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'90 325i S52 to S54 '06 Z4M w/ ZF 6 Speed

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    '90 325i S52 to S54 '06 Z4M w/ ZF 6 Speed

    '90 E30 with S52 replacing with S54 from '06 Z4M.
    Update 2: Car sold on BaT
    UPDATE: CAR IS DONE!!! Updating first posts to include the critical info, a few more pics and info will be scattered about the rest of this thread. Click the Youtube Logo for my S54 Swap Videos:

    My YouTube Channel, click logo:

    S52 had a nick in the head, and most likely needed $4k+ worth of work. I debated new S52...but why? It was fun, reliable, auto crossed 1-2x /mo hard doing very well locally. However, why not have another fun project? I didn't build the S52, jahnaboi did, and it was a near perfect build IMO. I wanted to understand the build more thoroughly.

    318ti 5 lug w/ Massive™ Wilwood Superlite kit
    E36 M3 Front 5 Lug w M3 Brakes
    Ground Control Coilovers w Koni SA Front 525lbs, Rear 700Lbs
    750i Brake booster
    W/S52 corner balanced 3001lbs with me in it. PIC
    LukeBox (subwoofer box) w/ MMATS Pro 3.0 10", MMATS 600W Sub Amp, Audison Amp for F/R (400W)
    ^Wanted weight in the rear. Not sarcastic. Might as well have weight with the purpose I want. Now I can roll State Street blasting Diplo in my 30s. Hell ya, pretty fly for a white guy.

    End Goal:
    S54B32 Installed
    ZF 6 Speed Installed
    Custom Driveshaft Installed
    3.73 Diff 40% Lockup Installed
    Massive™ manual brake bias solution Installed
    Massive™ Front Wilwood solution to match rears Cancelled, current setup working and Verified via Tilton
    MK60 Standalone ABS Cancelled
    Z3 Cruise Control Installed
    Air Conditioning w GPetersons CAN Controller Installed

    •Z4M S54 has ALL different electronics, computer and wiring. Replace with Z3M and E46M3 wiring
    •ZF 6 Speed trans mounting. I don't like how the Garagtastic/Kassel mount hangs, it will flex the mounting point unnecessarily due to the long overhang.
    •Driveshaft: shorten
    •Shift linkage needs to be ~4.5in and clocked ~7º CCW at shifter end with the GS6-37BZ

    How the car sat/ran before I stupidly overheated the engine:


    Picked up from Apple Valley 4hrs from home. Worked half a day, left at 6am, arrive ~10am, started Z4, pulled engine, arrived at work at 4pm, finished up work day.

    Checked Valve Clearances. Not bad! The closer it is to min clearance, the more it breathes. Is it noticeable or measurable on dyno? I don't know, but I might as well try.

    Bearings replaced pic oooh they were bad

    Vendor Redacted: unable to recommend their work: dash work with E30 Innovations Shift Light Conversion:
    Stealth Voltmeter, Oil Pressure and Temp LCD Guages. 160MPH Speedo w/ KMH deleted. ///M 8K Stripe Tach

    S52 Pulled, installed Massive™ manual adjustable brakes:

    Fabspeed Ceramic coated headers:

    ArcAsylum Subframe with strengthened swaybar tabs:
    Ended up removing tabs and welding them to the frame for clearance.

    Mss54/hp dme swap modifications THREAD
    MSS54 Cruise Control in E30
    ALL TunerPro XDFs and Swap Items

    YOUTUBE Tutorial
    MSS54 ECU Tutorial Part 1: Tools and Reading/Writing to your ECU

    MSS54 ECU Tutorial Part 2: Swap Coding

    I am going to document all items needed for Z4M to E46 M3/Z3M transformation as it is a slight mish mash. Replaced the Rod bearings, replaced Oil pump orings. Checked valve clearances and fixed, installed UUC lightweight clutch.
    Last edited by R3Z3N; 07-12-2020, 09:47 PM.

    S54 Swap Wiki. Was hosted by Kassell performance, but has since been deleted. Saved for reference.

    Pics to come, placeholders referenced

    As stated, all electronics from the Z4M can be tossed. Not joking. My wallet hurts due to this oversight. Oh well, move on, buy it so that I can eventually see the difference between S52 and S54 in an E30. I had an M50 E30 first which was nice.... See where we are going?

    •S54 Transmission/O2 Wiring Harness: 12517831649 EUR / 12517831756 USA
    2 versions, Euro and US. I bought the Euro, difference is O2 lengths, possibly O2 plug connectors are different. I am led to believe they are.
    Bought the Euro O2 wiring harness? Woot, you now need to buy another O2 sensor. Wiring is completely different than Z4 post cats connectors. Don't fret, take a post cat O2, and install it into the pre-cat cyl 4-6. Oh also, realize you are tossing money away. You also need the correct O2 clips to hold the harness male/female to the valve cover:

    Incorrect Z4 O2 Plug Housing:

    Incorrect Z4 O2 Plug Mounting:

    Correct Z3M/E46M3 Plug Housing:

    Correct Z3M/E46M3 O2 Sensors:

    End Goal Mounting (borrowed pic for now)

    •S54 M3 Ignition Wiring for coils: 12517831537
    Why? because none of the plugs will interface with the MSS54/MSS54HP DME. Why use the M3 DME? Because the Z4M DME has not been "hacked". BTW, selling the Z4M DME is pretty useless, as someone else can't just install it into their own Z4M...because of the unhacked EWS (security w/ key)

    •Z3M Wiring Harness to fit ECU in glovebox: 12517831637

    Wiring Choices depending on which wiring looms one has bought:

    Note: Downloadable PDF HERE

    Cruise Control

    Z3M Cruise Control Module: 65718380054
    3 Pin Female Housing Part #: 2-1718346-1 TE MQS AMP Connector
    Female Pins: 5-963715-1 TE MQS AMP Connector
    Pin 1 to (DME) X60004 Pin 35
    Pin 2 to (DME) X60004 Pin 27
    Pin 3 to Switched Power
    The 3 Pin Female Housing and pins can be found at

    Z3M Cruise Control Module 5 Pin side wiring:
    E30 Cruise Stalk Z3 Cruise Module
    1 Cancel 5 Cancel
    2 Resume 1 Resume
    3 Decel 2 Decel
    4 Accel 3 Accel
    5 4

    Brake Light Switch Wiring:
    Splice into Pin 2 of the Brake Light Switch to X60004 Pin 24

    Cruise Control Clutch Cutout Switch OPTIONAL: 61318381612 or 61318363710
    If using #612: Female Plug Housing Part #:3-1718346-1 TE MQS AMP Connector
    If using #710: Female Plug Housing Part #: 4-1718346-1 TE MQS AMP Connector
    Female Pins: 5-963715-1 TE MQS AMP Pins
    Pin 1 to Ground
    Pin 2 to (DME) X60002 Pin 20
    Pin 3 to switched power (ACC, Run and Start)
    The 2 switches are the same logic, however use different female 3 pin housings. The 3 Pin Female Housing and pins can be found at You could wire in both if you want Clutch Engaged (transmission engaged) lockout, but the E30 does not have the second mounting point. IF NOT USING THE CC Cutout switch, code K_SKRAFTS_CONTROL: 00, otherwise 02 to use this switch

    Proofs of above wiring:

    CAN Controller Gen 1&2 Wiring for Aux fan control & CEL via DME
    Currently my car uses Gen 1 CAN Controller

    PWM fan Module from E46.
    •P/N: 64546988914
    Not sold separately from fan, but can be found parted out elsewhere such as ebay. Choose your 2 and 3 pole connectors. I found a stock E46 harness clipped to length on ebay.

    A/C Pressure Sensor & Connector
    • P/N: 64536909257 Sensor
    • P/N: 61132359998 Connector
    Connects to Gary's CAN controller. Easiest? to have stock E30 temp sensor cut and welded closed, then tapped for the E46 versions threads.

    Lower Rad Temp Sensor and Temp Sensor wiring connector (need connector part/pins)
    •P/N: 13621433076 Sensor
    •P/N 12521427787 Connector
    •P/N: 12521427608 Pins
    •P/N: 1280703031 (NON BMW PART, SEARCH: Bosch Jetronic 2 Pole Protective Boot)
    Needs to be in lower rad outlet IE via 38mm? (or 36mm, not sure) rad hose joiner with thread for temp sensor such as this from Amazon This adapter needs to be tapped for M12x1.5

    Cluster Guage Wiring

    •Vendor Redacted: no longer can recommend them: LED Guages for Voltage, Oil Temp and Oil Pressure Wiring:

    Hoses/ Piping

    Trim Hoses to Fit. The Mishimoto radiator gives ample clearance for any choice of AC Compressor as well
    •Upper Radiator Hose: Gates 21794
    •Lower Radiator Hose: Gates 22440
    •Radiator: Mishimoto MMRAD-E36-92 (E30/E36 Performance Radiator)

    Coolant Overflow
    Custom piping, but keep the inlet end from the Z4 and buy silicone piping and joiners

    Heater Core
    •2x Part # 64-21-6-902-680
    Top and bottom connections are reversed same as any other S54 swap IE Top of engine heater core hose to bottom of firewall heater core hose and reverse for the other hose.

    Air Box Oil Drain
    Easy, remove and rotate the connection 180 Degress front to back, then it will reach the new connection on the modified pan.

    Intake Manifold Mounting Bracket.
    I cut the drivers side (US) engine mount to keep the intake manifold mount. The S52 engine mounts just below. How nice of BMW to leave the mounts from the past x number of casts!

    Idle Air Line: 13547831481
    If yours has the mount as seen you can reuse it, but I want a cleaner bay. The vacuum line (small connector at rear) needs to be connected to the Fuel Pressure Regulator as the Z4M FPR is in the tank.
    •Need 15-18, REAL OEM LINK

    •Z3M/E46M3 Alt: 12317831436
    Toss Z4 alternator or rewire plug if possible. I bought a Z3M/E46M3 Alternator as the female plugs into the Z3M/E46M3 wiring harness. Remember document what you have done for your mechanic or next owner. I want to stick with as much E46 M3 as possible.
    Last edited by R3Z3N; 01-17-2021, 10:26 AM.


      Valve Cover Oil Drain
      Using ArcAsylum's Oil Pan, the Valve Cover Oil Drain needs to be modified. Oil Pan uses an AN6 Fitting, so I used a stainless steel AN6 weld-on bung to the shortened oil line. Then just cut AN6 line to fit. Easy ! Cost to weld was $46. Cheap, no, but it was easy down the street from my work.

      Oil Cooler install
      I was not running an oil cooler with the S52, so I added one. I ran the 90º AN off the cooler through the frame rail channel. Keeps it clean. It would be nicest to run Aluminum 5/8" Pipe with a 37º flare up to the drivers headlight opening then run soft line to the engine once in the bay, but that is more than I am willing to spend currently for the correct tools. However should temps be more of a concern later, I will do so for more surface area and a bigger cooler.
      Brennan M22 to AN10 adapter for E30 oil cooler: 7007-10-L15-22
      • E30 Oil Cooler: 17201719262
      VAC Motorsports Oil Line Adapter Plate
      • 10ft AN10 line
      • AN10 90º connector x2
      • AN10 45º connector x2

      Power Steering
      As I had a S52 with Power steering and Z3 rack, I am keeping my Power Steering Pump. This part of the swap is documented. NOTE, still up in the air. Going to add P/S cooler, and may end up using M3/Z4 PS Unit. If running custom lines, be sure to use high pressure (3000PSI) line for the high side.
      Pic of Z4M pump and S52 Pump
      •Z4M pump: you will need custom lines. Do not pass go. Throw more money away.
      •E36 M3: Pump 32412227197 Lines PN#?

      S54 Water Pipe Coolant Adapter
      The Technica Motorsports S54 Coolant Pipe adapter will let you mount your E30 Coolant Sensor for the dash temp guage. However you will need to tap the threads for the E30 Temp Sender
      Technica Motorsports S54 Coolant Pipe adapter

      Not my pic sorry:

      DBW Pedal
      Not unique to the Z4, but still necessary. I decided to replace my carpet as it had a hole. This made relocating the bottom of the pedal bracket easy. I chose to keep the pedal as far rear as possible (toward rear of car) as I have long legs, and always felt left foot braking to be awkward due to differing heights between pedals
      •DBW Pedal: 35426786282
      •Pedal Bracket: 35426772703

      Shifter and Linkage for the ZF GS6-37BZ
      Shift linkage needs to be 120mm and "clocked" so that the shifter will sit center, which is about 7º rotated counter clockwise at the shifter end. For ease of install I recommend the xx-short CAE adjustable shift linkage. Using the RTD Shifter

      Needed to shave the shift linkage from the RTD shifter to the CAE DSSR

      Done but I sourced out the work. No Pics. Info courtesy of Jordan
      Rear half from a E36 M3 Auto, the front half from a Z4 3.0 Manual, and the CSB from an E30. Engagement is perfect. GET IT BALANCED!!!

      Ceramic coated Fabspeed Headers with custom stainless steel 2.5" Dual exhaust with V-Bands and 2 extra bungs for George Graves Wideband/LC-2


      Massive's Twin MC booster delete kit (Short Offset) with Tilton 76 3/4" Front and 7/8" Rear. Gary from Tilton verified sizing.

      Wilwood Forged Superlite Radial 6 Piston Front 1.62"x1.12"x1.12" 120-13236 Left / 120-13235 Right
      Massive's Floating Hat
      GT 48 Curved Vane Rotor 160-8165 / 160-8166

      Wilwood Forged Superlite 4 Piston 1.25"x1.12"
      Massive's Hat
      Wilwood Ultralite 32 Curved Vane Rotor 160-2900 / 160-2901

      Brake Pad Profile 7420 used.

      BBS RS 262 & 263
      Refinished in Nogaro Silver with polished 1" inverted lips and chrome plated bolts. 17x8.5et29 and 17x9et35 by eewheelworks

      Syle 42 Seaside Bronze

      Dropping engine in
      Tip: Remove ALL AC Hardware, PS Pump, Crank Pulley. This shortens the engine. Drop Engine below chassis and loosely connect subframe to motor mounts and engine mounts. Raise engine up and bolt subframe to chassis via passenger side loosely first. This is because the "battery shelf" is in the way. You want the engine to rock toward the drivers side as it comes up. Trust me. Just do it. Or just use a lift.

      Starting the wiring, routing, and additions
      The shifter here is gone, replaced by the RTD shifter. Better dash swapped in but a week later it cracked above the cluster :-( I am out of energy to swap it yet again, maybe purchase a leather wrapped in the future, but let's get this running first, because if I need to rework any wiring or routing, the time is when the dash is out.

      Last edited by R3Z3N; 02-09-2020, 01:03 PM.


        ODB2 Port and Sport Mode Button

        AC Hose
        The first iteration of this touched the lower coolant hose, so with an adaptor we shortened it up.

        Weight & Bias
        2848Lbs 55/45 F/R
        Click image for larger version

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        Air Filter and MAF

        Last edited by R3Z3N; 08-10-2019, 12:01 AM.


          Very cool

          Originally posted by SpasticDwarf;n6449866
          Honestly I built it just to have a place to sit and listen to Hotline Bling on repeat.


            Sub'd! It sounds like this is going to be a really informative thread.
            My Garage
            2001 Z3 2.5i Steel Gray/Black (Lexi)
            1988 325ix Diamond Schwartz/Black (Izzy)
            1989 325i Cirrus Blue/Houndstooth (Stitch)

            Instagram: Stone.Hopkins


              Pretty excited, loving all these S54 builds.
              1991 325i - "Scambles" The Daily Driven lightly modded.
              1988 Mazda RX-7 TII "Mako" The Free Dorito
              bacon by Jared Laabs, on Flickr


                Thanks! I am hoping it is as quick as a 2016 Toyota Camry S. I can tell they are quick otherwise Toyota would not have put those massive side skirts on them for ground effects. So 2 years ago I installed the IS side skirts. SO MUCH MORE DOWNFORCE. At Fontana it helps as the rear end wants to rotate up turn 1 and 2 at 140. I'd go faster but the Skylines out there scare me. /s

                BTW: /sarcasm

                Currently having Andrew add wiring to his wiring harness for gpetersons AC controller

                UPDATE!: Files for the below are linked in OP. No longer need to pay anyone for ECU coding.

                gpeterson is also flashing my ECU to remove EWS, SAP (secondary air pump), Post Cat O2, Evap system, set 8200 rev limit, dyno mode, and sport mode memory. Oh yes, using the M3 EKP module for fueling. One can now flash the ECU easy enough by themselves, but I need to get working on the mechanical side as much as possible and let others do what they do best.DME flash DIY

                Once those 2 are back, I should be able to drop the engine in for wiring test fit and misc hoses. Still debating easy way: coolant overflow in stock location with Z3M coolant pips. Hard way+ expense: E30 M3 overflow location and figure out the piping. Both relatively simple, but time consuming enough.
                Last edited by R3Z3N; 01-22-2019, 09:16 AM.


                  Current Cars:
                  -1999 996.1 911 4/98 3.8L 6-Speed, 21st Century Beetle

                  Make R3V Great Again -2020


                    Finalized O2 wiring and Intake Manifold bracket mount from old engine arm.


                      Subscribed this will be good

                      Parts for Sale
                      YouTube Channel


                        Oh man this is going to be great.

                        OBDI M62B44/6 swap
                        Transaction feedback
                        - jpod999


                          I used e30 m3 tank on mine and prefer that setup.. I also have a brand new Z3M pipe if you want to go the other route.
                          - '88 m54 coupe



                            Originally posted by Jb325is View Post
                            I used e30 m3 tank on mine and prefer that setup.. I also have a brand new Z3M pipe if you want to go the other route.
                            To use the e30 tank I need E46m3 water pipe Hardline off pump in front of engine. What else beside e30 m3 overflow tank? I am interested in z3m pipe if I go that route.

                            Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk


                              Why not just use the Z4M Pipe?
                              My 325I Mtech1 S54 Build