Feel a project coming on…

J!m

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#1
I don’t have anything “good” to work on right now. I should be done with a DAC I started ten years ago, but that’s mainly mounting boards n stuff.

I have a Nakamichi tape deck with the wonky meters. Maybe I’ll exhume that from the pile and sort it out…
 

J!m

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Doing front brakes on the red car (hopefully) this weekend. I got a pair of M3GT front rotors with the aluminum hats. VERY hard to find originals… took about five years to get a pair.

New Porterfield R4S pads and fresh fluid.

Also planning an oil change and a new air filter.

Maybe the following week I can do the rears.
 

J!m

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The R4-s pads are going on ten years old, and the rotors are okay too. But I’m not putting old pads on these rare rotors…

I usually run Motul brake fluid but I’m trying Pentosin or whatever it’s called this time.

VAC does a full port job on the head with a five axis milling center for a grand… the top end is the weak part of this engine and that, plus S54 throttle bodies adapted on with some cams and that’s about all she wrote for the S52 B32. There is a stroker kit for it but I’m not sure the juice is worth the squeeze there…
 

Bob Boyer

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Port and polish woke up more than one of my engines back in the MG and Datsun 510 days, Jim. I would think that and the right cam would be more cost effective than a stroker kit, especially one with "BMW" on the label.
 

J!m

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I don’t think BMW has much to do with it, beyond having made the original crank forgings.

Offset grind with new rods and pistons.

But the US engine can’t breathe with a single throttle body. Six individual ones and a decent header and you can get some gas flow. The Euro S50 B32 throttle bodies are “correct” but their bolt pattern doesn’t match the S52 B32 head, so the more plentiful S54 throttle bodies are adapted to the S52 head.

I need to rebuild the window mechanisms again, so I’ll probably go for the last cosmetic piece: Motorsport engraved door handles. Factory ones- not the laser-engraved ones on eBay.
 

Bob Boyer

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But the US engine can’t breathe with a single throttle body. Six individual ones and a decent header and you can get some gas flow.
Ooooooh...ITBs. Couldn't figure out what I wanted more on my Miata - those or a cold-side supercharger. Never got to find out, either. A big V8 climbed in the garage.
 

J!m

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Yep. No replacement for displacement but there’s a certain challenge to getting over 300 hp from a NA six… particularly the S52 “bored 2.8”. The only way to get the most out of them (besides replacement with the Euro motor) is head work and ITBs.

I was chatting with someone about an adapter he makes to use the S54 (E46 M3) ITBs on the S52. I think it was Bimmerforums or M3forum which I think has closed down…

need to sell stereo gear and low-use organs to get some funding together.
 

e30m3mon

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Ooooooh...ITBs. Couldn't figure out what I wanted more on my Miata - those or a cold-side supercharger. Never got to find out, either. A big V8 climbed in the garage.
I've got a friend who stuffed one of the GM V6 engines into his Miata ... a screamer on the track!

Yep. No replacement for displacement but there’s a certain challenge to getting over 300 hp from a NA six… particularly the S52 “bored 2.8”. The only way to get the most out of them (besides replacement with the Euro motor) is head work and ITBs.

I was chatting with someone about an adapter he makes to use the S54 (E46 M3) ITBs on the S52. I think it was Bimmerforums or M3forum which I think has closed down…

need to sell stereo gear and low-use organs to get some funding together.
How far are you taking this build? ITBs are awesome but as Bob pointed out, $$$$$$ - one or more of those per cylinder!

I built the S52 B32 in my E30 as an OBD1 - with a chipped Motronic, 24lb injectors, Shrick cams, large MAF and OBD1 intake runners. The Tilton double clutch made a tremendous difference in drivability, but is not for street use. Goes like hell on the track!
Al
 

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J!m

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#12
"Back in the day" OBD-I was the way to go, because it was easy to hack.

But, OBD-II is FAR more powerful for engine management, and is now fully cracked. Plus you have real-time diagnostics with OBD-II, so you can send data out from the engine to the pits if you like, or just install a glass cluster, configured as you like. I work with a guy in Texas, who has already tweaked my DME to my desires with my stock engine. Idle speed was bumped up to reduce the neutral rattle of the tranny (light flywheel and non-sprung clutch disc), and the cam phasing comes on earlier, and smoother, for much more linear power delivery. The original BMW tune deliberately has it come "on the cam" abruptly, around 4k, so the butt-dyno can feel it. But, that is (in my opinion) sub-optimal, particularly in a corner.

So, I have a hybrid tune of Dinan stage 1, with those minor tweaks. (he may have added some other tweaks, for flavor) I'm happy with it and will go back to him to dial this in when/if I properly build this engine, which will probably be ANOTHER engine, so I can swap it in quickly. He does it over the phone, using my laptop plugged to my car. I give him remote access to the laptop and let him play while we chat, and I do as I'm told...
 

e30m3mon

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"Back in the day" OBD-I was the way to go, because it was easy to hack.

But, OBD-II is FAR more powerful for engine management, and is now fully cracked. Plus you have real-time diagnostics with OBD-II, so you can send data out from the engine to the pits if you like, or just install a glass cluster, configured as you like. I work with a guy in Texas, who has already tweaked my DME to my desires with my stock engine. Idle speed was bumped up to reduce the neutral rattle of the tranny (light flywheel and non-sprung clutch disc), and the cam phasing comes on earlier, and smoother, for much more linear power delivery. The original BMW tune deliberately has it come "on the cam" abruptly, around 4k, so the butt-dyno can feel it. But, that is (in my opinion) sub-optimal, particularly in a corner.

So, I have a hybrid tune of Dinan stage 1, with those minor tweaks. (he may have added some other tweaks, for flavor) I'm happy with it and will go back to him to dial this in when/if I properly build this engine, which will probably be ANOTHER engine, so I can swap it in quickly. He does it over the phone, using my laptop plugged to my car. I give him remote access to the laptop and let him play while we chat, and I do as I'm told...
I started collecting parts for this project when OBD2 tunes were still limited being developed. Nobody I knew had access to Motronic tuning, and going MoTeC or megasquirt were not interesting to me, so I opted for the path of least resistance. Trust me, given the gutted weight of an E30, power to weight are well in my favor and (knock wood) reliability has been perfect. I'm delighted to stay in "historic E chassis" numbers, given the complexity of the stuff coming out of Germany these days.
 

J!m

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I hear you!

In full trim, I have a 400# weight advantage over a typical E36. And the simpler (and more predictable) E30 style rear suspension.
 

grapplesaw

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Jim get a n54. It’s a great motor. Lightly chipped the 335 will put out 450hp. Many get 800hp on stock internals. A bit beyond my trust point
 
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J!m

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I’m not changing the motor. If I did, I’d go to the S50 B32 Euro engine. These get 400 at the wheels a lot easier than our junk motor does. But that’s the challenge isn’t it?

Does the N54 come with cam bearings? I just killed an N50 and learned the run the cam right in the aluminum head. Scoring=junk head. Fucking brilliant.
 

e30m3mon

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I’m not changing the motor. If I did, I’d go to the S50 B32 Euro engine. These get 400 at the wheels a lot easier than our junk motor does. But that’s the challenge isn’t it?

Does the N54 come with cam bearings? I just killed an N50 and learned the run the cam right in the aluminum head. Scoring=junk head. Fucking brilliant.
Yeah...same for the M20 engines. The S14, however, has a separate cam carrier "layer" that bolts to the head. I can imagine all the money they save by not using trays or a separate carrier. Brilliant? Nah...cheap, pathetic design and planned obsolescence.

N54 has cam "ledges", in the trays, which are a wear item. UGH
 
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J!m

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They only have to last to the end of the warranty period...

But, I see similar stuff coming out of the aircraft engine industry. Remember, about ten years ago now, GE was boasting about having the first 3-D printed component on a turbine engine? Well, that was (a fuel nozzle) designed by a young engineer who had no knowledge of machining. He designed a nice fuel nozzle that could not be made. It HAD to be 3-D printed, or completely re-designed from the ground.

GE spun this MAJOR f-up into a positive... to avoid millions in re-engineering costs.
 
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