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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-03-2011, 12:14 PM
645Coup 645Coup is offline
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Location: UK
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: 645ci
Open heart surgerydidn't fix the V8 tick

Hi All,

I too have an N62B44 engine with the well known tick that a lot of 545i drivers in the states have, I first noticed the noise after about a month of ownership after I became used to the car. Like all the other threads the noise is present when cold, at low revs, on light throttle, disappears when you lift your foot off the gas and is not noticeable at cruising speeds. The noise isn’t audible at tick over from either outside the car or inside, only when load is on the engine, its not any of the ancillary drives such as alternator or A/C pump.
About 2-3 months after the purchase I changed the oil as a matter of course, although the car salesman said they would service the car before I picked it up I don’t trust them as far as I could throw them!
To my surprise I found a couple of very small, very very thin, magnetic flakes in the oil filter cup, initially my stomach sank thinking I’ve bought a time bomb (a Sept ’04 645ci), but then an experienced mechanic friend of mine said not to worry ‘yet’ as this could be the remnants of the casting process flashings and machining swarf that had failed to come out of the engine fully during the initial first two oil changes done under warranty.

As an aside…….
I used to work for Toyota Engine Manufacturing and this does have some logic as the ZZ engine blocks are machined, washed, pressure tested, and if needs be any porosity filled via a pressurised ‘grout’ type process then retested. Anyway, knowing how many manufacturing processes the various components go through during construction, it is entirely feasible that the first couple of oil changing not only break the engines in, they also flush the galleries to some degree and those changes have to be done by the dealer, therefore you never see the old oil.

Additionally this friend of mine pointed out that the majority of cars have the ‘canister’ type oil filters that you unscrew and throw away, totally sealed not knowing what is inside them. He pointed out to me that, out of curiosity, he pulled one apart on a brand new Honda Civic Type ‘R’ and was amazed to find lots of bits!

I digress.

So I jumped on the forums both European and American only to find that this ticking is a know issue….. brilliant! Why didn’t I do more research before buying?!?
http://forums.5series.net/topic/9661...i/page__st__45
http://www.bimmerforums.co.uk/forum/...k-help-t51374/
http://forums.5series.net/topic/2096...apping__st__15


I then stumbled upon this thread that shows how one of these liner-less engines had began to eat itself!
http://e60.5post.com/forums/showthre...=364646&page=1


I also found a thread pointing to premature failure of the big-end rod shells.
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=455012

Brilliant, was this the start of the dead cylinder 6 story? My ticking is far less severe than the ones posted on YouTube, so I thought I was at the early stages of the same problem eventually alluding to scored cylinder walls and a dead engine?
Now, do I sell the car, find the cause, or investigate the cylinders via a bore scope? Well the car was due for the V8 brake recall fix so while it was in, I asked them to investigate the noise and gave strict instruction on how to replicate it. Well after £80 for 1hrs investigation (they basically drove it!) a Tech said its piston slap and the Master Tech said it’s a bottom end issue (so they couldn’t agree between themselves!...& £80!), the Master Tech suggested a compression test and a leak down test, then pulling the sump (which is an engine out job for BMW as they like to do it with plenty of space and don’t care about the £120/hr they charge their customers, plus the sump is in two parts sandwiched up against the sub-frame!). Bearing in mind that the above thread link pointed to worn shells and the Master Tech said its bottom end, I went home and preformed a compression test and changed the plugs as they were due for changing (I’ve got pics of the methods in-case you’re interested as the back two are a real pain!), anyway, the comp test showed uniformity and none of the plugs were oily / sooty. But there’s still the ‘bottom end’ tick! BTW the car has full service history.
Right, in for a penny in for a pound, I went on www.realoem.com and armed with a copy of BMW’s TIS service data (eBay), I set about ordering replacement Big-end Conrod Shells and all associated seals etc. to replace them over the Christmas period, £292.00 & 4 days later I had all the bits (including an oil pressure gauge)

Part No.
B11247516322 – Rod Bolts x16
B11247528900 – Bearing Shell Top x8
B11241438927 – Bearing shell Btm x8
B11417508288 – O-ring x2
B11421713597 – O-ring x1
B11137506774 – Gasket x1
B11137545293 – Gasket x1
B11431287541 – O-ring x1

The strip down
Hopefully the pictures will tell a large part of the story but to do this I needed: -
2x engine hoists
2x 3t Jacks
1x Bottle Jack
2x large ramps
1x fan heater (its winter)
1x Halogen flood light (doubles up as a heater)
20x Cups of Tea
3 ranges of torque wrenches
Engine sealant
Plastigauge
Engine assembly lube
Lint free rags
Oil pressure gauge
BMW TIS disc
Patience
3-4 days lying on your back in a garage
And an ability to work in military interrogation style stress positions!

1.
Remove engine cover


2.
Jack her up and secure


3.
Remove all under body guarding & reinforcement plate


4.
Remove lower oil sump


Here I found more flakes, not many, but a few more that were of the same material and too big to make it through the oil strainer. So they may have been there from day 1 and never made it out of the pan between oil changes as the opening at the sump plus is slightly raised….. or, they’re new!


5.
Secure the engine on the hoists, undo the engine mounts.


6.
Support the sub-frame with bottle jack and remove bolts, also remove securing pin from steering rack knuckle and unclip the wiring plugs from around the active steering unit.


7.
Drop the sub-frame 200mm being careful not to strain any hoses plus keep an eye on the steering column for binding while lowering. Remove the upper section of the Oil sump.


8.
Remove the Oil pump

Honestly, the size of the pump is massive, these engines are as close as you’re going to get to dry sump conditions without it actually being a dry sump!

9.
Clean down and change big end shells plastigauging as you go. Mine where all 0.05mm clearance or 0.002” in old money!



By the way, these engines use sintered conrods which basically means that the metal enters a die in powder form containing very accurate quantities of materials and then heated under pressure to form a rod. The rod is then machined and then fractured to split the cap from the rod! This looks very odd and I thought I had a naff batch of conrods in my engine by means of pressure welding and inter-granular growth, but these worries where soon put to bed. Here’s a link http://www.springerlink.com/content/u2xa72l9rgfwxty8/



10.
Reverse breakdown using assembly lube and sealant, torque and replace bolts and seals where necessary, test oil pressure and fire her up.

11.
What was found……well, nothing and the noise is still present!
However, this job did enable me to fully inspect all 8 bores and none of them have any scoring as seen in the horror story at the top of this thread!

Anyway, I thought I’d share this with you all as we can at least rule out big end bearing wear being the source of the tick. If that master tech was correct in that it is a bottom end issue then, in the coming months I may…MAY! pull the motor and inspect the crank shells. Its probably a hiding to nothing and the only other thing I can think of is the little end bearing but that’s a engine out and head off job and in all honesty I think I’ll have moved house by then, got myself a large double garage, solid the Bavarian Coupe and bought myself a daily drive and a E39 M5 to tune up!
If I was to pull the engine and do all this, in the end it still might actually be just piston slap and the scored cylinder in the above link was the most unluckiest dude ever!

Oh, and by the way, IMO the 19k between oil changes is BS due to fuel dilution, which typically degrades the oil from around 6-8k miles onwards. You can Google it, but here’s a quick layman’s link - http://www.tsadvancedsynthetics.com/...nd_Effects.htm
I’m not suggesting our piston rings have a habit of passing fuel mixture but there will be a slight gaseous leak over the millions of revolutions the engine goes through between services which may be affecting the engine and making one particular part wear quicker and therefore tick due to the lightweight oils and high pressure (read narrow) oil galleries not supplying the exacting oil requirements?!?!?


Moral of the story – my cylinders are clean and it aint big end bearings.
Thanks for reading!
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  #2  
Old 01-03-2011, 04:23 PM
TRS550 TRS550 is offline
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It's my understanding that the V8 ticking noise has to do with faulty valve lifters that bleed down when they aren't supposed to. Wasn't aware of any particular rod or main bearing issues.
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  #3  
Old 01-04-2011, 09:03 AM
645Coup 645Coup is offline
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Location: UK
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Mein Auto: 645ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by TRS550 View Post
It's my understanding that the V8 ticking noise has to do with faulty valve lifters that bleed down when they aren't supposed to. Wasn't aware of any particular rod or main bearing issues.
The thing I can't get my head around though is the fact that the ticking momentarily stops when the auto box winds off the power and changes gear. When the gear selected and the clutch engage (ie. axial force acting through the crankline) the ticking comes back.
Similarly, if I select manual mode, put it in 2nd drive under light load and keep the revs below 2500rpm the ticking is there, then as soon as I lift off the gass the noise stops. So the noise is directly related to a load being applied to the motor, when its rev'd from cold in neutral the noise isn't there!

My only other theory if its not the block area of the engine is, how the valvetronic works? Does this system instantly wind off the cam advancement through the servo motor during gear change? If it does, then it would create minimal lift of the valves during the 'no load' phase of the gear change explaining the lack of noise under no load conditions?
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  #4  
Old 03-07-2012, 08:09 PM
jcricketts jcricketts is offline
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Location: Washington State
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
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Mein Auto: BMW 545i
I believe that I have discovered th source of the noise. I chased this issue for weeks. looked up noises on several forums, took the top cover off the engine determined to estapblish where it was comng from.

This afternoon I took yet another run at it. Using a long half in bladed screwdriver, I touched the heads in a number of areas looking for telegraphed signs of trouble. In touching the heads one might believe that the engine isnt running. Standing there scratching my head, I put the SD on one of the fuel rails. OMG! there it was; the incidious noise that paralels the throttle position and load rate. It does not matter what part of the fuel rail I touch , it's the same.

I went to my indie to relate the discovery. His comment was; Oh ya! The injecters are making the noise and it is reletive to "04,'05 n62 engines. He also suggested that the '06 and beyond do not have the noise with a redesigned intake manifold.

I don't know that that is the answer but it works for me.
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  #5  
Old 01-09-2013, 06:43 AM
Stephen Max Stephen Max is offline
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Location: Austin, TX
 
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Mein Auto: 1998 M3, 2004 545i
The fact that the noise went away when you lifted off the throttle was an indication that it was injector noise. OBDII cars shut off fuel by shutting off the injectors when the throttle is closed at engine speeds above idle, i.e. coast down conditions.
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  #6  
Old 01-10-2013, 05:17 AM
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Hogie Hogie is offline
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Mein Auto: 330i, Z3 2.8L, 545i
Just an FYI.... I drove BMW and BMW NA nuts when my CPO 04 545i had a tick. Specially noticeable on cold days when driving slow speeds where RPM gets close to 1800 - 2000, like 1st to 2nd gear etc.

Noise settles down but not 100% when at operating temp. BMW logged countless hours and days on my N62. Finally stating that the N62 is just a noisy engine. Well that was at 40K miles and now I am at 178K miles - no worse and no better, just a noisy engine.
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  #7  
Old 01-10-2013, 06:21 AM
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dolfan13 dolfan13 is offline
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Agree ^^
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  #8  
Old 01-10-2013, 06:40 AM
E60black E60black is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hogie View Post
Just an FYI.... I drove BMW and BMW NA nuts when my CPO 04 545i had a tick. Specially noticeable on cold days when driving slow speeds where RPM gets close to 1800 - 2000, like 1st to 2nd gear etc.

Noise settles down but not 100% when at operating temp. BMW logged countless hours and days on my N62. Finally stating that the N62 is just a noisy engine. Well that was at 40K miles and now I am at 178K miles - no worse and no better, just a noisy engine.
This is what I concluded at after hours and hours of going through forums, a noisy engine. Just gotta live with it. Better to spend time/money in things that need attention or of course, mods.
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  #9  
Old 01-10-2013, 07:34 AM
v8power v8power is offline
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Usually the flakes are leftovers from the aluminum castings from manufactoring. Wear items will settle on the bottom of the oil pan when you drain the oil and in forms of metallic fine sand size particles.
Bmw have loud injector ticks. Without the top engine cover that has the insulation it would be noisey.
But wow. All that without trouble shooting without a stethoscope (sp?) to pinpoint where the noise is comming from.
Vanos
Injector
Chain tensioner
Would be my start.
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