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Old 07-17-2016, 09:06 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Solvang, CA
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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.

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:
ZF 6 Speed
3.46 Diff
Massive™ manual brake bias solution
Massive™ Front Wilwood solution to match rears
MK60 Standalone ABS
Z3 Cruise Control
MSS54HP with MAP control via cruise control

•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 ~4in

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


Unorganized for now, but much to come shortly

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

Bavarian Restoration dash work with E30 Innovations Shift Light Conversion: vid to come
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:

MSS54 (NON-HP) V2801 Edits:
Utilize MSS5X Binary Mod Tool:
Disable SAP / Cat Heating Sequence
Disable Cat Protection (Disables Enrichment)
Linear Sport Throttle Curve
Sport Mode_MEMORY @ 0x4024
Modification: 04
Stock: 01
Dyno Mode @ 0x4011
Modification: 02
Stock: 00
Engine Speed_DYNO LIMITER @ 0x76
Modification: 8200 (convert to hex)
Engine Speed_MAX RPM LIMIT @ 0x5CE2
Modification: 8200 (convert to hex)
K_V_WEGIMPULSZAHL @ 0x5FCA (Speedo Calibration) differential pulses/km 9 tooth
Modification: 12 12 (convert via hex)
Stock: 5D 16 (convert via hex)
K_V_CONTROL @ 0x5FD8 1 bit (Speedo Source) 02 for E46, 01 from E30 Diff/Cluster
Modification: 01
Stock: 02
NOTE: Wire x6004 pin 22 to c101 pin 14
Chassis Coding Config:
cfg_s.Baureihe @ 0x06 modified to $08 from $20, E36 Mode
cfg_m.Baureihe @ 0x4006 modified to $08 from $20, E36 Mode
K_SKRAFTS_CONTROL @ 0x4028: Cruise Control Sensors?
Modification: 02
Stock: 01
K_FGR_CONFIG @ 0x4294: Cruise Control Source?
Modification: 00
Stock: 03
Automatic Stability Control_TORQUE @ 0x6DFB
Modification: 03
Stock: 00
K_S_BLS Brake Light Switch @ 0x5FE2:
Modification: 03
Stock: 02

Not much yet for build thread, but 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; 02-23-2017 at 10:35 PM.
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:07 PM   #2
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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

Hoses/ Piping

EDIT: Still in progress, note here out of date: While in there toss the lower coolant pipe. It's in the way of the power steering braket. I found this out after replacing all the wiring. Woot, I am quite intimate with my S54 now....I dream of its hard skin on my hands.
You can either go with the Z3M coolant pipe or M3 coolant pipe here. I am undecided. Z3M pipe keeps the coolant reservoir on the drivers side.
REAL OEM DIAGRAMS/parts pic/link

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; 08-20-2016 at 04:30 PM.
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:07 PM   #3
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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.

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.

Oil Cooler install

I was not running an oil cooler with the S52, so I added one. I ran the 90 AN off the cooler through the frame rail channel. Keeps it clean. It would be nicest to run Aluminum 5/8" Pipe with a 37 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 90 connector x2
• AN10 45 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#?

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

Shift Linkage reference

still not yet

E36 M3 Auto Driveshaft length and amount to cut

Dude, stop reading, I haven't even started the engine.

Custom Exaust
Fine you want a vid? My S52 exhaust. Compare to S54 exhaust

Last edited by R3Z3N; 10-24-2016 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:07 PM   #4
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Still reading? Grab a beer, because it's going to be awhile.

Last edited by R3Z3N; 07-17-2016 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 07-17-2016, 10:29 PM   #5
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Very cool

Originally Posted by SpasticDwarf View Post
Honestly I built it just to have a place to sit and listen to Hotline Bling on repeat.
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Old 07-17-2016, 11:03 PM   #6
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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)

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Old 07-17-2016, 11:18 PM   #7
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Pretty excited, loving all these S54 builds.
1991 325i - Daily Trash
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Old 07-17-2016, 11:33 PM   #8
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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.

BTW: /sarcasm

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

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; 07-18-2016 at 12:26 AM.
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Old 07-18-2016, 11:42 AM   #9
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Current Cars:
-1988 BMW 325i
-1968 Datsun Roadster 2000 with Nissan Competition Package

Originally Posted by ReallyDirtyThirty View Post
Just keep pushing it in... when you think you can't push it in any farther, push harder.
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Old 07-18-2016, 11:58 PM   #10
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Finalized O2 wiring and Intake Manifold bracket mount from old engine arm.
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Old 07-19-2016, 01:06 PM   #11
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Subscribed this will be good
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Old 07-19-2016, 02:53 PM   #12
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Oh man this is going to be great.
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Old 07-19-2016, 03:45 PM   #13
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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

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Old 07-19-2016, 04:16 PM   #14
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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.

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Old 07-20-2016, 01:08 AM   #15
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Why not just use the Z4M Pipe?
My 325I Mtech1 S54 Build
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