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M52 motor swap done

Posted by Bob in Everett 
August 24, 2015 07:33PM
The E-30 definitely is the chariot of the gods. With a few more ponies under the hood, it is absolutely awsome. The only problem with it is that the catalytic converter is touching the heat shield under the car and the noise reminds me of the extra power lurking under the hood... the temptation to excercise a few more of the horses is unresistible.

The swap went well with only a couple of items that could have been easier before putting the engine into the car. I have a couple of them fixed but the leaky rear main seal will require removing the tranny ...and exhaust...which will give a chance to improve the fittment of the converter and hopefully reduce the interior noise.

:razz:

Bob in Everett
rkj
August 24, 2015 09:46PM
Quote
Bob in Everett
The E-30 definitely is the chariot of the gods. With a few more ponies under the hood, it is absolutely awsome. The only problem with it is that the catalytic converter is touching the heat shield under the car and the noise reminds me of the extra power lurking under the hood... the temptation to excercise a few more of the horses is unresistible.

The swap went well with only a couple of items that could have been easier before putting the engine into the car. I have a couple of them fixed but the leaky rear main seal will require removing the tranny ...and exhaust...which will give a chance to improve the fittment of the converter and hopefully reduce the interior noise.

:razz:

This is great news Bob, but I think we'll need some pictures to drool over :wavey:
August 24, 2015 11:06PM
I hope it is large enough to see well. I am not enthralled with the cone filter and would like the 3 inch MAF and adapt to the original filter box I think.
winking smiley

Bob in Everett
Attachments:
open | download - Motor.jpg (223.4 KB)
August 24, 2015 11:14PM
There you can see the cone filter.
I think the stock air box looks better and maybe I can make it fit. Notice there is a fan behind the radiator but had to put it on backward to get it to clear everything. It was getting warm in slow traffic so the electric fan would have to come on. Now it does not . The radiator has to be out to get the fan in place. Very little clearance. Some previous front end damage was not quite repaired it appears and the radiator support is about half an inch back of where it should be.

Bob in Everett
Attachments:
open | download - Motor1.jpg (234 KB)
rkj
August 25, 2015 10:54PM
This looks like a clean swap Bob. How did you handle all the electrics and the fuel mangement stuff, did you bring everything over from the later model car?

I own an E30, E39 and an E46 so I know it had to have been a tight fit, right? And how does the car handle, does it throw the balance off?
August 25, 2015 11:44PM
The engine came from a 1996 E39 and has been converted to OBD 1 so some of the sensors came from my old engine. The engine management computer came from and earlier model and has a custom chip to account for the M52 cams in the 2.8 Liter M50 and the 3.5 inch MAF. The engine fits and would have fit better if my car had not had some previous front damage that repairs did not get the radiator support as far forward as it should have been. I had to improvise to get the fan in there and as you may have noticed, it is backward so is less efficient but the spacing worked to clear all the engine and radiator parts. The original drive shaft, trans, clutch and flywheel were used. The engine had to be rotated slightly to the right and motor mounts adjusted so the intake would clear the brake booster from a Porche 944. The booster had to be modified to match the brake pedal attach linkage. There are a few other details like oil filter and alternator that are cross pollenated from E-36.

This is a popular retrofit and several people have written up articles online about it.

Sure makes the E-30 a contender for the on-ramp acceleration joy. The engine weighs about 30 lb less than the M20 engine. Now it looks like I could use some lowering springs in front and take about an inch down to make it look a bit better.

Bob in Everett
September 06, 2015 09:30PM
The local BMW club sponsored a dyno day at a local tuners shop. Some one else went with an engine just like mine, M50 2.8L with M52 cams and 3.5 in MAF. The result was 201 Hp to the wheels. The conversion for crankshaft hp is + 18% so that means my new engine will be close to 230 hp at the crank.

That is a nice improvement from 167 of the M20.

Bob in Everett
September 07, 2015 10:37AM
Quote
Bob in Everett
The original drive shaft, trans, clutch and flywheel were used. The engine had to be rotated slightly to the right and motor mounts adjusted so the intake would clear the brake booster from a Porche 944.

Did you have to modify the shifter because of the rotation? How is access to the A/C fan now?
This is a really tempting mod. I'm interested in more details as you go along, like how you deal with the suspension.

John
September 07, 2015 09:00PM
John,
The engine is lighter than the cast iron M20 so the car sets about the same as before. A 1 inch lower front might look better but I like the ground clearance and am not planning a mod for that yet. The shifter rod from the lever to the trans had to be cut and welded back together with the rotation for the engine accounted for. That way the shift lever is in the same place it was before.
The fan on the water pump did not fit due to some previous damage that apparently was not repaired correctly and left the radiator about a half inch too close to the engine. I found another fan that was spaced slightly differently and would fit if I put it in backward. The radiator must be removed to install the fan. It looks a little weird with the blades backward but it works well enough that the electric fan never comes on until the AC is turned on.
There is a clearance problem as well with the AC clutch and the radiator for the same reasons. It has about 1/32 inch clearance so far.

Bob in Everett
September 11, 2015 05:15AM
Good job!

That fan sure looks odd, and is missing the plastic shroud.
Perhaps you can remove it all together and go with electrical fan only, as many cars do, e30 320is included.

The stock air box may an improvement over the exposed cone filter, but it looks good either way.

:cool2:
September 15, 2015 12:02AM
There was no room for the shroud and the center of the fan was not in the correct place for it either. The space is so close that the shroud may not help much. The fan is backward so the blades are not as efficient as before but enough air moves that it no longer warms excessively to turn on the electric fan.
Temp gage steady in stalled traffic.

Bob in Everett
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