Z3M S50 died this morning

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Derventio
Joined: Wed 02 Jul, 2014 16:36
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Z3M S50 died this morning

Post by Derventio » Fri 11 Jul, 2014 20:53

I was driving at about thirty mph this morning when there was a metallicrattle (sounded like a chain failing?) from the engine then the engine lost all power and stopped. Cranking it over gave a very off beat sound and no attempt to start. Checking the camchain through the oil filler I can see it moving on the sprocket. I suppose it may be the vanos? I did consider a dropped valve but the engine would have continued to run on 5 cylinders. I guess a compression test may reveal a bit more. I'm going to investigate further tomorrow but does anyone have any idea what the problem may be?

Alan W
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Re: Z3M S50 died this morning

Post by Alan W » Fri 11 Jul, 2014 20:58

Oh dear, sounds bad, hope its something simple..
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Derventio
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Re: Z3M S50 died this morning

Post by Derventio » Sat 12 Jul, 2014 00:11

Forgot to say, other than the irritating lumpy idle, the car was running great before hand without any unusual noises. I'm sure that this is a cam issue. Not sure it'll help but I'll hook up the diagnostics in the morning to see if there's a clue there.

siwilson
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  M roadster S54
Location: Horley

Re: Z3M S50 died this morning

Post by siwilson » Sat 12 Jul, 2014 07:25

Sorry to hear this. Sounds £££ :(

After diags the next thing I would do is drain the oil to check for bits of metal. If you find any then there is no sense mucking about taking bits off in situ.

Hope its something relatively cheap.
2001 M roadster S54 Laguna Seca Blue

Derventio
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Re: Z3M S50 died this morning

Post by Derventio » Sat 12 Jul, 2014 12:10

Diagnostics show nothing relevant to this problem. Back to the spanners!

Derventio
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  M roadster S52

Re: Z3M S50 died this morning

Post by Derventio » Sat 12 Jul, 2014 13:39

Z3M cam failure.jpg
Z3M cam failure.jpg (38.58 KiB) Viewed 3358 times
.... and behold, exhaust cam snapped half way across no. 1 cylinder valves. I've never heard of a S50 or S54 cam snapping before. Had hoped that the valves had survived but after slowly rotating the snapped segment of the cam it's pretty clear that the number 5 exhaust valves are both bent. Bugger, complete top end strip down coming...

Derventio
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Re: Z3M S50 died this morning

Post by Derventio » Sat 12 Jul, 2014 14:14

Anyone got any recommendations as to where to buy a head gasket set from?

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Althulas
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  M roadster S50

Re: Z3M S50 died this morning

Post by Althulas » Sat 12 Jul, 2014 17:08

The only kits I can see on eBay are from the USA http://m.ebay.co.uk/itm/151327679353?nav=SEARCH during my engine rebuild my indie got mine from BMW with the new head bolts which come to about £315 excluding his vat.

You could try eurocarparts but I don't know if it would be OEM.
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pingu
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Re: Z3M S50 died this morning

Post by pingu » Sat 12 Jul, 2014 21:59

Derventio wrote:Anyone got any recommendations as to where to buy a head gasket set from?
Damage looks horrendous. Have you any idea what caused it?

I wouldn't buy any parts until you have taken the head off and have a full list of parts required.

At the moment you need a head gasket, a camshaft, two exhaust valves and probably two valve shims.

How much money are you prepared to spend sorting this?

A 2nd hand engine is around £2.5k. I don't know if there are any 2nd hand heads around, but the bottom half of your engine will still be worth at least £1k (if not more) if all rods and pistons are OK. You still have lots of valuable head parts left (32 valve shims, 14 exhaust valves, 16 inlet valves, etc.). I've just spent around £50 on 7 valve shims. You have 32 there, each costs £6-£7 at the dealers. They have to be worth £4 each, especially if they have been accurately measured :wink: .

If you have damaged a piston, the list will go something like this...

No.1 piston
Set of piston rings (if you do one, you should do them all or you could end up with unbalanced compression)
Set of big end bearings (might as well do it while you have the bearings off)
Set of uprated big-end bolts (not essential, but it would be a shame not to do it while you are there, and you shouldn't re-use big end bolts)

You may also have bent the con-rod and damaged the valve stems or valve seats, the list goes on.

Buying parts before you have the full list is the money-pit option.
Pingu

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Re: Z3M S50 died this morning

Post by gookah » Sat 12 Jul, 2014 22:16

Derventio wrote:
Z3M cam failure.jpg
.... and behold, exhaust cam snapped half way across no. 1 cylinder valves. I've never heard of a S50 or S54 cam snapping before.
Ouch!
However I would also be looking for the thing that had caused it to snap, because even it it was a manufacturing fault in the camshaft, then what has made it fail completely? Why would it snap just by rotating?
If part of it came to a sudden halt, then that's what I would be looking for, perhaps oil starvation and one end seizing. check those oil ways or a new camshaft will just do the same.
Hope you find and cure the cause, and its not too expensive..
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Derventio
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  M roadster S52

Re: Z3M S50 died this morning

Post by Derventio » Mon 14 Jul, 2014 10:02

Everything looks fine, I took the broken segment off the engine yesterday and the wear was what I would have expected from a 72k mile engine (none!). Sadly No.5 cylinders exhaust valves are definitely bent so it's got to be a complete top end overhaul. With no evidence to the contrary it looks like the cam failed due to manufacturing defect - the cams walls are very thin at this location.

I had considered a replacement engine but most out there have done significantly more miles than mine and the majority are S54 engines. Not sure what's involved in fitting one of those engines as an upgrade or even if the block's the same - I know that the entire engine management system would need to be changed for starters but then there's that damn immobiliser...

My biggest problem at the moment is that my Bentley manual doesn't cover the Euro S50 engine, only the American versions, and the cam/Vanos arrangement is very different. I have managed to locate an excellent pdf file for the removal and installation of the Vanos but nothing at all for the removal of the cams, chain, sprockets etc. Can anyone point me in the right direction here?

siwilson
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Re: Z3M S50 died this morning

Post by siwilson » Mon 14 Jul, 2014 10:04

Any idea how much, if any swarf is now running around the engine? it looked like some form the picture.
2001 M roadster S54 Laguna Seca Blue

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Althulas
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Re: Z3M S50 died this morning

Post by Althulas » Mon 14 Jul, 2014 11:36

Even though I turned offmy engine and dipped the clutch when I heard my engine give a squeal the oil pump was full of debrie and I ended up changing it, I'm not trying to scare Monger you but would be worth taking the sump off for peice of mind. Apart from BMW TIS online I don't know what other site to suggest. I hope your able to effect a cost effective repair though. Is worth a long shot to speak/write to BMW about a manufacturing fault causing al this damage to see if they might help in some way?
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Derventio
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  M roadster S52

Re: Z3M S50 died this morning

Post by Derventio » Mon 14 Jul, 2014 12:06

Actually almost nothing on the magnetic sump plug. Will be flushing it through regardless. The only debris was still in the cambox.

The problem I've come across at the moment is removing the inlet cam's hub. The Beisan Systems website suggests that once unbolted it should come away by lifting forward and up but there's absolutely no way that there's sufficient clearance between the cam and the front of the engine to allow for this (would have posted an image but this bloody attachments issue....).

Derventio
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Re: Z3M S50 died this morning

Post by Derventio » Mon 14 Jul, 2014 12:17

Althulas wrote: Is worth a long shot to speak/write to BMW about a manufacturing fault causing al this damage to see if they might help in some way?
Sadly, my experience of dealing with BMW service is entirely negative, they seem to be in utter denial when it comes to accepting that they can make engineering design errors - witness the N47 / N57 diesel engine cam chain debacle. I have a 320d M Sport that's just out of warranty and first gear's gone on the manual box. Turns out this too is quite a common issue but not if you talk to BMW. Very disappointed in their attitude so will be going back to Audi later this year.

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pingu
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Re: Z3M S50 died this morning

Post by pingu » Mon 14 Jul, 2014 21:53

Derventio wrote:
Althulas wrote: Is worth a long shot to speak/write to BMW about a manufacturing fault causing al this damage to see if they might help in some way?
Sadly, my experience of dealing with BMW service is entirely negative, they seem to be in utter denial when it comes to accepting that they can make engineering design errors - witness the N47 / N57 diesel engine cam chain debacle. I have a 320d M Sport that's just out of warranty and first gear's gone on the manual box. Turns out this too is quite a common issue but not if you talk to BMW. Very disappointed in their attitude so will be going back to Audi later this year.
I agree about BMW service, but the same can be said for any other marque. Once the vehicle is out of warranty they don't care. There are too many fish in the sea who buy a badge for them to worry about the odd camshaft. I'm surprised that you still have your 320d and there is not an empty space where it used to be. They don't care about the lack of security on the pre-Fxx cars either.

But, that's not curing your problem. The images that I have seen of the VANOS being dismantled looked quite simple. I assume you have taken the fan and cowling off. Have you also removed the radiator for access. I'd probably do that.

Still, please don't spend any money until you have the head off (and the sump if that's coming off as well).
Pingu

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TitanTim
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Re: Z3M S50 died this morning

Post by TitanTim » Mon 14 Jul, 2014 22:11

The problem with buying any secondhand performance car regardless of make is unless you know its history you have no idea how its been treated, most likely thrashed to an inch of its life, never warmed up beforehand, skipped servicing etc. You can't really blame BMW to be honest. If you want trouble free motoring then buy while its still in warranty or new, otherwise a lottery as to whether you've bagged a good one or one storing up future problems. Luck of the draw end of the day.

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Tilly
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Location: Sussex

Re: Z3M S50 died this morning

Post by Tilly » Tue 15 Jul, 2014 17:51

Derventio wrote:
Althulas wrote: Is worth a long shot to speak/write to BMW about a manufacturing fault causing al this damage to see if they might help in some way?
Sadly, my experience of dealing with BMW service is entirely negative, they seem to be in utter denial when it comes to accepting that they can make engineering design errors - witness the N47 / N57 diesel engine cam chain debacle. I have a 320d M Sport that's just out of warranty and first gear's gone on the manual box. Turns out this too is quite a common issue but not if you talk to BMW. Very disappointed in their attitude so will be going back to Audi later this year.
No manufacturer likes to fork out on an older car. I can only say that many cars received help, at least initially, with the boot weld problems. I personally have had two experiences with BMW claims. One on the cam gears in the M and the other for rear shock on the five. I receive goodwill payments for both jobs covering over 90% of the costs and neither car was in warranty.

In addition, as Titan said, with older cars you often never know how they were treated and serviced. If you have a full BMW service record it certainly helps with any claim but a previous owners use is very difficult to gauge.
Last edited by Tilly on Tue 15 Jul, 2014 18:42, edited 1 time in total.

Phil
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Re: Z3M S50 died this morning

Post by Phil » Tue 15 Jul, 2014 18:12

I've have 2 new hoods supplied and fitted as goodwill gestures in the past because of wear lines. Both without warranty.
So I cant complain. Our cars are very old now and a lot have been abused. So can't blame the manufacturer all the time.
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Derventio
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  M roadster S52

Re: Z3M S50 died this morning

Post by Derventio » Tue 15 Jul, 2014 18:31

I quite agree, which is why I've no intention of approaching BMW for a cam failure in a 16 year old car! The only comment I'd tend to disagree with is that the camshaft is one of the last components I'd expect to fail due to high rev abuse - the bottom end is going to fail way before. In my case the car was purchased as a very low mileage car with good history - it's still only done 72k. However, it did suffer the dreaded boot floor problem but by then the car was so old that the nice man at BMW thought I was having him on when I suggested some kind of goodwill gesture...!

Del
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  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: Z3M S50 died this morning

Post by Del » Tue 15 Jul, 2014 20:45

I agree with you Derventio, this is a rare happening and I'm not sure that it can be conveniently blamed on a less than impeccable BMW service history aka a BMW apprentice changing the engine oil every 2-years. :D

Hope you can get it sorted at a reasonable cost and get it back on the road to enjoy.

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TitanTim
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Re: Z3M S50 died this morning

Post by TitanTim » Tue 15 Jul, 2014 21:24

Have to say my BMW apprentice has looked after the Zed impeccably for the past 6 years :wink:

Tim.
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Z3cade
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  M roadster S50
Location: Peterborough

Re: Z3M S50 died this morning

Post by Z3cade » Tue 15 Jul, 2014 21:41

Very sorry to hear this but I do have some good news for you.. I have a set of standard S50 cams that I would be willing to sell as mines fitted with shrink cams ;) let me know if your interested.
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