As many know, the BMW S65 V-8 and S85 V-10 are prone to excessive rod bearing wear at low mileage due to an excessively tight oil clearance specification. This has led to numerous engine failures since the introduction of these engines, with some occurring as low as 6700miles.
The exhaustive research conducted by enthusiasts and professionals as documented on the m3post forum led to the development of a better solution than anything found on the market at this time. BE Bearings have brought a custom rod bearing solution, manufactured in the same Clevite facility as the OEM bearings, but to more appropriate specifications to increase the oil clearance to reduce starvation and improve bearing life.
Additionally, these bearings are manufactured with the traditional lead-copper design (the same as the originally introduced bearings on these engines) to ensure the wear is traceable using oil analysis methods such as those provided by Blackstone. The newer part number bearing from BMW were designed to meet ROHS compliance specifications, thus were lead free, removing the primary indicator of bearing wear by these oil analysis regimens. Additionally, there is some early evidence that these newer, harder (due to being lead free) bearings are causing more damage to crankshaft journals when lubrication starved than the original design. BE Bearings therefore chose to remain with the traditional "Tri-Metal" design incorporating the softer lead Babbitt layer for maximum crankshaft protection during startup and other low oil supply conditions.
Oil choice has been a point of contention for M enthusiasts for years, much more so since the bearing wear issue with the S65 and S85 became more known. Many recommended thinner oils as a stop-gap measure while others pined on about the thicker 10W-60 being necessary. BE Bearings were designed for use with the OEM 10W-60 Oil specification by BMW with the proper clearance measurements to extend bearing life.