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    My m52 budget swap

    Brake Booster:
    I was just planning on beating the death out of the stock booster, if that doesn't work, I'll probably see if I can find an IX booster.

    Rear Differential:
    I am using the 4.10 open diff (for right now I guess)

    Transmission:
    I am using a later model G260


    Wiring Harness:
    I paid a little over $400 USD to have my E36/M52 harness turned into a PnP E30 with M52 harness. This cost also included the flashing of the ECU to remove the following:
    • SAP
    • EWS
    • Rear O2
    • Muffler Flap
    • Fuel Tank Sensor
    Additionally, the rev limiter was set to a healthy 7k RPMs.


    Engine - Mounting:
    I ordered E24 635CSi motor mounts available from ECS Tuning.

    Engine - Oil Pan:
    I was able to find an E34 M50 oil pan and sump. An M50 E36 pan will not work.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	5f5767b9fccab32083135963ff6da213.jpg Views:	0 Size:	84.1 KB ID:	9929404

    Note, I removed the windage tray and did not reinstall. I also just bent the old sump mounting point back and forth until it came off.

    Engine - Dipstick Tube:
    I had to order a new dipstick guide tube and dipstick as I was not able to find one on eBay or similar. Do not forget a new dipstick O-ring.
    I am still waiting to receive the package before installing.

    Dipstick P/N: 11431720875 ($22.84 as of writing)
    Dipstick Guide Tube P/N: 11431738169 ($62.99 as of writing)

    Engine - Exhaust:
    I have the down tubes from an E36 M3 that I plan to cut off and merge with my E30 exhaust. Waiting to get the motor in to confirm fitment.
    Stock E30 exhaust will not fit/work. The flanges are rotated differently and the angle is just all wrong. Plus, the exhaust-side of the E30 is what holds the O2 sensor, while the O2 sensors are in the manifold on the M/S52.

    Engine - Intake Manifold:
    I have an M50 manifold ready to go on, just waiting for my wiring harness first so I can run the harness on the block first. I do not plan to run a CCV, but I think I will retain the bracket for mounting the ICV. Either that, or just make a simple one.
    Without the CCV and SAP, the M50 manifold swap is really simple. You can run the stock M50 vacuum tubing to the ICV. Still figuring out where to hook up the FPR. I will post pictures on how I've done my manifold swap when I have completed it.


    Engine - Flywheel:
    Everything I read said I couldn't use an E30 flywheel without modification to the flywheel or the oil pump bolts, but after I removed my flywheel from the M20, I just did not see where the oil pump bolts would hit the flywheel. Maybe mine is unique?
    The oil pump bolts are near flush to the mounting surface of the flywheel, and the M20 flywheel I have has an inset for those bolts to sit in. Additionally, I have a small spacer plate pulled from the M20 that will also ensure clearance. I guess we will see?


    Transmission - Mounting:
    I don't have a concrete plan for this yet, but I have access to metal and a welder. Looks like some flat iron with some angle iron welded on top might just suffice.


    A/C Hoses:
    I plan to run A/C, so I ordered these splices:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000CSYQ7I
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000DCNDJK

    I found these on another M52 swap thread I cannot find, but I haven't had a chance to pull the lines and get the lines remade.

    Steering Rack:
    I got an E36 steering rack from a donor vehicle I plan to swap. Waiting on some copper seals to arrive before finishing the swap. I also ordered the Garagistic E36 rack kit since I'm lazy.
    Garagistic instructions
    Last edited by 128keaton; Yesterday, 10:51 AM.

    #2
    Subbed to see progress. Have you looked into making it a 3.0L stroker using M54 rotating assembly? That's what I think I may do in the future along with a turbo.

    Comment


      #3
      I recently picked up an S52 with 130k and I am slowly getting parts together. I am curious on what to do to the engine to refresh it before install. What trans are you going with? I am using the G260.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by daveduck View Post
        Subbed to see progress. Have you looked into making it a 3.0L stroker using M54 rotating assembly? That's what I think I may do in the future along with a turbo.
        Not a bad idea if my rotating assembly is too worn. I'd imagine it would be easier to find M54 parts (saw four complete M54s in the yard this past weekend) in good shape. The M52 is relatively durable/reliable at least from what I've read.

        Originally posted by jbontke View Post
        I recently picked up an S52 with 130k and I am slowly getting parts together. I am curious on what to do to the engine to refresh it before install. What trans are you going with? I am using the G260.
        I am still putting parts together myself. I figure I'd just take off the head/VANOS and work up from there. Most of the seals are gonna be replaced as I'll have access. Tempted to save some costs and just soak the head in some ATF to get the seals "cleaned" and refreshed. Likely will have it skimmed at a shop, if I can find one open.

        going with the G260. Hoping that my M20 flywheel doesn't need shaving, but its not the end of the world if so.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by 128keaton View Post

          I am still putting parts together myself. I figure I'd just take off the head/VANOS and work up from there. Most of the seals are gonna be replaced as I'll have access. Tempted to save some costs and just soak the head in some ATF to get the seals "cleaned" and refreshed. Likely will have it skimmed at a shop, if I can find one open.

          going with the G260. Hoping that my M20 flywheel doesn't need shaving, but its not the end of the world if so.
          Can you use the M20 flywheel with the M52? I have been searching for an M52 single mass flywheel and M3 clutch.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by jbontke View Post

            Can you use the M20 flywheel with the M52? I have been searching for an M52 single mass flywheel and M3 clutch.
            Everything I've read said that you match the clutch kit to the transmission, and the flywheel can be an M5x flywheel or a shaved M20 flywheel. I did also read that the 'i' flywheels from the M20 are the ones that need to be shaved, while the 'e' flywheels don't. I cannot remember which one I have. Is there something I don't know? http://bimmersport.co.nz/topic/53938...-e30-m52-swap/

            I had a PDF of the e36 bentley and I got it printed at FedEx Office. Should've priced out the physical book, ended up paying over twice the book for a double-sided bound set. Oh well. I made a fake cover though.
            IMG_5115 by keaton.burleson, on Flickr
            IMG_5116 by keaton.burleson, on Flickr

            At least the pages are nice and thick.

            I'm still awaiting my T-12 socket to reach the headbolts. Might be cleaning up some parts tomorrow, as well as the steering rack I pulled from the same e36.

            What should I be looking for upon removing the head? Any good pictures of factory crosshatching marks? Or will it be pretty obvious?

            I'm waiting to pull the m20 out of the e30 until I have the m52 all ready
            Last edited by 128keaton; 05-01-2020, 08:48 PM.

            Comment


              #7
              OP regarding the clutch. I copied and pasted this from either r3v or b.f. but do not have the author's name and for that I apologize to him. FWIW I have a 1987 325i sporting a 1999 s52 obd2/g260 with a shaved and lightened 13 lb single mass flywheel and it revs awesome. Good luck!


              Forget what your read on the internet for the most part. People mis-match so much that it gets confusing.


              Simply put, the pilot needs to match the trans. ie ZF is an e36 328/m3, so purchase the pilot for that.

              Starter needs to match ring gear on flywheel. So purchase the starter for the FW you have.

              Slave matches trans.

              TOB matches clutch set (BTW m50/s50/m20/m42 use the same depth). *note* "some" people had issues with the dual mass m20 to SM conversion on the TOB. The only DM m20 FW I have seen is the late eta.

              The m20 FW has a large protrusion on the engine side that will contact the RMS housing on a 24v (or m42), so you can either shave the FW, shave the RMS housing, or some people put the bolt ring on the back of the FW (the 6 bolt ~3mm thick ring that goes on the clutch side of the FW normally).






              Comment


                #8
                Yes, look for good crosshatching marks and no scorring on the cyl walls. They should all look uniform. You can google and get a good idea what you should see and what looks bad. It's uniform wear on all cyls that you want to see.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by bradmer View Post
                  OP regarding the clutch. I copied and pasted this from either r3v or b.f. but do not have the author's name and for that I apologize to him. FWIW I have a 1987 325i sporting a 1999 s52 obd2/g260 with a shaved and lightened 13 lb single mass flywheel and it revs awesome. Good luck!


                  Forget what your read on the internet for the most part. People mis-match so much that it gets confusing.


                  Simply put, the pilot needs to match the trans. ie ZF is an e36 328/m3, so purchase the pilot for that.

                  Starter needs to match ring gear on flywheel. So purchase the starter for the FW you have.

                  Slave matches trans.

                  TOB matches clutch set (BTW m50/s50/m20/m42 use the same depth). *note* "some" people had issues with the dual mass m20 to SM conversion on the TOB. The only DM m20 FW I have seen is the late eta.

                  The m20 FW has a large protrusion on the engine side that will contact the RMS housing on a 24v (or m42), so you can either shave the FW, shave the RMS housing, or some people put the bolt ring on the back of the FW (the 6 bolt ~3mm thick ring that goes on the clutch side of the FW normally).





                  I gotcha. I'm hoping that I can figure it out on the fly. If not, I guess I'll order an e36 flywheel. I have the starter. I guess thats the perk of having taken apart the M20. Everything is already refreshed.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Bad news. Cracked block.
                    Super irritated. Already pursuing another complete engine on FB marketplace. Hopefully will have it in my hands on saturday. Still need flywheel, oil pickup, dipstick, pan, etc. Stupid prices on those these days!

                    Cracked block by keaton.burleson, on Flickr

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Sorry for the bad news, that is always discouraging. I agree on those E34 oil pan prices.I am looking for a whole car or junk yard that has one. Save a lot of $$$ that way.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by jbontke View Post
                        Sorry for the bad news, that is always discouraging. I agree on those E34 oil pan prices.I am looking for a whole car or junk yard that has one. Save a lot of $$$ that way.
                        I got the second engine, 140k miles. Got it from an e30 guy who has his swap done. He is also supplying me with the oil pan, intake, pickup, and dipstick tube for a great price. This week I'll be cleaning up the engine. I think I'll just replace the front and rear main seal and be done with it, aside from the oil pan ofc.
                        03BBA6EC-BA3D-4FB8-881B-97894963C265_1_105_c by keaton.burleson, on Flickr
                        3FF0A39A-0C5F-4A17-B1F2-EE250AA3E404_1_105_c by keaton.burleson, on Flickr

                        I trust the guy, even though he wasn't able to get a compression test since he couldn't find the flywheel. Understandable enough. Same year, same model car too.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Did some learning. The guy I picked up the engine from shaved the bolts that conflict with the flywheel. I read elsewhere that 1/8th of an inch is enough off the flywheel, so I'm hoping that'll roughly work on the bolt shaving. Its self clearancing, right?
                          Anyhoo, does anyone have any pics of their melded exhaust setups? I JUUUUUST replaced the entire exhaust with an OEM-style Bosal setup, end to end, so I'd like to reuse it, but I'm on the fence about that and just selling it at a loss and getting something built locally. I read elsewhere about shimming the motor for more exhaust clearance, so I might look at that when the time comes. I just need to get started so I can make quick choices on the fly. Usually works out okay, usually.

                          Not planning much of a reseal on this, aside from rear main, rear gasket, and the oil pan gasket. Still not sure about the brake booster situation. I'm tempted to just slot it over and modify the clevis, but the m52 guy made his work, he said he just hammered it a ton. Like I said, I need to see where the issue is/get in there before I can make any choices.

                          Also, A/C lines. I need to find a place that can join the body-side e30 A/C lines to the engine side M52 lines. Plus I need to figure out the high port situation, as my high port is on the compressor on the e30 adaptor plate. More research I guess. Thankfully, I realized I'd need the P/S lines from my current rack to swap onto the E36 rack, so the hose we broke during removal is a non-issue.

                          I think I can keep/make my stock e30 rad work, I've seen a few people running stock m42 rads w/o pusher fans, just aux, but I like the idea of a fan behind the radiator.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Block was pressure washed today. Looks really good! Still need to figure out the best way to flush the rust out from the inside that was a result of sitting for a while. Freeze plugs look fantastic.
                            IMG_5438 by keaton.burleson, on Flickr
                            IMG_5437 by keaton.burleson, on Flickr

                            Got the M20 out as well. Quick snatch.
                            IMG_5436 by keaton.burleson, on Flickr

                            Also tucked the bumper with the help from some buddies:
                            61136992884__ED74F963-7029-45FE-B7F9-3069C7D05E0B by keaton.burleson, on Flickr

                            Also thought this was interesting: both of these m52s are from 1997 3xx chassis, but the throttle bodies are way different:
                            8EA24033-5486-471C-80EC-E48B90D2B703_1_201_a by keaton.burleson, on Flickr
                            (left, one from cracked block, right: one from 140k mile one)


                            I did pick up an e34 M50 oil pan and pickup, along with the M50 intake and an alternator. Still need to find a radiator.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Cool stuff man good luck with your build.

                              Originally posted by jbontke View Post
                              I recently picked up an S52 with 130k and I am slowly getting parts together. I am curious on what to do to the engine to refresh it before install. What trans are you going with? I am using the G260.
                              How much have you got it for if I may ask? I am still looking for one with similar mileage like yours for a decent price :)

                              Comment

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