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Thread: M54 Oil Pump Solution

              
  1. #1
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    M54 Oil Pump Solution

    After years of hearing about this oil pump solution for the M54, I finally ordered one to try on my 330i street car.

    What is the problem with the M54 oil pump? The M54, and more notoriously the M54B30, seems to vibrate the oil pump nut off when rev'd above 6000 RPM. The more time you spend over 6k, the sooner the oil pump nut seems to come loose, which is followed by the oil pump sprocket coming off, which causes a total loss of oil pressure. (By by engine)

    Here's a view of a stock oil pump without the sprocket installed:

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    What's inside:

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    The most common solution seems to be to weld the oil pump nut (OPN) on to keep it from vibrating off....even tough the nut is a reverse thread. While this works in the short term, eventually the shaft that the sprocket and nut have been welded to fails, (It literally shears off where it holds the sprocket) and the engine looses oil pressure. Here is an example of how this welding is done:

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    And the back side of the sprocket:

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    Another solution that many try is from VAC Motorsports for $200. They offer a kit with a new sprocket and oil pump shaft that must be pressed into the existing oil pump housing. Here's the kit:

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    Here the VAC Motorsports shaft has been pressed into the oil pump housing:

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    And all buttoned up:

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    Note that the bolt is a reverse threaded, and was installed to VAC's specified torque, and additionally we added Loctite Red to the threads.

    I would love to report that this simple solution works, but it didn't in my engine. When the engine was torn down after approximately 80hrs or run time, I found the bolt loose to the touch, and the sprocket somewhat wobbly on the shaft. Based on what I found, I would say that it was just a matter of time on my engine before the oil pump drive sprocket came off. I have also heard from numberous other people that have installed this kit, on M54s, M52s, and S52s, and have had oil pump failures. It may allow the oil pump to last a little bit longer than the OEM piece, but eventually it fails.

    So this left 2 solutions:

    1. Install the BMW Motorsport oil pump system for M54s at a cost of $3000
    2. Install a dry sump system at a cost of well over $6000 to do it correctly


    Most people at seeing these prices seem to get the VAC kit and hope for the best. For me, this just isn't an option I would be comfortable with.

    I decided to try a solution that Greg Smith ran on his car, and isn't commercially available, but if you ask nice he can source one for you. The price is more than the VAC Motorsports solution, but much less than the BMW Motorsports solution. What you get is a completely new OEM oil pump housing and internals, with a specially machined drive shaft and sprocket. I would say most of the cost is in starting with a brand new oil pump core, but I'm not complaining. This is one very nicely put together oil pump package:

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    Taking the sprocket off, we can see what makes this solution so special:

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    Yes, that's all one solid machined piece that the sprocket bolts to:

    Click here to enlarge


    From a piece of mind perspective, I think this solution is a bargain.

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  3. #2
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    is this one of the things you thought i should do with my engine pei? If so could you pm me the price of this?

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    Very well done and detailed thread, as usual.

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    Looking at this makes me think you can easily make this yourself with the original parts.
    One does need a mill (for the metal disk only) and some taps, but if you would make a metal disk say 8mm thick, tap the required thread in the center, and 3 or 6 M6 allenscrews in the place where this solution has the holes, tapped 6 M6 holes into into the sprocket, it would probably work just as well. Make sure the allenscrews are fixed with locktite and do not stick out the backside of the sprocket too far...
    There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by jacobs323i Click here to enlarge
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    is this one of the things you thought i should do with my engine pei? If so could you pm me the price of this?
    This is something I would recommend to anyone running an M54B30.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Very well done and detailed thread, as usual.
    Thanks

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DavidV Click here to enlarge
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Looking at this makes me think you can easily make this yourself with the original parts.
    One does need a mill (for the metal disk only) and some taps, but if you would make a metal disk say 8mm thick, tap the required thread in the center, and 3 or 6 M6 allenscrews in the place where this solution has the holes, tapped 6 M6 holes into into the sprocket, it would probably work just as well. Make sure the allenscrews are fixed with locktite and do not stick out the backside of the sprocket too far...
    There's a little more too it than that, but yes it could be done by anyone willing to spend some time in a machine shop. Most machine shops charge around $100/hr for work like this, so you'll have to decide if that's worth it to you. I think a competent machinist could probably kick this out in a about a day.

    Or, you can get a brand new housing and pump internals, plus all the parts already assembled for less than what only the bare parts would cost you to have made at a machine shop.

    I've spent a ton of time in machine shops, and around race teams that build a lot of stuff from scratch. This pump is very well made, and a bargain for what is involved.

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    That is a fairly simple part to make but it will take a while to make it. That seems like a very solid solution. I don't see that drive gear ever coming off.
    Chris Reese
    Innovation in BMW Forced-Induction Technology
    chris@racemarque.com www.racemarque.com P 818-778-6106
    14418 Oxnard Street Van Nuys, CA 91401

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by THATDONFC Click here to enlarge
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    That is a fairly simple part to make but it will take a while to make it. That seems like a very solid solution. I don't see that drive gear ever coming off.
    You probably have better resources than most, and the experience to do this if you wanted....

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by PEI330Ci Click here to enlarge
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    You probably have better resources than most, and the experience to do this if you wanted....
    Yes, I was speaking from more of a machinists point of view. That is a very nice looking part though.
    Chris Reese
    Innovation in BMW Forced-Induction Technology
    chris@racemarque.com www.racemarque.com P 818-778-6106
    14418 Oxnard Street Van Nuys, CA 91401

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    i am assuming our housing's are the same as i have a m52tu and you a m54? or at least they can do the same thing to mine?

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    I like this very very much.
    BMW Master Certified Tech - ///M Specialist & Diesel Specialist
    - '02 BMW 530i/5 speed - 473WHP @ 14 PSI, E85 PTE6262
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