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E90 M3 (Sedan) | E92 M3 (Coupe) | E93 M3 (Convertible) (2008-2013) {Engine: S65 - Max Hp: 414 hp (420 hp Euro) at 8,300 rpm / 295 lb/ft at 3,900 rpm}


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Old Mon, Apr-11-2011, 06:40:00 AM   #1
PencilGeek
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Default Does the S65 motor have rod bearing issues?

Does the S65 motor have rod bearing issues? The simple answer is an unequivocal NO.


After the failure of DLSJ5's supercharged S65 motor, stories immediately began to appear explaining this particular motor failure as a "known BMW rod bearing failure." This is the evidence that was provided in those discussions:
  • BMW changed the part number of the rod bearings -- therefore, a rod bearing failure exists.
  • "Many people" on the car forums have reported rod bearing failure and warranty motor replacement.
  • Auto Talent recently disassembled three S65 motors (to be built as RD Sport stroker motors) and discovered that all three of them had excessive rod bearing wear on the verge of rod bearing failure.

It could be a simple misunderstanding, but none of those stories were accurate, nor could be proven true. For example:
  • In fact, BMW has NOT changed the rod bearing part numbers of the S65 motor since it began production.
  • No examples were cited of forum members with rod bearing failure on this motor to back up this claim.
  • Auto Talent did not find ANY rod bearing failure on ANY S65 motors they have disassembled
It's this latter claim (Auto Talent discovers rod bearing failure) that I'd like to focus on for the remainder of this article.

When I heard that Auto Talent was cited as the source for three motors with rod bearing failure, I knew the story wasn't true. I had been to Auto Talent a few weeks earlier and saw these three crankshafts from recent stroker motor builds. The shop mechanic called me aside and pulled up one crankshaft and showed me a main bearing journal that was pretty badly damaged. Unfortunately I didn't snap any pictures at that time.

This past weekend, I was visiting my friends (and my car) at Auto Talent, and I asked about this crank with main bearing failure. Since I had heard Auto Talent was cited as the source for the rod bearing failure story, I decided to ask the shop mechanic personally how many cranks he had seen with any type of bearing failure. These are his answers.

How many S65 cranks have you seen with any bearing failure? One.
Did any cranks have rod bearing failure? No.

The crank with main bearing failure was still in the shop, so I took pictures. I wanted to post these pictures to clear up the misconception that BMW has a "known problem" with S65 rod bearing failure, and to clarify with Auto Talent how many cranks and what type of bearing failures they have seen on the S65 motor.

Here's the pictures I took.












































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Old Mon, Apr-11-2011, 07:02:01 AM   #2
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Default Re: Does the S65 motor have rod bearing issues?

poor poor crank! that just looks horrible
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Old Mon, Apr-11-2011, 08:12:49 AM   #3
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Default Re: Does the S65 motor have rod bearing issues?

Wow - u have a lot of time on ur hands PG - must be nice - kudos

So what was the cause of this particular damage?
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Old Mon, Apr-11-2011, 03:46:23 PM   #4
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Default Re: Does the S65 motor have rod bearing issues?

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Originally Posted by mastek View Post
Wow - u have a lot of time on ur hands PG - must be nice - kudos
10 minutes to snap pictures, and another 15 minutes to upload them and post them isn't so bad.

Quote:
So what was the cause of this particular damage?
Lots of hard track driving on this car, and in spite of a 2-pump (and 2 pick-up) 10-quart oil sump, around corners it appears the S65 can still suffer from oil starvation.
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Old Mon, Apr-11-2011, 05:23:47 PM   #5
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Default Re: Does the S65 motor have rod bearing issues?

The part that I dont understand is why the rod bearings didnt fail if the mains did. The oil has to pass from the block, through the main bearing, and into the crankshaft before it even reaches the rod bearings. Oil starvation would take out the rod bearings first because of that. Every bit of oil available for the rods has to pass through the mains first.... Not to mention that the rod bearings should have more stress on them than the mains. Seems odd to me..... I have never seen an engine with failed main bearings and rods ok. If they had main bearing failure, the rods were worse.
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Old Mon, Apr-11-2011, 05:34:36 PM   #6
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Default Re: Does the S65 motor have rod bearing issues?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PencilGeek View Post
Lots of hard track driving on this car, and in spite of a 2-pump (and 2 pick-up) 10-quart oil sump, around corners it appears the S65 can still suffer from oil starvation.
Well that's not good. Was this like 50 weeks out of the year on the track or the occasional track day (4-6 a year)?

Either way I don't like seeing things like that right before I hit the track.

With that being said, I wonder if the M3s at the BMW PC have had any problems? They are on the track constantly, however, I doubt even if they were having failures that we would ever get that info.
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Old Mon, Apr-11-2011, 06:03:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: Does the S65 motor have rod bearing issues?

Oil starvation seems to always get blamed for engines blowing on cars that attend alot of track days. Does anyone have some data of the oil pressure reaching dangerous levels on long sweepers?
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Old Mon, Apr-11-2011, 11:10:32 PM   #8
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Default Re: Does the S65 motor have rod bearing issues?

Any symptoms on this car before the tear down?

And any idea why people said BMW changed the part numbers?
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Old Mon, Apr-11-2011, 11:47:42 PM   #9
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Default Re: Does the S65 motor have rod bearing issues?

Quote:
Originally Posted by King Tut View Post
Oil starvation seems to always get blamed for engines blowing on cars that attend alot of track days. Does anyone have some data of the oil pressure reaching dangerous levels on long sweepers?
Good point, as far as what PG stating here, I did my own research, and he's right, based on what I found there is no serious S65 rod bearing issue, at least not on the same level as the S54, the issues that have been reported are crank bearings or the crank itself.

Thanks for the info Robert.
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Old Tue, Apr-12-2011, 01:37:24 AM   #10
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Default Re: Does the S65 motor have rod bearing issues?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daddyo View Post
Any symptoms on this car before the tear down?

And any idea why people said BMW changed the part numbers?
No symptoms to my knowledge. The engine was being torn down (on purpose), to upgrade it to a 4.6L stroker, when the damage to the main crankshaft bearings and journals was discovered. (by accident)

The damaged crankshaft and main crankshaft bearing shells in the above photos...were removed from a S65 engine with only 10k on the odometer. (if I remember correctly)

BMW changed the part number on the S65B40 engine's main crankshaft bearings after October 2008. (a month after the 2009 M3 model year started production)

The following, is a summary of the exact bearing shell parts that were changed after 10/08, and the new BMW part numbers assigned.

OEM factory replacement main crankshaft & bearing shell combo part#:

AT-CRANKSHAFT WITH BEARING SHELLS 1 10/2008 11217841658 ENDED

AT-CRANKSHAFT WITH BEARING SHELLS 1 (current) 11210443639


Individual main crankshaft bearing shell part numbers:

02 Bearing shell green 70,00MM Qty. 4 10/2008 11217841489 ENDED

02 Bearing shell green 70,00MM Qty. 4 (current) 11217841610


03 GUIDE-BEARING SHELL GREEN 70,00MM Qty. 1 10/2008 11217841499 ENDED

03 GUIDE-BEARING SHELL GREEN 70,00MM Qty. 1 (current) 11217841618


04 Bearing shell green 70,00MM Qty. 4 10/2008 11217841484 ENDED

04 Bearing shell green 70,00MM Qty. 4 (current) 11217841606



05 GUIDE-BEARING SHELL GREEN 70,00MM Qty. 1 10/2008 11217841494 ENDED

05 GUIDE-BEARING SHELL GREEN 70,00MM Qty. 1 (current) 11217841614


The BMW MOTORSPORT bearings are color-coded by the factory. There are different part numbers assigned to these main crankshaft bearing sets, based on these color codes. The above part numbers are assigned to the green main crankshaft bearing set.

BMW also uses a set of 'yellow' & 'violet' main crankshaft bearings as well. (which both have two different part numbers)

After 10/08, every individual set of color-coded main crankshaft bearings had a part number change.

The BMW Connecting Rod Bearing shell part numbers on the S65 HAVE NEVER CHANGED SINCE DAY ONE.

06 Bearing shell (upper), blue 53,00MM Qty. 8 11247841703

07 Bearing shell (lower), red 53,00MM Qty. 8 11247841702



The five-bearing crankshaft shown above, is actually forged from a single piece of billet steel round bar.

The cylinder spacing on the S65B40 crankshaft is 98 mm. The forged steel crankshaft possesses a high level of bend
resistance, and high torsional strength. (at a relatively low weight) The diameter of the main crankshaft bearing journal is 60 mm. The crankshaft end float is controlled by a thrust bearing located at the fifth main crankshaft bearing. (#3 & #5 in the diagram)

The crank pin offset is 90, and for design reasons, a cylinder firing order of 1-5-4-8-7-2-6-3 was chosen
for the S65, instead of the typical 1-5-4-8-6-3-7-2 firing order more commonly employed in other BMW V8 engines.

FYI: An identification marking of the bearing shells, is engraved on the crankcase and on the first crank web.

The lower portion of the crankcase (bedplate), is constructed using an aluminum-silicon
alloy.(Alusil) Due to extreme crankshaft forces at high rpms, grey cast iron inlays was used to reinforce the die-cast aluminum bedplate construction.

Why is that important?

Because these cast iron inlays are supposed to limit crankshaft bearing clearances over a greater temperature range, and thus have a positive effect on the oil flow rate.
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Last edited by Cleveland; Tue, Apr-12-2011 at 03:10:11 AM.
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Discussing Does the S65 motor have rod bearing issues? in the E90 M3 (Sedan) | E92 M3 (Coupe) | E93 M3 (Convertible) (2008-2013) Forum - {Engine: S65 - Max Hp: 414 hp (420 hp Euro) at 8,300 rpm / 295 lb/ft at 3,900 rpm} at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)