S85 Rod Bearing Question - BMW M5 Forum and M6 Forums
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post #1 of 32 Old 13th February 2016, 05:51 AM
eliemalak
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S85 Rod Bearing Question

I purchased a 2008 m6 with 75k miles on it and did all maintenance required (oil change oil filter change air filters updated the ecu to the recent bmw update etc..)
when i first bought the car the idle fluctuated but went back to normal after about 2 min of idling.. (never took it into account) until i got the idle error on bank2 and went ahead and replaced it with a new one issues were gone...i always maintain my car drive it once or twice a week (since i have another daily car) and always drive below 3k rpm till the oil reaches its operating temperature

now concerning the rod bearings i keep reading about rod bearing failures and i wanted to know how can i check if mines need change ..
can anyone guide me on how to check if rod bearings need change...)checking for metal deposits in oil during oil change!? or maybe sending my used oil to a lab for testing (how and where?)
thanks again

NB : also how long should i wait during cold start before driving off ( i just wait till the idle settles after about a minute or so then drive slowly below 3k-3.5k till it reaches operating temperature)
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post #2 of 32 Old 15th February 2016, 04:58 AM
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Well, since you have been reading the posts on rod bearings, you have probably figured out there is no sure way to tell what state your bearings are in without pulling them to look. Checking the oil filter for metal (if you see it, probably already too late) and getting a Blackstone report are ways to help give you an idea of where your are.

You can get Blackstone kits directly from their website here:

Blackstone Labs

Just remember, there are a couple of people who have had issues just after getting a great Blackstone report so a clean report is not a "guarantee" everything is OK but a bad one can save your butt by getting a fix before losing an engine.

Like what oil to run, this is one of those questions you have to research and then decide for yourself what you want to do.

I am in the prophylactic maintenance camp and plan to do mine at around 50,000 miles (lower than some but my car sees a lot of short trips which is harder on everything). My latest Blackstone wan't terrible but didn't make me happy so it may happen sooner if the next one doesn't straighten up.

If you are losing sleep, get them done. Either way, don't let worrying about them stop you from enjoying your car!



Jim

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post #3 of 32 Old 15th February 2016, 02:13 PM
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S85 Rod Bearing Question

How do you know you need bearing? Because you are above 65k miles. This the approximate mileage above which all typical issues start appearing according to the spotty evidence we have. I highly recommend to change them and replace them with BE bearings.

Replace them. Stop the paranoia and enjoy the M5 for all it is!

Last edited by rt7085; 15th February 2016 at 02:15 PM.
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post #4 of 32 Old 16th February 2016, 03:27 AM
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Really? Care to tell that to the guys with 120k+ on their cars?

BE bearings are a BRAND NEW third party component that has yet to prove itself.


Supporting the eager early adopters is one thing, but telling an uninformed visitor to install them because he has over 65K miles is another.


Stop the paranoia indeed

Last edited by ///M5\\\; 16th February 2016 at 03:29 AM.
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post #5 of 32 Old 16th February 2016, 05:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///M5\\\ View Post
Really? Care to tell that to the guys with 120k+ on their cars?

BE bearings are a BRAND NEW third party component that has yet to prove itself.


Supporting the eager early adopters is one thing, but telling an uninformed visitor to install them because he has over 65K miles is another.


Stop the paranoia indeed
Not to start another debate about rod bearings but I feel that the gentleman who is new to the s85 needs to know a few things. The s85 will, without a doubt, fail due to rod bearing wear if left unaccounted for. The people who have 120k+ miles/kilometers probably have a much longer commute between every cold start. It is well documented that the rod bearing wear is no where near the "normal" wear of other engines. If your engine has BMWs "updated" bearings then you should look at replacing them sooner rather than later. This is because the BMW bearings are much harder than the traditional bearing. The harder bearings will lead to crank shaft damage which means you'll be looking at an engine rebuild instead of just rod bearing maintenance. The people who want to argue that it's all a big hype might not have as good of an understanding of what it means to call for such tight oil clearance and combine it with 10w60 oil which is relatively thick when not at operating temps. This is what BMW has done. Aside from that, the s85 has 12:1 compression ratio, think about this when starting the engine during a cold start with the tight oil clearance and cold oil. The BE bearings are made with traditional metals i.e. Lead/copper (someone with more experience with them might chime in). They also add more, much needed, clearance. DINAN does the same thing with their 28k dollar engine, which is add more oil clearance to the rod bearings, among other things of course. You should definitely check your oil filter and look inside the plastic filter cap for metal. The flakes usually settle on the bottom of the plastic cap. You can wipe with your index finger on the very bottom, under the clip, there is usually lots of metal flakes built up over time.
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post #6 of 32 Old 16th February 2016, 05:44 AM
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There is really only way to look at this: if you can afford 10-12K for a rebuilt engine swap if you spin a bearing, then go ahead and roll on down the highway. If you can't sleep knowing that your engine might grenade the next time you pull through 8K rpm, and it's not showing any vanos codes yet, find a way to have them changed, and go back to enjoying the car properly. Mine lasted to 100K and I changed them within 6 months of owning the car, because I couldn't sleep knowing that I had bought a dream-car at a price I could afford and couldn't really justify the possibility of an engine repair worth 50% of my purchase price.
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post #7 of 32 Old 16th February 2016, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///M5\\\ View Post
BE bearings are a BRAND NEW third party component that has yet to prove itself.
Then pick one of the other options. Heck, if BMW had a competent parts department I'd have happily put OEM bearings back in mine...
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post #8 of 32 Old 18th February 2016, 04:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///M5\\\ View Post
Really? Care to tell that to the guys with 120k+ on their cars?

BE bearings are a BRAND NEW third party component that has yet to prove itself.

Supporting the eager early adopters is one thing, but telling an uninformed visitor to install them because he has over 65K miles is another.

Stop the paranoia indeed
The Clevite Tri-Metal design of the BE Bearing is not "brand new." It's the same Tri-Metal design BMW used in the S85 M5 engine from the factory. There's only two things about the BE Bearing that you might consider "new:" 1) the TriArmor coating. 2) the extra clearance.

The TriArmor coating has been around for a long time, maybe 15 years or more. It's just not used on a BMW bearing before. Most people swear by Calico coatings. If they swear by Calico coatings, then they should swear by the Clevite factory TriArmor coating even more because it's designed to be used with the bearing itself, not sprayed on after the fact like a Calico coating.

The extra clearance may sound new, but it really isn't either. Dinan, RD Sport, Van Dyne Engineering, and other engine builders have been using this extra clearance on the S65/S85 since the first stroker motors were built. The extra clearance specifications they swear by are well established engineering rules that go back at 60-80 years. So there's nothing new about them, or using them on the S65/S85 either.

What is new is putting it all together into a single package and calling it "BE Bearings." Clevite still makes them. Clevite still added the TriArmor coating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonbly View Post
Then pick one of the other options. Heck, if BMW had a competent parts department I'd have happily put OEM bearings back in mine...
There's only three choices on the market: 1) BMW bearings; 2) VAC Clevite bearings; 3) BE Bearings.

The BMW bearings are known deficient in all the ways being discussed and documented here and on other car forums. The VAC bearings don't seem to have any provenance behind them. VAC couldn't even tell you the specifications until I measured them and found what they told me was wrong. Ever since, they've advertised their bearings as extra clearance. But it's hard to tell what, if any, of their own work they put into their bearings. Did they just use all of my measurements without any testing of their own? Did they carefully review the blueprints Clevite provided and blindly accept the first blueprint they received? Are they doing any in-house testing with sophisticated measuring and data logging equipment? Why did VAC choose Calico coatings instead of spending an extra few cents to have the better Clevite factory TriArmor coating used instead? Was offering the cheapest part really that important? I've seen others on m3post ask these questions and VAC has never provided any answers. That's why I say if you are risk adverse, the VAC bearings would be your last choice.

Besides OEM, the only other viable choice would seem to be BE Bearings. They are designed by Clevite, manufactured by Clevite, and coated by Clevite. BE Bearings literally measures every single bearing for 100% quality control. BE Bearings has them in their own test car with some pretty sophisticated measuring and data logging equipment. BE Bearings is making all of the data logs open source, for anybody to download and analyze (hundreds of megabytes of data).

Nobody else provides this much work and this much data to prove and back up their product.

Last edited by PencilGeek; 18th February 2016 at 04:24 AM.
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post #9 of 32 Old 18th February 2016, 07:58 PM
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IMO a bearing change should be in the budget for any used m5 that one buys.
Regardless of current mileage since 70% of the bearing wear is likely to have occurred during the first 15,000 miles of ownership following BMW's ill advised oil change interval.

Even type 4 or type 5, 10-60 oils with much higher quality base stock than the type 3 hydro treated TWS 10-60 would quickly deplete the VI improvers required for such a wide viscosity range.

Many Blackstone reports show marked viscosity loss after 7,000 miles let alone 13,000 to 15,000 miles intervals.

The 120k motors most likely had a particularly good break in environment (less blow by contamination) as well as the first 45k miles achieved in a short time span (many long trips) in order to minimize wear.
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post #10 of 32 Old 18th February 2016, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PencilGeek View Post
There's only three choices on the market: 1) BMW bearings; 2) VAC Clevite bearings; 3) BE Bearings.
4) WPC

ESS also offer custom bearings, but I don't know if they're genuinely unique, or a re-brand of VAC / WPC.

And of course, there are actually two versions of the BMW bearings - though I don't know if there's any new-old stock left out there of the early version.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PencilGeek View Post
The BMW bearings are known deficient in all the ways being discussed and documented here and on other car forums.
...and yet they generally last 60k miles. I've seen no conclusive evidence to prove that the VAC (which I'm now using), BE or WPC options will do better or worse.

Last edited by jonbly; 18th February 2016 at 09:30 PM.
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