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S50B30 - actual oil level spec?

Discussion in 'Warranty questions' started by az3579, Mar 21, 2010.

    • Member

    az3579

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    About 5k miles ago, I performed my first full oil change with the new swap, and followed the factory specification of 6.9 quarts of oil. Fast forward to today, auto-x time. I do a couple of hard runs, and all is well. I go to my work assignment and about an hour and a half later, and I start the car up to take my missed runs, but when the car was started, I heard an extremely loud ticking coming from the engine. It sounded as though it was low on oil, but it wasn't; the dipstick read FULL.

    Extremely worried, I scramble to the guy who designed the course, who just so happens to have a '95 M3 with the same exact engine. He tells me this is normal after a hard run, but he fills his up to 8.5 quarts instead of the factory spec 6.9. Apparentely, you need about 1.5 quarts over factory spec to auto-x with this engine, he tells me. He filled his with 8.5 and showed me the dipstick; it always showed full, never over, even if it was filled to the factory spec, he told me.


    I filled up the oil level to about 8.5 quarts but the ticking was still there, so I shut the engine off and let it cool off for a while. Once started up again, the ticking was gone and it was as though nothing ever happened.


    Has anyone heard of this before? I find it hard to believe that the engine would require 1.5 quarts above factory spec to be 'run hard'. Any comments?
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    tiFreak

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    it could be that under hard cornering all the oil in the engine will go to one side, and by over filling it it keeps proper lubrication on both sides

    I'm not sure about that though, as a mechanic I've always been told that overfilling an engine is just as bad as underfilling
    • Member

    az3579

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    That's what I thought, which is why I was skeptical.

    Anyone else have any input on this?
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    MGarrison

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    For an M20 at least, the way the engine is slanted means that, at least on a racetrack, on left hand turns, particularly long sweepers, the oil can kinda g-force it's way up the side of the oilpan. I doubt similarly slanted inline-6 BMW engines would be much different. If you don't have baffles added to your oilpan to try to help keep the oil in the pan, I think you might have potential for oil to be sloshing about in less-than-desirable ways. It's fairly routine I think to run 1/2 quart over just as some added insurance. I don't know specifically about your motor, perhaps you could run as much as a quart an a half over without causing a problem, but I don't think too much is a whole heckuva lot better than too little. But for sure if your oil pump ends up sucking air, that couldn't be a good thing. Try the other forums, this can't be a new question...
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    Bimmerdan

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    Ah yes, the E36 M3 'tick'. Virtually every E36 M3 I've heard at an autocross ticks at the end of a run. I run anywhere from 1/2 to a full quart over and that reduces the level and the duration of the ticking but it still does it. There doesn't seem to be any negative effects on the engine as a result of it but I did the same thing you did the first time I heard it. When I started asking around (and listening to all the ticking engines in grid!) I found out it's a very normal thing for that engine.
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    • Member

    az3579

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    What about the reduced capacity of the e34 oil plan?

    I think it holds a little less than 6 quarts...

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