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Discussion Starter #1
Not that car. My other car. It's a 2011 BMW X5 with the straight 6 in it. 72k miles, and it just ate a rod bearing. Motor is toast. I'm more than anal about oil changes and stuff, but apparently this is now a known issue. It sure wasn't when I bought the damned thing. Now for the really funny part. $15k to have a shop sell me a used motor, and R&R the motor. I guess these motors are made of kryptonite, unobtainium, and unicorn farts. Looks like I'll be swapping a motor next weekend. (I'm not spending $15k to fix a car valued at $15k.) If you have any advice, I'm all ears, but I don't think I have many choices. We still owe quite a bit on it.
 

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Well that sucks! Sorry to hear that. I can’t imagine swapping and engine in a 2011 BMW is an easy task. If it’s a known issue, have you tried contacting BMW? Good luck!
 

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I'm the second owner, so BMW isn't going to be too helpful. There's no recalls or tsb's on it either. I found a place that sells rebuilt motors for $4k. There are several somewhat questionable shops that will install it for another $1k. Add $700 for shipping of both motors, and I'm out about $6k. That's a might bit better than $15k. Now I just need to decide if I want to DIY or pony up the grand to have it done. After fluids, filters, etc, I know it usually ends up costing me a couple hundred to do myself anyway. The hard part is choosing which shady shop to have do it. The nice part about Denver is I have about 1000 choices.
 

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You can rent or buy an engine stand and a cherry picker for a lot less and do it over a couple of days when there's no rain in the forecast. Then sell that thing!
 

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The local BMW dealer I go into frequently is 159.00 an hour, and they pull labor times out of the air. This might be a vehicle that you raise up on a lift and drop the engine and frt susp. down onto a cart as an assy.....There is a reason why their lease plans are attractive and the used car prices on them are so low compared to what they cost new. Read consumer guide to get a good idea on a used vehicle, before you buy it. They were not kind to the X3 or 5....
 

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Based on the factory assembly video we got of them building my girlfriend's 2012 X3 they put the whole engine/transmission/front end into the car as one assembly from the bottom. I have to think the X5 is similar. There's got to be a way to pull it out the top for replacement but being a BMW I wouldn't expect it to be simple.

How's your Russian? It's not our handy 60's Shop Manuals, but there's a lot of good BMW information over here with some Google Translate help: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=auto&tl=en&u=https://tis.bmwcats.com/
 

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I worked at the factory assembling the X3's for a couple years, 2010-2012, if it was an X3 I might have touched your seats :lol: The whole cradle went in from underneath. The body dropped down from the ceiling right on top of it. Pretty sure the X5 was the same. It's TIGHT in those engine bays.
 

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Yeah, that really sucks. It's far from the only "modern" car to have major fatal flaws, which are not covered out of warranty. Porsche Boxsters have suffered from random IMS bearing failures for the first 10+ years of production.
 

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My neighbor actually has an X5 now that I think of it, he was griping about having to do something on the engine that should take a day that took him a week. He was absolutely burned-out when he got done, said he wanted to drive it for a bit but not long enough for something else to go wrong before he could sell it haha...
 

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That's the thing that has always worried me about used BMW's (and a lot of other German cars as well). While they are well built, eventually something may break and it will be unbelievably expensive to fix it.

Regarding your R&R question...if it was me I would do it myself IF AND ONLY IF I was not in a big hurry to get the car back on the road. I have R&R'ed 6 or 8 engines in my lifetime. I've been successful everytime, but it has not been a quick process. My most recent one for instance was changing out my kid's 2.0 EJ205 in a WRX and it took me a couple of weeks....and I already own an engine hoist, an engine stand and a lift. Otherwise it would have been even harder. The biggest issues were getting bolts out to remove the OEM engine. The car was 14 year's old and every fastener was stuck. Snapped several bolts getting the exhaust apart. No big deal...it's just REALLY SLOW when every bolt seems to take an average of 20 minutes to get out.

Upside was my kid helped me. My college roommate even came in from out of state to wrench with us for a day. It was actually a blast.

Phil
 

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I'm the second owner, so BMW isn't going to be too helpful. There's no recalls or tsb's on it either. I found a place that sells rebuilt motors for $4k. There are several somewhat questionable shops that will install it for another $1k. Add $700 for shipping of both motors, and I'm out about $6k. That's a might bit better than $15k. Now I just need to decide if I want to DIY or pony up the grand to have it done. After fluids, filters, etc, I know it usually ends up costing me a couple hundred to do myself anyway. The hard part is choosing which shady shop to have do it. The nice part about Denver is I have about 1000 choices.



Don't forget all those single use aluminum fasteners they use.



I have a 2011 335 that I'm considering getting rid of. It's been reliable, aside from the multitude of recalls, and nice to drive but I always feel like I have a maintenance/repair time bomb about to go off. Seems like it would be a nightmare to work on. I can't imagine the X5 would be any better.
 

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Its a rod bearing...drop the oil pan, remove whatever windage tray and balance shafts are in the way...pull off the rod cap and check to see what the real damage is to the journal...sometimes you are able to get away with jut slapping a new bearing back in and keep going. If the journal is damaged...pull the head and replace the rod(or as is more likely these days rod/piston assembly) then slap in a new bearing and keep going. You will have some labor in it, but not much money that way.
 

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Where did you hear that rod bearings were a weak point? The six cylinder BMW engines are notoriously reliable (aside from all of the ancillary systems).

I have a 2012 X5 (I got the six after the last BMW V-8 I had ate the timing chain guides at around 130k miles, also a known problem) and so far the worse thing that has happened was a water pump. Yes, the water pump is under the engine and cost me $1200 to replace. If I had done it myself I would have been into for about $800 for parts and fluids so it just wasn't worth it for me to do it as I don't have a lift.

So maybe on a 60 year old car you can "drop the pan and replace the bearing" but it probably won't be so simple on a AWD modern car.

I'm at about 45k miles (bought a creampuff with less that 25k on it) and I will dump it before it gets to 60k.
 

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Where did you hear that rod bearings were a weak point? The six cylinder BMW engines are notoriously reliable (aside from all of the ancillary systems).

I have a 2012 X5 (I got the six after the last BMW V-8 I had ate the timing chain guides at around 130k miles, also a known problem) and so far the worse thing that has happened was a water pump. Yes, the water pump is under the engine and cost me $1200 to replace. If I had done it myself I would have been into for about $800 for parts and fluids so it just wasn't worth it for me to do it as I don't have a lift.

So maybe on a 60 year old car you can "drop the pan and replace the bearing" but it probably won't be so simple on a AWD modern car.

I'm at about 45k miles (bought a creampuff with less that 25k on it) and I will dump it before it gets to 60k.
Very true, I didnt stop to consider what else might be in the way...but it could still be a possibility if BMW was reasonable in their design(most manufacturers make it possible to pull the pan without pulling the engine)
 

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Can't say what all is involved iwht the x5. But, if it is installed from below, it is may be similar to the 3's. To remove the oil pan in those 1st step is to support the motor from above. Then you unbolt and move the steering components out of the way which are connected to the cradle. Motor mounts too I believe. Then remove the cradle to gain access to the oil pan.
I'm not overly impressed with the German engineering.
Thinking about this a little more. Not sure how you would remove the head and oil pan without pulling the motor. There's gotta be a way.
 

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After reading all the comments... how loud is the knock and do you have a carmax nearby? :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I have read that it's possible to get the oil pan off in the car. I hope that is the case. I will find out soon enough. As of now, the plan is to drain the oil and see if it sparkles. Then pull the pan if I can.If I can get away with just a bearing, I'm absolutely going that. If I find bits of rod in the oil pan, I guess it's time to find the cheapest motor I can. Then... off to CarMax. It's time this car had a 3rd owner.
 

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My SIL has a 528. 328k and still runs like a top. Its all about the maintenance.

He just did a heater core replacement. It required disassembly of the entire front of the interior. Seats, console, dash removal. It took him 3 days.

Lots of BMWs with 100k for sale dirt cheap. Thats the first big ticket maintenance bill.
 

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I have read that it's possible to get the oil pan off in the car. I hope that is the case. I will find out soon enough. As of now, the plan is to drain the oil and see if it sparkles. Then pull the pan if I can.If I can get away with just a bearing, I'm absolutely going that. If I find bits of rod in the oil pan, I guess it's time to find the cheapest motor I can. Then... off to CarMax. It's time this car had a 3rd owner.
I've got an older X5 with the 3.0 straight 6. It's actually not so bad to work on. They are reliable, when you get a reliable one, but in your year ranges there were some that had chronic rod bearing problems. On my '03, the oil pan looks impossible to remove in the car, front suspension crossmember totally blocking it. It'd be an easy job if it wasn't for the transfer case, extra drive shaft and front drive shaft. Removing from the bottom may be easier if you have a 2 post hoist, on mine anyways, the front subframe bolts to the unibody. Otherwise a cherry picker will do, but the tranny is the challenge. Keep it married to the engine after unbolting the transfer case, or leave it in? That's the question? My bolts were star headed - you may need a ratcheting closed end star wrench, 10-12mm(?) to split the tranny from the t-fer case, you'll see if yours have those... I bought one on eBay.

Yea I loved my smaller rwd BMW's, but the buzz kill was all the plastic parts that would go: plastic throttle intake actuators, plastic coolant expansion tanks, plastic waterpump impellers, plastic radiator caps, and they all break, some often. That's why I got my '68 mustang - Scrap the modern plastic cars! I wanna see how close I can get it to a comfortable daily driver and have everything made of steel or aluminum!! Oh, and no SMOG!!
 
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