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S52 engine replacement advice

Discussion in 'E36 M3 (1995-1999)' started by teamcna, Apr 6, 2009.

    teamcna guest

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    My 97 Dinan SC E36 M3 with 135k is in trouble. Due to known issues in both the head and block, I am fairly certain I am shopping for a used long block. My budget is pretty tight, and this is my biggest DIY project ever. Any advice on where to aquire this pricey piece? Any of the salvage opperations with good reputations & results? Any advice in this matter would be greatly appreciated.
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    mooseheadm5

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    a:
    Where are you located? It will help us find something local to you.
    b:
    Can I buy your old motor when you find a new one? I don't mind if there are problems, as I may be able fix them with a complete rebuild. In your case, it will be cheaper to buy a used motor.
    c:
    car-part.com is a good place to look, as is ebay and craigslist. Check local yards as well.
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    mooseheadm5

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    Also, go buy a Bently manual. It will lay out all the procudures you need. To me, this sort of engine R&R can be accomplished in about 8 hours if I don't take any breaks. 12 if I stop for lunch and dinner. 20 if I am billing a customer for it (I actually clean everything and take my time to double and triple check everything.) If you are close to me or my brother, I may be able to help out more than just over the internet.

    teamcna guest

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    Thanks for the response Paul.

    I am located in Salisbury, NC. I already have the Bentley manual and fully expect this process will take me at least 3 times as long as your worst case scenario. I will also be replacing the cooling system while it's all apart. I don't know how much complication the supercharger adds, but it doesn't seem too bad...some extra hoses and another layer of belt, pulleys & brackets. I will only be able to throw about 2-3 hours, twice a week at it. The old engine will be for sale unless I need it for core exchange.

    I'll check out some of the sources you offered and start taking it apart tomorrow. Will I have much difficulty removing the trans on jack stands? Bentley suggests a lift.

    Thanks-

    Chris
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    mooseheadm5

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    I'm happy to give you any advice you need. First, make sure you have all the tools you could possibly need and a good work space. Do you have an engine hoist? Do you have ramps? They might be nicer to work under. You have a couple of choices. You can pull/install the whole motor trans combination. This is preferrable for some home mechanics because you spend much less time under the car. You need to take extra precaustions to protect the fenders and you need to pull the radiator (which you will do anyway) and protect the AC condensor with a piece of plywood. This requires an engine hoist that can pick the motor up very high, and you will also need an engine leveller. You also need to start with the car pretty far off the ground. This is what I recommend, simply because pulling a trans from under a car without a lift is the pits. It can be done, but I wouldn't (any more, anyway. I have access to a lift now.) Pulling BMW engines is actually pretty easy. Unplug everything and leave the wiring harness with the motor. Double check absolutely everything before you hoist the motor. I almost always forget one thing. The big ones are the ground strap by the passenger motor mount, the heater hoses at the firewall, and the reverse light wiring at the trans. The supercharger does not actually add too much complexity. Just more hoses and belts, as you say. If you don't want this thread to become a blog, feel free to PM me if you need help.
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    mooseheadm5

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    That is not too far away. There are a few local junkyards, plus there is Vines south of you. I'd stay away from anything that requires serious shipping (like Bavarian Engine Exchange.) I'll check around. Buying outright might be better in your case to avoid a core charge, and you usually get a better price (no warranty, though.)
    You should not pay more than $3k for an engine, but you can usually pick one up for $2000-$2500 without any accessories, which you don't need anyway.
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    mooseheadm5

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    car-part.com says there are 6 in the mid atlantic region for less than $3k. There are 7 under $3k in the southeast region (there might be some overlap.)
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    mooseheadm5

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