Who has this Crank Seal Protection Plate?

lilg1993

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Jun 3, 2020
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So what is wrong with the VTT version then? Its cheaper and is also one piece billet? Why would we pay 100-200? For 150 you can get the plate and the crank bolt capture.
Hmm, for some reason I didn't quite realize that the VTT guard is one piece billet; I thought the tabs were welded like some others. That makes me more inclined to pick theirs up along with a CBC for the economics, however I may consider the Malo one also ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

but in any case, good info, thanks guys.
 
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BMWHoochie

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Mar 8, 2021
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I ordered the Kies Motorsports guard (aka VAC), and it would not fit my N55. I have to send it back now due to clearance issues. The self-centering lip design is a great idea, but what they have not factored in, is not all seal clearances are consistent from the factory. Some sit out more, and others back more. My seal sits out mabey 5-7mm more than the lip was designed for which means the bolt holes don't line up, and it doesn't sit flush with the block.

I called VAC and confirmed that they do make the guard for other vendors who put their name on it. I called them because getting some form of speedy communication from Kies was difficult because you can't call them. You send a message, and wait one or two days, they send a message back and ask a question I would reply and would wait another day or two for a response.

VAC wanted me to put the guard on, and lightly TAP it back pushing the seal back more (lol NOPE). They also said I could sand the lip down (again NOPE) not for the $200 that I paid. For $200 bucks this thing should come with Netflix. They did say they have new versions with the lip shaved back more because they have got a few complaints about this. I sent it back for a refund.

In the end, I decided with ordering the VTT guard and capture from FCP Euro. No lip on this design so I won't have a clearance issue. The only downside is getting it perfectly aligned while looking down from the top of the engine. If I have issues in the future, at least FCP has a lifetime warranty. I paid $170 for both.

Pics below of the Kies seal guard and clearance issues.

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(This is what happened when I tried to put a bolt on one side. It would push the other side out)
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(Sits semi-flush without bolts, but still not far enough back to prevent rub)
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BMWHoochie

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I would have taken a block of wood and lightly tapped to move the seal. Seals can be all over the place, and it is no issue, since they can seat pretty much anywhere. But I get that you did not want to try that.

Filippo
I was seriously considering it, but what had me concerned was the lip on the guard pushes against the inner part of the seal, and I wasn't sure if the inner part of the seal is weaker or not hard like the outer part. I didn't have a pipe that fits around the outside edge of the seal, so I wussed out lol.
 
Dec 17, 2020
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We made ours to be universal and fit multiple chassis without issue. This is why we went with slotted holes and no lip design on the interior. We ordered a first batch of 500 about 60 days ago. We have already sold through them and ordered another 1000. FCP orders at least 10 a day almost every day, same with ECS. We have people who have installed them on N54, N55, and even some S55. The deal with the CBC cannot be beaten as far as peace of mind per dollar. They are 100% billet no welded tabs, and no fitment issues across the platforms. Yes, you do have to take care in lining it up, but that is a small price to pay for a guaranteed fit, no matter how far out or in your seal may be.
 

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F87Source

Sergeant
Oct 14, 2019
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I ordered the Kies Motorsports guard (aka VAC), and it would not fit my N55. I have to send it back now due to clearance issues. The self-centering lip design is a great idea, but what they have not factored in, is not all seal clearances are consistent from the factory. Some sit out more, and others back more. My seal sits out mabey 5-7mm more than the lip was designed for which means the bolt holes don't line up, and it doesn't sit flush with the block.

I called VAC and confirmed that they do make the guard for other vendors who put their name on it. I called them because getting some form of speedy communication from Kies was difficult because you can't call them. You send a message, and wait one or two days, they send a message back and ask a question I would reply and would wait another day or two for a response.

VAC wanted me to put the guard on, and lightly TAP it back pushing the seal back more (lol NOPE). They also said I could sand the lip down (again NOPE) not for the $200 that I paid. For $200 bucks this thing should come with Netflix. They did say they have new versions with the lip shaved back more because they have got a few complaints about this. I sent it back for a refund.

In the end, I decided with ordering the VTT guard and capture from FCP Euro. No lip on this design so I won't have a clearance issue. The only downside is getting it perfectly aligned while looking down from the top of the engine. If I have issues in the future, at least FCP has a lifetime warranty. I paid $170 for both.

Pics below of the Kies seal guard and clearance issues.

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(This is what happened when I tried to put a bolt on one side. It would push the other side out)
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(Sits semi-flush without bolts, but still not far enough back to prevent rub)
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Sucks to hear that happen to you OP, I had a suspicion that would be the case...

The malo industries plate is coming to me and I will be having a review up soon, so far malo has told me they too have sold thousands of plates and N54 fitment is perfect, N55 fitment has also been confirmed but less installed, however fitment was spotless on both platforms. I will be installing it on my N55 m2 this spring.
 
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F87Source

Sergeant
Oct 14, 2019
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I would have taken a block of wood and lightly tapped to move the seal. Seals can be all over the place, and it is no issue, since they can seat pretty much anywhere. But I get that you did not want to try that.

Filippo
I'm pretty sure that might compromise the sealant bmw pumps into the block as it finishes on the groove of the crank seal. So if you hammer the seal around it could pinch (hence why bmw has the special crank seal tool for perfect flush installs) or shift and cause a leak.
 

F87Source

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This is a quick summary of my take on the malo industries crank seal plate, for a more indepth review and all the technical details (with alot of back ground and explanations) of why you need a crank seal plate and why belt failures may occur go to my main thread: https://f87.bimmerpost.com/forums/showthread.php?p=27336806#post27336806

Here are the reasons why you need a crank seal plate and why I think the malo industries plate is the best choice:

1) If oil (common gasket leaks, oil change), fluids (coolant leaks, rain from a vented hood), or debris gets on your serpentine belt it can slip off of the harmonic dampener and get caught behind it and end up being forced into your engine causing catastrophic engine failure. On rare instances belts can break during track use and also end up in your engine. The solution is a crank seal plate and the one I chose and like the most is the Malo industries plate.

2) Made in Canada (at the time of this writing from what I know only 3 plates are made in North America: Malo, Vac/Kies (can have fitment issues due to the ridge), Oxwerkz - not cnc constructed) - meaning good quality and great tolerances which is important because the fitment must be perfect or it will rub against the harmonic dampener and if it is not tight enough around the crank hub the belt fragments can still make it past the plate rendering it useless.

3) CNC from a single piece of billet aluminium meaning the plate is extremely strong which is important because the stresses of a belt break and being forced behind the dampener is immense.

4) Does not have the alignment ridge which may cause fitment issues because it hits the crank seal.

5) Is extremely affordable at ½ the price of many made competitor plates that are also made in North America (Vac/Kies - same plate) and made out of cnc billet aluminum.





 

fmorelli

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Not sure I get your logic on why MaLo "is the best". Tall order if you want to back that up. For starters, assuming if made in the USA or Canada it's great tolerances ... and you don't say it but the contrast is clear - that if it is not made there, tolerances are not good. That's just a false claim.

Next several of the products out there are one-piece billet. So on par in that regard.

As for price, you are right - MaLo is well cheaper than some. But then again other billet units are cheaper than MaLo.

MaLo looks nice. But I found the above description seriously lacking for making claims that it is the best choice.
 

NoGuru

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Yeah, I don't know why you claim it is the best.
Preventive maintenance is the best way to prevent the belt from breaking. That being said this is a nice addition for peace of mind.
 

F87Source

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Not sure I get your logic on why MaLo "is the best". Tall order if you want to back that up. For starters, assuming if made in the USA or Canada it's great tolerances ... and you don't say it but the contrast is clear - that if it is not made there, tolerances are not good. That's just a false claim.

Next several of the products out there are one-piece billet. So on par in that regard.

As for price, you are right - MaLo is well cheaper than some. But then again other billet units are cheaper than MaLo.

MaLo looks nice. But I found the above description seriously lacking for making claims that it is the best choice.

First off when products are made in Canada and the US by companies that care about quality control then each product is inspected before they leave the door to meet said tolerances. Where's alibaba suppliers that sell products to us vendors don't always provide the best quality control. For instance charge pipes I bought from a very popular bmw vendor (I will not sya their name) but when it arrived the exterior was perfect and so was the interior. But when I tried mating it up to my intercooler I noticed a tiny bit of the pipe didn't line up perfectly before welding and it prevented it from sliding onto the the intercooler. I have never had this issue with a product made in Canada or the US because they actually give a crap about fitment and quality rather than pushing out huge volume. The only time I see when made in china products are always 100% perfect is when a large company like apple puts outside qc on the work force. Otherwise anything I ever get from china always has imperfections from paint, fitment, scratches etc. The only reason why it's not a big deal is because the vendor is american so they always are willing to help me out and right the wrong (another reason why I steer clear of aliexpress because I bought a front lip that came cracked and aliexpress was only willing to give me 50% back unless I returned the lip which would've costed more in shipping fees than the lip was worth). And here's the big problem, if tolerances are a bit off with this plate you either get huge rubbing with the damper, or it hits the crank hub, or even worse leaves a gap a tiny bit too big resulting in belt pieces still getting by rendering it useless.

The description maybe lacking because I provided the link to go read my full 8 page review. I couldn't post it here because there was a word limit.
 
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F87Source

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Oct 14, 2019
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Yeah, I don't know why you claim it is the best.
Preventive maintenance is the best way to prevent the belt from breaking. That being said this is a nice addition for peace of mind.
I thought so too until I saw a few m2's with low mileage snap belts on the track, that's why I am now recommending these plates. Otherwise I was on the maintenance boat with everyone else. Again it is on my full review thread.
 
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F87Source

Sergeant
Oct 14, 2019
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First off when products are made in Canada and the US by companies that care about quality control then each product is inspected before they leave the door to meet said tolerances. Where's alibaba suppliers that sell products to us vendors don't always provide the best quality control. For instance charge pipes I bought from a very popular bmw vendor (I will not sya their name) but when it arrived the exterior was perfect and so was the interior. But when I tried mating it up to my intercooler I noticed a tiny bit of the pipe didn't line up perfectly before welding and it prevented it from sliding onto the the intercooler. I have never had this issue with a product made in Canada or the US because they actually give a crap about fitment and quality rather than pushing out huge volume. The only time I see when made in china products are always 100% perfect is when a large company like apple puts outside qc on the work force. Otherwise anything I ever get from china always has imperfections from paint, fitment, scratches etc. The only reason why it's not a big deal is because the vendor is american so they always are willing to help me out and right the wrong (another reason why I steer clear of aliexpress because I bought a front lip that came cracked and aliexpress was only willing to give me 50% back unless I returned the lip which would've costed more in shipping fees than the lip was worth). And here's the big problem, if tolerances are a bit off with this plate you either get huge rubbing with the damper, or it hits the crank hub, or even worse leaves a gap a tiny bit too big resulting in belt pieces still getting by rendering it useless.

The description maybe lacking because I provided the link to go read my full 8 page review. I couldn't post it here because there was a word limit.
I also wanted to mention just because it's made in Canada isn't the only reason why it's great. Tab design, hardware inclusion, and finish is among the reasons.
 

F87Source

Sergeant
Oct 14, 2019
282
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Not sure I get your logic on why MaLo "is the best". Tall order if you want to back that up. For starters, assuming if made in the USA or Canada it's great tolerances ... and you don't say it but the contrast is clear - that if it is not made there, tolerances are not good. That's just a false claim.

Next several of the products out there are one-piece billet. So on par in that regard.

As for price, you are right - MaLo is well cheaper than some. But then again other billet units are cheaper than MaLo.

MaLo looks nice. But I found the above description seriously lacking for making claims that it is the best choice.
Oh yeah and not to mention the made in China oil filter tool I bought from a US vendor, it's supposed to be the 86 mm required for bmw oil filter caps but nope it was a tiny bit smaller so everytime I want to use it I have to hammer that on. But according to other reviews it's supposed to be perfect.

Hmm now imagine if your crank seal plate was off and a piece of belt got by. That's why I'm trying to avoid buying made in China for critical components if possible, because of all the poor experiences I have had with quality. Not to say all made in China stuff is always bad - because it's not but consistency is never really there imo. That's why I said this is why in my opinion the malo plate is the best. Also don't forget the tab design take a look at the amount of materia securing the tabs compared to other plates, the only other plate that compares is vac/kies and the price is nearly 3x higher and it has potential fitment issues.

Before I made a decision to pick a plate I looked over every option available and malo was the one I liked the most.



What plate do you think is the best and why?
 
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BMWHoochie

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Mar 8, 2021
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Awesome review on Bimmerpost @F87Source very detailed. I just received my guard, and capture from VTT today and will be installing next week. Wish me luck 🙏 I will keep everyone updated on how it goes. Super pumped!
 
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F87Source

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Oct 14, 2019
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Awesome review on Bimmerpost @F87Source very detailed. I just received my guard, and capture from VTT today and will be installing next week. Wish me luck 🙏 I will keep everyone updated on how it goes. Super pumped!
Thanks!

Good luck on your install man! Get some blue loctite I heard that these bolts can come loose over time, hence why bmw uses torque to yield bolts so the stretched threads lock the bolt in place.
 
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F87Source

Sergeant
Oct 14, 2019
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Awesome review on Bimmerpost @F87Source very detailed. I just received my guard, and capture from VTT today and will be installing next week. Wish me luck 🙏 I will keep everyone updated on how it goes. Super pumped!
BTW what are the torque specs VTT asks for? This varies alot from seal guard to seal guard, VAC is like 23 nm, Malo is 20 nm, and stock is 8 nm +90º (which should go up to a value close to 20 nm since it is yielded).
 

fmorelli

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So the 8 nm +90º is almost certainly because BMW is using aluminum bolts - so the angle torque is for stretch.

Bolt torque specs are a function of bolt size and thread. IMHO 23nm (16 ft lbs) sounds good, and I'd use some loctite blue as well.

Filippo
 
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BMWHoochie

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BTW what are the torque specs VTT asks for? This varies alot from seal guard to seal guard, VAC is like 23 nm, Malo is 20 nm, and stock is 8 nm +90º (which should go up to a value close to 20 nm since it is yielded).

The guard says 25 ft-lbs on the packaging so 34Nm rounded. The capture doesn't have any specs, so I am assuming it's 35Nm as required for the OEM bolts. Might shoot Tony an email and confirm just to be safe. It even came with some gummy bears, and a necklace thingamabob lol... I ordered some blue Loctite as well. Should I do a lower torque because I am using Loctite, or just stick with 25 ft-lbs?

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