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Discussion Starter #1
Hello M5board,

Been lurking for awhile now reading all the threads. I am no stranger to BMWs but I picked up a new to me M5 from a friend for an unbelievable deal (<$5k). It's an 06 car that he got from a SLC auction. I have no history on the car at all except my friend who is a small dealer said it was stuck in limp mode. The car starts and seems to run okay but I have not attempted to drive it further than from my driveway to the garage which it barely made.

Specs on the car:
06 SMG
110k miles
2 California owners followed by 1 short owner in Utah

Upon examining the car I noticed that the previous owner had maybe tried to swap the coils around to diagnose the misfires. He didn't do a good job because he broke at least 2 of the coils trying move them around before giving up. When I got the car home and pulled the codes I also saw a throttle code that led me to believe that one of the throttle actuators had died and was causing the misfires/limp mode.

So with that I decided to order new plugs, coils, TB actuators, MAFs, and a thermostat. I finished getting those swapped in today and decided to change my oil, in hindsight I probably should have started there. Two major issues popped up during the oil change. For starters, I drained almost 15 quarts out of the oil pan which from everything I have read should have been closer to 8ish liters. The second problem came when I went to replace the oil filter. I checked the filter for copper and immediately noticed a ton of gold flakes in the filter media and on the oil drain pan. I was planning to do the rod bearings on this car anyway but with what I found today I am hoping I am not too late.

Can anyone who has been in this situation before take a look at the pic I included and let me know if they think I caught it in time? I put a light to the oil pan so it's really easy to see the copper flakes. The motor started and ran decently with no audible knock so I am hoping I don't have a spun bearing. I'm not really sure what else to do at this point, I am okay with doing the rod bearings myself but have no interest in building the motor.

935391
 

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When a bearing spins one typically sees actual metal flakes, as in corn flakes but smaller. I don't see that in your pic. But someone already played with that engine as you found 15qts of oil. So only way to know for sure is by opening the bottom end and inspecting all con rods. I'd not spend a dime until the bottom end health is established.
 

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i had similar gold sprinkles in my oil when i first got my car. i changed the oil twice to clean out the copper and drove it for 2 years before doing the rod bearings.
i ended up having one bearing spun but the damage was minor so it probably happened near the end of the 2 years.
infact It may have happened on my very last drive to my dads shop because I recall the motor acting differently on that last drive. on that note i put be bearings in and did the 2nd oil change since with absolutely no flakes of any kind. I use 5w50 castrol but some members will argue that oil is not root cause of this issue.
Im getting the car ready for this spring. Just put in near drive shaft guidbo hanging bearing and new grease ij cv joint. also did a new agm battery, sophies v2 solenoids new vanos accumulator with all passing results which exites me some more.
by the way you should remove your accumulator and open it up by applying 12v to the coil and drain the oil from it too. just aim it away and wear eye peotection.

anyway you should drop the oil pan asap and open up the bearing caps.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well I have a small update. I text my friend that sold me the car to ask him if he added any oil or not. He told me when he got the car from the auction that it was displaying low oil in the idrive and that he added a quart.
I’m not sure how it could display that if it was so full, makes me wonder if the sensor is bad. Either way I’m going to start dropping the subframe when I get time to see what I’ve gotten myself into.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Maybe he confused a quart with a gallon...good luck.
If that's the case then the good news is that this car has only been driven on and off a trailer twice and into my garage while overfilled. Also I should point out that those copper shavings are from my oil filter housing so I am hoping when I drop my pan that is the only place I find them.

Since my car is an 09/05 build should I be thinking about a VANOS pump too? I'm worried if I keep throwing money at this thing I will eventually end up at the price of a well sorted one, guess that's the M5 life.
 

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It's likely he and the auction company added oil because the electronic dipstick said it was low. If you don't know how to properly use it to update to what was done instantaneously (most people don't, I didn't know either) it will just keep saying it is short 1qt (or liter or whatever). So it's logical that he then adds another quart., etc. etc. You really do need to read the manual to know how to get it to update the reading as it displays a time weighted average, which makes complete sense. I would not read too much in to the fact that you drained 15qt out. You do need to drop the pan and assess the crank journals. You may be lucky to have not scored the crank (yet), but all that metal flake has already been circulating through your VANOS solenoids. By looking at your bearings, you'd be able to tell how much wear has occurred, you could then also tell if there were "chunks" of metal missing.
 

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Well I am going to get slowly started on removing the sub frame. I am a pro at it in my E90, can probably do it in 45 min now.

To be honest, I was originally planning on fixing this car and reselling it but I am so impressed with how helpful the M community is that I feel like I'm part of something special now. We do not have this at all in the N54 community, but I also think those cars attract different types of owners. My GF has been surprisingly supportive of this project too. The way I see it is these were at one point the pinnacle of BMW engineering, I'd rather say I saved one than trashed one!

Thanks for all of your support guys, it's keeping me motivated.
 

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Well I am going to get slowly started on removing the sub frame. I am a pro at it in my E90, can probably do it in 45 min now.

To be honest, I was originally planning on fixing this car and reselling it but I am so impressed with how helpful the M community is that I feel like I'm part of something special now. We do not have this at all in the N54 community, but I also think those cars attract different types of owners. My GF has been surprisingly supportive of this project too. The way I see it is these were at one point the pinnacle of BMW engineering, I'd rather say I saved one than trashed one!

Thanks for all of your support guys, it's keeping me motivated.
Hello SERB Z06,
Did you save a sample of the oil? Was it diluted or smelling like gasoline?

I hope you do not have the same issue as I found, but if possible, remove spark plugs and get a video bore scope to look at cylinder walls. If you see ANY scoring, and I hope this is not the case, the engine will need removed and refurbished.

Mr. P
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hello SERB Z06,
Did you save a sample of the oil? Was it diluted or smelling like gasoline?

I hope you do not have the same issue as I found, but if possible, remove spark plugs and get a video bore scope to look at cylinder walls. If you see ANY scoring, and I hope this is not the case, the engine will need removed and refurbished.

Mr. P

I do have an oil sample I was planning on sending to Blackstone. I didn't smell any gasoline and it didn't look diluted. I plan on pulling the pan tomorrow and popping off a rod cap, hopefully I will have a better idea of whats going on then.

What happened to you?
 

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Hello SERB Z06,

Honestly, do not know what happened to my engine. It was pulled from a crashed vehicle and stored for 5 years!

Bore damage is strange, but while looking for engines, ran across another S85 for sale selling block and crank only with MUCH worse damage.

Again, I hope my issues are not the same as your engine, but would still recommend trying to video bore scope before spending too much time working from the bottom.

I am an OCD engineer, so I go to far sometimes, but this engine is so "LOVELY" that I am willing to pull, disassemble, and replace EVERYTHING needed to get is back to its factory spec and GLOURIUS sound....The turbos may have more power, but theY do not "SING".

Mr. P
 

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Okay guys I got a small update. I got the oil pan dropped today and was able to pull out the rod bearing on cylinder #2. The bad news is the bearing is in pretty bad shape, the good news is the crank is fine on the #2 journal. Wish me luck that the other 9 look the same way. I got my BE rod bolts today but won't get the rod bearings until Wednesday, I decided to go with ACL .001 after doing a lot of reading on here.

If the crank is in good shape I am tempted to get those RMS headers since they look really easy to get to from where I am at. Not really sure how much I want to roll the dice though because I have no proof this car will run normally once I fix it up.

Here is a pic of the bearing, top is top bottom is bottom.

935653
 

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Hello SERB Z06,

The Good News is that you found failure in bearings.

The BETTER news is that you found the problem and crank and piston-rod will be happy with new bearings.

Wishing you the best and please keep posting pics!

Mr. P
 

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They look odd to me, maybe an early version? Where is the tin coating? I can see the wear but it looks like all of the tin is missing?
 

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For whatever reason cameras seem to have problems getting accurate pictures of rod bearings. Those look like pure copper but I bet it's just a lighting issue. They don't appear to have spun (locking tab still there) so chances are that that crank journal is fine. Need to check 9 more.
 

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So I got my ACL bearings today and was able to finish the rod bearing swap. Overall this is a pretty easy swap and I encourage anyone with some garage space and medium mechanical aptitude to do it themselves and save $1-2k in labor. It took me about 2.5 hours to do the swap and I had to break somewhere in there to jump on a conference call.

Now on to the bearings. Mostly good news here, as you can see in the pics below, the top bearings were pretty beat up. Number 10 was by far the worst, I took a picture of specifically that one for you guys to weigh in on. The journals all looked and felt great with the exception of #9. While it looked good visually, I could feel (but not see) what seemed to be the slightest ledge going all the way around with my fingernail. None of the bearings looked spun so I just put it back together and I am going to call it a day.

Hopefully these pics turned out, I kept them big on purpose you so you can see the damage. Remember this car has about 110k on it with no maintenance history past like 62k or so.

IMG_4234.jpg

IMG_4235.jpg
 
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