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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 05-06-2009, 02:15 AM   #1
nightrunner20
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Reground Cams for m54 engine?

my idea was to go to a junk yard or buy some used cams for my car thats a 02 325i with m54 or just buy some stock ones for cheap. then go to a machine shop and have them regroud to a higher degree?? i am not too sure like what specific degree but im just guessing. or did bmw already make a good enough cam? but any way to get some more horsepower? then mabey bigger injectors??

any idea for performence with not too much of a price like a supercharger
thanks guys
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Old 05-06-2009, 08:01 AM   #2
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For what it'll cost you to buy the old cams, have them reground, buy the tools to properly install the new cams, or have them installed, you could easily put on a 50 shot of nitrous and be putting out more power and torque.
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Old 05-06-2009, 03:08 PM   #3
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For what it'll cost you to buy the old cams, have them reground, buy the tools to properly install the new cams, or have them installed, you could easily put on a 50 shot of nitrous and be putting out more power and torque.
Agreed.
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Old 05-09-2009, 12:39 PM   #4
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Or, he could do this, plus spray and make more power
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Old 05-09-2009, 01:16 PM   #5
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Or, he could do this, plus spray and make more power
Do you have any experience with this?

I'd like to know who is going to weld material onto a hollow camshaft, and what heat treatment they would apply to fix the problems in metalurgy.
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Old 05-09-2009, 01:26 PM   #6
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Please do not pretend that it is impossible to regrind camshafts. Many Many Many people from all makes have camshafts reground for more performance.

Reground cams are a royal pain to deal with, and when done right, they can make major power. I suggested that if he were to do cams, adding N20 would yield more power than N2O by itself.

I have a feeling that if you can get the Vanos system to work with Reground cams, you can dial out some of the drivablity issues I understand you get with reground cams.
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Old 05-09-2009, 02:13 PM   #7
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Please do not pretend that it is impossible to regrind camshafts. Many Many Many people from all makes have camshafts reground for more performance.

Reground cams are a royal pain to deal with, and when done right, they can make major power. I suggested that if he were to do cams, adding N20 would yield more power than N2O by itself.

I have a feeling that if you can get the Vanos system to work with Reground cams, you can dial out some of the drivablity issues I understand you get with reground cams.
I don't believe anyone said anything about impossible. It is however problematic. If you want to upgrade cams, a better solution would be to buy new performance cams from Schrick. It would be cheaper and more reliable in the long run. And if you don't understand the issues pei330ci is referring to, you might not want to pretend to be such an expert on the subject.
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Old 05-09-2009, 03:00 PM   #8
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Oh you mean like measuring and ordering the proper shims for each cam? Or are you talking about the actual manufacturing of the cams which I made NO reference to? Both you, and pei are being ignorant in assuming that people have no information or experience with camshafts. If, or when I send my camshafts to a company to be reground, I would trust they would have the resources to modify them in a way that is within the standards of the industry. Machining the lobe center and adding material to the lobe is how most cams are reground.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=608731
The OP in this thread claimed to have reground camshafts, yet our very own Pei330 made no reference to the improbability of the situation. Why?
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Old 05-09-2009, 03:24 PM   #9
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Right, which is my plan down the line.

For the money he's going to spend on all this cam work, maybe he should think about doing something about the 2.5 under his hood, first.


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Or, he could do this, plus spray and make more power
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Old 05-09-2009, 03:45 PM   #10
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Oh you mean like measuring and ordering the proper shims for each cam? Or are you talking about the actual manufacturing of the cams which I made NO reference to? Both you, and pei are being ignorant in assuming that people have no information or experience with camshafts. If, or when I send my camshafts to a company to be reground, I would trust they would have the resources to modify them in a way that is within the standards of the industry. Machining the lobe center and adding material to the lobe is how most cams are reground.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=608731
The OP in this thread claimed to have reground camshafts, yet our very own Pei330 made no reference to the improbability of the situation. Why?
We understand how cams are reground and, no, Adam wasn't referring to measuring for and ordering shims. Apparently your desire to prove how smart you think you are is clouding your ability to read. The concerns expressed were centered around the change in material properties which result from the heat of welding and the added complications of performing all of this work with hollow cams (which are easily enough warped from improper installation techniques). Clearly his concerns are beyond whatever experience you may have with regrinding cams. It would serve you well to understand some of these concepts prior to entrusting someone to regrind your cams.
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Old 05-09-2009, 04:24 PM   #11
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I was posting questions, they were apparently mistaken to be cynical remarks. (Which I try to refrain from)

For everyone's info: Custom cams for M54s are made from either blanks intended for OEM applications, (Schrick uses these often) or from billet stock. (Piper, CAT, Kent ect do this no problem.)

I don't know of anyone who has done a "regrind" for an M54, so I was asking.
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Old 05-09-2009, 08:22 PM   #12
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We understand how cams are reground and, no, Adam wasn't referring to measuring for and ordering shims. Apparently your desire to prove how smart you think you are is clouding your ability to read. The concerns expressed were centered around the change in material properties which result from the heat of welding and the added complications of performing all of this work with hollow cams (which are easily enough warped from improper installation techniques). Clearly his concerns are beyond whatever experience you may have with regrinding cams. It would serve you well to understand some of these concepts prior to entrusting someone to regrind your cams.
What experience do you have with reground cams? Camshafts in general?
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Old 05-09-2009, 08:26 PM   #13
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switching cam's in BMW's are retarded unless you are trying to redirect power. you won't gain power throughout the powerband... only at a certain point, they are designed the way they are currently to make the most power throughout the power band. so unless you want to make more power up high, or more down low, etc. don't bother. for the money it will cost you in parts and labor, you can do a lot to your car.
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:20 PM   #14
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switching cam's in BMW's are retarded unless you are trying to redirect power. you won't gain power throughout the powerband... only at a certain point, they are designed the way they are currently to make the most power throughout the power band. so unless you want to make more power up high, or more down low, etc. don't bother. for the money it will cost you in parts and labor, you can do a lot to your car.
Not quite....you will gain power all across the board with Schrick's 264/248 cams. The next step up from there are the 272/256s...which do "shift" the power as you describe above. If you want to get really crazy....well I'm about to showcase that.

I have done every "bolt on" mod you can do to an M54 engine. (and then some) Aside from nitrous, I found cams to be one of the best changes I had made.
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:48 PM   #15
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Not quite....you will gain power all across the board with Schrick's 264/248 cams. The next step up from there are the 272/256s...which do "shift" the power as you describe above. If you want to get really crazy....well I'm about to showcase that.

I have done every "bolt on" mod you can do to an M54 engine. (and then some) Aside from nitrous, I found cams to be one of the best changes I had made.
ON my last car, it had factory 248/240, and I jumped to 275/275. It felt like I gained power everywhere. Favorite mod by far.
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Old 05-10-2009, 12:16 AM   #16
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What experience do you have with reground cams? Camshafts in general?
Enough to understand why Adam was asking the questions he did.

If you have actual knowledge of anyone regrinding M54 cams and the techniques they are using then by all means share it. Otherwise, you might want to consider that there might be reasons that none of the usuals provide regrinds for this application.
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Old 05-10-2009, 01:13 AM   #17
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Enough to understand why Adam was asking the questions he did.

If you have actual knowledge of anyone regrinding M54 cams and the techniques they are using then by all means share it. Otherwise, you might want to consider that there might be reasons that none of the usuals provide regrinds for this application.
Did you see the link I posted? Again, I asked what experience do you have with Camshafts, and more specifically reground cams in general. Most people aren't aware of the benefits of more aggressive camshafts, or what combination of lift/duration would be suitable for their application. For that reason, we don't see many people looking for a larger selection of cams, or even having their own reground.
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Old 05-10-2009, 01:11 PM   #18
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Did you see the link I posted? Again, I asked what experience do you have with Camshafts, and more specifically reground cams in general. Most people aren't aware of the benefits of more aggressive camshafts, or what combination of lift/duration would be suitable for their application. For that reason, we don't see many people looking for a larger selection of cams, or even having their own reground.
Yes, I read the link you posted. Some guy in South Africa says he had cams reground by some local. So what? There is no information in that post about who did the actual work or the processes used. All information I would want to know before letting someone hack with my cams. Having a Master's degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering and a fundamental understanding of heat transfer and material properties, I know a thing or two about what can go wrong when regrinding cams. Given that there are a number of places where you can have custom cams made (from OEM blanks or billet stock as Adam pointed out), there is no compelling reason to take chances on a regrind.

Ever since Adam's questions, you seem to be under the impression that someone here has stated that it can't be done. Not once has anyone in this thread stated that M54 cams can't be reground. Regrinds have their place but we are fortunate to have better options.

You will actually find that there are a large number of members around here who actually do understand a fair bit about the benefits of cams. With the exception of one poster, the benefit of more aggressive cams has not been questioned in this thread. The reason you don't see more people upgrading cams in the M54 is that the actual gains aren't worth the cost to a lot of people (this is why Brady suggested nitrous as a more cost effective alternative - no arguments that with an unlimited budget cams + nitrous would be better). Forget the cams and whether they are new or regrinds, the labor cost of the swap alone is enough to keep many from going down this path. While certainly doable, replacing cams on these motors isn't your average DIY project. If you're not very careful, you can easily warp the cams. There is however a process that can be used with success to do the job without warping the cams and without buying BMW's rather expensive special tool for the job. Getting the cam timing correct with vanos however simply can not be done without investing in some specialized tools - an investment that's hard to justify for a one time job. Heck, I've seen professionals mess up this job (including one BMW dealership). Read Adam's build thread to see how much fun he had timing his cams.

My personal experience with cams on my BMW has been to determine that the benefits of upgrading from the stock 248/248 ZHP cams to 248/256 forced induction cams isn't worth the extra money to me right now given the power the car is already making. I would see noticeable gains without a doubt, just not enough for me to justify the expense of swapping the exhaust cam. I also understand why wildy aggressive cams with too much overlap isn't good for making power in FI applications. Beyond cams, I am also very well aware that the M54 head doesn't flow as well as it could on the exhaust side and that there are gains to be had there as well. Of course, things are a bit different with a NA motor but you asked about my experience which happens to be with a supercharged motor.

Clearly you have experience swapping cams and understand the impact of different profiles. Good for you. Some of us also understand what it takes to manufacture a quality cam. If you were a little less defensive (I'm specifically referencing your first response to Adam here), you might find that there are people around here with valuable experience that even you might benefit from.
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Old 05-10-2009, 04:56 PM   #19
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yes but NOS is not good 4 an engine. and when its stock I would imagine its even worse.
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Old 05-10-2009, 09:07 PM   #20
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yes but NOS is not good 4 an engine. and when its stock I would imagine its even worse.
We all chose what we want to believe.

I had a choice, and I chose nitrous.
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