S54 engine

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beemingallover
Joined: Sat 26 Jul, 2014 14:10
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S54 engine

Post by beemingallover » Tue 27 Oct, 2015 10:02

I've got a 06 Z4M with 60k, what is the lifespan of the S54 engine? Are they good for 100k?

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Brian H
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Re: S54 engine

Post by Brian H » Tue 27 Oct, 2015 10:15

beemingallover wrote:I've got a 06 Z4M with 60k, what is the lifespan of the S54 engine? Are they good for 100k?
Looked after correctly they are good for a good few 100ks

Del
Joined: Sat 19 Nov, 2011 18:35
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  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: S54 engine

Post by Del » Tue 27 Oct, 2015 21:10

It comes from a generation of BMW engines that were as tough as old boots. It had a tough, cast iron block, forged/reinforced crankshaft and con rods and no complex turbo set-up to introduce a possible weakness. I've only ever heard people highly praise the engine - built at a time when BMW almost "overdid" the build quality and didn't trade strength/quality for lightness. :)

gookah
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Re: S54 engine

Post by gookah » Tue 27 Oct, 2015 22:04

there are some recent horror stories on Z4Forum of the Z4M engine spinning crank bearings, and worn/scored cam lobes destroying the cams, also valve seats being pushed back into the head.

http://www.z4-forum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=75008

http://www.z4-forum.com/forum/viewtopic ... 6&start=90

http://www.z4-forum.com/forum/viewtopic ... 26967a3212

http://www.zpost.com/forums/showthread. ... 4&t=883939

http://www.z4-forum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=56599

http://totalmcars.com/thread/2911/rod-b ... -caput-z4m

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showth ... p?t=722614

so... hardly bullet proof, some have a tendency to 'explode'.

I believe these cars need a full BMW warranty. When I had mine I was paying about £1300 a year for my BMW Insured Mondial warranty because I didn't want a bill like those above. Some can and do go wrong, then you have a very large bill, and as above there is no pattern to which ones break, apparently even the 'best looked after' ones can fail. Or you put the £1300 a year aside for a hopefully not required rainy day fund
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siwilson
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  M roadster S54
Location: Horley

Re: S54 engine

Post by siwilson » Wed 28 Oct, 2015 07:26

Nothing is infallible, but if you look after it you should be OK. By look after it I mean regular oil changes and most importantly keep the revs under 4k until the old temp is up. It also not a good idea to let a cold engine idle too long, so get in a drive it away to keep the revs between 2k and 4k until nicely warm.

Forums are great places to find information but also places you can scare yourself to death with the things that might go wrong. Just enjoy the car, for every horror story posted on a forum there will be a 100 cars that have no issues at all.
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stu
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Re: S54 engine

Post by stu » Wed 28 Oct, 2015 16:48

I think the M engines benefits (like most) from frequent oil changes and good quality oil. VANOS is also an issue on various M engines.

I think if there was any gap in evidence of this, I'd walk away.

Any engine that has 100bhp/litre from normal aspiration is not lightly stressed.
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beemingallover
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Re: S54 engine

Post by beemingallover » Thu 29 Oct, 2015 09:56

siwilson, sorry for my ignorance, but what is the issue for not letting the engine idle for a long period? I have done (5-10mins) before driving off on a shortish journey during the winter months in the belief that it helps the engine reach it's operating temp sooner.

siwilson
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  M roadster S54
Location: Horley

Re: S54 engine

Post by siwilson » Thu 29 Oct, 2015 10:05

beemingallover wrote:siwilson, sorry for my ignorance, but what is the issue for not letting the engine idle for a long period? I have done (5-10mins) before driving off on a shortish journey during the winter months in the belief that it helps the engine reach it's operating temp sooner.
The BMW instruction is to start and drive away immediately. I have not researched this, but I suspect it is to do with cold oil not lubricating the top of the engine as well which can lead to things like cam and VANOS wear. When you break in new cam shafts you not supposed to led the car idle to avoid a long dwell tim on the tip of the cam lobes. I imagine this is a similar thing. The Specified old for the S54 is 10W60, which is a bit gloopy when cold, but hold viscosity well when very hot.

I also avoid high tore situation s when cold such as lots of throttle ad low RPM
2001 M roadster S54 Laguna Seca Blue

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Southernboy
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Re: S54 engine

Post by Southernboy » Thu 29 Oct, 2015 13:36

The reason why most modern cars are "start and drive" is simply the result of oil technology having advanced. In yesteryear, oil was more viscous at low temperatures and getting the stuff pumped around the engine wasn't easy. The recommendation then was to allow the motor to warm up and as a result the oil. This minimised "dry" running. Modern oils actually operate somewhat the reverse. At cold temperatures the oil is actually thinner than at higher temperatures. This is achieved by additives in the oil which when heated tend to hold oil molecules tighter together and increase the oil viscosity. The idea being that at cold temperatures / start up, the engine life is best served by getting the oil through all the lubrication channels and surfaces as quick as possible and thereby reduce engine wear as a consequence of "dryness".
By starting a cold modern motor using modern oils, it is required to drive asap which increases the oil pressure and distribution of the oil more rapidly. As you can appreciate, a "thin" cold oil needs to be distributed rapidly which requires as much pump pressure as possible. This is obviously achieved by the increased rpm in actual driving / accelerating mode than simply idling at aprox 750rpm.
If you look on the list of posts today, you will see the post I made yesterday on "OIL VISCOSITY EXPLAINED" It is worth reading in it's entirity to fully grasp the high tech oils we use now. Also it expalins the differences between "Fully synthetic" and true Fully synthetic oils.
It is worth the read to understand how the ratings are arrived at and how oils and their additives behave under different conditions. Understanding this will give you an informed opinion of what constitutes a good oil for your motor and what should be avoided and why. The article is written as an educational piece and doesn't support any one or other brand of oil.
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