Rod bearing failure - what to do?

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mmm-five
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Rod bearing failure - what to do?

Post by mmm-five » Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:24 pm

I know my 2nd running in service was done properly, as I did it.

I also kept the rev limit relatively low whilst running it back in, then gradually increase the rev limit by 500rpm every 1000 miles until I’d hit 5,000 miles...then drove it as it was intended. I was also instructed not to keep it at the same revs in the same gear for mile upon mile, so made sure to cruise in 4th/5th/6th to vary the revs every 20-30 miles.

As I said earlier, there was zero sign of any particles in the oil or filter 2 weeks previously, and LOTS of particles/flakes visible 2000 miles later when we checked again.

I consider myself relatively lucky to get 140,000 miles on them, and we’d kept putting the job off due to other, more pressing issues coming up...such as broken post-cat O2 sensors which were seized into the cat after my little grass diversion on the last National, and having to customise ‘straight fit’ Brembo brakes that weren’t.
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Rod bearing failure - what to do?

Post by zmaster007 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:49 pm

An update from me:
The dealer that did the Insp2 have agreed that the documentation is wrong, however the tech that worked on the car is sure that he put the right oil in. They have offered to recover the car to them to inspect and send the oil for analysis.
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Rod bearing failure - what to do?

Post by andyf1140 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:55 pm

zmaster007 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:49 pm
An update from me:
The dealer that did the Insp2 have agreed that the documentation is wrong, however the tech that worked on the car is sure that he put the right oil in. They have offered to recover the car to them to inspect and send the oil for analysis.
I bet the tech is sh***ing bricks :wink:

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Rod bearing failure - what to do?

Post by GuidoK » Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:58 pm

ph001 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:40 pm


Agree this is odd. But we have to remember of course that BMW originally designed the S54 to use a 5W 30 grade oil. It was only late on in 2001 that they had some 'issues' and changed the spec to 10W 60 instead of doing a recall.
Are you sure about that? I mean the "rodbearing issue" is way older than the s54. The S50 also is very much known for it (maybe even worse), and that engine dates from 1995! (the s50b32 that is, I dont know if the s50b30 also has this problem).

If I look at the specs of the bearings, it makes sense to use a slightly thicker oil than the usual 5w30 or whatever. The bearing clearance on the s54 is bigger than on the m54 (however, the bearing clearance on the s65 is even smaller than that, and still 10w60 is recommended.
The use of 10w60 might also be a heat issue.
What I can say, is that its not the oil itself. I've used 10w60 in my m54 for about 25-30k miles, as I started to use it when I supercharged my car (60% more power also means 60% more heat generated, and a thicker oil (even 10w40) results in less oil consumption on the m54b30 (in my car at least)).
Also I'm not that much afraid for a thicker oil as usually the oilpump will be pumping no matter what; its usually a too thin oil that can result in insufficient oil film.
mr wilks wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:07 pm

Here's one id love to know the answer to 8) you say each & every S54 shows signs of wear once opened up ( & i'm not arguing that point ) but there is no knowing just when that wear occurred
True
so it could have been initially done in first few hundred miles then never worsened & actually happens on every S54 ? Or gradually over a time got to that stage ?
I'm pretty sure it goes over time, as most shells that show copper have been swapped at significantly higher miles than 50k, and that if you do it at 50k, usually no copper is shown yet.
Is it something that is related to cold starts ?
Maybe, but I have a different theory like I already said; cavitation.
Is it something related to running at very high revs / thinning oil such as track use ?
The high revs could certainly be related to my theory. If you look at technical documents from bearing manufacturers themselves, they always explain the different wear profiles with different problems. Mind you, you only find this at bearing manufacturers; the specialists (imho 'so called specialists' never elaborate about this, and I think they dont do any research in this matter).
To me, the start of the wear pattern (the spots in the middle) mostly correspond with cavitation wear signs.
Cavitation occurs because of microbubbles forming (mostly due to high G force), so both high revs and long stroke can cause this (both fit the profile of the s54). But it could also be related to crank design, or even design of the oil inlet passage at the crank. Maybe even the oil pump causes aeration in the oil at certain revs. Who knows (but the oil pump pressure regulation piston is also a wear item on the s54; not many people know this. That of course might affect its performance, not only in flow or pressure but also aeration.)
There are more engines that suffer rod bearing problems with high revs (honda) so that is a likely culprit, but in a high rev engine, every moving part moves in high rev. :D It doesnt per se have to be the crankshaft spinning at high revs. If you compare m54 to s54, not only do the crank and conrods move faster, but it also has larger conrod bearings, so that means a faster bearing surface speed. Those sort of things also come into play. You can make the matter as complicated as you want.
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Rod bearing failure - what to do?

Post by GuidoK » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:01 pm

zmaster007 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:49 pm
An update from me:
The dealer that did the Insp2 have agreed that the documentation is wrong, however the tech that worked on the car is sure that he put the right oil in. They have offered to recover the car to them to inspect and send the oil for analysis.
Maybe take an oil sample yourself and also send that in without (or with) them knowing.
You never know if they'll send in your sample.
I mean imho putting in oil that is too thin/thinner than factory spec without concent of the owner in an engine that blows up 2 weeks after is a good basis for an 8k claim.
The long life 04 spec is not a binding spec for service/warranty (bmw as to conform to base acea spec oil as they are on that board, so regular acea b3 (or whatever required) is technically sufficien; long life 04 is a commercial grade where oil manufacturers have to pay for to put that on the bottle), but the right oil weight is!
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Rod bearing failure - what to do?

Post by zmaster007 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:06 pm

GuidoK wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:01 pm
zmaster007 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:49 pm
An update from me:
The dealer that did the Insp2 have agreed that the documentation is wrong, however the tech that worked on the car is sure that he put the right oil in. They have offered to recover the car to them to inspect and send the oil for analysis.
Maybe take an oil sample yourself and also send that in without (or with) them knowing.
You never know if they'll send in your sample.
I mean imho putting in oil that is too thin/thinner than factory spec without concent of the owner in an engine that blows up 2 weeks after is a good basis for an 8k claim.
They are going to take the sample in front of me and then I’ll send it off/receive the results so I’ll know before them. Will keep you all posted.
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Rod bearing failure - what to do?

Post by GuidoK » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:15 pm

Thats also good.
I hope for them (and maybe also for you nofi) that its the right oil. Just to prevent all the speculation and such.
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Rod bearing failure - what to do?

Post by firebobby » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:17 pm

Make sure your present when the car arrives just in case they try and change the oil before hand. A bit extreme I know, but there's potentially a lot of money riding on this.
Good luck
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Rod bearing failure - what to do?

Post by R60BBA » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:44 pm

zmaster007 wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:58 am
I have just checked my invoice from BMW. It simply states BMW LL-04 oil. Does the 10w60 come under LL-04 or have they put the wrong oil in my car??
For clarification purposes:

LL-04 = 0w30, 5w30 and 5w40.

The S54B32 takes 10w60.
zmaster007 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:49 pm
An update from me:
The dealer that did the Insp2 have agreed that the documentation is wrong, however the tech that worked on the car is sure that he put the right oil in.
Unless BMW can prove to you that 10w60 was used I would not accept this.

There is a case that the wrong oil was used (albeit it slim).

I advise you/CPC to take your own sample of the oil before you drop the car off to them and get it sampled by the likes of Millers Oils. I would also take a video so that you can prove the date and time at which you did this.

That way if the oil analysis report indicates that LL-04 was used instead of 10w60 but they try give you bullshit, you can prove that they put in the wrong oil which you could then use an argument to get some form of remuneration from them.
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Rod bearing failure - what to do?

Post by exdos » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:34 pm

I had catastrophic bearing shell on cylinder 5 of the S54 engine in my Z3MC at 31k miles in 2009 and all the other shells showed some pitting/scoring in the centre of the bearing surface. Surely, this must be due to due to inadequate lubrication and/or cavitation? Does the exceptionally high piston speed of the S54 at 4773.33 Ft/min contribute to the problem? This speed is not as high as that of the Honda S2000 at 4965 Ft/min, so question to Richard (BMWZ4MC) does the S2000 have similar problems?

zmaster007 and Tony (mmm-five) I feel for you both and hope you find a cost-effective solution to your problems.

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Rod bearing failure - what to do?

Post by Z4M-2006 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:45 pm

There are lots of BMW engines that have rod bearing failure i have seen it in S50,S54,S65 and S85....I have also heard but not personally seen that the S63 is blowing rods now.

This doesnt seem to happen with Mercedes and Audi's that are running similar size,configuration and power statistics.

There has to be a fundamental design problem.

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Rod bearing failure - what to do?

Post by exdos » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:01 pm

I have wondered if the problem of the specific event of bearing shell failure might also lie with the stretching of the connecting rod bolts permitting the space in which the bearing shells sit to change from circular to elliptical/oval, thus permitting the crankshaft to hammer against a looser piston. My failed bearing shell was hammered into a much thinner pieces of metal.

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Rod bearing failure - what to do?

Post by mmm-five » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:29 pm

BMWZ4MC wrote:
mmm-five wrote:
...spun a bearing...

————————

...busted my hip...
Sorry to hear about both. If you need any advice about your hip that wasn’t covered by your surgeon, you’re welcome send me a PM. As Mr Wilks said, you’re driving Trigger’s Zed!
I got off very lightly, no surgery needed. Just an impacted fracture of the greater trochanter and associated muscle damage.
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Rod bearing failure - what to do?

Post by Simon 3.2M » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:11 pm

Too my eye and from my aircraft mechanic days in the RAF, I think the cause is cavitation. My shells were pitted when I had them changed at 100k. I'm no expert and I cannot say how the putting occurred other than the aforementioned aeration but areas of pitting seem to be visible on the majority of shells when you search the internet.

OP - I hope there is a positive solution for you.

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Rod bearing failure - what to do?

Post by Lower » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:13 pm

exdos wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:34 pm
I had catastrophic bearing shell on cylinder 5 of the S54 engine in my Z3MC at 31k miles in 2009 and all the other shells showed some pitting/scoring in the centre of the bearing surface. Surely, this must be due to due to inadequate lubrication and/or cavitation? Does the exceptionally high piston speed of the S54 at 4773.33 Ft/min contribute to the problem? This speed is not as high as that of the Honda S2000 at 4965 Ft/min, so question to Richard (BMWZ4MC) does the S2000 have similar problems?

zmaster007 and Tony (mmm-five) I feel for you both and hope you find a cost-effective solution to your problems.
The s2000 doesn’t have problems with bearing wear. There have been a some engines with spun bearings, but those have been down to the oil running low at some point in the engines life.
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