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Old Mon, Nov-13-2017, 04:20:03 PM   #1
eacmen
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Default 2001-02 Rod Bearing Bolt Sizes

This topic has been covered alot on this forum but it was hard for me to find clear concise info on this topic so I am sharing my experience.

I recently went to get a track inspection done and my oil pan gasket needed to be replaced. Since the tech was there I decided to get the rod bearings switched out as preventative maintenance. The rod bearings had about 70,000 miles on them with at least 24 hours of track duty on the engine

I have a 2001 M3 and I ordered the WPC treated bearings from Turner. When my tech went to go do the install he said he couldn't continue because there were no rod bearing bolts with the kit. I went to my local BMW dealer and got the rod bearing bolts for a 2002 M3 (since the parts computer would not show a part number for a 2001 M3). I brought the tech the 12 rod bearing bolts, however something did not seem right. After much google I came across the original BMW service bulletin for the rod bearing replacement (http://www.siwilson.com/BMW/Service_...20Bulletin.pdf)

It clearly states that engines built before 12/13/2002 have a larger M11 rod bearing bolt that CAN be re-used. I asked the tech to read the bulletin and we both agreed it was still prudent to have the smaller M10 bolts in reserve in case the actual rod was replaced during the service action (which unless you have the original paperwork from when the service action was performed you wouldn't know whether only the bearings were replaced or the actual rods were also swapped).

What is also frustrating is that BMW does not sell OEM replacement M11 bolts for the 2001/2002 S54 engines even if you wanted to replace them. It seems the only option for replacement rod bearing bolts for early S54s is ARP aftermarket ones. Since there is some debate on the proper application of the ARP bolts (http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showt...=arp+bolts+oem) I decided that sticking to OEM was the way to go for me.

Long story short is I would recommend anyone having a shop doing a rod bearing replacement and you have an early S54 you should get the M10 bolts just in case the rods themselves were replaced then return them after the job was complete.
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