New King "GPC" coated silver based tri-metal rod bearings for N54, N55, N52, S55, N20, N26

gmagnus7

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Dec 3, 2018
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Anyone hear anything about these? I was doing some research on rod bearings since I'm gonna pull my pan and do some maintenance anyway, and came across these.

King Engine Bearings is offering a new bearing as part of their King Racing product line and are calling it GPC technology. The product code is CR 222GPC and is an alternative to the normal CR 222SV they offer already. Says the applications are for N54, N55, N52, S55, N20, and N26 engines. Apparently it has a much higher load capacity and is coated in case of oil starvation. Oddly enough the video on the GPC website shows Ghassan and his 135i even though he runs the standard CR 222SV (I believe).

Taken from their website, the bearings have several layers including a top coating:
1) coating - 10 micron polymer coating containing solid lubricant and ceramic additives
2) top - silver based overlay
3) middle - lead free bronze with additional tin
4) base - steel

Load capacity is 17,000 psi compared to "available race materials" at 11,000 psi. Not sure about the testing methods or what brand they tested against - probably just marketing but I'm not an expert.

GPC product line: http://kingracebearings.com/product_king/gpc/
CR 222GPC: http://www.king-catalog.com/Catalog/Set/CR_222GPC
 

Cruizinmax

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One thing to keep in mind, if you are building a street car a standard bearing may be more desirable. The softer material will allow for contaminates to embed in the bearing material as designed whereas a harder bearing material will not. Contaminates will occupy the oil clearance and be more likely to spin the bearing and damage the crank journal. It should go without saying, you should use the right bearing for your intended purpose.
 
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gmagnus7

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Dec 3, 2018
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One thing to keep in mind, if you are building a street car a standard bearing may be more desirable. The softer material will allow for contaminates to embed in the bearing material as designed whereas a harder bearing material will not. Contaminates will occupy the oil clearance and be more likely to spin the bearing and damage the crank journal. It should go without saying, you should use the right bearing for your intended purpose.
Isnt lead used for the same purpose? Silver has a slightly higher Mohs hardness (2.5 for Ag vs 1.5 for Pb on a logarithmic scale). I bring that up because copper-lead bearings are pretty well established in street engines, and some have them (tri-metal) from the factory.
 

Cruizinmax

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Isnt lead used for the same purpose? Silver has a slightly higher Mohs hardness (2.5 for Ag vs 1.5 for Pb on a logarithmic scale). I bring that up because copper-lead bearings are pretty well established in street engines, and some have them (tri-metal) from the factory.
Correct. A common train of thought however is that race=better when that isn't necessarily the case with certain items. The higher load capacity may not be necessary and the trade off for the additional capacity may be detrimental to the longevity of the engine.

Is anyone having issues pushing out rod bearings on the n54/55 that isn't related to detonation/knock?
 

gmagnus7

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Is anyone having issues pushing out rod bearings on the n54/55 that isn't related to detonation/knock?
I'm pretty sure the vast majority of spun rod bearings are due to oiling issues.
1) When at the track and having a lack of oil control/baffle/oil accumulator/secondary oil pump
2) From increased oil temperature due to having much higher HP output in combination with tiny oil coolers
3) From running high E85 and/or leaky injectors thinning out the oil
4) Or all of the above
That's how I understand it anyway.
 

Cornfed54

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So with bearings such as the King bearings, are they sold with a variety of specs for our engine? I haven't found any info online regarding this. I know the factory bearings are various sizes to meet that specific cylinder's clearance specs. Markings on the block/crank indicate what color code of bmw bearing to use in each rod/ main bearing . Is this the case with aftermarket bearings as well, or are people slapping in a matching set and calling it good enough?
 

Dumaurier7

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I'm pretty sure the vast majority of spun rod bearings are due to oiling issues.
1) When at the track and having a lack of oil control/baffle/oil accumulator/secondary oil pump
2) From increased oil temperature due to having much higher HP output in combination with tiny oil coolers
3) From running high E85 and/or leaky injectors thinning out the oil
4) Or all of the above
That's how I understand it anyway.
If you continue to do more research on the topic you'll most likely realize that there are countless brands and various motor configurations making huge amounts of power and living quite happily on the OEM bearings, as a matter of fact some builders will not use anything else! so why do BMW builders/ enthusiasts believe that our issues are caused by the bearings themselves? It is just pure fact and science that no matter how many coats of special material are applied or what ever the metallurgy of the bearings, they ARE going to fail if not lubricated properly! all the fancy stuff will serve to buy you some time but will not solve the problem. Years ago whilst I was a member of the RX7 Rotary community, I built a 1993 RX7 with a 13B rotary motor which was turbocharged (by a GTX45R!) and spun to 12,000 rpms making over 600RWHP @ 18 psi boost! and it never spun a bearing! I used the oem oil pump and oil cooling system with OEM BEARINGS, in-fact there were guys who purposely used worn bearings for increased clearance an the resulting thicker "oil wedge" it allowed. I also believe that, as stated above the issue the BMWs face all start with poor oiling which is mainly caused by poor oil management in the pan which causes the oil pump to intermittently reduce its delivery as it looses suction eventually leading to worn bearings. I believe this phenomena starts from day 1 when the car is driven out of the dealership by the proud new owner who wants to enjoy his car! I strongly think that in order to fix the issue the ROOT CAUSE must first be addressed, BMW has already done the work and provided the parts! they fit a totally different oil system on their higher performing motors (both N55 and S55) so why don't we?
 
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gmagnus7

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If you continue to do more research on the topic you'll most likely realize that there are countless brands and various motor configurations making huge amounts of power and living quite happily on the OEM bearings, as a matter of fact some builders will not use anything else! so why do BMW builders/ enthusiasts believe that our issues are caused by the bearings themselves? It is just pure fact and science that no matter how many coats of special material are applied or what ever the metallurgy of the bearings, they ARE going to fail if not lubricated properly! all the fancy stuff will serve to buy you some time but will not solve the problem. Years ago whilst I was a member of the RX7 Rotary community, I built a 1993 RX7 with a 13B rotary motor which was turbocharged (by a GTX45R!) and spun to 12,000 rpms making over 600RWHP @ 18 psi boost! and it never spun a bearing! I used the oem oil pump and oil cooling system with OEM BEARINGS, in-fact there were guys who purposely used worn bearings for increased clearance an the resulting thicker "oil wedge" it allowed. I also believe that, as stated above the issue the BMWs face all start with poor oiling which is mainly caused by poor oil management in the pan which causes the oil pump to intermittently reduce its delivery as it looses suction eventually leading to worn bearings. I believe this phenomena starts from day 1 when the car is driven out of the dealership by the proud new owner who wants to enjoy his car! I strongly think that in order to fix the issue the ROOT CAUSE must first be addressed, BMW has already done the work and provided the parts! they fit a totally different oil system on their higher performing motors (both N55 and S55) so why don't we?
Yes I agree it's an oil issue, that's exactly what I said so I'm slightly confused why your comment is directed at me. By do more research are you suggesting that I research the different types of bearing materials or what exactly? Also I think it's a bit naive to think OEM make the best of everything. They make parts that function to certain standard, then design them to last a certain amount of time, and make them as cheap as possible. Regardless, there's been a few people trying to solve the problem - with oil accumulators, pan baffles, secondary scavenge pump, overfilling, different oil types, and yes it would be easier if the system was designed better but it is what it is.
 

derekgates

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While I agree with checking the crank and using the same sized bearings... the BMW bearings are ridiculously expensive.

I, too, plan on a bearing change. I was going to do it when I replaced turbos. This thread has me interested!


I don't see the harm with checking via palstiguage before installing King bearings...
 

Dumaurier7

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Yes I agree it's an oil issue, that's exactly what I said so I'm slightly confused why your comment is directed at me. By do more research are you suggesting that I research the different types of bearing materials or what exactly? Also I think it's a bit naive to think OEM make the best of everything. They make parts that function to certain standard, then design them to last a certain amount of time, and make them as cheap as possible. Regardless, there's been a few people trying to solve the problem - with oil accumulators, pan baffles, secondary scavenge pump, overfilling, different oil types, and yes it would be easier if the system was designed better but it is what it is.
I am getting the impression that my statements are being misconstrued by you, I am not directing anything to you personally but since you are the person asking the question then It might seem that I am actually speaking to you, I really intended to be communicating in general terms. When I mentioned “doing research” I was referring to the widespread use of standard OEM bearings in motorsport and other high HP applications all without negative results. I disagree with your comments about manufacturers making and using parts as "Cheap as possible" since this would obviously lead to numerous costly issues for which the manufacturer would be liable under warranty. Looking at the current BMW line up, you will not find frequent or widespread bearing related failures within the S and B series motors or even the venerable N55 which was fitted with the oil system parts from the S55 as in the M235R and the F87 M2 yet all these cars compete in various types of motorsport at different levels and they all share the SAME bearings. In summary I am simply saying that no matter what bearing is used the problem will still exist if the obvious oiling system hardware issues are not addressed, of course the choice is yours and you are free to take any path you choose.
 

gmagnus7

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Dec 3, 2018
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I am getting the impression that my statements are being misconstrued by you, I am not directing anything to you personally but since you are the person asking the question then It might seem that I am actually speaking to you, I really intended to be communicating in general terms. When I mentioned “doing research” I was referring to the widespread use of standard OEM bearings in motorsport and other high HP applications all without negative results. I disagree with your comments about manufacturers making and using parts as "Cheap as possible" since this would obviously lead to numerous costly issues for which the manufacturer would be liable under warranty. Looking at the current BMW line up, you will not find frequent or widespread bearing related failures within the S and B series motors or even the venerable N55 which was fitted with the oil system parts from the S55 as in the M235R and the F87 M2 yet all these cars compete in various types of motorsport at different levels and they all share the SAME bearings. In summary I am simply saying that no matter what bearing is used the problem will still exist if the obvious oiling system hardware issues are not addressed, of course the choice is yours and you are free to take any path you choose.
Well I agree about the fact that the oil system isn't up to snuff. Pretty much anything other than spirited driving proses a risk with the stock pan and oil pickup design. I'll have to disagree about pretty much everything else you said though. The N55 and B58 have had their fair share of issues, every car does. The B58 is no exception, just look at the crankshaft bearing recall or the B58TU1 revision that BMW deemed necessary. In my opinion, if you don't think manufactures have cost cutting and planned obsolescence in mind, you're in denial lol. They're first and foremost a business after all.
 
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JohnDaviz

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I disagree with your comments about manufacturers making and using parts as "Cheap as possible" since this would obviously lead to numerous costly issues for which the manufacturer would be liable under warranty.

Sorry to disappoint you. This is exactly what every OEM is doing probably since existence.
 

Bnks334

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I used king bearings in my own engine but it is important to know that HARDER bearings with higher load capacity is good for high whp without deforming the bearing but also usually means LESS embeddability and seizure resistance for oiling issues. The GPC coating is there to try to make up for that by providing a "lubricating" coating kind of like the coating that BMW is putting on the B58 bearings. However, how well does it actually work and how does the coating compare to using a more seizure resistant copper/lead bearing? If these cars have oiling issues, which it does seem like they do since rod bearing failure almost always looks like oil starvation, then maybe a softer copper/lead bearing from ACL would be better and just change them ever few years? Seems like KING is trying to address something by adding the GPC coating.
 
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