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Old 06-13-2019, 01:16 PM   #1
joe1602
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Default Spun Bearing. How do I know if I can save the motor?

About 3/4 of the way through my driving school with the BMW Car Club at WGI over the past weekend, I damaged my engine. Had a rattling noise that I first thought was 2 other cars passing me, I did not feel it in the car. Then a big cough & bang at the same time and then a nasty rattling that sounded like silverware in a garbage disposal. Parked the car & had it towed home. Drained the oil & found many metal shaving & chunks of metal in the oil & oil filter. Removed the valve cover to check the timing chain tensioner & was all ok. There were no metal shaving or flakes in the areas that I could see. Then pulled the oil pan off, and found several chunks of metal in the pan and the connecting rod and cap for cylinder #2 was rattling/loose with metal shavings/shards coming out of the area where the bearing should be. I am going to pull the cap off tonight to see what shape the crank is in. I am working in unknown territory at this point for me. I do not possess the tools, knowledge, or experience to diagnose or fix a problem like this. I am hoping to post pictures later today. Any information or guidance would be greatly appreciated. BTW: while it was running, the was great & I had a blast!
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Old 06-13-2019, 01:48 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear that happened. Did you see the oil pressure light come on prior to the bang? Oil starvation can occur on long constant corners, which WGI has a few. That's why some 6 cyl guys install oil pan baffles or, the better method of, dual oil pan pickups like an S54 has.

As for your M44, best bet would be to take it apart and then find a good machine shop to check the crank and block. They should be able to let you know if it's repairable and how much it will cost.

Not knowing what your budget is, once you start taking the bottom end apart the snowball effect of replacing wear items can start happening. You could talk to VAC or Metric Mechanic to get their take. If you want to keep tracking the M44 it would be worth installing some kind of oil pan baffle or other parts to keep it reliable out there.
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Old 06-13-2019, 02:37 PM   #3
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It happened as I was exiting the toe of the boot, the long uphill right that leads to the uphill straight and the heel of the boot. The car struggled there. I didn't have too much problem with the esses as I had quite a bit of momentum by the time I got to the bottom of them. To the best of my knowledge, the oil pressure light did not come on. I did pay attention to my gauges quite a bit and am pretty sure it did not come on. I am basically just trying to get it back on its feet right now. I am not sure I want to track it anymore, just for the fact that I like the car so much & don't really want to abuse/destroy it anymore that I already have. Thinking about finding a ti that has a 6 cylinder conversion already & then switching all of the suspension over. I am hoping the crank is OK and that I can possibly replace the bearings and get it running again. But as I said before, I am in a bit over my head right now. Hopefully will have pictures posted later today/tonight. Thanks for your info & advice! Greatly appreciated!
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Old 06-13-2019, 10:02 PM   #4
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Here are some pictures of the destroyed bearing. Crank, and connecting rod cap. Also of the bearing while it was still in as well ad the debris in the oil pan. The only places I found metal shavings/pieces was in the pan and oil filter.
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Old 06-13-2019, 10:04 PM   #5
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Here are the rest.
Attached Thumbnails
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Click image for larger version Name:	20190613_163543.jpg Views:	23 Size:	39.7 KB ID:	17711  
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Old 06-13-2019, 10:29 PM   #6
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Wow, I'm surprised the crank doesn't look worse. At least the diagnosis was fairly easy. Looks salvageable, but only the machine shop will know for sure.
If you are happy with the 4 cylinder and just want it back on the road ASAP, I'm sure a good machine shop can get it done, but depending damage, you may spend nearly what a swap would cost.
I've found the local Facebook BMW page to be a good resource. Maybe put up an ISO ad, you'd be surprised how many people have spare parts/engines they are willing to sell at a good price.
Good luck. Let us know how it goes.
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Old 06-14-2019, 07:21 AM   #7
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Sorry hear about that! At least it happened with the car being used well and working hard! Instead of being in traffic.

Like Motts said, I am surprised that it didn't do more damage, you might be able to pick up a m44 for cheap. I know when I did my swap I sold my complete m44/trans/harness/DME etc for 800, and it ran perfectly. I don't know how much it would cost to fix what you have, but regardless the m44 will need to be pulled, either to replace or fix, but good luck!
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Old 06-14-2019, 01:26 PM   #8
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Hey Joe,

Sorry to hear! I'd suggest grabbing another m44 and dropping that in (for the quick/easy/cheap solution) - m44's are (generally) a dime a dozen and not too difficult to source.

Granted it's down in Georgia, but there's a potential candidate up for sale on here right now (I'm sure there are others, this was the first that popped up):

http://www.318ti.org/forum/showthread.php?t=44610

Good luck and hopefully you get everything squared away sooner than later, sir!
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Old 06-14-2019, 04:21 PM   #9
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Thanks guys, I appreciate all of the input. Still trying to decide what I am going to do with it. I probably will not track it anymore because I think it was just too much for the motor (at least at WGI). I don't really think I want to do a 6 cylinder swap because it is a relatively rare one and I don't think it should be butchered too much! As I said before, I don't really have the space, tools, or knowledge to do too much on my own. Will keep you posted & thanks again!
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