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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 Wed, Aug-22-2018, 08:12:32 AM   #1
Andrebxp
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Question Any S54 Rebuild Tips/Advice?

So the time has come to get my M3 back on the road and step one is to get started on my engine rebuild.

Backstory: The original engine suffered a head gasket failure between 5+6 and detonation subsequently took out piston 6. Engine and head were kaput. I got lucky and found a practically free used longblock that I plan to rebuild and use. After dissecting the new (to me) longblock I saw rod #3 spun a bearing but is otherwise OK (will have machine shop confirm). I'm looking for advice or tips for rebuilding an S54 as this will be my first S54.

The plan:
-Use the stock pistons from the new motor with new Grant rings.
-Use the stock rods out of the original motor(later model rod bolts and no spun bearings).
-Have the machine shop polish the crank (or grind the crank journal for #3 if needed).
-BE Bearings Rod bearings and OE Main bearings. Will check clearances and use undersize bearings if necessary.
-Hot tank, hone, and deck the new block to prep for the rebuild.
-I have a freshly refreshed head ready to go on.
-Stock headgasket + new stock bolts for everything.
-Besian VANOS oil pump and seals.
-Stock cams + rockers from the new motor.
-Oil pump from the new motor.
-New seals/gaskets all around.

Questions:
-Are a stock head gasket and head bolts the way to go? I'm trying to avoid the same failure the original motor experienced.

-The refreshed head I got has some valve springs with the yellow paint mark facing up and some with it facing down. Does orientation matter with S54 valve springs?

-Anything wrong with using stock pistons and rods?

-Anything wrong with my choice in bearings?

-Does anyone have a guide for timing a fresh motor? I know I need the S54 timing tools with both cam pins and a crank pin.

-How long should the break-in period be for something like this once it's running? 1200 miles?

-Anything I should know before diving into this project?


The goal is to have a reliable engine for my weekend car/HPDE car. I'm not planing on boosting it. N/A ,maybe with some E85 and tuning, is the farthest I'm going to go with it. If you have any advice, concerns or comments please share and help me get my m3 back on the road.

Thanks!
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Old Wed, Aug-22-2018, 08:30:33 AM   #2
HassanEido
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Default Re: Any S54 Rebuild Tips/Advice?

Short version:
Stock mls. Don't use be bearings.
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-Tms pulleys and electric fan conversion
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Custom exhaust thread and dyno http://m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=569086
Cams thread and dyno http://m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=554439
Custom cf airbox thread http://m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=595180
Why not to use after market bearings with surfacetreatments and /or increased clearance
http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showp...4&postcount=10
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Old Wed, Aug-22-2018, 09:15:29 AM   #3
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Default Re: Any S54 Rebuild Tips/Advice?

I recently rebuilt mine too and been searching for the engine break in process. there was no specific process that I found for the s54 but almost all engine break in consist of the following.


never idle the engine for any reason, the first start up is to check for any leaks and getting the coolant bled afterwards shut it off let it cooldown. Use non synthetic oil 5w30 seems to be the consensus from various web sites I've seen on any engine. after the first start up seems to be a consensus as well that oil change will be done immediately again non synthetic oil 5w30.

then the first drive, never coast to a consistent speed. drive w/ varying RPMs. once you're in a road or it would be best to do it on a dyno, you will do short bursts of high RPM runs on a 6k RPM engine from what I've seen the first set of high RPM run was at 4k RPM doing bursts up to 4k then going back to 2k RPM. after a 15minute driving in that condition shut it off and let it cool down. burning oil will be normal, and you'd need oil change again after this step again non synthetic 5w30.

Then the next session will up the RPM to 5k RPM same pattern short bursts to 5k going back down to 2k. afterwards drive the car normally not exceeding 4k RPM for the next 500miles. and then another oil change but this time the recommended oil for the engine will be the one you will use.




get an e14 long socket for head bolts, a torx set (smaller ones is fine), e socket as well small kits will be fine. Get a angle torque wrench or angle adapter (I got a digital one from eastwood, worked fine).
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Old Wed, Aug-22-2018, 02:47:26 PM   #4
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Default Re: Any S54 Rebuild Tips/Advice?

I know there are lots of opinions on oil but what’s the argument for a lightweight petroleum based lubricant when the manufacturer recommends a much more substantial (10/60) synthetic lubricant?


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Old Wed, Aug-22-2018, 03:32:32 PM   #5
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Default Re: Any S54 Rebuild Tips/Advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ggrslc View Post
I know there are lots of opinions on oil but what’s the argument for a lightweight petroleum based lubricant when the manufacturer recommends a much more substantial (10/60) synthetic lubricant?


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^ Ditto. I've never heard of this before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HassanEido View Post
Short version:
Stock mls. Don't use be bearings.
Any reason why? I liked the idea of a Clevite lead-copper bearing. Any recommended alternatives?
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Old Wed, Aug-22-2018, 03:36:12 PM   #6
CrookedCommie
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Default Re: Any S54 Rebuild Tips/Advice?

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Originally Posted by Andrebxp View Post
^ Ditto. I've never heard of this before.



Any reason why? I liked the idea of a Clevite lead-copper bearing. Any recommended alternatives?
Stock, or if you are feeling fancy, WPC treated stock.
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Old Wed, Aug-22-2018, 03:36:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: Any S54 Rebuild Tips/Advice?

Im using BE bearings with no complaints (I know stock bearings are fine as well...)
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Old Wed, Aug-22-2018, 03:36:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: Any S54 Rebuild Tips/Advice?

i completely rebuilt my motor last year...

here is what i used parts wise:

OE rods
OE pistons
Grant Rings (fitment is great, call them direct and buy them, vendors dont seem to keep them instock, i had to file 6 of the top compression rings very slightly)
OE BMW bearings, WPC treated
BMW head gasket
BMW oil pan gasket
BMW valve stem seals
BMW head bolts, Rod bolts
New CVP
BMW rear main seal
Febi timing chain
Biesan systems ALL VANOS parts
S62 M5 VANOS spring plates
BMW valve cover gasket
BMW coils

this covers the main engine area that you will rebuild.. one of the best invaluable things i was able to get, was on this site, someone posted ALL the torque specs of almost every bolt and labled it to the realoem.com pages. do a search for "torque specs" and print it out, put it in a binder and use that as your reference, its about 30-40pgs

Everything is usually listed in Nm, get a GOOD torque wrench, i got a good craftsman 3/8" digital one for less than 40$. Get a good set of feeler gauges (needed for piston rings) You will also need a torque angle gauge for the rod and main bolts.

this build will nickle and dime you death... ECStuning is usually the best on prices and has EVERYTHING you need. use FCPEuro for bigger purchases since they have a lifetime warranty on everything. RealOEM will be your new best friend for pics and parts you will need, especially tiny gaskets. Biesan's DIY's and proceedures are fantastic for VANOS.

any other questions, just ask
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Old Wed, Aug-22-2018, 05:20:57 PM   #9
J. Beez
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Default Re: Any S54 Rebuild Tips/Advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HassanEido View Post
Short version:
Stock mls. Don't use be bearings.


Can we have the “long version” on BE Bearings? Just curious :P


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Old Wed, Aug-22-2018, 06:04:47 PM   #10
HassanEido
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Default Re: Any S54 Rebuild Tips/Advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Beez View Post
Can we have the “long version” on BE Bearings? Just curious :P


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Ok. Long version.
Bearing failure on the s54 is typical of any high rpm engine. In fact it betters engines with similar redlines and requires a rod bearing change typically from 80 to 130k miles depending on driving styles and other factors. None of these factors include bearing clearance, since the s54,unlike the s65 and s85, has typical bearing clearance.
BE made their reputation increasing the bearing clearance on the s65 and s85 engines. This is counter productive on the s54 for the following reasons:
1- There is no problem to be fixed here,bearings as mentioned before have typical clearance
2- increasing clearance lowers oil pressure. I assume u know oil pressure is the only thing protecting bearing/crank surfaces as the bearing rides on a film of pressurized oil. Pressure drops, bearings hit crank journal metal and kaboom. Seriously. Think hovercraft but with oil.
3- If clearance was the issue,it would be a self rectifying problem. In engineering we call this a self rectifying feedback loop. Since with age, surfaces wear, clearance is increased and voila problem fixed! Only it's not, as now wear will accelerate as oil pressure has dropped.
4-Coating and surface treatment to retain oil does not help, as only the presence of oil or a lubricant doesn't prevent bearing wear, only pressurized oil will.
5-They're more expensive than OE bearings which will go a really long way,so no need for them, even if they did offer an improvement,which they don't.
There. That's why.
Cheers
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Mods:
-Custom CF airbox
-SSV2 catless headers(with a modified collector extention), Custom 2.5" dual sec1, Custom sec2 2.5" dual with e9xM X pipe, SuperSprint Race inspired custom section 3..
-Cat Cams 280 272.
-Custom dyno tune
-Tms pulleys and electric fan conversion
368.4 whp 289.1 wtq

Custom exhaust thread and dyno http://m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=569086
Cams thread and dyno http://m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=554439
Custom cf airbox thread http://m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=595180
Why not to use after market bearings with surfacetreatments and /or increased clearance
http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showp...4&postcount=10

Last edited by HassanEido; Wed, Aug-22-2018 at 06:17:48 PM.
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Discussing Any S54 Rebuild Tips/Advice? 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)