S50 N/A upgrades

Discussion in 'E36 M3 (1991-1999) and E30 M3 (1986-1990)' started by gardar, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. 11 Jul 2019 at 2:08 AM #21
    gardar

    gardar A mere Chipper

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    Interesting!
    I might just go ahead and get the 290/285 catcams then, and hope that the shim that got thrown out was just the result of unproper valve clearances.

    How about raising the rpm of the S50, according to what I've read it should be pretty safe to raise the rpm a little after installing arp connrod bolts and performance valve springs. Is there any power to be had by raising the rpm on a nearly stock engine?
    Or will it only get beneficial once you go all out with new pistons, connrods, ported head, super aggressive cams, etc?
     
  2. 11 Jul 2019 at 2:12 AM #22
    Iain

    Iain Staff Member Moderator

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    i run mine to 8k, no issues the cat cams run .25 clearance and state they are ok with standard springs. the lift is not that high, 13.5mm if i remember correctly
     
  3. 11 Jul 2019 at 2:16 AM #23
    Iain

    Iain Staff Member Moderator

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    apologies, i actually run a 285 inlet, but as cat cams measure differently to schrick its closer to a 290.

    The actual 292 that catcams do, will need replacement springs to be reliable and lash caps
     
  4. 11 Jul 2019 at 2:25 AM #24
    gardar

    gardar A mere Chipper

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    Ah ok, that's too bad.. Almost had my creditcard out ;)
    I'm not too worried about the springs as they would just get installed once... But the shim under bucket doesn't sound good at all
     
  5. 12 Jul 2019 at 10:17 AM #25
    Ollie

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    I have no use for own advice other than to give it away (I sure as sh*t won't/haven't followed it);

    If it's for a road car, leave the engine as it stands now. If you have a nice airbox & exhaust, and it drives/sounds good, leave it be. It's a slippery slope, and each step down brings with it it's own issues that need to be overcome. Heat management, longevity & service life, user friendliness, idling blah blah. People are always keen to make something for the road "more race car" and then realise after the event they've ruined it for the road.

    As for the "chuck an S54 in it" - yawn. I acknowledge it's a slightly more modern & powerful unit, it's just quite a boring/lazy choice.

    Ask all the E30 M3 boys who junked their S14's back in the day feel about the fact they are rocking about in an S50B30/32 powered car now - Sh*te, I suspect as they're now looking at £7K to replace it with a completely unknown ebay junk pile.
     
  6. 12 Jul 2019 at 12:46 PM #26
    alexlex85

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    Interesting opinion.
    I think being more modern and powerful its a good enough reason to swap. Might be boring however, it fits, it works, cluster, prop, diff, management, all as intended. You dont need to re-engineer your entire car around the engine with the worry of catching fire or rack catching on manifolds.
    S14 is really the heart of the E30. Being so under powered by today's standards it can only highlight its handling characteristics.
    S54 is the better S50. Ultimately why its been fitted to the late Z3M which are worth so much more than the S50 variant.
     
  7. 12 Jul 2019 at 1:41 PM #27
    kyrix1st

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  8. 12 Jul 2019 at 1:43 PM #28
    Ollie

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    Why is the S54 better than the S50? I have seen both run bearings, throw rods, pop headgaskets, have vanos issues.

    If you have an S50, and it runs it's bearings, an S54 transplant is not a more cost effective option than rebuilding your S50, and your road car is then no longer original (not even vaguely).

    If someone is playing with a road car, leave the S50 in it.

    If someone is playing with a race car, then leave the S50 in it - long term, S50 powered cars will be more sought after.
     
  9. 12 Jul 2019 at 2:05 PM #29
    MParallel

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    If you have a S52 or any other non-M engine I can understand the upgrade to an S54, but if you already have a S50B32, it's simply silly to swap for it for an S54.

    Specially if it's a straatcar. Ollie is spot on.
     
  10. 12 Jul 2019 at 4:17 PM #30
    Iain

    Iain Staff Member Moderator

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    Z3M's are worth more with the s54 as its the final iteration and smaller numbers, same reason the GT1/2 e36 i worth more, they are not inherently better, simply rare.

    A car which had an s50 in it from factory will be worth more in the long run if it still has one.

    In addition i just don't really see the point, i know people swap one for the other but why? i can say as a fact you can drop an s54 crank into a s50 block, the sumps and pumps fit, the pistons can be used, the rods if you relieve the block. Ultimately the s54 was an incremental change on the s50, hence why even the engine designation was not dramatically different. I just don't see the gain to be worth it.

    As for the s14, the s14 was ok, people confuse Motorsport with reality the e30 m3's that were ripping it up on tack in the 80's were very little like the road cars of the time. Both myself and ollie have owned e30 m3's and in my case even daily driven one. people put s50's and s38's in as it was easier than tuning the s14, and in those cases it made some sense, over a 100 hp improvement over an early 195, but these are the cars that are nails now as its no longer the right car and it never will be again, the numbers will never match and all the messing to get the engine in will remain. The s50 to s54 argument is less compelling as on paper there is all of 18hp in it.

    Things are only original once.
     
  11. 12 Jul 2019 at 4:27 PM #31
    alexlex85

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    I drive them both on weekly basis. Difference on paper is 22bhp. In reality feels more. s50 never claims the 321bhp figure. S54 revs higher by an extra 500rpm
    Sure, in 20 years time an s50 variant will be worth more.
     
  12. 12 Jul 2019 at 4:47 PM #32
    MParallel

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    And that 500 extra rpm is where most power comes from. Revs*trq = power. Yes, it's mightly more torquey(sp?) but at a much higher rpm.
     
  13. 12 Jul 2019 at 8:10 PM #33
    Ollie

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    I think a road car with an S54 has been ruined.

    Track car/racer that blew a hole in the block, okay. But on a road car just no.
     
  14. 12 Jul 2019 at 8:55 PM #34
    alexlex85

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    Totally agree there is no point swapping a good s50.
    But for chasing power, for just under a grand you can run an s54 close to 360bhp reliably. Carbon airbox, map sensor and CSL flash with few changes.
     
  15. 13 Jul 2019 at 8:37 AM #35
    NZM3AN

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    I share this opinion. Heck, even if I had to replace the engine I'd still use the S50 over the S54, any extra hp doesn't compensate for the loss of originality. They drive different too, the S50 actually feels more powerful because the S54 makes so much less fuss.

    Both are great engines and we should be thankful that we got neither the S52 or the detuned S54 whereas Americans had to put up with both.
     
  16. 13 Jul 2019 at 5:20 PM #36
    MParallel

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    Isn’t the ‘detuned’ S54 because of the cats in the header?

    I agree, I would also swap in another S50 if I had to, because originality for me outweighs the slight increase in power.
     
  17. 14 Jul 2019 at 12:20 AM #37
    NZM3AN

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    To be honest I don't know the details about the S54 in the US... it's not designated the S54B32US so I suspect the same internals.
     
  18. 14 Jul 2019 at 9:11 AM #38
    evoGrant

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    The reason I went s54 is very simple. More power for no extra money.
    I sold my s50 engine and gearbox (on 69k) for £3800
    I bought a s54 engine and gearbox (on 61k) for £3000.

    All comes down to cost for me.

    However if I had a nice standard e36 m3 road car I would never change.

    If I had bit of a dog or wanted more noticeable power then s54 is the way to go.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
  19. 18 Jul 2019 at 10:28 PM #39
    Covkiller

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    Ray West achieved an E36 M3 Evo engine build with over 400BHP and developed a complimentary efficient exhaust manifold. The set is over £7k.
     
  20. 20 Jul 2019 at 12:19 PM #40
    reggid

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    the s54 is better if you plan on modifying the engine and when you need to replace bits as part of maintenance and repairs. there are much more options and everything is more available because its newer and with the US markets lots of vendors.

    for a maximum effort engine the s50b32 and s54b32 will be very similar in output
     

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