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    #91
    Originally posted by nando View Post
    I've considered it. Just to get it moving... But really I just need time to build a motor.
    I definitely remember the talk of that, but if I remember there is still a big desire to be AWD, which I think would be perfect for the track. Time attack anyway. Dang. This is now something to consider over going an m20 turbo build for the ix...I had no idea till I saw someone try to swap an n54 into a rwd and the biggest issue was the rear sump oil pan.

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      #92
      RIP my m20b27 headgasket... n52 progress might be made.

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        #93
        OK. A few hours in the driveway this weekend, and I'm catching up. Nothing too exciting, but a lot of wiggling and shifting. When I dropped the ending in before it was mostly for storage... this weekend I started trying to actually get it positioned correctly (and deciding what correctly meant).

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        My first concern was that I couldn't get the block back anywhere near far enough. I'd had the same problem when I'd dropped it in the first time, but quickly found that I'd caught a power steering hose on the slave cylinder. I'd hoped that moving the block back would move it "back and down" enough that I wouldn't be concerned about engine height, but the valve cover was still hopelessly high, and I was sitting on the steering rack with my pan fixture:

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        This, combined with my frustration that the pick points on the engine cant it about 10-15 degrees to starboard, lead me to pull out the factory 330i engine arms (edit... sorry. they're z4 arms), and figure out something to slide them around on. A 2x4 looked like a pretty good stand-in (although this is the m20 motor mount... I can't find the hydraulic motor mounts I'd bought), and here's a clean shot of the factory motor mount location which might be useful later:

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        Last edited by hubcapboy; 06-17-2020, 10:11 AM.

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          #94
          With the 330i (edit for the detail oriented... I looked back at my notes and these are z4 arms, so for anyone hoping that would make a difference...) arms bolted to the block, the port arm hopelessly fouled the steering shaft, and the starboard block kept sliding out of place. Here's the interference showing the ground strap lug and some kind of damper or bumper:

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          And here's the arm before and after I tore a huge chunk out of it to fit around the steering shaft (I'm not using these arms, I'm not using these arms, I'm not using these arms. they're just for mockup)

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          And here I am ready to lower the engine back down onto blocks after clearancing the port arm and holding the blocks in place with a couple of wood screws... shortly to find out that the pan fixture still fouls the steering rack, and taking a good chunk out of it:

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          Last edited by hubcapboy; 06-17-2020, 10:15 AM.

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            #95
            A little wiggling and shoving and I got my first reference lined up... The shifter was in the center of the tunnel opening in neutral. If at all possible, that's where I want to locate the engine to avoid having to build a shift carrier and custom linkage. Here's where that put the engine arms... pretty much right over the ball joints. That pretty much killed my hope that it would be possible to re-drill the motor mount pads on the subframe to just scoot them back:
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            Last edited by hubcapboy; 06-17-2020, 10:17 AM.

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              #96
              In that position I have a disturbing amount of space between the valve cover and firewall (the m20 is really tight... you can't fit a finger in there), but the intake is awfully close to the heater core stubs. At the front, I have what I'd call "plenty of room" but I haven't dropped the radiator in yet to see what it looks like.
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              Last edited by hubcapboy; 06-17-2020, 10:20 AM.

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                #97
                With everything in position like this, the hood *does* shut, but the engine's obviously going to have to go down. I had to take out the felt liner to check against the skin. The valve cover has maybe 3/8" clear, and the oil filter housing is pretty much touching. With only that much clearance, here's where the block sits relative to the steering rack:

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                You can just about see the radius I cut into the pan fixture there. I think I'm going to have to lift the engine, take a bigger chunk of that angle out for room to work, and find something thinner than the 2x4's to shim up from the factory motor mount locations on the subframe. I don't think I'm going to be able to get much... maybe 3/4" further down. I'm not worried about having room *for* a motor mount, because once the block is in the right place there's plenty of room for them when the new arms are built. I wish there was a little more room vertically.

                This probably doesn't look like a lot of progress, but there was a lot of head scratching and wiggling and measuring.
                Last edited by hubcapboy; 06-17-2020, 10:22 AM.

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                  #98
                  For some reason the last 5 posts of inline images disappeared for me... I just see file names. If everyone else can see them I guess that's fine, or if someone can tell me what I did wrong (I used the image button in the compose message box at the bottom and uploaded... they aren't linked to somewhere else) I"ll go back and re-do it. Otherwise here's a blind attempt to do the same thing again to see if something different happens.

                  No one's going to believe it, but this is what my gauge showed for the pan angle relative to the flat spot in the center of the radiator core. Assuming this block is 30 deg like the m5x's I think as long as my shims are the same height both sides I'm going to be ok for rotation:

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                  Out of curiosity, I checked how far the windage tray drops from the face of the block, but uploaded my blurry image. It's somewhere between 0.5 and 0.75 inches, but this isn't a super critical dimension at the moment. For some reason I uploaded my blurry photo but boy is that steering link sharp.

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                  I was really only checking that dimension so that I could justify the size of the chunk I took out of the pan fixture.I really only need room for a flange and bolt down here. One of the bolts is visible with the angle cut away. You can see the low point is now the sharp corner of my "pan" section... That doesn't need to come off the flange at 90, and it's probably not a great idea for the lowest point to be a corner against the mid span of the steering rack *anyway*, so if I want to I can touch here and still make clearance later.

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                  I'm not really waiting on parts or anything... my next task is re-orienting the engine using the new clearance and making a template for the transmission mount (that's going to be built before I fix the pan fixture in place). However, it's wet outside... so I moved on to digitizing the pan gasket to build an oil pan flange template. If I'm going to get any of this stuff cut, it's a waste to not fit pieces "inside" the pan flange...

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                  (This is only about 1% complete in the photo. I know doing this in pieces doesn't look like the most accurate way of measuring it... but I think it's actually superior to scanning it in one piece. The gasket's pretty floppy, and the bolt holes along the side of the block are in-line and on consistent spacings. This allows me to draw the gasket is 6 pieces... two ends and four side pieces and re-align everything to grid. There's overlap in each of the scans to align each section.)

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                    #99
                    yes the N52 is the same angle as the M50.

                    AutoCAD! Are you going to make a flange or something?
                    Build thread

                    Bimmerlabs

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                      That’s my only hope to get a pan built... the flange has to match the gasket, so I’ll have to get at least that laser cut.

                      The hope is to document everything I have to build so I can re-order a “kit” for the next fool.

                      I shot you an email recently about the ECU, let me know if the mailing address you gave me a year ago is still good ;) I have a z4 fuel pump controller coming in the mail.

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                        If you can make a good flange, I'll buy one! I can check CAD drawings too if you like (I have numerous N52 parts here for reference). Been a designer in the oil and gas industry since what seems like forever..

                        I'll look for your email. TBH, with the shutdown and negative oil prices, I figured I'd be really slow by now - but I've been steady pretty much since March. I thought I'd have 20 hours a week free by now, which never happened. We've been fortunate that our clients appreciate our work and have done what they can to keep us busy.
                        Build thread

                        Bimmerlabs

                        Comment


                          Would it be easier to buy a new manual steel pan & modify it? A front sump n52 oil pan with a dipstick tube would be amazing.

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                            I have a steel n52 pan that came with the engine. I remember having difficulty even finding pictures of them. I can take some if anyone’s curious. My original assumption was that I was going to modify it, and I think as a one-off that could be easier... but the gauge thickness of the steel is better suited for a pressing... id make a mess out of trying to match a profile to where I’d cut the original pan, and it’s not something I could claim was reproducible. If I finish the project and the next person in line is as simple as ordering the same templates, it’s a better product on my car and a solution for people going forward. E34 pans are getting expensive for m5x swaps and people are willing to track them down... if I end up with a bolt-on solution or even a flat pack weld-your-own it’ll be more useful to the community.

                            Im expecting to retain the dipstick and factory n52 oil level sensor.

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                              No good for the ix. Also, aluminum pans are way more common - manuals got steel, ATs got aluminum - and since BMW is a shell of what it used to be, ATs outsold MTs 10:1. That's probably why you can't find pictures of one.

                              I don't really have a say in what the RWD guys want - but IMO, the front sump pans are trash, there's a reason BMW moved away from them. They're just too exposed and hang too low.

                              If we just had a CAD file or a flange people could buy that would make a big difference though.
                              Last edited by nando; 06-12-2020, 09:53 PM.
                              Build thread

                              Bimmerlabs

                              Comment


                                Originally posted by nando View Post
                                the front sump pans are trash, there's a reason BMW moved away from them. They're just too exposed and hang too low.
                                That and BMW moved the front axle so far forward that a front sump pan would no longer fit.

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