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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 Fri, Jun-11-2010, 05:33:02 AM   #1
00poop6x
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Default Connecting Rod Bearing Recall

Time to consult the crowd.

Car's approaching 97K miles, 2003 M3 SMG, bone stock. Knocking noise came about a few weeks ago. Hope it's not related to the connecting rods or bearings..

5 years later (recall service done in 2005 by BMW).

Got it to BMW, recommended me valve cover needs to be removed since noise sounds like it's generated up top, $ spent on checking out the top of the motor found nothing! Time to move to the bottom, they said. $$$ spent on checking out the bottom, found bearings are shot.

What are my options? And what would be recommended?


Sorry it's so brief, but I would like to keep it concise and straightfoward for future reference for any of those that may run into this situation. If I am missing any pertinent information that may help contribute to any advices, please ask away.
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Old Fri, Jun-11-2010, 02:55:32 PM   #2
deilenberger
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I would appeal to BMW for "good will"..

They are under no obligation to do anything for you at this point. Your car is beyond the extended engine warranty (6 years, 100k miles).. but if you can show maintenance on the car, and even better - dealer provided service on the car, the dealer might go to bat for you with BMW-NA. BMW-NA may provide some level of support.. typically giving the dealer the parts for free, and you eating the labor, but in some cases they have been more generous then that.

Your other choice is to ask how much additional to fix the bearings. The only way they could determine the bearings are bad is to do most of the labor required to replace them. That means they've already removed the oil pan (a project, other stuff must be removed first), and dropped the connecting rod bearing shells. If the crankshaft doesn't show any damage - then it might be reasonable to put new bearings in, and button it back up. You've already paid for the disassembly - the reassembly won't be cheap, but you're about half-way into the job now.

YMMV, and I wish you good luck. Let us know how this turns out for you.
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Old Fri, Jun-11-2010, 03:31:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 00poop6x View Post
Time to consult the crowd.

Car's approaching 97K miles, 2003 M3 SMG, bone stock. Knocking noise came about a few weeks ago. Hope it's not related to the connecting rods or bearings..

do you know the production date of your car?

Last edited by excessive; Fri, Jun-11-2010 at 06:48:39 PM.
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Old Fri, Jun-11-2010, 04:20:57 PM   #4
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Only thing I could add to Don's post is to ask for the worst and best rod bearings and take them to a speed shop that does lots of engine builds and race engine rebuilds to have them inspect and mic the bearings as a double check; a shop that does a lot of BMW low end engine work would be even better. Used rod bearings don't look new and will have some normal high-spotting on them;
[B]I'd really want to mic the crank journals too, hopefully BMW has done that - ask them what the journals mic'd and take that info to the speed shop if you decide to get a 2nd opinion. Since this would be the 3rd set of bearings in the car, I believe it is important to ensure the crank isn't worn below spec.
Best of luck on the outcome.
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Old Fri, Jun-11-2010, 10:41:41 PM   #5
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Default

Thank you for the input from everyone thus far, very helpful.

The production date is 11/02 I believe.

BMW says the bearings wore something down and they don't do any machining, which is what is needed. The only recommended ability from them is a new motor to be put in. I am not quite familiar with all the parts on the bottom end of the motor.

I will have to get back to you all about the details of what they have determined so far.

I agree, I am more than halfway into it, but at the same time would rather not get a new motor put in since it will cost over $10K + opening the valve cover and bottom end of the old motor.

Bottom line, to get it fixed is beyond what BMW can do. They can replace the motor at a cost.
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Old Sat, Jun-12-2010, 02:39:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 00poop6x View Post
Thank you for the input from everyone thus far, very helpful.

The production date is 11/02 I believe.

BMW says the bearings wore something down and they don't do any machining, which is what is needed. The only recommended ability from them is a new motor to be put in. I am not quite familiar with all the parts on the bottom end of the motor.

I will have to get back to you all about the details of what they have determined so far.

I agree, I am more than halfway into it, but at the same time would rather not get a new motor put in since it will cost over $10K + opening the valve cover and bottom end of the old motor.

Bottom line, to get it fixed is beyond what BMW can do. They can replace the motor at a cost.


Well to me you have 3 options:

1. Button it all back up and keep driving it till it dies.
2. Hope for some goodwill from BMW to replace the motor
3. Purchase a used engine off ebay and have that installed.


Best of luck to you man.
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Old Sat, Jun-12-2010, 04:06:54 PM   #7
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Thank you for all the input once again!

What are some indy-shop recommendations for Houston, TX area? I am already $1,500 in for BMW here to tell me they can't do anything except put in a new motor.

Anything aftermarket available to reinforce or address this issue?

Also, I mainly wanted to create this thread for those that are lucky enough to have these special, limited-edition recalled vehicles to be aware! The recall addresses the problem, but certainly does not prevent it (in my case).

Do some extra preventative care to the motor while you can before it reaches up to this point, please.

I sure do hope BMW can lend me a helping hand, been a BMW-owner since 1986
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Old Mon, Jun-14-2010, 05:02:34 AM   #8
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I'm sure someone could chime in on this common problem; a vendor, tech, someone?

There has to be aftermarket parts that are made better, or perhaps this is a design flaw of the motor's ability (or lack thereof) to deliver adequate amounts of oil to this area...

Can't find anything so far.
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Old Mon, Jun-14-2010, 05:22:28 AM   #9
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http://store.bimmerworld.com/s54-rod...kit-p1020.aspx

Hmm
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Old Mon, Jun-14-2010, 05:37:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 00poop6x View Post
Sounds like a better option than this set of coated rod bearings from Vacmotorsport:

http://store.vacmotorsports.com/vac-...set-p1336.aspx
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Discussing Connecting Rod Bearing Recall 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)