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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > N54 Turbo Engine / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications - 335i > Journal: N54 Total Engine Rebuild & Upgraded Internals



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      12-11-2010, 01:14 PM   #23
toxicnerve
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That's a great write up Tony backed with interesting pictures and the anticipation of more to come!

Couple of quick questions for you:

1. How much do you think you've spent on the car (excluding initial purchase cost) on all the mods you have done? I know a lot of wrench time has gone into your car so I'm intrigued to know what this level of modding costs.

2. With all the mods in place, what sort of insurance costs are you incurring and with whom do you have your policy? I know you drive your car on the road (not just track) and having heard insane stories about increases for lip-spoilers etc I am again interested to know what it costs to run a car with this level of modification...
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      12-11-2010, 01:35 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E92Fan View Post
The honest truth is that we have no idea why there is such abnormal wear. Yes the car lives a lot of its life on the Nurburgring, but equally it is exceptionally well maintained and regularly inspected. The Nurburgring doesn't actually pose that many challenges to an engine - if anything, a circuit like Laguna Seca is more demanding on an engine in terms of oil lubrication and starvation because it's a much smaller track with greater frequency of corners within the same time frame.

The engine is now being loaded up with data logging equipment so I can directly measure things like oil pressure and exhaust gas temperatures.
Laguna Seca has been described as a big auto cross course, and it has lots of elevation change. It is hard on brakes, but unlike the ring (I have not been on the ring, but like many of us, I have watched many laps of it) the engine isn't going to be under heavy load for extended periods of time.

All that load and its associated heat could be part of your piston swelling problem.

Just a thought.
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      12-11-2010, 01:48 PM   #25
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      12-11-2010, 02:02 PM   #26
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Tony - amazing levels of work! I think the wear evident on the components within your engine is absolutley shocking to say the least......I wouldn't expect to see such wear at 200,000 miles let alone 50k!!

I think (with respect) it is rude to ask the costs, but it is fair to assume it is running into the multiple 1000's!
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      12-11-2010, 02:32 PM   #27
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Great thread! What is blueprinting and what does it do?
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      12-11-2010, 02:36 PM   #28
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*Mouth dropping!* Simply amazing what you have going on here sir! I've been praying for internals for God knows how long! I'm really looking forward to the results; I'm sure you'll end up with one of the highest HP motors for sure!

Stupid question, but approximately how long is this project anticipated to last?
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      12-11-2010, 02:56 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Dave View Post
I think (with respect) it is rude to ask the costs, but it is fair to assume it is running into the multiple 1000's!
Just curious, makes no odds to me and no offence was intended!! It's the insurance aspect that was most intrigued by...
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      12-11-2010, 03:18 PM   #30
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Wow Tony! I hope someone made a list of how all those parts go back together
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      12-11-2010, 03:54 PM   #31
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Wow. Disturbing. My old 2002tii engine looked better than that at 270k miles.
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      12-11-2010, 04:35 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themetz View Post
Wow Tony! I hope someone made a list of how all those parts go back together
It is worse than it looks, engines aren't all that complex.......to a degree!

Having said that, Tony must have some balls to have all that done to his motor!
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      12-11-2010, 04:38 PM   #33
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Tony - I have previously queried the viscosity of the Fuchs/Silkolene engine oil you use, it is thicker then recommended by BMW - particularly on startup. I know that you feel this offers better protection at high temps (on the track), but we know that 90% of engine wear occurs when the engine is cold.

Given the unexplainable condition of your engine, do you think your engine oil could be the culprit?
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      12-11-2010, 08:38 PM   #34
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      12-11-2010, 09:12 PM   #35
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reading this makes me wana sell my car
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      12-12-2010, 03:08 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toxicnerve View Post
That's a great write up Tony backed with interesting pictures and the anticipation of more to come!

Couple of quick questions for you:

1. How much do you think you've spent on the car (excluding initial purchase cost) on all the mods you have done? I know a lot of wrench time has gone into your car so I'm intrigued to know what this level of modding costs.

2. With all the mods in place, what sort of insurance costs are you incurring and with whom do you have your policy? I know you drive your car on the road (not just track) and having heard insane stories about increases for lip-spoilers etc I am again interested to know what it costs to run a car with this level of modification...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Dave View Post

I think (with respect) it is rude to ask the costs, but it is fair to assume it is running into the multiple 1000's!
No offence taken at the question about costs. The reality is that it is hard to say exactly how much everything has cost. Let's just say it's a lot! If I were to have paid just for all the R&D costs for each component that has been custom made, then the bill would easily buy a very nice E30 M3. Then factor in the labour, component costs, time......

Thing is, I've used some brilliant companies to manufacture components for me, and have done development deals with most of them so that these parts can be sold on the retail market. In truth, these parts have been made so that the engine can effectively be race ready for the VLN endurance series in Germany. The remaining hurdle is to figure out a way for the engine to maintain oil pressure under extreme loads.



In terms of insurance, I have access to very specialist underwriters via my company policy. The cost isn't too bad for me - 900 per year fully comprehensive, and that's with 6 years no-claims, with the car securely garaged overnight in London.
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      12-12-2010, 03:09 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dzenno View Post
Great thread! What is blueprinting and what does it do?
From Wikipedia -


"...Blueprinting

In engine blueprinting, all the specifications are double-checked. Usually this indicates closer-than-factory tolerances, with custom specifications appropriate for a street car or a race car. The goals are either to re-manufacture the engine to the rated power for its manufacturer's design (because not all mass-production engines put out the rated power), or rebuild the engine to make more power from a given design than otherwise intended (because custom engines can often be redesigned to different specifications). Blueprinted components allow for a more exact balancing of reciprocating parts and rotating assemblies so that less power is lost through excessive engine vibrations and other mechanical inefficiencies.

Ideally, blueprinting is performed on components removed from the production line before normal balancing and finishing. If finished components are blueprinted, there is the risk that the further removal of material will weaken the component. However, lightening components is generally an advantage in itself provided balance and adequate strength are both maintained, and more precise machining will in general strengthen a part by removing stress points, so in many cases performance tuners are able to work with finished components.

For example, an engine manufacturer may list a piston ring end-gap specification of 0.003 to 0.005 inches for general use in a consumer automobile application. For an endurance racing engine which runs hot, a "blueprinted" specification of 0.0045 to 0.0050 may be desired. For a drag-racing engine which runs only in short bursts, a tighter 0.0035 to 0.0040 inch tolerance may be used instead. Thus "blueprint" can mean tighter or looser clearances, depending on the goal..."
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      12-12-2010, 03:12 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McMuffin View Post
*Mouth dropping!* Simply amazing what you have going on here sir! I've been praying for internals for God knows how long! I'm really looking forward to the results; I'm sure you'll end up with one of the highest HP motors for sure!

Stupid question, but approximately how long is this project anticipated to last?

My goal isn't major HP. All I want is an engine that makes decent power at very low stress levels. And one that can handle the demands of the Nurburgring...

Quote:
Originally Posted by themetz View Post
Wow Tony! I hope someone made a list of how all those parts go back together

".... oh look, I have a spare bolt...."
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      12-12-2010, 03:16 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yahoo View Post
Tony - I have previously queried the viscosity of the Fuchs/Silkolene engine oil you use, it is thicker then recommended by BMW - particularly on startup. I know that you feel this offers better protection at high temps (on the track), but we know that 90% of engine wear occurs when the engine is cold.

Given the unexplainable condition of your engine, do you think your engine oil could be the culprit?
Your thought process on the oil isn't making sense.

Firstly, the Fuchs oil is a 5W-40 - it is only thicker than the standard BMW Castrol oil at higher operating temperatures. BMW recommend either a 0W-30 or a 5W-30, depending on your location in the world and the 5W-30 has the same viscosity properties as the Fuchs 5W-40.

The damage to my engine has nothing at all to do with cold wear - it has to do with the pistons getting too hot and swelling, therefore scoring the cylinder walls. There is a supplemental issue of carbonisation from the intakes, and this carbon getting into the combustion chamber. Nothing to do with the oil. If anything, using the thinner BMW 0W-30 oil would have been even worse as there could theoretically be more oil seepage past the piston rings as the viscosity is less (when compared to the Fuchs oil I'm using).

Also, it is a fact that the lower the viscosity of oil, the lower the oil pressure within the bearings. The higher the viscosity, the greater the oil pressure in the bearings and theoretically the greater the level of protection.
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      12-12-2010, 03:39 AM   #40
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this is truly amazing. i cant wait to read more and see the end result
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      12-12-2010, 06:35 AM   #41
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Looking a the pics there look to be some heat issues with the big end's. There could be many reasons for this and without some data logs it would be difficult to say conclusively.
You have chosen your components and manufactures wisely and I would rate CP-Carrillo as being one of the top three manufactures in the world along side Arrow, Omega and Cosworth. Aftermarket pistons tend to be made from low expansion alloy forgings like 2618 or 4032 as they are far more resistant to high loads and temps than oe pistons. As you are not doing things by half if I were you I would also contact Vandervell and see if they could produce you some Mahle Motorsport bearings to suit. Mahle's Motorsport cast bearing are without doubt the best available and offer far better load characteristics than other manufactures "Race" bearings which tend to be just standard bearings that are hand picked and checked for dimensional tolerances.
As for oiling issues, unless you go to the trouble of installing a dry sump your only real choice would be to install baffles and install an Accusump. The Accusump's work very well for what they are and have a race proven record, being used in the likes of the BTTC etc. Modifying the oe oil pump to increase flow and possibly pressure is also something to consider.
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      12-12-2010, 06:38 AM   #42
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Tony

Informative & indepth as ever!!

As one or two have commented on here the amount of damage and wear for 50k is shocking. This thread as interesting as it is will now doubt be causing concern / panic for many on here that are running mods on the n54.

Just to try to ease everyones minds a little i think it only fair to push the point that your car whilst regularly serviced has been pushed to the limit & tracked many many times. Whilst the carbon build up is a definate worry (even with a CC) I wouldn't expect anywhere near that kind of wear on engines for the majority of n54 owners out there who are enjoying the performance of thier mods on the road and only exposing the car to medium level temps.

There are probably many on here like myself who drop thier oil every 5k and whilst modded at 370bhp + don't push their car to extreems. Don't get me wrong Ill have times when I drive the car hard but not for extended periods of time and I personally back off everytime my temp gets to 120c.

As you've mentioned alot of the damage is heat related, what sort of temps have you seen on track days?

Best of luck with the rebuild, You really are a pioneer of the n54. Hope you get her back on her feet n fitter than ever ready for some Nurburg action
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      12-12-2010, 06:44 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E92Fan View Post
Firstly, the Fuchs oil is a 5W-40 - it is only thicker than the standard BMW Castrol oil at higher operating temperatures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by E92Fan View Post
The damage to my engine has nothing at all to do with cold wear - it has to do with the pistons getting too hot and swelling, therefore scoring the cylinder walls.
OK. So, could the problem be that the oil is thicker at higher operating temps?

Please bear in mind that I have little knowledge of fluid dynamics and continually bow to your knowledge of all things N54 Tony - however, I would like to explore whether this hypothesis holds water.

If the problem is due to pistons getting too hot, expanding and scoring the cylinder walls, this surely points towards a lubrication issue. The purpose of engine oil being to lubricate all moving parts, preventing metal:metal contact, generating too much friction/heat and damaging components.

So, could this be due to the following conditions / characteristics of your engine:
1) Blueprinted engine = tighter tolerances between moving parts than a stock N54.
2) 5w-40 oil = thicker engine oil at high temps = less flow to moving parts at high temps then with recommended 5w-30 oil.
3) Sustained track use = sustained higher temps then would be experienced then 99.9% of N54s on the road.

Could these circumstances lead to expanded pistons, even tighter tolerances, less flow of thicker engine oil to components, more friction, increased heat and so on?

If so, this would become a vicious circle of friction, heat, lack of lubrication leading to this type of engine wear.

After the initial premature engine wear, once cooled, the tolerances between pistons and cylinder wall would become larger increasing blow by and carbonisation.

Out of interest - which catch can are you running?
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      12-12-2010, 07:09 AM   #44
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Very interesting Tony,

There is also an interesting thread on PH in relation to the latest DI 997 engines. Ian_UK1 is looking to get his internals boroscoped soon at an indie garage.

What do you think the bigger issue is - oil seeping past the valve stems, or oil from recirc'd air? Catch cans obviously only help with the latter.

http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/t...997?&mid=78451
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