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Old 05-28-2009, 02:14 PM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Texas/Cali
Posts: 459
My Ride: '03 330Ci
Misconceptions about FI on an M54..

There are tons of 330 owners out there who want to boost their cars, but don't want to pay $7,000-8,000 for a kit that puts out moderate power. It's a good increase, sure, but most stock performance cars will still beat a boosted 330.

There are two problems, one of which is that nobody wants to invest into a kit for the 330, and the second is nobody really knows much about the M54 block. "Experts" out there claim that the M54 can't take more than 400hp because of the aluminum block, however this has never been proven to be true.

Let's look at the facts; the M54B30 is composed of an aluminim alloy block, forged steel connecting rods, and a one-piece forged crank. To me, this motor seems overbuilt. The only weak point I can see is the 10.5:1 compression, which can be compensated for in a couple of different ways. Some claim that the aluminum isn't able to hold the heat of more power and will crack, however with today's technology IAT's can be as low as 70 degrees. I've been looking around for the heat capacity of the al-sil block, but I haven't found a definite answer.

The evidence to prove that 400hp is not the limit can be found in KromeX's car, a 330i with over 430whp, that has been running for a couple of years. He has a well-built, but simple setup, including head studs, new pistons and rods, and a new HG.

I understand that there is limited availability for the 330, but turbo manifolds can be found, and that's really the only model-specific turbo part you need. IC pipes, lines, turbos, are all universal. The only hinging point is the tuning, which would need to be sourced.

I wanted to bring this topic to the table and have a good technical discussion about why or why not the 330 can make more than 400hp because the answer still seems to be up in the air. What do you think?

'03 330Ci 5spd PP
Alpine Type R, MRP 500
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