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M3 Track: Racing and DE Best mod for speed is learning to get the most out of what you currently have. Tracks and DE's is the place to start!


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Old Thu, Nov-09-2017, 12:58:45 AM   #1
Randall921
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Default Blown Motor

Bought an E46 track car earlier in the season. The car came pretty well setup with MCS 2 ways with remote reservoirs, stoptech st40s, full cage, gutted interior, C&R radiator, bimmerworld exhaust, epic race tune and various other track focused mods. Stock airbox/intake, headers and oil cooler. Car has 130k miles and I was told the motor had about 80k miles. Pretty much no service records or history on the motor. I changed oil (Redline 10w60) every couple of events. Ran about 7 DEs this year. I had rod bearings in the back of mind and planned on addressing them in the offseason. Unfortunately, on my last day of the year, this past Sunday, coming down the front straight at NJMP Thunderbolt, lost power followed by a windshield covered in oil and coolant. There was no warning whatsoever. After being towed off, popped the hood to find nothing but oil, coolant and small bits of metal. If the off-season had only come an hour or 2 sooner! Removed the airbox and found a nice 2 inch hole in the engine block with a mangled rod visible through the hole. That will be the last time I track an S54 with uncertain rod bearings...

I found a few motor options locally already. Located in northern NJ. The most promising being an Ď03 with 110k miles for a pretty reasonable price. Seller has agreed to a compression test before purchase. I plan on doing rod bearings, valve job and locking down the VANOS along with a few other while youíre in there (or not installed yet to be exact) items: CPV, camshaft position sensor, swapping out the very recently replaced coils out of my old motor, plugs and injector cleaning.

A couple of questions to those with more S54 experience than me:

-the car will likely be used strictly for DEs for the foreseeable future and is not streetable. Does my plan sound reasonable? Any concern with the miles?

-what other while youíre in there items would you address?
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Old Thu, Nov-09-2017, 01:51:39 AM   #2
gobuffs
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Default Re: Blown Motor

Rod bearings, rod bolts. Rebuilding vanos a good idea (I like Dr Vanos- cryo hub is nice but pricey). I’d do the Epic vanos line as well. Also replace the vanos/cam bolts. I wouldn’t rebuild the head unless you had a reason to. Sensors don’t need to be done unless you want ones and put the spares in your track box. Also do a valve adjustment. I’d also ditch the 60wt oil and run 50wt or 15w50.
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Old Thu, Nov-09-2017, 01:56:53 AM   #3
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Default Re: Blown Motor

I just had my motor swapped, all valves adjusted, rebuilt VANOS, new rod bearing and bolts, fan clutch new, new alternator, new rack, new clutch, all belts and seals replaced


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Old Thu, Nov-09-2017, 02:09:23 AM   #4
Randall921
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Default Re: Blown Motor

Thanks for the replies. Thinking of BE bearings and OEM rod bolts. Rebuilding the VANOS with either Dr. Vanos or Besian hub. Really don’t want to take the head off to keep costs down. Not to make this an oil thread but will switch to redline 15w50. Have a case sitting in the garage for another car.
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Old Thu, Nov-09-2017, 02:17:09 AM   #5
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Default Re: Blown Motor

And I have a Rogue VANOS line and coolant vent line that I had not yet installed sitting in my toolbox. Both will be put on the new motor. I just bought used CPI stepped headers that were supposed to be my big offseason project that will go on as well.


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Old Thu, Nov-09-2017, 02:51:53 AM   #6
Iverson jr
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Default Re: Blown Motor

I blew an s54 in that same fashion, built another one with all the best parts then proceeded to blow that one in the exact same way. I finally learned my lesson and quit messing around in the 8k rpm range. My advice is to bump the rev limiter down to 7,500 and just go with it. No sense torturing the engine just for fun at a track day. You might lose .5 second a lap but you wonít drop 6+ quarts of synthetic oil on the track again.


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Old Thu, Nov-09-2017, 03:03:31 AM   #7
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Default Blown Motor

Rod bearings and VANOS is all Iíd do. Iíve broken down 6 S54s...all of the mains looked great. Rod bearings not so great.

Maybe replace the crank damper, front and rear main seal and donít forget about the valve adjustment.

If you buy the engine and pick it up, Iíd pull the oil pan and valve cover before buying. Sometimes the oil pumps are broken and there will be no signs until you remove it. Be sure to check the exhaust hub tabs.


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Old Thu, Nov-09-2017, 05:12:37 AM   #8
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Default Re: Blown Motor

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjae1976 View Post
Rod bearings and VANOS is all Iíd do. Iíve broken down 6 S54s...all of the mains looked great. Rod bearings not so great.

Maybe replace the crank damper, front and rear main seal and donít forget about the valve adjustment.

If you buy the engine and pick it up, Iíd pull the oil pan and valve cover before buying. Sometimes the oil pumps are broken and there will be no signs until you remove it. Be sure to check the exhaust hub tabs.


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Do we have enough samples to estimate when the mains go? Around same time a full tear-down and head/piston ring rebuild is required (150k-200k miles)?
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All DIY: VANOS, WPC rod bearings, full SS (SS stepped V1 headers, catted S1, stock S2, SS sport), AFD E85 Proflex kit, Ohlins R&T/Hyperco 375f Swift 672r/GC street tops and camber plates, ST40 355 pfc08, 330 ZHP steering rack, diffsonline 4.1 diff with rem polish, E60 short shifter lever, AKG black diff bushings/subframe bushings, Rogue rtab, Sachs clutch/flywheel, rear main, Beyer driveshaft, valve adjustment, cooling refresh.

Happy to help with VANOS or any other DIY job around NorCal. Have various specialty tools (VANOS, RTAB, engine bar, valve adjustment, tranny jack, ball joint separator, pilot bearing puller, tap&die kit, etc).
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Old Thu, Nov-09-2017, 11:12:57 AM   #9
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Default Re: Blown Motor

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrgizmo04 View Post
Do we have enough samples to estimate when the mains go? Around same time a full tear-down and head/piston ring rebuild is required (150k-200k miles)?

I️ havenít ever seen or hear of mains being an issue on an S54. My personal sampling includes 67k, 90k, 93k, 98k, 112k, 200k.


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Old Thu, Nov-09-2017, 12:50:01 PM   #10
Randall921
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Default Re: Blown Motor

The same guy with the Ď03 with 110k miles has an Ď02 with 99k miles for the same price. It would be the same arrangement, compression test and I should be able to get the oil pan off as Bigjae suggested. Any appreciable difference other than the rod bolts used? Feel like Iím overthinking this decision and apologize for the newb question.


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