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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, Jan-10-2013, 02:49:05 PM   #1
waldron80
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Default Blackstone Oil Report - Rod Bearings? Is this the end? Thoughts?

UPDATE 1-19-13: For my follow-up report see post #15
UPDATE 4-16-13: For my follow-up report see post #16
UPDATE 8-20-13: Follow-up report on post #22


So I finally grabbed my year old sample of oil off the shelf and sent it to Blackstone Labs. The anxiety of getting my report was near the anxiety I had before my daughter was born!

Anyway, got the report back with high iron, copper, and lead at 22,16 and 24 ppm respectively. Is this low, med, high, super high? Is this the END!? This is part per million right? Should I be taking my car to the shop this afternoon?

Can fuel additives do this? Could this be anything else?

I have a May 2003 build which did have the recall performed by the first owner.

This report was done at 87k and I'm currently at 105k miles and will be pulling another sample as soon as I get my filter and oil from TMS. It will have about 10k on this oil change as well.

Let me know if you guys want any other info.

Yes I'm using Castrol 10W60.

Any thoughts?

Report below:
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Last edited by waldron80; Tue, Aug-20-2013 at 07:13:35 PM. Reason: UPDATE
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Old Thu, Jan-10-2013, 03:12:44 PM   #2
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Default Re: Blackstone Oil Report - Rod Bearings? Is this the end? Thoughts?

I would do another analysis just to be sure, but it seems to me that your due for a rod bearing job. Iron, copper and lead are all double or more than the universal average. If it was slightly elevated I'd say that it could be a fluke. But considering how high those levels are, you may want to prepare your wallet for the worst.
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Old Thu, Jan-10-2013, 03:14:42 PM   #3
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Default Re: Blackstone Oil Report - Rod Bearings? Is this the end? Thoughts?

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Originally Posted by niart906 View Post
I would do another analysis just to be sure, but it seems to be that your due for a rod bearing job. Iron, copper and lead are all double or more than the universal average. If it was slightly elevated I'd say that it could be a fluke. But considering how high those levels are, you may want to prepare your wallet for the worst.
The universal averages are based on a much shorter interval though, aren't they? (right around 5k if i'm not mistaken). In theory, if his interval matched the universal average interval, his copper and iron numbers would be right around average, no?

Granted his other numbers are considerably better than the averages, and his lead numbers are high no matter how you slice it. So yeah, he probably does need new bearings. I really should send a sample one of these days.
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Old Thu, Jan-10-2013, 03:14:58 PM   #4
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Damn I need to do one.


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If a new owner showed up at some meet or started talking to you in the parking lot, would you tell him to STFU and suggest he read a book?
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Old Thu, Jan-10-2013, 03:20:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: Blackstone Oil Report - Rod Bearings? Is this the end? Thoughts?

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Originally Posted by terraphantm View Post
The universal averages are based on a much shorter interval though, aren't they? (right around 5k if i'm not mistaken). In theory, if his interval matched the universal average interval, his copper and iron numbers would be right around average, no?

Granted his other numbers are considerably better than the averages, and his lead numbers are high no matter how you slice it. So yeah, he probably does need new bearings. I really should send a sample one of these days.
Maybe slightly elevated, but more than double the average?

5k on our oil seems overkill, I typically go 7,500 but have considered doing 10k. I'm not sure what Blackstone uses for their averages.

At the very least, those metal levels would be enough to convince me to lower the interval and get another sample tested.
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Old Thu, Jan-10-2013, 03:38:45 PM   #6
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Default Re: Blackstone Oil Report - Rod Bearings? Is this the end? Thoughts?

I'd call Blackstone and ask some of the questions about universal avergages, but lead is 6x any way you cut it, not good. Only question is, how did you take your old sample? Was it hot/fresh/ unstratified when you gathered it? If so, pretty sure it's time for rod bearings. If you took it from an old quart or whole drain load that had sat, and didn't stir it well, still probably bad unless you scraped the bottom of the container and picked up extra metal, but this could be a variable.
As to getting to the shop, if you don't hear a low-end thunk, it isn't likely to come apart any minute, but I'd drive it moderately and stay below, pick a number, say 4500 rpm, and make sure you don't lug it, get up to close to 3k rpm before shifting to next higher gear. But I'd not drive it until I got a clunk either, more risk (still not a lot) of crank wear. So if you can get your existing sample sent (maybe even get it from the filter area with a syringe - may have a bit more insolubles but shouldn't affect other numbers if taken hot/right after shutdown) and confirm these numbers, I'd do that pronto and go out for bids and schedule it if the report comes back as I expect it will.

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Old Thu, Jan-10-2013, 07:34:51 PM   #7
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Default Re: Blackstone Oil Report - Rod Bearings? Is this the end? Thoughts?

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Originally Posted by waldron80 View Post
So I finally grabbed my year old sample of oil off the shelf and sent it to Blackstone Labs.
Where was the old oil stored? Could it be that the container had remnants of other oil from another car?
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Old Thu, Jan-10-2013, 07:55:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: Blackstone Oil Report - Rod Bearings? Is this the end? Thoughts?

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Where was the old oil stored? Could it be that the container had remnants of other oil from another car?
It was stored in the container they provided. I asked before I sent the sample if that was an issue and they said is was not.
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Old Sat, Jan-12-2013, 05:59:05 PM   #9
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Default Re: Blackstone Oil Report - Rod Bearings? Is this the end? Thoughts?

I just got my Blackstone report back and I believe I am F@#%ed. My lead Content is at 117, which they said might be because of race gas (which, since I just bought the car, I cannot attest) My car seems to run fine, although I've never driven another one. I think the car was well abused, judging from the steering wheels and 4 curbed tires and obvious paintwork despite clean Carfax and a filthy liar of a Dealer in D.C. called Bob's Motors. I'm ranting a little, forgive me. here's my report: sob...
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Old Sat, Jan-12-2013, 07:05:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: Blackstone Oil Report - Rod Bearings? Is this the end? Thoughts?

WOW... I would get that checked out quick. Blackstone test is in my near future.
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Discussing Blackstone Oil Report - Rod Bearings? Is this the end? Thoughts? 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)