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BMW engine noise (w/ valve train pics) #5235755 10/10/19 10:37 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 365
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Vaca Offline OP
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Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 365
2004 530i with M54 straight six. 240,000 miles abruptly started making loud engine noise, sounded like a piston pin loose or something similar, but sound didn't change with load. Same sound whether revving up or revving down, driving, idling, etc. so didn't make sense to me. Looked at oil filter and it was very clean, what the heck is this noise??? Then took off valve cover and things looked fine, nothing loose or scored, etc. Put it all back together and finally figured it out...it was the silly AC clutch bearing. Fortunately there is a separate belt for the AC and with it off, engine is super quiet and smooth as usual.

Here are a couple pics, I have a video from my cell phone but am unable to post it here for some reason. But here are a couple pics even though they don't help with the sound of course.

Thankfully it's not AC weather here in the northeast right now, but I'd like to fix it for next summer. The AC system still works great (when the belt is on) so I'd like to just replace the clutch and/or bearings etc without removing the compressor if possible. Anybody have any ideas?

Thanks a bunch.

IMG_20190927_112204.jpgIMG_20190927_112219.jpgIMG_20190927_112141.jpg
Re: BMW engine noise (w/ valve train pics) [Re: Vaca] #5235793 10/10/19 11:18 AM
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Posts: 189
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jcartwright99 Offline
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Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 189
What kind of varnish did you use?

Re: BMW engine noise (w/ valve train pics) [Re: Vaca] #5235799 10/10/19 11:21 AM
Joined: Mar 2017
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PimTac Offline
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Looks good. At 240k I would expect some varnish. That’s not bad at all.


2017 Mazda CX5
Mobil 1 Annual Protection 0w20
Roki OEM filter.
Re: BMW engine noise (w/ valve train pics) [Re: Vaca] #5235823 10/10/19 11:40 AM
Joined: Sep 2018
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RayCJ Offline
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Sorry can't help with the AC question. Hopefully someone can offer info about that.

Comment: Engine looks great and the cam lobes I can see look barely broken in.

Questions: Are you a long term owner and if so, what are your oil-changing habits and types of preferred oil?

Thanks

Ray

Re: BMW engine noise (w/ valve train pics) [Re: RayCJ] #5235850 10/10/19 12:15 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 365
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Vaca Offline OP
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Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 365
Ray,

Yes, I've owned it for 11 years now after buying it with 70,000 miles when it was 4 years old. Used the old "German Castrol" 0w-30 from 70,000 to ~110,000, then M1 0w-40 since then changed at approx 9000 to 10,000 miles, filter is Mann or Mahle or Hengst changed sometimes every change, other times I'd go two intervals.

Re: BMW engine noise (w/ valve train pics) [Re: Vaca] #5235851 10/10/19 12:18 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 2,188
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Audios Offline
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Could be Vanos seals, common issue on higher mileage ones, but more commonly its a failing DISA valve. On the drivers side of the intake manifold, right next to the strut tower, is a black box bolted to the manifold with a plug on it. Unplug it while running and see if the noise stops. Its a plastic flapper valve to direct airflow, and when they break they rattle like crazy. Valve train looks great! Keep with it, I love these years of BMW, besides head gaskets and plastic cooling system, these are one of the best motors made by them.


2002 VW Golf TDI-T5 10/30
2007 Mercedes GL320 CDI-T6 5/40
2005 BMW M3 BMW-Twin Power 10/60
2003 BMW M5-M1 15/50
1998 BMW M3/4/5-M1 10/40
Re: BMW engine noise (w/ valve train pics) [Re: Audios] #5235869 10/10/19 12:31 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 365
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Vaca Offline OP
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Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 365
Audios, thanks for your suggestions, but I found the problem to be the AC compressor clutch bearing. Removed the belt and engine sounds like new. I replaced vanos seals as a precaution several years ago, but disa valve has never been touched. Also, the head gasket has never had any issues, and cooling system still has original radiator (new water pump, thermostat and expansion tank).

Any ideas on replacing the ac clutch without removing the compressor?

Re: BMW engine noise (w/ valve train pics) [Re: PimTac] #5235874 10/10/19 12:37 PM
Joined: Dec 2011
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rooflessVW Offline
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Originally Posted by PimTac
Looks good. At 240k I would expect some varnish. That’s not bad at all.

I don't see any varnish.

OP, see if this helps.


"Zed's dead baby, Zed's dead."
Re: BMW engine noise (w/ valve train pics) [Re: Vaca] #5235891 10/10/19 12:48 PM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,518
S
SLO_Town Offline
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Joined: Mar 2011
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The M54 is a great engine. Yours is another testament to that.

Scott


03 BMW E46 330Ci ZSP (Euro Castrol 0W-30)
10 Honda Element SC (Castrol Magnatec 5W-30)
11 BMW E90 328i M-Sport (Pennzoil Euro 5W-40)
16 VW Passat VR6 3.6L SEL Premium (Euro Castrol 0W-40)
Re: BMW engine noise (w/ valve train pics) [Re: Vaca] #5235893 10/10/19 12:49 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,433
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Bottom_Feeder Offline
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'varnish', lol

Some of you guys kill me. That looks fantastic for 240K miles.

Re: BMW engine noise (w/ valve train pics) [Re: rooflessVW] #5235897 10/10/19 12:53 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 365
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Vaca Offline OP
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Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 365
roofless, yeah, that thread looks to be precisely what I need to do. I go through it thoroughly tonight when I have some time. Thanks!

Re: BMW engine noise (w/ valve train pics) [Re: Vaca] #5235988 10/10/19 02:14 PM
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amblerman Offline
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I have my doubts that the OP had any strange noise at all. I think he was just looking for an excuse to post those great pictures. :-)

I can only hope the insides of my engines look that nice. :-)

I'm kidding of course. I remember chasing a rattling around on my car. Was convinced it was in my suspension. Just needed my parking brake adjusted.

Last edited by amblerman; 10/10/19 02:22 PM.
Re: BMW engine noise (w/ valve train pics) [Re: Vaca] #5236017 10/10/19 02:39 PM
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LeakySeals Offline
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Not sure what varnish people are referring to. Looks like oil to me. Looks very good considering BMWs are tough on oil. What type of filter are you using?


06 Escalade 6.0L LQ9 AWD 170k M1 5w30
03 Maxima 3.5L 170k Maxlife HM 10w30
05 Malibu Classic 2.2 111k M1 5w30
06 Altima 2.5L 167k unk
Re: BMW engine noise (w/ valve train pics) [Re: LeakySeals] #5236024 10/10/19 02:47 PM
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Vaca Offline OP
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Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 365
Yeah amblerman, we're a sick lot aren't we? lol.

Leakyseals, I've used Mann mostly, sometimes Mahle or Hengst a couple times. I've changed the oil about 15 or 16 times (~10,000 intervals) and the filter maybe 10 times (I could look at the maintenance chart in the glove box to be exact, but I'm not near the car right now)

Re: BMW engine noise (w/ valve train pics) [Re: jcartwright99] #5236088 10/10/19 04:10 PM
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user52165 Offline
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Originally Posted by jcartwright99
What kind of varnish did you use?


Why don't you open YOUR engine and post the pics?

And then endure the snarky comments.

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