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Old 03-27-2013, 11:31 AM   #1
Cali Chase
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Supercharge or engine swap

So the time as come for me to change racing classes and move up!
My reliable 325i needs some more power but I can't part with her after all we have been through. I would like to either supercharge the m54 with a stage 2 from ess OR swap in an s54. The s54 path with cost significantly more but the possibilities are endless after that. I know I will have to change the transmission and rear end with an s54. So what are everyone's opinions? I have considered a built engine but I currently don't have a full race team that will rebuild the engine after every race and never will, nor do I want to hassle with boring and stroking and engine. I feel like my 2 paths are the most realistic but keep I'm mind this is a track dedicated car, although I do drive it on the streets occasionally
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:00 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cali Chase View Post
So the time as come for me to change racing classes and move up!
My reliable 325i needs some more power but I can't part with her after all we have been through. I would like to either supercharge the m54 with a stage 2 from ess OR swap in an s54. The s54 path with cost significantly more but the possibilities are endless after that. I know I will have to change the transmission and rear end with an s54. So what are everyone's opinions? I have considered a built engine but I currently don't have a full race team that will rebuild the engine after every race and never will, nor do I want to hassle with boring and stroking and engine. I feel like my 2 paths are the most realistic but keep I'm mind this is a track dedicated car, although I do drive it on the streets occasionally
you dont have to change any driveline if you dont want to

EDIT : apart from the clutch-flywheel

Last edited by SweTurbo; 03-27-2013 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:38 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Cali Chase View Post
So the time as come for me to change racing classes and move up!
My reliable 325i needs some more power but I can't part with her after all we have been through. I would like to either supercharge the m54 with a stage 2 from ess OR swap in an s54. The s54 path with cost significantly more but the possibilities are endless after that. I know I will have to change the transmission and rear end with an s54. So what are everyone's opinions? I have considered a built engine but I currently don't have a full race team that will rebuild the engine after every race and never will, nor do I want to hassle with boring and stroking and engine. I feel like my 2 paths are the most realistic but keep I'm mind this is a track dedicated car, although I do drive it on the streets occasionally
What about all the other stuff like traction control, idrive etc etc, would you need to give that up with a swap. Is that stuff important to you on the track and your occasional street driving? Have you looked into swaps options like 2jz or LSX?
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:13 PM   #4
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What about all the other stuff like traction control, idrive etc etc, would you need to give that up with a swap. Is that stuff important to you on the track and your occasional street driving? Have you looked into swaps options like 2jz or LSX?
I don't want a non BMW engine in my BMW ha. I'm kinda prejudice about other engines in my car but good thought. Yes traction control does help but would I have to eliminate that?
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:09 PM   #5
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Sell it, buy an M3. You'll thank yourself later.
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:24 PM   #6
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M3. You'll pour more money into doing a swap that won't run as good as an M3 for about the same money.
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:33 PM   #7
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S54 FTW! it gives you unlimited options. it's one of the best engines ever built (motor trend motor of the year for many years) and it fits into our cars, what more could you ask for?

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M3. You'll pour more money into doing a swap that won't run as good as an M3 for about the same money.
wont run as good? i dont understand
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:36 PM   #8
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I would sell and buy an m3. So many additional advantages (brakes, suspension, etc)

Coming from a guy installing an AA stage 2 in a car with 135k lol
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Old 03-27-2013, 07:07 PM   #9
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this is turning into a "buy an m3" thread.
He didnt list buying an m3 as an option...
also the m3 "additional advantages" fit onto the non-m chasis, so you can swap the complete rear, stearing everything!
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:34 PM   #10
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
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this is turning into a "buy an m3" thread.
He didnt list buying an m3 as an option...
also the m3 "additional advantages" fit onto the non-m chasis, so you can swap the complete rear, stearing everything!
But making that swap is insanely expensive... If you already have a ton of mods, maybe it makes sense.. But if the op doesn't already have suspension, brakes, etc it won't make sense to swap it all over.

Also, there are a ton of threads about how fi on a non m isn't really a good idea. So perhaps put in the s54
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:51 PM   #12
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I don't want to buy an m3, I already have a better suspension the. A stock m3 as we'll as a brembo bbk. In my cars form now I can keep up with an m3 in the corners not just the straights, I need the extra power. I have controlled all the other variables
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:20 PM   #13
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:08 PM   #14
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I don't want to buy an m3, I already have a better suspension the. A stock m3 as we'll as a brembo bbk. In my cars form now I can keep up with an m3 in the corners not just the straights, I need the extra power. I have controlled all the other variables
If you want to have a car that has absolutely no resale performs just as good as a stock M3, costs more, you're on the right path.

I'd sell it, buy the M3, tune, cat delete, bolt ons.. way more reliable and better resale.

But hey, sounds like you got it all figured out.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:42 PM   #15
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Swap it. Your car will handle better due to the stiffer chassis. (Assuming you have non folding seats)

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Old 03-27-2013, 10:47 PM   #16
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I don't want a non BMW engine in my BMW ha. I'm kinda prejudice about other engines in my car but good thought. Yes traction control does help but would I have to eliminate that?

I don't know the answer to that question. It boils down to whether you will/can use your DME to do engine management. The S54 is quite a different beast, to use your current DME you are probably looking at a reprogramming task at least. Some people may even suggest a stand-alone ECU if you decide you will want to take things even further (you lose traction control and goodies that your actual DME features in this case). But some stand-alones will give you better traction control FYI, but it won't be implemented by the BMW DME.

Remember, there are all those other features that BMW's come with besides traction control. That was merely an example.

As PEI330CI, another member here stated once, to reach a certain level of performance you will need to spend X dollars. By starting with the M3 platform, you start further along that performance road. Sure you can do the same with with a 325, but you need to put some of your sweat and blood to get to where you would be with a stock M3. Depending on your goals, you may run into an obstacle along the way that makes everything much more difficult. And in the end you will still have a 325.

What you do really depends on how far you want to take things. I would suggest researching your options better. I would want to know what it takes to get the S54 to work in your chassis. The supercharger route is a lot easier, you can probably start with a bolt on kit. You need to decide where you want to take things.

For the money spent, only you can know if it is worth it.
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Old 03-28-2013, 12:07 AM   #17
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If you want to have a car that has absolutely no resale performs just as good as a stock M3, costs more, you're on the right path.

I'd sell it, buy the M3, tune, cat delete, bolt ons.. way more reliable and better resale.

But hey, sounds like you got it all figured out.
I know this is going against what you're saying/what you want OP...BUT he is right. The M3 is a MUCH better PLATFORM all around. Think about it, you really think that you're going to swap a S54 into your sedan and that's it? Then you have to go down the custom exhaust route, and then for the additional power you just got, you have to get your subframed reinforced, etc...As everyone has stated, SWAPPING the S54 into your car will be the more "expensive" route to take.

Now to answer YOUR question...

I understand your attachment to your car, but it's really up to you. If you were going to go FI....I would go with the AA st2 HKS kit. Reason being is, the ESS stg2 kit on a 2.5l motor IMO is not worth it. For the amount of $$$ you pay, you won't reap nearly the same, more cost efficient results as the bigger 3.0l motor using the ESS stg2 kit..I think the ESS kit and the 330s go hand in hand and blow the AA kit out of the water on the 330.. But since you have a 2.5l 325...I'd personally go with the AA stg2 kit. For the money you're getting stock M3 whp (if not better than stock) and power all the way up. I've seen a couple AA kits on 325/323s and I must admit, AA did a very good job with their kit. I'm sure the 330 kit by AA is great, but IMO I think most of the FI guys can agree the twin screw is like nothing else...just not on a 325.

I would also advise you to look at a recently made thread by a user named (bigjae) as he has(d) a boosted 330ci and tracked VERY often, and he just left the FI world to buy and build a NA e46 M3. He has his reasoning behind WHY he left the FI world from a 100% TRACK oriented guy.

Hope this helps a bit. I'm no expert, I'm just giving my opinions is all to help you out. GL
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Old 03-28-2013, 12:43 AM   #18
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I had the twinscrew on a 325. It wasn't quite enough.
The money you lose on parting out your mods will be easily recovered by getting the right car for racing - M3.

Also coming from a guy with supercharged M54. I don't track my car. That's why I don't need the M.
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Old 03-28-2013, 12:42 PM   #19
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Engine swap..ecu and all. Trust me.
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:57 PM   #20
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I see something about racing classes... you really want to do a supercharger on the track?
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