Hello there and welcome to the BMW Car Club of America.

If you are a BMW CCA member, please log in and introduce yourself in our Member Introductions section.

M50/S50/S52 E30 Conversion

Discussion in 'E30 (1984-1993)' started by MGarrison, Jan 14, 2009.

    z31maniac guest

    Post Count: 186
    Likes Received:1
    $1650 for the engine, getrag 260 and e34 pan/pickup/dipstick. I could get $200 back on the engine if I had a core.

    $1250 for the engine, I think it's a fair deal. I'm hoping they have some s52 cams and can get them to install them before they ship the motor.
    • Member

    granthr

    Post Count: 1,583
    Likes Received:2
    Just an FYI on Vines Automotive. I have bought small things from them in the past and are great to deal with! Friendly and knowledgable. :)
    • Member

    az3579

    Post Count: 3,270
    Likes Received:3
    $1250??? I've seen some for $700 with about 90k on them... :confused:
    Not from Vines of course. I found them a bit expensive.


    But hey, I'd be willing to spend that much if I could be guaranteed that the engine was taken care of. :)

    z31maniac guest

    Post Count: 186
    Likes Received:1
    M50s or M52s?

    I put a deposit on an M52. It's been my experience calling around that you can complete M50s for $600-800 all day, but M52s are more like $1200-1500. It would have only been $1050 if I had a core.
    • Member
    • Technical Service Advisor

    mooseheadm5

    Post Count: 1,880
    Likes Received:15
    What displacement? I would assume 2.8 (why bother with an M52 otherwise?) Do you plan to run an M50 intake? Was that complete with harness/intake/injectors/accessories, etc?

    z31maniac guest

    Post Count: 186
    Likes Received:1
    Yes, M52B28, the M52B25 (in the 323s) would be a no-no.

    The motor is coming with all the accessories, injectors and a 540i MAF. I told him I didn't need the other stuff as I'm swapping to OBD-I. And I've got nearly everything for that coming, just need the coolant/cam/crank sensors, DME and a chip.

    OBD-I M52 with S52 cams, good exhaust and chip should have it in the ~200 whp range. Which should be plenty in an E30.
    • Member
    • Technical Service Advisor

    mooseheadm5

    Post Count: 1,880
    Likes Received:15
    That price makes more sense now. If you can get him to throw in an "undesireable" 1/95 or later OBD-I ECU, you can get a JimC/TMS chip with EWS delete. Also, I have an M3 exhaust on the ti (shortened 7.5") and they have programming that covers that as well. Unfortunately, I told them I have a light flywheel, so they have the motor idling at 1100RPM. I'd skip that line of code if I were you.

    z31maniac guest

    Post Count: 186
    Likes Received:1
    For the exhaust I'm going to run the supersprint copies off eBay, then Y them into a single 2.5" through a Thermal Research and Development muffler.

    I'm also going with a TRM chip setup for the S52 cams and OBD-I manifold and the 540i MAF.
    • Member

    az3579

    Post Count: 3,270
    Likes Received:3
    Yeah, looking around, I'm finding the M52 to be a great deal for what you paid for it.



    I just contacted someone and they replied about a well-maintained S50 they will have for sale soon. It's located right here where I am in CT (different part of the state though) and would cost $2000, not including the tranny, but has "new plugs, icv, new idler, new fan clutch/fan and new valve cover". He says well-maintained but hasn't said any specifics yet, and hasn't said what mileage, which I am waiting for a response for.

    He also has an M50 non-VANOS with 121k on it for $400. That is an absolute steal, but I want to hear thoughts. Is S50 worth it??

    z31maniac guest

    Post Count: 186
    Likes Received:1
    Same as the M52 vs S52. With the S50 cams and a good chip you can get kinda close to the peak numbers, but will be down in the midrange and low end.

    And OBD-I S52 cammed M52 with a good chip (from the dyno's I've seen) actually make a few more HP at peak than a stock S52, but are still down on power everywhere else.

    It's all about your budget and what you want to accomplish. I'm sticking with an M52 vs S52 because I'm also throwing in fresh SS lines/pads/fluid/rotors and deleting the ABS, new control arms and custom adj sway bar links, reinforcing the subframe, rebuilding the camber plates and upping the spring rate on the coilovers.

    z31maniac guest

    Post Count: 186
    Likes Received:1
    http://www.eurosporthighperformance.com/pdfs/Cam_M52_vs_Stock_M3.pdf

    Botond, here is an example of the M/S debate.

    This is a stock S52B32 vs an OBD-I manifold M52 with S52 cams and 540i MAF, with the stock 21.5lb injectors.

    You can see the M52 out punches up top by just a few HP, but is down bigtime in the midrange TQ due to less displacement, some times by quite a margin. But you'll also notice the M52 is making as much TQ at the wheel at 2500 RPM as the M20 makes at peak at the crank.

    So still a VERY substantial improvement over the M20.
    • Member
    • Technical Service Advisor

    mooseheadm5

    Post Count: 1,880
    Likes Received:15
    Remember, though, that you are talking about an M52 with cams, manifold, different MAF, and software vs. a stock M20. A cammed stroker M20 with software shores up those numbers a bit and will cost much less to pull off. Torque will be even lower with an M50B25.
    • Member

    az3579

    Post Count: 3,270
    Likes Received:3
    Interesting, especially seeing that both of those engines produce a helluva lot more power at just 3.5-4k rpm than my M20 does at peak (which has passed at that point lol)...

    In this case, whatever I end up getting will be a lot better than what I've got now.
    That M50 for $400 really is tempting though, but I'm a bit scared of the mileage. It being an auto, it means it probably wasn't owned by an enthusiast and maintenance may not be up to snuff. Who knows... that M20 idea is still strong in my head as my finances will soon allow me to buy all of the parts (3/4 of the way there), and would prefer that because it wouldn't require me to take the engine out of the car, which is labor intensive.

    (But an M/S5x looks so much cooler in the engine bay! [[Don't care all that much though :)]])


    And Paul, regardless of what you say, I will not do it by myself without supervision. If someone's around, then I will have the courage to do it, but I will not put myself at risk by doing it alone and possibly screwing it up without anyone to help me right then and there because time is not on my side if I do it; it's a daily and only driver that I've got.

    z31maniac guest

    Post Count: 186
    Likes Received:1
    Touche!

    But if I was going to build an M20 (which I had originally planned on doing) I was going to build a 3.1L using an 86mm bore and S52 crank, etc, but you end up with a less than ideal rod ratio if I remember right, not as much HP as the setup I'm talking about, and you a much more ragged/on edge engine than the setup I'm talking about.

    A stroked M20 with a big cam is going to be much less civil, and less efficient, than a 24v motor.

    However, an 3.1L M20 with ITB's and a big cam sure would look amazing under the hood!

    Botond, agreed on the looks. That's part of what finally swayed me. Once I get the M20 out, I'm going to delete the ABS and do a serious detail/clean up of the engine bay. And do the best I can to make it an incredibly clean, nice install.
    • Member
    • Technical Service Advisor

    mooseheadm5

    Post Count: 1,880
    Likes Received:15
    There will never be a power contest displacement for displacement with an M20 vs an M50/52, only HP/$.

    I'd love to build a big fatty M20 with ITBs, but probably won't for years.

    z31maniac guest

    Post Count: 186
    Likes Received:1
    So it looks like I have lucked into a low mileage S52, moose, do you have a clutch recomendation for that?

    OBD-I, 540i MAF, chip and later down the line a new chip, 24lb injectors and Schrick cams. I'll be using the getrag 260 and m20 flywheel for the swap.
    • Member
    • Technical Service Advisor

    mooseheadm5

    Post Count: 1,880
    Likes Received:15
    I just run an M20 flywheel and a well used stock 325i clutch. A Sachs clutch kit should take care of you but you may or may not want to upgrade to a heavy duty kit if you can find one. Brain fade, but the 260 is the M20 box, right? If so, make sure that it matches the flywheel. The e and i boxes are mechanically the same, but some cars have a thin flywheel and some a thick flywheel. If you mix them, you need to change the slave pushrod length. Also, IIRC, you need an M20 starter to go with the flywheel or an M50 ring gear on your flywheel. I think I used an M20 starter since I didn't figure it out until I had the thing put together.

    z31maniac guest

    Post Count: 186
    Likes Received:1
    Yeah its 260 box, i know about the starter.

    But is a stock clutch designed to handle 168hp, really going to be able to hold another 110+ HP, reliably?

    I know the German's overbuild there stuff, I just have a hard time believing that it will hold for any substantial amount of time. Dropping the extra cash on a heavy duty clutch would be worth it lasting longer than doing a clutch soon after getting everything in and running.

    Any suggestions for a company to build a stronger clutch?
    • Member
    • Technical Service Advisor

    mooseheadm5

    Post Count: 1,880
    Likes Received:15

    z31maniac guest

    Post Count: 186
    Likes Received:1
    Yikes, that's even cheaper than the Sachs OEM, and that's cheap!

    Some told me to look into a stock disc + the Sachs 618 PP, but that pressure plate alone is $400!

    I talked to www.superiorclutch.com today, and he said he could build me a streetable/auto-x friendly 300HP clutch for $325, doesn't seem to bad.

    It's just there are alot of companies that do custom clutches and I don't which ones are reputable or not.

Share This Page