a recommendation @ 50k

Interested to hear other peoples thoughts
We are all going to have differing views on this. I’ve had my car since 35k and doing 2k per year will use oil analysis every 2 years to help gauge when I might need to change. Think we are different to folk doing 2k every other month.

Mines on 50k now and just about to have it’s second oil analysis so will be interesting.
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Rod bearing failure - what to do?

Post by R60BBA » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:50 pm

Jembo wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:17 pm
Where in the country are you - there’s a list of trusted garages / indy’s circulating on here so maybe give one of them a call.

Good luck
CPC are well recommended and seem to do rod bearing services every week as per their Facebook page.

OP - sorry to hear this however if that was me I would get it written off and move on. :thumbsup:
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Rod bearing failure - what to do?

Post by Bing » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:59 pm

srhutch wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:42 pm
Jembo wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:00 pm
I was planning on replacing the shells at around 80k (that’s likely to be in 15 years time the way I’m going) where it’s had quite a few extra oil services in its lifetime - now I see a recommendation @ 50k

Interested to hear other peoples thoughts
We are all going to have differing views on this. I’ve had my car since 35k and doing 2k per year will use oil analysis every 2 years to help gauge when I might need to change. Think we are different to folk doing 2k every other month.

Mines on 50k now and just about to have it’s second oil analysis so will be interesting.
I am on 83k now. Last oil analysis was done at 65k and showed no issues whatsoever. I am going to send off it's second analysis after it's oil service in about 1,000 miles.

My summation of received wisdom on here was shells at 100k, plus probably stuff like bushes & shocks. I will do another analysis at about that 100k and if it's clear won't bother with shells... However I will up the frequency of the analyses to at least every interim oil change after that.

When I asked my indy about the risk of this happening he said it's low if the car is treated with mechanical sympathy, and the best thing you can do is change the oil regularly. Seems like a no-brainer so that happens halfway between every service now, about every 7k miles.

EDIT - ref the oil weight discussion above, interestingly my first analysis came back saying that after 7.5k miles :

"Analysis reveals the viscosity is now a W50 grade of oil. No sign of wear was identified. The oil as examined in our opinion was found to be in good condition and suitable for further use."

So by 15k, the next service interval roughly, you could expect it to be at w40, assuming a straight line degradation, which may not be how it works - I am not an engineer. But, something to think about.
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Rod bearing failure - what to do?

Post by R60BBA » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:59 pm

mmm-five wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:32 pm
Z4M-2006 wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:21 pm
This is where all the money is,it may be financially viable to get a second hand S54 and put in new shells and go in that direction.
I’m in the same position, but hadn’t mentioned it previously until I’d decided what I was going to do (strip & rebuild with new parts, or scrap the car, or wait for a low mileage S54).

It was driving normally, and we stopped to refuel, but sounde a bit noisy as I went to move off. Stopped and revved it slowly to about 1500rpm, and heard the bottom end knocking, so turned it off straight away & got it trailered to a specialist. They got me to start it and rev it slowly again and told me to turn it off immediately.

We took the oil filter out and could see a fair bit of metal, and to see if the filter had caught it all or if any had gone further into the engine we cut the filter apart...only to find as much inside as out. We then took the valve cover off and we could see ‘glitter’ :thumbsdown:

The difference I suppose to your’s is that mine is on 163,000 miles and has done a fair few track days and Ring trips...BUT it has been well over-serviced - some times 3 oil & filter changes in a month.

Murphy’s Law is that I had mine booked in for shells, vanos & CSL style carbon airbox & alpha-n during winter, to be ready for spring.

————————

Once we decided what to do (whilst I was in bed recovering from a fractured hip I injured skiing) I found it quite difficult to get a good Z4M S54 engine...they were either around 100,000 miles - and probably in need of shells & vanos too, or they were out of a crashed car and couldn’t be seen running. I finally got one after 3 months of looking and almost settling for an M3 S54.

Ultimately I only paid 10% more for Z4M version over an M3 version, but it makes the engine swap easier, as the Z4M S54 is slightly different to an M3 S54.

If you get an M3 version, then check that an earlier ones have the recall done on the bearings. You'll also need the loom to connect to the MSS70 ECU in the Z4 (M3 has MSS54).

Manifolds, MAF, airbox, dipstick, sump, etc will all need to be changed over from the Z4 engine to the M3 engine - but if there’s a lot of contamination you’d want to be raplacing bits instead to avoid leaving crap everywhere.

What you’ll save on an M3 engine, you might spend on replacement parts and extra labour to swap everything.
Ahh mate sorry to hear about this.

Did your car get up to 160,000 miles on the original bearings?
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Rod bearing failure - what to do?

Post by john-e89 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:14 pm

Sorry to read the issues you’re having OP, not good at all.

Knowing BMW’s pretty random servicing, ie, not changing oil or filter on occasions, It makes you wonder how many M’s went in for a running in oil change and left with the same oil still in.
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Rod bearing failure - what to do?

Post by mmm-five » Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:15 pm

R60BBA wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:59 pm
Ahh mate sorry to hear about this.

Did your car get up to 160,000 miles on the original bearings?
Sort of :P

I had a new engine under warranty at 23,000 miles - and that was just after being picked up from the dealer after an Inspection 2, so they couldn't really argue about it being their fault (originally diagnosed as shim down into the engine, but all shims were accounted for; then diagnosed as spark plug electrode in the engine, but all spark plugs were fine; then vanos failure; then they gave up trying to diagnose and got a warranty replacement authorised).

So this 2nd engine has done 140,000 miles in my ownership on the original bearings - and there was no obvious/visible sign of metals in the oil or filter when we were doing any of the interim oil services, or during my annual Inspection 2 (no point doing an Insp.1 at this mileage).

Strangely, I've had more issues now that it's my second car doing 5,000 miles a year, than I ever did when I was doing 25,000 miles a year :x but that will be due to more 'hard' driving with no 2000 miles cruising commutes in between.

If the car had been standard, I would probably have sold it for spares, but a lot of the parts are aftermarket and I'd don't have the originals anymore as they were worn out when I replaced them.
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Rod bearing failure - what to do?

Post by R60BBA » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:13 pm

mmm-five wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:15 pm
R60BBA wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:59 pm
Ahh mate sorry to hear about this.

Did your car get up to 160,000 miles on the original bearings?
Sort of :P

I had a new engine under warranty at 23,000 miles - and that was just after being picked up from the dealer after an Inspection 2, so they couldn't really argue about it being their fault (originally diagnosed as shim down into the engine, but all shims were accounted for; then diagnosed as spark plug electrode in the engine, but all spark plugs were fine; then vanos failure; then they gave up trying to diagnose and got a warranty replacement authorised).

So this 2nd engine has done 140,000 miles in my ownership on the original bearings - and there was no obvious/visible sign of metals in the oil or filter when we were doing any of the interim oil services, or during my annual Inspection 2 (no point doing an Insp.1 at this mileage).

Strangely, I've had more issues now that it's my second car doing 5,000 miles a year, than I ever did when I was doing 25,000 miles a year :x but that will be due to more 'hard' driving with no 2000 miles cruising commutes in between.

If the car had been standard, I would probably have sold it for spares, but a lot of the parts are aftermarket and I'd don't have the originals anymore as they were worn out when I replaced them.
Ahh yes I remember you telling me you had a new engine put in on another thread.

140,000 miles on OE bearings with quite a few track miles is pretty good, even though a shame that you were a tad late.

Your experience also further reinforces why owners should not rely on oil analysis reports and that doing a rod bearing service is worth it for peace of mind.

Mine have been changed twice; by BMW under recall in Feb 2005 @ 19,000 miles and by myself/Munich Legends in Nov 2018 @ 78,000 miles.

I reckon I will change again at 150,000 miles which I predict to be in 12 years time.
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Rod bearing failure - what to do?

Post by srhutch » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:07 pm

R60BBA wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:13 pm
mmm-five wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:15 pm
R60BBA wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:59 pm
Ahh mate sorry to hear about this.

Did your car get up to 160,000 miles on the original bearings?
Sort of :P

I had a new engine under warranty at 23,000 miles - and that was just after being picked up from the dealer after an Inspection 2, so they couldn't really argue about it being their fault (originally diagnosed as shim down into the engine, but all shims were accounted for; then diagnosed as spark plug electrode in the engine, but all spark plugs were fine; then vanos failure; then they gave up trying to diagnose and got a warranty replacement authorised).

So this 2nd engine has done 140,000 miles in my ownership on the original bearings - and there was no obvious/visible sign of metals in the oil or filter when we were doing any of the interim oil services, or during my annual Inspection 2 (no point doing an Insp.1 at this mileage).

Strangely, I've had more issues now that it's my second car doing 5,000 miles a year, than I ever did when I was doing 25,000 miles a year :x but that will be due to more 'hard' driving with no 2000 miles cruising commutes in between.

If the car had been standard, I would probably have sold it for spares, but a lot of the parts are aftermarket and I'd don't have the originals anymore as they were worn out when I replaced them.
Ahh yes I remember you telling me you had a new engine put in on another thread.

140,000 miles on OE bearings with quite a few track miles is pretty good, even though a shame that you were a tad late.

Your experience also further reinforces why owners should not rely on oil analysis reports and that doing a rod bearing service is worth it for peace of mind.

Mine have been changed twice; by BMW under recall in Feb 2005 @ 19,000 miles and by myself/Munich Legends in Nov 2018 @ 78,000 miles.

I reckon I will change again at 150,000 miles which I predict to be in 12 years time.
Unless I missed it I don’t believe there was oil analysis done.
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Rod bearing failure - what to do?

Post by PDJ » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:22 pm

I am not convinced that oil sampling is that reliable for predicting a rod failure.

I am an engineering technician and worked on CCGT and CHP plants for around 15 years plus steel works, paper mills, large NH3 fridge plants (39ton 40 would have been COMAH) and food processing and packaging equipment. Built a Westfield and a 255BHP Duratec to go in it.

When I have done oil conditioning training (with Castrol) it has been for large volume oil systems so the cost is large to change the oil, but the principles have got to be the same, the thing that came round time and time again was a snap shot sample has little value, the condition has to be trended, over time to see a change.

So if you sampled a Gas Turbine oil every week or month or hour run and plotted the results you would see an increase in the white metal content as PPM and as this increased you would note that the main bearings are wearing or the thrust pads as this is where the white metal is in the ones I worked on. This would then allow engineers and accountants to plan to change the oil/overhaul the turbine to prevent a failure.

So in a car engine to see a trend you would need to sample as soon as you change the oil to get a base line/datum then re sample several time during the life of the oil before you change the oil.
You would also need to know what and where the deferent materials are in the engine that the oil passes by so to try and identify where the particles are from that may show up in an oil sample analysis.

Changing the oil will as I see it re set the datum as you have flushed away the suspended particles in the old oil. and then you would get a much better result if tested after an oil change.

This is just my thought from my experience and I have no real alternative for checking other than a physical on ie. remove and inspect, by which time you may as well replace them on a time/mileage basis.

Also so I have no real answer for the OP with regards as what to do, other than I will follow the thread as I am looking at buying a Z4M or a 3.0si

Hope the above ramblings make sense (not a typist)

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Rod bearing failure - what to do?

Post by Mike. » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:34 pm

PDJ wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:22 pm
I am not convinced that oil sampling is that reliable for predicting a rod failure.

I am an engineering technician and worked on CCGT and CHP plants for around 15 years plus steel works, paper mills, large NH3 fridge plants (39ton 40 would have been COMAH) and food processing and packaging equipment. Built a Westfield and a 255BHP Duratec to go in it.

When I have done oil conditioning training (with Castrol) it has been for large volume oil systems so the cost is large to change the oil, but the principles have got to be the same, the thing that came round time and time again was a snap shot sample has little value, the condition has to be trended, over time to see a change.

So if you sampled a Gas Turbine oil every week or month or hour run and plotted the results you would see an increase in the white metal content as PPM and as this increased you would note that the main bearings are wearing or the thrust pads as this is where the white metal is in the ones I worked on. This would then allow engineers and accountants to plan to change the oil/overhaul the turbine to prevent a failure.

So in a car engine to see a trend you would need to sample as soon as you change the oil to get a base line/datum then re sample several time during the life of the oil before you change the oil.
You would also need to know what and where the deferent materials are in the engine that the oil passes by so to try and identify where the particles are from that may show up in an oil sample analysis.

Changing the oil will as I see it re set the datum as you have flushed away the suspended particles in the old oil. and then you would get a much better result if tested after an oil change.

This is just my thought from my experience and I have no real alternative for checking other than a physical on ie. remove and inspect, by which time you may as well replace them on a time/mileage basis.

Also so I have no real answer for the OP with regards as what to do, other than I will follow the thread as I am looking at buying a Z4M or a 3.0si

Hope the above ramblings make sense (not a typist)

Paul.
I can see where you are coming from, you need to sample over a period of time, not just a snapshot once in a while but sampling straight after an oil change won’t yield valuable results surely? You need to actually circulate the oil and use it to find anything of value really, unless the engine is so far gone and your ppm for wear metals is high after minimal mileage on fresh oil.

My last two samples, both taken after 4000 miles of oil use have yielded near as makes no difference the same results. Both have been less than 20ppm for Copper, Lead and Iron) I’m planning to stretch to 8000 miles for the next oil change / sample and see how the ppm increases based on the mileage.

I wouldn’t say oil sampling is a hard fast guarantee of the health of your bearing shells, but it is a good indicator if they are on the way out.

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Rod bearing failure - what to do?

Post by hopz121 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:58 pm

Sorry to hear this OP

I had mine changed in my M3 around 107,000 miles and caught it just in time.

Unfortunately the oil analysis shouldn’t be relied on in the case of bearing failure, too many horror stories saying my oil analysis said it was fine to find out a few months later the car has spun a bearing. I personally would take the result with a pinch of salt and save to get it done at a time where you think it’s becoming more of a risk.

I’d looked at is as maintenance on the S54 and say it is an issue where as most will still claim it isn’t.

I believe originally the S54 was run on LL04 spec then they started spinning bearings and BMW issued a recall and changed to 10W60. This was prior to the Z4 though.

I am also a keen believer of warming the car up properly and dropping the oil around 5000-7500 miles each time.

I’d find a used engine, fit a new head gasket, overhaul the vanos and do the bearings and enjoy it another 80,000 miles.

All the best moving forward with this OP.
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Rod bearing failure - what to do?

Post by shuey » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:19 pm

Sounds like a right pain in the butt man... feel for ya. Makes me think twice about buying a high miler z4mc without bearings replaced. I

Anyway came a cross this randomly today... might be something to maybe jump on (especially if your looking at 5-8k to fix)

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre ... 2578265062

A zero mile s54 engine... would buy it myself if I had the spare funds...looks all legit it, but prob needs looking into in more detail.

Ps in case u do decide to sell car as is, give me a shout
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Rod bearing failure - what to do?

Post by Jembo » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:26 pm

Hu
shuey wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:19 pm

Anyway came a cross this randomly today... might be something to maybe jump on (especially if your looking at 5-8k to fix)

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre ... 2578265062

A zero mile s54 engine... would buy it myself if I had the spare funds...looks all legit it, but prob needs looking into in more detail.
Photo 7 looks interesting... paid ‘0’, owing £15k :rofl:
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Rod bearing failure - what to do?

Post by R60BBA » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:49 pm

shuey wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:19 pm
Sounds like a right pain in the butt man... feel for ya. Makes me think twice about buying a high miler z4mc without bearings replaced. I

Anyway came a cross this randomly today... might be something to maybe jump on (especially if your looking at 5-8k to fix)

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre ... 2578265062

A zero mile s54 engine... would buy it myself if I had the spare funds...looks all legit it, but prob needs looking into in more detail.

Ps in case u do decide to sell car as is, give me a shout
How does that work?

The receipt looks BMW esque...but BMW don’t sell engines...they sell cars.
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Rod bearing failure - what to do?

Post by shuey » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:35 am

Don’t have a clue... how sweet would be to have a brand new s54 engine tho... I’d just hold onto it for 20 years and install it when everyone has electric left right and centre
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