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      05-14-2022, 12:29 AM   #1
Polarbert
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Another Bearing Story

I'd spent a very long time debating whether or not it was necessary to change the rod bearings on my M Roadster. The guy I usually take my car to get serviced said it wasn't really anything to worry about. Generally he is spot on about this engine as he has a lot of experience with it.

With my 2006 car approaching 116,000 miles I took the steps to swap out the bearings for piece of mind, as hopefully I won't be selling the car. In addition I'd had a VANOS exhaust hub upgrade, valve adjustment, and oil change planned. I was a little apprehensive about using another shop but they came very well recommended in the San Diego area.

I was somewhat apprehensive about spending all the money, but I felt validated when the garage called to tell me the OEM exhaust hub had snapped one of the tabs, so that by itself was a miracle it didn't wipe out the timing chain.

I got the car back today and the engine just sounds so much more refined. It probably wouldn't be noticeable to anyone else but having driven this thing 70k miles since I picked it up the difference was immediate.

A lot of the upper bearings had copper showing, which was interesting as my blackstone reports never had more than 1 PPM reported.

Anyway, the money shot is shown in the photos. The upper bearings are on the right and the lower bearings are on the left. I read in the other recent bearings thread that copper showing is not indicative of an impending catastrophic failure, but its definitely given me good piece of mind to do this. There is a close up of the most heavily worn bearing.
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      05-14-2022, 08:42 AM   #2
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A few weeks ago there was another car with similar mileage (125k) and rodbearing pics.
Those bearings were less worn, only 1 shell had some copper shining through:

https://www.zpost.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1918163


I guess there's a reason specialists say that the recommended interval on these bearings is about 50k miles
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Last edited by GuidoK; 05-14-2022 at 10:02 AM..
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      05-14-2022, 09:00 AM   #3
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I'm also glad I got them and vanos done for peace of mind.
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      05-14-2022, 12:25 PM   #4
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Good call on the bearing change. For some reasons, copper doesn't show up well on the Blackstone test.

Even with both taps in place, my car sounds like a can of marbles rattling around between 2k-3k. It now purr like a sewing machine after swapping in the Beisan redrilled hub disc.

BTW, who did all the work for you in San Diego?
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      05-14-2022, 05:22 PM   #5
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It's kind of interesting to see the difference between yours and mine based on mileage. As mentioned in my thread, perhaps the previous 3 owners have kept it low revs for its first 125K miles. That's OK, she's being driven the way she was meant to be now.
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      05-14-2022, 08:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XMetal View Post
Good call on the bearing change. For some reasons, copper doesn't show up well on the Blackstone test.

Even with both taps in place, my car sounds like a can of marbles rattling around between 2k-3k. It now purr like a sewing machine after swapping in the Beisan redrilled hub disc.

BTW, who did all the work for you in San Diego?
Yeah I've noticed my rattling sound at that RPM has completely disappeared. Kind of nice to experience the engine as if I had bought it new.

It was B and B Autohaus. Extremely good service.
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      05-14-2022, 08:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinHEMI View Post
It's kind of interesting to see the difference between yours and mine based on mileage. As mentioned in my thread, perhaps the previous 3 owners have kept it low revs for its first 125K miles. That's OK, she's being driven the way she was meant to be now.
Yes absolutely. I bought the car on 42k so I would assume most of the wear was caused by myself. Which is somewhat strange seeing as I religiously warm the car up before going over 3k or so revs.


Am I being too overcautious limiting the RPM for the first 500 miles? Thats what the shop instructed me to do.
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      05-14-2022, 08:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polarbert View Post
Yes absolutely. I bought the car on 42k so I would assume most of the wear was caused by myself. Which is somewhat strange seeing as I religiously warm the car up before going over 3k or so revs.


Am I being too overcautious limiting the RPM for the first 500 miles? Thats what the shop instructed me to do.
I don't think it hurts to be cautious for a bit. In my thread they suggested no break in necessary, but I too took it easy for a couple hundred miles.
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      05-15-2022, 07:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuidoK View Post

I guess there's a reason specialists say that the recommended interval on these bearings is about 50k miles
Two cars with 100K+ miles and still running just fine. What do you want? Perfect bearings? Iím not dismissing the fact that S54s have a rod bearing maintenance interval. I donít understand cutting it in half ó at least ó based on this evidence. 90K miles on mine, 3 attentive and enthusiastic owners. Iíll get to them, but in the meantime Iíll enjoy all 8K.
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      05-15-2022, 07:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdb View Post
Two cars with 100K+ miles and still running just fine. What do you want? Perfect bearings? Iím not dismissing the fact that S54s have a rod bearing maintenance interval. I donít understand cutting it in half ó at least ó based on this evidence. 90K miles on mine, 3 attentive and enthusiastic owners. Iíll get to them, but in the meantime Iíll enjoy all 8K.
I hate to say it, but I think you may have just jinked yourself 😜
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      05-16-2022, 03:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdb View Post
Two cars with 100K+ miles and still running just fine. What do you want? Perfect bearings? I’m not dismissing the fact that S54s have a rod bearing maintenance interval. I don’t understand cutting it in half — at least — based on this evidence.
The amount of spun bearings on s54's is real.
And correcting that costs probably around 6 times as much (if it isn't more)

There are also people that don't change their oil.
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      05-17-2022, 11:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdb View Post
Two cars with 100K+ miles and still running just fine. What do you want? Perfect bearings? Iím not dismissing the fact that S54s have a rod bearing maintenance interval. I donít understand cutting it in half ó at least ó based on this evidence. 90K miles on mine, 3 attentive and enthusiastic owners. Iíll get to them, but in the meantime Iíll enjoy all 8K.
I'd tend to agree changing earlier would be a waste of money and unnecessary. Someone on Facebook recently had an 08 with 144k that spun. It seems extremely overcautious to have it done at 50k
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      05-18-2022, 12:08 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polarbert View Post
I'd tend to agree changing earlier would be a waste of money and unnecessary. Someone on Facebook recently had an 08 with 144k that spun. It seems extremely overcautious to have it done at 50k
Definitely NOT overcautious of having mine done at 55k, that's for sure! Have you seen my bearings at 55k? Have a look at my thread here => https://www.zpost.com/forums/showthr...y+oil+analysis

Will those last to 70k? 80k? Who knows But I'm glad I didn't take that chance.
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      05-18-2022, 12:16 AM   #14
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Ouch yeah I see what you mean.
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      06-07-2022, 12:23 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polarbert View Post
A lot of the upper bearings had copper showing, which was interesting as my blackstone reports never had more than 1 PPM reported.
I've always thought that Blackstone was borderline snake oil and your experience kind of shows that's the case. But happy you caught your bearings before they failed!

I replaced the bearings in my E46 M3 (US import) racecar a few weeks ago and it's above 10K+ miles. The bearings looked really good and I suspect they were replaced early in it's life during an action in the US.

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