• 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. benzy89's Avatar
        benzy89 -
        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.
        Prob need some crazy S54 stroker for a drift car; tears thru the RPMs, no lag with the throttle, etc etc. Obviously this is gonna cost a lot more than a N54
      1. psmith95's Avatar
        psmith95 -
        For those of you interested as stated the shop doing the N54 in E30 swap is MNC performance in oceanside NY. They are doing a ton of crazy stuff on that car. A ton of chasis reinforcement, built N54 motor, and I think they might be doing a custom turbo too

        https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=1&theater

        https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=1&theater
      1. hakentt's Avatar
        hakentt -
        I don't have enough rep power to post photos of Palariev swap. N54 can be swapped into E36/E46 with very little modification. But for E30 major modifications must be done. What Palariev did is moved the engine inside for turbo downpipes and oil pan to clear the subframe, then made custom engine mounting arms. To run stock management, you must have the central body unit, it translates the CAN BUS from CAS to DME. You basically have to have running donor car to make the swap possible.
      1. Xearom3's Avatar
        Xearom3 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by uniter Click here to enlarge
        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.

        They also have this:
        http://www.awron.de/hauptnavigation/...sional-benzin/

        Pretty nifty.
      1. uniter's Avatar
        uniter -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Xearom3 Click here to enlarge
        Yeah I tried to get some info about this guy; they were planning on bringing them to the US in English 1 or 2 years ago. The couldn't tell me if it was CAN boost or if they'd take a reference line. My assumption is that it's CAN boost.
      1. Andrew@activeautowerke's Avatar
        Andrew@activeautowerke -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Seriously we need more details on this @Andrew@activeautowerke
        Don't have any sorry :/
      1. hakentt's Avatar
        hakentt -
        Ukranian drifter Palariev photos. Correction: The labeled EWS4 is actually EKP fuel pump module.


        Attachment 34521Attachment 34522Attachment 34523Attachment 34524Attachment 34525Attachment 34526
      1. ajm8127's Avatar
        ajm8127 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by hakentt Click here to enlarge
        Now that looks like fun.

        Good job on getting everything swapped over. Definitely more complicated than older cars, but surely not impossible.
      1. DavidV's Avatar
        DavidV -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by hakentt Click here to enlarge
        Click here to enlarge
        That looks mental.
        You never really grasp what it means when you hear it needs a full wiring harness swap until you see the spaghetti bundle lying on the floor like that.
        That will need some labeling before getting everything back in the right setup.
      1. klipseracer's Avatar
        klipseracer -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DavidV Click here to enlarge
        That looks mental.
        You never really grasp what it means when you hear it needs a full wiring harness swap until you see the spaghetti bundle lying on the floor like that.
        That will need some labeling before getting everything back in the right setup.
        More like a research project.
      1. 135pats's Avatar
        135pats -
        Whoa that is a serious Gordian knot of wiring. Feel bad for whoever had to sort that all out.
      1. sammy_0559's Avatar
        sammy_0559 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by 135pats Click here to enlarge
        Whoa that is a serious Gordian knot of wiring. Feel bad for whoever had to sort that all out.
        In all honesty that looks like epic fun! the learning curve on a project like that!
      1. 135pats's Avatar
        135pats -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by sammy_0559 Click here to enlarge
        In all honesty that looks like epic fun! the learning curve on a project like that!
        Haha-Fun? Coming from a guy who had “fun” yanking out a valvebody and replacing like a dozen snapped half shafts. Sammy you’re crazy dude Click here to enlarge
      1. sammy_0559's Avatar
        sammy_0559 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by 135pats Click here to enlarge
        Haha-Fun? Coming from a guy who had “fun” yanking out a valvebody and replacing like a dozen snapped half shafts. Sammy you’re crazy dude Click here to enlarge

        cant wait to snap more with vargas Click here to enlarge lol

        cars=fun Click here to enlarge i actually might try snapping them DSS shafts for a change.
      1. hakentt's Avatar
        hakentt -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Will he actually finish the project though?
        news is that the guy gave up on N54 and wants to do V8
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by hakentt Click here to enlarge
        news is that the guy gave up on N54 and wants to do V8
        Should have seen that coming.
      1. nek0's Avatar
        nek0 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Pics?
        their on instagram fine me on @kantopthis and ill point you in the right direction
      1. Kommodore's Avatar
        Kommodore -
        He's not swapping a V8. He's not doing anything because any kind of swap is beyond his technical ability.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Kommodore Click here to enlarge
        He's not swapping a V8. He's not doing anything because any kind of swap is beyond his technical ability.
        I think you're correct.
      1. hakentt's Avatar
        hakentt -
        This is what he wrote me. I am local and I had already bought some parts from him.
        Originally Posted by ApolloTheGod
        You wanna buy my N54? I just picked up an s85 with a dinan stroker kit that makes like 700 hp so this is way better
        I got an SMG transmission for $500 bucks from some retard who thought it was garbage and I got it fixed up. I had a custom master cylinder in the pump mechanism made with a T nipple on it so I could run a line to my clutch pedal. I dont have the engine yet but I believe it will work fine. I tested it in the car and it seemed to work just like a manual with the pedal and I assume it will electronically still work as I havnt touched that. I also found out the DCT uses the same bell housing bolt pattern as the SMG trans so it will bolt up to the S85 so if I want to I can get a DCT trans and bolt it up. Even better there are no additional electronics. Its really straight forward easy to get a DCT into the place of an SMG. Just splice connectors is all. Simple simple