E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > Forced Induction Forum Sponsored by Active Autowerke

Forced Induction Forum Sponsored by Active Autowerke
Discuss supercharging, turbocharging and even nitrous and water injection here.
Sponsored by Active Autowerke

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rating: Thread Rating: 1 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
Old 01-22-2015, 11:58 PM   #1
tonyroma
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Chicago
Posts: 10
My Ride: In market
Forced Induction prepurchase decisions - Does M52 make the most sense?

I recently realized my raging desire for far more than stock 330 (M54) power during my hunt for the perfect 330i. Forced induction came to mind (prob turbo over sc) and I realized an iron block likely makes the most sense. Is the M52 the most reliable and dollar-friendly option?

I've seen a there are many similarities between the North American M52 and S52, so many that M52 to S52 conversions are not unheard of. This makes me believe the M52 is probably a better candidate than the M54 for safe power.

With the M52 being said, I'm thinking an early e46 328i or 323i might be a better starting platform than the 330i for forced induction. Obviously the M3 is the best platform (with an iron block) but it is out of my price range. In the end I want a clean, factory interior e46 with some pull me back in my seat power. I intend to put in considerable mods anyway (aftermarket suspension, LSD, a modest exhaust, cams, etc (I might even go forged internals eventually)).

Should I ditch my plans for the 330i in favor of the stronger blocked 323i/328i? Any drawbacks I am missing?

Last edited by tonyroma; 01-23-2015 at 12:00 AM.
tonyroma is offline   Reply With Quote
Ads by Google

Guests, get your FREE E46Fanatics.com membership to remove this ad.
Old 01-23-2015, 12:05 AM   #2
tonyroma
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Chicago
Posts: 10
My Ride: In market
PS I'm new here - Mods please move to forced induction if better fit!
tonyroma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2015, 09:38 AM   #3
NOVAbimmer
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: VA
Posts: 12,702
My Ride: 14 Impala FXST M796
the biggest drawback to a 323 is that it's a 323.

The biggest draw back to any M52 E46 is the subframe.
__________________
NOVAbimmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2015, 09:52 AM   #4
tonyroma
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Chicago
Posts: 10
My Ride: In market
Is there anything specific you can point out? Obviously the 2.3 isn't a ton of power, but given I'd likely overhaul the block and build something with more comparible NA power to a 330 (potentially more), are there any other drawbacks to the things I don't plan on replacing already? Transmission maybe? I plan to put a full m3 rear end in btw...

Last edited by tonyroma; 01-23-2015 at 11:08 AM. Reason: typo
tonyroma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2015, 09:54 AM   #5
NOVAbimmer
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: VA
Posts: 12,702
My Ride: 14 Impala FXST M796
the rear floor pan is still the weak point on the oldest E46s. If it's been fixed and reinforced, or inspected and reinforced, you should be fine.
__________________
NOVAbimmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2015, 12:00 PM   #6
Megalocnus
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 2,253
My Ride: 05 330i ZHP/MT
All non-M E46 models came with aluminum block engines (M54/56 or M52TU).
M52 is an engine of the E36 generation.

There's no 2.3 liter engine - the 323i and the 325i have the same displacement.

Forced induction on a budget generally is not a good idea.

Last edited by Megalocnus; 01-23-2015 at 12:02 PM.
Megalocnus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2015, 12:35 PM   #7
NOVAbimmer
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: VA
Posts: 12,702
My Ride: 14 Impala FXST M796
Quote:
Originally Posted by Megalocnus View Post
All non-M E46 models came with aluminum block engines (M54/56 or M52TU).
M52 is an engine of the E36 generation.

There's no 2.3 liter engine - the 323i and the 325i have the same displacement.

Forced induction on a budget generally is not a good idea.
this is correct, the 52TUB25/28 was aluminum. Thanks for that.
__________________
NOVAbimmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2015, 12:45 PM   #8
tonyroma
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Chicago
Posts: 10
My Ride: In market
Quote:
Originally Posted by Megalocnus View Post
There's no 2.3 liter engine - the 323i and the 325i have the same displacement.
I see - I assumed 2.3 with the 323, but after a quick search it looks like I was wrong. Thanks for the correction!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megalocnus View Post
All non-M E46 models came with aluminum block engines (M54/56 or M52TU).

M52 is an engine of the E36 generation.
Are you POSITIVE about this? I only ask because I have conflicting information... I've read on several sites that the N American 1999-2000 cars had M52TUs with cast iron blocks due to the high sulfur gasoline here, which is corrosive to the nikasil aluminum used in most M52s.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_M52
http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/sh...inum-m52-block

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megalocnus View Post
Forced induction on a budget generally is not a good idea.
By budget I mean car and parts for around $10k... I'm not some teenager looking at his first racecar - I've built several 400+ hp turbo cars from the ground up (yes, including full engine builds) in my own garage.

The next step for me is something more luxurious, but with decent power and I want to do it for a reasonable amount of money - not $15k+ like a M3 alone will cost me and considerably more to build it. I can fabricate and do 99% of the work on my own, so parts are the largest cost and the largest portion of that will be the car itself. The idea behind this thread is to find out what would be the best starting point.
tonyroma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2015, 12:48 PM   #9
NOVAbimmer
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: VA
Posts: 12,702
My Ride: 14 Impala FXST M796
the best place to start is probably a facelift 330, to avoid 99% of any subframe issues.

If you have no problem fixing/reinforcing the subframe on your own, and you're planning on upgrading brakes/suspension/engine internals anyway, then the cleanest example from any year will most likely be the best for you.
__________________
NOVAbimmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2015, 12:49 PM   #10
tonyroma
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Chicago
Posts: 10
My Ride: In market
Quote:
Originally Posted by NOVAbimmer View Post
the rear floor pan is still the weak point on the oldest E46s. If it's been fixed and reinforced, or inspected and reinforced, you should be fine.
Ah yes, the famous subframe tears. I will be doing my best to avoid this, but do plan on reinforcing if I buy an early e46.
tonyroma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2015, 01:40 PM   #11
peytonracer4
:D
 
peytonracer4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Valparaiso, IN
Posts: 6,721
My Ride: '00 328i
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyroma View Post
I see - I assumed 2.3 with the 323, but after a quick search it looks like I was wrong. Thanks for the correction!



Are you POSITIVE about this? I only ask because I have conflicting information... I've read on several sites that the N American 1999-2000 cars had M52TUs with cast iron blocks due to the high sulfur gasoline here, which is corrosive to the nikasil aluminum used in most M52s.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_M52
http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/sh...inum-m52-block

yes. the m52 was the 2.8 engine (and maybe the 2.5) used in the e36 cars. it had an iron block and single vanos.
the m52TU was implemented when they switched over to the e46 in '99. it received an aluminum block an dual vanos. it got other changes as well such as intake manifold.

if you really want to tell just visually look at the block (on any car)
if it's grey and dirty looking it's aluminum. if it's orange and rusty looking it's iron.

btw: yes, the iron block is better for boost BUT you can easily and safely boost the Al block. also, you might want to consider a 2.8 swap. this will net you more stock power as well as a stronger engine that won't need extra bottom end parts. the crank on the 2.8 is forged versus the cast crank on the 2.5
__________________
choose to click or forever hold your peace ;)
peytonracer4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2015, 02:05 PM   #12
tonyroma
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Chicago
Posts: 10
My Ride: In market
Thanks for the replies. Sounds like I need to find out how much power the M54 can handle on a conservative tune or just plan for an M52 build! Appreciate the info guys.
tonyroma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 07:35 AM   #13
mjpgolf1
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Cleveland Oh
Posts: 1,900
My Ride: 00 328i ZSP,05 745LI
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyroma View Post
By budget I mean car and parts for around $10k... I'm not some teenager looking at his first racecar - I've built several 400+ hp turbo cars from the ground up (yes, including full engine builds) in my own garage.



The next step for me is something more luxurious, but with decent power and I want to do it for a reasonable amount of money - not $15k+ like a M3 alone will cost me and considerably more to build it. I can fabricate and do 99% of the work on my own, so parts are the largest cost and the largest portion of that will be the car itself. The idea behind this thread is to find out what would be the best starting point.


If you've built many 400hp cars then you of all people should know that it's not possible to build a nice forced induction e46 for $10k including the car. The car itself even if you buy a complete beater will be a few grand. Then to refresh that car enough that it will be ready to handle FI including cooling system, suspension, reinforced subframe, and all other issues that normally come up on a cheap e46. Then buying the FI setup and everything that goes along with this. It would cost you $10k just to find the car and get it in half way decent shape to be able to turbo it not including all the FI parts which are going to be at least another $3k to $6k for a decent setup. I would bet you can't build a good FI E46 for anything less than $20k including the car, and even then you would be skimping on some stuff. I wouldn't even want to ride in a $10k death trap of a FI e46.
mjpgolf1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 10:04 AM   #14
tonyroma
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Chicago
Posts: 10
My Ride: In market
Thanks for the rant of biased and unwarranted opinion... people like you deserve to pay $20k for a car of this caliber.

Last edited by tonyroma; Yesterday at 10:05 AM.
tonyroma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 04:47 PM   #15
Blisssss
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: GA
Posts: 45
My Ride: 2003 330i ZPP/ZSP
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjpgolf1 View Post
If you've built many 400hp cars then you of all people should know that it's not possible to build a nice forced induction e46 for $10k including the car. The car itself even if you buy a complete beater will be a few grand. Then to refresh that car enough that it will be ready to handle FI including cooling system, suspension, reinforced subframe, and all other issues that normally come up on a cheap e46. Then buying the FI setup and everything that goes along with this. It would cost you $10k just to find the car and get it in half way decent shape to be able to turbo it not including all the FI parts which are going to be at least another $3k to $6k for a decent setup. I would bet you can't build a good FI E46 for anything less than $20k including the car, and even then you would be skimping on some stuff. I wouldn't even want to ride in a $10k death trap of a FI e46.

Have you built a FI e46?

Or is this information(opinion rather) from things you've read "here"

I think 10k may be pushing it a little but I think an FI e46 is very attainable at 12k.

I'm saying this because I've seen it done on here. Of course it was a Stage 1 kit that only netted about 60-70 hp gain on an automatic.. nonetheless that seems to be what the OP is going for.. a little more oomph
Blisssss is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:25 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2011 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use