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Old 09-22-2013, 11:19 PM   #1
chi330ci
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Today was a bad day......blew up engine 330CI m54b30

Rolling down the highway, car running decent but having felt 10% loss in power over last week. Car starts making a sound which felt and seemed like a heat shield rattling. The noise had more rhythm than that would though, which makes me think it's the pulleys. Pull over and do an inspection.

Almost seems like it could be the infamous disa (the origin of the noise). While in the car the noise appears for a burble on startup, and then disappears. It reappears at 2K rpm through the band. I'm nervous, I figure I'll drive straight to my service and drop her off. En route, suddenly the noise gets louder, I felt the engine lose oil pressure and A F&**^^* SMALLL PART FELL OUT OF THE CAR. Immediately, and I mean within 50ft, pulled off onto ramp and parked on the shoulder. I see for the last 20 ft, she was losing a ton of oil. THEN, parked I see she is just pouring her lifeblood (oil) onto the pavement.

I was heartbroken. She may have taken an impact which somehow marred the oil plug or cracked oil pan? If not, I fear the engine is blown to ****.

I felt like I should add this info just in case people have a catastrophic failure. Feel free to add failure stories (hoping repair stories too). They're not fun, but they're important learning experiences.

Last edited by chi330ci; 09-22-2013 at 11:19 PM. Reason: more info
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:21 PM   #2
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Today was a bad day......blew up engine 330CI m54b30

Just replace the oil pan, and refill with 7 quarts of oil.


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Old 09-22-2013, 11:28 PM   #3
chi330ci
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I appreciate the optimism, but I'm leaning towards the engine being blown. She sprayed oil out of the exhaust onto the back bumper in a fine mist (high velocity).
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:35 PM   #4
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Sorry to hear! Have you looked where the oil is coming from?
Sounds like it's time to look for a used engine.
How long have you owned the car?
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:38 PM   #5
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The oil light would have come on if it lost enough oil and clearly you haven't "felt the engine lose oil pressure" and it really annoys me when people say that. There is no "feeling" of when that happens because it depends on what part seizes first when it's oil-starved. On an overhead cam engine like this, it's usually a camshaft that seizes and the timing chain may break causing the engine to immediately stall. On a pushrod engine, usually a main bearing seizes first and the car just feels like it's really down on power and slows down then seizes.

Sounds like you threw a rod.
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:44 PM   #6
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Cavi Mike - Thank you for the info. A thrown rod does sound completely plausible. The rhythmic noise that finally 'jangled' apart. Oh man. That is so sad.

The car is a one owner 2001 with only 70,000 on it. So many aspects of the car are in pristine condition.
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:56 PM   #7
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Cavi Mike, I will update the thread to more to see if your prognosis is correct.

She's toast. I wanted this girl forever.
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:56 PM   #8
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Today was a bad day......blew up engine 330CI m54b30

Just 70 000 wow, I wonder what could have caused this?
Sorry to hear about your trouble!


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Old 09-22-2013, 11:59 PM   #9
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Sounds like the car was overheated by the previous owner and was immediately put up for sale. That burble you say you felt at start up was likely coolant in the combustion chamber leaking through a cracked head or headgasket. Over some time, that water got into the oil and likely destroyed connecting rod bearings. That led to loss of oil pressure and an overall chain reaction metal to metal contact. Heat build up, something seized (likely a connecting rod/piston) and metal got flung around inside and poked a hole through the engine. That's my best guess on what happened based on the events and symptoms you describe. Sorry about your loss.
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Last edited by Mango; 09-23-2013 at 12:01 AM.
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Old 09-23-2013, 12:07 AM   #10
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Mango - Also some good info.

Corrections - The burble is a bad descriptor......retrospect, it was a slowly loosening rod pinging and clanking momentarily. Why the F*** didn't my MIL or CEL come on in the last week?

The previous owner was an older family member who bought the car new from BMW in 2001. It was delivered from Germany to Chicago in October of 2001 with a build date in September. The previous driver didn't do perfect maintenance, but was a relatively mellow driver.

I just found this interesting ass backpage from the internet about a slough of catastrophic engine failures on S54 engines with build dates of October 2001. http://www.yoy.com/yoy/auto/m3_failwhat.shtml

That describes exactly what happened. I wonder if it was rod 3. The engine ran far too clean for it to have been a cracked head gasket. Who knows, maybe the bolt from the Disa valve was sucked into the intake LOL.
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Old 09-23-2013, 12:11 AM   #11
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Temp gauge was 100% normal until catastrophic engine failure. Felt/heard rod throw, or something mechanical. Also, most likely a part pierced block or oil pan. Wahhhhhhhhh! I guess I'm supposed to say something retarded like, "guess it's time for an S54 swap" and then someone will say "why don't you just buy an m3?".
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Old 09-23-2013, 12:17 AM   #12
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If anything was failing internally there's not really a way for the computer to know unless it was strong enough to make the engine run rough. and then all you would get is a misfire code. this problem was inevitable any way you slice it.

Again, my opinion is that this car was overheated or severely starved of oil for some reason. The car ran for 70k miles so it would be unlikely for a bearing or something of the sort to fail catastrophically for no reason

either way it doesn't matter. you are in need of a new engine. make sure its maintained cooling wise and with the correct oil. GL!
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Old 09-23-2013, 12:18 AM   #13
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Contrary to common belief, BMW's engine core is solid. Website links or not ... At 70k miles your car's engine block is practically new.

That's not normal.
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Old 09-23-2013, 12:23 AM   #14
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Thanks Mango...I will get on top of researching the best place to purchase a new engine. I will also make damn sure to figure out as much info as possible to update you fellas. The previous owner may have starved her on oil....filled her with medium grade gas......not varied rpm enough. She was just in BMW for an oil change & a "multipoint inspection" 2 weeks ago. You're damn right it was inevitable, previous owner did have it stall.
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Old 09-23-2013, 12:26 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chi330ci View Post
Thanks Mango...I will get on top of researching the best place to purchase a new engine. I will also make damn sure to figure out as much info as possible to update you fellas. The previous owner may have starved her on oil....filled her with medium grade gas......not varied rpm enough. She was just in BMW for an oil change & a "multipoint inspection" 2 weeks ago. You're damn right it was inevitable, previous owner did have it stall.
How long ago before the engine exploding did you check the oil level?

filling with medium grade gas or not varying the RPMs wouldn't cause this type of failure. just fyi
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Old 09-23-2013, 12:43 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by chi330ci View Post
Mango - Also some good info.

Corrections - The burble is a bad descriptor......retrospect, it was a slowly loosening rod pinging and clanking momentarily. Why the F*** didn't my MIL or CEL come on in the last week?
When learning how to fly an aircraft you are taught never to trust your gauges entirely. You need to "feel" certain things out. Never ever trust an idiot gauge man. It is called an idiot gauge for a reason. I remember doing an autorotation in an R22 because the transmission was shaking itself to pieces and the magnetic sensor never detected any metal which is why it didnt go off.
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Old 09-23-2013, 12:50 AM   #17
chi330ci
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Today was a bad day......blew up engine 330CI m54b30

I pulled the dipstick about a week ago and everything was kosher oil level wise. BMW just filled her, and I've been checking out because I noted a slow slow leak in oil pan gasket.

Apollo- you're damn right. I was/ am the idiot. My intuition told me something mechanical was happening, and you can't plug the internals of an engine into a sensor. I should've towed her, but I can't think of an easy repair for a deteriorating rod.


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Old 09-23-2013, 12:53 AM   #18
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Today was a bad day......blew up engine 330CI m54b30

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Old 09-23-2013, 01:47 AM   #19
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You mean the bird goes into auto rotation ... You don't "do" an auto rotation. It's not a maneuver. It's when there's a mechanical failure and you loose power to both aft and forward rotor heads (in case of a CH47) . Like a bicycle mechanism, the blades will continue to spin freely allowing you to land safely.

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Old 09-23-2013, 09:52 AM   #20
chi330ci
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Today was a bad day......blew up engine 330CI m54b30

Diagnosis being analyzed


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