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      01-03-2013, 02:17 PM   #1
gmd2003
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Exclamation If you track your Z4M and think your bearings are fine look at this pic

Picture is of my upper rod bearings, on my 2006 Z4M with 64,000 miles (5,000 on track) running with zero issues. Oil has been always at maximum with 3,000 mile total or 4 track day intervals (Castrol TWS 10w60). Car has never been run with low oil levels or had an oil temp related limp mode, and for the past year has been run with an upgraded oil cooler. This is the only thing which saved me from a total failure. There was zero signs of trouble , i just replaced the bearings with Bimmerworlds race bearing kit as a peace of mind maintenance project. The lower bearings were much better but still had significant wear. The 5 and 6 cylinder bearings were the worst which is consistent with an oiling issue most likely due to high temp, high rpm situations on track pre oil cooler. Bearings not in order in the pic. Moral of the story is don't assume the stock bearings are in good shape! Sometimes going with your gut can save your rear.
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      01-03-2013, 02:20 PM   #2
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uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

pardon my frustration =/
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      01-03-2013, 02:26 PM   #3
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Question: Does TWS provide adequate protection for HPDE use?

Wiped bearings are result of hydordyamic lubrication failure, which are caused by, low oil pressure, oil starvation, low oil viscosity, inadequate film strength of the oil. If only there were an oil that performed better than TWS in the situations.....
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      01-03-2013, 02:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennyfrc View Post
Question: Does TWS provide adequate protection for HPDE use?

Wiped bearings are result of hydordyamic lubrication failure, which are caused by, low oil pressure, oil starvation, low oil viscosity, inadequate film strength of the oil. If only there were an oil that performed better than TWS in the situations.....
Well it did not in this situation, I believe it was due to loss of adequate film strength due to high temperature/ film strength degradation. My car does have a ESS Vt-1 kit thus I def wanted to get cooler oil temps bc i w as concerned this was happening on track. Was running 250's now seldom see 215. With cooler oil and more of it , along with stronger bearings , I believe I will have solved the issue. I will follow up with some Blackstone reports to look at oil degradation/dilution, but am not eager to experiment with other oils as TWS is very very good.
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      01-03-2013, 03:02 PM   #5
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no biggy for me.... cars on 11k miles, ill get them done by 30k....

i do wonder how much more stress supercharging is adding to this piece ;-)

i have a very large additional oil cooler that really keeps things in check.... however bearing upgrade is clearly essential at some point.

OP link to your bearing upgrade kit?
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      01-03-2013, 03:07 PM   #6
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Did you ever do black stone analysis?
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      01-03-2013, 03:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beedub View Post
no biggy for me.... cars on 11k miles, ill get them done by 30k....

i do wonder how much more stress supercharging is adding to this piece ;-)

i have a very large additional oil cooler that really keeps things in check.... however bearing upgrade is clearly essential at some point.

OP link to your bearing upgrade kit?
http://store.bimmerworld.com/s54-rod...kit-p1020.aspx
Comes with ARP rod bolts as well. "The bearings we use in our kits have been treated with a process that not only smoothes the grain structure in the surface of the bearing, but also aids in oil retention, providing more lubricity in this critical area of the S54 engine." I like it because the metal is treated not coated. The main issue is the high temp/ high rpm track use but I'm sure the extra load from a blower sure isn't helping
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      01-03-2013, 03:16 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Kgolf31 View Post
Did you ever do black stone analysis?
I did not, I assumed the oil was getting beat up thus the frequent changes (every 4 track days) and the desire to get an oil cooler. I was not expecting my bearings to look that bad!
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      01-03-2013, 03:53 PM   #9
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HTHS Castrol TWS 5.4

HTHS Redline 10W-60 6.7(25% higher)

Once you shear past film strength the last line of defense before metal to metal contact is Zinc and Phosphorus.

ZDDP Redline Z&P= >1200PPM

ZDDP TWS Z&P 800/650PPM

It really boils down to these numbers and not how you "FEEL" about a particular oil or brand. Show me another 10W-60 oil with better numbers than this and I will use it!
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      01-03-2013, 04:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennyfrc View Post
HTHS Castrol TWS 5.4

HTHS Redline 10W-60 6.7(25% higher)

Once you shear past film strength the last line of defense before metal to metal contact is Zinc and Phosphorus.

ZDDP Redline Z&P= >1200PPM

ZDDP TWS Z&P 800/650PPM

It really boils down to these numbers and not how you "FEEL" about a particular oil or brand. Show me another 10W-60 oil with better numbers than this and I will use it!
I def agree on the Z&P , I was actually adding Redline additive to the TWS to get the Z&P over 1200 and it didn't help. I would not feel safe just from an oil product change in this case, it is only one part of the issue. You must address temperature and the bearings themselves as well.
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      01-03-2013, 04:54 PM   #11
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For the S50 and S54 it's normal to change the bearing caps (and sometimes oil pump) @ 70k-125k km (45k-80k miles), also on cars that haven't been tracked.
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      01-03-2013, 05:17 PM   #12
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I'm not particularly surprised by this, PAL showed similar wear after 50 track days as well. (But I am very happy you posted this, it's great information!) I simply look at this as a maintenance cost associated with track use, not as something to get overly concerned about. This serves as a great heads up for those of us who use the car in this manner. I suspect that if we were to take a look at any engine with 5K track miles it's going to show wear in some areas. FI, even more so.

If we assume 100 miles/event, it comes out to the same (5K track miles). It's only two data points so far (that I'm aware of), but it looks like planning (and budgeting) to replace bearings at 3k - 4k track miles is a good plan. If FI, then maybe on the lower side of that. I'm personally going to go with the lower end since I'm the second owner, and I didn't get a chance to interogate (er, ask) the prior owner about how they drove the car.

If you're using the car at the track, it's wise to keep records of track miles, temps, and change intervals. Goes w/o saying that more frequent oil changes are a must. Even a street car would benefit by going no more than 4K miles based on the UATs I've seen posted here. Personally I'm changing out my oil every 3 track days since I typically run in hot conditions.

I tend not to wind the car out to redline consistently or "float" the engine at redline when at the track. I tend to shift about 7K. Yes, this costs me in terms of absolute HP, and maybe costs me a shift or two as well, but since there's no money in it for me, and it's for fun (and improvement), I don't see it being worth it. (There's more to gain anyway in getting faster in/out of corners, and with improved braking techniques, than by whipping the engine to a frenzy at all times IMO anyway.)

My shop also recommends an increased volume oil pump (VAC Motorsport) for the S54, as they think that at high-revs under track conditions the S54 could use some help. (They've done this for their S54 powered race car.) When I do the bearings, I'm doing the pump as well.
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      01-03-2013, 05:50 PM   #13
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I agree with the above, 64k miles on the car, 5k of it track miles and supercharged on top of that.

Averaging 100mph on the track and it would take 50 hours of this severe use and then add in other 59k miles of general use.

I would say not too bad considering what the repair cost after all of this use. It's also hard to say what the FI does to the wear.
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      01-03-2013, 07:33 PM   #14
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I believe the upgraded oil pump is necessary for the s54 for track use. Glad you got it fixed before.......
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      01-04-2013, 10:02 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finnegan View Post
I'm not particularly surprised by this, PAL showed similar wear after 50 track days as well. (But I am very happy you posted this, it's great information!) I simply look at this as a maintenance cost associated with track use, not as something to get overly concerned about. This serves as a great heads up for those of us who use the car in this manner. I suspect that if we were to take a look at any engine with 5K track miles it's going to show wear in some areas. FI, even more so.

If we assume 100 miles/event, it comes out to the same (5K track miles). It's only two data points so far (that I'm aware of), but it looks like planning (and budgeting) to replace bearings at 3k - 4k track miles is a good plan. If FI, then maybe on the lower side of that. I'm personally going to go with the lower end since I'm the second owner, and I didn't get a chance to interogate (er, ask) the prior owner about how they drove the car.

If you're using the car at the track, it's wise to keep records of track miles, temps, and change intervals. Goes w/o saying that more frequent oil changes are a must. Even a street car would benefit by going no more than 4K miles based on the UATs I've seen posted here. Personally I'm changing out my oil every 3 track days since I typically run in hot conditions.

I tend not to wind the car out to redline consistently or "float" the engine at redline when at the track. I tend to shift about 7K. Yes, this costs me in terms of absolute HP, and maybe costs me a shift or two as well, but since there's no money in it for me, and it's for fun (and improvement), I don't see it being worth it. (There's more to gain anyway in getting faster in/out of corners, and with improved braking techniques, than by whipping the engine to a frenzy at all times IMO anyway.)

My shop also recommends an increased volume oil pump (VAC Motorsport) for the S54, as they think that at high-revs under track conditions the S54 could use some help. (They've done this for their S54 powered race car.) When I do the bearings, I'm doing the pump as well.
Good post, and I completely agree!

For those that run on the street only, my shop said swapping the rod bearings probably wasn't necessary, even at 100k miles for me. They have seen a lot of S54's come through, and it's really only those that are tracked that have issues.
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      01-05-2013, 01:53 PM   #16
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Quote:
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I believe the upgraded oil pump is necessary for the s54 for track use. Glad you got it fixed before.......
I disagree , maintaining an effective oil pressure and lubrication of the bearings is what is essential . I preferred fixing the cause of lower oil pressure .. The high temperatures on the track with a much improved oil cooler . In addition it increased the oil volume which also reduces sheer stress per unit of oil without the extra stress of pumping hot oil at a 20% higher rate to maintain the pressure I now have due to lower temps . Also the treated bearings are proven to hold on to lubrication much better than stock bearings, thus correcting both shortcomings of the S54 on track .
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      01-05-2013, 03:33 PM   #17
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Interesting points. So you're saying that the higher temperatures are what really caused the lower oil pressure, and decreased volume? You're also saying that increasing the flow rate with an upgraded pump will cause the oil to degrade faster and actually contribute to problems? So to sum things up: keep the oil temperature lower and get better bearings. That addresses the shortcomings.

Am I understanding correctly?
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      01-05-2013, 04:14 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Interesting points. So you're saying that the higher temperatures are what really caused the lower oil pressure, and decreased volume? You're also saying that increasing the flow rate with an upgraded pump will cause the oil to degrade faster and actually contribute to problems? So to sum things up: keep the oil temperature lower and get better bearings. That addresses the shortcomings.

Am I understanding correctly?
I am saying , that I am 100% sure my oil level was fine , bearing failure was due to an oiling problem at the bearing due to inadequate film strength ,in this case high temperature/rpm related . The higher the temperature the lower an oils CST, and lower its viscosity becomes . Get the viscosity low enough and oil pressure drops , you can compensate for this by increasing the viscosity of the oil at baseline ( BMW original solution going to 10w60) improving the oil holding properties of the bearing , increasing oil pump flow to maintain pressure with lower viscosity at track temps , or reducing the engine temp . And yes increasing the oil flow may actually increase shearing forces on the oil as well as lead to seal failure when the engine is run hard at street temps ( much higher than necessary oil pressures.
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      01-05-2013, 04:38 PM   #19
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Thanks. Like anything, engineering solutions have pluses and minuses. So for a mixed use (not track only) car the solution you went with may be the better solution.
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      01-05-2013, 07:39 PM   #20
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Interesting discussion, are there any bolt-on uprated oil coolers? I was also thinking of the VAC upgraded oil pump.
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      01-05-2013, 09:50 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Interesting discussion, are there any bolt-on uprated oil coolers? I was also thinking of the VAC upgraded oil pump.
I went with an M6 OEM oil cooler with braided lines and AN fittings . The trick is a mounting solution for what ever core you choose . Fortunately , Fluid Motor Union developed a setup as a one off for someone else and still had extras for the bracket setup . It's really nice kit , it was 1,600 total . My oil temps on track in SC heat has gone from 250+ to 215 and that is with a non intercooler supercharger setup .
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      01-05-2013, 10:11 PM   #22
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Did you look at your mains bearings? Usually, oiling issues will show up everywhere, including camshaft bearing surfaces. Going to an upgraded oil pump or oil cooler may not have done much as it seems to me you just have wear from racing, particularly at constant high rpm.

Lots of Supra guys running OEM blocks with over 100,000 miles on massive turbos have seen bearings looking like they were never used, but not many guys run the engines at 8000rpm or prolonged track use.

Goodluck! Looks like a maintenance item for these motors.
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