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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > NA Engine (non-turbo) / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications > N52 engine build :)



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      01-10-2016, 01:58 AM   #1
hassmaschine
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N52 engine build :)

Been looking forward to this for a long time! Finally picked up an N52 to build. This is going into an E30, not an E90, but you guys might appreciate it.

for $800 I got basically a running core motor. it's actually pretty clean inside - I was expecting the worst, it has 258,000 miles, but things like the intake ports are flawless, and even inside the head only has minor carbon buildup.

It definitely has a valve cover leak, OFHG leak, and oil pan leak. The engine is really clean on the passenger side, but the front and drivers side are covered in oil, likely from the OFHG.



I think the rear main seal is still good, it's just the oil pan leak that's been spread around everywhere!



sitting on a HF dolly.. E30 in the background. First job was to get it onto a stand, which was tough - I have access to an engine hoist, but at this point I don't want it taking up space in my garage, so I made it work with pulleys and a couple friends.



On the stand.. and that's about it for now. I have to leave on a work trip all week next week so I can't really tear into it. But I have plans, and a parts list.

There's actually some more parts I got that aren't pictured, including the engine harness. I'm not using any of the stock N52 intake so I didn't care about that, and of course I'm not using stock N52 exhaust manifolds.
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      01-10-2016, 02:04 AM   #2
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omgomg you're doing it... this is exactly what i want in my e30 except i would probably prefer an n53 since it will probably be easier to tune without valvetronic. what ecu you plan on using?.. good luck man!
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      01-10-2016, 02:11 AM   #3
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looks like the oil pan might not fit with the subframe after my quick research. E30 M20 pan has the pump and lower section in the front but yours is towards the rear.. I thought i read someone needed a E60 530xi oil pan.... hopefully whatever you choose isnt too low
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      01-10-2016, 02:43 AM   #4
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why would it be easier to tune? valvetronic is only like 2 tables. it's just lift.. that's it.

it's not a RWD E30 so the oil pan will be way different anyway. I'd look into modifying the subframe and oil pan - Arcasylum does some really nice stuff for E30 S54 swaps that I think could be applied to the N52. The oil pan design of the RWD E30 sucks ass anyway - it hangs too low and gets broken all the time, and seems more prone to starvation.
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      01-10-2016, 10:06 AM   #5
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How much is the E30 going to weigh roughly you think?

Last edited by Dan Bilzerian; 01-10-2016 at 10:43 AM.
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      01-10-2016, 10:35 AM   #6
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      01-10-2016, 11:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Bilzerian View Post
How much is the E30 going to weigh roughly you think?
2750lbs. I weighed my 330i the other day, it was 3400lbs, and thats one of the lighter E90s - the wagon is 3700lbs lol.
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      01-10-2016, 11:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hassmaschine View Post
2750lbs. I weighed my 330i the other day, it was 3400lbs, and thats one of the lighter E90s - the wagon is 3700lbs lol.
Damn, that's going to fly!
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      01-10-2016, 11:46 AM   #9
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I was thinking about doing this next summer..will buy an e30 in a couple months and start gathering parts by next summer..cant wait to see the out come! Are you going to do 3IM and AA headers or SC?
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      01-10-2016, 12:41 PM   #10
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You should have bought a N54 motor!

Okay, okay, someone was bound to say it sooner or later, now that it is out of the way. . . I am officially subscribed.
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      01-10-2016, 01:18 PM   #11
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Pictures of the E30 please! Subd
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      01-10-2016, 01:48 PM   #12
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Nice! SC too?
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      01-10-2016, 01:50 PM   #13
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      01-10-2016, 02:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Droze
You should have bought a N54 motor!

Okay, okay, someone was bound to say it sooner or later, now that it is out of the way. . . I am officially subscribed.
If you have instagram i can show you the page of someone who has a n54 in a e30 painted santorini blue
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      01-10-2016, 02:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Droze View Post
You should have bought a N54 motor!

Okay, okay, someone was bound to say it sooner or later, now that it is out of the way. . . I am officially subscribed.
lol. you won't be the last, I'm sure - but to be honest, if I wanted a motor that was as heavy as an N54, I would just go with my original S54 plan. If I wanted a turbo, it would be far easier and cheaper to turbo the M20 that's in it.. and it's lighter, too!

Anyway, no plans on a SC, I'm on the fence whether that is really a good idea long term or not. The pistons are certainly not made for boost. Everyone always talks about the block, but the block isn't the issue in my mind. the rods are significantly lighter than N54 rods too - even the bolts are smaller!

No 3 stage IM either - I'm going to 3D print a flange and use open trumpets. A 3 stage would be nice for smooth driving, but it won't support the power I want. This car has short gearing (4.10s and no overdrive), so I need something that will rev. also, the 3 stage will almost certainly not clear the brake booster, but the trumpets should. That actually saves me some money on an expensive manual pedal/MC setup. Eventually I want to vacuum form a plenum so I can run a panel filter. Or if I win the lottery, adapt a CSL airbox..

The goal is 8,000rpm and around 300bhp, with an engine that is lighter than the M20 it's replacing. I haven't even torn down the engine yet, the condition of the bores will sort of determine how far I take it. Original plan was to use stock pistons and rods, now I'm not too sure.

Talking to a buddy of mine in Florida who has a flowbench to see if he can test the N52 head and see what improvements can be made. The ports are CNC'd but they look to me like a little cleanup would go a long way.

First thing I want to do is run a compression test, the second thing is to see how much piston/valve clearance there is at TDC - to see if retarding the stock intake cam 5-10 degrees is a valid idea.
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      01-10-2016, 02:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90joee View Post
If you have instagram i can show you the page of someone who has a n54 in a e30 painted santorini blue
the imitator is doing it into a 323i. I don't know if it's the same car or not. He's basically transferring all the wiring & modules over, even swapping in the gas tank. It should run like a stock car when he's done. I'm only going to be running the DME, EKP, fan controller, and battery sensor.
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      01-10-2016, 03:28 PM   #17
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This should make for nice weight reduction. Put this engine in to loose some pounds then take the trunk tar out to balance it out
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      01-10-2016, 03:40 PM   #18
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My e30 never had trunk tar - later production models came without it.
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      01-10-2016, 04:00 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hassmaschine
Quote:
Originally Posted by E90joee View Post
If you have instagram i can show you the page of someone who has a n54 in a e30 painted santorini blue
the imitator is doing it into a 323i. I don't know if it's the same car or not. He's basically transferring all the wiring & modules over, even swapping in the gas tank. It should run like a stock car when he's done. I'm only going to be running the DME, EKP, fan controller, and battery sensor.
This is the one i was talking about not to sure if its the same one
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      01-10-2016, 06:16 PM   #20
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This should be very interesting! Sub'd
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      01-10-2016, 10:43 PM   #21
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Hoping to do exactly the same thing to an N52 with somewhat lower miles...
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      01-10-2016, 10:56 PM   #22
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Sweet...congrats !! Is the E30 build thread on R3V?
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