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Thread: Collapsed lifters- is the tray the cause? Or the VAC S54 oil pan upgrade?

  1. #26
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    If you had S52 trays then there is no potential conflict (I don't know the exact details but think machining to the tray front somewhere is needed; lifters are interchangeable). But I can't see how you would get that sort of wear if the cams were correct, the trays were correct, and the caps were correctly installed. Could the intake and exhaust cam trays been put in each other's locations or could caps have been installed backwards? If you sent your S52 cams in to RR then the cams should not be an issue

  2. #27
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    Collapsed lifters- is the tray the cause? Or the VAC S54 oil pan upgrade?

    Lifters are the same p/n for S50 and S52. There is something different about the Trays -
    https://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/s...bo-Application


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    Last edited by bluptgm3; 08-22-2017 at 09:59 PM.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by pbonsalb View Post
    If you had S52 trays then there is no potential conflict (I don't know the exact details but think machining to the tray front somewhere is needed; lifters are interchangeable). But I can't see how you would get that sort of wear if the cams were correct, the trays were correct, and the caps were correctly installed. Could the intake and exhaust cam trays been put in each other's locations or could caps have been installed backwards? If you sent your S52 cams in to RR then the cams should not be an issue
    I am sure that they sent me a set of cams from one of their cores, and I simply returned mine afterwards. So there is no way to know that they were the same cams. I double checked and the intake cam tree has an E stamped on it, which is for the German word for intake, and the exhaust has an a on it. So the cam trays are in the right place. It's impossible to install the first cam bearing cover backwards, as the cam just won't fit if you do. It seems to me that the machining of the trays that I have read about is to allow a person to use an M50 tray with an S52 cam so that a wrench can fit to turn the cams. Is there any other machining that has to be done?
    Bob

  4. #29
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    I don't know the exact details of the machining since I have used only S52 trays and S52 or Schrick cams, but think the machining was at the front of the tray and did more than just allow a wrench to be used to manualmy turn the cam.

  5. #30
    NeilM is offline Member BMW E36 M3 Expert
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobInIndy View Post
    AND, I gave bad info about the oil pressure at the high end. ( I apologize for that, because I know that your posts took that info into consideration.) I researched my vdo oil sender and gauge. I have been unknowingly using a 0-80 psi sender with a 0-150 gauge. So, it's probably closer to 70-80 psi at high rpm. Matched set arriving tomorrow.
    That's good news, since it now removes anomalous oil pressure as a factor.

    Neil

  6. #31
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    Subbed. I've also got lifter tick after hard driving (autox/aggressive canyons) that I can't pinpoint. The motor was rebuilt (by me) and the head checked/cleaned 20k miles ago. All new bearings, rings, hone, etc. New oil pump valve and spring. Rebuilt vanos unit. Also cleaned the piston squirters when it was apart. I've also completely disassembled and cleaned all my lifters. Nothing made any difference. My idle oil pressure is ~15 psi and rises appropriately with RPM. I've also got a baffle in the pan. No oil cooler since I've not seen my oil temps go over ~215. I've been running rotella t6 5w40 and just changed to liqui moly 10w60. Also sent my past two oil samples of the t6 to blackstone for analysis.

    I've been contemplating the dual oil pickup system from the e46 but it's considerably more complicated and expensive for an s52 swapped e30. Seeing as you've done this and more, and still have issues it makes me wonder if it's really worth it.

    Do you, or anyone else, know what the oil flow path is? especially into the cams/lifters? It just seems like they're starving for oil pressure when the car is driven hard. I recall a thread where someone found excessive wear on the front upper timing chain tensioner that was leaking oil and causing lower pressure in the cam trays. He replaced it and the housing and his issues went away.

    I have to say though, it's really perplexing that you continue to have an issue after the dual sump oil pan conversion.


    '96 328iC, '96 328i, '89 s52 swapped 325i
    Shadetree30

  7. #32
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    Well, stand by. It turns out that the thrust surface on the front of the camshaft was severely worn, and indeed gouged up. It was likely leaking down a bunch of oil pressure around the front Cam bearing journal and thrust surface because of this. I am in the process of trying to determine why this happened, but I'm leaning towards a problem with how the camshaft was re-ground. I can't see another possibility for that right now, but I am working with the vendor. In any case, I am putting a set of Schrick camshafts in another tray. I'll update you soon. I also intend to look carefully at that secondary chain tensioner, but it is new in my case.
    Bob

  8. #33
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    Bummer, hope that was the root cause and not a lack of oil.


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  9. #34
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    All,
    Well everything is fixed with the removal of the Riot Racing cams, and install of the Schricks. I went ahead and pulled the head. All oil passages wide open, and checked the oil check valve-good too. What I discovered is that the Riot Racing cam was LOOSE in the trays! I couldn’t tell this when it was installed against the lifters/springs/valves in the car. The clearance s at the cam bearing journals varied around the neighborhood of 0.006, when they should have been 0.002-0.003 at the most. So, there is where I was losing oil pressure and volume. I’m sure that caused the collapsed lifters, and finally the wear at the thrust surface. I have put 200-300 miles on the Schricks. Quiet as a church mouse.


    For the record, the cam bearing journal problem was not the cam tray. New one was the same. All the Riot Racing cam bearing journal surfaces were way undersized. Todd H at Riot Racing tells me they grind these down to “straighten” the core cams, but he denies that this was their fault. First, he said I installed them incorrectly, then he says it’s my fault for running with low oil pressure.


    Live and learn
    Bob

  10. #35
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    That sucks. I have not read many complaints about the RR cams but did not buy them myself because you sacrifice good S52 cams that are worth $300+ and pay RR $600 to retried them for a total value of $900+ when you can buy new billet Schrick 264/256 for $1050.

  11. #36
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    Good to hear that you found the issue. What schricks did you go with?

    I also have a built top to bottom motor with schrick 276/270’s and I overfill with 10/40. Never have a problem with ticking at the track. (Baffled pan, no oil cooler, new bmw lifters) Sonetimes I’ll get a slight tick at autocross though.
    @Shut_up_racing

  12. #37
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    Do the Riot Racing cam journals look worn? Or do they look freshly machined? You should be able to tell if the cams were worn down .006" or if they were machined that way by their appearance.

  13. #38
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    They look like any used cam now. No scoring. I bought brand new trays and the clearance is the same as the old trays. That leaves only the cams as the problem. And just to clarify, the cams mic about 2 to 4 thousandths small giving a total clearance of around 0.006.

    Btw, the idle oil pressure is now 3-4 Ltd higher, just withe the change to new cams and trays

    Bob

  14. #39
    NeilM is offline Member BMW E36 M3 Expert
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobInIndy View Post
    For the record, the cam bearing journal problem was not the cam tray. New one was the same. All the Riot Racing cam bearing journal surfaces were way undersized. Todd H at Riot Racing tells me they grind these down to “straighten” the core cams, but he denies that this was their fault. First, he said I installed them incorrectly, then he says it’s my fault for running with low oil pressure.
    Just – wow. I can't imagine why anyone would ever take material off the camshaft journals, since there's no bearing shell or undersized bore tray/cap set to compensate. The most you'd ever do with cam journal is polish off a burr. I don't think BMW even publishes a camshaft journal dimension/tolerance spec.

    Quote Originally Posted by Twright View Post
    Do the Riot Racing cam journals look worn? Or do they look freshly machined? You should be able to tell if the cams were worn down .006" or if they were machined that way by their appearance.
    Hardened steel cams running in soft aluminum (cam tray and caps). No real way the cam journals could wear down like that short of pouring sand in there.

    Neil

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeilM View Post
    Just – wow. I can't imagine why anyone would ever take material off the camshaft journals, since there's no bearing shell or undersized bore tray/cap set to compensate. The most you'd ever do with cam journal is polish off a burr. I don't think BMW even publishes a camshaft journal dimension/tolerance spec.



    Hardened steel cams running in soft aluminum (cam tray and caps). No real way the cam journals could wear down like that short of pouring sand in there.

    Neil
    Neil,
    Those were my thoughts exactly. My guess is that it is done to make the used cams look pretty, but I suppose it could be done to remove scoring on a bad core. I couldn’t find a spec anywhere, to save my life, on the dimension/spec. But, Bentley does publish a spec on the clearance. And, I mic’d the new Schricks, some used cams, and these are far too undersize.

    I’m not specifically trying to bash Riot Racing here. Maybe mine is a one-off. But, I wish they would make it right. My main goal is to put an answer in the thread. (I hate it when folks don’t come back, and post the solution :-). And to remind us all to mic the cam journals, install the cams without lifters first , and plastigage the clearance. Especially on re-grinds. I ALWAYS do that with rod and main bearings, cylinder bores, etc. I just never considered it for the cams.

    Bob

  16. #41
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    i did riot racing cams long ago... 2013... my cams cam looking just like new cams, like when you order shricks.. my customer service with Todd was fantastic, called me out of the blue about a month after i installed them to see how i liked them. My cams had no issues at all, followed their recommended install instructions, new INA lifters, i took it a step further and tore the head down myself and rebuilt it with new valve seals, VAC upgraded stock springs(10# more seat pressure) i re-used the retainers as the only thing re-used. I had great oil pressure before all this too

    sounds to me like they used a bad set of core's. shouldnt need to "straighten" a cam core.. mine were not touched in that aspect. glad you resolved the issue.
    Last edited by TH3 Shifty; 01-13-2018 at 04:40 PM.
    98 Estoril ///M3 4/5
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  17. #42
    NeilM is offline Member BMW E36 M3 Expert
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobInIndy View Post
    Neil,
    I’m not specifically trying to bash Riot Racing here. Maybe mine is a one-off. But, I wish they would make it right.
    Exactly. Coincidentally, I have the Riot Racing overbored throttle body and they did a fine job with that. I've had a set of Schricks in my engine since 2003, so I'm confident you'll be happy with them for the long haul.

    Thanks for closing the loop on the solution.

    NeilInFortWayne

  18. #43
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    I am having a similar issue to lifter tick after some hard driving.

    Freshly fully rebuilt motor, with stock s54 oil pump, pan, oil filter housing, and oil cooler.
    Idle rpm is raised, dummy light doesn't turn on at all.
    It will go away once oil cools down using 10w40 while idling.

    I am guessing lifters are fine as the ticking goes away?


    1998 BMW e36 M3
    2000 Subaru Impreza 2.5rs Journal

  19. #44
    NeilM is offline Member BMW E36 M3 Expert
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erick View Post
    I am having a similar issue to lifter tick after some hard driving.

    Freshly fully rebuilt motor, with stock s54 oil pump, pan, oil filter housing, and oil cooler.
    Idle rpm is raised, dummy light doesn't turn on at all.
    It will go away once oil cools down using 10w40 while idling.

    I am guessing lifters are fine as the ticking goes away?
    The thing about the S54 oil pump is that although the dual-pickup system itself is more robust for intensive driving, the pump itself has a lower pumping capacity than the stock E36 pump. This is because the S54 engine doesn't have hydraulic lifters, and therefore doesn't need the extra oil flow to keep them pumped up. When applied to the S50/52 engine the S54 pump gives a somewhat reduced oil pressure per thousand rpm of engine speed because the lifters are bleeding off pressure, at least up until until max oil pressure is reached at high rpm and the oil pressure relief valve (on the pump) opens up.

    For a race car this may not matter, because it's going to be at pretty high rpm a lot of the time anyway. For a mixed use car the reduced oil pressure at low/mid-range rpm may not be critical, but neither is it desirable. Depending on ambient temperature a 15W-50 oil will help, but not completely.

    There is an effective fix for that, but it isn't cheap, see https://store.vacmotorsports.com/vac...uro-p1033.aspx

    VAC machines out the pressure side of the twin chamber S54 pump housing and installs higher capacity pump parts.

    Neil

  20. #45
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    Yeah, this is exactly why I opted to stick with the S52 pump and just do the Achilles reinforced pump/pickup and baffles rather than trying the S54 pump and pan. Too many headaches on anything that isn't a full-on race car.
    1999 M3/2/5 - Titanium Silver - Daily Driver and Track Toy


  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeilM View Post
    The thing about the S54 oil pump is that although the dual-pickup system itself is more robust for intensive driving, the pump itself has a lower pumping capacity than the stock E36 pump. This is because the S54 engine doesn't have hydraulic lifters, and therefore doesn't need the extra oil flow to keep them pumped up. When applied to the S50/52 engine the S54 pump gives a somewhat reduced oil pressure per thousand rpm of engine speed because the lifters are bleeding off pressure, at least up until until max oil pressure is reached at high rpm and the oil pressure relief valve (on the pump) opens up.

    For a race car this may not matter, because it's going to be at pretty high rpm a lot of the time anyway. For a mixed use car the reduced oil pressure at low/mid-range rpm may not be critical, but neither is it desirable. Depending on ambient temperature a 15W-50 oil will help, but not completely.

    There is an effective fix for that, but it isn't cheap, see https://store.vacmotorsports.com/vac...uro-p1033.aspx

    VAC machines out the pressure side of the twin chamber S54 pump housing and installs higher capacity pump parts.

    Neil
    Bah i was considering that before i bolted it in, regretting now!


    1998 BMW e36 M3
    2000 Subaru Impreza 2.5rs Journal

  22. #47
    NeilM is offline Member BMW E36 M3 Expert
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    On the plus side the VAC modified pump absolutely works like a champ.

    Neil

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