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      12-02-2016, 02:50 AM   #1
romemmy
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Engine imploded - Engine swap question

Hi all,

So looks like probable bearing failure has caused my engine to implode at the track (rather spectacularly at WOT at the end of the main straight it decided that oil was no longer necessary so blew a 6" square hole out the bottom and dumped it all on the track, igniting some of it through the exhaust giving me the afterburner effect for about 5 long seconds! Bottom edge of the rear bumper actually melted a little!) Lesson learned: replace those darn bearings before it explodes! I'll know more when I pull the engine, but right now bearings are the prime suspect.

Anyway, I'm going to swap the engine, but had a question of anyone who has swapped theirs before... Do you really need to drop the transmission to remove the engine?? The BMW tech manual says one pre-requisite is to remove the transmission - is that due to input shaft line up? Otherwise, can the transmission and engine come out together? My 4 post lift is tied up with my Evo right now (getting its own engine swap), so it would be easier if I didn't have to pull the transmission first and could use my hoist to bring it all out the top.

Thanks!

S.
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      12-02-2016, 02:55 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by romemmy View Post
Hi all,

So looks like probable bearing failure has caused my engine to implode at the track (rather spectacularly at WOT at the end of the main straight it decided that oil was no longer necessary so blew a 6" square hole out the bottom and dumped it all on the track, igniting some of it through the exhaust giving me the afterburner effect for about 5 long seconds! Bottom edge of the rear bumper actually melted a little!) Lesson learned: replace those darn bearings before it explodes! I'll know more when I pull the engine, but right now bearings are the prime suspect.

Anyway, I'm going to swap the engine, but had a question of anyone who has swapped theirs before... Do you really need to drop the transmission to remove the engine?? The BMW tech manual says one pre-requisite is to remove the transmission - is that due to input shaft line up? Otherwise, can the transmission and engine come out together? My 4 post lift is tied up with my Evo right now (getting its own engine swap), so it would be easier if I didn't have to pull the transmission first and could use my hoist to bring it all out the top.

Thanks!

S.
I have done a few of these swaps. Every time the engine came out of my cars it was unbolted and the car was raised off the engine with the trans on. It's generally around $2500-3k to swap.
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      12-02-2016, 07:13 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilikebmxbikes View Post
I have done a few of these swaps. Every time the engine came out of my cars it was unbolted and the car was raised off the engine with the trans on. It's generally around $2500-3k to swap.
Thanks ilikebmxbikes! I assume you mean the driveshaft is disconnected, unbolt all 2 transmission mounts, disconnect everything from the engine, etc, support engine assembly, unbolt the suspension struts, steering rack, 8 subframe bolts, etc, then raise the whole car - leaving the engine, transmission and subframe on the floor?

I was actually wondering if it were possible to unbolt the engine from the transmission bell housing, remove the engine mounts, engine bay stuff (fans, radiators, etc), remove PS pump (without disconnecting), disconnect AC compressor, etc, then lift the engine out via the top of the engine bay.. leaving the transmission in. Not sure if there would be enough space to come forward far enough to come off the input shaft, then up and out..

Thanks!

S.
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      12-02-2016, 07:49 AM   #4
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http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1216187

Everything you need to know about pulling motor without a lift. I also have a link in there to the guy that pulled his transmission down to do a clutch job.

I'd rather pull a whole motor and trans than just a trans. If i have to do a clutch job, I'm pulling the motor and trans, no question about it lol.
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      12-02-2016, 01:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcracin View Post
http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1216187

Everything you need to know about pulling motor without a lift. I also have a link in there to the guy that pulled his transmission down to do a clutch job.

I'd rather pull a whole motor and trans than just a trans. If i have to do a clutch job, I'm pulling the motor and trans, no question about it lol.
Wow, thanks - exactly what I was looking for! I actually did most of that a couple weeks ago when I installed the S/C (bumper off, etc), combined with changing the engine mounts a month ago (sub frame unbolted, etc), so looks pretty straightforward!

Thanks again!

S.
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      12-02-2016, 06:16 PM   #6
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were you in the space grey one?

straight rod bearing or supercharger related?
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      12-02-2016, 06:34 PM   #7
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OP, I must congratulate you for being the first person to get an afterburner on his M3!

I'm sorry for your engine, hopefully you can source a new one and fix those bearings before the install.
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      12-02-2016, 07:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Number 86 View Post
were you in the space grey one?

straight rod bearing or supercharger related?
Silverstone II Grey... Were you at Buttonwillow too??

At this point I don't think it was supercharger related. The extra power may have expedited things, but I'm pretty confident had I changed the bearings it would have been fine. I'll know more when I have the engine out and can take a good look at the internals, but I'm sticking with known bearing issues for now!

Thanks!

S.
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      12-02-2016, 07:59 PM   #9
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Sorry to hear about your misfortune. Keep us posted with the post-mortem info.
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      12-02-2016, 08:53 PM   #10
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v10 swap?
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      12-02-2016, 08:55 PM   #11
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v10 swap?
Same problem with the S85 !
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      12-02-2016, 10:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by romemmy View Post
Silverstone II Grey... Were you at Buttonwillow too??

At this point I don't think it was supercharger related. The extra power may have expedited things, but I'm pretty confident had I changed the bearings it would have been fine. I'll know more when I have the engine out and can take a good look at the internals, but I'm sticking with known bearing issues for now!

Thanks!

S.
We both were. Sad to see it happen

Check main bearings?
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      12-02-2016, 11:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by romemmy View Post
Silverstone II Grey... Were you at Buttonwillow too??

At this point I don't think it was supercharger related. The extra power may have expedited things, but I'm pretty confident had I changed the bearings it would have been fine. I'll know more when I have the engine out and can take a good look at the internals, but I'm sticking with known bearing issues for now!

Thanks!

S.
Usually is the main bearings that let go when your supercharged, thats also what happend to me. #1 main spun, welded to crank and caused all sorts of mischief including turning my rod journals black and destroying all 4 vanos.
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      12-03-2016, 05:53 PM   #14
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I'd drop the engine with the trans. You can leave the trans in but its going to be a total PIA to get the engine back in.

I'd also plan to drop the front suspension and subframe too. It will be much easier to get the engine back in. Actually, you should place the engine/trans back in and then bolt up the front subframe.
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      12-04-2016, 01:23 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by romemmy
Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Number 86 View Post
were you in the space grey one?

straight rod bearing or supercharger related?
Silverstone II Grey... Were you at Buttonwillow too??

At this point I don't think it was supercharger related. The extra power may have expedited things, but I'm pretty confident had I changed the bearings it would have been fine. I'll know more when I have the engine out and can take a good look at the internals, but I'm sticking with known bearing issues for now!

Thanks!

S.
Yep. Ran a 1:58 that day but got blocked on that lap.
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      12-22-2016, 02:22 AM   #16
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Hi all,

Started taking the engine out the car, and after I took the front reinforcement plate/brace off, a good deal of debris was sitting on it - including a conrod that went AWOL! Here's a pick of the conrod pieces...



Since I found the entire thing, and the little end is intact, I'm guessing it snapped (or somehow twisted out) a wrist pin! Looks to me what happened was the big end rod bearing seized, and as the piston was smacked down by the combustion cycle, it tore the little end out of the piston, then as the crank came down, since the big end was seized, it likely hit the cylinder wall with enough force to cut it in half, as well as rip it off the crankshaft. Since all the exterior damage appears to be have been contained to the sump oil pan, the direction of motion must of been directly downwards. Half the oil pan is literally shattered with a couple of large pieces.

Looking at the top of the engine (everything is disconnected on top now), there doesn't appear to be any damage - however, opening the throttles and looking inside, the 6 rear most cylinders look fine, but the front left (cylinder 1) has some oil in it, and the front right (cylinder 5) actually has a little bit of engine metal (about half an inch long shard!) sitting *on top* of the valve! I'm guessing that valve was fully open when the damage occurred for that piece to slip in there, and based on that, I'm also guessing the conrod came from cylinder 5 (once I have the engine completely out and flipped I can take a closer look at everything).

Anyway, so far the idea of bearing failure seems to be gaining support, but will know more in the next few days when I get the engine out (only spending a few hours each day right now as work permits).

Thanks!

S.
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      12-22-2016, 03:22 AM   #17
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Wow... that looks bad.

I have a spare rebuilt S65 if interested..

Good luck w/ fix
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      12-22-2016, 12:28 PM   #18
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If cylinder 1 & 5 blew, then I will bet your main bearing spun first and prevented oil from getting to those rods which are what failed catastrophically. Your valves will likely be bent and combustion chambers damaged in those cylinders, and the block and crank will be destroyed as well. Sadly, there won't be much in that engine that can be salvaged.

Sorry to hear of your misfortune.
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      12-22-2016, 02:18 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deansbimmer View Post
If cylinder 1 & 5 blew, then I will bet your main bearing spun first and prevented oil from getting to those rods which are what failed catastrophically. Your valves will likely be bent and combustion chambers damaged in those cylinders, and the block and crank will be destroyed as well. Sadly, there won't be much in that engine that can be salvaged.

Sorry to hear of your misfortune.
Yea, that's possible.. I hope not though, just from the perspective that I don't want to hear that the main bearings had that kind of issue - at this rate the new engine will make me super nervous to push hard too. My first BMW isn't going as I hoped, and I'd hate to be so worried that the engine is so fragile that it ruins my track time.

Maybe running lead/copper bearings on all the journals (mains and rods) would help - at least then I can do frequent Blackstone Labs analysis and get some actionable data (try to catch a failure before it happens!)

Thanks!

S.
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      12-22-2016, 02:26 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by romemmy View Post
Maybe running lead/copper bearings on all the journals (mains and rods) would help - at least then I can do frequent Blackstone Labs analysis and get some actionable data (try to catch a failure before it happens!)S.
Yeah that's key, in my opinion. Since BMW took the lead out there's no good way to keep tabs on the bearings, so I always suggest replacing them with lead/copper. The mains are a bear to do in-car but it's still cheaper than replacing an engine, and the peace of mind can't be beat.

There obviously is little issue with many of the S65's out there as we are starting to see 100k+ miles on some with original bearings. It just is solid advice to be prepared and do the preventative bearing service while you still can.
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      12-22-2016, 02:40 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deansbimmer View Post
Yeah that's key, in my opinion. Since BMW took the lead out there's no good way to keep tabs on the bearings, so I always suggest replacing them with lead/copper. The mains are a bear to do in-car but it's still cheaper than replacing an engine, and the peace of mind can't be beat.

There obviously is little issue with many of the S65's out there as we are starting to see 100k+ miles on some with original bearings. It just is solid advice to be prepared and do the preventative bearing service while you still can.
Well, since I'm replacing the whole engine, the only silver lining is that I'll be working on the new engine on the bench - which will make it much easier to replace all the bearings!

Thanks!

S.
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      12-22-2016, 03:33 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by romemmy View Post
Hi all,

Started taking the engine out the car, and after I took the front reinforcement plate/brace off, a good deal of debris was sitting on it - including a conrod that went AWOL! Here's a pick of the conrod pieces...



Since I found the entire thing, and the little end is intact, I'm guessing it snapped (or somehow twisted out) a wrist pin! Looks to me what happened was the big end rod bearing seized, and as the piston was smacked down by the combustion cycle, it tore the little end out of the piston, then as the crank came down, since the big end was seized, it likely hit the cylinder wall with enough force to cut it in half, as well as rip it off the crankshaft. Since all the exterior damage appears to be have been contained to the sump oil pan, the direction of motion must of been directly downwards. Half the oil pan is literally shattered with a couple of large pieces.

Looking at the top of the engine (everything is disconnected on top now), there doesn't appear to be any damage - however, opening the throttles and looking inside, the 6 rear most cylinders look fine, but the front left (cylinder 1) has some oil in it, and the front right (cylinder 5) actually has a little bit of engine metal (about half an inch long shard!) sitting *on top* of the valve! I'm guessing that valve was fully open when the damage occurred for that piece to slip in there, and based on that, I'm also guessing the conrod came from cylinder 5 (once I have the engine completely out and flipped I can take a closer look at everything).

Anyway, so far the idea of bearing failure seems to be gaining support, but will know more in the next few days when I get the engine out (only spending a few hours each day right now as work permits).

Thanks!

S.
WOW !
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