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      01-22-2021, 06:46 AM   #1
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Question Bought a 2012 M3, do I need to replace the rod bearings?

I have no issues at the moment, the car had 42,000 miles on the clock.


Do I need to change the rod bearings now to prevent any future problems or if I have no issues just leave them alone?


How would one know if he has problems anyway? are there any signs that would prompt you to have them checked?


I did hear that BMW improved the rod bearings in 2011+ models but I'm not sure
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      01-22-2021, 07:52 AM   #2
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Yes.
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      01-22-2021, 08:09 AM   #3
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BMW removed the lead from the rod bearings in 2011. The clearance issues still exist. So like tdott said, yes.
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      01-22-2021, 11:43 AM   #4
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Right, thanks guys
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      01-22-2021, 12:51 PM   #5
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If you have issues it's probably too late. You need to decide if the low chance of engine failure is worth the cost of a rod bearing replacement to hopefully prevent the failure.

If you're always going to worry about your engine it's probably worth the peace of mind to get bearings in that fix the clearance problem so you can enjoy the car.
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      01-22-2021, 01:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akkando View Post
If you have issues it's probably too late. You need to decide if the low chance of engine failure is worth the cost of a rod bearing replacement to hopefully prevent the failure.

If you're always going to worry about your engine it's probably worth the peace of mind to get bearings in that fix the clearance problem so you can enjoy the car.
How much are the rod bearings anyway?
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      01-22-2021, 01:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akkando View Post
If you have issues it's probably too late. You need to decide if the low chance of engine failure is worth the cost of a rod bearing replacement to hopefully prevent the failure.

If you're always going to worry about your engine it's probably worth the peace of mind to get bearings in that fix the clearance problem so you can enjoy the car.
Just adding my experience. I had my rod bearings changed at 50k miles with be bearings. i actually never redlined the car, I changed oil every 3k miles, spark plugs every 10-15k, never tracked, always use premium gas, drove it like a prius, probably took better care of the car than myself and then I spun a rod 28k later. Now besides being salty, i am left wondering if i hadn't changed my rod bearings would my engine still be good. Did the shop do a bad job or was it just bad luck. Basically what i am saying is, if you have the bearings done, i would strongly recommend you take it to a very competent shop that has a lot of experience with the e9x m3 platform. As for me I am waiting for my warranty to run out on my remanned engine before i have rod bearings done again, and when I have them done I will probably chance waiting until at least 100k, hopefully by then I will have paid off the car and the 25k replacement engine.
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      01-22-2021, 01:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Spartan View Post
I have no issues at the moment, the car had 42,000 miles on the clock.
Do I need to change the rod bearings now to prevent any future problems or if I have no issues just leave them alone?
How would one know if he has problems anyway? are there any signs that would prompt you to have them checked?
I did hear that BMW improved the rod bearings in 2011+ models but I'm not sure
Here's the shortest versions of the answers

When a rod bearing dies, the first time you hear about it is when the engine starts knocking or seizes. By then it's too late, you need a new engine.

No one has any issues with their rod bearings until all of a sudden they do. Think about it like a sudden heart attack.

There are no signs of any kind to 'check'

The 2011+ models have 'different' bearings due to a legislation change in Europe but no noticeable difference in terms of clearance



If you lose an engine due to rod bearings you need to buy a new engine and get it installed, and also do rod bearings on that engine unless you are very intent on winning a Darwin award.

On the other hand, you can buy BE bearings -the only ones I'd use- for under $1K and swap them yourself or pay a total of ~3k to get them swapped at a shop.

I bought my 2013 new and changed the rod bearings at 30k. They already looked bad. Then I bought a used 2011 with 33k miles, those also looked bad.


Do it or don't do it. If you don't, just be aware that it may be an expensive experiment. If you do, you pay 3k and sleep like a baby at night.
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      01-22-2021, 02:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwm3s65 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by akkando View Post
If you have issues it's probably too late. You need to decide if the low chance of engine failure is worth the cost of a rod bearing replacement to hopefully prevent the failure.

If you're always going to worry about your engine it's probably worth the peace of mind to get bearings in that fix the clearance problem so you can enjoy the car.
Just adding my experience. I had my rod bearings changed at 50k miles with be bearings. i actually never redlined the car, I changed oil every 3k miles, spark plugs every 10-15k, never tracked, always use premium gas, drove it like a prius, probably took better care of the car than myself and then I spun a rod 28k later. Now besides being salty, i am left wondering if i hadn't changed my rod bearings would my engine still be good. Did the shop do a bad job or was it just bad luck. Basically what i am saying is, if you have the bearings done, i would strongly recommend you take it to a very competent shop that has a lot of experience with the e9x m3 platform. As for me I am waiting for my warranty to run out on my remanned engine before i have rod bearings done again, and when I have them done I will probably chance waiting until at least 100k, hopefully by then I will have paid off the car and the 25k replacement engine.
What did you change the bearings to?
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      01-22-2021, 02:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwm3s65 View Post
Just adding my experience. I had my rod bearings changed at 50k miles with be bearings. i actually never redlined the car, I changed oil every 3k miles, spark plugs every 10-15k, never tracked, always use premium gas, drove it like a prius, probably took better care of the car than myself and then I spun a rod 28k later. Now besides being salty, i am left wondering if i hadn't changed my rod bearings would my engine still be good. Did the shop do a bad job or was it just bad luck. Basically what i am saying is, if you have the bearings done, i would strongly recommend you take it to a very competent shop that has a lot of experience with the e9x m3 platform. As for me I am waiting for my warranty to run out on my remanned engine before i have rod bearings done again, and when I have them done I will probably chance waiting until at least 100k, hopefully by then I will have paid off the car and the 25k replacement engine.
Was there ever a tear down to determine the issue? Main bearing go and starve oil to rod bearing? Sorry man.
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      01-22-2021, 02:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SYT_Shadow View Post
Here's the shortest versions of the answers

When a rod bearing dies, the first time you hear about it is when the engine starts knocking or seizes. By then it's too late, you need a new engine.

No one has any issues with their rod bearings until all of a sudden they do. Think about it like a sudden heart attack.

There are no signs of any kind to 'check'

The 2011+ models have 'different' bearings due to a legislation change in Europe but no noticeable difference in terms of clearance



If you lose an engine due to rod bearings you need to buy a new engine and get it installed, and also do rod bearings on that engine unless you are very intent on winning a Darwin award.

On the other hand, you can buy BE bearings -the only ones I'd use- for under $1K and swap them yourself or pay a total of ~3k to get them swapped at a shop.

I bought my 2013 new and changed the rod bearings at 30k. They already looked bad. Then I bought a used 2011 with 33k miles, those also looked bad.


Do it or don't do it. If you don't, just be aware that it may be an expensive experiment. If you do, you pay 3k and sleep like a baby at night.
Im confused.

1) https://www.bimmerworld.com/BE-Conne...rings-S65.html = $590 for the set of 16

then I notice at the bottom a recommendation

2) Genuine BMW Connecting Rod Bolt - E60 M5, E63 M6, E9X M3 = Do I need one of those or 8?

and what about this?

3) BE Bearings-ARP Connecting Rod Bolt Set - E90/E92/E93 M3 = Do I need this too? does buying one include the entire set?
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      01-22-2021, 02:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Spartan View Post
Im confused.

1) https://www.bimmerworld.com/BE-Conne...rings-S65.html = $590 for the set of 16

then I notice at the bottom a recommendation

2) Genuine BMW Connecting Rod Bolt - E60 M5, E63 M6, E9X M3 = Do I need one of those or 8?

and what about this?

3) BE Bearings-ARP Connecting Rod Bolt Set - E90/E92/E93 M3 = Do I need this too? does buying one include the entire set?
You need 1), then it's your choice to use 2) or 3). You cannot use 2) and 3)

The main difference between 2) and 3) is the OEM bolts have a *very* complicated torquing process and are single use whereas the BE-ARP just get torqued to a value.
If a shop is doing the work, getting BE-ARP bolts minimizes the possiblities for them to screw up (you think they're going to dump a oem bolt they've torqued wrong?) and helps them go faster
If you are doing the work yourself, the BE-ARP ones are worth their weight in gold.

When you do this job, there's oil dropping on you, there's stuff hanging all over the place and you're covered in plastic sheeting so you don't get caked in oil. The last thing you need is to be doing step 8 of the 9 steps PER BOLT for the OEM ones and screw up, then have to start again.
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      01-22-2021, 02:40 PM   #13
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Thanks a lot guys! Y'all are a GREAT help!
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      01-22-2021, 02:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akkando View Post
Was there ever a tear down to determine the issue? Main bearing go and starve oil to rod bearing? Sorry man.
No, not yet, i have the engine sitting in the garage. i am waiting to buy a new engine stand that is geared. Once i get that ill pull the bedplate and see if the main bearing failed and blocked oil to the rod bearing. I was also running a full e85 tune, I am thinking that Its possible it corroded the injectors causing them to leak, diluting the oil causing the rod to spin.
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      01-22-2021, 02:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roastbeef View Post
What did you change the bearings to?
BE bearings and BE arp bolts.
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      01-22-2021, 02:48 PM   #16
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Completely up to you Spartan. I know guys with 150K+ and never replaced, while some guys with 30K have had engines bricked because of wiped bearings. It really is a crap shoot unfortunately and a lot of people do it for peace of mind or when they are going S/C.

If you can find a reputable shop, I say go for it. I've seen prices as low as $2400 and up to $3500. Or have a lift in your garage and do it yourself... ;-)

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      01-22-2021, 02:56 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwm3s65 View Post
No, not yet, i have the engine sitting in the garage. i am waiting to buy a new engine stand that is geared. Once i get that ill pull the bedplate and see if the main bearing failed and blocked oil to the rod bearing. I was also running a full e85 tune, I am thinking that Its possible it corroded the injectors causing them to leak, diluting the oil causing the rod to spin.
Wait, the engine that had rod bearings done failed and you were running a full E85 tune?
If so, instead of wondering whether your original engine would still be alive had you not done rod bearings, perhaps the question is whether your rod bearing replaced engine would have survived had you not run an E85 tune in it

Last edited by SYT_Shadow; 01-22-2021 at 03:23 PM..
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      01-22-2021, 03:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SYT_Shadow View Post
Wait, the engine that had rod bearings done failed and you were running a full E85 tune?
If so, instead of wondering whether your original engine would still be alive had you not done rod bearings, perhaps the question is whether your rod bearing replaced engine would have survived had you not run an E85 tune in it
I was not e85 running at the time of failure, but yes I do wonder if that caused it. I intend to never tune again but who knows, however, I am not running e85 ever again. The way I drive, I never actually got to the limits of the tune let alone stock hp so it was really no reason for me to even waste money on a tune. Very expensive lesson learned.
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      01-22-2021, 03:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwm3s65 View Post
I was not e85 running at the time of failure, but yes I do wonder if that caused it. I intend to never tune again but who knows, however, I am not running e85 ever again. The way I drive, I never actually got to the limits of the tune let alone stock hp so it was really no reason for me to even waste money on a tune. Very expensive lesson learned.
E85 is nasty stuff and almost all the tunes have weird stuff in them, like knock sensitivity disabled, check control disabled, timing changes disabled, etc. When you combine the variability of E85 with stupid changes in the ecu software you have a very dangerous combination
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      01-24-2021, 03:39 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SYT_Shadow View Post
You need 1), then it's your choice to use 2) or 3). You cannot use 2) and 3)

The main difference between 2) and 3) is the OEM bolts have a *very* complicated torquing process and are single use whereas the BE-ARP just get torqued to a value.
If a shop is doing the work, getting BE-ARP bolts minimizes the possiblities for them to screw up (you think they're going to dump a oem bolt they've torqued wrong?) and helps them go faster
If you are doing the work yourself, the BE-ARP ones are worth their weight in gold.

When you do this job, there's oil dropping on you, there's stuff hanging all over the place and you're covered in plastic sheeting so you don't get caked in oil. The last thing you need is to be doing step 8 of the 9 steps PER BOLT for the OEM ones and screw up, then have to start again.
I spoke to the guy who owns the garage I go to, best BMW garage in Dubai, he said they can do the job for 1000 USD labor. I told him about the parts (1 and 2 from the above list) but he also said I need a gasket, can you guide me where to get that? He said he can get it for me if need be but just checking with you
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      01-24-2021, 10:32 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Spartan View Post
I spoke to the guy who owns the garage I go to, best BMW garage in Dubai, he said they can do the job for 1000 USD labor. I told him about the parts (1 and 2 from the above list) but he also said I need a gasket, can you guide me where to get that? He said he can get it for me if need be but just checking with you
Follow the link for the S65 rod bearing job in my signature and you can see the parts.
There are a few gaskets, o-rings, the engine mounts, etc that have part numbers there.
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      01-24-2021, 02:41 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwm3s65 View Post
Just adding my experience. I had my rod bearings changed at 50k miles with be bearings. i actually never redlined the car, I changed oil every 3k miles, spark plugs every 10-15k, never tracked, always use premium gas, drove it like a prius, probably took better care of the car than myself and then I spun a rod 28k later. Now besides being salty, i am left wondering if i hadn't changed my rod bearings would my engine still be good. Did the shop do a bad job or was it just bad luck. Basically what i am saying is, if you have the bearings done, i would strongly recommend you take it to a very competent shop that has a lot of experience with the e9x m3 platform. As for me I am waiting for my warranty to run out on my remanned engine before i have rod bearings done again, and when I have them done I will probably chance waiting until at least 100k, hopefully by then I will have paid off the car and the 25k replacement engine.
Stories like this really suck to hear and, honestly, were the main reason I moved on from my zcp coupe last summer. I could accept that an all time great car like the e9x M3 has a fatal flaw which required a ~$3k fix to solve. But then we started hearing about motors failing after the fix was done, that was the deciding factor for me. Was it bearings that still didn’t get to the root of the problem (clearance), was it an improper install, who knows. When the fix itself started to get called into question, I made my mind up to move on.

I think the point made about finding a shop that has done the job many, many times is the only way I would have moved forward. Even if the shop has BMW master techs, I would search for a shop with the very specific experience of rod bearing swaps on the S65.

I know guys have done the swap in their garages over a weekend will claim it is a tedious but straightforward job but somethig about it must be complicated because this isn’t the first example of “fixed” motors popping.

Just wish their was a real fix to the issue.
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