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Old 11-03-2007, 06:16 PM   #1
FredK
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S54 swap?

I feel like this is a good time to bring this up.

Why?
  1. S50B32s are not getting any cheaper, and the European / British exchange rate is balls for the time being. A medium mileage engine runs $6500+ with DME, oil cooler, etc. That is more money than a complete S54 dropout with usually with less mileage
  2. S54s are becoming more and more available, with the M Z4 carrying the S54 well into 2008.
  3. Domestic parts availability. If I need to rebuild in the future, I won't have to overnight parts from Japan. Err, Germany.
  4. The intake system and head flow even better than the S50B32s.
Why not?
  1. Not that much knowledge on the subject, though as of 2010, things are improving.
  2. Total cost is much higher if you use an aftermarket EMS.
Selected Chronology of S54 Swapped Cars
kavkazia The earliest recollection of swapped cars running a stock EMS is this car. This was an S54 powered 95 M3 that ran a 12.9 in the quarter mile. What is not clear, however, is how the engine was wired up and what exactly is functioning and what isn't functioning on the swap. I know that the drive-by-wire acclerator was transplanted into the E36.
MITE46 One of the earliest E30s that successfully ran an S54 with all of the body electronics swapped over. He documented a lot of the swap process, but as with many things I think the energy and motivation to button the writeup waned. Also, the writeup on E46Fanatics had at least 500% more postwhoring in comparison to a "repost" thread on r3vlimited. You know that's got to be a lot, then.
SpasticDwarf / Mike Burroughs Mike started his S54 into E36 swap over three years ago, and buttoned it up earlier this year. It uses the stock MSS54 with a reflash to operate in alpha-N, I believe.
Rob @ UUC / Rob Levinson Rob started his S54 into E36 M3 swap almost three years ago to the day. He finished it last year. It uses the stock MSS54 and the electrical guts from an S54 Z3M Roadster.
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...d.php?t=844428
lulu This S54 into E30 M3 swap was done at Munich Motors in the UK, using the MSS54. There isn't much information as to how things were done.
http://www.s14.net/forums/showpost.p...0&postcount=16

Stock Engine Management
The stock DME is designated as MSS54. By far the biggest reason why people do not do the swap is because the MSS54 is very closely intertwined with the DSC unit. I believe the DSC communicates with the DME through a specific com protocol; a signal that I gather can't be readily faked with an analog circuit.
1. Bimmerworld has an unnamed tuner who reflashes the DME and they supply a custom wiring harness to adapt to nearly any vehicle (read: E36/E30). It is $3000 for harness and flash.

Aftermarket EMS
There exist several ways to run the S54 with a standalone EMS, with or without drive-by-wire. If you decide to modify the S54, this will definitely be your best bet for running the engine optimally. The dyno graphs that are floating around for these standalones show that there are even gains to be had on a stock engine, never mind one that has been modified.
1. DTA FAST S100 Alex Lipowich in IL offers a nearly PnP solution to managing the S54 with dual VANOS control. I am uncertain of the price.
2. Vipec V88 Neel at Apex Speed Technologies offers a nearly PnP solution to managing the S54 with dual VANOS control, and retains DBW. It is $3400.

I am not going to discuss the following, because they are pro-grade hardware that cost as much as 10-15 E30s.
1. Pectel SQ6 (Apex Speed sells this I think for $4000)
2. Motec M800
3. Bosch Motorsport ECUs
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Old 11-03-2007, 06:22 PM   #2
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I am usually the one touting the factory ECU, but you'd be surprised how inexpensive a Motec might be compared to going through what that guy on e46fanatics did. I wouldn't try it with an AEM although it's definitely possible, and definitely not an MS, TECIII, etc.

Jim C could make it run...
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Old 11-03-2007, 06:29 PM   #3
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Yeah, the factory ECU is extremely powerful, and probably monitors a lot of things that may not be 100% necessary to get a swap running. Like Vanos.

I guess evosport runs a few cars with an AEM, Vanos delete, and mechanical throttle conversion. Even with the deleted Vanos I was surprised how flat the torque curve is.

I haven't heard of anyone running double Vanos with an aftermarket EMS, especially not the way it runs from the factory.
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Old 11-03-2007, 06:32 PM   #4
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You probably haven't heard of anyone running a Motec, either....

There is a huge step between AEM/TECIII and Bosch Motorsport/Motec/EFI. They CAN do a good job of running a motor, including the extra shit like variable valve timing, direct injection, knock control (real knock control... closed loop ignition even)
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Old 11-03-2007, 06:49 PM   #5
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Yeah, I haven't heard of any Motec solutions on the S54. I'm sure it integrates like any other EMS, but I just haven't heard it being heavily touted on Bimmerforums as AEM or TECIII.

Also, I'd rather not have to step up to the $$$ unit to get Vanos working. Haha. IIRC it's around 4k for the M800.
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Old 11-03-2007, 07:14 PM   #6
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When I was talking to Techno about the Bosch Motorsport MS4 ECU, he was hinting at being able to get the ECU for about 2700 and the harness for somewhere around 3-400 or something. That would be a VERY viable system.
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Old 11-04-2007, 08:29 AM   #7
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The MS4 Sport, right? It'd be viable, if I knew what I was doing. Haha.
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Old 11-04-2007, 08:35 AM   #8
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how about Wolf? supposed to be good stuff. don't know if it can control vanos, but it probably does.
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Old 11-04-2007, 08:36 AM   #9
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the s54 mounts in the engine bay just the way that the us s52 does encrpy you have to use the e35 engine mount arms and you need to do "something" with the brake booster to get the manifold to fit. as far is wiring goes your best bet is to modify the stock e46 harness and add a c101 pluga dn delete all the emissions crap that the e30 never had anyway. Running it off aem is probably your best bet as far is tunability and less headaches of the "black box" that is the stock ecu. I would call evosport as they have a basically plug and play model for the s54 that i believe keeps the dual vanos. You do need to convert to a mechanical throttle but vac motorsport already has a very inexpensive kit that will do this for you and looks stock. This also makes using a 6 speed trans from the e46 m3 very easy. just use the 325i slave cylinder, e36evo shifter and linkage with e30 325i rear mount. you will need a custom driveshaft(bimmerworld makes nice ones) and a custom trans x-member which i have and could probably make more of.

this is about it... I am workin on it myself and i will post more specfics when i get to them
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Old 11-04-2007, 09:12 AM   #10
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Looking back I would probably go S54 w/ Motec engine management and aftermarket gauges. Essentially bypass the C101 connection altogether.

BTW I have a nice solution for the brake booster issue. v2.0 is weather tight and fits in a nice small package (4x4x6.125). No fitment issues with the euro 3.2 intake, so I assume it would be fine with the S54 intake.

Do it, Fred, do it... Cave in to the peer pressure...
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Old 11-04-2007, 09:32 AM   #11
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I would call evosport as they have a basically plug and play model for the s54 that i believe keeps the dual vanos.
I have never seen an aftermarket ECU that does...
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Old 11-04-2007, 09:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
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I have never seen an aftermarket ECU that does...

MS4
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Old 11-04-2007, 10:19 AM   #13
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The S54 is definitely a more viable and attractive option than the Euro motors .
A friend and I just discussed this earlier this year and we are actively searching the web for whats out there concerning the S54 transplant .
He has decided to go this route after performing 3 24v e30 swaps in the past ...but he currently is weighing wether to go with an e30 or e36 .

For the mount arms I was originally thinking going with the Z3 Mcoupe arms as the e36 swappers have .
Also I believe the Evosport cars delete the Vanos ...or at least one of them .

For the fly-by-wire delete Turner is another option .

The Mite46 swap is a joke basically , not knocking what he accomplished but thats not the route you want to take if you are looking for perforemance .....or safety for that matter .

Either way we all know that the mechanical part is cake for the most part ..its the management that is the only slight hurdle .

Fred , hows this for inspiration :



Looks like they fabbed up some custom mout arms ala M30 swap style .
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Old 11-04-2007, 11:04 AM   #14
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not worth it, for that much $ you could have a reliable boosted s50/2 putting down way more power, with much less of a head ache...s54 is overrated just like the new v8 m3
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Old 11-04-2007, 11:14 AM   #15
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not worth it, for that much $ you could have a reliable boosted s50/2 putting down way more power, with much less of a head ache...s54 is overrated just like the new v8 m3

No. by the time you add the manifold pressure, you are at a dead even level of $$$, or so close it's splitting hairs.

Now realize you have non-boost reliabilty, and the option to boost down the line if you feel the need, and I'd call a S54 a winner too.

Sadly, like already stated - the "spoonfed" type info isn't out there yet - there's a level of uncertainty that might require some self ambition or a wallet to cover, but the ambition will work.

I wish I could be more help, the most I see was a Aussie & his buddies who had a couple S54's & 6-speeds, I think they post here.
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