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Thread: M52 Turbo/Manifold Combos, Whats trash whats not?

  1. #1
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    M52 Turbo/Manifold Combos, Whats trash whats not?

    As the title suggests Iím after some reccommendations for a good wuality turbo and manifold to pick up for my m52. Looking to make good power (500 comfortably with the ability to make more) while minimizing lag as much as possible. I would also like to know a good place to pick up an intercooler and piping. As of now Iím just starting to transfer over from putting my attention on engine components (pistons, rods, headgasket, studs etc) to actual turbo parts, so whats some experiences you guys have had? I was eyeing the Precision 6266 but heard some questionable experiences about them being rugged enough to be worth the price tag. Also heard great things about Borg Warner, can anyone here support? Was also eyeing the Spa or RSI manifolds but havent set myself on anything for certain yet. What do you guys run and what should i stay away from? Appreciate any feedback in advance.

  2. #2
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    6266 will be a late bloomer on a 2.8 L. May want to think about a T3 6262 .82 ar or even .63 ar

  3. #3
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    6266 is kind of a missmatch of compressor and turbine. A 6262 would be better in the precision linup. Borg Warner S362sxe, and Garrett GTW3684 would both be good choices as well.


    86 325es, 2.8L NV m50, S366, Megasquirt 2, e85, solid rear axle, 4 link, spool, T56 Magnum trans, 28x10.5w slicks, zip ties
    Best = 9.43 @ 149.15 mph, 1.30 60 foot 28 psi boost

  4. #4
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    Spa with 6262 or similar turbo.

    M52 should get M50 manifold and S52 cams and run on 93 octane for 500 rwhp. You can go bigger on the turbo but you trade response. You can buy a fancy manifold to improve spool. Fancy turbos as well. Or swap in an S52 for more displacement. Depends on how much you want to spend and how much work you want to do.

    You have to change the clutch and head gasket so not much more labor to swap in an S52 and you get $300-400 worth of S52 cams with it that you might otherwise buy. On an S52, Spa with a 6262 will trap 125+ and make over 500 rwhp.

    Tread stone makes some good IC. They go on sale periodically.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butters Stoch View Post
    6266 will be a late bloomer on a 2.8 L. May want to think about a T3 6262 .82 ar or even .63 ar
    Right, it would be worth noting ill be using an s52 crank and 85mm pistons so displacement will be slightly higher than the 2.8L as well.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by pbonsalb View Post
    Spa with 6262 or similar turbo.

    M52 should get M50 manifold and S52 cams and run on 93 octane for 500 rwhp. You can go bigger on the turbo but you trade response. You can buy a fancy manifold to improve spool. Fancy turbos as well. Or swap in an S52 for more displacement. Depends on how much you want to spend and how much work you want to do.

    You have to change the clutch and head gasket so not much more labor to swap in an S52 and you get $300-400 worth of S52 cams with it that you might otherwise buy. On an S52, Spa with a 6262 will trap 125+ and make over 500 rwhp.

    Tread stone makes some good IC. They go on sale periodically.
    Current engine is an m52 block, s52 crank and cams, and 85mm custom pistons (9:1 compression) with eagle h beam rods, as well as a wholeee list of misc. other things but thats the jist. Appreciate the feedback, Spa and 6262 will be noted.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Awesome. Appreciate the suggestions, I’m looking to just spend a little more money and get something quality as opossed to cheaping out so I appreciate pointing me towards something decent and ill make sure i check these out.

  7. #7
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    If you want to invest a bit more look into an EFR8374 or 9180. I'm not sure if they will fit on a spa manifold and you need to have perfect wastegate placement to make them work but its one hell of a turbo.


    86 325es, 2.8L NV m50, S366, Megasquirt 2, e85, solid rear axle, 4 link, spool, T56 Magnum trans, 28x10.5w slicks, zip ties
    Best = 9.43 @ 149.15 mph, 1.30 60 foot 28 psi boost

  8. #8
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    With stock bottom m52, t4 spa, prec 6262, CES cutring, and s52 cams are people making 500whp with 93 octane and 18-20lbs of boost? I always thought meth was needed to get closer to the 500rwhp range.


    96 328is turbo
    98 Hellrot M3/4/5

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by zr7685 View Post
    Right, it would be worth noting ill be using an s52 crank and 85mm pistons so displacement will be slightly higher than the 2.8L as well.
    Itís no longer an M52. Itís more like a 3.0L.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by pbonsalb View Post
    It’s no longer an M52. It’s more like a 3.0L.
    Missed that part...


    96 328is turbo
    98 Hellrot M3/4/5

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmw328m52 View Post
    With stock bottom m52, t4 spa, prec 6262, CES cutring, and s52 cams are people making 500whp with 93 octane and 18-20lbs of boost? I always thought meth was needed to get closer to the 500rwhp range.
    When I was running a m52 and a 35r I was trapping 128-130mph. Running 18-24 psi no meth. Very rich tune tho. I think the greatest thing (yet also the worse thing) about a m52 500hp build is the decrease of TQ compared to an S52 with same setup. Meaning, you can run a m52/6262 combo all F'N day long for years at 20# with having your rods never a concern. Yet, just that little bit extra displacement and tq can twist/pretzel a rod at any time.

    Personally I feel even tho the s52 is more entertaining, for a budget 500hp build the m52 is a better choice. So, say you have yourself a 98 M3 and want 500 HP, but not so much monies. Sell that dam engine, pickup a m52 for $200, seal it up and run it. Hell, you will profit $1500 just from the swap. That will pay for the HG/combo, studs, spa manifold, and your intercooler. In the end, you will have a more reliable 500 HP car. Until you get greedy build a S52 and go for 700. Then the car sucks to drive cause all the noise the beefed up drivetrains make.

    /rant

  12. #12
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    I agree with pbonsalb and butters. The more torque you shoot for the more likely you'll bend a rod or have detonation down low. The 6262 should be ok for 500 but with the larger AR. If you go smaller it could take over 22psi which may or may not be safe. 9 to 1 compression so who knows what the limit will be.... just run it rich to be safe

  13. #13
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    I agree with lots of things in here.

    The biggest thing with the s52 and torque is the small exhaust housing choices. Just bump up the turbo or the ar and youíll be fine.

    I generally disagree with the whole rich-safe thing.. but to have that comment make sense Iíll put numbers to it. Anything below 11.7 is technically too rich. Iíd say going down to like 11.4 is the lowest anyone should go on these cars.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    1989 535i - sold
    1999 Tiag/Dove M3 - sold
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    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

  14. #14
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    Agree that the more torque i shoot for is gonna up the risk a bit, but i figure sizing the turbo and AR right, combined with the new forged pistons, rods, head studs, gasket, 9:1 compression, and s52 rotating assembly should get me where i want to be as far as power, so long as the car is tuned properly. I’m also planning on putting the car on e85 in the future, or perhaps some sort of flex fuel setup if possible. But first things first, have it tuned and work out the kinks on 93 before i go and complicate things some more

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by vollosso View Post

    The biggest thing with the s52 and torque is the small exhaust housing choices. Just bump up the turbo or the ar and youíll be fine.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Didnt Rajicase have no issues with the small turbo/back housing, then switch to a bigger turbo 366 or whatever truck diesel thing and twist up a rod ?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butters Stoch View Post
    Didnt Rajicase have no issues with the small turbo/back housing, then switch to a bigger turbo 366 or whatever truck diesel thing and twist up a rod ?
    His original turbo was that little sx-256 1.18ar. Only made like 400ftlbs? 16psi?

    His second turbo was the s366sxe which was fine around 18 psi. When he cranked it up to like 23-24psi (iirc) he bent the rods.

    So I guess to be most accurate what weíre trying to do with the lesser displacement and bigger ar is reduce the early torque hit, but if you turn up even a big turbo too much itíll still bend the rods. Thatís same turbo at the same boost on a m52 would have probably held together.


    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

  17. #17
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    The OP is using aftermarket rods so he has no worries. In general, a bigger motor will spool a turbo faster than a smaller motor. Likewise a bigger turbo usually slows spool. And an open manifold spools slower. Slower spool usually means torque peaks later where VE is lower so there is less torque. In theory, you could have relatively high horsepower with relatively low torque and keep a stock rod 2.5 or 2.8 together longer. I think Frank used to do this.

    Certainly you can keep raising the boost until the slow spooler makes big torque. Stock pistons won’t take unlimited power so you would likely encounter other issues along the way. I like the simple, basic rule that 500 lbs rwtq is fine for stock rods with a good tune. 550 is probably fine on 93 pump (I made 560 lbs rwtq for years in stock rods). After that, don’t count on them.

  18. #18
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    I don't think the 6262 is a good match at all on these motors, at least from the one 3L I've tuned that runs one... too small of a turbine for the air these motors move... it chokes around 18-20 psi

    E36 ∑ DYNO ∑ TUNING ∑ WIRING ∑ PARTS

  19. #19
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    Butters has a customer that ran 135 on pump gas plus meth with one. S52, Spa, PT6262 with little 0.63 housing. Pretty impressive power. I do think that was probably pushing it, at least with the 0.63 housing. Drop power a little for 130 mph traps.

    I ran a GT3582R with 0.82 housing for years on an S52 on 93 pump plus meth. It ran 134.5 mph at around 18-20 psi. I later raised the boost to 21 and it made 607 rwhp SAE Dynojet.

    I really liked the responsiveness and compactness of the turbo. I have spent a ton of money since looking for something better and honestly think the GT35R was the best bang for the buck. Maybe I am making 100 rwhp more now on 93 pump plus meth, but I bought an expensive worked head, Schrick cams, twinscroll manifold and EFR9180 in order to have essentially the same great response.

    I tried a larger, lazier turbo and did not like it. You can buy big turbos cheap but pay a penalty in response. If the car is just a drag racing toy, it does not matter. And if you like to downshift whenever you want power, it does not matter.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by pbonsalb View Post
    Butters has a customer that ran 135 on pump gas plus meth with one. S52, Spa, PT6262 with little 0.63 housing. Pretty impressive power. I do think that was probably pushing it, at least with the 0.63 housing. Drop power a little for 130 mph traps.

    I ran a GT3582R with 0.82 housing for years on an S52 on 93 pump plus meth. It ran 134.5 mph at around 18-20 psi. I later raised the boost to 21 and it made 607 rwhp SAE Dynojet.

    I really liked the responsiveness and compactness of the turbo. I have spent a ton of money since looking for something better and honestly think the GT35R was the best bang for the buck. Maybe I am making 100 rwhp more now on 93 pump plus meth, but I bought an expensive worked head, Schrick cams, twinscroll manifold and EFR9180 in order to have essentially the same great response.

    I tried a larger, lazier turbo and did not like it. You can buy big turbos cheap but pay a penalty in response. If the car is just a drag racing toy, it does not matter. And if you like to downshift whenever you want power, it does not matter.
    I never said it wouldn't make power... I said they choke....

    The 6262 on the 3L (M52) made 619 around 21 psi on a DJ.... but it was at it's limit (power/TQ dropping off sharply). Also if I compare to my 2.9 M52 with a 4094R, the 6262 combo just seems lazy to me in power delivery, it certainly doesn't have the aggressiveness of a more free-flowing turbo has effect wise on these motors. I'd be willing to bet that a 6466 would be a far better match all around than a 6262.

    E36 ∑ DYNO ∑ TUNING ∑ WIRING ∑ PARTS

  21. #21
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    I think it depends on your power goals and those are limited by octane. If you are running 93 plus meth, you are looking at at 600 to 700 rwhp. If you use an 850 rwhp capable turbo, you are trading low end response for top end. That is fine for some people but I tried it on my street car and was not happy. Having a weak bottom end and sudden strong top end makes the car feel faster but it’s not as responsive in most driving.

    On E85, a turbo with more flow makes more sense since you can make 850 rwhp on E85. Plus you can add some timing with E85 or run higher compression to help spool the bigger turbo.

    But for the typical 600 rwhp pump gas street car, running an 850 rwhp capable turbo seems like a lot of sacrifice for a little gain.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by pbonsalb View Post
    I think it depends on your power goals and those are limited by octane. If you are running 93 plus meth, you are looking at at 600 to 700 rwhp. If you use an 850 rwhp capable turbo, you are trading low end response for top end. That is fine for some people but I tried it on my street car and was not happy. Having a weak bottom end and sudden strong top end makes the car feel faster but itís not as responsive in most driving.

    On E85, a turbo with more flow makes more sense since you can make 850 rwhp on E85. Plus you can add some timing with E85 or run higher compression to help spool the bigger turbo.

    But for the typical 600 rwhp pump gas street car, running an 850 rwhp capable turbo seems like a lot of sacrifice for a little gain.
    I think a lot can depend on location and driving styles. I think if I lived out west with miles and miles of nice straight roads, I'd probably have a 7675 on a TS. But for inner city, traffic, and congested highways, I agree the smaller turbo is more entertaining. Although, my setup now gives me the quick response via steed speed and also get the pulling feeling you get with a larger turbo. But if it wasn't for that TS steed, this 6466 would have been pulled for a smaller faster responding turbo. But I think I'm getting 22# by 3100. So, I'm happy with that. Although boost control is an issue. So, its kinda like 22#-26#+ always.
    I do miss my old m52 35r setup. I seemed to be in boost much more often. I just don't have the real estate to be doing pull after pull where I live.

  23. #23
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    Well I will have a comparison soon between the 6262 and 6466 which I just ordered for my buddy. We'll do a dyno run just before swapping the turbo over and then runs after on the 6466 on the same day hopefully.

    E36 ∑ DYNO ∑ TUNING ∑ WIRING ∑ PARTS

  24. #24
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    I run an m52 with .58 AR - PTE 6262, SPA exhaust manifold, m50 intake manifold + S52 Cams (I probably run the smallest back housing on here), car is a rocket from a roll. Turbo seems to start choking above 5,800+ RPMs but spools instantly at lower speeds

    When not in boost the 2.8l with lowered compression and added backpressure is a bit of slug, I could see why guys would rather run lower boost on the 3.0/3.2 s50/s52 and have more low end torque

  25. #25
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    I'll be selling my 6262 63 AR If you're still shopping for one in the next few weeks. And contrary to popular beliefs and keyboard scientists this little air snail has about 30+ 130+mph traps at 19-20 psi. You don't need a bigger turbo for the street, just drive one if you get a chance, instead of letting dyno sheets and data logs that don't mean shit in real life decide for you.


    PTE6262 .63 A/R, Stock S52, Cutring/Copper Spacer/Arp Studs Combo, Water Methanol Injected
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