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View Poll Results: What's Happened with Your Rod Bearings?
Still on the factory originals 117 53.18%
Still on the recalled originals (Pre-Facelift Only) 51 23.18%
Changed them with less than 50k on the engine 0 0%
Changed between 50-100k 14 6.36%
Changed between 100-150K 21 9.55%
Changed above 150k 2 0.91%
I was too late ; bearings were toast before the sump came off 7 3.18%
Changed as a preventative measure but I was too late 1 0.45%
Changed but I got lucky 3 1.36%
Changed but it was pointless 4 1.82%
Voters: 220. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 24th October 2017, 09:52 PM   #1
M3Chas
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Default Definitive E46 M3 Rod Bearing Thread : How Long Has Yours Lasted?

I'll be honest. The paranoia has hit me. At least in 80% of VANOS cases and most HG issues they don't tend to write off the engine, like the rod bearings can.

I know I am not the only one in that case.

But we are not here to discuss that. I'm here to get some facts and figures. Not opinions, or what a mechanic said, just the empirical evidence. That's it.

My question to you is how far has your engine come on the rod bearings? Points to include:
  • Are you still running the original bearings from the Factory with no issues
  • Did yours have the recall done and are you still on those shells
  • Did you change yours as a precaution? If so, when? Was it even necessary
  • Did you change yours because they were toast? What mileage and age did things go wrong at?

If the following can be put on that would also be superb:

-Year of the car
-Type and oil and filter done
-Servicing intervals you do

Hopefully the poll should make things easier to see.

P.S : Can a mod make the poll multiple choice? I forgot to tick the box and I can't delete the thread and start again!

Last edited by M3Chas; 25th October 2017 at 01:07 AM.
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Old 24th October 2017, 10:09 PM   #2
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107k with no issues and no recall.
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Old 24th October 2017, 10:09 PM   #3
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Good thread, may as well gather empirical evidence. I'd also ask if anyone did an oil sample beforehand

Recall done at a guess between 20 and 30k.

Was going to do them at 155k, but too late, scored crank shaft, and they were worn.

Oil sample came back as good, but was a lie, possibly because of regular oil changes done by me.
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Old 24th October 2017, 10:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7DT View Post
Good thread, may as well gather empirical evidence. I'd also ask if anyone did an oil sample beforehand

Recall done at a guess between 20 and 30k.

Was going to do them at 155k, but too late, scored crank shaft, and they were worn.

Oil sample came back as good, but was a lie, possibly because of regular oil changes done by me.
Thatís an interesting point on the oil sample, I was considering getting the oil tested soon too.

I did see the pictures of your crank and it doesnít look like they were caused by worn out shells to me, so if testing for copper in oil, maybe there wasnít any there to show up, the scoring could have occurred a while ago.

Has anyone else had their oil tested and has successfully identified big end bearing wear and subsequently had them replaced?
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Old 25th October 2017, 06:35 AM   #5
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205k for me, factory recalled bearings, not sure when they were done but 20k rings a bell. Must get round to changing them but the car only does 2k a year now!
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Old 25th October 2017, 06:50 AM   #6
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I've been thinking about doing mine soon. Mine is on 119k now and it had the recall in 2004 so I think the bearings themselves have done around 100k now.

TBH a lot of people post about having theirs replaced and they are lucky how they got to them on time etc because of the wear but obviously after 100k or so they are going to look worn - judging by photo's I've seen of them coming out of a seemingly healthy car it would appear that even once they are down to the copper there is life left in them.
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Old 25th October 2017, 06:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7DT View Post
=
Oil sample came back as good, but was a lie, possibly because of regular oil changes done by me.
IIRC you'd only done a few thousand miles on the oil - which surely wouldn't yield an accurate reading.
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Old 25th October 2017, 07:31 AM   #8
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i decided to keep my old car for another year and the rod bearings issue was always a worry for me (im on 115k) my cars a daily which has been looked after well by cutter furny for 4 years and me 2 years, oil changes every 3-5k miles tops over the last 50,000 miles.

ive booked mine into jws developments in chesterfield who have replaced a lot of them, going by their facebook page the majority at 100-130k are down to copper. how long the engine will survive after the copper comes through who knows, theres plenty cars out there with 150-200k miles (see above) i guess its luck of the draw.

i will post my results back in the next 3 weeks (cars in 3rd november)

the way i see it is. if you need a reliable daily kept in tip top shape. 800 quid is better than a spun shell and a toasted engine which will cost 3-5k......
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Old 25th October 2017, 07:34 AM   #9
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2005 supercharged, still on factory bearings. No issues so far.
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Old 25th October 2017, 07:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesHirst View Post

ive booked mine into jws developments in chesterfield who have replaced a lot of them, going by their facebook page the majority at 100-130k are down to copper. how long the engine will survive after the copper comes through who knows, theres plenty cars out there with 150-200k miles (see above) i guess its luck of the draw.
This is kind of what I was getting at. You see a lot of people saying "god I'm lucky I replaced my bearings but not *that* many people who've had them fail.

Either way I think its probably worth it for piece of mind TBH
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Old 25th October 2017, 07:56 AM   #11
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benn i think your so right there. piece of mind. i cant be doing with a car conking out on me and couldnt be arsed with it been off the road after an engine failure...so preventative maintenance it is.

at the end of the day whats 800 quid. 1 months depreciation on a new car hence the reason why im doing mine
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Old 25th October 2017, 07:58 AM   #12
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107k and still on originals, mines an 05 reg so no recall I am aware of.
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Old 25th October 2017, 08:18 AM   #13
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Changed at 107K and was very lucky as they were in a sorry state.

Bought the car at 90k and dropped the oil every 6k before I changed them.

Car had a great service schedule before hand as well!
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Old 25th October 2017, 08:31 AM   #14
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Mine is on 104k, bearings were recalled at 32k and my indy said don't worry about them! If I still have the car at 120k i'll have them done
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Old 25th October 2017, 08:40 AM   #15
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Great thread. Something that's come up more and more of late, and not helping my paranoia. Like said, whilst the normal worries about SMG, Vanos or HG stuff I can live with, this is something that if happened, it's a game changer as it's not only the cost, it's the inconvenience of rebuild or new engine which the irony is you have to probably do them anyway. The other thing for me is I'm looking to change mine so would end up keeping it longer as a consequence so I guess changing them for £700 seems like is a no brainier.

So I ring my Indy and he sounds surprised when I ask about doing them. He asked if I had a problem with them? Said the car drove fine and he said keep my money in my pocket as he's done 2 in 12 years and he's worked on many M3's. That's not to say mine won't be 3 but like said, how many of these in proportion to those made have gone?

I think like most things, it comes down to previous ownership and the irony is I think with these cars, the new owner is probably more meticulously than previous ones years ago that didn't have to worry about things that are applicable to age and therefore wear of cars that are min of 16 years old....

Last edited by Litchy; 25th October 2017 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 25th October 2017, 08:51 AM   #16
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car is on 145k, found out the recall was done at 75k.
2001 lsb
rebuilding the engine this winter for no other reason than getting it spent!
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Old 25th October 2017, 09:17 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesHirst View Post
benn i think your so right there. piece of mind. i cant be doing with a car conking out on me and couldnt be arsed with it been off the road after an engine failure...so preventative maintenance it is.

at the end of the day whats 800 quid. 1 months depreciation on a new car hence the reason why im doing mine
Exactly my attitude to this kind of thing too.

Subframe, rod bearings, vanos... if it bugs you that much put your mind at rest the only way possible.
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Old 25th October 2017, 12:04 PM   #18
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Mine is booked in next Tuesday, £850 sound about right with oem shells? Had the recall at 20k but has since done 107k..

So far boot floor, headgasket, diff rebuild and now finally the dreaded bearings.

Christmas money better be good because I wanted to get the rear arches sorted lol
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Old 25th October 2017, 12:38 PM   #19
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124K at the moment, I believe from info the recall was done on mine at approx 25K.
I'm planning on them next year with the service.
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Old 25th October 2017, 06:18 PM   #20
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Cheers for the responses for those who have contributed. It's interesting to see some high milers still looking to be OK, and the results on the poll look interesting too.

As always, let's get the facts down of your experiences on this thread and update the poll while you are there. The more info about your car the better as I have outlined above .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winx View Post
205k for me, factory recalled bearings, not sure when they were done but 20k rings a bell. Must get round to changing them but the car only does 2k a year now!
Impressive! Good to see a car going that far really.
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