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Thread: So i'm going to have an n54 on my garage floor soon.. N54 into E87 1 series hatch swap

              
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    So i'm going to have an n54 on my garage floor soon.. N54 into E87 1 series hatch swap

    What would you guys do in this situation?




    more info: australian, driving a manual e87 130i (n52) - found a step 335i n54 wrecking for an unbeatable price ($4000 all parts) and as far as i know, there's not even a handful of n54 hatches in the world

    engine has 50,000km on it... As far as i know it comes totally stock and never modified with:

    block, head, turbos, a/c, alternator, downpipes, intake piping, ecu, 2 keys, dash - with roughly 50,000km total travelled
    A few more things possibly, yet to get a full inventory (should be taking delivery in the next 7 days i hope)

    Since i didn't want to go step (with a new diff and driveshaft and pedals and all that headache) - the plan will be to get the stock gearbox adapted, as far as i know no one has yet tested the capabilities of the gs6-37bz that my car comes with, though a new clutch is definitely on the cards, i figure as long as i take care on launches, it ahould hold up decently... (Fingers crossed lol) - as a replacement gs6-53bz is around $4k :/

    As i'm pretty new to n54's, as much as i've read about them recenty (and have SOME idea on their weaknesses) - the input o people who've owned these cars will be invaluable - i also don't seethe point of putting it in entirely unmodified, what other chance will i have of having it out of the car with no downsides? Click here to enlarge

    i'm guesstimating somewhere in the 3-6 month time frame to get it in - as long as the workshop i've decided on has the free manpower ?(super busy all the time, amazing shop), and no major issues are encountered

    if it all ends up pear shaped and never happens? Well i guess that's a possibility, will deal with that when the time comes haha

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    I'd like to edit the post, but 10 minutes etc.

    i figured at a minimum i'd start with an intercooler upgrade, and intake piping (i asume will have to be custom, couldn't find a thing on google that was promising

    cooling system is a bit weak? Oil in particular yes? The cp-e intercooler seems to be a solid hybrid to cover both of this?

    Full turbo-back will be stock at first as i want to be fully engineered street legal, though of course replaced asap haha

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    I would do a side mount oil cooler. CpEs unit is great but it sits up on top of the IC, directly behind the bumper support. If any airflow does go through there, its just more work for the radiator. Evolution Racewerks or AR design make good standalone coolers, AR designs just sits up behind one of the kidney grilles. I dont know how hot it gets down there, but in New York I have seen no issues with mounting up there...temps stay around 215F, only repeated abuse brings the temps up more but it will come back down pretty quickly.

    It should fit in the frame of the car pretty easily, the only issue you will have is that 1 series and 3 series rear turbo is different....the way the turbo discharge pipe exits the rear turbo and merges with the front is angled differently...might cause some interference issues with the frame of the car.

    Other than that, getting the car reprogrammed to accept the N54 should be easier in your end of the world compared to the US here..

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    I've seen a couple of people here that have ha issues with oil coolers (leaking or something?) anything to look out for?

    I guess going standalone would be a better idea - thanks.. Would behind the kidney grilles not interfere with radiator flow though? Don't want to hinder actual coolant... Cooling.. Much if possible, i guess....

    not much reprogramming as far as i know - everything i have is identical to the 335 it came from bar transmission and that is a ery simple code job and is only needed for cruise control function!

    The engine comes with the front subframe as far as i'm aware (hich should make install easier?), i'm hoping it's not too big a deal fabrication wise - mounting and positioning/ engine bay shape and design between 1/3 series considering identical transsmissions and engines i'm guessing won't be the most major of differences, we'll see in a few months though i guess hah

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    Dropping an N54 in a non-N54 equipped vehicle, are there fueling concerns? Do you have a hpfp and lpfp? No idea if this is a valid concern, just thought I would throw it out there.

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    I have the AR oil cooler behind my kidney grill and it works well. With aggressive street driving you'll be fine. I don't track my car, not sure how it would do on the track but my guess is there are more expensive/ better options for oil cooling if your going to be tracking your car

    Evolve Supercharged ///M3

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Flinchy Click here to enlarge
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    I've seen a couple of people here that have ha issues with oil coolers (leaking or something?) anything to look out for?

    I guess going standalone would be a better idea - thanks.. Would behind the kidney grilles not interfere with radiator flow though? Don't want to hinder actual coolant... Cooling.. Much if possible, i guess....

    not much reprogramming as far as i know - everything i have is identical to the 335 it came from bar transmission and that is a ery simple code job and is only needed for cruise control function!

    The engine comes with the front subframe as far as i'm aware (hich should make install easier?), i'm hoping it's not too big a deal fabrication wise - mounting and positioning/ engine bay shape and design between 1/3 series considering identical transsmissions and engines i'm guessing won't be the most major of differences, we'll see in a few months though i guess hah

    subframes MIGHT be different as well..I find it easier to do downpipes on a 1 series vs a 3 series, the 3 series one goes farther back?


    If people in the middle east can swap a V8 into a 120 and make it work, then there is no reason why you shouldnt be able to have the car reprogrammed to work with the N54. As far as I know, having a standalone to run this engine is not ideal for a street car and you would lose a lot of creature comforts, not to mention the headache of tuning the VANOS.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ATP Click here to enlarge
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    Dropping an N54 in a non-N54 equipped vehicle, are there fueling concerns? Do you have a hpfp and lpfp? No idea if this is a valid concern, just thought I would throw it out there.
    Ah yeah hpfp is coming with engine - have definitely thought about even the stock n54 setup being a limitation for the future upgrades potentially( with all the discussion i've seen about meth being needed for additional fuelling potential in the big sinle setups?)

    going to upgrade the fuel pump (lpfp) (to at least oem n54) just in case - unless i can get an UPGRADE upgrade between now and then (am very interested in this btw) - is it correct the hpfp apart from past reliability has a high flow rate, and the injectors are in the thousands of cc/min or something crazy like that anyway?

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    Wow this edit rule makes posting from my phone a MAJOR pita, next time i'll quote then copy and paste into the second window, really sorry, i hate making two posts :/


    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Itsbrokeagain Click here to enlarge
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    subframes MIGHT be different as well..I find it easier to do downpipes on a 1 series vs a 3 series, the 3 series one goes farther back?




    If people in the middle east can swap a V8 into a 120 and make it work, then there is no reason why you shouldnt be able to have the car reprogrammed to work with the N54. As far as I know, having a standalone to run this engine is not ideal for a street car and you would lose a lot of creature comforts, not to mention the headache of tuning the VANOS.


    ed: yeah i'm pretty set on keeping the oem ecu, it does what i need for a now, a good motec or something would be $4k alone let alone tens of hours to setup required and tuning, no thanks - this is going to stay a daily anyway, so it would have to go on as a piggy. If i ever decide to go pretty solid as a track only car, i'll think about that more lol

    When i said standalone i meand oil cooler, if that was what you meant.. Aorry for the terminology confusion

    i'm pretty sure with an m800 and a pdu you can keep basically all oem functions (theres a track 130i over here with it and it still has full radio/can-electronics (wheel controls and traction control... I THINK.. It's hard to squeeze out info on it :/.. Only thing i'd think maybe wouldn't work could be the traction control though))


    I am trying to keep SOME costs down, if i don't need it and it's not an upgrade, why would i want it?
    If i don't need it but it's an upgrade? Well.. Is it cheaper in the long run to do now, or would later be fine? That's the current basic criteria, over a 6 month time frane i have a pretty open budget to work with, but remember it's going to be a few thousand pretty easily on the install side alone - though they've done a full e87 130i frame swap out and know how to code, so i trust it won't be a total wallet-rape worse than most any complex engine swap...


    Also remember a 130i is about $25,000 low end here (for those playing overseas) where same options and colours a 135i will be more in the $50,000-$55,000 mark
    I bought the 130i when it was what i could afford, and yes i do need the hatchback's carry space, so i can't be convinced just to get a 135i, sorry hah


    i know my actual oem n52 current ecu can't be programmed to the n54, can't handle boost properly apparently, wouldn't like not seeing valvetronic, fuelling constraints (hence at least SOME of the reason no company bothered to make anything aftermarket for it) - i 100% love the n52, it's a beautiful engine... Sips the fuel.. But when i could spend $4k on ITE and hit just 300hp... Wellll... Yeah nah ha, spend double and add another 100 to start with at least :/



    i did read the m3 e82 swap, from egypt?.. It'd either be a FULL m3 swap ECU and all.. Or since it's used for drifting shows and racing, i'd assume a standalone was on the cards for it
    Last edited by Flinchy; 09-29-2012 at 11:24 AM.

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    So essentially you are trying to swap an N54 into an N52 E87 hatch? Very cool man, would like to see you pull it off.

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    Sounds like a pain in the ass, but could be really rewarding. Does the n52 use a different trans? If so... swap the N54 trans in too... it is bullet proof. When you are laying down 500 wtq you are going to wish you had.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
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    So essentially you are trying to swap an N54 into an N52 E87 hatch? Very cool man, would like to see you pull it off.
    Yep that's the gist of it, fingers crossed haha

    there's one in europe somewhere if you google 'e87 wide body' but it's not quite done the way i want to


    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by rudypoochris Click here to enlarge
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    Sounds like a pain in the ass, but could be really rewarding. Does the n52 use a different trans? If so... swap the N54 trans in too... it is bullet proof. When you are laying down 500 wtq you are going to wish you had.

    nah keeping my trans, they are differet, n52 in an e87 comes with 'gs6-37bz' rated to about 300tq from memory
    The n54 comes with the gs6-53bz which is rated to 390tq
    .. Unfortunately it costs $4200+tax+shipping etc (about $5500ish landed) unless i can find a wreck
    Locally (i'll keep an eye out but it's not the best, i've seen 3 wrecks in 9 months, all auto)... Plus at a guess modify the drive shafts, sounds pretty exxy :/

    I'm also hoping the bell housings are identical, which i'm thinking there's at least a slight chance and would be awesome haha



    i haven't found anything on the gearbox i have's breaking point, and my desire to not have to spend $6k on the gearbox (i was offered the auto for $1k) outweighs my desire to get a stronger one for now lol
    .. If i can get one for the right price, the sure! Hah

    ed: my bad, gs6-37bz is rated to 390n-m of torque and was in at least the z4-m (with the s54) (from what google says), and seems to be anle to handle high torque in f-i builds well enough

    can't seem o find on google, but i'm pretty sure the gs6-57bz is rated to +100nm so 490n-m
    n55 equipped cars apprently have a different model in between the two.

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    Well the 335i uses the same transmission as the E60 M5, F10 M5, F10 550i, etc. so it should be good to at least 700nm or 500+ ftlbs. I would imagine the GS6-37BZ would stand up to a stock or very lightly modified N54. It would probably fall apart to anything more (otherwise why have another version of the transmission for increased strength). Interested in seeing what happens...

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    We have many people here with highly modified 335s, stock gearbox has handled in excess of 450-500ft/lbs, im sure yours could handle a fair amount.

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    Swapping over all the electronics into your car to essentially turn it into a 335 is possible as well...but more time consuming.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Itsbrokeagain Click here to enlarge
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    We have many people here with highly modified 335s, stock gearbox has handled in excess of 450-500ft/lbs, im sure yours could handle a fair amount.
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by rudypoochris Click here to enlarge
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    Well the 335i uses the same transmission as the E60 M5, F10 M5, F10 550i, etc. so it should be good to at least 700nm or 500+ ftlbs. I would imagine the GS6-37BZ would stand up to a stock or very lightly modified N54. It would probably fall apart to anything more (otherwise why have another version of the transmission for increased strength). Interested in seeing what happens...
    Well i guess this is going to be a pretty interesting experiment for all! HahaI believe the ratings are for a 'shock' loading, as well as for how much the oe clutch could handle.. a in a launch, so even highly modified, as long a i don't drop it at full boost, my concern for reliability isn't too high, as traction in first an second probably won't hold up to that kind of abuse anyway haha i'll just make sure to keep boost levels reasonable in low gears to cover anything unpleasant lolAnd if it does break? That's a problem for future me to deal with!

    (And well, i'll upgrade then lol, unless i can get strengthened gearsets for cheaper.. 1-2 would be the only gears to strip out i'd guess, that happens in wrx/evos anyway)
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Itsbrokeagain Click here to enlarge
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    Swapping over all the electronics into your car to essentially turn it into a 335 is possible as well...but more time consuming.
    That's exactly what's happening, dash instrument cluster swap, ecu swap.. Only the auxiliary electronics are staying, like.. The PDC/sunroof etc lol - i even already have a full aftermarket stereo to go in..

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    very cool, B! you always talked about it, now you're actually doing it!

    I thought about this when I had my 130i. As everyone has said, make sure you get the ECU from the donor car, and it helps if its a sedan. It should be easier to map the rear doors with your central locking if the donor car is a sedan.

    N54 power mods? Best Bang buck ratio: DP, Intake, Jb4. Then Meth/intercooler/Turbos. Turbo upgrade would be crazy easy with the engine already out.
    N54 reliability mods? RB PCV Upgrade, BMW OCC, oil cooler.

    Its cool that the bell housing from your tranny matches up.

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    oh, and don't forget to clean up the intake ports from any carbon deposits whilst the engine is out.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by dontask Click here to enlarge
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    very cool, B! you always talked about it, now you're actually doing it!

    I thought about this when I had my 130i. As everyone has said, make sure you get the ECU from the donor car, and it helps if its a sedan. It should be easier to map the rear doors with your central locking if the donor car is a sedan.

    N54 power mods? Best Bang buck ratio: DP, Intake, Jb4. Then Meth/intercooler/Turbos. Turbo upgrade would be crazy easy with the engine already out.
    N54 reliability mods? RB PCV Upgrade, BMW OCC, oil cooler.

    Its cool that the bell housing from your tranny matches up.
    haha, i was literally (seriously) considering it for about a week before i was told about the motor for sale (THANKS BTW! Click here to enlarge ), a couple weeks of finding out what actually comes with it, and what i need to get it done, just sorted finances and bam! Click here to enlarge

    unfortunately it's from an E92 (coupe), will deal with that when it comes, being identical ECU's between E90/E92, i'm going to assume it won't be the most complicated coding job ever... i hope.. haha

    DP's will start stock to stay emissions legal for engineering, will be coming off ASAP though, intake will be going on as modified as possible, definitely going to need more research/discussion, i have a feeling i'll end up getting something custom, i don't like the look of the pancaked stock piping, i don't like the idea of DCI sucking in hot air...
    JB4 going on as soon as on the road for sure,

    Meth - the main reason i'd want to get it is to prevent carbon buildup, i don't want to have to rely on it to start with for fuelling/charge cooling/power in general (for no real reason other than 'see how it goes without anyway') - i'd prefer to run E85 for octane reasons, though can stock turbo's make enough boost to really use E85? (which for long term i guess i'll need a better LPFP which is happening anywayyyy...)... intercooler will be going on non-stock for sure, turbo's will definitely be a LATER thing, well.... depends on my finances when it comes time to drop it all in, but 2-3k at a minimum to get RB/vargas stage two at least... we'll see on that one ok? hahaha
    be nice if vargas stage 3's would fit an RHD haha

    PCV.. positive crankcase ventillation? i'm still not entirely sure what that is, but if it needs fixing, consider it on the cards!
    ooh oil catch can, didn't think of that one, will look that one up too.
    Oil cooler, any recommendations as to what make to go? the better... well.. i'd rather go something better build/more reliable/better functioning even if it's slightly pricier.


    not 100% sure the bell housings will match up, i have a feeling they should, but... well if they don't, adapter plates can be machined for a couple $hundred

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by dontask Click here to enlarge
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    oh, and don't forget to clean up the intake ports from any carbon deposits whilst the engine is out.
    yup! for sure, going to have everything taken off/inspected/modified however i can while it's off the car, i'm never going to have an opportunity like this again realistically (for a time frame longer than JUST a valve clean), hence this thread to start with

    fingers crossed i'll try to have it in by the next meetup, hopefully the one after at the very latest Click here to enlarge

    also, thanks to whoever edited the title, would get a lot more interest now haha
    Last edited by Flinchy; 09-30-2012 at 06:49 AM.

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    not 2-3k, 4-5k for turbo's it seems, typo*

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    Cool project. Good luck with it. Click here to enlarge

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Flinchy Click here to enlarge
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    i did read the m3 e82 swap, from egypt?.. It'd either be a FULL m3 swap ECU and all.. Or since it's used for drifting shows and racing, i'd assume a standalone was on the cards for it
    M3 harness and ECU was used.

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    3 out of 3 members liked this post. Reputation: Yes | No

    Any guesses to what this is?

    you have no idea how excites i am Click here to enlarge
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    I spy with my little eye, an N54 Click here to enlarge

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    cool! good luck buddy


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by fastgti69 Click here to enlarge
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    I spy with my little eye, an N54 Click here to enlarge
    ding! :p

    I'm at work now so that's all i've got, i'll put up a few more/stripped shots when i get home Click here to enlarge


    catalogue of parts etc


    Sadly, that's actually right where i park my car Click here to enlarge

    haha

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