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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 Tue, Nov-14-2017, 08:20:27 PM   #31
bigjae1976
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Default Re: Rod bearing pics - 2004 M3 motor w/93k miles

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Originally Posted by Dirty Elf View Post
thanks for the info guys, ill talk it over with my indy and let you know what i end up going with

Iím not a mechanical engineer but WPC treatment strengthens the surface and enhances oil film retention. The bearing is shot peened which may increase the bearing clearance ever so slightly. So even if the crank is on the high end of the OE tolerance, the WPC treated bearing would be on the better side of the OE spec.

VAC advertises that the coating adds a layer of protection with the coating with a negligible decrease in clearance.

I would argue the VAC coated bearing does exactly what you donít want. Reduce the bearing clearance in a situation with already tight clearances. If you have a crank journal that is on the lower end of the tolerance (tighter), you add the VAC coated bearing which further reduces that clearance beyond spec.

Thatís fine in a situation where you regrind the crank. I would not use VAC bearings to do an in car bearing replacement. Thatís if Iíd ever use anything VAC again.


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Old Tue, Nov-14-2017, 08:40:14 PM   #32
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Default Re: Rod bearing pics - 2004 M3 motor w/93k miles

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Originally Posted by bigjae1976 View Post
Iím not a mechanical engineer but WPC treatment strengthens the surface and enhances oil film retention. The bearing is shot peened which may increase the bearing clearance ever so slightly. So even if the crank is on the high end of the OE tolerance, the WPC treated bearing would be on the better side of the OE spec.

VAC advertises that the coating adds a layer of protection with the coating with a negligible decrease in clearance.

I would argue the VAC coated bearing does exactly what you donít want. Reduce the bearing clearance in a situation with already tight clearances. If you have a crank journal that is on the lower end of the tolerance (tighter), you add the VAC coated bearing which further reduces that clearance beyond spec.

Thatís fine in a situation where you regrind the crank. I would not use VAC bearings to do an in car bearing replacement. Thatís if Iíd ever use anything VAC again.


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Yeah, Jae, I agree. Would be interesting to see if in the future data will also support this hypothesis that VAC bearings are more starved of oil, get spun more, more issues with them, etc. But sounds like maybe that confirmation already started...


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Old Tue, Nov-14-2017, 10:47:42 PM   #33
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Default Re: Rod bearing pics - 2004 M3 motor w/93k miles

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Yeah, Jae, I agree. Would be interesting to see if in the future data will also support this hypothesis that VAC bearings are more starved of oil, get spun more, more issues with them, etc. But sounds like maybe that confirmation already started...


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I think I have pics of the main and rods pulled from my motor. The bearings were .025Ē undersize and VAC coated. All of the bearings looked pretty bad.


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Old Wed, Nov-15-2017, 03:51:46 AM   #34
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Default Re: Rod bearing pics - 2004 M3 motor w/93k miles

i decided to go with the WPC bearings. my indy was easy to convince... i just texted him and said i wanted the WPCs and he said "ok i'll order those"

i am actually a mechanical engineer... this application is quite specific and i really am not qualified to comment. it would require some studying. from what i do know everything said here makes sense and that is why i chose the WPC bearings
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Old Wed, Nov-15-2017, 04:30:15 AM   #35
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Default Re: Rod bearing pics - 2004 M3 motor w/93k miles

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Originally Posted by Dirty Elf View Post
i decided to go with the WPC bearings. my indy was easy to convince... i just texted him and said i wanted the WPCs and he said "ok i'll order those"

i am actually a mechanical engineer... this application is quite specific and i really am not qualified to comment. it would require some studying. from what i do know everything said here makes sense and that is why i chose the WPC bearings
Good choice!
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Old Thu, Nov-16-2017, 01:11:55 PM   #36
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Default Re: Rod bearing pics - 2004 M3 motor w/93k miles

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Not sure if you can tell but there is no copper showing. The journals looked good and all measured to .002 with plastigage. I think it supports my theory that doing the rod bearings between 80k-100k is about right.


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Old Thu, Nov-16-2017, 06:31:08 PM   #37
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Default Re: Rod bearing pics - 2004 M3 motor w/93k miles

For track cars sure, but normal daily driver id say 200k. My bearing has no signs of copper @215k.
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Old Thu, Nov-16-2017, 06:36:53 PM   #38
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Default Re: Rod bearing pics - 2004 M3 motor w/93k miles

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For track cars sure, but normal daily driver id say 200k. My bearing has no signs of copper @215k.
I think itís relative to abuse. Even some DDís see some hard driving. So itís better to monitor wear levels as opposed to just going by mileage.
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Old Thu, Nov-16-2017, 06:55:24 PM   #39
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Default Re: Rod bearing pics - 2004 M3 motor w/93k miles

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I think itís relative to abuse. Even some DDís see some hard driving. So itís better to monitor wear levels as opposed to just going by mileage.
Yep.
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Old Thu, Nov-16-2017, 07:14:56 PM   #40
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Default Re: Rod bearing pics - 2004 M3 motor w/93k miles

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For track cars sure, but normal daily driver id say 200k. My bearing has no signs of copper @215k.
Wow, that is pretty impressive! What's the mileage on the engine - I'm assuming the rod bearing were replaced during the recall early on at some point?
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Discussing Rod bearing pics - 2004 M3 motor w/93k miles 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)