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Old 03-20-2013, 02:25 PM   #1
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M52TU Question.

I've been searching the threads in the FI section and found some things about the M54 like the issue about the cylinder head rising due to the oem head bolts. Or the threads can pull out of the block if you have ARP head bolts.

Does this affect the M52TU aswell? I personally haven't found any of these issues on the M52TU (At least in this forum) and was simply curious. (Is it because starting with 3 liters is better then starting with 2.5/2.8 so nobody really bothers to build the M52TU's E46's?)

And I personally haven't found any of these issues happening on the regular M52's on the E36. (If anybody can prove me wrong, please do.)

Is the M52TU as prevelent with these issues as the M54? Because this seems to be the biggest reliability issue with boosting non M's than I can find.
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:46 PM   #2
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The M52 in the e36 was a cast iron block and that's why this wasn't a huge issue. With the m52tu I'd assume the same weakness (as m54) since the blocks are both aluminum. You'll find more data referring to the M54 simply because that's the commonly boosted engine. A few guys have done 328 m52tu's you just gotta look around for them. Timeserting the block is one way to fight the threads stripping, again if you search there's a pretty hardcore build thread written up by a fellow Canadian.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:33 PM   #3
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the only problem I have had was the oil pump nut came off. I have been running AA stage 1 for two years now. 146k miles on the vehicle.
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:55 AM   #4
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I ran AA stage 2 on my 323i, only thing was my pistons broke , head never lifted or anything(though the OPN was loose on dissassembly)
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:59 AM   #5
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M52TU are the same as M54s. The main difference is the intake and electronic throttle body. I would expect to see same issues on the M52TU.
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:12 AM   #6
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(Sigh.) Oh well.

I guess in the future I just have to get another car for me to really get some decent reliable power out of. The Non M E46 platform really isin't for me in terms of a starting point for modding. I don't want an E36 or an M3 of any kind.

I'm looking at japanese in my future. (NO FWD though.)
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Old 03-23-2013, 09:09 PM   #7
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Old 11-24-2013, 05:27 PM   #8
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Bump.

Is cryo treating the engine block a good idea to help the threads from stripping? Has anybody done it?
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Old 11-24-2013, 06:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Bump.

Is cryo treating the engine block a good idea to help the threads from stripping? Has anybody done it?
Part of cryo treatment is heat treatment post-cold-process. Unfortunately, the aluminum used in the M52TU and M54 block doesn't like being heated above 260 degrees which is required for this process.

So no...it's not a good idea.
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Old 11-24-2013, 06:34 PM   #10
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Is Timeserting the block the only way to help this? What Psi does this usually occur? I've heard that its over 10 psi. Is this true? What do you think the 'buffer zone' is after Timeserting the block?

This engine has also been once at 250 degrees before the expansion tank popped. Is my block Junk?
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Old 11-24-2013, 09:21 PM   #11
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The m52tu actaully seem to be a lot worse than the m54s. Not sure why but I've just seen 10 times more m52tu with headbolts stripped than m54s. As far as boost goes timesert with 11mm studs should go a long way as long as the tune is good, and you don't overheat it. Would recommend getting a lower temp Tstat and replacing your etank regularly.
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Old 11-25-2013, 03:21 PM   #12
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Timesert the block and do arp head studs.
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Old 11-25-2013, 04:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PEI330Ci View Post
Part of cryo treatment is heat treatment post-cold-process. Unfortunately, the aluminum used in the M52TU and M54 block doesn't like being heated above 260 degrees which is required for this process.

So no...it's not a good idea.
I'd assume that no metal would really like to be at a high temp for a sustained time. BUT.... won't the metal be 'stronger' after the cryo treatment? After its been through really low temps instead of just cooling it down to 'room temp?'

Am I making sense? I'm going to ask a couple of shops that do the process to see if this is a good idea. Gotta start somewhere i guess.
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Old 11-26-2013, 12:41 PM   #14
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I ran my TU for 100k+ miles peaking 14psi with no issues, on stock head bolts. If you have a solid tune, and never let it get hot, you'll be fine.
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Old 11-26-2013, 12:45 PM   #15
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Very Good to know. I assume you DON'T have an oil cooler? Does this engine really need one?
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Old 11-26-2013, 12:54 PM   #16
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Water temps are more important to watch when worrying about lifting the head. I never had an oil cooler, and just changed my radiator, expansion tank, and coolant hoses once a year as preventative maintenance.
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Old 11-26-2013, 01:46 PM   #17
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At 8legs Racing, we have had the head lift on non-boosted cars. We have had it happen with studs in the heads and with time-serts.

The biggest thing to worry about is the overheating. Don't start with a block that has ever seen high heat.
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Old 11-26-2013, 01:58 PM   #18
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and like mentioned above, the block is basically the same between the M54 and the M52TU. (depending on year, there are a few small differences, but not ones that would affect the head lifting problems)
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Old 11-26-2013, 02:54 PM   #19
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The engine temp has been up to 250 degrees once, before the expansion tank popped and I shut off the engine. The engine runs fine and doesn't consume any oil or coolant.
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Old 11-30-2013, 02:21 PM   #20
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I'm just debating getting a supercharger or Just swapping a S54 engine in. This car has a lot of sentimental value to just 'sell and buy an M3'.

However the S54 costs a lot of money to swap in and the aluminum block on my engine has a risk of being ****. I don't wan't to dump a lot of money into this engine only to have the block be crap and then have to find another block and probably have this happen again. Hell, I'm tempted to see if I can swap an S52 in here.

But then again, Like in Activ3's case. This might not happen. But that risk is....just bugging me.

I know you have to pay to play. But nobody is going to deny that it sucks having an engine blow op on you.

Man. Idk what to do.
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