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Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > Driveline, Engine & DME Tuning

Driveline, Engine & DME Tuning
Talk about driveline improvements, NA tuning and DME tuning your E46 BMW here. This includes diffs, intakes, exhausts, chips, software and OBD tuning.

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Old 03-23-2014, 05:39 PM   #1
SoloII///M
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M50 manifold conversion

After seeing some encouraging dyno results, I decided to convert my car from an M54 manifold to an M50. The engine already has a few performance improvements. It's an M54B30 rebuilt with a maximum factory overbore, a head decked the maximum allowable to increase compression, and ZHP cams. It's got a set of Technic V3 headers to a Burns 3" merge and a single Magnaflow muffler terminating just before the rear differential. The intake is a custom long-tube with the filter in the bumper and it is all controlled by an MS3 ECU running Bosch "green giant" injectors and an M50 mechanical throttle body. It puts down 230-235hp at the wheels and uses the factory DISA valve.

"But you'll lose the DISA!"

This is true. But the DISA valve only boosts torque below roughly 3800 RPM (we tested this extensively over more than 10 hours on the dyno) and it's a really small improvement - only 5-7 ft-lbs. The M50 manifold gains more than make up for that - it makes significantly more power from 4,000 to 7,000 RPM, where this engine spends its entire life.

M54 manifold removed



Everyone knows this, but the M50 has much larger runners. Wider by about 0.4" and taller by about .050"



First problem of many to come. The E46 fuel rail mounting feet interfere with the runners on the M50 manifold. If I had an early E46 return-style fuel system, I could use an E36 rail. But since I don't, I'll just cut the ears off of mine.



With the ears removed the injectors line up perfectly. Note the injectors need to be rotated 180 degrees so the electrical connection doesn't interfere either.



Here is a bracket and an aluminum spacer I fabbed up to mount the fuel rail to the manifold.



Here's the rail bolted up.



Because the injectors are rotated the factory injector wiring harness with its plastic organizer (which we use with the Megasquirt) won't fit. So each plug needs to come out of the organizer and get wrapped with tape.



I'll need to make a relocation bracket for the power steering reservoir as well. It won't fit in its stock location because it hits the plenum.



Here's a test fit of the manifold. So far so good, but lots of work yet to go, including removing the head for the port matching and figuring out where to hook up all of the necessary vacuum connections. And of course, re-tuning!

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'02 330Ci - Megasquirt 3 tuned by PFTuning.com, M50 manifold, Kromer Kraft headers, Motons, widebody, etc.

Last edited by SoloII///M; 03-23-2014 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:07 PM   #2
z_man93
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Great. As soon as I get everything I need for my M54B30 conversion I hear that M50 is even better!!!! Very interested to see how this goes. Best of luck!
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:10 AM   #3
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No meaningful progress this week other than picking up a used head to do the port matching on and making one of the two porting templates needed out of some .063" sheet 6061 I had.

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'02 330Ci - Megasquirt 3 tuned by PFTuning.com, M50 manifold, Kromer Kraft headers, Motons, widebody, etc.

Last edited by SoloII///M; 03-26-2014 at 05:11 AM.
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:41 PM   #4
330Cole
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Good luck!


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Old 03-26-2014, 03:10 PM   #5
hoveringuy
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I hope you'll be able to provide before and after dynos.

Can you post some of the other dyno data?
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Old 03-26-2014, 03:25 PM   #6
SoloII///M
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I can't post the other dyno data unfortunately, but I will certainly post my before and after when I get back down to my tuner.
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Old 03-26-2014, 03:48 PM   #7
Sedan Hussein
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Interesting. Looks like good work so far, what kind of gains are you expecting?
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Old 03-26-2014, 03:50 PM   #8
SoloII///M
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15+ hp from 3800 RPM to more than 7k.
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Old 03-26-2014, 04:00 PM   #9
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Sub'd. I like where this is going, anxious to see how everything turns out.
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Old 03-26-2014, 06:19 PM   #10
hoveringuy
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Here is mine with a similar setup to your starting figures. stock M54, ZHP cams, S50b32 (euro) headers. Megasquirt 3.

I still had fuel cut-off set to 6000 rpms. Whoops!

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Old 03-26-2014, 06:25 PM   #11
SoloII///M
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Shape looks similar to mine but my torque curve is flatter in the 4000 to 5000 window. Probably header related.


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Old 03-26-2014, 06:39 PM   #12
Sedan Hussein
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Nice numbers, 6k cutoff is killer though. So thats ~200whp on a mustang dyno?
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Old 03-26-2014, 06:54 PM   #13
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interesting, looking forward to more on this. I did the m50 manifold conversion on my e36 which I'm assuming was way more simple. Also they have multiple "conversion kits" with small odd's and end's pieces so you have everything needed for install. Definitely the best performance mod on that car and never even got around to a tune for it. Good luck.
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Old 03-26-2014, 07:22 PM   #14
SoloII///M
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M50 onto an E36 is a bolt-on. This is not a bolt-on.
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Old 03-28-2014, 05:15 PM   #15
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Got the head off, port matched and back on the car. Pretty fun.





Next up, deleting the evap system, working out how to plumb in the ICV, CCV, fuel pressure reg and the brake booster.


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Old 03-29-2014, 02:31 PM   #16
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Can't wait.

I will say guys, the new N52 is a gem, power is effortless and smooth - plus there is some potential left on the table.
The downsides are that there isn't, and probably will never be any real aftermarket support due to the Turbo N54/N55.
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Old 03-29-2014, 05:53 PM   #17
SoloII///M
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And, back together.





Sorry about the blurry photo. Sorta kinda looks like it could run again. Once I reconnect and fill the cooling system. :lol:

Now I just need to figure out what to do with the crankcase ventilation.
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'02 330Ci - Megasquirt 3 tuned by PFTuning.com, M50 manifold, Kromer Kraft headers, Motons, widebody, etc.

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Old 03-29-2014, 09:15 PM   #18
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Awesome!! I had always wondered about this conversion and just bit the bullet and picked up an m50 manifold here for cheap! I'll be following your thread for sure now!
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Old 03-30-2014, 12:38 AM   #19
Sedan Hussein
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I'm curious to hear how this motor will pull w/o the DISA. Any plans for FI?
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Old 03-30-2014, 06:49 AM   #20
SoloII///M
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The DISA doesn't really do much once you've optimized the fuel/spark/VANOS (5-7 ft-lbs), and doesn't come into play at all in a race car since the RPM are over the useful band of the DISA 95% of the time. I can't remember the last time I saw less than 3,800 RPM in the data. No plans for FI, but who knows? If I do, the work I did will just make it easier.

If anyone is interested, I bought a spare head in case mine had any issues and I port-matched it for the M50 manifold. So if someone else wants to try this little experiment (not really an experiment since I already know what the result will be!), I'll sell that head. Just PM me and we can work something out.
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'02 330Ci - Megasquirt 3 tuned by PFTuning.com, M50 manifold, Kromer Kraft headers, Motons, widebody, etc.

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