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'89 318i 6 speed m50b32tu turbo swap build

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    '89 318i 6 speed m50b32tu turbo swap build

    Last Updated 17/03/2022:

    Engine Management/Electronics
    Self tuned Siemens MS43
    New crank sensor with custom designed and 3D printed spacer for front timing cover
    New cam angle sensor
    Retrofitted trunk mounted battery
    E53 X5 wiring harness (Previously E36 328i wiring harness)
    E36 battery distribution block mounted in engine bay on M3 wiring cover
    Diagnostic port mounted in stock location
    C101 plug adapted to m54 harness
    OBD2 port wired to under dash panel
    One-touch indicator flasher
    AEM Failsafe AFR and Boost Gauge

    m50b32 bottom end (m50b25tu bottom end bored to 86.5mm)
    JE 9:1 pistons (top ring 0.020, second ring 0.023)
    K1 forged rods
    ACL Race rod bearings
    ACL Race main bearing
    ARP main studs
    E34 oil pan and pickup
    Pan tapped and fitted with 30degree -10AN fitting for turbo drain
    10AN hardline for turbo oil drain
    custom m54 oil pump with 6 bolt sprocket, upgraded shaft and 728i oil pickup
    e28 M5 green engine mounts
    new rear main seal
    new crank shaft seal
    all belts replaced
    all tensioners replaced
    all gaskets replaced

    m50b25NV head modified to fit m54 dual vanos unit
    m54b30 ZHP intake cam (248 deg)
    m54b30 ZHP exhaust cam (248 deg)
    INA lightweight 35mm lifters
    Cutring gasket
    ARP head studs
    New valve stem seals
    Valves 3 angle cut
    3rd coolant port plugged
    Stage 3 Vanos rebuild
    modified M54 thermostat housing
    Vanos bolt drilled and tapped for -4an turbo oil feed
    M56 valve cover
    NGK R5671A-8 Spark plugs

    e46 diesel clutch fan
    m50 spider hose replaced with m52 metal piping
    deleted throttle body heating
    new water pump
    eBay aluminium radiator
    late model 325i overflow bottle retrofit
    80/88c radiator temp switch
    Parallel flow A/C condenser
    Full A/C refresh (dryer, expansion valve, o-rings)

    Aluminium forward facing intake
    N62 throttle body - custom 3D printed adapter to mount to manifold
    HPX-e MAF in 3" tube with honeycomb "air straightener"
    450x300x76mm FMIC
    2.5" piping from turbo to MAF
    Tial Q BOV
    4 bar MAP sensor

    N54 exhaust studs
    Custom twin scroll T4 turbo manifold
    EFR 9180 1.05ar twin scroll
    2x Tial MVR 44mm wastegate
    3" downpipe
    Full 3" exhaust
    high flow cat
    12" resonator
    Straight through 8"x5" muffler with twin 3" tips

    E39 m52 fuel rail with integrated FPR and rear feed and return
    ID1050x Injectors
    Walbro 460L fuel pump
    New fuel filter
    stock fuel lines

    GS6-53BZ 6 speed from e82 135i (previously GS6-37DZ 6 speed gearbox from e46 320d)
    Adamat 1040nm twin disk clutch (previously Clutchmasters FX250 clutch)
    Adamat custom flywheel M50 starter ring on N54 flywheel (previously Clutchmasters Steel Single Mass Flywheel)
    Custom transmission mount
    e36 325i auto rear half driveshaft, front half custom e36 325i auto with e82 flange
    E21 transmission mounts
    Aluminium transmission mount cups
    Custom shift linkage
    RTD v2 Short shifter
    2.93 LSD with redline 75w140 (formerly 3.15 open diff with redline 75w90 GL-5 oil)

    Steering and Suspension
    e46 330i steering rack
    custom steering linkage using flaming river unions and DD shaft.
    New control arms
    New tie-rods
    New steering boots
    New sway bar end links
    upgraded to 51mm housings
    Lowered springs (unsure of specs as it came with them)

    e90 booster
    e90 master cylinder
    IE 310mm front discs
    Wilwood 6 pot front calipers
    IE 310mm rear discs
    Wilwood 4 pot rear calipers

    Full retrofit of e46 330i electric fronts seats - e82 msport coming
    e46 rear seats
    NRG short hub
    e82 135i msport steering wheel
    Carbon cluster bezel with chrome rings
    new leather gaiter with ///M colour stitching
    new leather handbrake cover with ///M colour stitching

    Android 7" motorised flip out headunit
    E34 premium front speakers
    Dayton Audio tweeters
    Pioneer 6.5" rear coaxials
    Alpine type R sub in custom fibreglass enclosure in rear left quarter
    Alpine MDX 5 channel amplifier

    Lenso BSX 17x8 and 17x9 on Michelin PSS4

    Probably plenty more that i've forgotten....
    Last edited by ba114; 03-16-2022, 03:05 PM.
    RHD OBD2 M50b25 turbo build thread:

    Starting a thread to document my progress of my e30 build.

    Started out with a stock 318i with the M40 engine that i picked up for $900. Has 230+ kms on it, however this is likely more as when i purchased it, the odometer wasnt working. Fixed that up by disassembling and replacing broken cog gears with suitable replacements from an RC car kit.

    The body is mostly straight, however the paint is wrecked and will be getting a full respray as part of the project.

    Next up i picked up an M52b28, complete with G250 gbox and M50 intake manifold. As i'm in Australia, we got the aluminium block, not the iron block the folks in the US got so there was the risk of the block softening and causing issues with head bolts stripping the threads. All tests so far indicate that i've got a good block Click here to enlarge

    The plan is to run single turbo on stock internals. To support this so far i have purchased the below:
    - CES copper spacer and cutring gasket
    - Raceware head stud conversion (ARP dont make any for the M52 aluminium)
    - PTE 6262 turbo .82 A/R
    - Tial 44mm Wastegate
    - Good n Tight manifold
    - 80 deg thermostat + cast t/stat housing
    - e28 M5 (green) engine mounts
    - metal blade water pump
    - Renault Clio brake booster - the standard e30 booster will hit the intake manifold so a smaller option has been sourced
    - e46 steering rack

    Haven't yet pulled the head, waiting on cam alignment tools to arrive. Hopefully everything is still in decent condition. Test fitted the manifold however.

    I will be self-tuning the setup on the stock ECU. Plenty of development work is happening on the MS41 series ECUs over on the romraider forums. Going to be a steep learning curve compared to my current experience with the MSD81 on my 135i however.

    Still have plenty of additional parts to acquire/sort out before getting to the point of swapping the engine in such as:
    - Radiator and coolant tank
    - Fuel pump
    - Injectors
    - Relocate battery to boot
    - SMFW and clutch

    As i've been driving it around in its current form for several months, i also decided it was time to freshen up the interior a bit.

    I managed to source an Mtech2 steering wheel for a decent price and had it re-covered and thickened up slightly. These are becoming incredibly hard to find.

    Following that i also picked up a complete set of electric seats (front and rear) from an e46 coupe. Fabricated custom mounts for the front seats to use the factory mounting holes - none of this dodgy drilling through the floor which is apparently pretty common.

    Rear seats required cutting the mounts out for the stock seats and relocating to suit the new. Also had to trim some of the foam on the lower half and re-trim the leather in order to fit within the width of the e30 chassis.

    All in all took me about a day to do and i'm really happy with the end product:

    As it stands, funds for the project have run a bit dry. The AUD is so weak at the moment and conversion + shipping rates from the US are absolutely killing me. Hopefully in the next month or two i'll have the head pulled and prepped to install the spacer and HG.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by ba114; 04-29-2016, 02:41 AM.
    RHD OBD2 M50b25 turbo build thread:


      ZHP shorty weighted knob with new leather gaiter

      Fibreglassed in a sub enclosure
      RHD OBD2 M50b25 turbo build thread:


        e46 rear seat fitted. Required cutting out the lower mounts for the original e30 seat and re-welding them 75mm closer towards the centre of the car.

        Also had to undo the leather and remove approx 15mm of the foam from each end of the seat and then re-fit leather in order to fit the width of the car.

        Still have to source the plastic covers that go over the side trim where the seatbelts are.

        RHD OBD2 M50b25 turbo build thread:


          Cam locking/timing tools arrived so set about pulling the head. All went pretty smoothly, was pretty tricky keeping the timing chain secured at the same time as pulling the head but some tricky work with a coat hanger sorted that out thankfully.

          i've only performed a limited inspection but so far things are looking pretty good. no immediately visible cracks in the head, but will wait until its properly cleaned up for final analysis.

          The pistons are in pretty good shape and took very little effort to clean up although i'm not going to bother trying to get them completely clean. There was very little carbon build-up on them and while prepping the block, the rings held the brake cleaner and wd40 over-spray without leaking down so i'm fairly confident the rings are in good condition too.

          So far have worked through 200, 400, 600 & 800 grit with some passes at 1200 to go which should get the RA to a reasonable level for the copper spacer.

          The head, well i cleaned as much of it as i could with degreaser and high pressure washer. I'll pull the cams in the coming days. I've been given the name of someone in canberra to skim and test the head for me so we'll see how it turns out.

          RHD OBD2 M50b25 turbo build thread:


            Cross hatching still evident in the cylinders

            RHD OBD2 M50b25 turbo build thread:


              Started stripping the engine bay last sunday in preparation for pulling the old 4cyl out.
              Took the bonnet and lights etc off first, then got to work on the accessories.

              Then i spend what seemed like an eternity on my back, under the car disconnecting the driveshaft and removing the transmission mounts. Eventually i got there and ended the night with the engine resting on its mounts and the gearbox on the jack. It had to sit like this for a couple of days till i could get the engine load leveller from my brother in law.

              On Wednesday i collected the load leveller and the crane and got to work!

              Without the leveller it would have really been a struggle. i managed to get there in the end after a few adjustments. An extra set of hands would have been handy, but managed on my own.

              Old engine is now completely removed!
              Next up i'll strip out the old e30 steering rack and replace with the e46 rack i have. Will be much easier to do this now. All the bushes, control arms, tie rods etc will also be replaced with new components ive collected over the months.

              The engine is still a couple of months off from being ready to drop in so while im finishing that i'll also get the wiring done in preparation.
              RHD OBD2 M50b25 turbo build thread:


                on Wednesday i started with the wiring. Stripped out the old engine harness and commenced sorting it.

                Started with the e36 harness for the new engine as well, and unfortunately found it had been rather butchered at the DME end. At some point a very old Unichip has been fitted. i thought it would be as simple as just removing it and matching up the wires that had been intercepted and rejoining to the main harness.....not quite. There were multiple cuts, different wire colours used in various place for the same sensor etc.Had to bust out the multimeter and do some tracing with the pinouts for the dme connector but eventually had a restored to stock harness.

                Then i commenced laying it out in the engine bay, trying to figure out where all the relevant wires need to be placed, i.e passenger side, drivers side etc. This took a little time and the e36 harness places certain wire bundles together that do not make sense/work work in the e30 such as the diagnostic port and the coil power connector are bundled together, however the diagnostic port needs to go where the original e30 port was next to the fuse box, but the coil connector needs to be over on the drivers side in order to be able to reach the coils.

                After getting it all sorted i trial fitted under the stock e30 wiring covers and was pleased to see it all fitted relatively well.

                RHD OBD2 M50b25 turbo build thread:


                  This is the schematic i made for my 318i c101-x20 harness.

                  RHD OBD2 M50b25 turbo build thread:


                    Bought a 325e for $500 for the sole purpose of getting the 3.15 diff out of it. Ended up stripping the whole car and selling off most of the other parts for just over $1200 so a worthwhile investment.

                    RHD OBD2 M50b25 turbo build thread:


                      The head is currently off getting machined, stem seals replaced and valve re-seating/re-grind.

                      I did yesterday however finish the e46 steering rack pipework. For the low pressure I used the stock one that came from an e36. Any model will do. For the high pressure pipe I re-bent the stock e30 325e pipe to fit in the new position. The high pressure pipe from a 318i is not suitable, don't bother trying.

                      Just waiting for the new boots for the rack and my flaming river union joints for my custom linkage and it'll be complete.
                      RHD OBD2 M50b25 turbo build thread:


                        Today I decided to fit the Renault Clio booster. This is pretty much a straight swap, however the clevis on the clio booster was about an inch too short.

                        To fix that I just took the clevis off the E30 booster and welded it to the Clio booster at the required length.

                        I also had to cut some of the insulation off the firewall to enable the booster to fit all the way in, the mounting bolts were shorter than the stock E30 so this was require to enable enough thread to poke through the firewall.

                        Finally the rod from the booster sat 20mm inside the booster compare to the rod sitting flush in the e30 booster. To fix this issue just cut a rod of steel to the missing length and put it inside the master cylinder.

                        After that it was all done. No need to bleed the brakes, and the lines just needed a little bending once installed.
                        Attached Files
                        Last edited by ba114; 04-29-2016, 02:40 AM.
                        RHD OBD2 M50b25 turbo build thread:


                          Fitted up my steering shaft and union joints tonight. These were some parts from flaming river, full credit must go to Nutzy for putting the details up after doing do this with his, it allows much more room for a downpipe.

                          RHD OBD2 M50b25 turbo build thread:


                            Wasn't happy with the previous efforts at fitting the wiring under the existing covers, and needed to cull it down to fit the additional M3 wiring cover.

                            started pulling it all apart, trimming unnecessary length, re-routing common wires together etc. While i was at it, i mounted the diagnostic port for the new harness in the stock e30 location next to the fuse box. This pic is the work in progress.
                            Attached Files
                            RHD OBD2 M50b25 turbo build thread:


                              The 6262 with .82 is a great turbo choice, will spool very quick.
                              Nice work on the steering shaft for down pipe clearance. Would be great to see some pics with wastegate clearance.
                              Need a Turbo manifold? We have them in stock- Click here--->
                              Dyno vid