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Old 08-18-2012, 01:39 AM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: NJ
Posts: 2,268
My Ride: '01 325ci / '90 325i
What Exactly do I need to run an M54/S54 engine on an engine stand.

Story behind the madness,

Over the winter, I would like to purchase an s54, m54, or s50 engine and turn it in to a NA monster. Let's say i bought an engine and put it on a stand and wanted to build it up. (i.e. Cams, crank, rods, pistons, rings, hone, studs, high compression, etc.) What exactly is required to run and e46 engine on a stand, can it be done? My idea was engine, DME, ignition, and wiring loom.

Can it all be accomplished, and what else would I need?

For coding, custom shift knobs, and vinyl stickers: PM me
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Old 08-18-2012, 07:55 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 378
My Ride: Bone-stock E92
Also need fuel, fuel lines, air filter. Also don't forget the DME probably gets a whole lot of vehicle-level inputs before it decides to fire your engine.. Usually it's not a good idea to try and fire an engine on a stand, I've never seen it attempted. If it's not inside a car, an engine is always fired on a secure fixture like a bench or a dynamometer within a properly insulated test cell. There's safety and controls issues at play, so it's usually not done..

However, for the sake of discussion, you could probably fire older engines that don't have the complexity of electronics involved on a stand, but for newer engines, the electronics are almost certain to prevent starting up..

That said, a good idea would be to first decide the scope of your rebuild, then strip everything down to the level you want to go.. Then systematically work from the inside out when rebuilding, once you have the short block on a stand. Take your time and work on/rebuild all the critical hardware in question. Once you have everything buttoned up and checked/double checked, the engine and trans should go in the car for the first fire.. Should be an exciting moment!!!

Couple of epic threads that you may want to read through (in case you haven't already studied them ):



Pei330ci is officially an E46 legend and he successfully pulled off a monster N/A E46 build. Mad props to him!!!!

Another dude in the UK pulled off a GM small block conversion on an E46. AFAIK there's not a whole lot of small block conversions for the E46, there's plenty you can find for the E36 and E30..:


Good luck and keep us posted!

E92 convert. BMW Fanatic.
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