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Hi everyone, I'm new here. I came across a 2006 E60 M5 for about $10k. It runs well and has about 120k miles on it. I'm thinking of making it a project to rebuild the engine. I'd like to know what to expect if I go down an endeavor like this. What I would like is something as quick as possible, not opposed to turbos or superchargers, but would like to have it run on 91 octane if possible. I kinda want this as a DIY project, I've never really rebuilt an engine before, (As a kid I did watch my dad rebuild a for 302).

So I guess my question is, what should I expect? Cost-wise?, What parts/kits should I be looking for in a rebuild? Ideally, the rebuilt engine will last another 100k+ miles. I'll probably be upgrading other areas as well, like the brakes, suspension, exhaust etc, all of which I am familiar with replacing. It's just the engine rebuild I've never done.

I appreciate any feedback/direction.

-Russ
 

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Don't conflate the the goals

If you want to address possible issues such as rod bearings you should address them.

If you want to rebuild it because reasons, it's not really a wyotech intro to engine rebuilding engine. There is a bed plate, oil pump that requires lash adjustments, a **** ton of special tools and procedures, and other items that are not really like rebuilding an old push rod v8, now don't get me wrong it's not rocket science but it's also not an engine to learn on either. It's also quite expensive parts wise.

If you want to do power adders like super chargers then there are kits that run on stock engine.

If you want to go balls out you need to address if you're going on NA power or forced induction and build accordingly.

I guess what I'm getting at is what exactly is your goal?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
hmm, i guess i never really thought about it outside of the bounds of

a) new 2019 m5 comp is shiny but way too expensive
2) i want to get as close to that as possible without spending $140k

idk, it sounds to me like youre saying that the tech in the enginer is specialized enough that i may spend that difference on the tools required to work on it anyway?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
i was also going on the (maybe false) assumption that I can youtube how to rebuild it as well, given how popular of an engine it is.
 

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The S63 makes nice power, trying to chase it's output while being naturally aspirated is going to an expensive endevour. You really can't compare the two and they're completely different animals.

People have added superchargers to the S85 and that's probably your best and most cost effective approach. Look into Gianni or ESS for kits that are out there.

Custom turbos are possible and will put out bigger power but tuning will eat more of your time and budget than the turbos.


Honestly you'd be better off getting an 550 with N63 and kicking up the boost with tuning and bigger turbos, as a path of least resistance to making a f90m5 killer.

or getting a F10 M5 as starting point, they're getting hell of cheap too.
 

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I suppose you need to start with the question: why do you want to rebuild the engine - Is it because the engine has suffered some sort of failure, or because you are chasing more power? The answer to this question will guide your decision making.
If the latter, then I suggest starting off looking at options around the path-of-least-resistence, which is no doubt supercharging in combination with addressing the known weak points of the motor (rod bearings and VANOS line at a minimum). My understanding (not from my own experience but from reading reports of others), is that this is something you can tackle at home.


Fully rebuilding an engine at home, with no prior experience or equipment; I can only see this being tackled if you have a lot of patience, plenty of clean space, and budget (time and money) for making mistakes.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
wow, good stuff. So, yeah, my goal will be to add power and extend the life of the engine. im seeing from responses that doing a full rebuild is probably not a good first step. i'm assuming if i decide to do this then at a minimum I should start with an overhaul kit like this: https://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-340428-e60-m5-e63-m6-rod-bearing-overhaul-kit/ ?

Also, as another question, if I buy the car for $10k how far will dumping an additional $15k into it get me? if the answer is "not very far" then i might rethink this whole thing. but if i can get some good work done then i might give it a shot. of course not doing a full rebuild that requires a lot of specialized tools etc.
 

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15k is a healthy budget, though I'd rather find a more sorted (manual) M5 with most work done to it already for 25k than a 10k 8 owner craigslist special dealing with who knows how many headaches down the road.


For a beater M5 you're prob going to have to catch up on a lot of deferred maintenance. All your fluids, spark plugs, and almost guarantee rotors/pads are easy though you'll need a computer to bleed the brakes. Maybe ignition coils, looking about time for 2 throttle body actuators and 2 idle air actuators. Need to do bearings, which while you're there might as well do the vanos high pressure line and motor mounts. I'd also look at a set of decent tires and any worn suspension bits. If you need to drop the SMG for work, look into doing the rear main seal on the diff as they seem to go with age.


I'm sure some else can chime in with what the SMG might need, I'm a snobby manual elitist with no 1st hand ownership experience.


With buying your own parts being smart where you get them, and having all that done at a good german indy; I feel pretty confident all that work could get done for under 15k at least where I am.


91 should be the lowest that you put in car. If that's all you get in your area I get it, but go 93 if you can.


Power also doesn't come cheap, headers, exhaust, under drive pulley, tune, and intake scoops may net you 70+ horses on a tired motor but at over 6k installed. Any more power and you're looking at a stroker build or supercharging.


I'd make sure it runs right before going down that rabbit hole.
 

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I have a LOT of gray hair on my head... take it from experience: DO NOT DO THIS !!
The M85 engine requires a lot of special tools, timing tricks, micrometers and... things you haven't heard of. This is a wonderful engine, it is a direct derivative from an F1 engine, therefore a very complex engine: do NOT expect it to be a simple OHC or even a DOHC engine w/o VANOS.
Even the mandatory rod bearing replacement will kill you without a good sized garage, a very well sorted out toolbox and access to specialty tools that can't be borrowed at your local auto parts store. Daily trips to the tool supply store to buy that one time use tool is time consuming. Expect the unexpected: what if you find things unplanned? Now what??
With your budget, buy a rebuilt engine (best choice) or find a local BMW specialist, ask if you can watch. Then... you'll understand.
 

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For a re-build with built internals $10k in parts, $5k-$10k in custom machine work you can't do in a garage, $5k to eventually have someone that knows what they're doing salvage the project or $10k to buy a new motor when the one you thought you had right blows up.
 

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wow, good stuff. So, yeah, my goal will be to add power and extend the life of the engine. im seeing from responses that doing a full rebuild is probably not a good first step. i'm assuming if i decide to do this then at a minimum I should start with an overhaul kit like this: https://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-340428-e60-m5-e63-m6-rod-bearing-overhaul-kit/ ?

Also, as another question, if I buy the car for $10k how far will dumping an additional $15k into it get me? if the answer is "not very far" then i might rethink this whole thing. but if i can get some good work done then i might give it a shot. of course not doing a full rebuild that requires a lot of specialized tools etc.
15k is a healthy budget, though I'd rather find a more sorted (manual) M5 with most work done to it already for 25k than a 10k 8 owner craigslist special dealing with who knows how many headaches down the road.


For a beater M5 you're prob going to have to catch up on a lot of deferred maintenance. All your fluids, spark plugs, and almost guarantee rotors/pads are easy though you'll need a computer to bleed the brakes. Maybe ignition coils, looking about time for 2 throttle body actuators and 2 idle air actuators. Need to do bearings, which while you're there might as well do the vanos high pressure line and motor mounts. I'd also look at a set of decent tires and any worn suspension bits. If you need to drop the SMG for work, look into doing the rear main seal on the diff as they seem to go with age.


I'm sure some else can chime in with what the SMG might need, I'm a snobby manual elitist with no 1st hand ownership experience.


With buying your own parts being smart where you get them, and having all that done at a good german indy; I feel pretty confident all that work could get done for under 15k at least where I am.


91 should be the lowest that you put in car. If that's all you get in your area I get it, but go 93 if you can.


Power also doesn't come cheap, headers, exhaust, under drive pulley, tune, and intake scoops may net you 70+ horses on a tired motor but at over 6k installed. Any more power and you're looking at a stroker build or supercharging.


I'd make sure it runs right before going down that rabbit hole.
A manual would save some potential headache associated with a tired SMG, and could spare you some of that $15k budget for engine works.
 

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The M85 engine requires a lot of special tools, timing tricks, micrometers and... things you haven't heard of. This is a wonderful engine, it is a direct derivative from an F1 engine, therefore a very complex engine: do NOT expect it to be a simple OHC or even a DOHC engine w/o VANOS.
Even the mandatory rod bearing replacement will kill you without a good sized garage, a very well sorted out toolbox and access to specialty tools that can't be borrowed at your local auto parts store.
I disagree. If you've done engine work before and can follow a manual then the S85 is no different. I did my rod bearings in my garage, on my back. Other than having an extra pair of cylinders there's nothing from F1 that this engine shares. That's a marketing thing BMW did and sure seemed to work.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
good to know, wow. ok, it totally makes sense. i think i will either try to find a f10 or, like you said, find one that has already been rebuild
 

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Dont forget that at that price the SMG might be wrecked as well, and i dont mean the pheripherial parts i mean the mechanical parts inside the gearbox, if thats the case you will need a new gearbox. I changed mine recently due to mechanical failure
 

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Dont forget that at that price the SMG might be wrecked as well, and i dont mean the pheripherial parts i mean the mechanical parts inside the gearbox, if thats the case you will need a new gearbox. I changed mine recently due to mechanical failure

The gearbox itself is pretty beefy, curious what failed on you.
 

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If you buy a beaten up car and take it in for a rod bearing change, may good luck be with you. When you raise your car to start the job, plan on $1000 on rotors and brake pads for starters. (Did you check the tie rods, rotors and pads?) I did my bearing job, installed headers, did a reflash, a broken oil squirt tube, about $6000 parts and labor. About $200 incidentals (radiator flush, etc. I'm OCD, even if it's not broken, if you took it out and it may break, get a new one). I had already spent nearly $1000 in throttle body actuators spark plugs and alternator several weeks prior. Just spent $700 in a K&N filter system. And looking into a good $2000 parts and labor clutch job in the next several months. That nearly $11,000 in a well taken care of low mileage garaged manual M6. No SMG woes, no electrical gremlins, no interior tears. About to put in another $3000 in big brake components. Let's not mention the minimum mandatory $1500 in 20"wheels and a conservative $1200 in tires...
Did I mention cars a very lousy investment? What if I had gone for a Ferrari 360 that didn't need anything? Well, for one beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I like to get my hands dirty, I'm a BMW guy. Yes, I've had Ferraris. My car now has more horses than I need... and that 3rd pedal and center console stick, and the sound of a V10.
Make a budget, every extra penny you pay for a better maintained car equals 2 pennies in repairs. The less repairs you have to do, the cheaper. I don't like to have my car in the shop fixing "that last thing that broke".
 
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