S54 broken crankshaft, 15,000 miles - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums



Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > Z Series > E85 / E86 Z4 (2003-2008)

E85 / E86 Z4 (2003-2008)
E85 Z4 Roadster, E86 Z4 Coupe, E85 Z4 M Roadster, and E86 Z4 M Coupe talk with our BMW gurus here.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-09-2019, 07:02 AM
[email protected] kwalsh@eastlink is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 10
Mein Auto:
S54 broken crankshaft, 15,000 miles

A very sad day for me. I picked it up my 2006 Z4 M two years ago and it now has 15,000 miles on it. Babied by the two previous owners it is close to immaculate. I was driving along merrily with the top down on a glorious day and all of a sudden it lurched and I quickly pulled it over. Engine light came on and had it towed. Turns out it was a broken camshaft (broke after cylinder 1) and damaged likely beyond repair. needs new cylinder heads, new pistons. Only cylinder 1 passed the leak test (under compression) and they ran a boar scope into the cylinders and had a look. Advice is to replace the engine (rebuild will be costly and hard to know if it will be successful until going through the substantial surgery).
I'm turning to my forum friends to see if you have any thoughts.
Options are - used S54 (anyone have a low mileage one kicking around?). Clearly popular. Might get a kidney match faster
New S54. Cost i'm told, if they exist, can be more than the car (paid 24k on Bring a Trailer).
Retrofit another engine (sad option but I'd consider)
Repair the engine (if anyone thinks this makes sense).

Thanks for your help in my hour of need (sniff...)
Kevin

Sorry - above should read CAM shaft

Last edited by [email protected]; 08-09-2019 at 01:44 PM.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2  
Old 08-09-2019, 07:17 AM
Doug Huffman's Avatar
Doug Huffman Doug Huffman is offline
Nuclear engineer
Location: Washington Island, Wisconsin, thru Death's Door
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 13,823
Mein Auto: CPO2012 X5 35d M57(E70)
What broke the crankshaft? A thirteen year old crankshaft should'a been fully stress relieved many cycles ago.
__________________
Scepticism and Animal Faith (1923)
Scepticism is the chastity of the intellect, and it is shameful to surrender it too soon or to the first comer: there is nobility in preserving it coolly and proudly through long youth, until at last, in the ripeness of instinct and discretion, it can be safely exchanged for fidelity and happiness.
(The Works of George Santayana p. 65)

Eschew eristical argumentation. I am responsible for what I write, not for your understanding of it.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-09-2019, 07:22 AM
Autoputzer Autoputzer is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: NW Floriduh
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 9,311
Mein Auto: 2014 535i + 2018 X3 30i
I bet they built a lot of spare S54's when they were in production. So, a new one might be available, and it would come with a warranty. Back in the day, a new S54 on a pallet was about $18k. The old engine isn't worth fixing. The engine electronics on an S54 or completely different from non-M engines, so swapping out for another type of engine is not likely a practical option.

A used S54 is a pig-in-a-poke. You could be in this same situation again... soon... or be good for another 100k miles. Like Inspector Harold Francis Callahan, SFPD said... "Do you feel lucky?"

Realistically, you pretty much lost $24k the instant you felt that lurch.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #4  
Old 08-09-2019, 01:46 PM
[email protected] kwalsh@eastlink is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 10
Mein Auto:
Thanks for the comments. I've corrected the initial post, it was actually the Cam shaft that broke (not crank as stated). As for the cause, we are scratching our heads. I've owned it for two years, only driven by myself and my wife. No super high RPMs, no crazy bad shifts. Manufacturer or shipping defect?? I put on around 2k miles before the incident.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-09-2019, 02:48 PM
Autoputzer Autoputzer is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: NW Floriduh
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 9,311
Mein Auto: 2014 535i + 2018 X3 30i
That's not as bad as a crankshaft breaking. But, you might not be out of the woods.

People don't like trying to fix engines. There's usually three, five, seven, nine or eleven more things that broke on your engine that haven't broken yet. They're afraid that they'll fix your... whatever... and one of the other three, five, seven, nine, or eleven of the same things on the engine will break and you'll blame them for it.

Last edited by Autoputzer; 08-09-2019 at 03:26 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-09-2019, 07:32 PM
[email protected] kwalsh@eastlink is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 10
Mein Auto:
Thanks Autoputzer. Makes sense. That aside, does anyone have guidance on how to decide on whether tackling a repair may be worthwhile or not. Or best ways to source a low mileage used S54?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-10-2019, 06:58 AM
BostonB6's Avatar
BostonB6 BostonB6 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Boston
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 795
Mein Auto: 2005 E85 Z4 3.0
The S54 has a problem with bolts that hold the camshaft in place loosening/shearing off. I found another post from someone who had the their camshaft break in the exact same spot as you, between cylinders 1 and 2.
I know the car is old but I wonder if it would be worth a call to BMW to see if there is any help available from their end.
As for replacement engines, you can find listings through google. Another option would be a wrecked BMW with the S54.
If you go with a replacement, make sure they tighten down the offending bolts to prevent recurrence.

Sorry for your troubles.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-10-2019, 09:59 AM
[email protected] kwalsh@eastlink is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 10
Mein Auto:
Thanks Boston B6. I had heard of the bolt loosening in one instance. I was thinking of calling BMW - the dealership said odds would be low for assistance where it is a 2006. But BMW is known for great customer service - possibly a great advertising/PR opportunity for them to give me a break on a new one. Anyone have any experience/knowledge of this working?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-10-2019, 10:03 AM
Doug Huffman's Avatar
Doug Huffman Doug Huffman is offline
Nuclear engineer
Location: Washington Island, Wisconsin, thru Death's Door
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 13,823
Mein Auto: CPO2012 X5 35d M57(E70)
Yep, second hand. Nope, ain't gonna happen. Same logic as my post #2.
__________________
Scepticism and Animal Faith (1923)
Scepticism is the chastity of the intellect, and it is shameful to surrender it too soon or to the first comer: there is nobility in preserving it coolly and proudly through long youth, until at last, in the ripeness of instinct and discretion, it can be safely exchanged for fidelity and happiness.
(The Works of George Santayana p. 65)

Eschew eristical argumentation. I am responsible for what I write, not for your understanding of it.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-10-2019, 10:06 AM
[email protected] kwalsh@eastlink is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 10
Mein Auto:
Thanks Doug. I appreciate the reality check. I heard a story of a frustrated customer calling the CEO directly and getting serious service asap, techs and parts flown in etc. But this was likely a vehicle still under warrantee.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-11-2019, 04:06 AM
BostonB6's Avatar
BostonB6 BostonB6 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Boston
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 795
Mein Auto: 2005 E85 Z4 3.0
There was a warranty extension on the S54 for 6 years 100k miles. Who knows if they have a non publicized policy on these. Still worth a try.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-11-2019, 05:42 PM
[email protected] kwalsh@eastlink is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 10
Mein Auto:
Excellent - thanks for the information on the warantee extension. Every angle will help.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 08-12-2019, 05:15 AM
Z4530i Z4530i is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: TN
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 258
Mein Auto: Z4 3.0si
Broken cam shaft

It cost virtually zero to ask for assistance from BMW. If you have a sympathetic dealer, it might help in your quest. If your going to ask, Id be polite but persistent.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 08-12-2019, 09:03 AM
BostonB6's Avatar
BostonB6 BostonB6 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Boston
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 795
Mein Auto: 2005 E85 Z4 3.0
I agree on the polite and persistent approach. At this point, given the age of the car, they really don't "owe" anything and it would be a matter of good-will to help you out. And don't be afraid to contact BMW directly both through their customer assistance lines and a few well placed communications to higher-ups....and by higher ups I mean CEO types.

https://www.bmwgroup.com/en/company/...-portrait.html
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 08-12-2019, 05:02 PM
wifesauto wifesauto is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: nj
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 576
Mein Auto: sloporsche
have the repair shop look for a used engine ....it is your only legal option
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 08-13-2019, 10:58 PM
Andyz4 Andyz4 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Orlando, FL
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 295
Mein Auto: 2006 Z4 3.0si
As a mechanic in a former life, I will go against the grain here and if it were my car would look into rebuilding the engine if the factory will not help . You don't have to do any heavy lifting here either once the engine is out. Just have any reputable machine shop dissemble the engine and take a look. BMW engines are very stout and the S54 is not too exotic with iron liners, and highly rebuildable. There is a good chance this engine can be saved, in any case you will know for sure once it is apart.
__________________
[SIGPIC]
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 12-28-2019, 08:48 AM
DDS2015 DDS2015 is offline
Registered User
Location: Winnipeg/Minneapolis
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 20
Mein Auto: 2011 E90 328 xdrive
I realize this is an old thread... but what about a Dinan stroker?
Reply With Quote
Reply

See More Related BMW Stories


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > Z Series > E85 / E86 Z4 (2003-2008)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:19 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
© 2001- VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.