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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Thu, Feb-14-2019, 12:21:57 AM   #1
e30will
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Default Pilot bearing - OE, OE replacement, LUK comparison

I did a bunch of maintenance last year including the clutch and flywheel. Going with the LUK clutch kit I decided to get a OE TOB and pilot bearing (both highly recommended as the LUK parts seemed "ok, but subpar" to me).

FWIW, here's some characteristics I noticed about the pilot bearings (Grooved ball bearing 15X32X10mm, 11-21-1-720-310):

- OE (my car's mfg date: 3/03): Made by NTN, 9.93mm
- OE (purchased at dealer in 2018): Made by KOYO, 9.93mm
- LUK: Made by KBC Korea, 8.92mm

As you can see, both the Koyo and NTN are close to the 10mm per realoem.com, and the KBC bearing is about 1mm thinner. The feel of the KBC bearing (rolling / spinning) feels smooth, but not nearly as smooth as the KOYO or NTN. I don't know how to describe it except the OE pieces feel buttery smooth.

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Old Thu, Feb-14-2019, 12:52:10 AM   #2
terraphantm
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Default Re: Pilot bearing - OE, OE replacement, LUK comparison

Interestingly the pictures on ECS (which were taken in 2012) also show NTN:



Wonder when they switched. Or maybe it's dual sourced. Both are good companies though so I wouldn't be concerned.
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Old Thu, Feb-14-2019, 01:19:30 AM   #3
e30will
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Default Re: Pilot bearing - OE, OE replacement, LUK comparison

Quote:
Originally Posted by terraphantm View Post
Wonder when they switched. Or maybe it's dual sourced. Both are good companies though so I wouldn't be concerned.
Yeah, I have no concerns about either NTN or Koyo units. They felt identical, with exception of age. After 15 yrs and 150k miles the NTN one felt like "thicker butter" when rolling (as expected, probably due to old grease inside), whereas the new bearing felt like warm butter when rolling. Weird analogy I know, but it's the best way I can describe it.

Glad I spent the $20 on the OE unit rather than using the one included with the LUK kit.
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Old Thu, Feb-14-2019, 05:46:08 PM   #4
kaiv
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Default Re: Pilot bearing - OE, OE replacement, LUK comparison

I have a huge pile of those Korean bearings that I should just throw away. Like you I have found they do not feel as good as the OE Japanese bearings but another thing I've noticed is that their OD is slightly smaller as well. You can slide them in and out of the crank by hand. OE all the way.
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Old Thu, Feb-14-2019, 05:51:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: Pilot bearing - OE, OE replacement, LUK comparison

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Originally Posted by kaiv View Post
I have a huge pile of those Korean bearings that I should just throw away. Like you I have found they do not feel as good as the OE Japanese bearings but another thing I've noticed is that their OD is slightly smaller as well. You can slide them in and out of the crank by hand. OE all the way.
Pilot bearing, too
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Discussing Pilot bearing - OE, OE replacement, LUK comparison in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)