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Thread: M54 vs. M56 Difference?

  1. #1
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    M54 vs. M56 Difference?

    What it the difference between an M54 vs an M56? I just bought a 2003 BMW 325Ci .. does anyone know which it is?

  2. #2
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    Should tell you on the drivers side door jam...maybe? Your car could be either....pray it is not an M56....

    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1064599

    Read the bove thread......doesn't sound good to me though. Sorry man.

    To find out for sure...take the last 7 of your VIN and type it in (where it says serial number) at the below link...and let us know what you have.....so we can either laugh or cry....

    http://www.realoem.com/bmw/select.do
    Last edited by danewilson77; 11-15-2009 at 03:35 PM.

    by Dane Wilson, on Flickr

  3. #3
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    aside from being 3.0 and 2.5? not much

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triscuit View Post
    aside from being 3.0 and 2.5? not much
    Not so sure about that....

    by Dane Wilson, on Flickr

  5. #5
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    2003 325ci = M54 all day long right?
    It's MAF'd.

  6. #6
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    ok thankfully it's not the m56 much to my relief. thanks so much for the links-- basically i think it's the emmision control modifications that make the m56 different than the m54. its production lasted from 02-04 only
    thanks!!

  7. #7
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    I have the m56 enginge what's so bad about it?
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  8. #8
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    M56 is great u guys are mean. The difference is... Sulev vs ulev it has stainless steel fuel lines, sealed fuel system all together. The M56 is just a green car.

    Quote Originally Posted by Triscuit View Post
    aside from being 3.0 and 2.5? not much
    No. My mother owns a 330 with a 3.0L, it is M54. I own a 325 with a 2.5l, it is M54. The only down side to m56 is working on it. Also modifying it, it's real sensitive and will throw codes left and right if u try.
    Last edited by slvrXI; 11-16-2009 at 03:37 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    -///Mike ///Michael ///Mikey

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  9. #9
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    2.5 liter M56 sulev motors were sold only in MA, NY and CA to meet tougher air quality standards. If I recall correctly, you can tell the M56 by the fact that its oil filler cap is farther back towards the windshield, and the M54's us in front near the VANOS. Power ratings were the same.

  10. #10
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    The main problem with the M56 is the integrated fuel filter. You would have to replace the entire fuel tank if it ever goes bad (BMW claims it's a "lifetime" filter but we've heard that misleading pitch before--no filter, fluid, or part is indestructible--it need only survive the survive the warranty period).

    Power modding isn't so much an issue--the regular M54B25 isn't that responsive to non-F/I applications to begin with.

    Most of the "enhanced" emissions control devices in US market cars (especially SULEV/M56) are far more trouble than they're worth. A good example of this would be the secondary air pump, a notoriously failure prone piece of $400 equipment which will throw a code when it goes and has no purpose other than to circulate air through the cats to bring them up to operating temperature a few seconds quicker on a stone cold engine start. Short of replacing it or building a device to trick the ECU, you would have to ignore the code at the risk that a real problem could develop unnoticed or at the hassle of routinely rescanning for new codes. The Euro market cars don't even have this; you have to appreciate the irony of a country (i.e. the US) that requires absurd emissions control crap like this while tolerating (even encouraging) the proliferation of fuel guzzling SUVs.

    And FWIW: the M54 comes in both 2.5L and 3.0L versions (and, actually, 2.2L, in markets besides the US). The 330 has the M54B30 and the 325 has the M54B25.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by slvrXI View Post
    M56 is great u guys are mean. The difference is... Sulev vs ulev it has stainless steel fuel lines, sealed fuel system all together. The M56 is just a green car.



    No. My mother owns a 330 with a 3.0L, it is M54. I own a 325 with a 2.5l, it is M54. The only down side to m56 is working on it. Also modifying it, it's real sensitive and will throw codes left and right if u try.
    So me putting in air intake and new exhaust and things as such as that will throw a code.?
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  12. #12
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    Heavier modifications. You will be 100% fine with exhaust. And intake should not be an issue.
    -///Mike ///Michael ///Mikey

    pwn noobs /thread

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by slvrXI View Post
    Heavier modifications. You will be 100% fine with exhaust. And intake should not be an issue.
    Oh thank the good lord my high hopes for my car went from good god I can't wait too get this too. Man why did I even get this car. But now my faith is restored once again in my E46
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by HavocNC View Post
    Oh thank the good lord my high hopes for my car went from good god I can't wait too get this too. Man why did I even get this car. But now my faith is restored once again in my E46

    by Dane Wilson, on Flickr

  15. #15
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    Look under your hood the oil cap location is different on a M54 its on top of the valve cover a M56 oil cap down at the left hand corner of the valve cover..

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