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  1. twin vanos turbo costs. 
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    i have a 2001 m54 2.5 engine that i plan to rebuild with a turbo in the workings. i really want to get the ball rolling and send the head ( warped at the mo ) and block (the block is tip top) off to be machined, but it appears that i really need a definitive plan in regards to the components
    i am going to use in the engine ( what sort of power increase can stock bmw internals handle? ) before i can do anything, because of valve seat cutting etc. i want to end up with approx 450 rwhp ( is this realistic for not a daily drive, but a regular use, reliable dose of fun ),
    which calls for a substantial turbo and ancilliries.
    so my thoughts at the moment are a blur of cams, pistons, valves etc and i seem to be gettting nowhere!
    has someone allready put together a similar engine with sucsess? what worked? how scary was the overall build cost? your help would be most appreciated.

    is the twin vanos an advantage or not? i've read mixed views.

    thanks

    dan
     
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by danm54 View Post
    i have a 2001 m54 2.5 engine that i plan to rebuild with a turbo in the workings. i really want to get the ball rolling and send the head ( warped at the mo ) and block (the block is tip top) off to be machined, but it appears that i really need a definitive plan in regards to the components
    i am going to use in the engine ( what sort of power increase can stock bmw internals handle? ) before i can do anything, because of valve seat cutting etc. i want to end up with approx 450 rwhp ( is this realistic for not a daily drive, but a regular use, reliable dose of fun ),
    which calls for a substantial turbo and ancilliries.
    so my thoughts at the moment are a blur of cams, pistons, valves etc and i seem to be gettting nowhere!
    has someone allready put together a similar engine with sucsess? what worked? how scary was the overall build cost? your help would be most appreciated.

    is the twin vanos an advantage or not? i've read mixed views.

    thanks

    dan

    HI Dan,

    Well, Im not that familiar with the M54 lump but Im pretty sure 400 rwhp will be a safely obtainable goal

    It is usually conrods and pistons that are the weak point in the S50 B30 and S50 B32 engines and that is at a level of 500rwhp.

    With forged internals BMW motors are like IRON strong


    I would say your only modification to start should be a thicker headgasket to drop the compression slightly.. Dont worry about cams etc to start with.

    Also, there is the cost factor.
    What is your budget? that will affect what I reccomend you to do with the engine!
     
     

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    thanks for getting back to me,

    not to sure on budget, i am trying to cost it at the mo.

    my immediate plan is to work out if i need to change any internals that will
    affect the machine work (valves etc), then i can send the head away to be machined.

    i have a gsxr 1100 streetfighter i'm getting rid of in order to free up a few grand. i hope that this money will allow me to build a solid engine ,
    ready for the turbo and ancilliries (which i have not costed yet but i'm sure will need a bucket load of cash for!)

    i have a full workshop including ramp, horizontal/vertical mill, lathe, arc mig and gas at my disposal. so i want to do as much of the work as i can myself. contemplating getting a tig kit in to weld up my own s/s tubular manifold (the only decent mani's for rhd are bucks! do you know of a good manifold for resonable money? ).

    i thought i could drop the c/r 8.5:1 with piston+rod upgrade, is the gasket a better approch? do you know of rod and pistons that have worked well on turbo straight six bmws in the past?

    do you know anyone who cryogenically treats engines/components? what are your thoughts on the process?

    i have only an engine at the moment so i will also be looking far a management system, any ideas (not after bells and whistles, just a capable, reliable unit)?

    will the twin vanos cause any probs?

    i read in one of your articles about strongly recomended exhaust valve retardation (via aftermarket cams) for boosted engines, you think my stock cams (which are equal lobed) with surfice?

    inlet manifold and injectors! i downloaded your most useful info on injector
    calculations. do you have any recomendations for what i am trying to achieve?

    approximately whereabouts do the price steps occur in relation to desired bhp/boost/setup?

    sorry for bombarding you with questions, a lot to get my head around, and i'm dying to get going. many thanks!

    dan.
     
     

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    my m54 looks like an m50 vanos, except the vanos unit (solenoid etc) is repeated on the exaust cam. could a decent management system retard the exhaust valve timing via the exh. vanos solenoid?
    Last edited by danm54; 12-07-2008 at 14:40.
     
     

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    my thoughts on welding up my own manifold apart from cost are being able to position the turbo somewhere i can duct air to it well plus shield it from manifold latent heat and perhaps bracketry from turbo flange to cusioned mount on car (maybe help manifold avoid cracking through vibration?).
    any recomendations on flange thicknesses, grade of stainless, tube thickness and diameter?
    is the turbo best positioned high or low?
    how much should i expect to pay for a good rhd manifold?
     
     

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    at 400bhp ish what trany + diff am i looking for? will i get away with e36 m3? or custom.
     
     

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    Whoa!! Slow down with the questions Dan!

    ok. to try and answer some.

    Thicker head gasket is a bit of a band aid...Low compression pistons and forged conrods are definately the way forward.

    Cp pistons and Carillo conrods are a superb tried and tested setup.

    The only standalone that I am aware of that can control twin vanos is the autronic one iirc.
    Maybe only the motec one to be honest, I cant recall offhand.

    The bmw engines take boost very well if built properly..

    stock cams will be fine for 400rwhp

    I would say off the top of my head that 500cc (maybe 650cc) injectors would suffice for this power level.

    Cryogenic treatment - I will see if I can dig a number up. I personally would not bother but if you are going really OTT its a good move.

    Price steps - not easy to say.

    You will need at least 7-10k to build a motor like that, turbo it and run 400rwhp reliably. Using your own labour
     
     

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    400 rwhp or 400 flywheel hp?

    They tranny and diff will take that.
    provided you dont do drag launches every day!!!
     
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by danm54 View Post
    my m54 looks like an m50 vanos, except the vanos unit (solenoid etc) is repeated on the exaust cam. could a decent management system retard the exhaust valve timing via the exh. vanos solenoid?
    Yes

    my thoughts on welding up my own manifold apart from cost are being able to position the turbo somewhere i can duct air to it well plus shield it from manifold latent heat and perhaps bracketry from turbo flange to cusioned mount on car (maybe help manifold avoid cracking through vibration?).
    any recomendations on flange thicknesses, grade of stainless, tube thickness and diameter?
    is the turbo best positioned high or low?
    how much should i expect to pay for a good rhd manifold?
    Welding your own mani is a good option.
    RHD E36s will not fit any LHD manifolds due to the pesky steering rack being in the way

    Turbo/ex manifold will need a support bracket.
    Best thing is to use a cam cover bolt and attach from that and a point on the block



    Use 413 stainless, will have to check thickness tonight but google 'burns stainless' and they have loads of manifold tubing and you can get an idea there.

    Turbo positioning - It depends on if you want a top mount, or bottom mount system...

    both have their merits.

    Top mount is better for oil drainage, worse for locating and positioning

    Bottom mount gives more room for the turbo, but is a pain to work on at times and oil pooling can be a problem, you would need to use a scavenge pump with a bottom mount I would say
     
     

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    thanks for taking time to go through my questions and helping my project along.
    i think i have discovered a price step accidentally, my original aspirations were of 600 wbhp, but it started to cost up real high with only light research. a bimmerforums member contacted me early on and pointed me in the direction of 450 wbhp (with a similar price to yourself), i would be more than happy with 400 wbhp! the price you suggest was what i expected to hear (so not too much of a scare!) .
    nice to hear the internals arent going to be too much of an issue, what are your thoughts on exhaust port timing, will i need to retard it somehow?
    i am going to weld up my own manifold. my initial thoughts on turbo placement after reading your post is to position it where the washer bottle sits. i'll be able to air it well, service it well and it'll hopefully sort out the oil
    issue.
    cometic gasket?
    is an aftermarket clutch advisable?(i dont melt tyres)
    i'm looking into m54/e36 m3 tranny compatiability at the mo.

    thanks for your help!
    dan

    i have recently read an interesting article regarding problems in the m54, i have quoted it below.

    "There are 3 areas that the M54 can fail.

    Oil pump shaft/nut - This can happen to a stock M54, however power will play a factor in this. It's mostly engine harmonics from higher RPM use that cause this type of failure. I've heard from some very respected people that the cause of this failure is camshaft imbalances, however I personally believe that a "balanced camshaft" is a band-aid that covers up the real problem. The real problem I believe to be crankshaft harmonics, caused by the torsional flex of the crankshaft. I do not believe that a new crankshaft (Custom forged or billet) would solve the problem entirely, as you would still need a custom harmonic damper to torsionally balance the crankshaft. So this leaves us with the stock forged crankshaft, (For 2.8 and 3.0 engines) which needs a better balancer for stock applications seeing sustained higher RPM loads, and/or greater force (More power) being applied. Since we are talking about an FI engine, a balancer with more "tuned" mass is needed to counteract greater torsional forces within the crank. The mass and density a cylinder block has, the better it's ability to absorb the harmonics created from these torsional forces. Unfortunately, the lightweight aluminum M54 block isn't an ideal canidate for absorbing harmonics.

    Which leads me to cylinder deformation.

    A while ago, the M54 block was being developed for race use by a well known engine builder. One of the problems he saw with rebuilding the engine multiple times, was the limited thickness of the steel cylinder liners. Basically, they could only bore the cylinder once, after that the block was dead. They then tried to machine the block to accept sleeves, which was when they found out that it was the cylinder walls that held the block together. Basically, the machining process to insert the sleeves weakened the block so much that it deformed when handling it. Now I'm not saying that the M54 is an inherently weak block, just that it has some limitations to the amount of work you can do on it. Being that in FI, you want to have very stiff cylinder walls to contain high combustion pressures, the M54 from the get-go is starting with a bit of a handycap. The steel cylinder liner is about 1mm thick, that's it. Behind that is a web of aluminum that allows direct contact with coolant. The highest pressure area at the top of the cylinder bore has the most aluminum behind it, but keep that in mind...it's aluminum. Under high load, the M54 block has the potential to deform much more than a steel block like the M52 or S54. How this failure will manifest itself is with increased crank case pressure from excessive blow by, and reduced piston ring life.

    Cylinder head sealing - I wouldn't say that the stock head gasket is bad, just that it's usually the first thing to fail in pushing the power envelope with FI. There are 2 critical areas that contribute to this, that I believe to be the real reason why the stock head gasket fails. 1.) There is very little distance between cylinders and coolant ports on the M54. This means there is a low amount of clamping area between areas of high pressure (Cylinder bore) and areas of low pressure. (Atmosphere, and coolant ports) 2.) The OEM fasteners are not suited for high loads. They are one-time-use fasteners that are suited to stock cylinder pressure loads. A third factor on engines that have been worked on, is the quality of the surface finish between the cylinder head and the block. The "roughness average" (RA) should be of a value around 50, which is approaching a "Mirror" finish. This allows on a microscopic level a greater amount of surface contact between the gasket and mating material. The more surface contact, the better the seal.

    Piston rods really shouldn't be an issue unless you are spinning your engine above 6500 RPM and lifting off the throttle a lot. Lifting off the throttle places extreme loads on the back side of the rod, (cap) which obviously has a lot less material to it. The M54B28 and M54B30 enjoy forged rods from the factory, which to date have no documented cases of failure due to bending force. The only reason why I would suggest using a better set of rods would be due to running sustained elevated engine RPM.

    The spec list below is for my personal engine which is currently being built to make around 600hp with nitrous and spin to 8400 RPM.

    - Block machined with custom torque plate
    - Stock Crank, journals micro polished
    - Arrow Forged Rods
    - CP 11:1 forged pistons
    - Coated bearings
    - VAC oil pump upgrade
    - Bimmerworld billet piston oil squirters
    - Baffled oil pan
    - Moroso vacuum pump
    - Custom ATI harmonic balancer
    - Upgraded fasteners for main caps and head (Studs)
    - Custom machined valves, new seals/locks/retainers
    - Custom head porting (Lift and CFM to my specs)
    - Custom camshafts
    - Solid lifters
    - S50B32 Euro ITB intake
    - Kromer Kraft headers
    - Pectel stand alone engine management by Apex Speed Tech

    Then you need to factor in cooling for oil and water, which in my case has turned into one heck of a project by itself.

    Cost for the above: You'd be better off buying an E92 M3."
    Last edited by danm54; 14-07-2008 at 21:04.
     
     

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