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Old 07-02-2020, 11:33 AM
MiracleFlow00 MiracleFlow00 is offline
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Shredded drive belt on 2011 E90

Yesterday, my drive belt completely shredded and after doing some research I learned that the N52 engines can sometimes suck up the belt through the crankshaft pulley. I basically parked my car immediately after the belt went out and haven't even tried to start it since.
I cleaned out as much belt as I could and decided to just replace the tensioner and idle pulley as I found an affordable belt set on FCP Euro. I couldn't really see any wrapped belt around the crankshaft pulley, but should I put in the effort to take it off, just to be sure or did I park and do the right thing in time to avoid the belt being pulled into the gap/seal? Opinions?
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Old 07-02-2020, 11:58 AM
dharmabmw dharmabmw is offline
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Was any of the belt wrapped around the crankshaft pulley? If so you need to do a very careful inspection of the front seal. As well, try to assemble the parts of the belt to account for as many parts as you can. Check all the pulleys in the path. Sometimes the shredding is as result of the AC pulley, the power steering pump or the alternator.
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Old 07-02-2020, 12:38 PM
MiracleFlow00 MiracleFlow00 is offline
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Originally Posted by dharmabmw View Post
Was any of the belt wrapped around the crankshaft pulley? If so you need to do a very careful inspection of the front seal. As well, try to assemble the parts of the belt to account for as many parts as you can. Check all the pulleys in the path. Sometimes the shredding is as result of the AC pulley, the power steering pump or the alternator.

I couldnt see anything around the crankshaft pulley, but I'll have to dbbl check in daylight. I didn't know those other pulleys could cause shredding, I'll have to check those as well. Thank you!
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Old 07-02-2020, 12:49 PM
ctuna ctuna is offline
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broken belt
https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sh....php?t=1231881
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showpo...3&postcount=23
https://www.oxwerkzperformance.com/
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1477111
https://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1305990

The belt will be the least of your problems if it sucked the shredded belt past the main seal.
Do not drive any further till you find out if it sucked the belt.
If you were idling when it happened it will be less likely to have sucked the belt than it
it was at high RPM's

Last edited by ctuna; 07-02-2020 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 07-02-2020, 01:02 PM
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Question:

What other manufacturer has this problem?
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Old 07-02-2020, 01:18 PM
ctuna ctuna is offline
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That could be solved by a 10 dollar piece of steel or aluminum ring in
front of the seal.

Last edited by ctuna; 07-02-2020 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 07-02-2020, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by ctuna View Post
That could be solved by a 10 dollar piece of steel or aluminum ring in
front of the seal.

Was it you who posted this? $10 piece of aluminum shaped to fit exactly = $139

Might pop for that if we can hear from anyone who's installed....anyone? Anyone?

.

Last edited by CALWATERBOY TRE; 07-02-2020 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 07-02-2020, 01:35 PM
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Shredded drive belt on 2011 E90

A guy on the E83 forum was chasing oil pump noises, dropped the pan and found belt shards in the oil pump. When I dropped the pan on my F150 I found what was left of the chain guides clogging the pickup screen.

Me being me, Id be dropping the pan no matter what, not worth risking anything. The E83 case of a shredded/eaten belt occurred prior to his purchase, and hed put some miles on it before dropping the pan. My Ford had tens of thousands of miles of starving the 5.4 3v phasers before I got the truck, and on tear down, it had no guides or tensioner left on the starboard side. I think a lot of the eaten belts on the N52x engines occur from leaking OFHGs getting the belt slippery and walking off the crank pulley. No bueno when it occurs.


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Old 07-02-2020, 02:08 PM
ctuna ctuna is offline
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Isn't the point not to hear from them .
Did you see Ozwerkz video.


They are almost always out of stock.
except for the N54 makes me wonder
it the others where ever in stock.

Last edited by ctuna; 07-02-2020 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 07-02-2020, 02:40 PM
dharmabmw dharmabmw is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiracleFlow00 View Post
I couldnt see anything around the crankshaft pulley, but I'll have to dbbl check in daylight. I didn't know those other pulleys could cause shredding, I'll have to check those as well. Thank you!
Any misalignment can cause the belt to walk sideways. Once the edge gets damaged, it's just a matter of time before the belt shreds or snaps.

As others have mentioned, oil from a leaking oil filter housing can be a contributing factor.

If you want to be 100 percent sure, you need to drop the oil pan. That's a whole other world of hurt but less than a new engine......
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Old 07-02-2020, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by ctuna View Post
Isn't the point not to hear from them .
Did you see Ozwerkz video.


They are almost always out of stock.
except for the N54 makes me wonder
it the others where ever in stock.

Shouldn't this item be a manufacturer's recall install?


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Old 07-02-2020, 10:37 PM
ctuna ctuna is offline
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Yes as should a number of other things like the ELV lock on the 06's
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Old 07-03-2020, 09:40 AM
SKWDMD SKWDMD is offline
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I had the same issue on my E90 and there is an entire thread dedicated to that subject that I started.
In my case, there was a valve cover gasket leak that probably was responsible for the belt issue, so I started the process of replacing the gasket. Upon removing the valve cover, I found some belt material. I had also removed the pulley and examined the front seal and found absolutely no damage, which obviously was a false negative.

I immediately handed the car off to an independent BMW mechanic to remove the oil pan and check for belt material.
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Old 07-03-2020, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SKWDMD View Post
I had the same issue on my E90 and there is an entire thread dedicated to that subject that I started.
In my case, there was a valve cover gasket leak that probably was responsible for the belt issue, so I started the process of replacing the gasket. Upon removing the valve cover, I found some belt material. I had also removed the pulley and examined the front seal and found absolutely no damage, which obviously was a false negative.

I immediately handed the car off to an independent BMW mechanic to remove the oil pan and check for belt material.

Hmmmmm. Cost?


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Old 07-03-2020, 11:14 AM
gbalthrop gbalthrop is offline
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Originally Posted by dukedkt442 View Post
A guy on the E83 forum was chasing oil pump noises, dropped the pan and found belt shards in the oil pump. When I dropped the pan on my F150 I found what was left of the chain guides clogging the pickup screen. Me being me, Id be dropping the pan no matter what, not worth risking anything.
Changing the Oil Sump/Pan Gasket on an E9x, particularly one with X-Drive, is a "Whole 'Nuther Thing" from doing that on an F-150. I changed the pan gasket on an F-150 in ~ 30 minutes without even jacking it. I didn't remove the pan and don't recall if you'd have to remove the "Center-link" or what to do that, but still WAAY simpler than what is required to drop pan on E9x.

ANYONE used a SMOKE TEST to check integrity of Front Crank Seal? If the Seal is still intact, then NO BELT Shreds got inside the Pan. At MOST, remove the Crank Pulley & inspect seal CAREFULLY rather than tearing the engine down.

George
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Old 07-03-2020, 11:23 AM
MiracleFlow00 MiracleFlow00 is offline
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Originally Posted by SKWDMD View Post
I had the same issue on my E90 and there is an entire thread dedicated to that subject that I started.
In my case, there was a valve cover gasket leak that probably was responsible for the belt issue, so I started the process of replacing the gasket. Upon removing the valve cover, I found some belt material. I had also removed the pulley and examined the front seal and found absolutely no damage, which obviously was a false negative.

I immediately handed the car off to an independent BMW mechanic to remove the oil pan and check for belt material.
I worked on the car yesterday and found no wrapped belt on any pulleys and seem to have recovered the whole belt. Everything seemed clean and undamaged.
I also need to replace my valve cover gasket so I'm sure that will be the ultimate indicator as to whether any belt was sucked up.
Just curious though, how long did you drive it until you attempted the valve cover gasket change? I'm waiting on parts and my plan now is to throw the new belt on and drive it about 10 miles to a proper garage where I have immediate access to the tools to do the valve cover gasket and oil filter housing gasket change.
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Old 07-03-2020, 11:32 AM
MiracleFlow00 MiracleFlow00 is offline
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Originally Posted by gbalthrop View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by dukedkt442 View Post
A guy on the E83 forum was chasing oil pump noises, dropped the pan and found belt shards in the oil pump. When I dropped the pan on my F150 I found what was left of the chain guides clogging the pickup screen. Me being me, I'd be dropping the pan no matter what, not worth risking anything.
Changing the Oil Sump/Pan Gasket on an E9x, particularly one with X-Drive, is a "Whole 'Nuther Thing" from doing that on an F-150. I changed the pan gasket on an F-150 in ~ 30 minutes without even jacking it. I didn't remove the pan and don't recall if you'd have to remove the "Center-link" or what to do that, but still WAAY simpler than what is required to drop pan on E9x.

ANYONE used a SMOKE TEST to check integrity of Front Crank Seal? If the Seal is still intact, then NO BELT Shreds got inside the Pan. At MOST, remove the Crank Pulley & inspect seal CAREFULLY rather than tearing the engine down.

George
100%! The seal seemed undamaged and intact from what I saw yesterday and I really would like to avoid dropping the oil pan myself if possible because that is a bit out of my range of ability. I will be keeping an eye out for any pieces of belt when I replace the valve cover gasket and go from there. Hopefully everything is clean *fingers crossed*
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Old 07-03-2020, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiracleFlow00 View Post
I worked on the car yesterday and found no wrapped belt on any pulleys and seem to have recovered the whole belt. Everything seemed clean and undamaged.
I also need to replace my valve cover gasket so I'm sure that will be the ultimate indicator as to whether any belt was sucked up.
Just curious though, how long did you drive it until you attempted the valve cover gasket change? I'm waiting on parts and my plan now is to throw the new belt on and drive it about 10 miles to a proper garage where I have immediate access to the tools to do the valve cover gasket and oil filter housing gasket change.

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Old 07-03-2020, 12:28 PM
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Shredded drive belt on 2011 E90

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbalthrop View Post
Changing the Oil Sump/Pan Gasket on an E9x, particularly one with X-Drive, is a "Whole 'Nuther Thing" from doing that on an F-150. I changed the pan gasket on an F-150 in ~ 30 minutes without even jacking it. I didn't remove the pan and don't recall if you'd have to remove the "Center-link" or what to do that, but still WAAY simpler than what is required to drop pan on E9x.



ANYONE used a SMOKE TEST to check integrity of Front Crank Seal? If the Seal is still intact, then NO BELT Shreds got inside the Pan. At MOST, remove the Crank Pulley & inspect seal CAREFULLY rather than tearing the engine down.



George

Im aware. Dropping the pan on the F still required removing the engine cross member and disconnecting the diff.

On the BMW x it isnt that bad; it takes me 7 hours to replace the pan gasket, clean the pickup, replace the seals in the diff, clean the tools and drink some beers. Its just a big LEGO set. Heck my first time doing it I had the pan cleaned sealed and torqued in 4 hours.

Even if it was 20 hours itd still be worth the time. If nothing else, you get a chance to inspect the bottom end of the engine, clean the pan and replace the pan gasket that is likely weeping. Another guy on the E83 forum dropped the pan and found the head to one of his cylinder head bolts laying in the bottom of the pan, which hed never have known about.

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The "need to have my head examined " E21 build thread

2008 BMW E83 1981 BMW 320i
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1984 GMC S-15 1986 Oldsmobile 442
Another half dozen '60s tractors

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Old 07-03-2020, 03:01 PM
SKWDMD SKWDMD is offline
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Originally Posted by MiracleFlow00 View Post
I worked on the car yesterday and found no wrapped belt on any pulleys and seem to have recovered the whole belt. Everything seemed clean and undamaged.
I also need to replace my valve cover gasket so I'm sure that will be the ultimate indicator as to whether any belt was sucked up.
Just curious though, how long did you drive it until you attempted the valve cover gasket change? I'm waiting on parts and my plan now is to throw the new belt on and drive it about 10 miles to a proper garage where I have immediate access to the tools to do the valve cover gasket and oil filter housing gasket change.
I was aware of the issue, so only drove the car one mile home and then removed the valve cover soon thereafter to try to dx issue and replace what should have been replaced 20K miles earlier. I knew not to chance it.
edit...I have to reread my thread, but I do believe I replaced the belt first and started the car to see if there were issues.

https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sh....php?t=1332675

Last edited by SKWDMD; 07-03-2020 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 07-03-2020, 03:07 PM
SKWDMD SKWDMD is offline
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Hmmmmm. Cost?


The ex BMW dealership tech, who now has his own shop, charged me $1200-1400 as I recall and that included putting the valve cover, that I removed, back on.
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Old 07-03-2020, 05:18 PM
wilt wilt is offline
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So what is the conventional wisdom about a good timeframe and/or mileage acculation to proactively replace the serpentine belt, so as to avoid the belt shredding and gettings 'sucked into' the engine?
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Old 07-03-2020, 05:34 PM
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So what is the conventional wisdom about a good timeframe and/or mileage acculation to proactively replace the serpentine belt, so as to avoid the belt shredding and gettings 'sucked into' the engine?

Replace belt & possibly tensioner at any of these points:

  • Inspection shows belt degrading/small cracks (they'll quickly grow)

    -and/or-
    .
  • Lubricant from any leak or spill gets on belt - needs solvent cleaning to remove lube

    -and/or-
    .
  • There is evidence of belt damage/wear by mis-alignment

Belt mis-alignment must be corrected immediately. And any lube leak in the engine compartment should be fixed tout de suite!





Other'n that, shall we say 100,000 mi?


.

Last edited by CALWATERBOY TRE; 07-03-2020 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 07-03-2020, 05:35 PM
SKWDMD SKWDMD is offline
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So what is the conventional wisdom about a good timeframe and/or mileage acculation to proactively replace the serpentine belt, so as to avoid the belt shredding and gettings 'sucked into' the engine?
I think priority number 1 is to correct oil leaks immediately.
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Old 07-03-2020, 05:59 PM
wilt wilt is offline
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Understood about leaks of lubricants that get on the belt...that is not 'proactive' but reactive to an issue.

Getting the 100K 'even when you have no leaks of lubricants' is a reasonable point to replace...it fits in with my personal practice for all belts and hoses (anything rubber) of 10 years or 100K miles.
Way back I had a BMW E30 (IIRC) that had a drive belt (used in lieu of a drive chain) suggested replacement at 60K intervals.

Last edited by wilt; 07-03-2020 at 06:03 PM.
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