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Power gains

Discussion in 'E36 (1992-1999)' started by Apex000, May 16, 2010.

    • Member

    Apex000

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    Okay, I'm looking into having my 3er make exceptional power gains, I've been told to go Forced induction (mainly turbo charging) but that's not my vision for my car . My main interest is to make power while keeping the car's engine Naturally aspirated, i'm aware of that the gains will be minimal , but anything counts.

    thanks alot!

    ~T'erre
    • Member

    az3579

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    Only thing I can think of is S52 swap, which should be a direct bolt-in to your chassis.
    Staying NA and building power is not cheap at all, and your only options are an engine swap or internal work, which can be more expensive than a swap.
    • Member

    Apex000

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    I'm not looking for huge power gains or anything, just moderate one's. As much as i want an S52 , i'll wait until i get myself a E36 M3
    • Member

    bcweir

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    It doesn't take an M3 engine to add power to your engine bay

    Actually, you do have some non-M alternatives to your engine. Stock, your 2.8L M52TUB28 engine puts out 190 hp and 206 pound feet of torque.

    You could go with a 3.0L E46 inline six cylinder engine. These came in two flavors: regular and ZHP. The regular version puts out 228hp and 214 pound feet of torque. The ZHP ups the ante with 235 hp and 222 pound feet of torque. I should point out that the block is the same for both versions.

    You could even build up your existing engine to make this kind of power. While your engine doesn't have the multiple throttle bodies or the fancier VANOS of the S-engine, the M52/M54 engine still very receptive and responsive to modification. Modifications to the intake, heads, camshafts, and exhaust can still yield some very impressive numbers.

    You already have the most signficant, naturally aspirated power-adder of all - a 24-valve DOHC cylinder head.

    I have even seen some E36's that had a M62 V8 engine dropped into the engine bay. This is a far more ambitious project, as you would have to add in an M62 (automatic or manual) transmission and a rear differential as well as extensive electronics modifications (not to mention having to do custom rework of your gauges to work with the V8), but in the end, you'd have at least 282 hp to play with, significantly more than any stock US-spec S50/S52 E36 M3 engine was putting out. The M62 is described as a little wider, but also a little shorter lengthwise than the E36 inline sixes. I might also add that both the later E34's and all E39s were equipped with either engine.
    • Member

    Apex000

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    although good info, i am not interested in engine swaps.
    • Member

    JDiazAmador

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    I have the same engine (M52TUB28) in a E39 528i. A cold air intake, performance exhaust (a/k/a new muffler), and software upgrade (e.g. Shark Injector) should provide modest power gains with practically no downside.

    I would consider the increased intake and exhaust sound an upgrade, as I am always wishing to hear more of the straight-six engine. As long as the sound is low enough to not be noticeable at 70 mph cruise. Full throttle, I want to hear it.

    I'm considering the ECIS intake (only one besides Dinan that is CA certified), Remus exhaust and Conforti Software (Shark Injector).

    After the software upgrade, you have to run premium fuel, but that's all I buy anyway. We're limited to 91 Oct here in CA, but 100 Oct race gas is available at a few places. a 3:10 ratio of 100/91 Oct gets you to 93 Oct.

    I plan to inquire with the manufactures of the Shark Injector to see if 91 Oct is sufficient.

    Does anyone here have experience with the above products on a M52 engine?
    • Member

    az3579

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    The performance gains of an exhaust and intake are very questionable and has been a topic of debate for years.


    You're better off with a chip, even though that won't do too much either just make it feel more lively and perhaps give you a few hp.
    • Member

    Arthur B Fisch

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    I have just partially restored my 95 M3. This is what you need to do without doing all the fufu stuff and spending a terrible amount of money.

    1. Fan Delete Kit-Do not delay. Get one. The biggest uncovered power grab you can perform. Make sure it is done meticulously and correctly. No short cuts. Go to www. understeer.com
    2. Take the baffle out of the air intake box and put in a K & N or similar HP air filter. No need for the CAI, which is a misnomer in my opinion, since it grabs hot or warm air at best. Cold air drops. Warm air rises. Grab the air either through the front grill or underneath the car. As in the ducts. Otherwise, forget about it unless you have money to burn.
    3. Recon. you VANOS unit. Beissan Systems an excellent kit to do this.
    4..Change the plugs and coils packs.

    Everyone has a different opinion, but the above can be all done for under 1K. The bang for the buck is impressionable.

    abfisch
    • Member

    Apex000

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    Thanks for the reply's guys .

    1. The fan delete is on my to do list , i may tackle it this weekend with a buddy of mine.
    2. Done :D, replaced stock filter with a aFe performance filter
    3. Soon , possibly this weekend also. there's a shop here called Dr.Vanos that sells new kits
    4. replaced plugs about 30K miles ago ( 60,000 miles ) the car has 90,280 miles .. i may replace them again when i buy a set of coils.

    has anyone had experience with the Bavarian Auto performance coils ?
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    Gee Jacques... where ya been the last year an a half?? ;-) WB!
    • Member

    mda185

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    Bavarian Auto performance coils are nice but power gains will not be noticeable unless there is something wrong with your OEM coils. BMW did a good job designing the ignition system and there is no reason to upgrade unless you are running forced induction with high boost. The biggest bang for the buck modification you can do is install an intake manifold from an OBD I M50 engine and get a software upgrade for the ECU from someone like Turner Motorsport. That will net you something on the order of 20 HP at high rpm at the expense of a small loss in torque below 2500 rpm. None of the other mods mentioned will come close to this impact. Free flow air filters do not add much HP either.

    Having done an S52 swap, I can tell you it is well worth it if you plan to keep the car a long time and are capable of doing the labor yourself. Definitely not worth it to pay someone else. If you intend to upgrade to an M3 someday, save your money and enjoy the stock 2.8 liter engine.

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