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Nerd Out Over This BMW S65 V8 Engine Assembly Walkthrough

The E92 M3's V8 may be stressful to own, but watching this full rebuild couldn't be more therapeutic.
M539 Restorations

Who needs therapy when there are engine assembly videos like this one from M539 Restorations? In the hour-plus video—which is part six of a video series featuring this engine—the channel’s host Sreten starts off with a completely disassembled S65 BMW V8 engine, with every single part meticulously laid out on the ground, and then reassembles it. Just looking at the neatness and order of it all soothes my brain but watching him install each and every part, brand-new or cleaned to perfection, is incredibly therapeutic.

But why? For starters, Sreten is always entertaining, and makes long-form videos like this very fun. It also just feels satisfying to see such a wonderful—albeit fickle—engine come back to life.

The BMW S65, a 4.0-liter naturally aspirated V8 that powered the E92-generation M3, is one of the very best engines from this century. Despite being more than a decade old, it’s still an awe-inspiring engine to use, with a beautifully linear powerband and a spine-tingling noise. It does have one problem, though: reliability. Or, rather, lack thereof. The S65 likes to eat its rod bearings pretty regularly, among other things, making it a frightening engine to own and care for. But knowing that this one is completely rebuilt from scratch, with all new parts and fresh rod bearings, makes it easier to appreciate its brilliance.

M539 Restorations

It’s a fantasy of mine to spend an entire day, in a fully tooled garage, assembling an engine like this. I don’t have the knowledge, capability, garage space, tools, or time to, of course, but I dream of the opportunity nonetheless. That said, watching this video can help with the knowledge part of the job, as it really is a step-by-step explainer on how to rebuild an engine: which parts go where, what each part does, and even the precise degree every bolt should be torqued. OK, so that last part really only helps for the S65 specifically, but it’s still handy to know.

If you need to sit back and relax today, get a little engine-induced therapy and watch this video. I can’t wait for a future installment that shows this engine fire to life under the hood of an M3. It will be the satisfying end to the journey of this series.

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