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M54 Madness, the remix

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    M54 Madness, the remix

    Or the sequel, part 2, etc. We finally learn who Luke's father is...

    Anyway, I've been running the same M54 since the end of 2008 and it's been a great success. I've changed configuration on dozens of things, made lots of trips to the dyno and learned everything I would need for the second M54 swap.

    So, I picked-up a 85k mile motor out of a wrecked cream-puff e39 this weekend. It'll be easier to start with this motor than to pull my existing one and have the car down all year.

    The plan includes:

    -ArcAsylum subframe and notched oil pan. The e34 pan has always bugged me hanging out front.

    -Megasquirt wiring from the git-go. I've got a mashup of M50, M54 and "other" wiring harnesses

    -M50 intake manifold. The head will be port matched to the larger intake diameter.

    -ArcAsylum headers??

    Dyno data from a similar setup demonstrates 250whp.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by hoveringuy; 04-14-2014, 12:51 PM.

    you need a seriously well ported head man, i hope it is on your list of to do? in all likely a set of custom cams to match the new found characteristics will do wonders. this is where you will find power IMO. then you could probably nudge closer to 300
    89 E30 325is Lachs Silber - currently M20B31, M20B33 in the works, stroked to the hilt...

    new build thread


      Excited to see this!


        I'm in for results as well. I've been reading up on m54's lately.


          Very nice. Not worrying about the low hanging front pan will be nice!

          Does anyone make a set of nice cams for M54. I cant recall if you have the ZHPs but a proper set of cams will help heaps.

          Rewiring the car will be nice. When I installed my VEMS system I removed everything I didnt need from the factory harness (and added some extra wires for new sensors). It looks really clean, and there is no crazy splicing to cause headaches.

          M42 on VEMS


            Off to a good start..

            Removed my valve cover and it's as clean as I could hope. The cam lobes are gorgeous. This motor has had a good life!

            Also picked-up an M50 intake manifold.
            Attached Files


              Updates? Thought this build would fly this time


                Originally posted by MasukBMW View Post
                Updates? Thought this build would fly this time
                This wont' necessarily go that fast. I have lots of other things competing for my time and money...

                Anyway, I did go and pull a complete M50 intake the other weekend. Came with absolutely everything. After pulling some of the extra studs on the head it bolted-on beautifully.

                The support strut to the block was a quick and easy mod.

                The current task is that I need to locate and mount the ICV. The m50 has it attached to the block at the wiring support bracket. The M54 has it attached to the bottom of the manifold. I would prefer to have it on the bottom of the manifold so that it will lift off as one assembly, so I need to resolve that.

                After that, I'll pull the head and match the ports. My latest intel is that the motor had closer to 67k miles, so the head won't need any work, but I'd still like to match the valve guides to the port wall and other minor porting.

                I also purchased a spare front subframe.

                Attached Files


                  I'll be watching this.

                  *side note* Thanks for all your help with my car. Im picking it up tonight.
                  Current Car:
                  -2000 330i Estate, the dad-mobile
                  -1975 Alfa Romeo Giulia Nuova Super 1300, the never-ending name & project

                  Make R3V Great Again -2020


                    subscribed for more updates, the M54 is in the back of my head as a replacement for the S52, I'm content with the power it provides but would enjoy knocking 50-60lbs off the front of the car
                    My E30:


                      Are you going to run this off of the M54's original DME or a 413? Or Megasquirt?
                      For all things 24v, check out Markert Motorworks!
                      Originally posted by mbonanni
                      I hate modded emtree, I hate modded cawrz, I hate jdm, I hate swag, I hate stanceyolokids, I hate bags (on cars), I hate stuff that is slowz, I hate tires.

                      I am a pursit now.



                        The MS43 is a great ECU but it's not as easy to tune and maintain as the Megasquirt. Plus, I can easily add traction control and some other cool functions.

                        My current status is that I'm fabricating the the ICV bracket. After that, the head will come off.

                        Time and money....


                          I have a 105k m54 with manual harness, someone come give me $900 for it!
                          1989 325is - 2000 323it - 1990 M3 - 1973 2002 - 1975 CB550F

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                            95 7.1L 16V E36 M3
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                              Subscribed, I'm seriously thing about doing a M52TU swap into my ix. I may have questions for you about the Megasqurit and the wiring.
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