Hey guys and welcome back to the SimpleCarGuy Channel. Today we are installing injectors on my BMW N55 engine with an early production date. The reason I mention this is because the process is different on newer engines and if you’d like to see what that process is like, check out my video on the BMW N20 injector replacement as it’s exactly the same. In this video, the injectors are already removed from the vehicle, so once again, if you need those steps, check out the N20 video in the description. Now, let’s go to the garage, get the injectors prepared, installed and at the same time hit that like button for the YouTube Algorithms.
Now we are going to replace the decoupling elements and the Teflon rings on my used injectors. These must be replaced or you will have issues in the future such as lose of compression or fuel blowby. The decoupling elements simply pop off with a flat head screwdriver and a new ones can pop back in once we do the seals and clean the area.
Next we remove the Teflon ring seal by carefully cutting it with a razor blade or a box cutter and peeling it off the injector. You don’t want to cut into the injector, so be careful here. With those out of the way, we can wipe the injector with a clean paper towel and pop the new decoupling elements in place. The round part of the element faces the nozzle of the injector. For the next steps you are supposed to use a few special tools, but I do it my own way. You can find the proper tools in the description if you’d rather use those.
This really does work well, you just have to find the correct diameter plastic pieces or cut them down to size.
I have a video on how to adjust the compensation on the injectors from a couple of years ago, so check that out if you need steps. With that, thanks for watching, I hope you found the video useful and I’ll see you in the next one!
Hey guys and welcome back to the SimpleCarGuy Channel. In this video I will be installing the rear crankshaft seal as part of the BMW N55 engine rebuild project I have been working on. Over the past few weeks, I have bought or borrowed a lot of specialty tools, but this time I decided to install the rear seal without the use of any specially tools so if that’s something that interests you, keep on watching!
If you find this video useful and would like to support the channel, hit that like button for the Youtube algorithms and for repairing these complex beasts at home.
If you are aren’t following this rebuild project, this engine spun a rod bearing and needed a new crankshaft. I have so far replaced the crankshaft, sealed the bedplate, replaced the main bearings, rod bearings, installed a new head gasket and valve and oil pan gaskets. If you’d like to see any of those videos, check out the playlist in the description. Anyway, back to the subject of this video.
As with previous jobs I have done on this engine, the task itself isn’t that hard. The hard part is getting to the part or the rear crankshaft seal in this case. If your engine isn’t out, the recommended path of getting to it is to remove the transmission from the vehicles by removing the stiffening plate and the exhaust system past the catalytic converter and disconnecting the main drive shaft at the transmission side. The transmission can then be disconnected from the engine and dropped down. After all that work the flywheel can be removed and you will finally have access to the seal. Obviously, this is a huge job just to get to this part, but if your engine or transmission is already out and you have a leaking seal, it’s definitely a good time to change it.
I had it a little easier since my engine is on the stand, but the process is the same from this point on. First things first, we have to remove the crankshaft sensor out of the way and then remove the magnet wheel cover. To remove the old seal, you will need a small drill bit that isn’t bigger than 2.5 mm and drill a small hole without touching any metal surfaces. Then the seal can be removed with a help of a sliding hammer. I have done it without the tool before by just using a regular screw and then a regular hammer against a plank of wood that’s against the block to leverage it out of place. Whichever way you go about it, make sure there is no residue or little plastic pieces from drilling. For anything tougher, you can use a fine scotch brite pad and brake cleaner to get it perfectly smooth.
Now that we have everything ready for the new seal, you are supposed to use a special seal tool, but I decided not to buy one and used my own method so that I don’t have to spend the $300 for the install tool.
Obviously, you cannot just hammer the seal in as it would get damaged and wouldn’t create a good seal, defeating the purpose of the replacing it. So, what could you use to drive it in that’s the same size as the new seal? Well, the OLD SEAL. I flipped the seal over and lightly tapped on it until the new one started to get seated on the crankshaft. Now, this isn’t the quick method as it probably took at least 15 minutes of light and not so light hammering to get it seated. I had to stop a few times until I reached the correct stopping point. It should be just past the change in high on the block. Once the entire circumference of the seal is equally seated and will not move any further, you are done! The flywheel can now be reinstalled with new bolts and transmission put back in.
I hope this video helped you get your own rear crankshaft seal installed without having to buy any special tools and if it did, let me know in the comments down below. Check out the rest of the channel for many more BMW specific videos and I hope to see you in the next one.
Hey guys and welcome back to another video on the SimpleCarGuy channel. Today, we will look into some common problems you can expect on the 3rd generation BMW X5 which is also known as the F15. We’ll discuss the best year AND model to buy if your main concern is reliability and which version to avoid, if any.
In this generation there were a few different versions of the car. There was the BMW 35i that came in RWD as well as AWD configuration and had the same N55 engine. The more powerful version of the X5 was the xDrive50i powered by the N63 engine which is what this car has as well as my BMW 550i, so I’m pretty familiar with this one. The last version was the xDrive 40e with the N20 engine combined with a hybrid system. I don’t know much about the diesels or the X5M, so I will not be talking about those versions here.
Before we continue, don’t forget to hit that like button for YouTube Algorithm and leave a comment letting me know which version you’d want to own.
Now let’s talk about some common issues across the range that are not dependent on the engine. We will get into the engines shortly. Of course, each car is different and even though some of these are common issues, they may never happen to your car, but then again you can easily have multiple issues I talk about here as well, even if you take good care of your car.
The most common issue people have reported is leather cracking on the side of the seat. Just something to look out for as it can cost a decent amount to repair if you’re out of warranty.
Another commonly reported issue is squeaks coming out of the steering column as well as the rattles from the tailgate when driving on rougher terrain and wind blowing through the driver’s door seals at high speeds. The latter one can be fixed with a simple door adjustment, but still something to be aware of.
A little less common, but some X5 cars will have water leaking from the drain tubes in the sunroof after a heavy rain or car wash. If you are looking to buy a BMW X5, check the roof liner and the rest of the interior to make sure there is no water damage.
If car has rear air suspension, the bags can develop little pin holes or leak air in other ways as well. Not only will the car sag after sitting for some time, but that also means the compressor will have to work overtime and can fail prematurely. A lot of them come with springs, but if you have the 3rd row seats, there is a chance you have air suspension.
I have also seen a lot of people reporting issues with the car not shutting down on the first press of the start/stop button, this isn’t something you can fix at home and a dealer visit is required.
BMW xDrive35i/sDrive35i (2013-2018) N55:
Now let’s break it down to specific models. We’ll start with the BMW sDrive35i and the xDrive35i that were available from 2013-2018. The difference between the two is that the xDrive version is of course all wheel drive. These cars come with the n55 engine and I’ll start by saying that this will be the most reliable engine you can get in this car. Does this mean you won’t have any issues? Of course not, but luckily BMW had pretty much figured out the N55 engine by 2013 and any issues they had in the early years were mostly solved. Most notably the rod bearing issues that the early n55 engines suffered from have been taken care of. If you’d like to see what kind of damage that can cause, check out my BMW N55 engine rebuild series!
Some issues you CAN expect to have on these N55 engines would be the oil filter housing gasket leak, which in itself isn’t that big of a deal, but if the oil goes onto your serpentine belt, it can cause all kinds of issues. It’s best to replace it as soon as there is any noticeable seepage.
Another issue that seems to be common and not fixed by BMW is the plastic charge pipe that can crack and cause boost issues. It’s a very popular upgrade for anyone with the N55 engine, even if they are not seeking more power or thinking of tuning.
BMW xDrive50i (2013-2018) N63TU:
Next let’s take a look at the xDrive50i with the n63tu engine produced between 2013 and 2018. This is the car we have here and of course the most fun out of the bunch with lots of power to play with. If you Google issues on the N63 engine, you will get a list long enough to make you cry, but luckily, most of those posts are about the original N63 engine which is not what this car has. The X5 has the updated version, the n63TU, which is a very important distinction. Not only does it have 40 more horse power, but it’s also much more reliable and does not suffer from the same issues.
I’ve done a lot of research on this engine as I have the exact same engine in my BMW 550i and all things considered, this is a pretty reliable twin turbo V8. Personally, I have not had any issues with the engine and I’ve only had to replace the ignition coils and spark plugs on mine. The owner of this X5 has also had to replace a couple ignition coils as the engine was misfiring.
Oil consumption is normal if thinner oils are used or not changed as often, but if you see some smoke out of the tail pipes, it could be much worse. This X5 has had its Valve seals replaced at just (See miles) miles. That’s a VERY expensive, over $10k, job from the dealer, that luckily for this owner was done under warranty. If you go with an indy shop, it can cost as much as $5000 to do.
Of course, there are other minor issues that can creep up on this engine, but nothing too excessive. I’ve seen reports of leaking oil pump gaskets, oil pan gaskets and maybe a head gasket leak here and there but nothing engine destructive. I recommend this engine if you like power and luxury all built into one car.
BMW xDrive40e (2015-2018) N20 Hybrid Combo:
The last model we will take a quick look at is the xDrive40e that was available from 2015 to 2018 and is using a hybrid combo system with the n20 engine. This is heaviest of the bunch and the most complex out of the X5s. While it’s using the updated n20 engine, these are known for timing chain and timing chain tensioner issues as well as rod bearing issues. I’m sure this engine is not very stressed with the help of the hybrid system, but it is a very complex vehicle. The only consistent issue I saw people complain about is the issue with charging at home where it fails to initiate randomly.
While BMW’s X5 is a very fun SUV that provides luxury and sportiness and is overall a great package, just like any other BMW, there are some problems to expect and I hope this video has helped you make a better decision or prepared you for ownership. So, which model should you go with? As far as reliability, I would say the sDrive35i with the n55 engine will most likely give you the least amount of trouble, but the xDrive50i with the n63tu engine is not a bad buy either and a lot more fun to drive. I would avoid the xDrive40e due to complexity and the less reliable N20 engine. The production year difference is pretty much negligible as there were no updates through the production run. That’s about it for this video, thank you for watching, don’t forget to like, comment and subscribe to the channel for a lot more car content and I’ll see you in the next one!
Whether you are shopping for a BMW X5 and wonder what are some cool hidden features or you’ve had your BMW X5 F15 for a couple of years, I hope you get to learn at least a few useful hidden features you didn’t know before or least some cool tips and tricks that you didn’t know before. If you know of any other cool features I didn’t mention in the video, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below so we can all learn!
Hello and welcome back to Part 6 of my BMW N55 engine rebuild project that I have been working on for a few weeks now. By the end of this video, this engine is finally starting to look like a real engine and not just a pile of parts around a block. I can almost hear this engine start up for the first time and purrrr with all its new parts, or at least I hope it will! In today’s video I’m replacing the valve cover gasket and installing the valve cover itself as well as replacing the oil pan gasket and installing a new-to-me oil pan. More on that later.
If you’d like this project to succeed, don’t forget to hit that like button for me and of course the YouTube algorithm. Now, back to the project!
I won’t be going into details on how to get to this stage as I’ve shown the steps in my engine removal video. I suggest you watch that video for more details on which parts to remove to get to the valve cover. Basically, you’ll remove the intake housing, fan cowl and move the coolant expansion tank to the side. No need to disconnect it. Then remove the air duct that feeds the turbocharger and now most of the stuff is now out of the way, so you’ll just have to remove the gas pressure lines after disconnecting the battery; of course, and any vacuum and electrical connections. Now the valve cover can be unbolted. If you will be reusing it, make sure to unbolt all 26 bolts in the correct sequence and remember that these bolts are attached to the cover itself and will not peacefully come out past the plastic part.
With the valve cover removed, we can inspect the surfaces on the cylinder head and remove any bigger debris with a plastic razor and use a scotch brite pad for anything remaining. The valve cover itself has 4 different gaskets that should be replaced each time the cover is removed to avoid any oil leaks. Replacing them is very easy, remove the old stuff, clean out the channels of any dirt, insert new gaskets and we are ready to go back on the cylinder head. In my case, I had to install the spark plug housing which came off during the rebuild. With everything ready to go, the cover simple can be lowered making sure everything is aligned and torqued to spec.
Torquing these bolts to spec and in the correct order is probably the most important step as this plastic cover can easily warp or even crack if not done correctly. Refer to the diagram for the correct sequence and then hand tight or use a power drill on the lowest setting on all of the screws. For round two, each one gets 8.5 Nm in the same order. DO NOT go back to the first ones to check torque or retorque them again. They have to be done in that order and left alone.
If all went well, simply re-assemble whatever you have taken a part to get here and enjoy your new valve cover gasket!
Now onto the Oil Pan gasket and install. As I mentioned earlier, I had to get a new oil pan as the engine I’m rebuilding is from a BMW X5 and the oil pan and pick up tube are different on that car. This one is a lot more complicated to do at home if you don’t have your engine out, but it is possible if you drop the front axle support and remove the front differential and power steering pump. With correct access, this is a simple job just like the valve cover. Just as before, cleaning all of the surfaces is very important to prevent leaks and then we can drop the gasket on the engine block. In this case, there are no guides, so you have to be very careful when installing the new gasket as it will move around if you’re not careful. It took me 2 tries before I got it perfect and I had perfect access, so I imagine it’s a little bit harder while working under the car. With the gasket aligned and the oil pan sitting on top, we can insert new aluminum bolts in a couple of spots and screw them in a few threads. Now comes the important part. If the engine is out, you’re supposed to use an alignment tool to make sure the oil pan is perfectly aligned with the block. If the transmission is still attached, you don’t have to worry about it as it will align itself to the bellhousing. Here is what I did. Then hand tight a few screws to keep it from moving around. All screws on the oil pan are torqued to 8 Nm and then 90-degree rotation for the short ones and 180 degree of rotation on the long ones.
Well, look at my engine looking all spiffy now with the new gaskets and ready for more parts. Thank you so much for watching part 6 of the N55 engine rebuild project and I’m looking forward to seeing you in the next parts where we install the front and rear crankshaft seals, install the injectors, the exhaust manifold and drop the engine in the car. Leave a comment down below and let me know what you think of the progress so far and if you’d like to follow the project, don’t forget to subscribe. See ya next time!
Hey guys and welcome back to the SimpleCarGuy channel. In this video we will discuss common symptoms of a bad solenoid, see how we can test one at home and how to clean it.
Ever since the early 90s, a lot of BMW engines have been using the VANOS system to adjust the valve timing on the fly. This gives the engine more power over the rev-range and for that reason in general, we like variable timing on engines. We get low end torque and high end horse power, very similar to VTEC on Honda engines. The design has changed over the years, starting with single VANOS system used in the 90s, dual VANOS system used in early to mid 2000s as well as the famous n54 engine that was in production until 2010 and of course Dual-VANOS with VALVETRONIC that I have in my N55 engine that was released in 2009 and is still used today.
Now that we know a little bit of history, let’s take a look at how to actually diagnose a bad VANOS solenoid. A lot of the times, the symptoms are not drastic, so it can be difficult to tell, but usually you’d look for things like loss of low-end torque or power in high revs, slow response or inconsistent idle or even poor fuel economy. Some of the more noticeable items could be rough idling; especially, on cold starts as well as long cranking. Of course, if it’s bad enough, the car will go into limp home mode and you’ll normally get codes related to Camshaft Position or VANOS specific codes. If you suspect the solenoid might be fault on your car, there are ways of testing it. This isn’t something you’d see a dealer do, but it may help you troubleshoot your engine issue. Of course, if the issue is intermittent, this method does not guarantee that it will always work, but it’s an easy way to detect a bad one.
Hey Guys and Welcome back to the SimpleCarGuy channel. In this video, we will have some fun installing the oil pump, oil pick up tube, the timing chain and timing the engine. I liked doing the timing chains so much that I did it twice. More on that later!
If you are new here, well, I have been rebuilding my BMW N55 engine for the past few weeks and it’s been a great learning experience. I have replaced the main bearings, crankshaft, sealed the bed plate, installed new rod bearings and a new head gasket. The last huge item on the list is the timing chain, which is today’s video.
While I’m doing this with the engine out, it is possible to do a timing chain job without having to remove the engine from the car. As in previous videos, I won’t be showing those steps, but I’ll do a quick overview on how to get where we are. I recommend you watch my previous videos where I show a lot more detail on disassembly.
HOW TO GET TO THIS POINT:
So, the quick overview. Here we go.
Step 1: Unplug the battery and drain the oil from the engine. Remove air filter housing or clean air pipe running over the valve cover depending on the car and undo the gas pressure lines.
Step 2: Remove the underbody protection, intake silencer housing, fan cowl and the serpentine belt that runs the accessories. With that access, you can now remove the vibration damper and the front crankshaft seal. If the belt tensioner is in the way, you may need to remove it as well.
Step 3: Remove the valve or also known as the cylinder head cover by unplugging the vacuum lines, wiring from the injectors and anything else that’s in the way. If you will be reusing the valve cover, make sure you undo the bolts in the correct order (show here) and remove it from the cylinder head.
If you aren’t replacing the oil pump or oil pump chain and sprocket, no further disassembly is required. Otherwise, you will have to remove the front axle differential, remove the power steering pump and remove the bearing support to be able to remove the oil sump and have access to those parts.
Before you can remove the timing chain or the oil pump components, you have to rotate the engine into the TDC (Top Dead Center) position using the main bolt. You know it’s in the correct position when cylinder number 1 is at the very top. Now we can install the timing tool onto the camshaft to make sure they do not move while we remove the central bolts on the intake and exhaust camshaft adjusters. You should have no issues unbolting these. Then remove the chain tensioner as well which will give your chain some slack and allow you to remove the camshaft adjusters by hand.
Next, the main bolt must be loosened and taken out. This is a tough one. With the engine out, it took an 8 foot pipe to get it done, but I have also done it in with the engine in the car on my N20 timing chain job and it was a little easier. Whichever way you go about this, make sure the socket is very secure on the bolt and doesn’t slip and spray some WD-40 or whatever else you have if it’s a bit rusty.
With the main bolt out, there are only a few things holding the timing chain and timing chain guide in place. The 2 bearing journals that are hiding behind the screw plugs, the crankshaft hub, two little screws at the top by the camshaft adjusters and of course the camshaft adjusters themselves. With those removed, hold the timing chain and guides with one hand and remove the hub with the other making sure not to drop the sprocket. I recommend keeping the chain tight to avoid this and just pull it up as soon as the hub has cleared it.
Now that everything out of the way, we can finally get to fun parts! Since I’m rebuilding the engine, I’m reinstalling the oil pump using new bolts. The install is very simple, but to be safe I do a mock up with old bolts while I’m working on getting the chain assembly in. Just in case I have to move it or something isn’t lining up properly. If I used new bolts and have to loosen them, I’d have to get new bolts again. The 3 bolts at the top are torqued to 10 Nm and then 180 degrees angle of rotation for the longer bolt and 90 degrees for the shorter bolts.
We are almost done with this job and as you can see it does take some time and effort to get there, no wonder a shop would charge you a couple thousand bucks for this! Anyway, to install the new chain and tensioner, make sure it’s all assembled correctly and the sprocket pointing the right way. Then it can all be lowered into the engine, lining up the sprocket with the crankshaft hub and locking it in place with a new main bolt. You don’t want to tighten it to spec just yet. First, reinstall the 2 bearing journals and the 2 little screws at the top to hold everything in place. Torquing all to spec, of course. Now the main bolt can be torqued to 100 Nm and additional 270-degree rotation. I recommend having someone help you out with this one, it felt a little sketchy as I was doing it.
With the main bolt locking everything in place, it’s time to install the intake and exhaust camshaft adjusters back in with the chain around them. Should be pretty easy since the chain tensioner is not yet installed. Of course, you have to make sure that the intake adjuster goes on the right side and the exhaust on the left, you cannot mix these up! While you are pulling the chain over the exhaust adjuster, make sure it is sitting on the guide rail and not anywhere else. With everything looking good, we can install the pretensioning tool instead of the chain tensioner and torque it to 0.6 Nm and torque the central bolts to 20 Nm with 180-degree rotation after. The very last step before testing is installing the chain tensioner and torquing it to 55 Nm.
Once everything looks good, we can remove all special tool and rotate the engine a couple of times making sure everything sounds good and recheck the timing. If everything still lines up and the timing tool fits as it did before the engine is timed and ready for its new crankshaft seal and re-assembly. A video on front crankshaft seal is coming out soon!
Now, remember how I said I had to do this job twice? Well, after I rotated the engine a few times, it made this clicking sound from the camshaft adjuster which I wasn’t very sure about. So, I posted a short clip to check with others and see if it’s normal. I learned that indeed, it is normal and it will go away as soon as oil pressure is built up and circulating, but I also learned that I was making a mistake. Initially when I looked at the timing components, they looked fine to me so I reused them.. but after many, many convincing arguments from strangers, I have decided to replace it all with brand new stuff, including the chain tensioner. Anyway, thanks for watching, check out the links in the description for parts needed, leave a comment down below and I’ll see you in the next one.
Hello everyone and welcome back to the SimpleCarGuy channel. This is part 4 of the BMW N55 engine rebuild project where I install the new head gasket and reinstall the cylinder head back on the engine. In the previous videos I have taken the engine out of my BMW 335i, tore it apart and found that it was not rebuildable… some time later I found this engine for cheap locally and have replaced the main bearings, crankshaft, piston and installed new rod bearings. Now this engine is ready for the cylinder head to go back on.
I chose not to do much work on the cylinder head except to clean it up a little bit and remove some carbon. After inspecting it, I didn’t see excessive wear or anything of concern and honestly, I’ve used most of my budget that I had for this rebuild on bolts, seals, gaskets and all the replacement parts.
Clearly my engine is out of the car and it took a decent amount of work to get this far but I’m not sure I’d recommend doing this with the engine in the car if it is at all possible. BMW also recommends taking the engine out for this job and that’s why you see so many valve cover videos on YouTube, but I couldn’t find any as far as the head gasket. Anyway, this series is meant more to document my journey with this car and rebuilding the engine as a hobby mechanic and hopefully help someone in the future do the same or at least start doing DIY jobs at home. Also, now would be a great time to hit that like button for all the BMW DIYers and for the Youtube algorithm.
Check out my video where I disassemble a BMW n55 engine and take the cylinder head off to get an idea of what to do to get to this point. If those specifics aren’t your thing, I’m highlighting the basic steps in this video.
Step 1, remove the engine from the car by removing the exhaust system, draining all of the fluids, removing the intake, radiator, all of the piping and disconnecting it from the wiring loom and transmission. Wow, that was easy! The engine is out now!
Step 2, mount the engine on the engine stand, removing the exhaust manifold with the turbo, injectors, gas lines and anything else attached to the cylinder head. We are moving right along!
In step 3, we undo all of the bolts from the valve cover, remove it and install the timing tool onto the camshafts. Now we can undo the central bolts and remove the camshaft adjusters.
That’s it! Now we only have 14 big bolts holding it in place and after muscling those out of the way, we can lift the cylinder head off the block! No body said this one was easy, but now we are finally ready to replace that head gasket.
Now starts the most tedious part of the job and that’s getting everything nice and clean. This doesn’t look that hard on video, but it sure takes a while to do. I’m mostly just removing the carbon build up as much as I can to help the engine breathe a little better and have the oil flow a little smoother.
Removing remanences of the old gaskets is the most important step; otherwise, your new, expensive gasket will not make a very good seal and you’ll have oil leaks after all of this hard work. I didn’t use any metal tools while doing this as it’s very easy to damage the mating surface, but I did use a brass spinning wheel on the valves to get rid of all that build up carbon. The brass tool is approved for aluminum, so I had no concern using it on hardened valves. Having this great access to the pistons, I gave them a quick clean as well. MUCH BETTER!
Now that all of the parts are ready, it’s a good idea to wipe everything down and make sure there is no oil and dirt in the blind holes or anywhere the gasket will touch. Then, it’s time to actually install the gasket. I decided to go with the ELRING head gasket as they are the OEM for BMW and I’ve used their products before. It simply drops on top of the block, making sure all of the holes line up and the head can go on top. It’s heavy and you should really have a buddy help you out, but I work on this stuff at night and I like being in the way of the camera, so here we are. Once everything looks good and it’s lined up, it’s time to grab a torque wrench and the angle gauge and torque our head bolts to spec.
These bolts drop in easy, but make sure the washers are there. Very easy for those to fall out and get overlooked. You’ll need a special long torx bit set to reach the bolts and set correct torque values. I got mine on Amazon and if you’re interesting, check out the link below, these work great.
There are 3 types of bolts here. We have the M11 and M9 bolts, those are the ones that go in the middle and are torqued to 30 NM, then 90 degree angle of rotation and another 180 degrees on second round. The 3 third type are the M9 short bolts that go on the side where the timing chain is and are torqued to 22nm. I don’t think I have to explain how important it is to do this to spec, just imagine the pressure between the block and the head when the engine is running. And the last thing to do to finish the job is to put back the stopper bolt for the eccentric shaft and the oil spraying nozzle that we removed to get to the bolts.
That is all for part 4 of the BMW n55 engine rebuild project, in the next video I will be installing the oil pump, the timing chain guides with the timing chain and timing the engine. If you’d like to see that, subscribe to the channel and I’ll see you in the next one. Thanks for watching.
Hey guys and welcome back to the BMW N55 engine rebuild project. In this video, I go through the process of replacing the rod bearings with the engine out, but the process is exactly the same once you have access, although maybe not nearly as comfortable. Rod bearings fail for many reasons; mostly, due to oil starvation which causes them to overheat and spin on the journal of the crankshaft. If you catch it in time, you can simply replace the rod bearings and you are done. However, if it’s not caught in time or the rod bearing has already welded itself to the crankshaft (show n20), you’ll have to replace the crankshaft as well, just like what I’m doing with this engine. If you hear a knocking coming from the bottom of the engine, the most likely culprit is the rod bearing. This is why some people choose to do this as a preventative maintenance on their hard driven or high mileage BMWs. If you are interested in those steps, check out my previous video where I go through the process of installing a piston, replacing the crankshaft, installing new main bearings and sealing the bed plate. Before we start, make sure to hit that LIKE button for the YouTube algorithms and future DIYs.
In this video I will not be showing you a step by step on how to get to the bearings as it’s different on every car and may be harder or easier depending on the model. As an example, it would be much easier on a BMW Z4 that is rear wheel drive and has tons of space to work with, but it’s much harder on a BMW 335i e92 like this one as space is very much limited and you have to deal with the all-wheel drive system. In any case, to get to the bearings without removing the engine in this car, you’d have to remove all of the reinforcement plates and covers under the car, lower the front axle, remove the front axles and differential and remove the bearing support. ((maybe show video with engine already out ‘for clearance of what to do’). All that work has to be done just to allow you access to the Oil pan. Now, this isn’t necessarily a very complicated part of the job, but it’s important to keep safety in mind, have the engine supported at the top in the installation position and use plenty of jack stands. When I did this on my BMW Z4 with the N20 engine, I used jack stands, wood blocks, 2 jacks and some muscle to lower it. The jacks would allow me to lower and raise the subframe as needed to squeeze the oil pan out. Like I said, a little different on each car and you don’t have to deal with a differential on a rear-wheel-drive car, but you get the idea.
Once you have sufficient access, Removing the oil sump is fairly easy, you just remove the connector for the oil sensor and unbolt all of the bolts. Then, muscle it out of space and watch out for oil dripping down on you. Once the oil sump is removed, you will see the oil pump and the plastic pick up tube. Strangely, the workshop manual does not mention removing the oil pump, but obviously if you need to replace the bearings on cylinder 1, you’d have to remove it as well. That’s a process of its own, but mostly you just unscrew some bolts and you can remove the oil pump without removing the chain modules.
Clearly this video is more about the correct procedure of changing the rod bearings rather than all the preliminary work, but I hope I helped you get an idea of what it would take to get to this step. Since I had the crankshaft out on my engine, I took that opportunity to install the bearings on 5 of the 6 cylinders for convenience, but I will show you how you’d do it if the crankshaft was still installed on the 6th cylinder. The very first step would be to remove the connecting rod cap and be VERY careful not to mismatch it with another connecting rod. It’s best to do these one by one if you are worried. As mismatching connecting rods and connecting rod caps can cause rod knock or even damage. Now would be a good time to inspect the journal on the crankshaft and after removing the bearings, see how good of a condition both of the surfaces are in. You can clean them with a non-metal sponge. I used a very fine scotch-brite here to clean the surfaces and then wiped them down with some break cleaner and a lint free paper towel.
I decided to go with Calico Coated KING rod bearings instead of BMWs color coded bearings for a couple of reasons. As you may know, technically, you are supposed to look at the crankshaft marking to determine which bearing shells you are supposed to install on which cylinder and each one would be slightly different to make a perfect fit. These aftermarket bearings are more or less the average of all those values and should fit all bearing colors and provide longer life with the Calico coating and not as tight of tolerance, allowing for more oil flow. It’s important to get standard sizing as these come in the oversized spec as well and you do not want those unless you have had your crankshaft resurfaced. Standard sizing is indicated by the STD letters on the bearing itself, check every single one to make sure there was no mix up.
Now that the surface is clean, the bearing should go in very easily. The trick here is to put the end with the key in first, squeeze it just a little bit as you are putting in the other side and it should just pop in there.
I repeat the same process for the rod caps. I clean them with scotch-brite, some brake cleaner and a clean paper towel and then install the bearings exactly the same as on the connecting rod. Here you can see exactly what I meant as far as the installation goes. Very easy!
Now that we have all of our pieces ready to go, it’s time to check the clearance between the crankshaft and the bearing. It’s vital that the clearance falls within spec if you want your engine to last. Essentially, what I do here is place a small piece of Plastigage on the journal and then install the connecting rod cap on top using the old bolts. Of course, I will be installing new bolts on final assembly, but these are just fine to use for testing. Before torquing them down, double check that you have the correcting connecting rod cap. When installed, it should look like once piece, even with finger pressure on the cap. The torque specs here are 20 Nm with additional 70 degrees of angle rotation and the 70 degrees of angle rotation again. Once everything is torqued up, the cap can be removed and clearances checked. You are looking for clearance between .025 and 0.76 mm just like on the scale. Since I’m going with aftermarket bearings, I should expect a slightly looser clearance than from factory, but that’s to be expected. If you’d like to learn more about Plastigage, check out the video in the top right corner.
Now that I know the clearance is perfect on this engine, it’s time to do it for real! I repeat the steps, but this time I’m are not doing it dry and adding some assembly lube to the bearings after cleaning off the Plastigage. With the new bolts in, it’s time to torque it to spec the same as before. We are still doing 20 NM and 70 degrees of rotation, twice.
That’s all it takes to correctly replace the rod bearings on a BMW N55 engine and many other BMW engines of this era. Now, all that’s left to do is to do it 5 more times. As you are checking the clearance on each bearing, you don’t’ want to see too much deviation between the cylinders. They should all be more or less within the same range if done correctly.
Now put the car back together and enjoy another 100 thousand on your BMW. I hope you guys enjoyed this video or at least found it helpful. I put a lot of effort into these videos knowing they won’t be popular, so hitting that like button really does keep me motivated. Anyway, check out the rest of the channel for more DIY video and other car related content and I’ll see you in the next one!
Hey Guys and welcome back to another video on the SimpleCarGuy Channel. If you have never heard of Plastigauge, you are not alone! Before I started rebuilding this engine, I have never used or even heard of this handy product. What Plastigauge does is measure the clearance between machined parts such as crankshaft and the crankshaft bearings or the crankshaft and the rod bearings. Since the clearance on modern engines is so small, it’s not like you can physically insert anything between the parts. All it really is a thin plastic thread that when crushed by two surfaces can accurately provide the clearance. Before you start, make sure you know the range that your will need for you application as there are many different scales. You can find the specifications for your engine in the workshop manual, technical documentation for the engine or TIS software for your brand of car.
Why use it.
Now that we know what it is, why do we need it? Well, modern engines are built on very, very tight tolerances and clearances that control oil flow to vital parts of the engine, such as the crankshaft. If your bearing clearance is looser than it should be, it will reduce flow resistance and lower the oil pressure and if it’s too tight, you are introducing access heat, which increases wear, which then increase a chance of a spun or welded bearing.
How to use it
Finally, how do you actually use it? Luckily, it is very easy to use but of course there are a couple of things to do before you start. First, clean all of the contacting surfaces so that the result is accurate. Second, make sure you know the correct torque specs for the bolts or screws. The reason that both of these are so important is that if you have debris between the two surfaces or don’t torque correctly, the results will not be accurate. Then, cut a small piece of the Plastigauge that’s about the width of your bearing journal. Place it on top and proceed to install the bedplate or rod cap. On most modern engines, you cannot re-use bolts on the crankshaft or other vital components; however, it IS ok to reuse the bolts for testing purposes when measuring clearances with plastigauge.
How to measure the clearance.
Once you have torqued you bolts to spec, you can release them and remove one of the parts to expose the crushed plastigauge. Now, you can just grab one piece of the packaging that has the scale on it, it can be imperial or metric, depending on how your specifications are provided and place it right on top of the line you see left by the plastigauge. Compare it to the scale to see which one is the closest and that’s the clearance between the two parts. If the clearance is what you are looking for, wipe the ruminants with some break cleaner, lubricate the bearings if needed and do the final assembly. That is all it takes to measure the clearance on crank bearings, rod bearings or any other parts that use this method. Thank you, guys, for watching and if this helped you understand how plastigauge works, hit that like button. If you’d like to see me rebuild a BMW N55 engine, check out the playlist in the description below. I’ll see ya in the next one!