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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 07-31-2010, 09:27 AM   #61
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What was the condition of the stock damper you removed off the car? These kind of reviews can sometimes get misrepresented by factory parts in need of replacement..
Dunno - I upgraded it at 75K. Aggressive driving w/ frequent high revs but no tracking or autocross. I got the car as a CPO at 35K and that's always been my upshift cue. The original damper:

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Old 07-31-2010, 12:00 PM   #62
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Looks a lot better than mine. My rubber ring is shifting around.
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Old 08-02-2010, 10:28 AM   #63
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Looks a lot better than mine. My rubber ring is shifting around.
How many miles on it?
What made you check?
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Old 08-02-2010, 05:57 PM   #64
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I haev 135k on it. I started noticing a squeak at cold idle about 15k ago. Thought it was my ps pulley, but I replaced it. New belt only worked for about a hundred miles.

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How many miles on it?
What made you check?
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Old 08-09-2010, 11:51 AM   #65
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I know a certain shop that didn't heed warnings about harmonics and tried to run software with a 7500 rpm redline this weekend.
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Old 08-09-2010, 01:31 PM   #66
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I haev 135k on it. I started noticing a squeak at cold idle about 15k ago. Thought it was my ps pulley, but I replaced it. New belt only worked for about a hundred miles.
A trick for anyone interested is to make a chalk mark across the rubber ring and the metal on either side - if you see they don't line up after awhile you'll know that the rubber debonded and the damper isn't working too well.
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Old 08-09-2010, 01:45 PM   #67
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Good call. I'll do that next time I'm down there.

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Another trick for anyone interested is to make a chalk mark across the rubber ring and the metal on either side - if you see they don't line up after awhile you'll know that the rubber debonded and the damper isn't working too well.
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Old 08-09-2010, 10:53 PM   #68
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I know a certain shop that didn't heed warnings about harmonics and tried to run software with a 7500 rpm red line this weekend.
Last I heard, the reflash didn't "take" and they were stuck with the stock 6500 rpm redline. Have you mentioned the ATI damper to the car owner? I think a full engine build is in the long term goals for the car but they might really want to consider the ATI damper if they are looking to bump the red line that much.

EDIT: I forgot that I've been out of the loop for a week, did they complete the reflash this past weekend?
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Old 08-09-2010, 11:07 PM   #69
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Yep, and dumped something in the oiling system on Saturday. New longblock going in.

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Last I heard, the reflash didn't "take" and they were stuck with the stock 6500 rpm redline. Have you mentioned the ATI damper to the car owner? I think a full engine build is in the long term goals for the car but they might really want to consider the ATI damper if they are looking to bump the red line that much.

EDIT: I forgot that I've been out of the loop for a week, did they complete the reflash this past weekend?
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:00 AM   #70
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Yep, and dumped something in the oiling system on Saturday. New longblock going in.
Well that didn't take long at all.
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Old 08-11-2010, 05:52 PM   #71
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I know a certain shop that didn't heed warnings about harmonics and tried to run software with a 7500 rpm redline this weekend.
Bad Harmonics... what a weaknut motor. I thought the "silky smooth straight six" was supposed to rev. Apparently not so much. Ultimate Buzz Machine. I've beat on an S52 at these RPMs for YEARS without so much as a hiccup.

Well as you know, I'm paying the price (for buying an E46), don't worry. I just couldn't believe the M54 had such a glass jaw and couldn't take any revs. Driving around in a parking lot 7 times is all it took with 200 screaming horsepower - wee!

The thought of spending $25K on a race motor to make, what... 250 whp? 300? And still blow up all the time? I just cannot comprehend that... when I can spend 1/3rd of that and build an engine that has 2X the displacement, 2x the power, deal with 7500+ rpm all day long, last longer, and even weighs less...

BMWs. You gotta love 'em to race 'em.

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Yep, and dumped something in the oiling system on Saturday. New longblock going in.
Nah, just a new oil pump and some bearings. It wasn't as bad as I had feared, thankfully.

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Old 08-11-2010, 06:29 PM   #72
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Bad Harmonics... what a weaknut motor. I thought the "silky smooth straight six" was supposed to rev. Apparently not so much. Ultimate Buzz Machine. I've beat on an S52 at these RPMs for YEARS without so much as a hiccup.
What's interesting is that the 2 motors share the same crank. Is there a difference in the oil pump shaft and sprocket between the two motors? Wonder if the same thing would have happened with the stock flywheel in place of the lightweight you are running. Also, have you checked the condition of the harmonic damper? Mine was starting to come apart around 90k.
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Old 08-12-2010, 03:51 AM   #73
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Bad Harmonics... what a weaknut motor. I thought the "silky smooth straight six" was supposed to rev. Apparently not so much. Ultimate Buzz Machine. I've beat on an S52 at these RPMs for YEARS without so much as a hiccup.

Well as you know, I'm paying the price (for buying an E46), don't worry. I just couldn't believe the M54 had such a glass jaw and couldn't take any revs. Driving around in a parking lot 7 times is all it took with 200 screaming horsepower - wee!

The thought of spending $25K on a race motor to make, what... 250 whp? 300? And still blow up all the time? I just cannot comprehend that... when I can spend 1/3rd of that and build an engine that has 2X the displacement, 2x the power, deal with 7500+ rpm all day long, last longer, and even weighs less...

BMWs. You gotta love 'em to race 'em.


Nah, just a new oil pump and some bearings. It wasn't as bad as I had feared, thankfully.

Terry,

I know of a guy named Randy (we'll leave his full name out to keep this simple) that had ALL kinds of problems racing with this crank and oil system until he got innovative. He destroyed everying he could get his hands on from VAC and others until he found his own solution. This crank definitely needs some special attention in my humble opinion. (I know you have a lot more experience than I do in this area)
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Old 08-12-2010, 04:04 PM   #74
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What's interesting is that the 2 motors share the same crank. Is there a difference in the oil pump shaft and sprocket between the two motors? Wonder if the same thing would have happened with the stock flywheel in place of the lightweight you are running. Also, have you checked the condition of the harmonic damper? Mine was starting to come apart around 90k.
I know, right? How can the older but similar S50/52 have none of these "harmonic" issues? Weirdness. We've beat the snot out of that poor S52 for the past 6 years, on the street, track and autocross. Its been a freagin tank, and it pulls harder (more power on my "butt dyno") than this M54.

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Terry,

I know of a guy named Randy (we'll leave his full name out to keep this simple) that had ALL kinds of problems racing with this crank and oil system until he got innovative. He destroyed everying he could get his hands on from VAC and others until he found his own solution. This crank definitely needs some special attention in my humble opinion. (I know you have a lot more experience than I do in this area)
Weird. Disappointing. Frustrating!


Left: my "BMW engine experience" is more typically: remove BMW engine, throw into lake; replace with V8. Right: We use good balancers on built LS1s, of course, but they are only $200-300

As for experience with BMW motors... mine is actually minimal, and you've done a lot more adventurous BMW motor builds then me. I've yanked out a lot of BMW motors, but only put a few BMW motors back in their place. My typical solution to underpowered Bimmers is: "stick an LS1 in there" - so I'm out of my element. But I have run the snot out of an M42 in our old E30 (which is still bombing around autocross and road courses to this day, years later) with no notice of the stock redline, as well as our S52 powered E36 M3 mentioned above.


Did I screw up - should I have built an E36 DSP car with an M52??

I wish I would have done more research on the M54 before delving into this car. I read most of your posts (excellent build diary, BTW) but not too many others. I should have talked to Greg S, AggieE46, and others more extensively. We have so many projects going at once around here most times that... I dunno, I guess I rushed into this E46 project. Now I'm wondering if I picked the wrong car/motor. I could have built a MUCH lighter E36 328is for DSP and made around the same 200 whp as I think this thing is making. I am going to make a point to dyno this E46 as soon as its repaired - I need to know what I'm dealing with before I keep dumping time and money into this car.

Sorry for rambling... I'll quit whining here and mucking up this thread. I DO appreciate the shared knowledge and experiences, guys.

Thanks,
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Old 08-12-2010, 05:03 PM   #75
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What's interesting is that the 2 motors share the same crank. Is there a difference in the oil pump shaft and sprocket between the two motors? Wonder if the same thing would have happened with the stock flywheel in place of the lightweight you are running. Also, have you checked the condition of the harmonic damper? Mine was starting to come apart around 90k.
I think the main difference is the harmonic damping effect of an iron block vs aluminum block. That said, I've definitely heard of S52 racers tack welding or safety wiring their OPN.

Considering his experience level with racing the M54, mrshelley's post from a previous thread seems like a solid quick reference guide:
(Keep in mind that he has had to retain the stock harmonic damper due to racing rules.)

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In a nutshell, if you are going to race the car, you need to fix the pump. There are only two options that work:
1. The alternate shaft where the sprocket is bolted on the shaft (as been previously mentioned)
2. The BMW Motorsport oil pump setup.

If you rev the motor continuously over 6500rpm, expect to see things like this:
1. The timing wheel explodes
2. All of the rollers in the oil pump chain will be in the bottom of the pan after a while.
3. Harmonic balancer will start to come apart.

If you run a lightweight flywheel, then expect points 1-3 to happen at an accelerated rate.
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Old 08-13-2010, 01:44 PM   #76
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Considering his experience level with racing the M54, mrshelley's post from a previous thread seems like a solid quick reference guide:
(Keep in mind that he has had to retain the stock harmonic damper due to racing rules.)
You guys make a compelling case to NOT race a BMW powered car.
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Old 08-13-2010, 02:48 PM   #77
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You guys make a compelling case to NOT race a BMW powered car.
If the vibrations from the long crank of the I6 don't get you, there's always the rear subframe....
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Old 08-13-2010, 03:46 PM   #78
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You fellas racing the M54; did you use the M54 Motorsport oil pump?
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Old 08-16-2010, 10:40 AM   #79
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Update:

Quote:
Originally Posted by McSpeed
A trick for anyone interested is to make a chalk mark across the rubber ring and the metal on either side - if you see they don't line up after awhile you'll know that the rubber debonded and the damper isn't working too well.
I had heard this recommended^ but I hadn't done it. I just realized that in my above description I was thinking of the damper backwards so I took a look at the front side to see where the rubber was. So to revise the above, you'd put a chalk mark across the sides of the pulleys to detect spin relative to one another:



What's weird is the irregular seating of the rubber in the front. Both the stock damper on my engine (75K on it) and, to a lesser extent, the damper I sent in to ATI (55K on it) are like this. Both look fine from the back.
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:18 AM   #80
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Update:



I had heard this recommended^ but I hadn't done it. I just realized that in my above description I was thinking of the damper backwards so I took a look at the front side to see where the rubber was. So to revise the above, you'd put a chalk mark across the sides of the pulleys to detect spin relative to one another:

What's weird is the irregular seating of the rubber in the front. Both the stock damper on my engine (75K on it) and, to a lesser extent, the damper I sent in to ATI (55K on it) are like this. Both look fine from the back.
The other way you can detect a problem, at least with the stock damper, is to watch the pulleys while the engine is running at idle. If there is visible wobble, the damper is toast. This is what tipped me off (well, actually the mechanic troubleshooting a vibration which was originating from an out of balance CM pressure plate) to the fact that my damper needed to be replaced.
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