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pysical pysical is offline
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Default Anyone refreshed a N54? - 07-03-2017, 01:43 PM

Looking to do a engine refresh before putting new turbos on. Did a quick price check on ECS and came out to about 1300 for crank and connecting rod bearings, piston rings, valve cover gasket, head gasket, and oil pan gasket. However, on eBay is a link to everything for about $800 by a company called SPD. I can't find much information on these.

Can anyone chime in on what the best route to go is? Should I go with ECS and get the BMW brand bearings or can I save money with the other route? I don't know if this is a part that matters if it is really BMW or not. I am at 135k miles and I will be upgrading to some larger turbos aiming for 650whp. The car is fine now, but I just want to make sure it is fresh to handle the power so I don't have to mess with the engine again at time soon.

Or any other tips before I start ordering.

Thanks.

Last edited by pysical; 07-03-2017 at 02:33 PM..
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Default 07-03-2017, 02:50 PM

Are you going to open the engine yourself?
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pysical pysical is offline
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Default 07-03-2017, 03:37 PM

My brother is. Hes the mechanic.
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Default 07-03-2017, 03:51 PM

Given the labor involved, the importance of those parts, and the high power goal, I wouldn't cheap out on any of those. May even want to upgrade them.
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Default 07-03-2017, 04:21 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vorsprung_CJB
Given the labor involved, the importance of those parts, and the high power goal, I wouldn't cheap out on any of those. May even want to upgrade them.
+1
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pysical pysical is offline
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Default 07-03-2017, 05:02 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vorsprung_CJB
Given the labor involved, the importance of those parts, and the high power goal, I wouldn't cheap out on any of those. May even want to upgrade them.
Thanks for the help. For upgrading bearings and gaskets, is anything better than the Genuine BMW? I see that those are the most expensive parts where I am looking.

I am keeping rods, pistons, and crank. But will replace if anything looks out of shape.
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Default 07-03-2017, 06:10 PM

Can't really advise on that, I think a lot of people just stick with OEM.

Are you having an issue that is leading you to do this work?
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Default 07-03-2017, 07:19 PM

For preventative replacement, the VC/VCG, oil pan gasket and valve guide seals are sufficient. Unless you have a spun bearing, I do not recommend messing with the bottom end. For the top, I would only replace the cam ledge seals/rectangring with teflon seals.
The bottom end is particularly troublesome because you'll only be able to order the bearings AFTER you drop the crank out. The serial number on the crank, plus the number on the crankcase are both needed in order to determine the correct bearings to order. If you want to upgrade the bearings, VAC sells coated bearings.
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pysical pysical is offline
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Default 07-03-2017, 07:31 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vorsprung_CJB
Can't really advise on that, I think a lot of people just stick with OEM.

Are you having an issue that is leading you to do this work?
No issues at all. I am just thinking of refreshing the engine so it is good to go for bigger turbos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by limitdown
For preventative replacement, the VC/VCG, oil pan gasket and valve guide seals are sufficient. Unless you have a spun bearing, I do not recommend messing with the bottom end. For the top, I would only replace the cam ledge seals/rectangring with teflon seals.
The bottom end is particularly troublesome because you'll only be able to order the bearings AFTER you drop the crank out. The serial number on the crank, plus the number on the crankcase are both needed in order to determine the correct bearings to order. If you want to upgrade the bearings, VAC sells coated bearings.
Thanks for your help. Why do you think I should not touch the bottom end? Do those bearings wear down any if taken care of? Also, do you think I should replace piston rings? I haven't done a compression test yet to see how it is right now. I was just thinking preventative maintenance so it is fresh for 650whp.
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Default 07-03-2017, 08:48 PM

The N54's bearings are very stout and don't wear out like on the S85. They only really spin/fail due to oil starvation (this happened to me). Even at 650whp, your cylinders will probably oval before the bearings fail. When you have the oil pan dropped, replace the oil pickup tube seal. Check and clean that area very thoroughly.
The main reason to not touch the bottom end is that bearings are quite pricey. Also, you need to get the exact ones based on the crank and case numbers. Triple check the table above before ordering. All of the torquing numbers need to be absolutely perfect, so you'll want the BMW TIS software.

I had one set of rings go bad, but this is quite rare on our platform, so I don't think you need to proactively replace them unless the compression test shows any cylinder(s) below 150 to 160psi.

Head gasket failures are very rare on our platform. My gasket still looked really good when I rebuilt at 80k.

Even though you and your brother are doing the work, I would still only do non-engine stuff like the VCGs, oil pan gasket, check oil lines and maybe get new ones (these are the lifeblood of the turbos). You don't need to pull/drop the engine to replace the turbos, so I'd save that money for future repairs, when you need it.
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Default 07-03-2017, 11:53 PM

Does your brother have experience with BMW engines and N54s?

From what i've read (anyone can chime in if I'm wrong) a lot of people are having bad luck with rebuilt and upgraded engines, even ones built by specialists for a lot of $$$. At the end of the day it's seems to be a better idea to just buy a used engine.


2009 135i ///M Sport - 6 SPD
JB4 . MHD . E85 . FUEL IT! STG 3 . FUEL IT! PI . BMS DCI . ER CP . PURE STAGE 2 . RB INLETS . OUTLET . SYNAPSE DV . WAGNER EVO 2 . UR DOWNS . HPF EXHAUST . 335is CLUTCH . MFACTORY SMFW . BC COILOVERS . M3 SUSPENSION . M3 VERT SWAY BAR . M4 PLUGS .
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pysical pysical is offline
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Default 07-04-2017, 06:41 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by limitdown
The N54's bearings are very stout and don't wear out like on the S85. They only really spin/fail due to oil starvation (this happened to me). Even at 650whp, your cylinders will probably oval before the bearings fail. When you have the oil pan dropped, replace the oil pickup tube seal. Check and clean that area very thoroughly.
The main reason to not touch the bottom end is that bearings are quite pricey. Also, you need to get the exact ones based on the crank and case numbers. Triple check the table above before ordering. All of the torquing numbers need to be absolutely perfect, so you'll want the BMW TIS software.

I had one set of rings go bad, but this is quite rare on our platform, so I don't think you need to proactively replace them unless the compression test shows any cylinder(s) below 150 to 160psi.

Head gasket failures are very rare on our platform. My gasket still looked really good when I rebuilt at 80k.

Even though you and your brother are doing the work, I would still only do non-engine stuff like the VCGs, oil pan gasket, check oil lines and maybe get new ones (these are the lifeblood of the turbos). You don't need to pull/drop the engine to replace the turbos, so I'd save that money for future repairs, when you need it.

Alright, thank you for your help. I think we will start with a compression test to see if messing with the pistons are even needed. If not then probably just keep it all together and replace the oil pan gasket, valve cover gasket, OFH gasket, and other random easy to access parts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guru_method
Does your brother have experience with BMW engines and N54s?

From what i've read (anyone can chime in if I'm wrong) a lot of people are having bad luck with rebuilt and upgraded engines, even ones built by specialists for a lot of $$$. At the end of the day it's seems to be a better idea to just buy a used engine.
He isn't familiar with N54 but he has a M5 that he just replace engine in. I haven't heard anything about any bad luck with engine rebuilds etc. I am used to fox body mustangs so rebuilding a 302 is a bit easier.
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guru_method guru_method is offline
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Default 07-04-2017, 11:43 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by pysical
He isn't familiar with N54 but he has a M5 that he just replace engine in. I haven't heard anything about any bad luck with engine rebuilds etc. I am used to fox body mustangs so rebuilding a 302 is a bit easier.
There have been a few threads and comments pop up over the years of people having trouble with rebuilt engines. Maybe somebody with personal experience can shed some light but it's definitely not like rebuilding a Ford or LS.

Alex from ABR (people who build these engines) mentions that when the engine's be**late is removed it warps and the bearing bosses don't align properly.

Anyways, it would be awesome to see if you guys are able to pull it off and share your experience. Make a thread!


2009 135i ///M Sport - 6 SPD
JB4 . MHD . E85 . FUEL IT! STG 3 . FUEL IT! PI . BMS DCI . ER CP . PURE STAGE 2 . RB INLETS . OUTLET . SYNAPSE DV . WAGNER EVO 2 . UR DOWNS . HPF EXHAUST . 335is CLUTCH . MFACTORY SMFW . BC COILOVERS . M3 SUSPENSION . M3 VERT SWAY BAR . M4 PLUGS .
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pysical pysical is offline
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Default 07-04-2017, 11:47 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by guru_method
There have been a few threads and comments pop up over the years of people having trouble with rebuilt engines. Maybe somebody with personal experience can shed some light but it's definitely not like rebuilding a Ford or LS.

Alex from ABR (people who build these engines) mentions that when the engine's be**late is removed it warps and the bearing bosses don't align properly.

Anyways, it would be awesome to see if you guys are able to pull it off and share your experience. Make a thread!
When the engines be**late is removed? Not sure what this is.
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Default 07-04-2017, 11:52 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by pysical
When the engines be**late is removed? Not sure what this is.
Bed plate


2009 135i ///M Sport - 6 SPD
JB4 . MHD . E85 . FUEL IT! STG 3 . FUEL IT! PI . BMS DCI . ER CP . PURE STAGE 2 . RB INLETS . OUTLET . SYNAPSE DV . WAGNER EVO 2 . UR DOWNS . HPF EXHAUST . 335is CLUTCH . MFACTORY SMFW . BC COILOVERS . M3 SUSPENSION . M3 VERT SWAY BAR . M4 PLUGS .
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N54QC N54QC is offline
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Default 07-05-2017, 04:50 PM

As other have said, I would advise against opening the motor unless it's needed IMO.


VTT Stage 2+ | JB4 G5 w/ Trebila BEF | Fuel-It Stage 3 | XHP Stage 3 | BL Coils | VTT Inlets | MMP Outlets | BMS Meth Dual 10/5CM | VRSF 7" FMIC | VRSF **'s | BMS CP | BMS DCI | Turbosmart Dual Port | 3.5 TMAP | BMS OCC | VTT PVC | BMS Anti-Lag | NGK 5992 | M3 Rear Upper Controls And Godspeed TB's | Lock-Down Brace | 235/285-18 PSS
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pysical pysical is offline
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Default 07-05-2017, 07:07 PM

I think I am going to do some Carillo rods and CP pistons. But keep the crank attached. Would that be fine? Any other obstacles that may pop out? Looked at that bed plate and may just leave crank in.
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