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E90 M3 (Sedan) | E92 M3 (Coupe) | E93 M3 (Convertible) (2008-2013) {Engine: S65 - Max Hp: 414 hp (420 hp Euro) at 8,300 rpm / 295 lb/ft at 3,900 rpm}

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Old Fri, Sep-20-2019, 11:37:25 PM   #51
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Default Re: Rod bearing - preventive maintenance?

It’s really not that big of a deal. I changed mine myself in 2014. There is now a good DIY. Parts are $500 to $1000 depending on what you use and it takes 8-12 hours depending on your level of experience. Great cars. Very reliable. Prices for 10 year old ones are a bargain for the amount of car you get. I bought mine used in 2011.
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Old Sat, Dec-14-2019, 01:37:52 AM   #52
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Default Re: Rod bearing - preventive maintenance?

The rod bearing issue has been talked about for years and there is still no definitive answer to the questions "When should I change my rod bearings? Should I be concerned about this particular E9x M3 that I'm thinking about buying"(or just bought)?

Earlier in this thread there was a reference to the LCI and a time frame. BMW has not been open particularly helpful in addressing the rod bearings issue and hence the discussion has persisted for years. I hasten to say that I have no inside information being utterly unaffiliated with BMW AG or the M Division. What little I do know is that a number of owners that purchased E9x M3s built during the first three years of the generation have been the overwhelming majority of M3 owners having rod bearing issues.

As with any multi-year produced product, consumer expectations are that the manufacturer will make adjustments to remove bugs, glitches, etc... and a brand such as BMW M is most certainly going to be all about perfecting its product. In the absence of transparency by BMW, all we have is conjecture and incomplete data sets by anyone making the effort to catalogue rod bearing failures. Those homegrown data sets will be hopelessly useless as all data will be taken at face value by the aggregator. Having been around since *rod bearings OMG failed* arrived on the Internet, I have never read an *admission* from an owner that was reporting a rod bearing failure that he or she had ever once failed to follow recommended break in protocol or had failed to await an oil pressure reading before redlining the M3. When no one out of the totality of the numbers reporting rod bearing issues refuses to take a hit for "team", why should anyone believe any of them?

I call on 95+% of those reporting rod bearing issues on any MY 2011-2013 and the percentage doesn't drop much for the earlier MY's...How about 92%?

For any looking to buy an E9x M3 with the greatest automobile engine BMW ever manufactured, I offer this advice: DO NOT buy one unless you will have zero concerns about rod bearings. DO NOT buy one if you are concerned about mpg. DO NOT buy one unless you can look at the maintenance records.

FWIW, mine has logged almost 62k miles. It has had an EDC module replaced under warranty which accidentally put a new battery in the car at no cost three years into ownership. It has had the fuel pump replaced (no cost). Look for a 2011-2013 MY is my recommendation. Yes, I am biased. Naturally aspirated V8's i.e. S65B40 is the standard. F*ck forced induction.
C&D M3/GTR/997TT test, summation:
Every other manufacturer should give up on building their own cars and just make M3's instead.
tenfifteen: We have a bunch of kids who can add but not think, and that's the value of educating kids in the humanities, history, etc.
Teaching what's merely essential/practical for a person to function in society is a sad and low bar to set for educating our kids.

Last edited by Eau Rouge; Sat, Dec-14-2019 at 03:58:05 AM.
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Old Sat, Dec-14-2019, 09:01:07 PM   #53
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Default Re: Rod bearing - preventive maintenance?

One of the things clouding the issue is that no one seems to know how to tell when LCI bearings are worn. They always come out discolored in a pattern that looks exactly like a wear pattern, so everyone seems to assume it's wear. But we have no idea if that's true because we don't know what the bearing is made of -- all we know is that it's not the lead-over-copper type everyone's familiar with -- and no one is actually measuring them to confirm. The info put out by BE Bearings says the LCI bearing is "bimetal aluminum", but AFAICT that type of bearing doesn't show wear the way the LCI bearing does. And the discoloration has been observed on bearings with only a few thousand miles on them, which strongly suggests that the discoloration doesn't cleanly correspond with wear.

I also can't help but notice that the people who think the clearances are too tight haven't seriously attempted a credible explanation of why BMW might have chosen to spec them that way. That really bugs me. If someone offering a "fix" has nothing to say about why the thing they're fixing is the way it is, I find it hard to shake the feeling that they're either missing something or hiding something. Not that I’m accusing anyone of anything; it’s just a hard feeling to shake.
2008 E90 M3 6MT

Last edited by HofmeisterKinky; Mon, Dec-16-2019 at 04:27:01 AM.
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Old Sun, Dec-15-2019, 02:46:22 AM   #54
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Default Re: Rod bearing - preventive maintenance?

Actually, the rod bearing problem does not overwhelmingly affect the 2008-2010 cars with lead bearings. It affects both early and late bearings. And the best theory advanced is that clearance is tighter than industry standards, which combines with tolerance stacking that further reduces clearance in some motors. And of course some cars have tolerance stacking that adds some clearance. There is no safe mileage. Engines have failed at 6k miles. However, probably 90% of cars are still using original bearings so the odds are with you if you want to do nothing. I changed mine when my warranty expired in 2014, when the car had about 60k miles, and mine had premature wear. No copper exposed in the middle of bearings but copper along the sides and parting lines.

Last edited by pbonsalb; Sun, Dec-15-2019 at 02:50:22 AM.
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Discussing Rod bearing - preventive maintenance? in the E90 M3 (Sedan) | E92 M3 (Coupe) | E93 M3 (Convertible) (2008-2013) Forum - {Engine: S65 - Max Hp: 414 hp (420 hp Euro) at 8,300 rpm / 295 lb/ft at 3,900 rpm} at BMW M3 (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)