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Old 01-06-2018, 09:28 AM   #16
e30s50dan
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Hope this will start a N52 sub-forum
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Old 01-06-2018, 02:11 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Jb325is View Post
It's not going to be widely publicized. The motors I have are old Sunbelt pieces from Turner/Bimmerworld cars which ran World Challenge and Grand Am/Conti before the turbo cars came around. If I'm not mistaken they stopped using Sunbelt and started using Roush-Yates around 2013 or 14 but I could be completely wrong on that, I never worked for either team just talked to people who did.

What I have looks like stock cams, aftermarket pistons, but haven't really looked at what else is there
Apparently the earlier engines had the pistons you are talking about. The later engines after 2012 also ran a restrictor plate. Cams on both engine versions were stock. The cars were running stock rwhp with some optimisation. The car was nice to drive apparently due to the broad power/torque curve.

This is according to one of the drivers, so most likely accurate
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Old 01-10-2018, 08:47 PM   #18
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AFAIK there's no specific weak point on the motors themselves. the waterpumps "only" last ~100k miles (mine went to 130k), but I can't tell if that's a bad thing or if modern BMW owners are just whiny little bitches (N54 pumps are plastic and last about half as long). BPC has taken theirs up to 8200rpm and the only thing that happened is the lifters bled out. Then they proceeded to build a 500whp turbo kit and it still hasn't blown up (they did break a 325i transmission though). It revs to 7k stock, and has CNC'd ports like an S54 head.

The N52 is really under appreciated because it's not a turbo, which is all the fanboys fawn over these days - IMO, it pisses all over all the other N/A 24v motors, aside from the M versions. Stock versions of it make 265bhp while weighing about as much as an M42, and they have a torque curve that would give an M30 a limp dick.

They are also super smooth and fuel efficient. With the 6 speed and a 3.15 rear end, my 330i got 36mpg on a recent trip down to Seattle and back. My M20 is lucky if it breaks 20, and it makes like half the power.

I can do swap tunes for these of course - I'm almost done with the 2nd one ever. Funny how I've wanted to swap my E30 for like 8 years and I've helped like 30 other people do it but mine just sits in the garage.

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Originally Posted by DesertBMW View Post
Early engines had valve lifter noise issue that was corrected in late 2008 production cars.
it's really not that common, and not even a big deal if it does happen. I can't imagine it would ever affect somebody that revs their engine on a daily basis - it's caused by air in the lifters, and is pretty harmless. Also, I've owned 2 early N52 cars and neither had this problem. But if you never go above 3k rpm and don't let it warm up, I could see air building up and it being a problem.
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Old 01-11-2018, 07:30 PM   #19
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Interesting thread.
I honestly never knew anything about the N52. Thanks for posting.

Question - Has anyone developed a solid follower / shim over/under kit for the N52?

What is the bottom end durability like?

The weight of an M42 part gets my attention in a big way...
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Old 01-11-2018, 08:05 PM   #20
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"The weight of an M42 part gets my attention in a big way..."

My M54 is light and just a blast with 240whp, but I needed an m50 intake and Schrick cams to get there.

An N52 is probably 30lbs lighter, makes around 230whp with little effort and can spin to around 8000 with solid lifters from what I understand. The CNC work on the head is beautiful from the factory, whereas M54 is still rough cast.
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Old 01-11-2018, 09:49 PM   #21
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Mine put down 220whp bone stock..
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:32 AM   #22
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The M54 in the E30 is an awesome combo. Compared to my e46 M3, the E30 was quite a bit faster from say 0-4500rpm. But the M3 can keep revving where the M54 starts to peter out. Lets not forget that Hoveringuy's 240whp is more of a race tuned M54, that gives up torque for a higher rpm hp gain.

So now consider the N52. Compared to a hot M54 with 220whp, you can get the N52 to 255-265whp with fairly easy mods that don't affect driveability, or torque: Headers, MILV (shims that increase intake valve lift and install relatively easy), N54 intake, and tune. Plus, it willingly and smoothly revs to say 7400 stock, more if you want to mess with the lifters.
Given the e30's weight, this seems to be the sweet spot, unless you go crazy hp drifter stuff.

Also, great news on the N54 intake. It results in tons of room for the brake booster and easy access to the heater core inlet/outlet. I'll have some pics up tonight.

Currently modding the engine mounts for 1" further back, then I'll pull the engine back out, and mod the oil pan/pickup. Moving along...
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:36 AM   #23
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That's awesome!

I'm playing with a set of S54 ITBs for mine - however, I'm not confident that booster fitment will be that great.. maybe you can get some measurements that I can use to estimate clearance.
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Old 01-12-2018, 08:54 AM   #24
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This is turning into something sweet, still don’t understand why it’s taken this long, but I’m excited to see this materializing
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Old 01-12-2018, 10:21 AM   #25
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There was a thread on N52 swaps like 6 years ago or something - full of a lot of misinformation, unfortunately, because nobody understood the engine (me included).

edit: here it is
https://www.r3vlimited.com/board/sho...d.php?t=234496

Also, it's only within the last year and a half that I developed the EWS delete necessary for swapping without having to transfer the entire harness from a newer car.

There's still no great self tuning options but I've been working on that - the building blocks are taking shape.
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Old 01-12-2018, 03:03 PM   #26
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Subscribing. Let's get one of these heads on my flow bench!
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Old 01-12-2018, 04:29 PM   #27
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Is the n52 clocked the same as other 24v engines? And does it use the same bellhousing bolt pattern? Just wondering if I could keep my transmission and clutch if I ever went this route
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Old 01-12-2018, 04:55 PM   #28
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Yes but the flywheel bolt pattern is different.
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Old 01-12-2018, 05:35 PM   #29
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Beginning pics
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Old 01-12-2018, 05:49 PM   #30
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So, I sliced the engine mount brackets, and then shifted it 1" and then re-welded. I opted to move the engine back 1" and leave the height alone. With some additional bracing, it might be good enough, although the cast aluminum is a bit weaker when welded. I'll probably fab something new later down the road, but for now, it works for sizing and all.

So with the engine installed with those mounts, and a bolted to the trans in the car to be sure I have the engine at the right angle, this is how it sits. With the N54 intake (which is a Godsend), there is a ton of space. I have an e90 booster and MC loosely placed for the pic. Will probably sit another 1/4" back when bolted. Although the pic doesn't do much for depth perception, it will work fine, and also look at the nice room by the heater inlet/outlet.

So, I then snapped a pic of the oil pickup. It needs to sit right where the arc asylum tube is, so I will have to fab up a modified tube and pan. I'll take a few pics of the oil pickup, and post them for suggestions. I'm thinking I can turn a piece of steel to duplicate the size and shape of the stock end, and then weld an m54 pickup to it to get the right length. I have no experience modifying plastic, and with such a critical piece, not sure I want to take any chances.

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