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    • Swappning an N54 twin turbo inline-6 into an E46 3-Series - Cool or Crazy?

      BMW engine swaps are always fun to see and this one is a bit different. Does it make any sense though? The E46 3-Series already comes with several inline-6 motor options that all have made much more power than the N54 and do not involve the pain in fitting the N54 and its electronics into a chassis for which it was not designed. This is BimmerBoost.com though and we definitely appreciate people who do things differently. So why swap in an N54? Because one can.


      The S54, M54, and M52 have all been done to death in the E46 chassis. A guy going by the name ApolloTheGod on the forums decided that since his E92 race car was totaled to take out the motor and put it in an E46 chassis. The goal being a 3100 pound car with somewhere around ~550 wheel horsepower and a 6-speed manual. Certainly respectable power especially when paired to a 3100 pound curb weight should he reach that weight goal (doubtful).

      The idea in theory is great, fun, and different but ideas on paper and actually completing them in reality are two different things. BimmerBoost would love to see this come to fruition but will ApolloTheGod actually make this happen or is this all just a pipe dream? Would an S54 make more sense? We will have to wait and see but BimmerBoost wishes him luck on what would be a great swap to see completed for the E46. He just has a long way to go.

      As you can see I have gotten it to fit perfectly


      I need to tilt the dash down just a tad bit, but tight fitment just as in the E90


      Snug as a bug here. You can see the outline of the E46 previous center console so it isnt that far up. With carpet in the car these center console snugs right in place


      I didnt get a good view of how far out the E46 dash came out but I know the door panels have an indent for the dash, this may fit with E46 door panels.


      Enough room for having stock A piller covers in as well if you wanted a full interior with the dash





      I tried to take this pic head on. As you can see I have some logistics to sort out with the steering column. I think I can move the bracket over a bit and have the column over about an inch and still work with the whole. I will investigate this more later




      As you can see the rest of the car is stripped. Engine comes out in about 12 hours time when I wake up



      Pulling out the M52




      Cleaning the engine bay. Pressurized water and simple green did the trick perfectly. I used an old tooth brush and a nylon brissle brush to clean it all up. I also hit the suspension too on the E92 and the E46








      This was a little upsetting. I will let pictures do the talking.



      Got both babies next to each other


      Here is the beast all ready to go in. Final step is to get my turbos balanced and reassembled then the swap is good to go


      Some rear end shots of the rattle can baby. I put my roller wheels on that I picked up for $100



      Got the whole work area cleaned up and everything ready for the next phase!

      This article was originally published in forum thread: Swappning an N54 twin turbo inline-6 into an E46 3-Series - Cool or Crazy? started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 69 Comments
      1. Eleventeen's Avatar
        Eleventeen -
        I mean, if you have a perfectly good engine laying around, you might as well put it in something.

        It would be pretty sweet to see it go into a little E30 just for $#@!s & gigs.
      1. Wescuddles's Avatar
        Wescuddles -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Eleventeen Click here to enlarge
        I mean, if you have a perfectly good engine laying around, you might as well put it in something.

        It would be pretty sweet to see it go into a little E30 just for $#@!s & gigs.
        FBO + E85 N54 in an E30 would be insane!
      1. alpinedevil335's Avatar
        alpinedevil335 -
        I want to see a N54 in a E20.
        Click here to enlarge
      1. klipseracer's Avatar
        klipseracer -
        I think this is cool. Ignore any haters, cuz on this forum there will be some for sure.
      1. DavidV's Avatar
        DavidV -
        The N54 can work in every chassis BMW ever made and puts none to shame.
        It is just waking the DME and coding it so it doesn't flip out over all it's lost limbs that will be the real brainbreaker here.

        This is a cool project.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Will he actually finish the project though?
      1. 1Zed4's Avatar
        1Zed4 -
        I would rather see it in an E30 personally but Ill take an e46 i guess! hahah
      1. G0TB00ST?'s Avatar
        G0TB00ST? -
        Saw this over on e46f honestly I don't think this guy quite knows what he's getting into. It would be kinda cool, but I doubt it will be finished
      1. treadlol's Avatar
        treadlol -
        Attachment 34061
        I know mnc performance up in ny is working on an e30 n54 swap
        Click here to enlarge
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by treadlol Click here to enlarge
        Attachment 34061
        I know mnc performance up in ny is working on an e30 n54 swap
        Click here to enlarge
        Now this is some news!
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by G0TB00ST? Click here to enlarge
        Saw this over on e46f honestly I don't think this guy quite knows what he's getting into. It would be kinda cool, but I doubt it will be finished
        I feel just as you do.
      1. G0TB00ST?'s Avatar
        G0TB00ST? -
        Apparently his main reason for the swap was the e46 being lighter but after he swaps I've all the e92 bells and whistles he talked about the weight difference will only be like 100 pounds or so ( someone on the other forum did the math).
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by G0TB00ST? Click here to enlarge
        Apparently his main reason for the swap was the e46 being lighter but after he swaps I've all the e92 bells and whistles he talked about the weight difference will only be like 100 pounds or so ( someone on the other forum did the math).
        Agree again.
      1. dzenno@PTF's Avatar
        dzenno@PTF -
        People realizing the potential Click here to enlarge
      1. Flinchy's Avatar
        Flinchy -
        i want someone to put my N52 into an E30! Click here to enlarge
      1. Mike@VAC's Avatar
        Mike@VAC -
        One of our clients put a built N54 into an E30 M3.... should hit the internets soon ;-)
      1. UsualSuspect's Avatar
        UsualSuspect -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Mike@VAC Click here to enlarge
        One of our clients put a built N54 into an E30 M3.... should hit the internets soon ;-)
        Can't wait to see that!!
      1. Mike@VAC's Avatar
        Mike@VAC -
        Me too. We supplied pistons/rods/bearings and honed/decked it for them. They did the rest. We sleeved an S65 for them too...
      1. Eleventeen's Avatar
        Eleventeen -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Mike@VAC Click here to enlarge
        Me too. We supplied pistons/rods/bearings and honed/decked it for them. They did the rest. We sleeved an S65 for them too...
        Damn, must have been the guy that uses his X5M as the tow vehicle for his M3 racecar. Cha-ching!
      1. Mike@VAC's Avatar
        Mike@VAC -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Eleventeen Click here to enlarge
        Damn, must have been the guy that uses his X5M as the tow vehicle for his M3 racecar. Cha-ching!
        LOL nah - he has a F01 and F10 M5 for the street in addition to his tow vehicle and track car.

        MNC is doing the N54 E30M3 swap Click here to enlarge