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Which engine option would you choose?

  • New Engine ($20k)

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  • CarBahn Rebuilt Engine ($20k)

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Discussion Starter #1
It has been a while since I have posted here and I was actually about to post all the suspension work I recently performed on my M3. I just completed the sub-frame reinforcement (Turner kit) along with a complete suspension part refresh front and back along with some upgraded parts (Turner front and rear sway bars and rear control arms and powerflex bushings all around). I also have H&R coilovers which were purchased and installed a few years back.

After all of this work, parts and labor (approx $6k), I just blew my engine. Engine was making a fanning noise and started to run a little hot, next thing I know car turns off. Towed to my mechanic and he says its terminal, cannot pinpoint exactly the damage but said I would definitely need a new engine. After recharging the battery they were able to start it to hear what was going on but could not tell me the extent unless he performed an "autopsy".

Now to the point of the post. I have 3 options I can choose from and wanted to get some input from the community.

1. New engine from BMW at a cost of $15,000 with tax and an install price of $4-5k. $20k total which is basically a new car

2. Used engine sourced from my mechanic from a reputable seller with 88k miles on it. This comes with a 5 year 50k mile warranty for both parts and labor. Approx $10k total cost.

3. Purchase complete rebuilt engine from CarBahn Autoworks (owed by Steve Dinan). "S54 3.3L street engine rebuild is blueprinted and balanced, and features CP forged pistons and Carrillo forged connecting rods. We increase the bore by 1mm (which increases the displacement to 3320cc) and bump the compression from 11.5:1 to 12:1. A multi-layer steel (MLS) racing head gasket is also utilized." Engine hp is increased to 375. Cost of the engine is $14k and comes with 2 year unlimited mile warranty. Total cost appox $20k. I would also have to ship them my current engine to obtain the $14k price - and there cannot be any core damage to the engine otherwise it will cost another $2,500.

I have owned this '04 M3 since I was 22 (14 years!) and purchased it with 12k miles, the car now has approx 140k miles and it just became my weekend/project car. The main reason I want to replace the engine and keep the car is because it has a lot of sentimental value to me. I have taken such good car over the years that everyone who sees it cannot believe the mileage. I have pumped a lot of money and time recently into upgrading the suspension and rear sub-frame reinforcement and most imporatnly I still have a smile on my face every time I drive her.

I have $10k in a slush fund for stuff like this that I can use, everything else would be put on a credit card to give you an idea of the financial aspect. Looking forward to hearing the communities feedback.
 

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Find another mechanic. Pull the engine and do the autopsy then talk. I've seen used M3 S54 motors for $5K, of course they'd probably need to also be checked out.
 

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Sorry to hear that. I know the car has sentimental value but if you end up wanting to sell the roller let me know.

If you're going to do the swap, buy a used motor that you know is good (compression test, etc). Even if the seller claims rod bearings were done do them again. Replace all the orings and seals that are hard to get to (oil pan, fms, rms, cpv, ofhg, etc). Inspect exhaust hubs on VANOS, if broken replace immediately.

Once its installed you can address the vanos later on when you have the budget.
 

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I just blew my engine. Engine was making a fanning noise and started to run a little hot, next thing I know car turns off.

....After recharging the battery they were able to start it to hear what was going on but could not tell me the extent unless he performed an "autopsy"
Did the temperature go to the red?
fanning noise? like a cooling fan turning?
at the shop when restarted again, any unusual noise?

I don't know why people start talking about new engine even no concrete data yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Did the temperature go to the red?
fanning noise? like a cooling fan turning?
at the shop when restarted again, any unusual noise?

I don't know why people start talking about new engine even no concrete data yet.
By the time I pulled over the indicator was slightly in the red zone and the oil temp was a bit past center. However the noise coming from the engine was pretty noisy, did not sound good. My mechanic was able to run the engine after they juiced up the battery so he could hear the noise and check everything out. He and several of his crew looked at it and said it was terminal. I do trust him as he is one of the most honest people I have ever met, and he has always been straight with me. I doubt he would lie about it since he was unaware that I was even willing to put in a new engine. Reputable shop that work exclusively on BMW and Mercedes. With that said would you suggest I get a second opinion? Believe he would have to start taking apart the engine to figure out what exactly happened. His guess is lack of cooling or oil flow.
 

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A noise could be a lot of things. What kind of noise? Grinding, banging, high pitched, whistling, rattling? Rod bearing noise - that can be checked at tdc with a screwdriver or long rod.

If they were able to run it, can they run a compression test?

They should be able to tell you what they "think" it is to call it terminal.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

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By the time I pulled over the indicator was slightly in the red zone and the oil temp was a bit past center. However the noise coming from the engine was pretty noisy, did not sound good. My mechanic was able to run the engine after they juiced up the battery so he could hear the noise and check everything out. He and several of his crew looked at it and said it was terminal. I do trust him as he is one of the most honest people I have ever met, and he has always been straight with me. I doubt he would lie about it since he was unaware that I was even willing to put in a new engine. Reputable shop that work exclusively on BMW and Mercedes. With that said would you suggest I get a second opinion? Believe he would have to start taking apart the engine to figure out what exactly happened. His guess is lack of cooling or oil flow.
AS I've already said, get. a. second. opinion. A definitive one will require at a minimum a leak down test if not an engine disassembly.
 

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I'll echo some sentiments here, figure out the actual problem with the engine. It may be possible that you'll be able to rebuild it at a significant discount versus a new one. If it is rebuildable then you could even upgrade internals, etc.
 

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Noisy engine and high coolant temperature, then engine shut down. What is the cause?

Water pump falling apart making noise. Led to overheat; coolant got in combustion chambers.

so why the car was not pulled over when the needle moved to red zone? Was the car bogged down loosing power not responsive with the pedal before it died?

lost oil pressure would be terminal, but you should have seen the yellow then red oil light.

lost coolant flow sounds more likely and this is not terminal.

Check if loosing coolant slowly. Post pictures of 6 spark plugs to see signs of coolant entering. Maybe just a new head needed.
 
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