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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 12-01-2013, 10:18 AM
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Not your normal oil change

So I am still chasing oil consumption. I now know my oil control rings are the cause after leakdown and compression tests show the engine is fine from that regard. A few months back I used Lubro Moly Pro Line engine flush and the consumption got a lot better (1qt every 1200 miles vs 1qt every 400) for a short time. Then it would go back to normal. I THOUGHT it was CVV related. But a new CVV didn't help. I finally consulted a 25 year BMW master mechanic (a friend of a friend) and he said "is it a M54 3.0?" "Oh yea, that is a real common issue, the oil control rings get caked with crap over the years".

He said to do 5 oil changes with 6qts dino, 16oz of sseafoam (one bottle) and 1/2qt trans fluid. Run it 250 miles, repeat for 5 cycles. He said he has had good success with this method. But, my wife and son got in their accident right in the middle of my second change and because we were down to one car, I had to dump it and go back to synthetic since we only had the one car and I was racking up 100 miles a day between hospital trips and errands and such.

So then I installed my catch can. That alone brought consumption down to about 1 quart per 750 miles.

Today, I decided to go about the routine again to see if I can get the catch can mod to give me over 1200 miles per quart. So did the Lubro Moly Flush again (directions say idle for 10 minutes, I idled for 10, fast idled at 2000rpm for 10 minutes), dumped the oil and went with Penzoil and the required seafoam/ATF concoction.

We shall see if 5 runs (1000 miles) does anything for me. After I am going to go with Castrol Syntec 5w50. I know it is heavy and not BMW spec, but I have 201k miles and change my oil around 5000 miles now. Besides, BMW doesn't recommend oil for OLD, hard worked engines so who cares.

One down side to all this, my damn driver side control arm bushing is bad. Has a small puddle of fluid in the recess and that side of my aluminum plate has some fluid on it too. For reference, they are Lemforder and have less than 40,000 miles on them.
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  #2  
Old 12-01-2013, 11:54 AM
davidmaria1 davidmaria1 is offline
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Engine flushes always make me nervous. But sometimes the old school method still works.
Definitely an aggressive mix of ingredients. When you do the change, any chance of straining some of the fluid through a coffee filter or something similar? I'm curious to see what comes out.
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  #3  
Old 12-01-2013, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by davidmaria1 View Post
Engine flushes always make me nervous. But sometimes the old school method still works.
Definitely an aggressive mix of ingredients. When you do the change, any chance of straining some of the fluid through a coffee filter or something similar? I'm curious to see what comes out.
Done the flush three times prior. No ill effects because even though my oil control rings are caked, the motor overall isn't that dirty, nor is it full of chunky sludge. Besides, if it blows up, it blows up. At this point this either works or I will replace the engine.

To your point though, when I drain the "flushed" oil it simply looks like thinner black oil like you normally get. I am replacing my oil pan gasket soon so I will get to see what (if anything) is in the pan from all this internal scrubbing.
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Old 12-01-2013, 01:49 PM
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Given Smolckie`s snappy driving style, I think we can rule out carbon deposits from the Usual Suspects List....I would bet that 99% of his internals are bright and shiny, with the exception of the ring lands ("grooves", for you neophytes).

Most of you old-timers are aware of my habit of breaking in new engines on dino oil, as opposed to the synthetic Castrol that comes from the factory. Hard-chrome-faced rings combined with synthetic oil presents a unique problem when it comes to break-in....a certain amount of friction is a good thing, it actually aids the process....too slippery is detrimental to the process

To achieve a good ring seal for longevity sake, the dino oil offers the proper amount of "scuff factor", which causes the ring gaps to "walk around" the piston as it travels up and down in the cylinder`s bore. This provides a "self-cleaning" action for both rings and lands, and hastens the break-in procedure. This (all-important) cleaning action is absent when synthetic is used for break-in.

Whether you can turn back the clock and recapture the break-in procedure remains to be seen, but Brother Smolck is giving it his best shot....

Good luck, Mang !
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Old 12-01-2013, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
Given Smolckie`s snappy driving style, I think we can rule out carbon deposits from the Usual Suspects List....I would bet that 99% of his internals are bright and shiny, with the exception of the ring lands ("grooves", for you neophytes).

Most of you old-timers are aware of my habit of breaking in new engines on dino oil, as opposed to the synthetic Castrol that comes from the factory. Hard-chrome-faced rings combined with synthetic oil presents a unique problem when it comes to break-in....a certain amount of friction is a good thing, it actually aids the process....too slippery is detrimental to the process

To achieve a good ring seal for longevity sake, the dino oil offers the proper amount of "scuff factor", which causes the ring gaps to "walk around" the piston as it travels up and down in the cylinder`s bore. This provides a "self-cleaning" action for both rings and lands, and hastens the break-in procedure. This (all-important) cleaning action is absent when synthetic is used for break-in.

Whether you can turn back the clock and recapture the break-in procedure remains to be seen, but Brother Smolck is giving it his best shot....

Good luck, Mang !
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Old 12-01-2013, 03:52 PM
shadow 2 shadow 2 is offline
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Did you try the Shell Rotella before this new effort, and did it show any improvement with that oil?
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:26 PM
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Did you try the Shell Rotella before this new effort, and did it show any improvement with that oil?
That is what I switched to after the second cycle of changes. Walmart had it cheap, I needed something in a hurry so I used it. If anything the consumption was WORSE with the Shell Rotella T6. I have read where it has helped some, but for me it was no good. My situation is unique though. Honestly, given the amount of oil threads and threads on unsticking rings and so forth, I can say that I am not sure oil makes that much of difference, at least from a brand prospective. For me, I am more worried about a heavier oil that will hopefully slow consumption.

If I had a non-sticking oil ring motor (like my old 323 that for all its faults never used a DROP of oil in 255k miles) I would just use Castrol 0w30 or BMW stuff.
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Old 12-02-2013, 07:33 AM
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Brother smockie, have a look at Kano Labs "Kreen". It's the big gun for internal engine cleaning according to BITOG. Not cheap though.
It this were mine, I'd probably put a bit down each plug bore and let it sit for a couple of days.
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Old 12-02-2013, 07:39 AM
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Brother smockie, have a look at Kano Labs "Kreen". It's the big gun for internal engine cleaning according to BITOG. Not cheap though.
It this were mine, I'd probably put a bit down each plug bore and let it sit for a couple of days.
Glad you said that. I have read a lot about Kreen and yes, everyone says it is amazing. I was just waiting for someone I know and trust to weigh in on it.

Queston, on a slant mounted motor like out I6's, will a piston soak work? I would think it would pool on the low side. Do I need to jack up that side of the car to make it sit level?

It's 15 bucks per qt. You think that is enough?
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  #10  
Old 12-02-2013, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by smolck View Post
Glad you said that. I have read a lot about Kreen and yes, everyone says it is amazing. I was just waiting for someone I know and trust to weigh in on it.

Queston, on a slant mounted motor like out I6's, will a piston soak work? I would think it would pool on the low side. Do I need to jack up that side of the car to make it sit level?

It's 15 bucks per qt. You think that is enough?
I would think sitting level would be the way to go. As you say, otherwise the high side will be dry. BTW, I have had good results with Rislone. This was a while ago though, and I'm sure the magical elixirs have gotten better.

Edit: apparently this company also make Kroil penetrating oil. I have used this stuff, and it's the real deal. I would consider them trustworthy. Thanks Scott ZHP! for the info.

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Old 12-02-2013, 08:00 AM
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Interesting discussion. Based on my experience with my own oil changes, I agree there is some merit in this "dirty rings" thing. After an oil and filter change, I seem to be able to go about 2500 miles before needing to add any. After that point, it seems it wants a half quart or so every 700 miles, and as I approach the end of my 7500 countdown change interval, even more often. Fresh oil appears to work better.

Blackstone has recommended, based on oil health, that I can go longer than 7500 interval, but I won't. I believe this may be a false reading due to me adding fresh oil so often.

Now, on to your "soak" idea... are you planning to fill the engine to the top with Kreen or similar and let it soak? Kinda like the filling with diesel idea I've read about? I'm intrigued...
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Old 12-02-2013, 08:00 AM
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Couldn't hurt to jack up the pass side a bit. I don't think you need much in each bore, a spoonfull or two ought to be fine. Kano makes good stuff. I'd probably use a tiny funnel and a foot of tubing. I know I don't have to tell YOU this, but make sure to crank it a few times, plugs OUT to clear the cyls after it's been sitting, just in case. Kano says to leave the plugs IN, probably to prevent the solvent from evaporating.

This stuff is a serious solvent; Kano swears it's fine to add to the oil and drive on it. I'm always a bit leery of adding solvent based products to my oil and then putting a load on it (anything but idling). Let us know if you do the soak or add it to the sump (or both). I've used Kroil and Aero-Kroil for years and I love both.
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Old 12-02-2013, 09:45 AM
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Now, on to your "soak" idea... are you planning to fill the engine to the top with Kreen or similar and let it soak? Kinda like the filling with diesel idea I've read about? I'm intrigued...
The cost of a gallon of Kreen is $60. I don't see me filling it full. I am going to do what Scott said and add a few oz to each spark plug hole and let it soak. I will likely also run it in my oil too for 100 miles cause I got nothing to loose. I've ordered the Kreen so we will see. I'll do pre and post Kreen compression and leakdown numbers for you all.


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Old 12-02-2013, 09:55 AM
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Old 12-02-2013, 09:58 AM
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This post is very interesting ... having owned several high-mileage cars over the years (300K+) maybe I've just been lucky not to wind up with a burner or a leaker! That said, one thing I've read and heard over and over again - "Don't expect a miracle elixir fix something mechanical ... at best it will disguise or cover the fault for a while BUT it won't make it go away."

Note - I didn't say or testify to that .. haters can stand down.

If I were you and you're not returning engine oil directly to where prehistoric life left it (leaking back into the ground) or if buying a refinery to keep your oil topped off is breaking the bank, it might be time for an engine tear down to confirm that rings and valve seals are doing their job.
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Old 12-02-2013, 10:47 AM
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This post is very interesting ... having owned several high-mileage cars over the years (300K+) maybe I've just been lucky not to wind up with a burner or a leaker! That said, one thing I've read and heard over and over again - "Don't expect a miracle elixir fix something mechanical ... at best it will disguise or cover the fault for a while BUT it won't make it go away."

Note - I didn't say or testify to that .. haters can stand down.

If I were you and you're not returning engine oil directly to where prehistoric life left it (leaking back into the ground) or if buying a refinery to keep your oil topped off is breaking the bank, it might be time for an engine tear down to confirm that rings and valve seals are doing their job.
Typically I agree with you. I do not believe in stop leak or stuff like that. If you have a leak, replace the part that is leaking and all. However, in this case the Lubro Moly does fix the problem temporarily because it frees up the rings and consumption goes down dramatically. However, I am sure it doesn't get them all the way clean and they get clogged again. That is why I think a long term, fairly aggressive flush is a POSSIBLE fix.

If it was a Jeep 4.0 inline 6 I'd have torn it down already. But it is hard and expensive to rebuild an M54b30 motor. I very clearly accept that I may have to replace this engine with another one to "FIX" the issue. However, I am willing to try several hundred dollars worth of liquid fixes before spending several thousand dollars.

The purpose of the thread is to let people know what I am doing (oil burning E46's are common) and any possible success I have. As well as get opinions from the group about things I might try to help.

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Last edited by smolck; 12-02-2013 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 12-02-2013, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
Typically I agree with you. I do not believe in stop leak or stuff like that. If you have a leak, replace the part that is leaking and all. However, in this case the Lubro Moly does fix the problem temporarily because it frees up the rings and consumption goes down dramatically. However, I am sure it doesn't get them all the way clean and they get clogged again. That is why I think a long term, fairly aggressive flush is a POSSIBLE fix.

If it was a Jeep 4.0 inline 6 I'd have torn it down already. But it is hard and expensive to rebuild an M54b30 motor. I very clearly accept that I may have to replace this engine with another one to "FIX" the issue. However, I am willing to try several hundred dollars worth of liquid fixes before spending several thousand dollars.

The purpose of the thread is to let people know what I am doing (oil burning E46's are common) and any possible success I have. As well as get opinions from the group about things I might try to help.



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Old 12-02-2013, 02:31 PM
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SO after 150 miles (mostly sustained interstate driving at 80mph and 3100rpm cause of the 3.46 diff) I have ZERO consumption. The rings are doing their job at the moment. This has happened in the past though, so I am not going to get excited yet. But usually after 150 miles, you would see a little off the full mark. Improvement comes in small doses with this process, so I am happy!

Oh, and guess who just ordered headers???
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Old 12-02-2013, 02:32 PM
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Another alternative would be to run it on straight dino oil for a few months and see what happens....Castrol GTX 0W-40 was my go-to oil for a long time before I started using Mobil 1 in the late 80s....it`s given great service in many high-performance engines.
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Old 12-02-2013, 02:45 PM
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Another alternative would be to run it on straight dino oil for a few months and see what happens....Castrol GTX 0W-40 was my go-to oil for a long time before I started using Mobil 1 in the late 80s....it`s given great service in many high-performance engines.
Been considering that too. I wonder though, given the shear problems with dino if it can handle the abuse of the double vanos and the timing chain setup on these cars. I have heard one of the reasons BMW is so picky about oil is because of high shear from these parts.
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Old 12-02-2013, 02:58 PM
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SO after 150 miles (mostly sustained interstate driving at 80mph and 3100rpm cause of the 3.46 diff) I have ZERO consumption. The rings are doing their job at the moment. This has happened in the past though, so I am not going to get excited yet. But usually after 150 miles, you would see a little off the full mark. Improvement comes in small doses with this process, so I am happy!

Oh, and guess who just ordered headers???
Is this consumption improvement AFTER you used the Kreen?
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Old 12-02-2013, 03:05 PM
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Is this consumption improvement AFTER you used the Kreen?
Yeah I'm wondering that also? lol.
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Old 12-02-2013, 03:16 PM
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Re: Not your normal oil change

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Is this consumption improvement AFTER you used the Kreen?
No. This is from the lubro moly engine flush and a motor filled with penzoil dino oil, a can of seafoam and a 1/2qt of ATF.

This was expected because the lubro moly on its own has freed up my rings for a short time in the past.

Kreen is on its way though.

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Old 12-02-2013, 03:22 PM
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No. This is from the lubro moly engine flush and a motor filled with penzoil dino oil, a can of seafoam and a 1/2qt of ATF.

This was expected because the lubro moly on its own has freed up my rings for a short time in the past.

Kreen is on its way though.

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I hope it works. If not doing rings isn't all THAT bad on our engines. Just time consuming as usual. And I did cut myself with the exacto blade doing mine. That wasn't to pleasant.
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Old 12-02-2013, 03:22 PM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
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Mein Auto: 2004 330Ci ZHP 3 pedals
Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
Been considering that too. I wonder though, given the shear problems with dino if it can handle the abuse of the double vanos and the timing chain setup on these cars. I have heard one of the reasons BMW is so picky about oil is because of high shear from these parts.
I don`t know about that....

BUT, plenty of 600-700+ HP hotrod engines survived on it for ages....

One way to tell would be to submit a synth sample, AND a dino sample, with the same miles on them, to Blackstone Labs....that should reveal any shortcomings, no ?
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