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  1. #1
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    3 out of 3 members liked this post. Reputation: Yes | No

    Rod Bearing Issue becoming more common on high mileage S85s

    I was asked by Sticky to take pictures of my rod bearings so that all you S85 owners be aware of a common problem know to our engines. I stopped to pick the brain of my genius master mechanic at K & B Autoworks in Stamford, CT. He was the one that discovered the issue just from a SES light. I am very glad he caught it soon because there was no damage to the crank.
    According to K our rods and pistons are heavy and cause more wear to the bearings than usual. If you do quite a bit of spirited driving and rev past 7500 its is recommended that you change your oil as often as 3500 miles. I have 91k miles and have been changing the oil every 5000 miles. My engine had a lot of copper residue and its took 4 oil flushes to get it all cleaned. The Vanos Solenoids are the first ones to feel the metal and will stop functioning by becoming clogged. I am not saying don't drive your S85 hard but if you do please be diligent with your oil changes and be prepared to have the rod bearings replaced.
    Replacement of the rob bearings is not a scary job its cost me 15 hours of labor plus $550 for rod bearings and new bolts. Anyone that tells you that the engine needs to come out and it will take 50+ hours of labor is trying to scheme you. The dealers will pull the engine every time, but if your mechanic is as skilled as mine it can be done from the bottom by dropping some suspension parts and the oil pan. Of course I am not trying to scare any one I am just sharing my recent experience and hopefully shine some light on someone that will need this done in the future.

    Click here to enlarge

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    I'd venture to say that 90% of shops will want to pull the motor and charge big time labor hours. You're very lucky to have such a great shop to go to.
    2011 335is DCT, JB4 + MHD BEF, stage 2 LPFP, e50 + 50/50 meth, FBO, MT ET Streets when needed


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    Great thread and info. Man I wish I would have swapped them as my mechanic could have done it with his eyes closed. Instead I ended up getting jerked around at the dealer for months.

    How many miles do you have on the new rod bearings?
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    Yes K at K&B is phenomenal! I would highly recommend to people around my area.
    Car is not finished yet, I asked him to do a few other things. I will have the car by Friday.

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    I'm at 86,000 miles on my E60 M5 and getting the rod bearings replaced as preventive maintenance before I install the Evolve tubular headers. If your in Socal Autohaus Frankfurt or Oceanside Motorsports can do this + Oceanside motorsports warranties their work for 30k miles.

    The tough part is telling when you should change out the rod bearings. Blackstone oil reports help in that regard to an extent.
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    UPDATE

    Got the car back this morning and it is running flawless. K advised me not to not exceed 4000 rpm for 500 miles, which then he will perform another oil change. If the oil change comes up clean he is going to give me his blessing to unleash the beast. I put 100 highway miles today and all runs smooth. Of course while I was cruising at 70 mph and not being able to open it up a F10 M5 and a S1000RR pull next to me wanting me to go hard with them. Below is a few pics of the beast and its baby brother. Glad to have it back home!

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    Good info here. Wish someone would make some heavy duty bearings so we dont have to change them out often. I plan on doing coated bearings and Arp hardware in the future.
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    BMW S85 V10 read bearing issue becoming more prevalent as E60 M5 and E63 M6 vehicles reach higher mileage

    Motor bearings. The one main area of weakness in naturally aspirated M motors. The S54 motor in the E46 M3 was notorious for bearing issues getting an early reputation as being made out of glass as motors failed left and right. BMW eventually issued a recall and the S54 now is known as one of the greatest M motors ever produced by BMW and having a modern reputation as being very stout taking just about whatever one throws at it.[PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]

    The S85 V10 did not experience a rash of early failures like the S54 due to the bearings and neither did the S65 V8 in the E9X M3 based on it. However, as the motors reach higher mileage it is becoming clear the motors suffer from unnaturally high rod bearing wear. Why is this? One reason is that the pistons and rods may be a bit too heavy for such a high revving motor (despite BMW's marketing they go with what is cheapest in modern times) causing more wear than normal. The oiling system especially in the S65 V8 is weak so track junkies have been experiencing rod bearing wear issues.

    This problem is known in E9X M3 circles with the S65 V8 but it is now coming out with the S85 V10. Why later on the S85? Because the S85 has a slightly different oiling system (BMW went even cheaper on the S65 and this is why a dry sump oiling system is recommended for track guys) and because S85 owners only now are supercharging which puts more stress on the motor. There are more S65 V8's tracking and supercharged so the issue is far more well known with the V8 than with the V10.

    For those doubting, here is a picture of BimmerBoost user @CV10T's rod bearings at 91k miles from his S85 V10. Not particularly pretty are they?

    So what can one do to prevent premature bearing wear and even worse a motor failure? Well, frequent oil changes are recommended to remove any material in the oil. Secondly, replacing the factory bearings with a set of aftermarket bearings is a good idea. The job is not that bad as @CV10T stated replacing his bearings cost 15 hours of labor plus the cost of the bearings.

    BimmerBoost vendor VAC Motorsport has several coated bearing options available including those for the S85 V10 and S65 V8.

    Gentlemen, take care of this problem before it's too late especially if you do a lot of spirited driving at high RPM or have a power adder.

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  10. #10
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    Our fix is replacing the bearings with proven aftermarket bearings......


    But it involves grinding the crank and replacing the rods.

    Great for an engine being built for whatever, but not very economic when just trying to fix this issue.
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  11. #11
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by alex@ABRhouston Click here to enlarge
    Our fix is replacing the bearings with proven aftermarket bearings......


    But it involves grinding the crank and replacing the rods.

    Great for an engine being built for whatever, but not very economic when just trying to fix this issue.
    It's more economical than replacing the motor.

  12. #12
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    oh i completely agree, but its not a solution- its just a bandaid.
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  13. #13
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by alex@ABRhouston Click here to enlarge
    oh i completely agree, but its not a solution- its just a bandaid.
    Why just a bandaid?

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    well, your putting in the same bearings that just went bad- you aren't solving the issue.
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  15. #15
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by alex@ABRhouston Click here to enlarge
    well, your putting in the same bearings that just went bad- you aren't solving the issue.
    I'm not advocating the same bearings? VAC has coated aftermarket bearings.

  16. #16
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    With VG30DETT platform the entire oiling system is reworked for higher volume. From the pickup tube to the oil pan to the ports. Then we can turn 9,000RPM and not run into issue. Assuming properly balanced rotating assembly and good crank damper.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    I'm not advocating the same bearings? VAC has coated aftermarket bearings.
    Will this just make the clearance even tighter?
    Or does this not matter with the coating they use?
    @Mike@VAC

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Nugs Click here to enlarge
    Will this just make the clearance even tighter?
    Or does this not matter with the coating they use?
    @Mike@VAC
    @Mike@VAC is definitely the person to talk to regarding your questions about their bearings.

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    Why is BMW having so much trouble with what everyone else seems to be getting right? I remember when the S1000RR came out, motors were seizing because of crank bearings.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Alex325i Click here to enlarge
    Why is BMW having so much trouble with what everyone else seems to be getting right? I remember when the S1000RR came out, motors were seizing because of crank bearings.
    It's their Achilles heel for some reason.

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    So I wonder why we have not seen the same bearing failures in N54 engines. No dry sump, tuned engines have a lot more hp/liter and they go up to 7500 rpms easily. So what gives?

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Reputation: Yes | No
    Wait... so the problem is the oil pump, and the solutions are the coated bearings? How does that make any sense? Google "official S65 Bearing Specification/Clearance Wiki" (emphasis on clearance)... looks like the coated bearings will make the problem much worse.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by vasillalov Click here to enlarge
    So I wonder why we have not seen the same bearing failures in N54 engines. No dry sump, tuned engines have a lot more hp/liter and they go up to 7500 rpms easily. So what gives?
    Revs.

  24. #24
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Team Plutonium Click here to enlarge
    Wait... so the problem is the oil pump, and the solutions are the coated bearings? How does that make any sense? Google "official S65 Bearing Specification/Clearance Wiki" (emphasis on clearance)... looks like the coated bearings will make the problem much worse.
    It depends on the application. On the S54 the problem was the actual bearing clearance as I recall and BMW replaced the bearings themselves. On the S65 the oil system and lubrication is part of the problem.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    It depends on the application. On the S54 the problem was the actual bearing clearance as I recall and BMW replaced the bearings themselves. On the S65 the oil system and lubrication is part of the problem.
    But that is not the main problem, the main issue is too little clearance, it simply needs more, and coated bearing will make it much worse.
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