So, the re-assembly of the engine begins. I am really glad I chose to replace the rod bearings. Here is a photo of the #1 rod bearing. Note the damage -- probably caused by oil starvation. The damage is easy to feel with the tip of my finger. Luckily the crankshaft was not damaged. the majority of the damage is to the lower bearing. The upper bearing, which takes the load of each combustion event, shows some pitting. In my case the lower bearing shows considerably more damage (which is not technically wear).
This explains the knocking noise coming from the front of the engine at idle. So the rod bearings are in and torqued.
Over the weekend I had a local welder tack the VAC oil pan baffle in place so that this can be prevented on the future. Here is a photo of the installed baffle. Note that it is welded in at all three attachment points -- the stock baffle uses two pins and a single weld.
Here is a photo of my new (used) front sub-frame after the Turner Motorsport reinforcements were welded in. There are two, one that reinforces the metal where the motor-mount fasteners fit and the other reinforces the area around the first reinforcement. There were noticeable cracks in my original sub-frame which these reinforcements are designed to prevent. Also since this is from a later M3 it has threaded inserts that will allow the factory "X-brace" to be installed. Many drivers report a noticeable improvement in front-end grip after the addition of the X-brace.
My next event is July 11th at Pueblo Motorsports Park. I hope to have the engine back together and in the car by the end of this weekend. I need to put some miles on the motor and clutch before the event. I'm travelling to Philadelphia for the 4th of July holiday and return two days before the event.
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