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Old 06-18-2008, 01:28 AM   #1
Len013091
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Question I drive my ZHP hard, should I be concerned?

OK, so, I was reading around the forums and whatnot gathering info about my car. I was learning a lot of new and interesting things... Till I happened upon tim330i's thread about his engine replacement. I searched more, but could not find a thread specifically about correcting the oil pump sprocket issue. So, I would like to get four answers out of this thread:

1: I drive my car hard, high revs, auto-x, etc. From what I can tell, this problem(nut falling off the oil pump sprocket) occurs mainly in engines that are revved a lot(track cars, S52). I would like to know if there is anyone besides tim330i and the other guy(chris-something) how has had their oil pump fail.

2: Should I be concerned about this. I do plan on raising the rev-limiter in my car to 7100 rpm in the future. However, after reading about the oil pump failure, I think this could create a problem later on.

3: I know some companies make kits to fix this on the E36s. Are there any out there for the M54? And, lastly, has anyone performed the fix themselves or, is there a DIY on this site somewhere.

4. Is it worth doing the fix myself to prevent this from happening later on. I want my car to last for atleast 120k miles. I also would like to know that my engine wont grenade in a bad neighborhood at night...

Cliffs:
I don't want my engine to die from oil starvation. How can I prevent that from happening and is it possible to DIY.
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Old 06-18-2008, 03:06 AM   #2
jmueller
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well. the easy answer is to stop driving your engine so hard,
But you should change your oil every 3k miles, invest in an oil cooler and buy a high performance water pump, fuel filter, and oil pump.

If you really drive you car as hard as im thinking you do, you will need to do the preventative maintance at 50k when someone else would do it at 80k.. for example
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Old 06-18-2008, 09:01 AM   #3
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Agreed. If you can afford it, drive the car as hard as you want but it starts to get expensive - id rather use it for mod money.

jmueller: i read on yahoo that the 3k oil change is a myth. ill try to find the link again but basically it said that cars and oils are made a lot better than they were before and the car will tell you when to change the oil. i dont think the e46 can but something to think about with the myth.
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Old 06-18-2008, 09:44 AM   #4
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teleopti,
You are right about the oil. Today's oil additives are better than older oils which allows for extended oil change intervals. If using synthetic oil (which you should be in an E46), the minimum OCI is 7.5k miles. I change my oil every 10k miles simply because I drive my car very conservatively. It also doesn't hurt to throw in a filter change in the middle. As for my '02 E46, it tells me when my car is due for an oil change (based on how spirited/non-spirited my driving style is). I chose to ignore it and change my oil evey even 10k on the odo.

Happy driving!
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Old 06-18-2008, 09:48 AM   #5
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been awhile but i think the dealer suggests every 15k on our cars...i do mine every 5-6k. oil & filter is cheaper than an engine. same with all fluids. the family business is automotive repair(not higher end cars like ours but chevys, dodges, fords, blah blah blah), and i know how expensive some repairs are on them...i dread the days of when having to repair something major on my car.
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Old 06-18-2008, 09:55 AM   #6
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Your engine won't grenade at night in a bad neighborhood if you don't go to bad neighborhoods...

From everything I've ever heard, the engines are developed to withstand high-rpm running, but I don't whether that is sustained or a motor continuously revved to high rpm, as on a track car.
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Old 06-18-2008, 10:18 AM   #7
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Little OT but I just read an article on how much oil is wasted each year because so many people do not follow the manufacturers guidelines or they believe that oil still needs to be changed every 3000 miles.

Alot of oil could be saved if people read up on today's engine oils.

See Post #152 in this thread about the potential "oil pump issue" we are faced with.

This is a ZHP Engine being dismantled....

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...=571527&page=8
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Old 06-18-2008, 10:21 AM   #8
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Old 06-18-2008, 10:29 AM   #9
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I have been doing research on this very topic since my engine, 41k miles, just suffered a lifter and camshaft issue. It's in the shop right now being repaired.

What I've learned so far...

1) The OPN (oil pump nut) *can* be an issue on M54 engines. Bimmerworld has a fix, but I read welding the nut in place is the best solution.

2) The pump spline can fail from harmonic vibrations. The VAC replacement is also prone to failure. The only oil pump solution is the now discontinued TC Kline replacement pump. Why it's discontinued I do not know.

3) Oil starvation is an issue in tracked and autocrossed M54s, how severe depends on the turn in question and the RPMs you're pulling. Some notice valve/lifter noise after an auto-x run or track session. This was my experience, lifter tick after sessions that did not go away.

4) Comments I've found indicate running the car at idle for a while after the lifter tick starts will restore oil flow to the affected lifter and the noise will stop.

5) One solution for the oil starvation issue is a VAC oil pan baffle installed in the oil pan. This is a labor intensive update requiring 5-6 hours of labor to remove the oil pan, removal of the front subframe is required. Bimmerworld has the baffle.

6) Another solution is an accusump. My research shows that the oil pan baffle is required even with the accusump.

7) Your choice of oil may have an impact as well. FWIW, I have learned that Mobil 1 0w40 is NOT up to track duty. The recommended oil is BMW 5w30 Synthetic, or if thicker oil is desired, Castrol TWS 10w60 (M oil). My source shared with me that he has repaired five E36 M3 engines with oil related problems... they were running Redline oil religiously. He has had no known failures from engines using BMW oil.

What am I doing about it? I'm getting the oil pan baffle and while in there, having my wrench look into the OPN situation and maybe the oil pump spline if he feels it is a necessary upgrade. While it is apart I'm also having the front subframe reinforcement kit from Turner installed, as well as possibly upgrading the engine mounts. My car has 41k on the clock and has been to 24 track days and counting.

I have had zero issues until this point and was quite surprised. Fortunately I'm still under warranty and I will be looking for an aftermarket drivetrain warranty before it expires.
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Old 06-18-2008, 01:30 PM   #10
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Thank's jvr826. Yes, I do drive my car hard, but I maintain it as well. I check the oil every week, coolant about once a month. It's just this oil pump failure that's got me worried because tim's car only had 48k miles on it.
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Old 06-18-2008, 01:39 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Len013091 View Post
Thank's jvr826. Yes, I do drive my car hard, but I maintain it as well. I check the oil every week, coolant about once a month. It's just this oil pump failure that's got me worried because tim's car only had 48k miles on it.
Hopefully you're not following BMW recommendations and are changing your oil more frequently. I have been doing mine every 7500 miles, but I think in light of the situation, I may reduce the interval to 5000 miles. I am also due for an oil analysis, it has been about 20,000 miles since I did the last one.

The big bummer about this whole situation with the oil pump nut is that if it falls off, there is absolutely no saving your engine. Chances are you will be driving it as it should be driven at the time, won't notice the red oil light, and blammo, done deal.

I really want to get a set of extended gauges for my car that include oil temperature and pressure along with a brighter warning light. Unfortunately I have navigation, and no one makes a solution that will allow me to elegantly install these gauges. KrisL has a one off from Leatherz, Andy is not interested in ever making another one of those. That is a major bummer because I certainly would buy it.
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Old 06-18-2008, 02:40 PM   #12
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Yes, I change my oil every 5k miles and will be getting an oil analysis at the end of this 5k miles. I'm just about to purchase a set of gauges(oil, oil temp, and voltage). I wonder if BMW would cover this out of warranty since it's a serious design flaw.
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Old 06-18-2008, 03:13 PM   #13
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I drive my car hard. At least I think I do. When I'm out and about I think most of my driving is conservative, and at times where I need to move around in traffic I'll get my car into the high RPMs. I would think I drive it hard 5% of the time. My car has 92,000 miles on it and no signs of any problems. I change my oil every 7,500 miles and I've not really stuck with a single brand of oil. I've been switching it up using, Castrol, Mobil1, Lubro Moly, Pentosin, Royal Purple, & Motul. They all seem to do the job well and I don't notice a difference in my regular street driving.

I'm going to be testing a product not available to public stores that works on super lubricating which is currently having great results in large infrastructure equipment. What is does it mainly attract oil to where the heat is. Regular oil wants to get away from heat where that's where you need it most. I'll be doing my trials on my next fluid change which is very soon. I'll be using the product on engine oil, diff, and tranny fluids to maximize friction reduction. My results will be posted if I feel that this could benefit the E46 community.
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Old 06-18-2008, 05:46 PM   #14
etomori
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvr826 View Post
I have been doing research on this very topic since my engine, 41k miles, just suffered a lifter and camshaft issue. It's in the shop right now being repaired.

What I've learned so far...

1) The OPN (oil pump nut) *can* be an issue on M54 engines. Bimmerworld has a fix, but I read welding the nut in place is the best solution.

2) The pump spline can fail from harmonic vibrations. The VAC replacement is also prone to failure. The only oil pump solution is the now discontinued TC Kline replacement pump. Why it's discontinued I do not know.

3) Oil starvation is an issue in tracked and autocrossed M54s, how severe depends on the turn in question and the RPMs you're pulling. Some notice valve/lifter noise after an auto-x run or track session. This was my experience, lifter tick after sessions that did not go away.

4) Comments I've found indicate running the car at idle for a while after the lifter tick starts will restore oil flow to the affected lifter and the noise will stop.

5) One solution for the oil starvation issue is a VAC oil pan baffle installed in the oil pan. This is a labor intensive update requiring 5-6 hours of labor to remove the oil pan, removal of the front subframe is required. Bimmerworld has the baffle.

6) Another solution is an accusump. My research shows that the oil pan baffle is required even with the accusump.

7) Your choice of oil may have an impact as well. FWIW, I have learned that Mobil 1 0w40 is NOT up to track duty. The recommended oil is BMW 5w30 Synthetic, or if thicker oil is desired, Castrol TWS 10w60 (M oil). My source shared with me that he has repaired five E36 M3 engines with oil related problems... they were running Redline oil religiously. He has had no known failures from engines using BMW oil.

What am I doing about it? I'm getting the oil pan baffle and while in there, having my wrench look into the OPN situation and maybe the oil pump spline if he feels it is a necessary upgrade. While it is apart I'm also having the front subframe reinforcement kit from Turner installed, as well as possibly upgrading the engine mounts. My car has 41k on the clock and has been to 24 track days and counting.

I have had zero issues until this point and was quite surprised. Fortunately I'm still under warranty and I will be looking for an aftermarket drivetrain warranty before it expires.
jvr826 Are you also having your "valves freshened up?" I had, among other things, issues with my camshaft bearings, lobes and lifters, on my 03 ZHP at 42,000 miles. Additionally, had worn exhaust valve guides. At that time, it was covered under warranty. After the fix, had oil consumption issues, 600 to 800 miles per quart, and was an inconvenience on long trips to Bend, OR and Seattle, WA.

Seems that when you do a valve job on a ZHP which had led a "hard" life at around 45,000 miles, you should also freshen up the rings as well as check the lower end. The higher compression caused by the value job on an engine with such mileage seems to have created an imbalance between the condition of the values and the rings and the net result is blow-by of oil past the rings. Note that synthetic oil does not generally smoke out of the exhaust like dino-based oil. In fact, I have not seem any "smoke" out of the exhaust and there is no evidence of leakage on the garage floor nor on the underside of the vehicle. The oil separation unit appears to be working properly.

After constance complaints to my dealer, an oil consumption test was run to document the consumption and after the fifth court, my vehicle is going in for an extended stay in the shop. There is enough documentation that the vehicle had problems and the warranty work previously done did not resolve the problem(s) or exacerbated other problems.

My gut feeling is that the previous owner, though maintaining and servicing the car to BMW specs as the factory service records show, drove the vehicle very hard. My experience with other vehicles show that when you drive them hard, even with proper maintenance, things will break.

Perhaps you should have the head really checked over and if a valve job is to be done, either minor or major, you should have the rings and lower unit bearings checked out. This would prevent continuing issues regarding oil consumption when existing piston rings cannot effectively seal against the higher pressures in the combustion chamber as a result of a fresh top end.

Just a comment from my experience with a ZHP with issues. Otherwise, I like the way vehicle drives, just need it to be a bit more reliable. If you plan to keep it beyond the initital warranty period, would seriously recommend getting a factory extended warranty, or a good after-market one (ask your dealer which warranty companies are the good ones).
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Old 06-18-2008, 06:00 PM   #15
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I am 9000 miles away from my warranty expiring, and I just bought the car off lease one month ago. If these jokers **** my engine up, I'm going to be very angry. at this point I believe they are only replacing the lifter, possibly all of them, and the exhaust camshaft. I will speak with the TEch when I pick the car up to find out what exactly was done.

I have access to a great independent mechanic who will care for my car after the warranty period is up. I think at this point I've accepted the fact that if I use this car the way I intended to use it when I ordered it in 2005, then I will have some issues to deal with. I did not buy this car to go to the mall or Starbucks, I bought this car to thrash in the mountains and learn as much as I can at the racetrack during my hobby time at HPDEs.

In my opinion, there should be no reason for the mechanic to do anything other than the lifters and the camshaft. The car had zero issues and I expect it will have zero issues when I get it back. the sad part is, 9000 miles can go by pretty quickly and I don't have a dealership very nearby. As it is I had to travel two hours each direction to bring the car in last week. Fortunately they have a great loaner car program and I'm not too inconvenienced right now.
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Old 06-20-2008, 02:48 PM   #16
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Here's a video of how tight the nut was on my oil pump. http://media.putfile.com/Oil-pump-nut

Here's the modified pump


I'm not sure if I can still get one of these pumps made but PM me if you're interested.

While changing the oil pump it's also a good time to reinforce the motor mount ears, new motor mounts, and install an oil pan baffle



Last edited by vaio76109; 06-20-2008 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 06-20-2008, 04:16 PM   #17
Len013091
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^ Wow, that's discomforting... if you can get one of those pumps made, I'd be interested.
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Old 07-15-2008, 06:41 PM   #18
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Thought I'd post an update. I got my car back from the dealer and they replaced the collapsed lifter and the exhaust camshaft, plus did vanos seals and put it all back together. The car is smooth and quiet.

I also had the oil pan baffle put in along with front subframe reinforcements and rear swaybar reinforcements. My wrench did a loc-tite job on the oil pump spline and the nut. His theory is the spline vibrates and makes the nut get loose, so he picked up the slack. He said the nut was fine and it had loc-tite on it from the factory.

I'll be going to the track again this weekend to play for two days in some 100 degree heat. Can't wait!
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Old 07-17-2008, 04:40 PM   #19
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Vaio: do you have a source for the upgraded E46 oil pumps? Are you referring to the discontinued TC Kline pump or the VAC upgrade kit?

Thanks,

Jasper
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Old 07-17-2008, 06:31 PM   #20
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Vaio: do you have a source for the upgraded E46 oil pumps? Are you referring to the discontinued TC Kline pump or the VAC upgrade kit?

Thanks,

Jasper
I just called him and left him a message. No it's not the VAC upgrade kit or TCK pump, but it is very similar to the TCK pump.
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