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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. uniter's Avatar
        uniter -
        There's a little shop in Germany that has this ecu thing sorted out. http://www.awron.de/hauptnavigation/...e/n54-biturbo/
        N54 in a yugo.
      1. onisyndicate's Avatar
        onisyndicate -
        This reminds of the S54 swap into the e36s of the early 2000s. Everyone tried it but ALOT did not complete their products. Now it's pretty common!

        E30 318i = N54 = 2600lbs or less with a great setup!
      1. Andrew@activeautowerke's Avatar
      1. rudypoochris's Avatar
        rudypoochris -
        I'm pretty sure some did or was doing an n54 into a Datsun 240z. I dont see the benefit of the e46 personally.
      1. ncat10's Avatar
        ncat10 -
        Nice project. We are start swap engine N54 into BMW E30 now. About E46, they can't do full work version to every day use.
        They must also integrate DSC/Kombi/EGS/JBFE/CAS/NFRM and other ECU from E9X and replace all harness too!
        That is hard work!
      1. 0-60Motorsports's Avatar
        0-60Motorsports -
        Very interesting and very hard work.
      1. Itsbrokeagain's Avatar
        Itsbrokeagain -
        That E36 is gorgeous Click here to enlarge
      1. mjmarovi's Avatar
        mjmarovi -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Andrew@activeautowerke Click here to enlarge
        More info please? lol
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Andrew@activeautowerke Click here to enlarge
        Seriously we need more details on this @Andrew@activeautowerke
      1. euro92's Avatar
        euro92 -
        Forget about the 2JZ, N54 = German LSxClick here to enlarge
      1. nek0's Avatar
        nek0 -
        ive got a friend of mine hes swapping the n54 into his e30 m3
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by nek0 Click here to enlarge
        ive got a friend of mine hes swapping the n54 into his e30 m3
        Pics?
      1. 1Zed4's Avatar
        1Zed4 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by nek0 Click here to enlarge
        ive got a friend of mine hes swapping the n54 into his e30 m3
        What sticky said, time now!
      1. Muscleman's Avatar
        Muscleman -
        We have one E30 with N54 in Ukrainian drift series.
      1. Muscleman's Avatar
      1. klipseracer's Avatar
        klipseracer -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Muscleman Click here to enlarge
        Thank you for sharing.
      1. hakentt's Avatar
        hakentt -
        N54 is great engine, soon as they get cheaper, more people will be doing swaps
      1. Flinchy's Avatar
        Flinchy -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Muscleman Click here to enlarge

        looksl ike his last setup was S54?

        wonder why he decided on N54?

        and what they're using to control it, more importantly.
      1. hakentt's Avatar
        hakentt -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Flinchy Click here to enlarge
        looksl ike his last setup was S54?

        wonder why he decided on N54?

        and what they're using to control it, more importantly.
        Before that he had 1991 M5 engine, then S54 then N54. S54 lacks torq for drifting. It looks like he is using MSD80 with matching CAS to control the engine.
      1. Flinchy's Avatar
        Flinchy -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by hakentt Click here to enlarge
        Before that he had 1991 M5 engine, then S54 then N54. S54 lacks torq for drifting. It looks like he is using MSD80 with matching CAS to control the engine.
        wow so possibly the full OEM setup? there's a fair few modules and looms needed for that. i mean.. yeah i can see why you'd do it, especially if you had a full donor, but wow if so!