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-   -   2004 325xi auto turbo project (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=773653)

gurov 06-23-2010 04:06 PM

2004 325xi auto turbo project
might as well post this here also, just posting all the stuff with pictures. this might make entirely no sense at all, we'll see. enjoy.

the car:


car has 98k-ish miles on it.

the plan right now is to use a gt3251 (gt32 compressor, 51mm impeller, journal bearing) Garrett:


and limit (really) boost to about 5-7 psi, i know the boost greed will eventually kick in, but i think i could keep away from doing that this time (3rd time's the charm, as i have 2 other turbo cars)

on a cheapy ebay cast manifold:


ground down in places to provide enough clearance for the nuts. the exhaust housing is a 5bolt, so i'm going to use an internal wastegate, but i'll see if that's going to fit. i didn't want to mess with the external wastegate tube thing that comes off the butt of the manifold as i wanted to avoid hanging a fairly heavy wastegate off a tube like that.

the internal wastegate has a 2.5" vband outlet.

car's in the garage right now, still fitting things together, took a couple of days to unbolt the old exhaust manifolds and get them out, things rusted pretty badly. the turbo manifold is on now with new gaskets, new exhaust studs, new nuts:




i have no idea how badly the front drive shaft housing thing will get in the way of the turbo inlet, as it's, well, RIGHT FREAKING THERE, but I guess if i have to fabricate something for air intake, it's not that bad. if i have to notch it to make just barely enough clearance to get things in, that's also an option.

so that's the first step, get all the exhaust stuff squared away, it looks fairly easy as i'm not using any massive 3+" piping, and there appears to be a decent amount of room.

the plan is to try to use the stock exhaust, which had to be chopped about here:


as the cat+manifold to rest of the exhaust flanges were rusted together and no way in hell they were going to come apart:


i know people will question the engine management of this project, for now the plan is to use megasquirt2 or megasquirt3 (depending on availability of ms3 at the time) to potentially drive an extra 2-4 injectors based on boost levels to keep it nice and rich-ish, as well as control some sort of alky injection. stock ecu will be present and handling stock injectors and handling timing, drivability, cruise control, gauges/etc. these plans are subject to change pending seeing stock injector size/other ideas.

to keep the stock ecu happy, i'll attempt to get rid of the gaggle of the oxygen sensors by combining the signals (or at least i'll try at first) of bank1/2 front and rear. for tuning, i've got a few zt2 widebands laying around. tread carefully and see what the behavior of the stock management system is in response to extra air it will be getting, going to use blowthrough maf configuration to keep the maf in the stock-ish spot and such.

couple of questions, which i'm sure might've been discussed elsewhere(heh).

1. what is the size of the stock injectors on m54b25
2. what is the stock fuel pressure
3. any easy way to tap into the pressurized fuel supply to hook up a few extra injectors.
4. does anybody make a throttle body spacer ?
5. stock maf doesn't have an air temp sensor, is that plugged somewhere in the manifold ? ( i believe i saw some sensor between 3rd and 4th runners with two plugs)
6. any foreseeable harm in taking oil feed off the oil TEMPERATURE sensor on the back of the oil filter housing, using a TRM oil pressure adapter steel fitting thing, that just so happens to fit (that is, versus the oil pressure sensor), besides the obvious rise in oil temperature i will see due to heatsoak etc. i hooked up an oil prsesure sender to the port when i was testing and saw 60-ish psi at idle (cold engine) there.
7. i saw people using a different engine mount to get more clearance for the turbo inlet in bottom mount setups, is there one that would fit my setup (again 2004 325xi auto) in case i have to go that route, i want to be ready for something like this if things are incredibly tight.

that's all i can think of for now, feel free to mock/condemn this project to failure.

it's a tight fit in there, but things are moving along:



removing the motor mount mount (both the arm and the rubber mount piece made a HUGE different in how much room there is to to work with.

took me a bit to figure out how to hoist up the engine such that it moved the direction i needed it to go, finally, i ended up with this, engine hoist with a hook to a random head bolt i had laying around put into the EGR (??) port



it would be a pretty crazy spot to keep the stock mount with this setup, so i've ordered a TRM mount, i'll see if it fits/modify it to fit, anything would be better than this:


the front drive shafts aren't really in the way, but i DO have to assemble this much like a ship in a bottle, if you will. the turbocharger itself is never fitting through any of the openings that exist, so the turbine housing went in first, bolted down,then center housing, clocked such that oil lines are oriented where they don't run into anything. then compressor housing went on. since i'm (probably foolishly) trying to use an internal wastegate the issue of the actuator came up, and there's no way of it fitting up there on the compressor housing(like it normally would), so i rounded up some scrap metal and made a mount for the actuator to be mounted to the block itself:


the holes will go to the unused threaded holes on the block around the area where the motor mount bolts up, and then some kind of linkage for pretty much a straight shot to the wastegate arm.

the wastegate housing has been modified to clear the transmission bell housing:




the pipe looked kind of thin, so i'll see how long it takes to crack/act up somehow.

anybody know if i can buy just the external wastegate pipe from TRM ?

it's a 2.5" vband there, i will probably put two o2 bugs into that pipe there and one slightly more downstream for the "post cat" sensor.

also, these sensors sure look like narrowbands to me:



so yeah, this is where i'm at now:


going to start fabricating up the intercooler piping and the intercooler mount once i figure out how to wrestle the front bumper off... probably after i get the motor mount stuff squared away.

more hardware stuff, no tuning stuff quite yet, skip this if you're MEH about the hardware

got the TRM mount. very nice piece, but unfortunately does not do what i need it to do. i may look into rewelding the mount. but first i will try to make my own later tonight.

got the wastegate actuator linkage figured out and bolted down last night, nothing too impressive, but just another step.

shitty ebay intercooler:

with shitty fake type RS blowoff valve and a 2.5" blowoff valve tube there. also pictured a fantastic LC1 with a red digital readout gauge.

some shitty ebay intercooler piping, it's 2.5", but the intercooler has 3" inlet/outlet, and no transitions were provided, this is what you get with ebay ****

front bumper off, crash bar off:

crashbar modified and intercooler mounted up:



how the crashbar was modified:

cold side of the piping to the throttle body, maf in blowthrough there


going down


intercooler cold side, the pipes will be stripped to aluminum/painted something less awful. these were leftover from a se-r turbo kit, and it just so happened to fit, yes, i know the bumper is hacked up, i plan on painting parts of it black, and potentially putting a black mesh over the lower portion.

intercooler behind the bumper, i think it will have to be painted black. i'll see how i feel about it

hot side of the piping:

going into the intercooler here is a U bend, i don't have the best pictures of the routing for some reason, must've been late.

from the U it goes to a 90 degree 2.5" to the unfortunate "below the subframe" 2"

the 2" is actually a length of stock exhaust pipe from my supra's stock exhaust, just so happens to have been the right shape:

up to the compressor outlet via a 2" coupler:

it's all Tbolts on the intercooler piping except for two spots that i have to use the stock BMW elbow (one with the idle control valve fitting) by the throttle body (that area is so freaking cramped, wtf). i guess i'll have to see how that holds up, i know the other bmw rubber elbows were cracked and leaking before i even tore into the engine bay.

so the plan for tonight is to make a jig for the stock mount and attempt to create some kind of a passenger engine mount that will actually clear ANY kind of compressor inlet tube. as the thing sits right now, there's about 1/8" between the compressor inlet lip and the mount arm thing. it would take some kind of a miracle to have anything fit into that spot. i could go modifying the stock mount arm, but since it's aluminum, i couldn't reinforce it as i would have to weaken it quite a bit to get stuff to fit there, so custom mount it is.


Originally Posted by ritoab (Post 19625321)
Hey you keep working on your project the best you feel. You are not going to get everyone to like your project no matter how well it is. After you are done show dyno numbers and videos of the car running well and they will get off your back but again you want be able to satisfy everyone.

there won't be any dyno numbers. i street tune the cars and just enjoy driving them.

here's some more hardware for those who care. only bit of tuning here is oxygen sensor housing with a cooler wideband bung.

gurov 06-23-2010 04:07 PM

i left off last time at the motor mount being entirely in the way of freaking everything, and the TRM trick motor mount not fitting. tough **** eh ?

so first thing, make a jig for the stock mount:




it eventually ended up with some holes in it for where the stock mounting holes are, just to be proper.

trm mount in the jig hooked by the rubber mount part:


yeah, that ain't gonna work.


so cut, grind a bunch, and reweld:



they at least look somewhat similar now


moving on, the wastegate housing with the neck and vband at the end, look at those crappy welds

gurov 06-23-2010 04:08 PM


add some o2 bungs to it


try it out


should do for now, i know i will be replacing that piece, most likely with a proper wastegate hanging off a tube thing, i've got a real tial lurking around the garage somewhere, just need to track down one of those tubes, and reweld the downpipe. whenever it happens, it happens.


the motor mount hooked up and supporting the engine:


SLIGHTLY better.


although now that i look at it, i think it will hit the rubber mount housing thing if the engine moves around too much, i'll have to check it out and see what the clearance there is.

for now, i'll end up using a 3" -> 2.5" transition at the compressor inlet and running some kind of an air filter.

going to get a few hours of sleep here, and back to the garage. i want to at least start the car today, after making an oil return fitting work.

once it idles, i can scope out some inputs at the harness and start wiring up the fuel controller.

here's the short video:


update on progress is coming shortly.

now that i can think again. onto the update.

compressor inlet pipe comes up here, you can see the air pump blockoff plate there.


oil line runs like yay for now, i'll most likely change it and put a pressure sender there. still not 100% on what instrumentation i want to put inside.


cold side intercooler piping:

what the hell is this sensor ? passenger side front air dam/brake duct/underbumper thing, on the other side around the same spot is the outside temperature sensor, but what is this thing ?


exhaust is almost finished. i took the Y pipe from my supra's old exhaust system and made it fit here:



it's a 2.5" inlet going to 2x 2" pipes

more exhaust goodies. i will use the 2.5" flex section, don't think there's a place for the 2" flex sections anymore though. the 90 degree u-ish bends are 2.5" and will be used to make the rest of the exhaust.

once exhaust is done, i'll be able to really check this thing for leaks and see if i have to rig up a scavenge pump for turbo oil.

i was just able to source some injectors for this. 4x 780cc going into my high boost sentra, 4x 660cc coming out of the sentra, and being added to 2 more 660ccs i have laying around, so fuel won't be a problem once i actually need it ( once ms is installed). enough fuel to blow myself up pretty nicely.

i need to read up further on the DISA in the intake manifold and see if it makes sense to trigger that based on boost via the MS. And see if i can take over vanos in a on/off fashion, i.e. more overlap below certain pressure, etc etc. This might not be possible, as i still need to keep the stock ecu happy enough for it to do ignition timing. This is more just thinking ahead.

In this mess of a manifold, what's an easy way to get manifold pressure from the hoses sticking out without actually pulling the thing off the head ? This would be so much simpler if it was a bit more roomy there. The vac routing diagram on the bottom side of the hood is worthless, maybe realoem's manifold drawings will help some.

anybody know if the brakebooster has TWO check valves ? that would be ideal place for a vac source for me.

antifoulers is how i've fooled other odb2 systems, but who knows here.

i'm also not looking to make this 100% cel free thing, it just would be nice.

finished up the exhaust piping, it all fits and such.

now the real fun begins:




going to tie the oxygen sensor signal wires together, and tie the spare ones out of the way.

bank2 short term trim was 0 and state was in open loop (but fault). i.e. no sensor

there was long term trim as well on bank2. i want to see it work both banks off the same sensor for now. just experimenting here, i won't be needing the stock fuel metering stuff soon. once the sensors are tied together, i'll pull the intake manifold, sort out all the vacuum stuff and start on the megasquirt wiring.

after tying the oxygen sensor together:



no immediate codes detected. remains to be seen.

i think the oil return is not doing so well, so i'm going to see how i can get the scavenge pump up and running here.

picture of all the exhaust and oxygen sensor tying are coming up in a few hours once I'm done with the intake manifold and all the vac routing.

after finishing up the Y pipe to the stock exhaust, this was the missing piece:


flux core welding



vband side:


this is the piece installed:


gaggle of oxygen sensors, will eventually get some antifoulers for the """"rear"""" sensor


engine bay shot in progress


tying the two oxygen sensors together:


taped joint is rear sensors, soldered and bare are the fronts:


i then moved onto the intake manifold, figure it could probably use a good cleaning, idle valve could use some cleaning and just checking over around that area.
stock injector clips are ****ing stupid:

on the right is the stock clip, on the left is the same plug pattern with a proper wire spring thing:


stock injectors and 660's floating around in thing of seafoam


ended the night entirely pissed off cause the intake manifold was resisting removal. i may have left out a bracket that's nowhere to be seen, so i'll try again tomorrow


hmm, could this explain why the bavauto power programmer thing wouldn't work for me ? i bought it a while back before i was going to mod this thing. it never worked, so i just kinda left it laying around.


Originally Posted by NickG (Post 19675075)
Wow....an '04 325 with an MS43 ECU? I never expected that....that explains why you have narrowband oxygen sensors.

I just checked realoem.com, and apparently all 325xi up to 03/2005 production had the MS43 ECU. Ironically enough, the non-xi vehicles are listed to have either MS43 OR MS45. Gotta love BMW :)


Originally Posted by ritoab (Post 19675584)
So if someone went with an aftermarket tuning(standalone) can you use the stock O2 sensors to get AFRs on non narrow-band sensors like those on MS45? Doe the narrow-band sensors report .0 to 1 to DME versus 0 to 5 as it would on a wide-band signal? I how i worded that correctly.

wideband o2 sensors do things a bit differently and require a controller. the question is also why not get a proper wideband that you know can be trusted.

more hardware:

tilton diff cooler pump mounted on a big piece of aluminum that was cut out of the crashbar


mount it there-ish


drain from turbo:


goes into that handy oil drain right around the dipstick area:


i will most likely pair the scavenge pump via relay with the fuel pump relay and let that decide when the scavenge needs to run.

next up... making an elbow to go from the throttle body to the rest of the cold side. that's going to happen tomorrow.
as well as plugging the vac source for the oil/air/water separator jobie that goes on top of the manifold

xi325xi02 06-23-2010 04:18 PM


lllSupra 06-23-2010 04:19 PM


Marcb2g 06-23-2010 04:34 PM


Kubica 06-23-2010 04:44 PM

This is the best thread in the last year.

Good luck!!

toastygt30r 06-23-2010 04:49 PM

Wow nice dude. So jealous. I wish I had the money to build my own turbo kit.

Nachos23 06-23-2010 05:08 PM

That hockey puck looking ojbect is the temp detector for the headlight wiper washing system. They cause the headlight washers to heat up in cold weather prevneting freezing..... Great job!!! Love to do the same to mine.....

Viral@ActiveAutowerke 06-23-2010 05:09 PM

:excited: Insane Amount of Work and Craftsmanship to fit that Turbo in a Auto XI. Congrats to the OP. :thumbsup:

Deah7 06-23-2010 05:17 PM

I just want to be on the first page! Amazing. I cant remember seeing anyone do this before!

tdonovan07 06-23-2010 05:25 PM

Great project :P Lots of time and work but it will pay off in the end!

paraklas 06-23-2010 06:04 PM

Stunning project, best of luck towards the completion!!!!

Studdly_Studright 06-23-2010 06:37 PM

dude. nice choice of car to start with (minus the auto :P) that is an impressive amount of work! I can't wait to see what else you do with the car.

.Mark 06-23-2010 06:46 PM

I lurk through these F/I threads on a daily basis, rarely posting, and all I have to say is wow. This got me reallllly excited and I don't even own an E46 anymore. Awesome project!

gurov 06-23-2010 06:56 PM


Originally Posted by Studdly_Studright (Post 11913682)
dude. nice choice of car to start with (minus the auto :P) that is an impressive amount of work! I can't wait to see what else you do with the car.

i wasn't even going to modify this car (have 2 other turbo project cars - 94 twin turbo supra, and 04 turbo se-r specv) , ever, hence the auto. but then i started looking at how easily it would be to put a kit together for it, and it really didn't turn out that bad, i already had the turbo and all the fittings, scavenge pump (which is being replaced by an RSR racing proper gear pump once that arrives), 660 cc injectors, etc. just had to get several other basic parts and put it together.

tuning it to run close to stock is going to be the real challenge here.

nickr519 06-23-2010 07:15 PM

some serious elbow grease went in to this project, congrats! Always great to see the people ballsy enough to do a kit maker's work themselves

ritos530i 06-24-2010 04:18 AM

Wow dude I missed most of these photos and didn't know all the hard work you were doing.
really looking forward to phase 3 or 4 can't remember LOL Good luck

MachRc 06-24-2010 11:35 AM

5 star worthy on just the garageful of pictures and elbow grease on the first page.

I cant wait til I can start clicking on the 2nd page though. THat loading to read the last few comments on the 1st page s killing me!!!

good luck on the ebay turbo.

this beats the airplane on the thread mill thing fo sho by like a million.

in for results!@

DILLA 06-24-2010 11:48 AM

:thumbsup: amazing amount of work! This is incredible.

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