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      10-18-2013, 03:04 PM   #287
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Originally Posted by SloMaroZ View Post
Fantastic read. I just picked up an 08 m3 with 75k miles.

It's going to dual purpose as a daily/track rat and of course one of the first preventative(hopefully) maintenance issues that I want to address is the rod bearings.

I'm curious if you guys have any recommendations for this yet? I noticed that some of the bearings are different sizes for different manufacturers. And then there's the different types of oil.

Can an oil analyses help me sleep a little easier about this until I replace the bearings?

Thanks again to everyone for this amazing write up!
If you prefer the softer Clevite (leaded) bearings, then you'll need to order the 088/089's and mark them "Do not substitute" at your dealership. Otherwise BMW will give you the harder lead-free 702/703's.

With either bearing, unless you can do a type of polishing to increase clearance such as Kawasaki showed, I'd recommend the WPC treatment.

Then switch to M1 0W40 oil and you should be as good as you'll ever get without resizing the journals.
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      10-19-2013, 10:37 AM   #288
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Ok, obviously I'm a bit late to this party, but I've read every single post so far and I have a question and a few thoughts that I'd appreciate it if the experts here could weigh in on.

First off, I apologize if the answer to this should be obvious, but I haven't seen it covered: If the issue is clearance, why can't BMW or the aftermarket simply supply thinner bearings? Would it be a case of solving the clearance issue but creating bearings that were too weak to withstand the load of the S65/S85? I thought maybe it wouldn't be cost-effective for the aftermarket because not enough owners might be sufficiently worried about bearings to buy them and pay for labor, but that wouldn't explain why BMW wouldn't solve this that way. Or what about a ground down crank? BMW has already changed that part, but apparently not in a way to solve this issue, so again, why hasn't that solution been implemented? Is there some possible other downside to increasing clearance enough to help the bearings?

In the absence of that type of solution, the VAC coated bearings don't appeal to me for the reasons mentioned in the outstanding write-up at the beginning of the thread. The WPC treatment sounds interesting, but I can't find any information about people using them with the S65 or S85, or even pricing information, never mind something that would be awesome like photos WPC-treated bearings inspected after being used for at least 25K miles. Is the TPC treatment or awareness of this bearing issue simply too recent for this to be a realistic expectation?

In terms of running thinner oil, this makes me a bit queasy. 10W-60 is an extremely uncommon oil that to my knowledge isn't used anywhere other than most M cars, so I have to imagine there's some reason BMW selected it (and even co-developed it?) rather than something more conventional. Even if it does solve or at least reduce the impact of the bearing issue, given how few cars out there are running thinner oil and for how little time they've been doing so, we can't rule out the possibilty that there may be other and potentially more severe longer-term consequences of switching to another oil. And even more unfortuantely is that while I understand that BMW has recently approved other oils, they haven't retracted their recommendation of 10W-60, nor have they provided any sort of guidelines to choose between the two or rationale for why they've started recommending something else, which would be awesome. If anyone has a line to BMW M/NA/AG, could you try getting more information out of them about this? I know Matt Russell is on these boards as BMWNAMGuy, but I don't know how often he's active. And lastly, the formatting of the oil recommendation document makes it extremely unclear whether 5W30 in particular is recommended only for M engines (but not necessarily ALL M engines) or all M engines including the S65 and S85 engines.

And finally, is the problem only with the rod bearings or also the main bearings? Some of these photos show main bearings that don't look so great, but there's not as much talk about them. Is that because the main bearings aren't as big a problem or because these solutions wouldn't solve the issue for the mains?
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      10-19-2013, 11:49 AM   #289
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jphughan View Post
Ok, obviously I'm a bit late to this party, but I've read every single post so far and I have a question and a few thoughts that I'd appreciate it if the experts here could weigh in on.

First off, I apologize if the answer to this should be obvious, but I haven't seen it covered: If the issue is clearance, why can't BMW or the aftermarket simply supply thinner bearings? Would it be a case of solving the clearance issue but creating bearings that were too weak to withstand the load of the S65/S85? I thought maybe it wouldn't be cost-effective for the aftermarket because not enough owners might be sufficiently worried about bearings to buy them and pay for labor, but that wouldn't explain why BMW wouldn't solve this that way. Or what about a ground down crank? BMW has already changed that part, but apparently not in a way to solve this issue, so again, why hasn't that solution been implemented? Is there some possible other downside to increasing clearance enough to help the bearings?

In the absence of that type of solution, the VAC coated bearings don't appeal to me for the reasons mentioned in the outstanding write-up at the beginning of the thread. The WPC treatment sounds interesting, but I can't find any information about people using them with the S65 or S85, or even pricing information, never mind something that would be awesome like photos WPC-treated bearings inspected after being used for at least 25K miles. Is the TPC treatment or awareness of this bearing issue simply too recent for this to be a realistic expectation?

In terms of running thinner oil, this makes me a bit queasy. 10W-60 is an extremely uncommon oil that to my knowledge isn't used anywhere other than most M cars, so I have to imagine there's some reason BMW selected it (and even co-developed it?) rather than something more conventional. Even if it does solve or at least reduce the impact of the bearing issue, given how few cars out there are running thinner oil and for how little time they've been doing so, we can't rule out the possibilty that there may be other and potentially more severe longer-term consequences of switching to another oil. And even more unfortuantely is that while I understand that BMW has recently approved other oils, they haven't retracted their recommendation of 10W-60, nor have they provided any sort of guidelines to choose between the two or rationale for why they've started recommending something else, which would be awesome. If anyone has a line to BMW M/NA/AG, could you try getting more information out of them about this? I know Matt Russell is on these boards as BMWNAMGuy, but I don't know how often he's active. And lastly, the formatting of the oil recommendation document makes it extremely unclear whether 5W30 in particular is recommended only for M engines (but not necessarily ALL M engines) or all M engines including the S65 and S85 engines.

And finally, is the problem only with the rod bearings or also the main bearings? Some of these photos show main bearings that don't look so great, but there's not as much talk about them. Is that because the main bearings aren't as big a problem or because these solutions wouldn't solve the issue for the mains?
I don't think anyone knows for sure why BMW insists on making bearing clearances so tight. Maybe it makes the engine less noisy

As for why BMW uses the 10w60, it has been hinted on this forum, and what I could gather, is that the TWS 10w60 has pretty good durability. It lasts a long time without breaking down. This, coupled with the large 8.5 L sump enabled BMW to recommend the ridiculously long 22000 km/once a year oil change interval. Some people speculate it helps cut down on costs, especially with the free maintenance program where BMW pays the cost of oil changes.

Certainly, the TWS has been shown to have terrible cold flow characteristics, and on the track it gets hotter and cools down slower than thinner oils. It certainly isn't the magnificent magical oil BMW claims it to be.
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      10-19-2013, 11:53 AM   #290
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In my mind it comes down to the following. The TWS oil provides better protection IF the oil can get to where it needs to be. Speculation is clearance is too small for the oil to actually get into the spaces where it needs to be easily enough so therefore although TWS is great protection, if no oil is getting into the place needing protection than it doesn't matter how great the oil is, the protection is limited by not having oil. The 0w40 is thin enough where it more easily gets into the areas given the tight clearance, although in a perfect world provides less protection than the TWS if you are assuming each flow into a space equally.

With that said, if you live in a warm climate and if you daily drive your car and keep the needle at 210 or higher all the time, plus/minus track the car, than staying with TWS makes a lot of sense. In all other cases I do see an argument for the lighter oil. It makes sense, I mean if you are someone who never takes it to redline and drives it in a pretty slow, normal fashion with occasional throttle punchds, than of course you don't need TWS. Its if you start living above 7500k rpms and getting the oil temps up would the TWS really shine and offer that extra protection. Normal driving an engine is an engine to a large degree and any oil provided it maintains pressure would suffice

So decide-do you drive the car hard daily to the point your temps stay above 200 all the time and/or track often: Go with TWS

If you drive normally and not like a hooligan aka not hitting high rpms and shifting asa normal person- Go with 0w40

Another separate question for the Pros-Do you think adding a ZDDP additive to the 0w40 would provide the extra protection for people wanting to track or even drive aggressively daily to make it more hardy in terms of high stress protection?
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      10-19-2013, 01:19 PM   #291
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronnydashore View Post
In my mind it comes down to the following. The TWS oil provides better protection IF the oil can get to where it needs to be. Speculation is clearance is too small for the oil to actually get into the spaces where it needs to be easily enough so therefore although TWS is great protection, if no oil is getting into the place needing protection than it doesn't matter how great the oil is, the protection is limited by not having oil. The 0w40 is thin enough where it more easily gets into the areas given the tight clearance, although in a perfect world provides less protection than the TWS if you are assuming each flow into a space equally.

With that said, if you live in a warm climate and if you daily drive your car and keep the needle at 210 or higher all the time, plus/minus track the car, than staying with TWS makes a lot of sense. In all other cases I do see an argument for the lighter oil. It makes sense, I mean if you are someone who never takes it to redline and drives it in a pretty slow, normal fashion with occasional throttle punchds, than of course you don't need TWS. Its if you start living above 7500k rpms and getting the oil temps up would the TWS really shine and offer that extra protection. Normal driving an engine is an engine to a large degree and any oil provided it maintains pressure would suffice

So decide-do you drive the car hard daily to the point your temps stay above 200 all the time and/or track often: Go with TWS

If you drive normally and not like a hooligan aka not hitting high rpms and shifting asa normal person- Go with 0w40

Another separate question for the Pros-Do you think adding a ZDDP additive to the 0w40 would provide the extra protection for people wanting to track or even drive aggressively daily to make it more hardy in terms of high stress protection?
I was skeptical like you. Many people in the community I trust are running M1 0W-40 everyday to include track events with no problems. Check out some of the other recent threads here.
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      10-19-2013, 03:11 PM   #292
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I am not saying 0w40 wont work on a track but if you have the choice in a perfect world I cant imagine anyone here is saying in a track setting, the TwS does not provide superior protection? Its handy to use 0w40 if that is what you normally run so you don't have to change oil just for a track day but if that did not bother you, are people really saying M1 is better than TWS at temps over 210 and track conditions? That I will never ever buy into
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      10-19-2013, 04:06 PM   #293
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I'm not sure where the rumor or misinformation started that M1 0W40 is not good above 210*F. 210*F or above is considered 'operating temperature' for many production cars, and 0W40 or any modern synthetic is fine up to ~300*F.

You could argue that a thinner weight oil (to a point) is better for track use since the thinner 0W40 transfers heat more efficiently than the thick TWS. With improved heat transfer, the heat in the bearings and all the engine components transfer to the oil, and then from the oil to the cooler much more efficiently - thus the oil and motor actually runs cooler from a thinner oil.

Where TWS shines is maintaining it's viscosity better than 30 and 40W oils for the 15,000 mile recommended intervals where a 30 or 40W would shear down to a level that could cause damage. If you change your oil more frequently(-like every 5K miles), this benefit of TWS is irrelevant and there's less of a reason to continue using it.


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      10-19-2013, 04:45 PM   #294
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It may indeed be true that 10W-60 allows longer change intervals, but I don't think that's the whole story for two reasons:

1. With BMW's expanded recommendations, they don't say, "...but if you use other oils you need to change them more often."

2. BMW recommended 10W-60 in M cars long before they instituted 15K change intervals. Granted earlier engines didn't rev as high, but I don't see that changing the equation enough to be significant especially since cars aren't routinely kept at or very near redline for extended periods even on a track.

Which brings me back to the belief that there are other reasons 10W-60 was specified for this engine besides longer change intervals and therefore my hesitation to switch to something else just because of a bearing concern whose scope isn't well quantified and for which there isn't yet a solution that's reasonable and proven not to have any other long-term downsides. I find that especially concerning given that the S85 which has the same issue has existed for longer than the S65, and still no general recommendation has surfaced with proof that it solves anything without creating new issues. Does anyone know of anyone who's been running 0W-40 in an S85 for long?
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      10-19-2013, 05:10 PM   #295
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronnydashore View Post
In my mind it comes down to the following. The TWS oil provides better protection IF the oil can get to where it needs to be. Speculation is clearance is too small for the oil to actually get into the spaces where it needs to be easily enough so therefore although TWS is great protection, if no oil is getting into the place needing protection than it doesn't matter how great the oil is, the protection is limited by not having oil. The 0w40 is thin enough where it more easily gets into the areas given the tight clearance, although in a perfect world provides less protection than the TWS if you are assuming each flow into a space equally.

With that said, if you live in a warm climate and if you daily drive your car and keep the needle at 210 or higher all the time, plus/minus track the car, than staying with TWS makes a lot of sense. In all other cases I do see an argument for the lighter oil. It makes sense, I mean if you are someone who never takes it to redline and drives it in a pretty slow, normal fashion with occasional throttle punchds, than of course you don't need TWS. Its if you start living above 7500k rpms and getting the oil temps up would the TWS really shine and offer that extra protection. Normal driving an engine is an engine to a large degree and any oil provided it maintains pressure would suffice

So decide-do you drive the car hard daily to the point your temps stay above 200 all the time and/or track often: Go with TWS

If you drive normally and not like a hooligan aka not hitting high rpms and shifting asa normal person- Go with 0w40

Another separate question for the Pros-Do you think adding a ZDDP additive to the 0w40 would provide the extra protection for people wanting to track or even drive aggressively daily to make it more hardy in terms of high stress protection?
From my reading of the experts here in this thread and in the oil thread it really is not about driving style. Again there is nothing magical about the TWS oil and as has been stated (I have not personally verified this) it really acts more like a ~50W oil when up to temperature. Also Mobil 0W-40W is an excellent race quality type of oil that is OEM in many high revving high performance cars/engines. The key thing here is the oils ability to flow into small clearances when the engine is first started up and cold. Now of course there is some significant level of speculation and hypothesizing here, but that is my read.
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      10-20-2013, 05:21 PM   #296
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Can I make some bottom-line observations here? What concerns me most isn't the apparent existence of a bearing issue, or even that the scope of the risk isn't clearly understood as a percentage of cars that suffer said issue, never mind not having that information broken down by model year, modification status, owner driving habits, operating climate, oil change intervals, etc. What concerns me most is that:

- Even though this has apparently existed since the S85 was released before the S65, all we have are "solutions" which even the experts here acknowledge are closer to workarounds than true solutions, unless you're willing to grind down your crank and can find a machine shop you trust to do such an intricate job correctly.

- None of these workarounds have yet been proven not to have other longer-term downsides.

- There are no photos from bearing inspections that showed the bearings were ok. I refuse to believe that that's because not a single owner has had bearings that looked better upon inspection than what we've seen here, otherwise these engines would be grenading left and right.

- And most of all, I have yet to see anything that even proves that these workarounds actually solve the issue they're believed and intended to solve. Has anybody who had bearing problems, especially after low mileage, and then implemented one of these workarounds gone back and rechecked the bearings after the same number of miles to determine whether the workaround is actually providing any benefit? Where are all of THOSE photos?

I understand that these workarounds all theoretically SHOULD solve or at least ameliorate the bearing problem, and that that theory is coming from experts here, but until that theory is backed by real-world proof in the form of bearings looking better after a given service period with one or a combination of the above workarounds implemented -- AND testimony that nothing else has gone wrong as a result -- I for one find it very difficult to consider any of the proposed workarounds. In fact even recommending just proactively replacing bearings with new OEM bearings and ignoring the workarounds is a tough sell because at this point it's still simply not clear how widespread the risk of bearing failure is for those who don't take any action. After all, replacing bearings is an expensive service. Yes, catastrophic engine failure would be worse, but for example car insurance insulates us from loss if our car is totaled in an accident; that doesn't mean we'll pay anything up to the value of our car to have insurance. The cost to mitigate a risk has to be weighed against the size of the risk, and right now sufficiently reliable information to make that calculation for this issue doesn't exist.

On the subject of quantifying the risk, it's been said before here, but it would be immensely helpful if vendors like Tom@EAS and others who perform bearing inspections on our cars would comment on what percentage of cars have bearings that look just fine. Right now this thread is biased heavily toward reporting only the bad news, which isn't conducive to making informed decisions. I understand that the answer to that question might be bad for business if it turns out that most cars have bearings that look fine, but it would sure go a long way to quantifying the level of risk -- and if it is in fact high, the next step would be actually proving that one of these solutions does what it's supposed to without causing other problems.
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      10-20-2013, 09:45 PM   #297
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Its not that the 0w40 can't handle 300 degrees, but rather will it hold the proper oil pressure for this car at those extreme heats. I have no doubt the oil will be fine, however our oil pressure given the tight bearings requires a pump to pump less than a normal car with larger clearences and yet I don't know the maximum our oil pump can go, however if 0w40 gets too thin, our pump may not be able to keep up and that is the problem, not the oil itself wearing down.

I agree however that although something is the perfect solution on "paper" it so often does not work for one reason or another as planned! I am sure any person in many fields have experienced this frustration, especially us scientists.

I believe a bit thinner is better for the reasons noted on bearings but at the end of the day, how can you be sure the TWS was not needed to provide protection to other parts of the engine aside from the bearings and if you started using 0w40 and the bearing issues stopped, a different problem would begin due to poor protection of another unknown part that bmw designed to have TWS.

I stick to my personal recommendation. Simply drive the car how it was meant to be driven and keep oil temps at 210 or higher on streets and track. Warm car up and keep under 3k rpms until almost to middle or so. Than drive hard and enjoy. This would allow the best chance of using TWS and not having issues.

Or just go with the 0w40 and be done with it
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      10-20-2013, 11:15 PM   #298
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Ok, from what I've read here, I think this is a fair summary of the current state of affairs on this issue, presented in conversation form:

Hey, some S65 and S85 engines are exhibiting premature and abnormal bearing wear that could lead to engine failure if it's not addressed.

Hmm, that doesn't sound good. Ok, has this been tied to certain model years, mileage, driving styles, mod status, regional climates, oil change intervals, or anything like that?

No.

Ok. What percentage of cars that have been inspected have exhibited this issue?

That information isn't available.

Ok... are there any proposed solutions to this issue?

Yes! In fact there are 3!

Ok. How completely and effectively have they solved the issue?

That information isn't available.

O...k... Have these solutions been deployed long enough and widely enough to at least establish that they don't cause any other issues even if we're not sure they actually fix the issue they're supposed to fix?

No.

Umm... ok. So, suppose I'm the type who likes to play it super safe and therefore I was considering having my own bearings proactively inspected to see whether my car has this issue, even though there isn't really enough information to justify that at this point. How much would that inspection cost?

About $2000.

$2000!? Wow. Well I definitely wouldn't want to inspect them too early or frequently if it's that expensive, but of course I also wouldn't want to wait too long and risk bigger problems. Based on the cases encountered thus far, around what mileage interval should I be doing this?

There isn't enough information to make a conclusive recommendation on that.

Sooo... let's sum up. Some cars are having an issue, but the available information doesn't help me estimate how likely it is that MY car would have this issue because there's no affected percentage or trend information. The only surefire way to find out whether I'm affected is to spend $2000 -- but you can't even tell me when would be too early or dangerously late to do that. And if my car DOES have this problem, my options are either to adopt solutions that haven't been proven AND haven't been shown not to create other problems, or to continue spending $2000 occasionally to have my bearings inspected and replaced -- at an interval you can't recommend.

Right.

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      10-21-2013, 12:12 AM   #299
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jphughan View Post
Ok, from what I've read here, I think this is a fair summary of the current state of affairs on this issue, presented in conversation form:

Hey, some S65 and S85 engines are exhibiting premature and abnormal bearing wear that could lead to engine failure if it's not addressed.

Hmm, that doesn't sound good. Ok, has this been tied to certain model years, mileage, driving styles, mod status, regional climates, oil change intervals, or anything like that?

No.

Ok. What percentage of cars that have been inspected have exhibited this issue?

That information isn't available.

Ok... are there any proposed solutions to this issue?

Yes! In fact there are 3!

Ok. How completely and effectively have they solved the issue?

That information isn't available.

O...k... Have these solutions been deployed long enough and widely enough to at least establish that they don't cause any other issues even if we're not sure they actually fix the issue they're supposed to fix?

No.

Umm... ok. So, suppose I'm the type who likes to play it super safe and therefore I was considering having my own bearings proactively inspected to see whether my car has this issue, even though there isn't really enough information to justify that at this point. How much would that inspection cost?

About $2000.

$2000!? Wow. Well I definitely wouldn't want to inspect them too early or frequently if it's that expensive, but of course I also wouldn't want to wait too long and risk bigger problems. Based on the cases encountered thus far, around what mileage interval should I be doing this?

There isn't enough information to make a conclusive recommendation on that.

Sooo... let's sum up. Some cars are having an issue, but the available information doesn't help me estimate how likely it is that MY car would have this issue because there's no affected percentage or trend information. The only surefire way to find out whether I'm affected is to spend $2000 -- but you can't even tell me when would be too early or dangerously late to do that. And if my car DOES have this problem, my options are either to adopt solutions that haven't been proven AND haven't been shown not to create other problems, or to continue spending $2000 occasionally to have my bearings inspected and replaced -- at an interval you can't recommend.

Right.

Great post.

I'll note the following statements are not self-contradictory:

"Every failed engine posted to this forum has had a bearing issues"

and

"Very few of the S65 engines have failed"

What nobody can answer today, except for BMW, is whether this is in fact a problem or not for the average owner.

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      10-21-2013, 12:23 AM   #300
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I had one more idea for people near the end of the warranty period who are worried about this and might consider $2000 an acceptable spend in order to get peace of mind. If anyone attempts this, please report back on your success. The idea would be to go to the dealership and say, "Hey, I've heard there might be issues with bearings on these engines. So I propose this: You inspect my bearings. If they're a-ok, install new OEM bearings anyway since the parts will be a fraction of the bill at that point, and I'll obviously pay for the service. But if they're NOT ok, you cover this as warranty work to address premature and abnormal bearing wear."

So either you end up with a free bearing replacement AND get an idea of how bad your bearing wear was at a given mileage (which MIGHT help you estimate how often you'll need to continue replacing them unless a confirmed solution surfaces), OR you're out $2000 only to discover that there was nothing to worry about, but at least you have new bearings and peace of mind from knowing that your car isn't affected by this issue. That's still a lot to pay IMHO, but for some it might be worth it, and I'm curious whether the dealer (and BMW) would agree to this type of arrangement.
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      10-21-2013, 12:54 AM   #301
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jphughan View Post
Can I make some bottom-line observations here?
...
What concerns me most is that:
...
Excellent post. Right in line with some of my own mid thread comments. Message forums naturally amplify much of the bad things and under report those things we take for granted (i.e. that even a high performance race inspired S65 engine absolutely should not "grenade" or seize at X0,000 miles)

Exactly why I have called all of this a HYPOTHESIS, NOT A THEORY.

You do recall the single post showing wear correlating with larger bearing clearances, right (more or less the exact opposite of "the hypothesis")?
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      10-21-2013, 12:59 AM   #302
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jphughan View Post
...
The idea would be to go to the dealership and say, "Hey, I've heard there might be issues with bearings on these engines. So I propose this: You inspect my bearings. If they're a-ok, install new OEM bearings anyway since the parts will be a fraction of the bill at that point, and I'll obviously pay for the service. But if they're NOT ok, you cover this as warranty work to address premature and abnormal bearing wear."
Another very good post. However, do realize that because there are definitely two types (materials) of OEM factory bearings and because tolerance stack up could be a contributing factor here, one could end up replacing bearings that would have lasted X00,000 miles with bearings that will not last only an additional Y0,000 miles...
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      10-21-2013, 01:33 AM   #303
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Good idea. I'm likely to go for extended warranty (was planning to anyway, but these potential bearing problems are another risk) to cover this potential issue. I drive about 16k miles per year, so should hit 100k around the 6 yr mark. If something happens after that, there may still be a goodwill replacement. My only worry with the bearing issue would be the the engine locking up (as some have alleged), which then presents a safety problem.

Also, what about just telling the dealer that you may be having a bearing issue (based on oil analysis, ticking sound etc), dealer refuses to inspect the bearings, bearing is spun, engine ruined, then is BMW may be more likely to provide a goodwill warranty because there is documentation of your bringing up the issue and the dealer refusing to do anything about it despite warnings and evidence. If ever came down to litigation, establishment of a track record of a potential problem could be important.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jphughan View Post
I had one more idea for people near the end of the warranty period who are worried about this and might consider $2000 an acceptable spend in order to get peace of mind. If anyone attempts this, please report back on your success. The idea would be to go to the dealership and say, "Hey, I've heard there might be issues with bearings on these engines. So I propose this: You inspect my bearings. If they're a-ok, install new OEM bearings anyway since the parts will be a fraction of the bill at that point, and I'll obviously pay for the service. But if they're NOT ok, you cover this as warranty work to address premature and abnormal bearing wear."

So either you end up with a free bearing replacement AND get an idea of how bad your bearing wear was at a given mileage (which MIGHT help you estimate how often you'll need to continue replacing them unless a confirmed solution surfaces), OR you're out $2000 only to discover that there was nothing to worry about, but at least you have new bearings and peace of mind from knowing that your car isn't affected by this issue. That's still a lot to pay IMHO, but for some it might be worth it, and I'm curious whether the dealer (and BMW) would agree to this type of arrangement.
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      10-21-2013, 09:13 AM   #304
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swamp2 View Post
Another very good post. However, do realize that because there are definitely two types (materials) of OEM factory bearings and because tolerance stack up could be a contributing factor here, one could end up replacing bearings that would have lasted X00,000 miles with bearings that will not last only an additional Y0,000 miles...
I thought about that. I guess if your bearings really are fine, you could always have them put the existing ones back in. But hopefully given that BMW ended production of the earlier bearings, the new ones should be compatible with all M3s and last at least as long as the previous revisions -- but of course now we're back into "should" territory....

Quote:
Originally Posted by FogCityM3 View Post
Also, what about just telling the dealer that you may be having a bearing issue (based on oil analysis, ticking sound etc), dealer refuses to inspect the bearings, bearing is spun, engine ruined, then is BMW may be more likely to provide a goodwill warranty because there is documentation of your bringing up the issue and the dealer refusing to do anything about it despite warnings and evidence. If ever came down to litigation, establishment of a track record of a potential problem could be important.
I think just saying "Hey I think I have this problem" won't be enough of a precedent in case something bad happens later. You'd need the dealer to agree with your assessment, but if you can get that, chances are you can get your bearings replaced right then too. If they can't confirm your conjecture (or there's any other way to account for the evidence you have, e.g. oil analysis) then a goodwill replacement on something as expensive as a blown engine is hugely unlikely to happen. That's a obviously hugely expensive repair, so I think it unlikely that BMW would volunteer to pick up that tab just for goodwill points when they weren't obligated to do so.
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      10-21-2013, 10:54 AM   #305
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jphughan View Post
I thought about that. I guess if your bearings really are fine, you could always have them put the existing ones back in. But hopefully given that BMW ended production of the earlier bearings, the new ones should be compatible with all M3s and last at least as long as the previous revisions

.
They are not out of production. The clevite guys were in the shop again last week and I was told they are still available. The invoice has to be marked as being "reclaimable". This means that in Europe any high performance engine can still be built with lead bearings as long as they do not end up in the junk yard.
Also if you order the 088/089 bearings and mark the invoice as do not substitute you will still get them.
Many leaded bearings are still available and being manufactured for high end sports cars in EU
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      10-21-2013, 11:14 AM   #306
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Originally Posted by kawasaki00 View Post
They are not out of production. The clevite guys were in the shop again last week and I was told they are still available. The invoice has to be marked as being "reclaimable". This means that in Europe any high performance engine can still be built with lead bearings as long as they do not end up in the junk yard.
Also if you order the 088/089 bearings and mark the invoice as do not substitute you will still get them.
Many leaded bearings are still available and being manufactured for high end sports cars in EU
Nice! I wasn't sure whether they were still available globally. But from the information in this thread, it appears that the new bearings have the same thickness and are simply a harder material. The only concern with that I've seen raised here is that if you finally do wear through the harder bearings, you'll have even worse deposits in your oil than with the original bearings -- but if you find that your car isn't wearing down its bearings, it shouldn't matter which bearings you use. And if your car DOES wear down its bearings and you're now aware of it, I would imagine that the Clevite bearings wouldn't allow as long a service interval, so as long as you were committed to replacing them early enough, it would still be better to use the new harder bearings than the originals?
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      10-21-2013, 12:17 PM   #307
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There was a member recently with a blown engine (due to bearing failure) who didn’t only get new engine, but a check for more than enough fair value wise for a new car out of the warranty period. Connecting the dots, this plus the recent oil recommendation changes may actually increase the probability that goodwill replacements may happen, vs doing a complete recall (ie maybe the problem known and evidence of acknowledgement by BMW).

Quote:
Originally Posted by jphughan View Post

I think just saying "Hey I think I have this problem" won't be enough of a precedent in case something bad happens later. You'd need the dealer to agree with your assessment, but if you can get that, chances are you can get your bearings replaced right then too. If they can't confirm your conjecture (or there's any other way to account for the evidence you have, e.g. oil analysis) then a goodwill replacement on something as expensive as a blown engine is hugely unlikely to happen. That's a obviously hugely expensive repair, so I think it unlikely that BMW would volunteer to pick up that tab just for goodwill points when they weren't obligated to do so.
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      10-21-2013, 01:51 PM   #308
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Whew! Just made it all the way through this one. To all those involved in developing this information, thank you and you deserve the Nobel BMW prize. My assessment of everything I've read and what I think I understand is that our cars are at increased risk of bearing/engine failure due to a design that is not standard practice. What we don't know is how much increased risk there is as well as why BMW designed the S65/85 bearing clearances outside of the standards.

I'm very tempted to switch to the thinner 0w-40, particularly for the colder half of the year (which would be 5k miles per oil change for me) but I'm still under warranty, receive free maintenance, and I don't see the risk as that significant... yet. If I were running FI or even stage II cat deletes I would be slightly more concerned. If I were out of warranty and doing my own oil changes, I would go thinner.

My solution is I will stick with 10w-60 TWS, let it warm up properly, and keep it under warranty including buying extended warranty for engine and transmission (DCT). So if TWS can potentially last safely to 15k miles, is there any advantage to changing TWS every 5k miles? If not using the thinner oil, would I be wasting my money for that extra oil change once a year?
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