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  1. #1
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    My N54 Top-end Rebuild

    I tend to mostly acquire information rather than post a whole lot but I figured I'd share my little adventure. My car is a 2007 BMW 335i with roughly 116k on the clock, purchased with 85k on it. Maintenance records were provided and pretty detailed at that. I try to be pretty thorough with my maintenance so in my ownership I've done the following:

    6x Index 12 injectors around 90k
    335is clutch around 90k
    Rear main seal (preventative) around 90k
    Walnut blasting around 90k
    OE plugs around 90k
    Waterpump/Thermostat around 90k
    Both primary O2 sensors around 90k
    Valve cover gasket around 100k
    Oil Filter Housing gasket around 100k
    Oil Cooler Housing gasket around 100k
    Oil Pan gasket around 100k
    Waterpump/Thermostat around 110k (Cracked housing)

    Performance parts:
    JB4 G5
    BMS/MHD Pump BEF
    BMS DCI
    N54Tuning Downpipes
    Synapse BOV

    With that out of the way, about 2 month's ago at 4300rpm my main timing bolt decided to let loose on me. I was able to just pull it out after I was towed a few blocks home. I've never touched it prior to this happening.

    Click here to enlarge

    So I proceeded to dismantle the engine so I could see how bad things really were. Discovered the exhaust side rockers either knocked off completely or partially. Looking through the intake ports, it was evident valves were bent. One rocker bearing also got snapped in this ordeal.

    Click here to enlargeClick here to enlargeClick here to enlarge

    Pulling the camshafts, revealed some pretty extensive scarring to the exhaust cam lobes.

    Click here to enlargeClick here to enlarge

    After removing timing components, the end of the crank hub showed some damage.

    Click here to enlarge

    Finally, removing the cylinder head revealed the true extent of my damage. Visibly, I could confirm at least 20 of the 24 valves to be bent. With valves around $50 a piece and potential guide damage, I ended up sourcing a replacement head.

    Click here to enlargeClick here to enlargeClick here to enlarge

    First look at the block looked promising, gave a quick scrub to cylinder 1.

    Click here to enlarge

    Yanked the turbos out, boy they really are tiny in person. Anyways, the wastegates were really worn so those were replaced. The residue on the wheels is from my hands.

    Click here to enlargeClick here to enlargeClick here to enlargeClick here to enlarge

    More block cleaning, crosshatch visible, overall looked pretty good.

    Click here to enlargeClick here to enlargeClick here to enlarge

    The replacement head came back from the machine shop. Overall I wasn't entirely satisfied as looked like they barely cleaned anything and the decking wasn't very good. I ended up doing some cleaning on my own, still might do some more. New seals were installed and the head was pressure tested a-ok. Also pulled the non-return valves further showing evidence that they weren't very thorough. On a side note, these little guys probably should be checked periodically. Supposedly, this head had only 67k on it but it looks like it never had an oil change.

    Click here to enlargeClick here to enlargeClick here to enlarge

    Got a whole collection of parts going, I'll have a list below. Mainly the goal was to stick with OEM with vital and/or difficult to replace parts. Aftermarket was used for things that would be easy to service.

    Click here to enlarge

    Overall I think if I were to do this again, I would buy a replacement engine for less than what this is costing me. Then I would proceed to rebuild mine on a more relaxed schedule (winters here can be pretty brutal.) My hope is to have this car running better than before, definitely surprised me when this happened. Initally I was looking to refresh just the turbos this winter, intead a whole lot more happened.

    Anyways, the parts list....

    1 x OEM BMW Engine Cylinder Head Gasket Set - 11127572758 - $162.99
    1 x Victor Reinz BMW Water Pipe Gasket - 11537545302 - $9.99
    2 x Elring BMW Catalytic Converter Gasket - 18307553601 - $9.99
    2 x OEM BMW Turbo Oil Line Gasket - 11422246091 - $0.99
    2 x OEM BMW Turbo Oil Line O-Ring - 11427563453 - $5.39
    12 x Elring BMW Turbo Line O-Ring - 11427558936 - $0.79
    1 x OEM BMW Turbo Wastegate Actuator - 11657585745 - $25.99
    1 x OEM BMW Turbo Wastegate Actuator - 11657585746 - $25.99
    1 x OEM BMW Cylinder Head Bolt Set - 11127574303 - $54.99
    1 x OEM BMW Cylinder Head Gasket - 11127557265 - $118.99
    4 x OEM BMW Camshaft Rectaring - 11317587757 - $5.59
    1 x OEM BMW Oil Filter Housing Bolt - 11427540759 - $1.39
    1 x OEM BMW Oil Filter Housing Bolt - 11427540763 - $2.69
    1 x OEM BMW Oil Filter Housing Bolt - 11427540758 - $3.19
    1 x OEM BMW Head-Thermostat Coolant Hose - 11537541992 - $42.29
    1 x OEM BMW Timing Chain - 11318618317 - $74.99
    1 x OEM BMW Timing Chain Guide - 11317542837 - $63.99
    1 x OEM BMW Timing Chain Slide Rail - 11317516093 - $35.99
    1 x OEM BMW Timing Sprocket - 11317502180 - $19.99
    1 x OEM BMW Timing Chain Tensioner - 11317584723 - $70.99
    2 x OEM BMW VANOS Collar Screw - 11367524954 - $4.39
    1 x OEM BMW Crank Hub - 11237570107 - $82.99
    1 x OEM BMW Crank Hub Bolt - 11211439395 - $11.99
    1 x OEM BMW Crank Hub Washer - 11237557561 - $17.99
    1 x OEM BMW Oil/Vac Sprocket - 11417589309 - $26.99
    1 x OEM BMW Crankshaft Seal - 11117547842 - $30.99
    1 x INA BMW Rocker Arm - 11337559797 - $15.99
    1 x INA BMW Belt Tensioner Aseembly - 11287563927 - $55.99
    1 x INA BMW Belt Idler Pulley - 11287557851 - $23.37
    1 x INA BMW Belt Idler Pulley - 11287556251 - $23.26
    1 x Contitech BMW Serpentine Belt - 7PK1855 - $23.16
    1 x OEM BMW Intercooler Pipe Seal - 11617791469 - $9.39
    1 x OEM BMW Intercooler Pipe Seal - 11617791470 - $8.49
    2 x OEM BMW Intercooler Pipe O-Ring - 13717568030 - $5.56

    I was posting much of this in my support thread (tuning help) on N54Tech, but I figured I'd share here. If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask. Criticism, well just try to be constructive but I always have an open ear. Aside from that, the car is nearing reassembly just waiting on the crank seal removal tool.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  2. #2
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    Nicely cleaned up, what did u use on the pistons?how did you stop $#@! dropping down the bore and piston gap?
    335I 398bhp, Mfactory LSD, 7.5" fmic

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    Block looks really clean - trying to find the positive in a tough situation!

    Do you have a sense as to how the timing bolt backed itself out? That's concerning for obvious reasons.
    E88 N54 w stuff
    F30 335 X-Drive EBII....PPK otherwise Stock
    Click here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by threetirtyfive Click here to enlarge
    Nicely cleaned up, what did u use on the pistons?how did you stop $#@! dropping down the bore and piston gap?
    Worked them one by one with WD40 and green scotchbrite, so many pads were sacrificed. This is a tedious process but safer in my book. Shop rags stuffed in cylinders that weren't being worked on. Debris does get to the bore, but when cleaning the piston at tdc, spray some more WD in and move the piston down some, wipe off the debris and repeat until there is nothing left.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by 135pats Click here to enlarge
    Block looks really clean - trying to find the positive in a tough situation!

    Do you have a sense as to how the timing bolt backed itself out? That's concerning for obvious reasons.
    Honestly, no concrete reason that I can think of. After doing some searching I guess it's not that uncommon. I have a log of when this happened and well there isn't anything that horribly stood out. I plan on doing a couple things to prevent it in the future, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

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    Don't forget to do the valve stem seals

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by europav Click here to enlarge
    Don't forget to do the valve stem seals
    Got them done while the head was at the machine shop and what a debacle that was. Initially they were pictured with the BMW Head Gasket Set, well turns out BMW changed that. So they were supposed to be ordered separately, the order got lost. Then they were ordered again, I only got 13 seals and they were Corteco brand. Once more they get reordered, I received the complete set this time but Corteco again. At this point I didn't care anymore as I've been set back about a month already so in they went. I can only assume they are the OE supplier or at least hope.

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    Now a single pusing like 40psi would be just erection lol. Nice to see people going inside the motor for builds now, maybe ill look for a used salvage motor to build

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Grand_hustle17 Click here to enlarge
    Now a single pusing like 40psi would be just erection lol. Nice to see people going inside the motor for builds now, maybe ill look for a used salvage motor to build

    Thats been done lol
    Click here to enlarge

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    2 out of 2 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Not a huge update but an update nonetheless. I try not to purchase specialty tools when I don't have too, especially when it's hopefully going to be a one time use. I wasn't able to avoid that when removing the front main seal but I did manage to make one for the timing tensioner. Gutted the old one, threaded it, and ran a threaded rod through it. This shouldn't be an issue since this tool is only supposed to see 0.6 Nm of torque.

    Click here to enlargeClick here to enlarge

    Next up my solution (hopefully) to the timing bolt backing out. It's made from 1/4 steel plate, allows for 30 degrees of swivel to account for uncertain position of the 22mm hex head on the bolt, and utilizes the existing 6 bolts that hold the harmonic balancer to lock the timing bolt in place. These will be 1/4 inch longer in this case. The Part itself has a centering ring as well so balancing shouldn't be an issue either.

    Click here to enlargeClick here to enlarge

    Tomorrow, I hope to have a crank counter hold made as well. Seems simple enough so why not?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by d21spike Click here to enlarge
    ...
    Not fully grasping what you're doing just yet, but I love seeing people make their own parts and solutions! Can't wait to see the items as part of the main assembly.
    Stuff n thangs

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by The Convert Click here to enlarge
    Not fully grasping what you're doing just yet, but I love seeing people make their own parts and solutions! Can't wait to see the items as part of the main assembly.
    I'll try to take some pictures or a video with the hub/harmonic balancer tomorrow since they are at the shop still to make the holder tool.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by d21spike Click here to enlarge
    Next up my solution (hopefully) to the timing bolt backing out.....
    Nice work but wouldn't some good old Loctite Red get the job done much easier?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by TEC Click here to enlarge
    Nice work but wouldn't some good old Loctite Red get the job done much easier?
    Red probably not, between heat and vibration I'm going with a different kind. Regardless, with as much damage that was dealt I prefer a more solid solution. Learn from your mistakes kind of deal, or in this case BMW's. To think I'd be able to get a nice set of turbos with what I spent.

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    3 out of 3 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    @The Convert hopefully this image better displays what I was trying to accomplish. If you would like further explaination, I can also try to make a video or just answer questions. Essentially like I said up top, this washer will be fixed using the 6 harmonic balancer bolts and will in turn prevent the crank bolt from backing out permanently (I hope). The original bolts in this picture are temporary and will be replaced by some that are a 1/4 inch longer.

    Click here to enlarge

    I intended to make the crank holding tool today, that didn't work out since we decided we couldn't use one tool to install the front main seal and hold the crank hub. As such we have made our own front main seal installer. Pretty much the same principle as the factory tool. Hopefully Monday I'll be able to finish the holding tool.

    Click here to enlargeClick here to enlarge
    Click here to enlargeClick here to enlarge

    Anyways, progress as usual. Hope you guys have a Merry Christmas!! Click here to enlarge

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    That's pretty slick dude! Keep up the solid work!
    Stuff n thangs

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by The Convert Click here to enlarge
    That's pretty slick dude! Keep up the solid work!
    Thanks, that's the plan. Just gotta pick up the loctite for the seal and I should be ready to reassemble.

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    Did you use the BMW special tools to lock the cams and to set the timing?
    Click here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by jt0407 Click here to enlarge
    Did you use the BMW special tools to lock the cams and to set the timing?
    The head is still off at this point. If you're asking in regards to disassembly....my timing was already gone since the bolt backed out, the chain was loose, and the valves were trashed so there was no point. In a typical sense, yes you would use the timing tools for both disassembly and reassembly which I have on hand.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by d21spike Click here to enlarge
    Not a huge update but an update nonetheless. I try not to purchase specialty tools when I don't have too, especially when it's hopefully going to be a one time use. I wasn't able to avoid that when removing the front main seal but I did manage to make one for the timing tensioner. Gutted the old one, threaded it, and ran a threaded rod through it. This shouldn't be an issue since this tool is only supposed to see 0.6 Nm of torque.

    Click here to enlargeClick here to enlarge

    Next up my solution (hopefully) to the timing bolt backing out. It's made from 1/4 steel plate, allows for 30 degrees of swivel to account for uncertain position of the 22mm hex head on the bolt, and utilizes the existing 6 bolts that hold the harmonic balancer to lock the timing bolt in place. These will be 1/4 inch longer in this case. The Part itself has a centering ring as well so balancing shouldn't be an issue either.

    Click here to enlargeClick here to enlarge

    Tomorrow, I hope to have a crank counter hold made as well. Seems simple enough so why not?
    Not to burst your bubble on this, but the bolt is never ever the issue unless its not torqued right. The issue is the timing sprockets slipping on the hub. As long as you use new slip discs, and TQ it properly you will not have an issue. If you removed the crank bolt, without replacing the slip discs, you made a mistake, and you now you have to pull the pan to get the sprockets off, and change the discs. While that is a slick piece you machined, it will do nothing to stop the sprocket from slipping on the hub, which is the problem, not the bolt.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Tony@VargasTurboTech Click here to enlarge
    Not to burst your bubble on this, but the bolt is never ever the issue unless its not torqued right. The issue is the timing sprockets slipping on the hub. As long as you use new slip discs, and TQ it properly you will not have an issue. If you removed the crank bolt, without replacing the slip discs, you made a mistake, and you now you have to pull the pan to get the sprockets off, and change the discs. While that is a slick piece you machined, it will do nothing to stop the sprocket from slipping on the hub, which is the problem, not the bolt.
    No bubble to be burst really. I understand the common S55 issue of slipping discs but it isn't what happened here. Once the car came home, I was able to simply pull out the bolt (threads in the crank are fine). I've had the car since 85k and 116k on it now, never have touched it (it is possible that it was tampered with prior to my ownership.) While I do agree that with proper torque this shouldn't be an issue, but can you blame a guy for not wanting to go through this again? In regards to the hardware, yes everything is brand new from the hub, to sprockets, timing guides, you name it. Not taking any chances really, even with the absurd price on the front main seal sealant.

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    A little bit more progress. Ended up mounting and adjusting my new wastegate actuators for full close at 6" Hg thanks to information provided by BMS.

    Click here to enlarge

    Ended up mounting the turbos on the motor in preparation for the cylinder head and timing components.

    Click here to enlarge

    Started working on getting the new sprocket with grip discs mounted. Figured out why the old part number (11417558909) was superceeded by a new one (11417589309). Seems as though now the grip discs are part of the sprocket as they are spot welded on. Pictured is my old one and the new one, you can see the spots in the new one where it's secured. Also, there is no longer any grooves in the sprocket so the bore is all smooth.

    Click here to enlarge

    I was unable to proceed further since I neglected to order a replacement sprocket retainer, so that will be something I hope to pick up next week so I can proceed. Credit for the picture goes to ECS.

    Click here to enlarge


    Lastly, I got my front main seal sealant and primer in yesterday and there were no needle attachments included so I have to call about that as well and figure out whats going on.

  23. #23
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by d21spike Click here to enlarge
    A little bit more progress. Ended up mounting and adjusting my new wastegate actuators for full close at 6" Hg thanks to information provided by BMS.
    This is a nice update.

    Props on your work and details.

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    This is a nice update.

    Props on your work and details.
    Appreciate the kind words, figured better to have information out there as well as log for myself. Hopefully make more progress soon with the last bits coming in.

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