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Thread: "If I had to do it again" 325i m50 turbo build

  1. #1
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    1994 BMW 325i

    "If I had to do it again" 325i m50 turbo build

    Welcome to the "If I had to do it again" build guys/gals/aliens

    The following is my 94 325i M50TUB25 turbo build.

    This project has been a long time in the making and is still in the making. I thought it might finally be time to start compiling all my pictures together to show my progress. It is also for me to look back on and help me with future builds. My memory isnt the greatest so I thought it might be a better idea to compile all the information I always search for into one thread I can always refer back to. I have a day off during the week and most times spend it doing small things to the car/engine so I tend to have some type of update weekly. I have been slacking lately though so my hopes is that you all can put that fire under my ass to finally get this car together. As I've said its been a long time in the making so let me bring you guys up to speed.


    So I fired this whole thing off with a purchase of a DD 12/30/15



    purchased Miller War chip turbo tune package used from BOOSTEDBIM 01/13/16



    Few months went by as I was just piecing things together 3/26/16






    I bought a few more pieces from DUBSEVEN 5/6/16



    Of course another few months goes by and life gets in the way. I actually tried selling everything off at one point but I was able to bounce back so I took the car over to RRT motorsports.I took it there for them to evaluate and basically confirm how stupid this build is lol but I digress anyhow long story they tell me the short block is bad. This was an engine that had been replaced by my father through a local european indy shop when my sister in law had the car but then the transmission went bad and I bought the car and did a manual swap and it ran like a top with decent power I might add so this came as a shock to me.

    Leakdown results 09/15/16


    After getting that news it really put things on hold for quite some time as I was going through a transitional period with work and family and whanot
    but I finally get it all together and I decided to just start the teardown process while I was looking for another engine to slap in the car

    10/26/16





    So fast foward another few months finally got the engine brought it home took it apart got the cylinder head off of it and sent that off to the machine shop Springfield custom machine for those in the Northern Virginia area they do very good work and definitely taught me a few things as well I would recommend those guys and I will certainly go back for any other builds Ill have. That brings us to now which is me assembling the head and its components and waiting to get the money to order all the lines,hoses,clamps and what not.










    To those of you who stuck around to the end You are much appreciated and if you have any comments or suggestions for me or questions please let me know ! I need you guys to keep my lazy butt in line and see this through to the end !
    Last edited by SlumdogJay; 03-10-2017 at 06:33 PM.

  2. #2
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    Its always a long road to boost. You are missing a radiator:p


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    1989 535i - sold
    1999 Tiag/Dove M3 - sold
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    PTE6870 | 1.15 ar | Hp Cover, Custom Divided T4 bottom-mount, 3.5" SS exhaust, Dual Turbosmart Compgates, Turbosmart Raceport BOV, 3.5" Treadstone Intercooler, 3.5" Vibrant resonator and muffler, Arp 2k Headstuds | Arp 2k Main studs | 87mm Je pistons | Eagle rods | 9.2:1 static compression, Ces 87mm cutring, Custom solid rear subframe bushings, Akg 85d diff bushings, 4 clutch 3.15 diff, , Poly engine mounts, UUC trans mounts W/ enforcers, 22RPD OBD2 Stock ECU id1700 E85 tune, 22RPD Big power Transmission swap w/ GS6-53

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by vollosso View Post
    Its always a long road to boost. You are missing a radiator:p


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    yeah it really is. Working on the radiator most likey mishimoto

    working a little more today got the head torqued to 85 ft/lbs through the proper sequence suggested by CES motorsports and APR
    but I got a question for you all I rotated the crank few times with the head off and I didnt have the timing chain sprocket on so no reference for TDC what I did was get the two dots on the camshafts pointing upward and just rotated the crank a little every time I felt resistance from the camshaft so now I believe they are at TDC but not sure about the crank. I did the screwdriver deal which show what I believe is the top of the stroke for cylinder 1 and 6 Am I safe with this or should I be concerned ?

    torquing the head bolts



    pics for reference on TDC is this right ??

  4. #4
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    "If I had to do it again" 325i m50 turbo build

    I use the mark on the flywheel to find tdc.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    1989 535i - sold
    1999 Tiag/Dove M3 - sold
    1998 Turbo Arctic/black - current
    2004 TiAg/Black - Current

    PTE6870 | 1.15 ar | Hp Cover, Custom Divided T4 bottom-mount, 3.5" SS exhaust, Dual Turbosmart Compgates, Turbosmart Raceport BOV, 3.5" Treadstone Intercooler, 3.5" Vibrant resonator and muffler, Arp 2k Headstuds | Arp 2k Main studs | 87mm Je pistons | Eagle rods | 9.2:1 static compression, Ces 87mm cutring, Custom solid rear subframe bushings, Akg 85d diff bushings, 4 clutch 3.15 diff, , Poly engine mounts, UUC trans mounts W/ enforcers, 22RPD OBD2 Stock ECU id1700 E85 tune, 22RPD Big power Transmission swap w/ GS6-53

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by vollosso View Post
    I use the mark on the flywheel to find tdc.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    thanks for the quick response I took off the flywheel before mounting on the engine stand and the crank timing sprocket gear is off it too so I cant quite use the O|T mark I mean it lines up when i set it up but I want to be absolutely sure its where it needs to be before I go bending valves.
    Last edited by SlumdogJay; 03-12-2017 at 06:40 PM. Reason: bad wording

  6. #6
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    So to be clear I know my cams are at TDC indicated by the two holes on each but my crank doesnt have the pulley on it I took it off like a dummy and did not lock the bottom end via flywheel lock tool I know that cylinder 1 and 6 are at the top of the stroke which brings me to my question the position it is in now I should be able to install primary exhaust sprocket and etc and it will be in time right? or could it be a degree or two off and what effect can that have?

  7. #7
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    Why can't you just reinstall your harmonic balancer to find tdc?

  8. #8
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    Whew.
    It's no wonder the engine is bad.
    The radiator can't breathe through all that "muck"

    The harness is in the way of airflow too.


    Cooling is BEYOND important.

    Quote Originally Posted by SlumdogJay View Post



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by hallca View Post
    Why can't you just reinstall your harmonic balancer to find tdc?
    That doesnt let me know exactly if it is at TDC for example I could take the O|T mark and just line it up on the lower timing cover but the postion of the pistions may be different. I'm just going to install everything and give it 3 to 5 revolutions and just check the timing that way and if I have to pull it back off to adjust then so be it. I should have paid more attention.

    Quote Originally Posted by milKt View Post
    Whew.
    It's no wonder the engine is bad.
    The radiator can't breathe through all that "muck"

    The harness is in the way of airflow too.


    Cooling is BEYOND important.
    I absolutely understand this and do not plan on reusing that dirty thing if that was what you were thinking but I'm leaning toward purchasing the mishimoto unit since it is so widely used with rather good results it seems. Has anyone used their thermostat ???
    Last edited by SlumdogJay; 03-13-2017 at 07:33 PM. Reason: I'm a scholar

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlumdogJay View Post
    That doesnt let me know exactly if it is at TDC for example I could take the O|T mark and just line it up on the lower timing cover but the postion of the pistions may be different. I'm just going to install everything and give it 3 to 5 revolutions and just check the timing that way and if I have to pull it back off to adjust then so be it. I should have paid more attention.
    Why not just use both methods? The screwdriver will let you know when you are close to #1 TDC and the OIT mark will let you know precisely.

    Maybe I'm paranoid but I wouldn't want to spin the motor, even by hand, if I wasn't 100% sure it was timed correctly.

  11. #11
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    Was that weed wacker line?

    Also, any particular reason to pull the entire motor out for an HG? Did you do any internal work?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by s13flyboy View Post
    Why not just use both methods? The screwdriver will let you know when you are close to #1 TDC and the OIT mark will let you know precisely.

    Maybe I'm paranoid but I wouldn't want to spin the motor, even by hand, if I wasn't 100% sure it was timed correctly.
    I feel like this was the obvious answer I dont know what I didn't think of this thanks Im just going to do this but still rotate by hand to make absolutely sure.



    Quote Originally Posted by 328iFun View Post
    Was that weed wacker line?

    Also, any particular reason to pull the entire motor out for an HG? Did you do any internal work?
    Yes it is weed wacker line good eye lol gotta use what you got. The engine with the bad leakdown results is actually still in the car. I bought another engine from a donor car because RRT told me I needed a new short block no internal work done though. I'll be using this as a gauge for my next build where I will completely rebuild from top to bottom since I'll have an extra engine to mess around with after I get this build "done"

  13. #13
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    So here we are almost 2 years later from my last post. I had to put the car back on hold for a little while due to transition in work life but Yíall get it lol. I managed to get a few things installed and had a good friend help me make some intercooler brackets and I finally got the car started !

    It ran perfect on its first start was idling a bit high but I didnít care because it ran on its own. I was definitely excited but later it cut off and had a hard time starting again. I found that my fuel pump wasnít kicking on due to old wiring which I gotta replace. I also realized that I forgot to check/tighten all the grounds, super rookie move I know. Anyhow So now it idles decent

    However I canít drive it yet and it is killing me. So car idles perfect but give it gas and it starts breaking up and is not smooth through the Rpms . Mind you I havenít driven the car at all yet other than moving it from spot to spot . Check engine light was on and I had the scanner handy so I hooked up and pulled code 41 checked my Miller MAF and connection was loose .

    Tightened it up and it did nothing. Problem still persist. If I unplug the maf while running the car will cutoff. I read voltage going to the maf and it seems erratic but I also saw on this manual code 41 is a false mass air flow code and most likely is faulty IAC but the car idles good it does hunt a bit a first but eventually smooths out . can any one shine light on this one ? Iím so close to getting it driving just need to figure this bug out Iíll post a video of me unloading it off a trailer tomorrow where you can hear it break up look forward to hear from you all

    UPDATE: heres that video I was talking about
    Last edited by SlumdogJay; 09-27-2018 at 10:05 AM. Reason: adding video

  14. #14
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    Have you checked the lines under the intake manifold? They tend to crack easily and have sometimes unoticeable rips that cause leaks and can throw weird fault codes.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Maul View Post
    Have you checked the lines under the intake manifold? They tend to crack easily and have sometimes unoticeable rips that cause leaks and can throw weird fault codes.
    I haven't yet i'll run a smoke test hopefully this weekend and report back to you all

  16. #16
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    Havenít run the smoke test yet but did a stomp test as I had originally just hooked up a Autel scanner initially so i was curious if the car would throw a icv code but I got a code 1281 which I did see on my very first start but I thought that was due to the loose grounds I had missed now Iím thinking I have a faulty ecu ? Not sure but one more detail i donít think I mentioned the check engine stays solid until you blip or try to give it any bit of throttle then it flashes Soon as you let off the throttle it just goes right back to solid

  17. #17
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    ok so I was able to finally get the car to the shop for diagnosis and I'm embarrassed to say this but feel I must share in case someone else has an issue. I'll just recap real quick the issue I was dealing with was the car would idle good but you couldn't give it any gas without it breaking up really bad. I previously had hooked up a scanner and pulled code 41. I got it into the shop cleared the codes and tried again and the code came right back so at this point I'm thinking I have a bad mass air flow sensor because disconnecting it would allow it to rev freely without breaking up. I tested the voltage to the plug and the maf and both gave good results. At this point I'm just confused as all hell so I took to the internet and looked through troubleshooting guides through millers website. I scrolled and scrolled and eventually come across an instruction that said something along the lines of DOUBLE CHECK THE ORIENTATION OF THE MAF. That's right everyone I had the maf pipe on backwards got it turned around and now all is well I will post videos soon of it running but needless to say I feel really stupid but a learning process for me. Now that I've finally resolved the drivability issues I can now move on with the rest of the build still have much do to and will keep you all posted with my progression.
    Last edited by SlumdogJay; 12-02-2018 at 12:39 PM.

  18. #18
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    When I said I fixed the drivability issue I mean I fixed the idle and free rev issue lol took it out for a first drive shortly after that post to get gas and under load it seemed to buck and miss so gonna recheck vacuum lines and my gap on the spark plugs Iím open to any other suggestions.

  19. #19
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    Havent had any time to address the bucking issue yet but I thought Id update you guys on this beautiful m3 donar car I picked up for a steal with a buddy of mine who going to take the engine and I'm basically taking everything else I'm thinking it would just be easier to swap both front and rear subframes with everything on it and just be done with it but I haven't decided yet anyways on to the pics






  20. #20
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    Ok so just spent the whole day with a friend of mine swapping the M suspension parts from the donar car to the turbo car including the subframes just because it was easier to keep everything attached to the subframes and move them over. In reference to that everything was a success. I did run into an issue however with the zf trans making a loud screeching noise as soon as I started the car. I have a gripforce stage 4 clutch on the turbo car so I thought let’s get that getrag off and throw the zf on what’s the worst that can happen ? So I’m trying to figure out if my clutch set up is wrong for the transmission or are the throw out bearings suppoesed to be different because I can’t get it in gear when the car is running only when it was off. I’ve dealt with the not being able to shift into gear before with the get rag but that was because I installed the throw out bearing wrong and it never made a screeching like this. Pictures of the disassembly and video of the screeching will be posted once I get to a desktop. Hope someone knows what’s up with this. Talk to you guys later

    the tow to the shop


    getting tear down started


    getting engine harness disconnected from the M and discharging a/c


    everything is out the donar car (chassis for sale with non M suspension if anyone is interested in northern va


    swapping frames


    thats all for now Ill get the video when I can
    Last edited by SlumdogJay; 12-31-2018 at 09:14 AM. Reason: adding pictures

  21. #21
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    ok so update on the screeching noise.. removed the trans and found that the clutch was making contact with my hrowout bearing so just had to flip the clutch around and that problem is solved heres where the contact was being made



    glad that was a quick fix but now the car is running poorly even at idle not sure why but i'll get it figured out and let yall know

  22. #22
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    Would reccomend the miller war chip?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ctwide3project View Post
    Would reccomend the miller war chip?
    Yeah sure I would recommend. Itís been a simple plug n play option for me.

  24. #24
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    are slow.
    What clutch where you running? Usually when the clutch is on backwards it will stall instantly when the clutch is released. At least that's been my experience.

    Idle issues, start with the simple stuff:
    CEL codes
    Spark plug gaps
    Vacuum leaks
    MAF, blow through? Make sure the contacts are clean and working.
    Alternator/battery, engine chassis ground.
    "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlumdogJay View Post
    ok so update on the screeching noise.. removed the trans and found that the clutch was making contact with my hrowout bearing so just had to flip the clutch around and that problem is solved heres where the contact was
    LOL, same thing happened to me when I put my first M52 back together! Couldnít figure out wtf that noise was.


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