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I had to remove the power steering pump and mounting bracket to gain access to the cable route in order to replace the sensor. The sensor is inside the timing belt compartment on the left side of the engine as viewed from the front of your car. I will be posting all the parts, part #'s, prices, pictures and steps taken to do this job.
This article is one in a series that have been released in conjunction with Wayne's new book, 101 Performance Projects for Your BMW 3 Series.
The connecting rod bearings in BMW engines transmit 100 percent of the load from combustion to the crankshaft. If your engine has suffered from a loss of oil pressure, the first thing I recommend you do is replace your rod bearings. If your engine runs low on oil pressure, the crankshaft will ride on the actual metal bearing strip with no thin film in between. Using a clean-room wipe and isopropyl alcohol, carefully clean each rod bearing (see Photo 4). Each rod is stamped with a unique number, and rods and their matching caps must be kept together.
Rod nuts and bolts are one-time-use parts designed to be tightened to their torque values only once.
Interestingly enough, there is a factory recall notice (SI B 11 04 04) that dictates rod bearing replacement on the E46 M3 with the S54B32 engine, produced from February 12, 2001, through May 22, 2003. A relatively new failure mode is occurring on some six-cylinder BMW engines, like the ones used in the E36 series. To solve this problem, remove the lower oil pan and secure the nut in place so that it will not fall out. If you would like to see more technical articles like this one, please continue to support Pelican Parts with all your parts needs. A complete rod bearing replacement kit for a four-cylinder 318i contains eight bearing shells, eight rod bolts, and eight rod nuts. You can access the rod bearings relatively easily after you remove a bunch of other items (front axle support bar, steering rack, lower oil pan cover). If you remove the crankshaft from the car, you have the luxury of using a regular-sized micrometer to measure the rod bearing journals. Wearing a powder-free latex glove, use your finger to gently spread a thin layer of assembly lube on the inside surface of each bearing. The dreaded oil pump nut (red arrow) is a reverse-thread nut known to back out unexpectedly, resulting in the sprocket falling off of the oil pump shaft. Followup from the Pelican Staff: The cam locking set should work the same on both of those vehicles.
Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would check with parts for bearing kits, you will have to plastigauge the crank to determine bearing thickness. Followup from the Pelican Staff: If there was a failure that put foreign object debris into the engine, would replace the oil pump. Comments: Hello, I have a 2001 330ci which recently started having a low end knock that's what is sounds likeCould this just be a bad bearing? Comments: So on a 1976 2002 engine would the rod bearing tangs be on the same side as the article says for the 3 series engine? Followup from the Pelican Staff: This information is contained in the Bentley E30 workshop manual, I would suggest picking up a copy to make sure you have the right values.
Followup from the Pelican Staff: I think that yes, this engine does have the similar oil pump nut as the earlier cars.
Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't have them handy, but this information is in the E30 Bentley manual, which you should have a copy of if you're rebuilding your engine. Fast & Furious 6 (alternatively known as Fast Six) is a 2013 action film written by Chris Morgan and directed by Justin Lin. When I pulled the front cover apart, I had found that the balance shaft belt had lost most of its teeth.
My sensor was physically damaged, which confirmed the steady state voltage from the sensor when the crankshaft was turned. The book contains 272 pages of full color projects detailing everything from performance mods to timing the camshafts.
They are the one component most likely to be damaged by low oil pressure and the one component that, if worn, will result in complete engine failure. This accelerates the rod bearing wear significantly, causing the bearings to overheat and disintegrate in a matter of minutes. If you use a crankshaft that has had rod journals reground, you will have to use oversized rod bearings.
Disconnect the fuel or DME relay, and allow the car to build oil pressure by turning over the starter in 10-second increments. The original bearings in these engines were prone to failure if the engines were driven at high rpm for extended periods of time (exactly what you'd expect to do to an M3).

The oil pump gear attaches to the engine crank by a chain and a sprocket held on with a small reverse-thread nut. Some people I've spoken to seem to believe the odds of it falling off may be increased by aggressive driving and go so far as to suggest it happens when the chassis of the car is spun around on the pavement (like at the race track). If you like what you see here, then please visit our online BMW catalog and help support the collection and creating of new and informative technical articles like this one. Don't ever reuse rod bolts--they are stretch bolts and are only designed to be tightened once. Although it may seem difficult to reach the rod bearings, having access to them in this manner means that you won't have to remove the engine and tear it down as on many other cars. If maneuvering inside the lower part of the BMW engine, you may have to experiment with various micrometers and dial calipers in order to measure the journals accurately.
This will cause an immediate drop in oil pressure and quite possibly complete destruction of the engine. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. I plan to replace my crank and piston bearings in my 02 BMW 325i, and would like to get my crank turned down. Once I get in there what would indicators should I look for concerning issues past just the bearing? Do you know if my engine has this issue with the oil pump nut and is there any other preventative suggestions that you recommend.
Join us in our BMW E36 Technical Forum Message Board and ask a question to one of our many automotive experts. I think the damage was caused when teeth falling from the timing belt got pushed through the sensor by the crankshaft fins. With more than 650+ full-color glossy photos accompanying extensive step-by-step procedures, this book is required reading in any 3 Series owner's collection.
The side of the bearing facing opposite the piston tends to get the most wear, because the rod pushes on it with a huge amount of force when the cylinder fires.
When most people think of bearings, they think of ball bearings like you would find in the wheel of a bicycle.
If the engine hasn't seized and you've driven the car with the low oil pressure lamp on for even a short while, you should bite the bullet and replace the rod bearings as soon as possible. On the E30 and E36, this involves removing the front suspension, front axle support bar, steering rack (Project 59), and lower sump oil pan (Project 19). If they are shiny, if you see brass-colored metal, or if the bearings are missing chunks or pieces, they are surely worn and need to be replaced. Depending upon which engine you have, there may be upper and lower bearing shell halves (blue for the top side and red for the lower side near the rod cap). If you have the cap aligned correctly, with the numbers lining up, the rod bearing tangs located on the edge of each bearing will also butt up against each other.
When tightening the rod bolts, carefully follow the torque values and use a calibrated torque wrench. The design of the S54 motor is very similar to the earlier inline six-cylinders, and the rod bearing replacement procedure is the same.
Whatever the cause, this very serious problem seems to be affecting many more cars as they age and are driven harder and harder. Your continued support directly affects the expansion and existence of this site and technical articles like this one.
Be sure to purchase the correct size rod bearings, as they need to match the size of your crankshaft (see Photo 3). Gently wipe the surface of the bearing with a clean-room wipe and alcohol, and also wipe the bearing journal of the rod.
After tightening the rod nuts and bolts to their final torque values (using only old rod bolts and nuts), the wax will flatten out. On the side of the rod there should be a paint mark indicating which size bearing fits the rod.
Any advice, or really you just can't go wrong and do it.I will be buying the Bentley repair manual, but might take my crank in to get turned before I buy it, then study the hell out of it, while waiting on crank. You could try a bearing, but with the labor and cost involved, most people replace the engine instead.
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On the opposite side of the power stroke, the same rod pulls the piston and rod assembly back toward the crankshaft, creating wear on the opposite side. The rod bearings are very different; they are basically a strip of curved metal that an oil film floats on. A catastrophic drop in oil pressure might be caused by hitting a large rock on the freeway that punctures the bottom of your oil sump, or having the oil pump nut come loose on your E36 six-cylinder engine (more on this later).

Using a clean-room wipe and isopropyl alcohol, clean all oil and residue off of the rod bolts and nuts. Double-check that you have properly lubed all the bearings and lined up the rods with their matching caps before you begin to torque the rod nuts to their final values.
Breaking in an engine involves all of the parts in the engine beginning to wear together, finding their groove. The factory recall involves replacing the bearings and an update to the factory engine management software (DME) to restrict rpm when the car is in lower gears. As a result, the sprocket becomes loose and can separate from the oil pump, leading to zero oil pressure in the engine.
The problem doesn't seem to correlate to mileage, as many lower-mileage cars appear to have been affected as well (cars with less than 50,000miles on the odometer).
Other people have run safety wire through the nut, applied Loctite, and deformed the inner edge of the nut with a punch. As always, if you have any questions or comments about this helpful article, please drop us a line.
Wipe down the crankshaft rod bearing surface, and double-check that there is no dirt anywhere on the assembly.
Compare the width of the wax to the measurement scale enclosed with the Plastigage to obtain an accurate reading of the clearances. You can always use a Dremel tool later on if you need to replace the sprocket or the chain. These push-pull forces on the crankshaft bearings are exactly opposite each other and create wear patterns on opposite sides of the bearing journals.
When the engine is running perfectly, the connecting rod bearing never touches the crankshaft, as thin oil molecules are suspended between the bearing and the crankshaft. Most procedures involve tightening the rod bolt to a specific torque value, and then further tightening the bolt a certain number of degrees.
Close-tolerance parts actually wear and machine themselves into proper alignment with their counterparts over time.
This can be catastrophic to the rod bearings, which are typically the first components to fail. If you don't weld it, at least replace the nut with a new one (part number 11-41-1-735-137). What are the key things I need to know or have ready when contacting the machine shop, to tell them what I want. I dont want to go thru the hassle of replacing all of the belts and putting it back together just to find it still wont start.
The only time they might touch under normal circumstances is when you first start up the engine and there's not much oil pressure built up yet. For the first 1,200 miles, do not exceed engine rpm of 5,500 or road speed of 105 miles per hour. Keep in mind that this nut is reverse threaded, so to remove it, you need to turn it clockwise.
As a result, the crank and bearings rode on each other, resulting in significant wear as the crank and bearings experienced direct metal-to-metal contact.
Is it possible to replace the bolt as well without replacing its housing components of the oil pump entirely? Rods typically become damaged when a more basic problem, like low oil pressure, caused by high heat or simply low oil levels, causes the rod bearings to run dry. With the cap removed, gently push the other rod half up into the engine until the rod can clear the crankshaft journal. Spread the assembly lube across the rod bearing with your finger while wearing powder-free latex gloves.
The nut may be loose and the car will run fine for thousands of miles, as the chain tends to keep the sprocket roughly in place on the oil pump shaft.
The rod bearing journals are some of the last components to receive oil, and thus are often the first to run dry when the engine oil level runs low. Place a small strip of cardboard against the surface of the crankshaft--you don't want to scratch the delicate polished surface of the crankshaft with the edge of the rod.
If you don't gloves, wash your hands first with nonpumice soft soap and make sure they are clean of any dirt or debris.
The result is catastrophic failure, as the rod itself crushes and squeezes the rod bearings against the crankshaft.
Lubricate both bearing halves, and wipe a small amount around the sides of the big end of the rod to help lubricate any side contact the rod and crankshaft might see before adequate oil pressure is achieved.
Crankshafts are marked with various colored paint, depending upon tolerances (in this case a red mark, shown here by the orange arrow).

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