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Re: S4 vs. V8Q...
>> -The engine block is aluminum/silicon alloy, and supposedly the Germans
>> shied away from aluminum blocks in the US, due to the high sulphur content
>> our gasoline, which tends to degrade the aluminum...
BMW are the only folks who make aluminum blocks AND have had problems due to
the high sulphur content of the U.S. fuel. That is because of the process
they use for producing the wear surface on the cylinder bores. It is
particularly sensitive to sulphur and a very environmentally unfriendly
manufacturering process to boot.
In fact, the problem potential was so bad that they delayed introducing the
1996 328 and 318 models until they could go back to the drawing boards and
reverse the change they had planned to make to aluminum blocks. Everywhere
else in the world, the new 1.9 and 2.8 liter engines are aluminum; in the
U.S. and Canada they are good old cast iron again. I suspect they find this
very embarassing, but less expensive than a rash of engine problems.