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  #11  
Old 07-24-2021, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russianblue View Post
was yours knocking by the time you brought it in or did you catch it in time? any crank damage?

I had actually planned to take the car in to have an oil pan gasket done. I suppose if the damage is not too too bad, rod bearings would be a fairly straightforward add-on to that repair no? does that take a lot of time if everything is already dismantled? bearing kit is what? a couple hundred bucks.

to your point, I kept wondering myself about how if I just shorten the change interval, obviously things are going to improve (you would think).

I love these cars but this is a real kick in the pants to be honest (after the recent head gasket change on my other Xer). This car was supposed to be my dependable one but it really does appear that I have a fairly serious problem with it after reading up on this topic.

It's just crazy that of all the issues with the M54 and the hundreds of hours of reading for the past 10+ years I don't think I have EVER seen anyone mention rod bearing problems. Not that they don't exist, but that's not typically something i'd have ever bothered to check even if there was a way to do it.

No, no noise at all. Also, crank was good. No polishing necessary. The rod bearings were caught in time.

For me my pan wasn’t leaking, so by needing to replace the bearings, a few thing were replaced preventatively. For you if the pan is leaking, it would make it a great time to go in and replace the bearings.

My Indy has strong feelings about getting the oil up to temp before operation.
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  #12  
Old 07-24-2021, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by oldskewel View Post
Since I got it, I've done synthetic 5W-30 (whatever brand I have on the shelf - Castrol Edge, Mobil 1, Pennzoil, whatever) changes. Mann / Mahle filter. Never more than 5k miles interval, which is usually about a year. I even usually re-use the drain plug washer.
I feel like 5-40w euro is the best for the M54. The 5-30w thing if I remember correctly, had to do with emissions, fuel economy, etc.. But from what I understand, these engines were designed to run on the heavier weight oil.
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Old 07-27-2021, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by dkl View Post
OP already got 4 analysis to be able to see a trend - not sure if another one will yield any more useful info. I'm not sure I understand the logic from Blackstone's recommendation for cutting back the oil change interval at this point. Sure, cutting back the change interval will result in lower wear content shown on the next analysis, but it doesn't prevent the fact that the problem is already present.
Mine was just a thought on mitigating further damage. Don't know how much damage is already present as indicated by the numbers in that trend. I've owned M54's with questionable service life before arrival to me and be just fine (at least driving/sounding fine) to 200k+. I think i would change oil brand (I like Liqui Moly, but that isn't important) and go with 5k oil changes. Throw in a Lucas Oil stabilizer for S's and G's and get another analysis.

But I'm, admittedly, a novice when it comes to engine internals. When I've experienced engine failure... I replace the engine. Only happened on two vehicles though, so again, not an expert.
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  #14  
Old 07-27-2021, 04:52 PM
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what i'm wondering is if this might actually just be typical behavior for an M54.

i mean, the cams in my 2003 (205k) were pretty trashed a few weeks ago when i changed them. there had to be a few oil analyses that showed a spike of iron or whatever from that. maybe there are some hot spots on the rod bearings...and maybe that doesn't really matter?

i know this is akin to sticking your head in the sand but we don't know.

if you read the forums, a spun bearing and completely ruined engine is an absolute certainty within the next 10k miles.

fortunately i had planned to get my oil pan gasket done (which i have no interest in doing myself) here soon. SO, i will get them to take a look.
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Old 07-27-2021, 05:32 PM
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My cams were fine a 95,000.



I am thinking maybe some bearings on a small number of builds were/are the issue.
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Old 07-29-2021, 07:40 PM
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I don't have much to add; I have never been able to draw much conclusion from a Blackstone analysis which is why I rarely get them done. But in the interests of contributing to the thread, here is my test I had done about a year ago on my 2003 M54. As the test alludes to, I only had 4800 miles on the oil but I went about 18 months between oil changes, so the oil was very old. Normally I don't do such a long change, but I hardly drive this car at all except during camping season because it's such a gas guzzler.


The only real takeaway I have is that it was OK to run that oil for 18 months with so few miles.
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File Type: pdf 03 X5-200503.pdf (20.0 KB, 37 views)
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  #17  
Old 07-30-2021, 08:58 AM
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what brand of 5w30 were you using for that sample?
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  #18  
Old 07-30-2021, 09:53 AM
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That was Mobil 1 5w-40 euro blend full synthetic. Sorry, I cropped the pdf to remove my personal info.


Edit: fixed oil type
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Last edited by Bdc101; 07-30-2021 at 04:54 PM.
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  #19  
Old 07-30-2021, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bdc101 View Post
I don't have much to add; I have never been able to draw much conclusion from a Blackstone analysis which is why I rarely get them done. But in the interests of contributing to the thread, here is my test I had done about a year ago on my 2003 M54. As the test alludes to, I only had 4800 miles on the oil but I went about 18 months between oil changes, so the oil was very old. Normally I don't do such a long change, but I hardly drive this car at all except during camping season because it's such a gas guzzler.


The only real takeaway I have is that it was OK to run that oil for 18 months with so few miles.

Rod bearings on BMW engines of this era are made up of:
  • Lead - top sacrificial layer
  • Copper - middle layer
  • Steel - base layer

All 3 of those metals are elevated in your sample report - you can draw your own conclusion.
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Last edited by dkl; 07-30-2021 at 03:30 PM.
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  #20  
Old 07-30-2021, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by dkl View Post
Rod bearings on BMW engines of this era are made up of:
  • Lead - top sacrificial layer
  • Copper - middle layer
  • Steel - base layer

All 3 of those metals are elevated in your sample report - you can draw your own conclusion.

So how long do I have? That's what I mean. So what if there is lead, copper, and iron in the sample, do I need to park the car and rebuild my motor right now? In 50 miles? In 50,000 miles? In a year? In ten years? There's no actionable information here because there's no way to determine how much service life the engine has left.



This sample was taken 15 months ago, so clearly it had more than 15 months of life left.
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