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Old 02-16-2013, 12:30 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by HighBoostin330 View Post
You may never see a problem with the internals, but you stop by those independent shops and you see a E46 M3 in there for a VANOS check, or rod bearing change, or the engine spun a bearing so it is time for a new engine. People are starting to notice that those bearings are starting to give out at about 100k miles.
I'd go for those rather than trying to rebuild the entire engine. The stuff bolted to the block and head are relatively cheap, easy and less life changing that having to do a heart transplant.

Originally Posted by HighBoostin330 View Post
I have a friend who is meticulous with his car maintenance. Always follows BMW inspection guidelines and changes oil every 7,000 miles. He ended up with a failed VANOS, sheared cam bolts, and bad rod bearings. It was a 2004 car with a few track days. He treats that thing like his baby.

Z4M also have those rod bearings issues as well, but probably didn't see the recall because it was produced much later than the E46 M3 and at a small production number. This Z4M guy tracks his car, monitors his oil level, and even upgraded his oil cooler to keep oil temperatures down. Look what it got him in 64k miles. http://www.zpost.com/forums/showthread.php?t=787684

Another car with 50 track days: http://www.zpost.com/forums/showthread.php?t=607732
I guess my earlier argument applies, small population yields fewer failures! I haven't really followed the Z4Ms closely...just haven't seen or heard of one.

Originally Posted by HighBoostin330 View Post
50 track days would only last you a year at most if you tracked once every week. If you do a track weekend, you're looking at 25 weeks. This is well short of your expected 2-3 year track life before an engine refresh.

Well most of the people that do modify their cars, they care about their cars. I know my group of friends change their oil on the S54 between 5,000-7,000 mile intervals. We are all enthusiasts, so why would we run anything but the 10W-60 anyways? Last time I checked, the 10W-60 oil requirement was due to noise from some M motors so 5W-30 was no longer used. Thicker CUSTOM engineered oil to reduce sounds and wear characteristics, sounds like design shortcoming to me.
Modifying...that touches on another discussion and lesson learned. Save that for later. Right now I'm dealing with you two responding to my short stories with "Gone With The Wind" size novels!

The 10W-60 provides more heat stability needed for high RPM usage. Unless you are doing an oil analysis (I admit, haven't done one yet), you really don't know if you are using an optimal change interval. It could be 3k-4k or it could last 15k. No way of knowing without the analysis. Quite frankly, I "guessed" at 2 track weekends (~2 months or 3000 miles).

I believe there are variances among the same engine and different production dates (month to month) which contribute to different issues or the lack thereof. There is some luck to it. Maybe the machinist was out partying the night before or something before he built my motor? Don't know. My 330 was built in July 2003...right before the month of vacation the Germans get???

Originally Posted by HighBoostin330 View Post
As far as failures happen more on the street versus on the track, you can ask any engine builder and he will tell you that high RPM and high load is what kills engines - that is when you are flying past your fellow HPDE driver's MP4-12C on the front straight away on the track. Not putt putting around in traffic. As far as maintenance goes, most sensible people adhere by the maintenance schedule anyways. Valve adjustment every 30k miles, so I would check my exhaust hub tab every 30k miles. Would you check your cam bolts and exhaust hub tab every oil change? How about the rod bearings? How would you do regular maintenance on that? Rod bearing wear would be indicated from high levels of lead in the oil during a Blackstone analysis. That could be done every oil change, but at $35-50 an analysis, it adds up. M3Forum cars are starting to see more rod bearing wear on 100k mile motors. So what kind of maintenance would a track car like yours see more than the typical street car that isn't track abused? More frequent oil changes obviously, but other than that?

BTW, I pulled off my M54 cam bolts tonight and they still look awesome!

A VANOS doesn't even need to blow up. The solenoid can fail and you are SOL and in limp mode country with no core exchange possible with DrVANOS. Happened to a friend and it wasn't pretty - just lucky he was still under CPO warranty.
I should have been more specific, I was talking about maintenance related failures. I do see enthusiasts that are meticulous about maintenance. But there are MANY who are not. Either they are too lazy, too cheap or cannot afford it.

VANOS failure? That's fine. So long as I don't have to pull the head and mess with internals, I can deal with it. Expensive? Yeah but sh1t happens. If I wanted cheap...I'd drive a different ///M....///Miata!

On the M3, I will do an oil analysis for every oil change (or at least two events). ABout $140/yr is much cheaper and easier than hunting down a $4k used S54 and installing it. I will scan the ECU for any pending codes. Full tune up based on some amount of hours on track (plugs, coils, fuel filter, air filter, O2 sensors, MAF (its cheap). Haven't determined that yet. Probably once a year. Its a lot of money but its cheaper than another engine.

On my 330, I would do the following every 3 months. I pulled the intake track. Check all of the hoses. Put a wrench on (sometimes a socket) all of the compressor and manifold bolts...I had one get loose on me. I should have done some more diagnostics like checking fuel trims and timing and logging AFRs on a test drive. If I could go back in time, I would do that. Not sure what I would do about the oil pump nut...fix it before it goes I guess.

Originally Posted by HighBoostin330 View Post
You don't have to worry about your cooling system exploding if you replace it at the scheduled intervals. That's why it is called scheduled maintenance. However, I will agree the S54 cooling is superior in that it is so much faster to bleed. However, the expansion tank is still plastic.
But at least the M3 tank isn't against the hot radiator.



Side note. I did have an awesome Zionsville Radiator. Still have it. If anyone wants to swap, let me know. I need YOUR radiator, mounts, expansion tank, fan, and upper/lower heater hoses from a Manual Transmission car.

I give you Zionsville radiator/tank, SPAL fan, and tee-d in heater hose.


Originally Posted by HighBoostin330 View Post
As far as your big picture, I agree with you that the S54 has higher power potential. However, to say it is better because it sees no engine failures is misleading and incorrect. Parts are even more expensive for M cars, which is the reason people say the M actually stands for Markup instead of Motorsport. On the other hand, the higher power potential rational is the reason I have a S54 in my 330 now.
Lol...I think that was true a couple of years ago. As more info gets out there, I'm finding parts are coming more inline with non-Ms for many things. Remember when an M3 suspension was $1k more than a non-M? People have discovered the ONLY difference is the front strut mount. Other than spring rates/sizes...it all bolts on.

I'm looking at the entire platform, not just the engine. The engine is significantly better built than an M54 for the purpose of track use. The trade off is it does take care maintenance and prompt attention to issues.

But as I mentioned previously there is a significant advantage in tire sizing, LSD choices, gearing, suspension, and interior. No one of these justifies the M tax...when considered as a whole...the M starts looking like a deal FOR a track car. Street use is a different story.

One thing that the non-Ms have that is way better is the 6 speed gearbox. The M3 gearbox is not nearly as good about smoothly and effortlessly going into gear with the OE shifter. I've noticed this on 3 6SP cars.

You're such an f'ing traitor! S54 in your 330? Haha!
2013 F30 328i - Melbourne Red
2011 E90 M3 - Monte Carlo Blue
2004 E46 M3 - Imola red
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