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Re: All original M60 V8 blocks were Nikasil (archive)

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Posted by Bill Mitchell on April 03, 1999 at 13:33:21:

In Reply to: Re: All original M60 V8 blocks were Nikasil posted by David Chen on March 31, 1999 at 21:16:26:

: Off the production line, slushboxes received the thermostat/DME fix in 3/95. 6-spds got it in 5/95.

: Of course, this argument is pointless as that "fix" didn't work worth beans.

: : Actually, the DME reprogramming "fix", where BMW issued a reprogrammed DME module and a hotter thermostat (from 85 deg C to 95 deg C), came out as a technical service bulletin in September of 1995 (technical service bulletin 1209944132). The intent of this bulletin was to apply the "fix" to all M60 engines vehicles made prior to 3/95. After this date, BMW included the "fix" in all subsequent new M60 engines. It would also be my guess that all original M60 engine blocks were of the Nikasil (nickel-coated cylinders) type. Probably the newer Alusil (Silicone-impregnated Aluminum) blocks did not appear until the newer E39 models and until BMW redesigned the M60 short block replacements (probably in 1996).

: : : The 5/95 production fix was to alter the programming so the engine ran hotter (and hopefully burn off the excess sulphur).

: : : I know because my 5/95 production car had that useless cheap fix too.

: : : David

: : : : Bill:

: : : : This sounds nice, but I think you've been misled by BMWNA.

: : : : If you wish to verify whether you have an alusil block, check the serial number (directions are at Brett Anderson's V8 web page at

: : : : If you check your serial number and find out it is an alusil block, AND you are sure it's the original block, I'll be very surprised. If the 5/95 story is true, please post back and let us know the good (new) news.

: : : : You absolutely need to check this - if you take the rep's word and it turns out you have a Nikasil block (which I believe is most likely) you'll be left holding the bag when the warranty expires and you missed an opportunity to replace your engine.

: : : : In terms of the timing of BMW moving to Alusil, I know of at least two cars that were given replacement Nikasil blocks (the old, sulfur-sensitive alloy) in '96 when their original Nikasil blocks deterioriated - I don't think BMWNA figured out the problem until late '96.

: : : : I know BMWNA rep may have "confirmed" this with you, but I have found their (and BMW dealers') understanding of this issue to be very spotty.

: : : : For lots of detail on the sulfur issue and the M60 V8's go to the 530i Home Page below.

: : : : Looking forward to your update, Bill.

: : : : Dana
: : : : '95 530ia
: : : : BMWCCA
: : : : The 530i Home page:

: : : :
: : : : : I read a post from someone on the UUC Digest last week that in effect said all 540's made after 5/95 had the updated engine block to prevent the sulfur degradation problems we have all learned so much about. I just got off the phone with a BMW NA rep who confirmed that fact. I was flabergasted, to say the least! I had a leakdown test performed on my car at 35,000 miles just to check, and the dealer obviously didn't know this fact either. I have not talked with my dealer about this yet, but intend to. If you wish to call BMW to verify, the number is (800) 831-1117, then press "1", then "4" to get to the customer rep dept. While I am not taking this as 100% gospel, it is helping me to feel better, as my car has 54,000 miles, runs great, and was made in 10-95.

Yep, I just checked my number on the right side of the block, and I DO have a nikisil block, so the guy at BMW NA is a few bricks shy of a load. I was pretty sure I didn't have the new block, but one can always hope, right?

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