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  1. #1
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    6 out of 6 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No

    Just picked this up. Beware I joined the N/A camp again.

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    Picked her up 2 weeks ago.


    Plans are to keep her as stock as possible for the time being, and get some maintenance done.

    Currently having the rear subframe reinforced along with all rear subframe bushings replaced. Then its on to have the valves adjusted. She is an 02, and the dealer confirmed that the rod bearings were replaced at 10,000 miles.

    Previous owner included a rear set of koni's with the sale since the stockers were spent. Also picked a set of the turner rear shock mount reinforcements with the life time mounts. I'll try and keep the thread updated as things get done with pics.

    Future plans: A decent set of headers, and maybe a csl intake with a RK tune. Also small cosmetic mods like maybe front bumper replacement, and a decent set of rims.

    Good night gents.
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    I had exactly the same color, same rims, just different interior.

    6-speed I take it?

    Congratulations.
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    Yes 6 speed. I wasn't going to get anything for a while, but I started liking the idea of a car in n/a form that can make more then its bhp rating in n/a form. I was going to go for a smg, but after reading about the many nightmares those things have I decided to not bother with going that route.
    Click here to enlargeClick here to enlarge

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    I like the SMG a lot but if you plan to add power or drag race it the 6-Speed is easier to launch.

    Guessing this car will end up at Max PSI at some point.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    I like the SMG a lot but if you plan to add power or drag race it the 6-Speed is easier to launch.

    Guessing this car will end up at Max PSI at some point.
    Only if it was won in a raffle with free install. I plan on doing a few HPDE events a year nothing crazy. Hopefully I will be able to get to 1 this year.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by GG///M3 Click here to enlarge
    Only if it was won in a raffle with free install. I plan on doing a few HPDE events a year nothing crazy. Hopefully I will be able to get to 1 this year.
    May want talk to VAC about bearings.
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  7. #7
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    May want talk to VAC about bearings.

    Yea I was thinking Bimmerworld or just another set of stockers. This isn't going to be tracked that often. If I was going to be tracking the car only which may happen in the future I would be doing something like this

    When we first began looking at the S54 knowing its history of rod bearing failure we immediately noticed how small the rod bearings were compared to other engines we’d built. To be more specific, the width of them is relatively narrow compared to other engines that are designed to make that much power. When you look at the rest of the engine you see similar ideas in other areas. BMW made every attempt to eliminate friction surfaces in this engine to increase efficiency and power. This is, of course, is every automotive engineer’s goal. The expense of doing this of course can mean that engine reliability can suffer. Every engine will have a weak point at which it will fail first, or at least most commonly. For the S54 this is the rod bearing. For another engine it might be the rod or the cylinder wall, or something else. Whether its a design failure or intentional, the S54 has a very well documented history of consuming rod bearings at a rate faster than desired.

    I’ll do my best to illustrate this with words but really the easiest way to explain it is by simply looking at the engine internals on an S54. Here at Lang Racing Development we have engineered racing engines for some time now, not just the S54. That experience gives us a broad perspective when we look at every engine.

    To understand why the rod bearing fails on this engine you first have to understand how the bearings on the crankshaft work. The bearing is a wearable surface, i.e. softer than the material of the crankshaft and the rod itself which are both, typically 4340 steel, one of the hardest/strongest steels available. If those two were to contact each other we’d be in a world of hurt as they would wear each other out. The bearings job is to prevent that from happening. The bearing is designed to be a relatively soft metal alloy so that when it does touch the crankshaft journal it wears away, rather than wearing the crankshaft. Now ideally we keep an oil film between the journal of the crankshaft and the bearing. We choose an oil viscosity based on the bearing clearance we decided on when we assemble our engine.

    When BMW built this engine they decided some numbers they thought would work really well. We found out though in 2003 that they made a mistake. They made their recall explaining that there was a problem with the rod bearings they manufactured in the early years. The explanation they gave was that the rod bearings were manufactured incorrectly resulting in too tight of a rod bearing clearance when the engines were assembled. This resulted in inadequate oil film between the crank journal and the rod bearing.

    My personal suspicion is that this is merely an excuse and that that the recall was actually an update to a bearing with larger clearance. BMW could never admit openly “our original engine design had too small of a rod bearing clearance and made the bearings spin”. At the time of the recall we noticed that the rod bolts/entire rod changed design as well, but of course there wouldn’t be a recall on rods themselves, that would be a full rebuild of an engine. And finally, the most vital component that couldn’t be recalled in a cost effective manner would be the crankshaft. Does the rod bearing recall solve the problem? My answer is no, and I see this time and time again that even engines that have had the rod bearing recall done fairly recently still exhibit a large amount of rod bearing wear.

    Let’s get down to what I consider the main problem: when the piston is on its compression stroke and the mixture is ignited a tremendous pressure is imparted on the top of the piston, down the wrist pin, through the rod, and into the rod bearing. Some engines have trouble or weakness upwards of this chain but what the S54 does is squeeze out all the oil causing the bearing to wear on the top side. This is a simple conclusion to reach when you dissect S54′s day in and day out, the bearing wear tells the story. This situation is also what makes me a bit uneasy about the common suggestion that a coated rod bearing is a great solution on the S54. If a coated bearing is adding material to a rod bearing then, obviously, it must also be reducing the bearing clearance on the crankshaft journal. Some rod bearing treatments are designed to allow the bearing to retain oil better, which, if they do actually do that would be helpful. Still, I don’t believe that these bearings adequately address the original engine design flaw.

    There are a couple ways to solve this problem, BMW tried the simplest. Increase the oil viscosity and increase the bearing clearance. This provides a higher volume of viscous oil for the combustion pressure to act upon. Does this help the problem? Definitely. Another option would be to increase oil pressure, this is one of the reasons that some people say all S54 race cars should have a dry sump oil system. This helps not so much because it prevents oil starvation but also because you are able to change gear sizes to obtain the oil pressure you desire.

    To really get down to properly fixing the engine we have to go back and re-engineer it. The best way would be to make a new billet crankshaft (like we do for our stroker kits). A cheap alternative is to have the stock journal reground to accept a wider bearing. To do this we also have to choose a bearing that has a smaller diameter. Conveniently this also means that we can fix some crankshafts that have already spun bearings. We grind down the journal and widen it to accept the bearing for our new rod. For economics we choose a rod bearing that is common and easily available. This also means we have a wide variety of rods to choose from that are available in different lengths. Once we choose the rod, which can vary depending on customers preferences, we then measure the compression height we desire and order our custom piston from one of the various suppliers we use. Obviously what I’m describing takes quite a bit more thought than simply reassembling a stock engine and as such the labor cost is higher, and that might scare some people away.

    I like to let them think about the cost for a new set of OEM rings, or pistons, or rods from BMW and compare those costs to the cost of some aftermarket rods/bearings/rings from aftermarket sources. Often times the quality is better and the cost is significantly less. The end result is an engine that costs very close to what an OEM rebuild would cost and ends up with lighter weight components that are fully balanced and engineered. More over some of the compromises that BMW made on their production engines don’t need to be made when building custom engines for race applications.

    Some might say that its best just to replace the S54 rod bearings as part of regular maintenance, perhaps every 50k miles or so. I think this is a good suggestion but it also carries an expense and is a bandaid on a permanent problem. If a person is in the position to do a complete rebuild and intends to drive the car aggressively I think modifying the crankshaft for future reliability is a wise decision to minimize future maintenance and reduce the chances of catastrophic engine failure.

    Even more so I think it makes the most sense for those in the position that their engine has already spun a bearing and has damaged a crankshaft. At this point they are left with the decision to either purchase a used crankshaft or try to repair their current one. The cost of modifying the crankshaft journal for this wider bearing is only slightly more than a standard crankshaft repair when a rod bearing has spun.

    If a rebuild is in your future on an S54 I encourage you to investigate the costs of a standard rebuild and compare those costs to our rod bearing modification kit
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    That is gorgeous. Being that I am the stocker, I like the stock look. Congratulations. Damn I miss my car Click here to enlarge

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    Imola red, I like.

    I have been keeping my eye out for an E46 M3 6MT for weekend track car. I had a black on black E46 M3 SMG years back. I still miss that car to this day.

  10. #10
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    Congrats bro. I'm looking for one too!
    Burger Motorsports
    Home of the Worlds fastest N20s, N54s, N55s, S55s, N63s, and S63s!

    It is the sole responsibility of the purchaser and installer of any BMS part to employ the correct installation techniques required to ensure the proper operation of BMS parts, and BMS disclaims any and all liability for any part failure due to improper installation or use. It is the sole responsibility of the customer to verify that the use of their vehicle and items purchased comply with federal, state and local regulations. BMS claims no legal federal, state or local certification concerning pollution controlled motor vehicles or mandated emissions requirements. BMS products labeled for use only in competition racing vehicles may only be used on competition racing vehicles operated exclusively on a closed course in conjunction with a sanctioned racing event, in accordance with all federal and state laws, and may never be operated on public roads/highways. Please click here for more information on legal requirements related to use of BMS parts.

  11. #11
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    Red is always hit or miss for me but, damn, e46's look so good in Imola.
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    Good choice of color, and if you ever decide to swap the interior the IR leather does have a premium.

    I'm also a fan of SMG and, having had two of them, it hasn't been a cause of any drama.

    Get her a clear bra and you should be set for the next few years!

  13. #13
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by hifiguy@gaphix Click here to enlarge
    Good choice of color, and if you ever decide to swap the interior the IR leather does have a premium.

    I'm also a fan of SMG and, having had two of them, it hasn't been a cause of any drama.

    Get her a clear bra and you should be set for the next few years!
    Thanks. The 1 thing I don't like about the e46 m3 is the plastics they used on the interior wasn't great. Yea once I get it back from the shop I plan on clay baring the car, and getting the clear bra as well.
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  14. #14
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    Which plastic trim pieces? Coming from a Sunfire and 4runner, the dashboard and center console felt higher in quality.

    Smart move to clay your M3 before the clear bra. I hear they now have mitts with the clay material pre-applied, that way you dont worry about dropping it. Haven't seen it myself but sounds like a timesaver.

    In case it's not radar ready, be sure to hardware a connection to the moonroof. Click here to enlarge


    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by GG///M3 Click here to enlarge
    Thanks. The 1 thing I don't like about the e46 m3 is the plastics they used on the interior wasn't great. Yea once I get it back from the shop I plan on clay baring the car, and getting the clear bra as well.

  15. #15
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    Congrats. Love the color, and you just can't go wrong with an S54.
    Current: '00 S2000
    Previous: '15 M235i xDrive | '15 Macan S | '15 WRX STi | '06 Cayman S | '12 E92 335is w/JB4 | '10 STi

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    Nice pickup! A bolt on S54 is a kick in the pants.

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    Welcome to the club.

    Greatest car in the world 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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    SMG

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by GG///M3 Click here to enlarge
    Yes 6 speed. I wasn't going to get anything for a while, but I started liking the idea of a car in n/a form that can make more then its bhp rating in n/a form. I was going to go for a smg, but after reading about the many nightmares those things have I decided to not bother with going that route.

    I just bought a manual as well... looked at a lot of cars but never came across your lovely new beast in the market..... still wish I could have bought your "old" car..... but the love of State farm and being a foreigner and all

    GL with the mods....


    I am going to drive mine around for a few months before I mod... already got a ticket yesterday for speeding/crossing double line... I was avoiding a Harley..... cop let me off with just a 1110A infringement which is only 2 points
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    Click here to enlarge



  19. #19
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    Congrats. Car looks great.
    Click here to enlarge



    EURO 04 M3 Current Mods:GC DAs, Eibach Sways, PF RTAB's, RE RCAs, INTRAVEE II, Black Roundels, ///MFEST Badges, Depo's, Screen protector for NAV display, VCSL Bumper + Race Lip & CF Trunk & CF Rear Diffusor, DIETZ TV in Motion, SS= V1 Headers + catless pipes + X-Pipe + SS Sport Exhaust, Z8 Starter Button, Lamin-X, OEM CSL interior, OEM CSL Steering, OEM CSL Intake, OEM CSL Roof, MSS54HP + OEM CSL Tune, BBS CH's, LIGHTWERKZ, 355mm ST40 BBK, BW Oil Cooler....

  20. #20
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Group.america Click here to enlarge
    I just bought a manual as well... looked at a lot of cars but never came across your lovely new beast in the market..... still wish I could have bought your "old" car..... but the love of State farm and being a foreigner and all

    GL with the mods....


    I am going to drive mine around for a few months before I mod... already got a ticket yesterday for speeding/crossing double line... I was avoiding a Harley..... cop let me off with just a 1110A infringement which is only 2 points
    Yes State Farm was pretty dumb. New owner is apparently street racing the piss of her beating everyone he comes across. This car is going to stay very stock for sometime. Cheers to getting the new car. We need to have a local Bimmerboost meet before it starts to get really cold out.
    Click here to enlargeClick here to enlarge

  21. #21
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by 0-60Motorsports Click here to enlarge
    Congrats. Car looks great.
    Thanks.
    Click here to enlargeClick here to enlarge

  22. #22
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    Actually in State Farm's defence it is more the way foreigners on visas are treated that leads to restrictive practices... on both drivers licences, insurance and registrations... kind of a chicken and egg thing... if I bought your beauty and then had a emissions check that State Far didn't like they could stop my insurance hence rendering my ability to register impossible... in a way though it is good because it protects NY drivers in the main against illegals driving without the above.....
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    Click here to enlarge



  23. #23
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Group.america Click here to enlarge
    Actually in State Farm's defence it is more the way foreigners on visas are treated that leads to restrictive practices... on both drivers licences, insurance and registrations... kind of a chicken and egg thing... if I bought your beauty and then had a emissions check that State Far didn't like they could stop my insurance hence rendering my ability to register impossible... in a way though it is good because it protects NY drivers in the main against illegals driving without the above.....
    All interesting. The great thing about cars produced in 1995 in NY state no emissions testing is done. They just do a safety check. Now we need a thread about that 2005 m3 you picked up.
    Click here to enlargeClick here to enlarge

  24. #24
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    So State Farm and my emissions guy are full of sheet then ... fwits... I would have bought your thing on the spot probably...

    will do a thread once I get started on whatever it is I will mod...... Turbo MaxPsi or AA supercharger possibly... leaning towards the latter as I think the former and I would end up in a ditch somewhere... all that power in that form on the street looks kinda scary

    My E34 BMW 540i was put over a blower I seem to recall but that was a 12/95 build date... oh doesnt matter
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    Click here to enlarge



  25. #25
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sedan Hussein Click here to enlarge
    Red is always hit or miss for me but, damn, e46's look so good in Imola.
    First time I saw one in Imola I fell in love. I think I stayed at the dealership for 3 hours looking at the car. They probably thought I was weird or there was something wrong with me... until I bought it.
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