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Driveline, Engine & DME Tuning
Talk about driveline improvements, NA tuning and DME tuning your E46 BMW here. This includes diffs, intakes, exhausts, chips, software and OBD tuning.

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Old 03-29-2010, 07:50 PM   #1
McSpeed
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The oil path through the engine

I'm trying to understand where the oil goes from the pump onward - specifically where does it get heated and where does it get cooled in the course of normal stock operation?
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Old 04-01-2010, 07:17 AM   #2
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Old 04-01-2010, 07:53 AM   #3
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Normally the oil is picked up from the pump pushed through the filter then into the main oil galley that runs the entire length of the engine. There is a drilled hole from each main journals in the block (where the crank sits) to this main oil galley. This is how the oil gets to the main journals to the crank. Once the oil gets to the main journal some of the oil will just drop right down to the oil pan again and the rest of it will get forced through the crank to oil the rod bearings, then in turn drop to the oil pan. Also coming from the main galley is an oil path to the cylinder head and just like the crank the oil will be pushed through small holes to oil the camshaft journals. Also with the e46 (minus m3) they have hydraulic lifters so the oil pressure will be keeping these lifters pressurised to keep valve lash where it needs to be. Once the oil has passed all through all these passages in the cylinder head it will just sit in the cylinder head and drain down back into the oil pan. Oil is heated by passing all the moving components in the engine, friction is what causes the oil to heat. Not too detailed and fairly broad explaination but is that what you were looking for?
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Old 04-01-2010, 07:59 AM   #4
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That's about exactly what I was looking for
Thanks!
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Old 04-01-2010, 09:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by small_m View Post
Normally the oil is picked up from the pump pushed through the filter then into the main oil galley that runs the entire length of the engine. There is a drilled hole from each main journals in the block (where the crank sits) to this main oil galley. This is how the oil gets to the main journals to the crank. Once the oil gets to the main journal some of the oil will just drop right down to the oil pan again and the rest of it will get forced through the crank to oil the rod bearings, then in turn drop to the oil pan. Also coming from the main galley is an oil path to the cylinder head and just like the crank the oil will be pushed through small holes to oil the camshaft journals. Also with the e46 (minus m3) they have hydraulic lifters so the oil pressure will be keeping these lifters pressurised to keep valve lash where it needs to be. Once the oil has passed all through all these passages in the cylinder head it will just sit in the cylinder head and drain down back into the oil pan. Oil is heated by passing all the moving components in the engine, friction is what causes the oil to heat. Not too detailed and fairly broad explaination but is that what you were looking for?
Great explanation!

A few more details:

The oil "block" where the oil filter is and the split off to the VANOS system is right on top of the "cold side" of the water cooling system. Basically, it get's the coolant right after it leaves the radiator before it's circulated to the head.

There is a single oil path at the center of the block going from the lower oil galley (described above to lubricate the crank) to a similar sized oil galley running the entire length of the cylinder head. It sits in the center of the head right next to the spark plug holes, and then has a port going to each of the 7 journal locations for both the intake and exhaust camshafts independently. There are 6 oil drain-back galleys that run from the head all the way through the block back down to the oil pan area.

The VANOS system is fed from where the oil filter block is, and oil is bled through 2 valves controlled by the ECU to move the cam timing around. This oil, after it moves through the VANOS, then bleeds out of the VANOS block and drops into the front timing chain cover area to help lubricate/cool the chains.
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Old 04-01-2010, 09:07 AM   #6
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Pump to filter to oil passages to bearing/friction surfaces, this is where the oil is heated, to oil pan, this is where it cools.
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Old 04-01-2010, 02:37 PM   #7
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The oil "block" where the oil filter is and the split off to the VANOS system is right on top of the "cold side" of the water cooling system. Basically, it get's the coolant right after it leaves the radiator before it's circulated to the head.

There is a single oil path at the center of the block going from the lower oil galley (described above to lubricate the crank) to a similar sized oil galley running the entire length of the cylinder head. It sits in the center of the head right next to the spark plug holes, and then has a port going to each of the 7 journal locations for both the intake and exhaust camshafts independently. There are 6 oil drain-back galleys that run from the head all the way through the block back down to the oil pan area.

The VANOS system is fed from where the oil filter block is, and oil is bled through 2 valves controlled by the ECU to move the cam timing around. This oil, after it moves through the VANOS, then bleeds out of the VANOS block and drops into the front timing chain cover area to help lubricate/cool the chains.
Very neat.

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Originally Posted by 330I6SPD View Post
Pump to filter to oil passages to bearing/friction surfaces, this is where the oil is heated, to oil pan, this is where it cools.
Does the pan just...radiate the heat - or does coolant pass near it?
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Old 04-05-2010, 01:54 PM   #8
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it just call off from air passing over the oil pan. If you see an M3 it will have a oil cooler in the grill. This is to aid cooling by pushing the oil through a small heat exchanger (oil to air cooler). Normally these coolers have a thermostat in line so that it doesnt delay the engine oil from heating up.
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Old 04-05-2010, 10:07 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by small_m View Post
it just call off from air passing over the oil pan. If you see an M3 it will have a oil cooler in the grill. This is to aid cooling by pushing the oil through a small heat exchanger (oil to air cooler). Normally these coolers have a thermostat in line so that it doesnt delay the engine oil from heating up.
So oil cooler aside, part of the oil pan's role is to be an oil cooling heatsink?

Where does the oil system interact with the water cooling system? What is the focus of the water cooling system?
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Old 04-19-2010, 04:47 PM   #10
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I think that this is a little off-topic, but can anyone confirm if there are any coolant passing through the oil filter housing or not? PEI seemed to imply that coolant does pass through the oil filter housing before going elsewhere in the block. What I am really after is if coolant has to cross the gasket between the housing and the block or not. Any one know?
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