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Thread: Best cams, street/track car

  1. #26
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  2. #27
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    Just keep the stock ones Josh. Not worth the money to do cams on S52. BTDT
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  3. #28
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    actually riot racing sent mine in 3 days.. they have cores already done.., they give you 30 days to send in yours
    let me know if you need a valve spring tool
    98 Estoril ///M3 4/5
    S54 swap in progress

  4. #29
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    I don't have much comparison, but I recently did the schrick 276/270 and paid a shop to do it... while it was expensive, with the 3.5" intake I did 264/239 whp/wtq. If you have the time and knowledge to do the cams, I think you should try yourself. I kind of regret not doing them myself with the labor cost involved, but I'm still very happy with them. I think you just need to ask yourself how much you want to spend for another 10whp..

    But here are the prices that I have found:

    Schrick 276/270 cams/ :$1,395.00
    http://www.achillesmotorsports.com/S...ch-m50-276.htm

    Supertech Springs, Retainers, & Seats/ : $569.85
    https://thmotorsports.com/i-253020.a...SABEgJevfD_BwE

    There you're at $2,100 minus the shim and head bolts...

    But if you want 270+whp, I think that's the way to go.

    -Daniel
    1998 US m3 coupe.. Home-made Short Ram Intake with heat shield, BMW Factory X-Brace, Eibach Prokit Springs, Whiteline Front Swaybar, Sparco Front Strut Bar, Depo Headlights, Stock Headers to full 3" with Vibrant Resonator & Muffler, m50 manifold, Markert Motor Works Off-Shelf Tune, all sitting on square Style 42s.. Bent Valves 1-17 :/


  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by propcar View Post
    are Cat cams not good? Seem to have two options.

    http://www.achillesmotorsports.com/C...-cs-m50-hl.htm
    Catcams makes VAC's cams. Interesting specs on those Achilles cams, haven't seen any like that yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by jvit27 View Post
    Just keep the stock ones Josh. Not worth the money to do cams on S52. BTDT
    As any, this is just another opinion. Having gone through multiple sets of cams, I would disagree. Especially considering the actual cost of swapping an S54 for the average person and the difficulty of keeping an FI car cool on track. The difference in power, throttle response, and the overall powerband is substantial.
    Last edited by Foda420; 07-18-2017 at 02:06 AM.
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  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhughes View Post
    Just FYI for people looking. If you find these cams through a Google search, they may not actually be available from the vendor. I contacted Achilles about this, because you can't find these cams on their site. They said that they had a hard time keeping them in stock and the page is just cached in Google.

  7. #32
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    Only place I've found the Schrick 276's is VAC. dhughes, that cost differential is what's making me pause on the 276's. They're substantially more money for an incremental gain.

    At this point I'm waiting to see if a few used sets shake out for me. If they don't, I'll most likely buy the mild schricks and call it a day, as they drop right in. I'd love a set of the Epic sport cams, but they're quite a bit more than the mild schricks.
    '98 M3 track whore
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  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foda420 View Post
    As any, this is just another opinion. Having gone through multiple sets of cams, I would disagree. Especially considering the actual cost of swapping an S54 for the average person and the difficulty of keeping an FI car cool on track. The difference in power, throttle response, and the overall powerband is substantial.
    The one thing the turbo guys don't seem to grasp is that the NA guys speak a different language. Take the word "worth" as an example. Whats worth it to the turbo guy is clearly different than whats worth it to the NA guy.
    E30 Dinan Turbo


  9. #34
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    Yeah, I'm unwilling to go turbo. It'd put me in a very undesirable time trial class and keeping the car cool where I live is already challenging enough. Same thing with a supercharger, keeping water temps cool becomes that much more difficult and I'd have to run very little boost to keep the car in the time trial class I'd want to stay in.
    '98 M3 track whore
    '06 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S 521hp daily driver/Ski Machine/Tow Pig
    '15 KTM 1190 Adventure Beastly 2 wheeler

  10. #35
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    Turbos are great at altitude, but I agree they add complexity and heat. Don't know much about racing classes but it makes sense you would get reclassified due to the power adder.

  11. #36
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    The classes are mostly based on hp/weight. So adding something like forced induction automatically will bump you up several classes. You end up getting a dyno and then showing it to the time trials director and he decides what class you're going to run in then.

    Not something I want to do, I'm happy in the class I'm in now....
    '98 M3 track whore
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    '15 KTM 1190 Adventure Beastly 2 wheeler

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foda420 View Post
    As any, this is just another opinion. Having gone through multiple sets of cams, I would disagree. Especially considering the actual cost of swapping an S54 for the average person and the difficulty of keeping an FI car cool on track. The difference in power, throttle response, and the overall powerband is substantial.
    Quote Originally Posted by bimma360 View Post
    The one thing the turbo guys don't seem to grasp is that the NA guys speak a different language. Take the word "worth" as an example. Whats worth it to the turbo guy is clearly different than whats worth it to the NA guy.
    EXCEPT some of us do grasp it. I spent thousands doing all of these NA mods to my S52 before going turbo, and just wasn't impressed for the cost. I enjoyed the car just as much with only a manifold and tune. You'll spend well over $3000 before you're done and it still didn't come close to my old S50b32 swap.

    You don't want to know what the S54b34 i've been planning is "worth"..
    '04 Jet Black + Cinnamon ///M3 coupe (SMG)
    V-CSL, BBS CH, H&R coilovers, Eisenmann Race, X-pipe, Z4M seats, Avant-2

    '99 Estoril Blue + Dove Grey ///
    M3 coupe
    Technique Tuning Stage 1 Turbo, TC Kline DA,
    Rallyroad Brembo BBK, Recaro SRD, ZF 6spd, BMW Traffic Pro 4771, ZKW FX-R

    Gone but not forgotten:

    '99 M3 Estoril Blue/Dove Grey (bought new), '95 M3 Arctic Silver/Black (3.5 HFM setup), '97 318ti Arctic Silver/Red Millpoint (M-Tech Dinan), '02 325XiT Black/Black/5MT (wintermobile), '98.5
    "M3 RS" Cosmos Black/M-cloth (GrpN S50b32), '02 M3 Alpine White/Impulse/SMG (sunroof delete), '04 X5 4.8iS Estoril Blue/M-texture, '02 M3 Alpine White/Black/6MT (CSL wh0re), '97 M3 Techno Violet/Modena (Eurosport Twinscrew), '04 M3 Alpine White/Black/SMG (garage queen)




  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by jvit27 View Post
    EXCEPT some of us do grasp it. I spent thousands doing all of these NA mods to my S52 before going turbo, and just wasn't impressed for the cost. I enjoyed the car just as much with only a manifold and tune. You'll spend well over $3000 before you're done and it still didn't come close to my old S50b32 swap.

    You don't want to know what the S54b34 i've been planning is "worth"..
    I've had everything mentioned, and my e36 s54 camm'd/airbox car was the most fun useful car of them all.

    It wasn't cheap.


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  14. #39
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    You should do a turbo S54 next year after you sell the car you are building now.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by pbonsalb View Post
    You should do a turbo S54 next year after you sell the car you are building now.
    Nah. Next year will my spare s52 should have some high comp pistons, and everything from the s50 swapped over to it.


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  16. #41
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    And how much did your Euro M3 motor swap cost Jon? Super cool swap, I certainly wish I could do that or an S54 swap, but the reality of the costs of doing those swaps is sobering.

    Yeah, I'll only get a small gain out of the cams, even smaller if I don't do the 276/270's. However, if the labor to install them is basically nothing, I might as well throw the street schricks in. Minimal cost involved and I will see some gains. The more wild cams definitely start ringing the cash register much more and at that point its not worth it to me.
    '98 M3 track whore
    '06 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S 521hp daily driver/Ski Machine/Tow Pig
    '15 KTM 1190 Adventure Beastly 2 wheeler

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by jvit27 View Post
    EXCEPT some of us do grasp it. I spent thousands doing all of these NA mods to my S52 before going turbo, and just wasn't impressed for the cost. I enjoyed the car just as much with only a manifold and tune. You'll spend well over $3000 before you're done and it still didn't come close to my old S50b32 swap.

    You don't want to know what the S54b34 i've been planning is "worth"..
    Haha you have to see the irony here. You are basically saying, its not worth spending $3K on an S52 so spend 2 - 3X that turbo'ing it. Or 2 - 3X that on a swap.

    Your definition of "worth" is horsepower. Thats not really the case for everyone man. Not everyone is after the same thing you are. Some people just want to bump up the power a bit, improve on some of the motor's natural shortcomings, and to a POINT the money part is irrelevant. I am budgeting about $5-6K for a S52 rebuild on a car that sees about 15-20k miles per year. At best, I am looking at 285-300bhp. The alternative is an S54 swap that at best would be 50% higher in cost. If HP and HP potential in a NA format was my priority than the S54 is a no brainer. But its not. And its not for a lot of other NA guys, for various reasons. Having had turbo'd and high hp cars, I have found that I much prefer a chassis car than a power car. When I want a high hp car again, I'll go out and buy one that came that way from the factory. But I grasp that there are different strokes for different folks, so you won't catch me telling you that its a waste building an S54b34 when you can swap an S65.
    E30 Dinan Turbo


  18. #43
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    S54 with some bolt ons has to be one of the most satisfying power plants to be matched up to the E36 chassis... if I keep the E36 long enough, I hope one day I can make this happen.
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  19. #44
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    I figure an S54 swap easily costs $10k, by the time you've bought the motor, exhaust parts, oil cooler, wiring harnesses, etc, etc, etc. I've read through the threads like bimmerman535's, its a lot of work to get one installed in a street car and everything working. It's much easier and cheaper if its going into a race car....
    '98 M3 track whore
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  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocWyte View Post
    I figure an S54 swap easily costs $10k, by the time you've bought the motor, exhaust parts, oil cooler, wiring harnesses, etc, etc, etc. I've read through the threads like bimmerman535's, its a lot of work to get one installed in a street car and everything working. It's much easier and cheaper if its going into a race car....
    Yes close to that. When I had mine done I paid 3k for a 79k mile motor with accessories/harness. Pnp swap kit at the time 760 which included the drive by wire pedal.

    I had rod bearings replaced with wpc treated bearing (360) vanos fixes bisans kit, dr.vanos hub fix, arp rod bolts, eBay headers, schrick cams, and Castro motorsports airbox, and RK tunes tune.

    I got a great deal on the swap, and many of the parts at great prices. Yes I'd say I spent just under 10k.

    Would I do it again no, but it was the best performing e36 I've ever owned.


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  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by GG///M3 View Post
    Would I do it again no, but it was the best performing e36 I've ever owned.
    Genuinely curious as to why you wouldn't do it again. I've heard that from at least 1 other person that did the swap. My guess would be, that jumping to the e46 chassis as a whole just makes more sense.

    When I researched the swap pretty heavily I compiled everything I would need, and came at $7k (without bearings and Vanos work). But that was really trying to keep it on the lower side. My initial list to get it done to the way I want was about $9k. Hearing from some that they wouldn't do it again, and the fact that my main goal is not the highest performing e36, I started leaning more towards rebuilding the S52. Rebuilding is also cheaper, and you get a fresh motor. I am at 217k by the way, so I'd like to address the head gasket preventatively... and while I'll have the motor apart I might as well.... and down the rabbit hole we go. haha.
    Last edited by bimma360; 07-19-2017 at 06:13 PM.
    E30 Dinan Turbo


  22. #47
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    Don't forget labor costs unless you can do everything yourself.

    I've built a few swapped cars and there's always something that pops up. Shaking them out to get them to run truly like factory is a long and sometimes expensive process. Plus they're really expensive to build. You have something cool and unique when you're done, but I wouldn't do it again. I'd rather sell the car and take that money, plus the swap money and buy something completely different/better.
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  23. #48
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    Labor on custom projects can equal parts cost. Either you need to be prepared to spend a lot or you need to DIY. I used to DIY because I did not have money for labor. Now I could pay for the labor as well as the parts but figure that if I DIY then I can buy even more parts and do even bigger projects. Plus I sort of like DIYing, at least sometimes. There can be satisfaction in it though it can also be tiring and frustrating at times.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocWyte View Post
    Don't forget labor costs unless you can do everything yourself.

    I've built a few swapped cars and there's always something that pops up. Shaking them out to get them to run truly like factory is a long and sometimes expensive process. Plus they're really expensive to build. You have something cool and unique when you're done, but I wouldn't do it again. I'd rather sell the car and take that money, plus the swap money and buy something completely different/better.
    My cars, apart from the rare instance or alignments/tires, don't get touched by anyone else. I enjoy doing it, and can spend the labor money on more stuff like tools/parts/cars.

    The game plan for the S52 rebuild would be to pull the motor, split the block and head, remove the cams, and strip the block. Bring the head into VAC for a Stage 2 rebuild (~$2100), and bring the bare block along with the crank and rods for them to prep and assemble with new bearings and 11.3:1 CP pistons. Nothing fancy or crazy. I'll see if it is worth my time to have them assemble the complete head and block along with the vanos and new cams. Otherwise, I'll assemble myself, and no matter what do the engine install myself.
    E30 Dinan Turbo


  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by bimma360 View Post
    Genuinely curious as to why you wouldn't do it again. I've heard that from at least 1 other person that did the swap. My guess would be, that jumping to the e46 chassis as a whole just makes more sense.

    When I researched the swap pretty heavily I compiled everything I would need, and came at $7k (without bearings and Vanos work). But that was really trying to keep it on the lower side. My initial list to get it done to the way I want was about $9k. Hearing from some that they wouldn't do it again, and the fact that my main goal is not the highest performing e36, I started leaning more towards rebuilding the S52. Rebuilding is also cheaper, and you get a fresh motor. I am at 217k by the way, so I'd like to address the head gasket preventatively... and while I'll have the motor apart I might as well.... and down the rabbit hole we go. haha.
    Add me to that list-- I love my swap but to be honest, an E46 makes more sense at pretty much the same sunk cost ($5k chassis + $10-12k swap = $17k E46 M3...). If you pay a shop to do it, I've been told the going rate for CARB Legal although still missing AC, Cruise, and the Mk60 DSC/traction control is $18-20k + car cost....so roughly double the DIY parts and beer budget for ultimately less functionality.

    I have steadfastly refused to add up my costs but I would estimate $10-12k range since I bought a LOT of new parts for the OE-integration stuff, plus motor refresh (bearings + vanos + harmonic balancer)....and have probably spent about two thirds of that again on the CSL stuff and supersprint exhaust bits, and I still have cams to go before I consider it 'done'. Cams won't be for a while though, because I'm happily spending money driving it finally.

    Not cheap whatsoever.....but dear god is it a fun and satisfying monster to drive. The motor makes the chassis feel alive and playful and is hugely rewarding to drive now that I've got a shorter ratio diff.

    I've been debating whether to go about doing a second one in my M3/4/5, now that I know exactly what parts to buy (and given the spares I still have, cause craigslist flakers suck), but.....to be honest I'll probably be content with either selling it or doing CAI and catback for better noise. Spending ~$7k for another S54 swap could be better funneled into the SS or the existing S54 car (or, non-car stuff).

    As for the cam + S52 question, don't forget to take a look at Metric Mechanic. Fsmtnbiker ran a set of those a few years ago on an otherwise stock S52 and made pretty good power, with no vanos issues. I don't remember if he had to do valvesprings or not, but since the springs come out for the headgasket machine work, at least you're not out extra labor just parts. Check the dyno thread to see his results. If this was for just a street car though, jvit's right, spend money elsewhere. For a TT classed car it might make sense if the cams will put you towards the pointy end of the grid.
    Last edited by Bimmerman535i; 07-20-2017 at 01:27 PM.
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