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Motorsports & Track Forum
From Auto-X to Trackday to Racing and Professional Motorsports this is the place to discuss making BMWs fast

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Old 09-14-2009, 10:27 PM   #1
PEI330Ci
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VAC Oil Pump update

I got the engine out of the car tonight, and pulled the oil pan off. What I found on the oil pump absolutely shocked me:

The bolt holding the sprocket to the oil pump shaft was loose to the touch, and the sprocket was seated with a bit of free-play on the oil pump shaft.

As a reminder, this bolt was initially installed with red loctite and torqued properly.

I see 4 potential options for the oil system:

1.) Weld the VAC bolt to the sprocket
2.) 3 bolt sprocket shaft
3.) BMW Motorsport wet sump system
4.) Dry Sump system

Personally if funds are limited, I would pursue the 3-bolt sprock shaft option.

The BMW Motorsport wet sump system costs $3000, and a proper dry sump system will cost over $5000 depending plumbing options.

Once again, it appears I've caught the oil pump just before it failed....
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:07 PM   #2
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Heh, told ya so .
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Originally Posted by pei330ci View Post
Once again, it appears I've caught the oil pump just before it failed....

I wouldn't say that you caught it just before it failed. I found mine in the same condition when I changed oil pumps, and IIRC when your changed yours the first time it was in the same condition. That would be a HUGE coincidence for all three of those just to have happened, they had probably been like that for a while.

If anyone is SERIOUSLY(!!!) interested in the 3/4 bolt sprocket shaft PM me. It's not cheap, but it's cheaper than the other options, and equally as good IMO.
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:27 PM   #3
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vaio76109 has the correct pump shaft. The VAC one has never worked for me and the motor out of the Z4 proved to me (for the 4th time) that this pump shaft does not work. The only reason why I use the BMW motorsport system right now because I want all 4 of my motors to be exactly the same.

FYI: No matter what, install a new pump chain and if you put around 100 hours of race time on your motor, change out the chain again.
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:29 PM   #4
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I know someone who welded the nut and it came loose a second time on the track. Maybe I can have him contact you through email or PM?

I am thinking maybe the 2005 WTCC 320i might have a more viable solution, which I am sure you checked it out. You have the P54 intake, yes?
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vaio76109 View Post
Heh, told ya so .



I wouldn't say that you caught it just before it failed. I found mine in the same condition when I changed oil pumps, and IIRC when your changed yours the first time it was in the same condition. That would be a HUGE coincidence for all three of those just to have happened, they had probably been like that for a while.

If anyone is SERIOUSLY(!!!) interested in the 3/4 bolt sprocket shaft PM me. It's not cheap, but it's cheaper than the other options, and equally as good IMO.
I would suggest putting together some kind of group buy....I know of a few people that would be interested right now. I've also just been contacted by a race team that's making the switch to E46/M54s....

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrshelley View Post
vaio76109 has the correct pump shaft. The VAC one has never worked for me and the motor out of the Z4 proved to me (for the 4th time) that this pump shaft does not work. The only reason why I use the BMW motorsport system right now because I want all 4 of my motors to be exactly the same.

FYI: No matter what, install a new pump chain and if you put around 100 hours of race time on your motor, change out the chain again.
Good advice.

Although I plan to run my next engine without an oil pump chain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Paddle.Shift View Post
I am thinking maybe the 2005 WTCC 320i might have a more viable solution, which I am sure you checked it out. You have the P54 intake, yes?
Sorry, can't comment on that.
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:43 AM   #6
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I posted these a while back, but as a FYI, here's a few pics of the motorsport setup:





The shaft is tapered (like a drill chuck or the timing sprocket on a VW diesel engine) and it has a right hand thread nut. The sprocket has one extra tooth on it, so a shim (1/4") needs to be installed between the block and the oil pan. There is an oil scraper that is attached to this shim also (you'll see this in the first pic). This is so the chain does not hit the oil pan. There is an adjuster for the chain also. The pan baffle is pretty expensive and consists of two pieces. It has a series of doors in it and does a really good job at keeping the pump from sucking up air.

The whole thing does it's job and works quite well. It's amazing that it has a right hand threaded nut on it and some red loctite is all it needs to keep from coming off.
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Old 09-16-2009, 07:23 AM   #7
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When I visited Metric Mechanic's shop awhile back, I brought this up.

They said they've seen that nut loose on a lot of different BMW engines so our M54s are not the only ones apparently.

They also said it wasn't a huge deal since the tension in the chain will keep the sprocket from backing off and that you should be able to identify when the nut has come off when you hear a rattle in your oil pan.

I'm not really sold on this and plan to use Bimmerworld's nut with safety wire and loctite.
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Old 09-16-2009, 09:09 AM   #8
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The nut is pretty easy to drill a hole through. If you have the ability to remove the oil pan, I bet you have the ability to drill a hole through the nut.

The only reason why people are trying different shafts, is because the 3.0l motor breaks off the shaft. It took me about 5 blown up motors to figure out how to keep this from happening. I can tell you that it takes about 117 seconds of no oil pressure to blow up the motor.
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Old 09-16-2009, 05:19 PM   #9
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Um, I'd tell VAC I want my money back
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Old 09-16-2009, 05:21 PM   #10
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I just googled that intake. If you have it, I may have to fly up there, have a good Canadian beer, and hold it in my arms, and then fly home...

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Originally Posted by pei330ci View Post



Sorry, can't comment on that.
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Old 09-16-2009, 05:24 PM   #11
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Wait a sec, I just saw some pics on bimmerforums....
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Old 09-16-2009, 08:03 PM   #12
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How serious do you guys think this issue is? I take my 330 out to the track about 10 times a year. Is my engine just a time bomb at the track?

Why don't we hear about the shaft breaking or the nut falling off on a lot of street cars if this is affecting a large portion of M54s out at the track?
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Old 09-17-2009, 02:53 PM   #13
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The reason why street cars (and occasional track cars) don't see this problem, is because they spend most of their life below 4000 rpm. For cars like mine, they spend 95% of their life from 4000-6500 rpm. The only times mine is running below 4000 rpm, is when it's warming up or under a caution. When you start to explore the 7000-7500 rpm ranges in a 3.0l motor, if the oil pump survives, then count on the timing wheel exploding.
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Old 09-17-2009, 11:03 PM   #14
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So what do you think the likelihood is of this being a problem on a m54 that only sees 10 days of track time a year?
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Old 09-18-2009, 11:33 AM   #15
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Man, I pulled my pan last night to do my pan gasket and do the drilled nut. That stupid wire was a horrible experience. Nut wasn't loose (I should have left it alone). Loctited the new one on and torqued it down. Went to wire it up. I broke the freaking wire 4 times. It was finally too short. I just had to put it all back together unwired. Talk about feeling bad about things. I'll do it again when I do my cams.... le sigh.
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Old 09-18-2009, 07:31 PM   #16
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How long did it take you to remove the oil pan?

Last edited by bigjae1976; 09-19-2009 at 12:15 AM.
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Old 09-18-2009, 09:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
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How long did it take you to drop the pan?
I just checked. From the point of release until it hits the floor, 0.780 seconds. Release point was 1.5m above the floor.
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:02 PM   #18
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What's the V max?
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:33 PM   #19
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lol

Quote:
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I just checked. From the point of release until it hits the floor, 0.780 seconds. Release point was 1.5m above the floor.
Getting the pan off was actually really easy. Under an hour.

The whole thing really wasn't that bad, I'm just still recovering from a stomach flu, so I was kinda sickly. I should have waited a week. I got annoyed with my jack at the end and just bench pressed the subframe back up into place
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:35 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by pei330ci View Post
I just checked. From the point of release until it hits the floor, 0.780 seconds. Release point was 1.5m above the floor.


Let me know if there is a group buy on the 3/4 bolt sprocket shaft, please.

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