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Old 03-10-2012, 01:55 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by SPQR ROMAN SPQR View Post
Automatically jumping to the conclusion that the exhaust gases got to hot is a lame excuse in my opinion.
One other thing to consider.. the block was visibly cracked and the head had lifted. Having the sleeves move could also cause these problems. Sometimes liners wiggle around and that's why some folks don't like sleeves.

I said in a previous thread some days ago that I didn't think the S54 had enough meat to hold liners because the cylinder spacing is just so dang close on the S54. It's ironic that the cracks and signs of the head lifting are right where the cylinders meet... or more or less, where there is less meat to hold the liners in place.

It wouldn't be the first time HPF released a product to the public without adequate R&D.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...8#post14077818

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There are not many ways to break a ring, a sleeve failure would make sense. The BMW engineers did design the cylinders very close together. I bet the S54 doesn't have enough meat to hold the sleeves square.

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Do you really think adequate time, or real world tests were preformed on these Darton blocks prior to being offered to the public? It wouldn't surprise me if HPF was the first vendor to ever even request a sleeved S54 block.

If your problem does wind up being the result of the sleeves, be sure to ask Darton and HPF for a little love in helping further their R&D programs at the expense of your time.
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Old 03-10-2012, 02:03 AM   #82
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One other thing to consider.. the block was visibly cracked. Having the sleeves move could also cause these problems.

I said in a previous thread some days ago that I didn't think the S54 had enough meat to hold liners because the cylinder spacing is just so dang close on the S54.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...8#post14077818
I forgot about the cracked block. That makes even more sense now as well. Remeber that the S54 was a highly refined and highly toleranced engine when it came out. It was the final evolution of the N/A inline 6 platform that BMW was building for 2 decades. It was the first production car to make 100 hp per litre if im not mistaken? the engineers would have gotten as close to the limit as possible. OEM manufacturers have to turn out thousands of reliable engines that do not explode so they did their homework. Changing the pistons, crankshaft, conrods, adding liners, changing ring gaps, etc will alter the balance and harmonics of the motor if not done correctly.

Also by having localized failures along the edges of the head like you mentioned could further prove this argument. If the liners are exposed to excess heat/stress from improper ring gaps then they would move and "wiggle" which will create a "gap" between the walls and the head making it look like the heads lifted if that makes sense.

Having said that I do not understand why you would voluntarily sleeve the block if there was nothing wrong with it prior seems like more of a headache than its worth which clearly occured here

Last edited by SPQR ROMAN SPQR; 03-10-2012 at 02:14 AM.
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Old 03-10-2012, 02:13 AM   #83
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Having said that I do not understand why you would voluntarily sleeve the block if there was nothing wrong with it prior seems like more of a headache than its worth which clearly occured here
Because HPF had a few motors that failed and resulted in cracked blocks. Sleeves were marketed by HPF to be the beefier solution for higher HP applications.

I really didn't have an opinion on that though because I can see the merits in a sleeved block. I had them in a Honda engine. I just don't think the S54 has enough meat to handle sleeves. That's why I opted for a new standard bore block as opposed to a sleeved block.
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Old 03-10-2012, 02:15 AM   #84
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Having said that I do not understand why you would voluntarily sleeve the block if there was nothing wrong with it prior seems like more of a headache than its worth which clearly occured here
I sleeved the motor because I believed that adding additional meat between the cylinders (i'm bored .40 under) would give the head more clamping surface.
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Old 03-10-2012, 02:20 AM   #85
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Because HPF had a few motors that failed and resulted in cracked blocks. Sleeves were marketed by HPF to be the beefier solution for higher HP applications.

I really didn't have an opinion on that though because I can see the merits in a sleeved block. I had them in a Honda engine. I just don't think the S54 has enough meat to handle sleeves. That's why I opted for a new standard bore block as opposed to a sleeved block.
Gotcha, out of curiosity did the honda motor come from the factory with sleeves? The way the block itself is made is important, the s54 was probably designed with the intention to never use sleeves. A cracked block would indicate that either you have reached the power limit of the motor or something else you are doing is wrong.

I would be very hesitatnt with sleeves because they have to be made under very strict tolerances. Plus the material processes used is crucial as well and you will inherintly have more variance from cylinder to cylinder with respect to clearances and such vs leaving it alone.
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Old 03-10-2012, 02:30 AM   #86
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I sleeved the motor because I believed that adding additional meat between the cylinders (i'm bored .40 under) would give the head more clamping surface.
Im confused by what you mean. Is your bore over or under OEM before the sleeves? and is it .40 in, im assuming?

Did someone recommend the sleeves and if so what was their argument to do so? If there is no prior issues with the head or head lifting i dont see why you would opt for sleeves.

At the end of the day sometimes when you change parameters you may attempt to fix one problem but introduce more problems/variables/unknowns that in the end outweigh the initial reasoning.
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Old 03-10-2012, 02:34 AM   #87
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Did someone recommend the sleeves and if so what was their argument to do so? If there is no prior issues with the head or head lifting i dont see why you would opt for sleeves.
The heads were lifting on a lot of motors. The first fix was L19 head studs. Then the sleeves were offered because that had a much thicker wall thickness. The selling point was the sleeves would provide better sealing at the head as well as provide stronger wall support for higher HP.

Like I said, I think the intention was good, I just don't think enough R&D was done before offering it as a solution.
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Old 03-10-2012, 02:42 AM   #88
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The heads were lifting on a lot of motors. The first fix was L19 head studs. Then the sleeves were offered because that had a much thicker wall thickness. The selling point was the sleeves would provide better sealing at the head as well as provide stronger wall support for higher HP.

Like I said, I think the intention was good, I just don't think enough R&D was done before offering it as a solution.
I see now. Prob not enough R&D like you said. Personally I would exhaust every alternative to fix the problem before going to sleeves/liners.

Also if you are putting liners in effectively decreasing the bore of the motor that will propagate clearance/tolerances issues throughout.

Last edited by SPQR ROMAN SPQR; 03-10-2012 at 02:44 AM.
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Old 03-10-2012, 02:45 AM   #89
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I see now. Prob not enough R&D like you said. Personally I would exhaust every alternative to fix the problem before going to sleeves/liners.
Regardless of whether or not it was the sleeves (as I cannot determine that).. I personally would likely forgo them in my next build.. its just another variable i'd rather not include in the mix.
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Old 03-10-2012, 03:09 AM   #90
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My take on the entire situation..

In that short span that Marcus's Stage 3 was finished at HPF and Chad's Stage 3 was finished at HPF there were some major issues. For those that don't know, this was practically one year ago and at the time HPF's engineer/tuner (JP, the guy who designed the turbo kit and did all prior tuning) had already left the company. This left John to handle the majority of the work. John, a very talented and capable mechanic, was able to get these cars together cleanly. Yet.. when it came to the tuning aspect.. he was clearly in way over his head. It doesn't take much to damage a motor and based on the information Marcus/Chad posted about their cars after leaving HPF, it is clear something could have been damaged from very early on.

Fast forward to when Marcus left ProEFI, the car was running great. It's clear that Jason was able to properly tune the car and make it drivable for him with great power. This doesn't mean the motor was 100% healthy though, there could have been underlying problems. I have a lot of experience with other cars and built engines, one of my built motors was running ~30psi of boost and making tons of power. I ran it hard, itt still idled great, etc.. but there was oil consumption. Yet after 700 miles of running straight race gas and 30psi of boost, it failed and this was due to the engine builder not using proper tolerances during assembly. In the case of Marcus and Chad's cars, it could have been a HPF AEM tuning issue, motor build issue, or a combination of both.

My advice Marcus.. get your car out of HPF as fast as you can and bring it to Jason/Saad to get fixed and setup properly. I know you weren't happy with some of the wiring/cleanliness of the car when it left ProEFI/Saad awhile back, but that's honestly an easy fix and a small issue in the big picture. HPF is coasting on the reputation that their previous employee/engineer/tuner JP built for them. It's apparent in your build, it's apparent in Chad's build, it's apparent in Lawrence's build by seeing how his car runs, etc.. Also it's very apparent in HPF's 335i Single Turbo kit that they have been trying to develop for the last 3 years.. They have been trying to get that project going yet their current staff lacks this fundamental knowledge to accomplish their goals. For example, it was pointed out to HPF by various forum members that they would have an issue with their exhaust manifold design and o2 sensor placement. Chris, who posts for HPF on e90post, ignored these messages and continued to try and get the project running. Well what do you know.. the car won't run properly due to that exact issue these experienced forum members pointed out. Then we take a look at Vishnu Tuning.. Shiv, the owner of Vishnu Tuning, was able to create a single turbo kit and get it fully running in just a few short months. How is this possible when it's taken HPF 3 years and they still have nothing to show for it? It's simple.. Shiv (much like Jason@ProEFI) is an engineer and a very experienced tuner. Shiv has been tuning cars for 10+ years and has worked with many OEM companies, such as Mazda, to help develop their engine management systems. He knew how the engine management worked on the 335i and was able to properly design a kit that not only works, it works exceptionally well! For those who want proof, just read the last few pages of the following thread on e90post in regards to HPF's latest failed attempts..

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=635380
Worth quoting... Also remember the earlier engine build fiascos ("we're now measuring bearing tolerances rather than assuming they are all ok"). Chris has a "reality distortion feild" thing going. It helped in the past when m3forum said a turbo kit couldnt be done, but these days he's lacking the in-house talent to back him up (and no longer willing to outsource)

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Old 03-10-2012, 03:10 AM   #91
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I added some questions, for the love of god please believe that I'm a curious george and I don't give a damn about this debate.
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I've been reading some other thoughts and had some input given to me from a few other people.

It seems the primary issue here was improper piston to wall clearance. The excessive clearance caused heat to get to the rings which caused them to fail.
could you really blame it on the heat? Metal conducts heat like it's no one's business and the rings are attached to the pistons ... rings take a certain amount of heat in order to expand to their proper size when the engine is up to temp right? Wouldn't the piston to wall clearance have more of an effect on the force from combustion that the rings feel than heat? also, since gasoline creates more heat from combustion per mass than ethanol, wouldn't the tolerances for ring gap be tighter for gasoline? Seems like it would be extra safe for ethanol not more risky.

This was based on how sloppy the pistons were in the bores.

But either way, I think people with experience can tell there was no signs of detonation or lean condition within the combustion area. This problem originated from below the second ring as pointed out by SP.
agreed. wouldn't make sense that it would only affect one cylinder either
That's going to be a clearance issue.. either piston, rings or both. It would explain the oil consumption and previous problems with spark plugs Marcus had.
makes sense

Anyways.. I'm not near as knowledgeable about this stuff as some that post here, but I do have enough experience to know what a lean condition looks like.. and this motor didn't go lean from what I can tell. You would have had other problems that didn't exist. Not to mention E85 burns a lot cooler than gasoline.

So like Marcus, I think the fact that HPF did not mention these other possibilities, that the intent here wasn't to try and have clarity, but to use the video as more of a propaganda piece.
^^ I can definitely see where you're coming from. It's too bad, I think HPF has a lot of potential as a company if they could get their tuning force back to what it was.
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Old 03-10-2012, 03:11 AM   #92
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Yikes. Marcus, when you brought the car by a couple of times for oil top-offs, I figured from our chats that the motor was a bit loose, but this is way worse than I expected.
Best of luck getting the problem resolved. Let me know if you need anything.
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Old 03-10-2012, 03:11 AM   #93
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Chris has a "reality distortion feild" thing going.
Chris is no Steve Jobs.. lol
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Old 03-10-2012, 03:19 AM   #94
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Chris is no Steve Jobs.. lol
No, despite the personality issues, Jobs managed to keep himself well stocked in engineering talent...
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Old 03-10-2012, 03:21 AM   #95
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I added some questions, for the love of god please believe that I'm a curious george and I don't give a damn about this debate.
Heat causes the rings to expand. If the ring gap is not big enough, the rings will compress against each other as the expand in the cylinder causing a failure.

I think another possibility here is that the sleeves failed (cracked block) and they oval'd causing the rings to compress and fail. If the sleeves were oval'ed, and the cylinder wall damage corresponded with the tighter side, then the ring failure could have simply been because that cylinder had he ring gap located where the cylinders were pinching. Oval'd cylinders would allow a piston to rock back in forth just as if it had too loose a clearance. The question is.. do the piston only rock one way.

What Chris needs to do is check the trueness of the sleeves instead of pointing fingers. The fact that it wasn't even discussed is shameful. Chris was taking so much effort to try and discredit ProEFI and lay blame elsewhere, that if he just gave this some thought, a no-blame scenario could have emerged where Darton was the bad guy.. not either shop.

All of this could simply be the result of a failure in the Darton sleeves. If it was proven to be the case, he could resolve all this bad PR by simply saying they screwed up for not preforming adequate R&D. Chris could learn to be humble.. it would serve him well.

My motor failed for other reasons... so this is plausible. Chris did the same thing with VAC Motorsports.. The finger pointing has got to stop guys. Some of us are smart enough to see all the angles. I think you should pursue the possibility that the Darton sleeves failed.. and that is what's the blame here.
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Old 03-10-2012, 03:51 AM   #96
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Yikes. Marcus, when you brought the car by a couple of times for oil top-offs, I figured from our chats that the motor was a bit loose, but this is way worse than I expected.
Best of luck getting the problem resolved. Let me know if you need anything.
Thanks Kalim.. and I appreciate your help with the extra oil and lending me your compression gauge!
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Old 03-10-2012, 04:10 AM   #97
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Thanks Kalim.. and I appreciate your help with the extra oil and lending me your compression gauge!
No problem, Marcus.
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Old 03-10-2012, 05:03 AM   #98
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marcus this situation is REALLY scary for me, like you, i dont really have the knowledge that some of these guys have, im VERY reliant on pure research and learning which i am very good @. What scares me here is the general blame culture that could potentially leave a customer, a customer who has paid his hard earned money, out in the cold, for me as a FI s54 owner, this scares me massively and i think you DESERVE better imo....

In many causes it kinda make me feel like dropping this scene and jumping into a car that was ALREADY fi, for me the GTR is the only progression, posts like this genuinely make me consider selling my P & J, marcus like you, i dont know it all, infact i know very little in terms of engine building BUT as a business man i do know that sometimes you have to make a serious decision, your at one of these cross roads now and you need to take some time and choose your next moves wisely, you are handling this MUCH better than i would BTW, so well done, we all here with you and supporting you, BUT from what ive seen i do think this motor had issue from the start, pushed with the pro-efi tune which led to the failure we see.

Where does this leave you??? **** know's with the blame that's going on now, But i do feel that HPF AND Jason need to step in here and build you a new motor. simple as really. sooooo sorry about this situation because i absolutely know how you feel and to be honest it make you just want to quit tuning these car sometimes :-) im not on HPF or jasons side im on the a customers side who's paid good money and is left sitting in the cow ****.

Anyone else with a sleeved block from that engine builder, id be shitting a brick right now tbh..... ticking time bombs???? who knows??

ive read so many times that this thread is "entertaining" Really?? i not finding it entertaining in any way shape or form. im finding it very scary infact.
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Old 03-10-2012, 05:16 AM   #99
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To get everyone up to speed. Marcus has the HPF stage 3 turbo system on his M3. He decided to swap out his fuel system and EMS and go with ProEFI. Marcus had issues with the car and shipped it to us for diagnosis and repair. Here is what we found.











From a diagnosis standpoint, you can clearly see the machining ridges on the lower part of the piston. Measure the piston at this point, as it is not damaged or worn out excessively. Then measure the bore that this piston was in, both for roundness and for size. Compare the dimensions versus the piston manufacturer's specification, and then decide if the clearance was incorrect.

Something a lot of people don't know is that the side of the pistons is actually contoured like a barrel. This is by design by the piston manufacturer, and the specification is known as the "cam profile". The piston manufacturer will design this based on the power level required, and it works hand in hand with the piston to wall clearance. If the piston manufacturer's specification for clearance is not followed, because the builder think's he knows better, than there is an issue there that needs to be addressed. That is...unless the engine builder specifies the "cam profile" based on his own experiences....but this in my experience is never the case. Heck, Reher Morrison works together with the piston manufacturer to specify this tolerance.

Just one area that I think needs a little more attention, separate from the ring gap detail.
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Old 03-10-2012, 06:02 AM   #100
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I've been involved with a lot of investigations, although for a different profession.

It is SOP in my business to get all the facts, correlating and cross checking them sometimes from 3 different sources, before doing a route cause analysis.

I see a lot of "guessing" going on, before having all the facts. Considering the situation, I'd at least want a "causation tree" to be shown as part of the diagnosis. I would not be rushing this process, regardless of client pressures.

Just my point of view....
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