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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks,

It's sad to announce that my beast has been in the Avus Autosport shop for the last three days. They're trying to determine the extent of the damage to the motor from driving through high water..grrrrrrr ....I got caught in the middle of a pour down and got stranded in high water, about 4 days ago when we had the storm in LA....In any case, the issue now is to see how much damage the motor sustained and Ruben at Avus talked about possible bent pistons and rods.grrrrrrr and might be looking at a new motor ($18,000) + labor....wow

Ruben, a BMW expert, also added that there is no way to assess the damage unless you do a tear-down of the motor, heads and everything.....Is this accurate? Does anyone recommend a different shop ?


Now, I have a few questions for the fellow M5 members and would like your advice on the following:

1. Has anyone dealt with Mercury Ins on a claim for flooded motor? If so what are the procedures and how much did they cover?

2. Did anyone drive through high water and experienced this before? What was the damage?


Any feedback would be appreciated and how to proceed in this situation...thanks all.


Ed
 

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Ed,

You may have already gotten some further info by now, but I did a quick search on this site using th terms"water damage" and here's one post I came up with--there may be other relevent ones in the 3 pages of posts that came up.

http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=33645&highlight=water+damage


So sorry to hear what has happened to your M5 and wish you much luck!!!

Anita
 

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We had some terrible flooding here in Richmond a couple of months ago. My buddy got caught in high water, sucked water and killed his engine. he had an 01 with 17,000 miles and the insurance company totaled it rather than do the engine work.

he got top dollar too.

good luck

al
 

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theyre gonna total it, dont let that guy do anything , take it to a bmw dealer so they confirm its totaled.
i would luv to check out your friends totalled m5 we can test that weight theory

ray
 

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If I had a totaled m5, that thing would be at discovery automotive getting a new 800-hp engine right now cherrsagai . MMMMM HORSEPOWER...

Sucks about the Car. I got dumped in that rain down in LA while I am visiting a friend, and was happy I took the X3 on this trip :). Sucks about the car I would be crying though.

:M5rev: GL
ray540inyc said:
theyre gonna total it, dont let that guy do anything , take it to a bmw dealer so they confirm its totaled.
i would luv to check out your friends totalled m5 we can test that weight theory

ray
 

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Discussion Starter #6
flynhawaiian said:
If I had a totaled m5, that thing would be at discovery automotive getting a new 800-hp engine right now cherrsagai . MMMMM HORSEPOWER...

Sucks about the Car. I got dumped in that rain down in LA while I am visiting a friend, and was happy I took the X3 on this trip :). Sucks about the car I would be crying though.

:M5rev: GL
Thanks all for the info and response,

The Mercury Ins appraiser will do a damage assessment next week and I'm still in a suspense mode....totalling the vehicle is actually good for me, get me a new 03 or something w/ less miles...


ed
 

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When an engine inhales water and goes into what is called hydrostatic lock, there can be all manner of hidden damage. This includes bent rods, pounded bearings (increased clearance) and, in the case of an aluminum cylinder block like the S62, expanded (barrel-shaped) cylinders. The engine may appear to run ok after the water is removed and the superficial rust/corrosion cleaned out, but it is weakened.

This commonly happens when an engine fails the head gasket under load. Cylinder pressure gets into the water jacket and forces coolant into the cylinder locking the engine. This is a not-uncommon failure on the E36 M3, especially one that has been supercharged. Everything looks ok the head is removed to replace the gasket, and the engine seems to run fine after the repair. When the engine in my '95 race car failed earlier this year (piston broke and threw a rod), I found a bent rod in another cylinder on disassembly. This indicated that the engine was wounded before I bought the car.

I would think the cost of a new engine would not be enough to total the M5, but a new engine is called for in this instance. For the rest of us, this is a reminder to stay out of deep water with all variants of the E39 - but especially those of us who have installed low-hanging CAI kits.

Regards, Dick Roberts
 

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RRoberts said:
When an engine inhales water and goes into what is called hydrostatic lock, there can be all manner of hidden damage. This includes bent rods, pounded bearings (increased clearance) and, in the case of an aluminum cylinder block like the S62, expanded (barrel-shaped) cylinders. The engine may appear to run ok after the water is removed and the superficial rust/corrosion cleaned out, but it is weakened.

This commonly happens when an engine fails the head gasket under load. Cylinder pressure gets into the water jacket and forces coolant into the cylinder locking the engine. This is a not-uncommon failure on the E36 M3, especially one that has been supercharged. Everything looks ok the head is removed to replace the gasket, and the engine seems to run fine after the repair. When the engine in my '95 race car failed earlier this year (piston broke and threw a rod), I found a bent rod in another cylinder on disassembly. This indicated that the engine was wounded before I bought the car.
Dick,
Was there any (easy) way you could have found this damage before you made the purchase? Just curious if I decide to go out and buy a used dedicated track car.

Thanks,
Anita
 

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Anita said:
Dick,
Was there any (easy) way you could have found this damage before you made the purchase? Just curious if I decide to go out and buy a used dedicated track car.

Thanks,
Anita
How deep is "deep water"? Let's say measuring to the height of the wheels. Up to the BMW emblem on the wheels?
 

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Opposite_Lock said:
How deep is "deep water"? Let's say measuring to the height of the wheels. Up to the BMW emblem on the wheels?
Looking out the window at my car right now, knowing where the dinan cai picks up its air, i'd say the bmw emblem is too high. Maybe to th bottome edge of the rim is safe, maybe 3", driving slowly. If you have stock air intakes, up to the bmw emblem should be ok, driving slowly.
Mike
 

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Anita said:
Dick,
Was there any (easy) way you could have found this damage before you made the purchase? Just curious if I decide to go out and buy a used dedicated track car.

Thanks,
Anita
Hi Anita:

The simple answer is no, if we are talking about definitive proof. Pulling the head would allow visual inspection of the piston tops & valves. Any cracks are likely to be too small to be seen except with penetrant dye, and the pistons would have to be thoroughly cleaned for this. A bent rod MIGHT be picked up with a careful measurement of piston height vs. the block deck height. My bent rod (the one that didn't fail) was only slightly (although clearly visibly) bent, so we are talking about a reduced piston height in the range of .010 in. This is probably 2-3 times the production variation in piston height on a new engine, and might not be able to be singled out. Plus all of this requires removing the head, which I now happen to know is a non-trivial task (and one that the seller might not favor seeing done).

I was a little concerned when the original owner (I bought the car from the 2nd owner) told me that he had done a valve job to "freshen" the engine after 2 years of racing. The S50 engine (and all late BMW sixes) generally don't require head work only, and usually one would rebuild the entire engine. Head work only would be precipitated by the so-called "money shift" or by a blown head gasket (what I think happened in this case). I did not press too hard for the underlying reason, as the car had been campaigned successfully for another 1 1/2 years by the original owner and then the 2nd owner. I guess I beat it harder than the others, or its time was up.

Buying used race cars is always a sport, and this is why used race cars generally don't sell for anything near what it costs to build one. About all you can do without serious disassembly is listen to the engine, look at the oil pressure hot and cold, drive it a little to check for bearing noises, clutch, etc., problems, and assess the overall condition of the car (is it clean and well maintained, was the modification work professionally done, is there evidence of body or structural damage) - and form your opinion of the seller and his/her motivation for selling.

Regards, Dick Roberts
 
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