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Thread: Cracked block? Outside protective coating rusted over, bubbling

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Des Moines, IA
    Posts
    66
    My Cars
    2004 BMW E46 M3 Coupe

    Unhappy Cracked block? Outside protective coating rusted over, bubbling

    So been spending each weekend for the last month getting the S54 head pulled, skimmed, etc for a fresh, new cut/cooper ring gasket replacement. Been replacing alot of things along the way. One area in particular of where I'm at currently was to pull the OEM cat headers to swap with Megan Racing catless SS headers. Was able to do so successfully, as you can see here:



    However, upon pulling them, this particular side of the block was exposed, showing some rust where it appears the block mates with the oil pan, and where the coolant seals/plugs are located:



    Upon closer inspection, the rust is below the protective coating on the outside of the block, and is deteriorating. I took a flat head screw driver to it lightly and poked, parts of rust are chipping away:



    Even closer up on the rust damage:




    My assumption is that the damage occurred from one or more of these coolant plugs/seals failing (perhaps along with the coolant drain plug for the block itself), causing coolant to leak all around the block, eventually eating away at the protective coating and/or seeping through some sort of crevice or crack to get underneath the coating (causing bubbling/rust over time).

    I'm going to end up pulling the entire block out with a hoist; my question is, do you believe this block is repairable, or will I need to invest in looking into another block replacement? I don't see signs of a cracked blocked currently, but I see signs/symptoms more and more that this is the case. The top end was great, the head was not warped, only .003 of an inch needed to be taken off, after being degreased it looks great! But the bottom end looks horrid.

    I've never seen a block deteriorate like this before; I'm just terribly concerned that this deterioration is going to progress eventually to the water jackets, and then the cylinder walls themselves (if not already from the bottom end underneath the oil pan). Have you seen an S54 block like this before, and the outcome of such? My buddy told me after we pull it, we can perhaps sand blast the rusted area to see how bad it looks. I'm just wanting to pull it, strip it down, and send it right into the same shop that skimmed my head, to see if they can recondition this block... praying to god it's only rust damage to the outer protective coating!
    2004 BMW ///M3 S54 3.2L ~360 BHP N/A

    • Current Modifications:

    Dual VANOS rebuild/repair, DNA Motoring catback exhaust, aFe Stage 2 intake kit, Conforti Shark injector chip, Full suspension refresh: Bilstein B6 shocks, H&R springs & swaybars, adj control arms, tie rods, poly retainers, RTABs, RCABs, poly subframe & diff bushings, etc., IRP 80A poly engine & transmission mounts, Solid steering coupler

    • In-Progress Modifications:

    BE rod bearings, ARP head & block studs, ARP rod bolts, Megan Racing cat-less headers, JE Pro Seal cut/cooper ring head gasket, Wiseco valve shims kit w/ Schwaben magnetic tool, Rein water pump w/ lightweight alum pulley, Valeo alternator & starter, Mishimoto performance aluminum radiator + silicone hoses, electric fan shroud w/ NPT, performance oil cooler, CPV rebuild w/ Viton rubber seals, SAP delete, Status Gruppe SS rasp eliminator Section 1 + non-resonated Section 2, VTT oil filter breather mod

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Des Moines, IA
    Posts
    66
    My Cars
    2004 BMW E46 M3 Coupe
    Don't know if anyone cares, but it appears from more inspecting last night the block/engine paint is flaking/chipping away, but the actual block does not appear cracked. I'll be pulling it by this weekend to view the condition of the block once out of the engine bay, along with rod bearings once the oil pan is removed. Will continue to update once major progress is made.
    2004 BMW ///M3 S54 3.2L ~360 BHP N/A

    • Current Modifications:

    Dual VANOS rebuild/repair, DNA Motoring catback exhaust, aFe Stage 2 intake kit, Conforti Shark injector chip, Full suspension refresh: Bilstein B6 shocks, H&R springs & swaybars, adj control arms, tie rods, poly retainers, RTABs, RCABs, poly subframe & diff bushings, etc., IRP 80A poly engine & transmission mounts, Solid steering coupler

    • In-Progress Modifications:

    BE rod bearings, ARP head & block studs, ARP rod bolts, Megan Racing cat-less headers, JE Pro Seal cut/cooper ring head gasket, Wiseco valve shims kit w/ Schwaben magnetic tool, Rein water pump w/ lightweight alum pulley, Valeo alternator & starter, Mishimoto performance aluminum radiator + silicone hoses, electric fan shroud w/ NPT, performance oil cooler, CPV rebuild w/ Viton rubber seals, SAP delete, Status Gruppe SS rasp eliminator Section 1 + non-resonated Section 2, VTT oil filter breather mod

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Menlo Park
    Posts
    51
    My Cars
    '05 ///M3
    Yeah I doubt the actual block is cracked. I have a lot of paint flaking around the oil pan area and especially on pass side by headers.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Des Moines, IA
    Posts
    66
    My Cars
    2004 BMW E46 M3 Coupe
    Awesome, appreciate hearing another owner having this as well!

    Quote Originally Posted by mrgizmo04 View Post
    Yeah I doubt the actual block is cracked. I have a lot of paint flaking around the oil pan area and especially on pass side by headers.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    2004 BMW ///M3 S54 3.2L ~360 BHP N/A

    • Current Modifications:

    Dual VANOS rebuild/repair, DNA Motoring catback exhaust, aFe Stage 2 intake kit, Conforti Shark injector chip, Full suspension refresh: Bilstein B6 shocks, H&R springs & swaybars, adj control arms, tie rods, poly retainers, RTABs, RCABs, poly subframe & diff bushings, etc., IRP 80A poly engine & transmission mounts, Solid steering coupler

    • In-Progress Modifications:

    BE rod bearings, ARP head & block studs, ARP rod bolts, Megan Racing cat-less headers, JE Pro Seal cut/cooper ring head gasket, Wiseco valve shims kit w/ Schwaben magnetic tool, Rein water pump w/ lightweight alum pulley, Valeo alternator & starter, Mishimoto performance aluminum radiator + silicone hoses, electric fan shroud w/ NPT, performance oil cooler, CPV rebuild w/ Viton rubber seals, SAP delete, Status Gruppe SS rasp eliminator Section 1 + non-resonated Section 2, VTT oil filter breather mod

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