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  1. #1
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    Need new rod bearings - options

    My car ain't no prom queen but I got her cheap. I knew the rod bearings were showing some wear from my last oil analysis but I kept going. So now with a knocking noise...I probably and hopefully only need new bearings. Wouldn't mind pulling the crank to turn it as well but I really didn't want to cross that bridge so soon. Oh well, such is life. Over the long run, I do plan to frequently inspect the rod bearings. I've seen something where a 50k mile change interval is recommended for a car that sees track time. Hell, I will probably bump it down to 30k.

    For bearing offerings, I see that Bimmerworld offers uncoated but "better" bearings. Then VAC offers coated bearings. Then there's OEM. After my 330 experience, I am a big fan of OEM.

    My question is what makes the BW and VAC offerings better? What I mean by better...I know they might last longer but what is the downside?...there's always a downside. More specifically, I am concerned about the potential and most likely mode of failure with the BW and VAC bearings. For example...will the OE bearings not last as long but tend to just go bad and not spin vs the aftermarket bearings lasting longer but will spin much quicker causing more damage to the crank and rods?

    What I've found with most BMW parts that frequently fail...they fail in such a way that doesn't cause catastrophic damage. Then, you put a "stronger" aftermarket part which ends up costing you more when that inevitably breaks. For the service demands that my car will see...I must assume that it will fail at some point.

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    You gotta talk to the guys at VAC for this one. @Mike@VAC

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    We have had good results with VAC's coated bearings.

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    bigjae.. I have a set of VACs coated bearings as well. Will be installing this spring.

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    We have sold 10s of thousands of bearings for all BMW engines. Most clients are track/race only so these really stand the test of time. Plenty run them in street cars too. Most of our clients are other shops too - who would quickly stop buying from us if the bearings are no bueno. As the largest supplier of performance BMW engine internals in the world, we have some pretty good insight on what does and doesn't work.

    These are coated OEM bearings. This coating reduces friction and control thermal qualities. A winning combination for just about everyone. Some folks opt for the all out ACL race units (not available for S65 yet), but the coated OEMs are by far the most popular choice.

    Click here to enlarge

    Click here to enlarge

    Exhibit A: 24k 2009 S65
    Click here to enlarge

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    Exhibit B: 38k mile Z4M. Yes, way past the 2001-2003 BMW recall

    Click here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Mike@VAC Click here to enlarge
    We have sold 10s of thousands of bearings for all BMW engines. Most clients are track/race only so these really stand the test of time. Plenty run them in street cars too. Most of our clients are other shops too - who would quickly stop buying from us if the bearings are no bueno. As the largest supplier of performance BMW engine internals in the world, we have some pretty good insight on what does and doesn't work.

    These are coated OEM bearings. This coating reduces friction and control thermal qualities. A winning combination for just about everyone. Some folks opt for the all out ACL race units (not available for S65 yet), but the coated OEMs are by far the most popular choice.

    http://www.germanboost.com/images/im...vac65rb2-1.jpg

    http://www.germanboost.com/images/im...acs65rb1-1.jpg

    Exhibit A: 24k 2009 S65
    http://www.germanboost.com/images/im...acs65rb4-1.jpg
    Awesome post!!!

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Mike@VAC Click here to enlarge
    Exhibit B: 38k mile Z4M. Yes, way past the 2001-2003 BMW recall

    http://www.bimmerboost.com/images/im...bearings-1.jpg
    How much longer do you think he could have stayed on these without issue? Driving hard?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    How much longer do you think he could have stayed on these without issue? Driving hard?
    It's really hard to guess. This guy wanted to start doing track days, so he really had no choice but to replace the beat stockers with our coated bearings.

    We send a LOT of oil samples to Blackstone and it really paid off with this Z4M. Tearing a bottom end apart 'just because' is not exactly feasible - but the oil analysis results really told a story and prompted the client to start the bearing swap process. Needless to say, when we discovered the worn bearings the client was relieved and happy that he spent his money the right way Click here to enlarge

    We are going to look at the bearings in my 2005 S54 soon. Oil analysis seems to be pretty clean, but as an employee here 'just because' is much more feasible Click here to enlarge

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    Mike, thanks for the info.

    Those in the anti-coated camp say that the coating makes the tolerances too tight. True?

    Rough estimate, what's the median lifetime on the coated bearings?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bigjae1976 Click here to enlarge
    Those in the anti-coated camp say that the coating makes the tolerances too tight. True?
    Would like to hear about this. Does the coating protect the bearings? Make them less susceptible to wear?

    I mean what does the coating add really to the size?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    Would like to hear about this. Does the coating protect the bearings? Make them less susceptible to wear?

    I mean what does the coating add really to the size?
    Yeah, not sure. I just want to get some more insight. I've heard someone say that the tolerances are too close which is what accelerates bearing wear? Again, I'm not the expert here. Just want to be able to either confirm this or tell the guy he is full of $#@! and why.

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    The coating on the bearing adds to the lubricity of the bearings. It creates a slick surface which reduces surface friction wear. The added material from the coating is minimal. It is not something to worry about. I used to know exactly how much thickness it adds but it's slipping my mind right now.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bigjae1976 Click here to enlarge
    Those in the anti-coated camp say that the coating makes the tolerances too tight. True?
    The coating is fine. My engine shop foreman/master engine builder with 50 years experience has no problems with coated bearings. Neither do the 100s of shops/engine builders who buy from us. No worries man Click here to enlarge

    Rough estimate, what's the median lifetime on the coated bearings?
    No way to guess really. Long time?

    The coating is approx 0.25 to 0.40 mil.

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    Mike,

    Thanks for the info! I do appreciate it. This should result in a sale...although a relatively small one. So not a total waste of time! Click here to enlarge

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    Cool, thanks man :-)

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Mike@VAC Click here to enlarge

    The coating is approx 0.25 to 0.40 mil.
    Questions for you: Which bearing would you recommend for the M54 between your OEM coated bearing and the ACL bearing and why?

    Also, I understand each bearing might not have the same coating thickness and the clearance would need to be checked once installed, as with any bearing, but how tough is the coating and how well does it resist to measuring the clearance, either with plastigauge or micrometer? I'm asking because I have had some bad experiences trying to remove plastiguage from a bearing without scratching the OEM coating. Thanks.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Alex325i Click here to enlarge
    Questions for you: Which bearing would you recommend for the M54 between your OEM coated bearing and the ACL bearing and why?

    Also, I understand each bearing might not have the same coating thickness and the clearance would need to be checked once installed, as with any bearing, but how tough is the coating and how well does it resist to measuring the clearance, either with plastigauge or micrometer? I'm asking because I have had some bad experiences trying to remove plastiguage from a bearing without scratching the OEM coating. Thanks.
    Any info? @Mike@VAC to help me decide which bearings to use for my engine rebuild? Thanks again.

  19. #19
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Alex325i Click here to enlarge
    Any info? @Mike@VAC to help me decide which bearings to use for my engine rebuild? Thanks again.
    @Mike@VAC

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    I don't know that his email is working. I haven't been able to get a response for a couple of weeks now on a request for technical information for something I bought from VAC.
    Rep Points > Posts since 2010

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by PEI330Ci Click here to enlarge
    I don't know that his email is working. I haven't been able to get a response for a couple of weeks now on a request for technical information for something I bought from VAC.
    @PEI330Ci When I spoke to Steve B at VAC he was saying their email and ISP were getting attacked. They were in the process of switching over all of their services and servers. Steve and I had to finish our order over the phone as neither of us were receiving his emails.

    This was a couple weeks ago..hope this helps.

  22. #22
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by MisterEm Click here to enlarge
    @PEI330Ci When I spoke to Steve B at VAC he was saying their email and ISP were getting attacked. They were in the process of switching over all of their services and servers. Steve and I had to finish our order over the phone as neither of us were receiving his emails.

    This was a couple weeks ago..hope this helps.
    Thanks for the info, so indeed his email wasn't working.
    Rep Points > Posts since 2010

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    3 out of 3 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    VAC's systems are being hacked by the Chinese. Then China will copy VAC to make a gov't sponsored BMW tuning company called VAChina.
    I crack myself up sometimes...now I'll grow up.

    In case you didn't get it...rhymes with VAGina.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bigjae1976 Click here to enlarge
    I crack myself up sometimes...now I'll grow up.

    In case you didn't get it...rhymes with VAGina.
    Potty humor still hits home with this 30 something. I hope to never grow up. +rep for you.
    Last edited by MisterEm; 04-04-2013 at 10:54 AM. Reason: repped bigjae

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    Started doing oil analysis through Blackstone Laboratories. So far things have been clean with nearly 90,000 miles!

    The VAC Bearings are definitely at the top of my list when there is a need to replace them...heck, might as well get a stroker kit while I'm at it Click here to enlarge
    2002 E46 M3 6MT | Jet Black . Black Nappa | My GermanBoost Build Thread
    2009 E90 M3 DCT | Melbourne Red . Speed Cloth

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