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Thread: Why is Getting All Motor HP So Hard?

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScotcH View Post
    Ours is 12:1 CR, 290 cat cams with 12.5mm lift. We're limited by fuel on that dyno run (Sunoco 98) ... with better fuel we'd have more, but on normal fuel, there just is no more torque to get.
    Always good seeing you posting(still remember when you purchased my 1st e36 m3 off of some auction sometime in the early 2000’s). What kind of power did it make, and which exhaust?


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    Quote Originally Posted by GG///M3 View Post
    Also in a e46 m3 you also get the rear subframe/trunk floor made out of tin/cardboard.
    tin/cardboard would have been an upgrade... ;-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by GG///M3 View Post
    Always good seeing you posting(still remember when you purchased my 1st e36 m3 off of some auction sometime in the early 2000’s). What kind of power did it make, and which exhaust?


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    Yeah, that car was great ... went a long way for me in racing it was chassis # 00097, so very early build as well. The s50 in it was never build beyond what you did ... I think ~245 rwhp if I recall. After I sold it, it got an LS6 put in and became a drift car ... I'm sure it's still kicking around somewhere!
    Check out the 8legs Racing page: https://www.facebook.com/8legsRacing/


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    Why is Getting All Motor HP So Hard?

    Quote Originally Posted by ScotcH View Post
    Yeah, that car was great ... went a long way for me in racing it was chassis # 00097, so very early build as well. The s50 in it was never build beyond what you did ... I think ~245 rwhp if I recall. After I sold it, it got an LS6 put in and became a drift car ... I'm sure it's still kicking around somewhere!
    Yes my first e36 m3 I picked from Texas salvage title(fresh water flood car).

    That was on a of the shelf turner/Jim C tune(schricks , 540hfm, 24lb injectors, and borla muffler) not bad at all 245whp


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    Last edited by GG///M3; 07-26-2020 at 12:08 AM.
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  5. #55
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    Ok, WTF? IMO, (yes, it's my opinion) what's the big deal with all motor? Who the hell cares other than bench racing?

    1.) You aren't going to want to drive a full on 400hp K24 in a street car or any race motor. They don't make squat for power where you actually use it. They don't idle well, they won't pass emissions.

    2.) just put a turbo on it and call it a day. You can make 450hp and still have some torque, and be way faster than the chassis needs. Or... Put in a LS1 and make 500 cheap, reliable Hp that's lighter than the M5x anyway.

    If you have a garage queen you aren't going to be ripping out the engine anyway, and if it's a normal $10k? M3, who cares what's in it?
    No matter where you go, there you are...

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    to me there is something special about naturally aspirated. Some people like chocolate, some people like vanilla, but at end of day its all ice cream.

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    I have both — modded E90 M3 that makes its power by revving to 8600 and has a relatively low and flat torque curve, and a modified turbo E36 M3 that peaks in the 6000-6500 range and ramps up fast to very high torque and then drops off. The turbo is a lot more exciting.

    I’d like to try the compromise — a large displacement V8 that makes big power and pretty good torque naturally aspirated. An LSx swap into some car could be in my future. I might also consider an E60 M5, which is not a torque monster but does have a lot more power than my E90 M3. Maybe I would stroke the S85 if I came across a good deal or found a car with one.

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    Honestly, if you're at the point where you're thinking LS swap for point and shoot power, at what point does it make sense to just get a Tesla. Too much power and it's less fun. I barely ever get to tach out my E90 M3.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nick325xit 5spd View Post
    Honestly, if you're at the point where you're thinking LS swap for point and shoot power, at what point does it make sense to just get a Tesla. Too much power and it's less fun. I barely ever get to tach out my E90 M3.
    For the amount of money it costs to do a LS swap properly you can go turbo


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    Having owned a stock e39 M5, and an e36 M3 with the basic normal mods (M50 manifold, tune, intake boot), I would say over and over again that the M3 is more fun to rev out and wring power out of. The M5 was faster, but it wasn't as raw. The screaming NA I6 is where it is at. Every one is entitled to their opinion, you may think the e36 is underpowered. In my opinion, the roughly 260 crank horsepower I'm making feels perfect for the chassis.

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    I’d want more like the 321 hp of a Euro M3. An S54 swap will do that and with some mods get to about 400 hp, or 350 rwhp.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pbonsalb View Post
    I’d want more like the 321 hp of a Euro M3. An S54 swap will do that and with some mods get to about 400 hp, or 350 rwhp.
    Been there. It was great


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    Quote Originally Posted by RRSperry View Post
    Ok, WTF? IMO, (yes, it's my opinion) what's the big deal with all motor? Who the hell cares other than bench racing?

    1.) You aren't going to want to drive a full on 400hp K24 in a street car or any race motor. They don't make squat for power where you actually use it. They don't idle well, they won't pass emissions.

    2.) just put a turbo on it and call it a day. You can make 450hp and still have some torque, and be way faster than the chassis needs. Or... Put in a LS1 and make 500 cheap, reliable Hp that's lighter than the M5x anyway.

    If you have a garage queen you aren't going to be ripping out the engine anyway, and if it's a normal $10k? M3, who cares what's in it?
    To that point, I drove a friend's Mustang GT350 with the 5.2 liter "flat-plane" crank, 8,250 rpm redline. Cool car. However, the power was not where you want it for a street car. You had to rev the crap out of it and low end torque was lack luster to say the least. My dad's Alfa Romeo 4C is a much more fun car (even though it's "missing" a pedal). IMO, there is such a difference between a fun street car v. dedicated track/race car.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pbonsalb View Post
    I’d want more like the 321 hp of a Euro M3. An S54 swap will do that and with some mods get to about 400 hp, or 350 rwhp.
    Exactly. Which is why no one is dumping money into developing S52s. Why spend $20k to end up no better off than a stock motor that is readily available for $3k in decent condition? If you want to spend money building an engine, build an S54 and get pretty insane results. Building an S52 is a stupid waste of money under nearly any circumstance.
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    I think the total cost of an S54 conversion ends up being a lot more than $3k. I have seen higher mileage S54 for $3-4k, but there is more to it than buying the motor and some don’t want the hassle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pbonsalb View Post
    I think the total cost of an S54 conversion ends up being a lot more than $3k. I have seen higher mileage S54 for $3-4k, but there is more to it than buying the motor and some don’t want the hassle.
    It doesn't cost that much to convert to an S54 when you're comparing it to any kind of engine out S52 work. Yeah, fine, do light bolt ons to an S52. That's fine. But don't spend much. It's not worth it.
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    Why is Getting All Motor HP So Hard?

    Quote Originally Posted by pbonsalb View Post
    I think the total cost of an S54 conversion ends up being a lot more than $3k. I have seen higher mileage S54 for $3-4k, but there is more to it than buying the motor and some don’t want the hassle.
    Quote Originally Posted by nick325xit 5spd View Post
    It doesn't cost that much to convert to an S54 when you're comparing it to any kind of engine out S52 work. Yeah, fine, do light bolt ons to an S52. That's fine. But don't spend much. It's not worth it.
    A proper s54 swap is going to be 7k or more. A s54 is 3-4K . Rod bearings, vanos fixes, oil pump chain, and other knickknacks 1,500-2k . Labor 1,200 to 3k. Proper exhaust 600-1200. Pnp swap parts 500-900.

    Hello get the picture?

    You sell the s52 for 1,500-2,500

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    Last edited by GG///M3; 07-28-2020 at 03:22 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GG///M3 View Post
    A proper s54 swap is going to be 7k or more. A s54 is 3-4K . Rod bearings, vanos fixes, oil pump chain, and other knickknacks 1,500-2k . Labor 1,200 to 3k. Proper exhaust 600-1200. Pnp swap parts 500-900.

    Hello get the picture?

    You sell the s52 for 1,500-2,500

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    Have you ever priced out engine work on an S52? $10k and you'll still be at least 50hp short of that stock S54 with an exhaust and the right tune. And you'll have a motor that probably will have a fraction of the lifespan of that used S54. And when that S54 blows up, you can find a replacement and swap it out in a weekend. When that S52 blows up, well, gotta find a hole in your engine builder's schedule and another $10k, and you'll get your car back on the road 6-12 months later.
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    LOL I would submit it isn't "hard", it's expensive. 😜

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    Quote Originally Posted by nick325xit 5spd View Post
    Have you ever priced out engine work on an S52? $10k and you'll still be at least 50hp short of that stock S54 with an exhaust and the right tune. And you'll have a motor that probably will have a fraction of the lifespan of that used S54. And when that S54 blows up, you can find a replacement and swap it out in a weekend. When that S52 blows up, well, gotta find a hole in your engine builder's schedule and another $10k, and you'll get your car back on the road 6-12 months later.
    What exactly did you have priced out? 10k seems high lol


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    Quote Originally Posted by GG///M3 View Post
    What exactly did you have priced out? 10k seems high lol


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    I mean I feel like it wouldn't be far off. You'd probably spend $3.5-4.5k on the head including cams. Probably hard to get a good header these days? But let's say you get one, maybe $1k. HFM, Big Bore throttle body, adding an intake, Maybe like another $1k or so plus exhaust.. Plus the refresh of your head gasket, studs, anything else there. And depends on who's doing the work. DIY would of course save money... as usual. But I'd say for sure a high-hp S52 build probably wouldn't be much cheaper than S54, especially given the results would be very different, you can't rev as high, it'll be highly modified and high strung. And anything that breaks will be 'modified' so you'll have to replace as such.

    I think the S54 is a much more sensible option... yes it costs more, but it is meant to live at the power levels it produces, so it 'should' be a safer more reliable motor.

    Just my take.
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    Raceland euro ss rep has worked great for me, and several other track guys.


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    It’s expensive to build an S54. A used one might be comparable to building an S52, but when you have to maintain and repair the S54 you will spend more. Valves need periodic adjustment, vanos has more expensive issues. I fully built an S52. Have about $4k in the bottom end and about $4500 in the top end. Plus the turbo system, driveshaft, transmission, clutch, differential, axles.... it would have cost more if I did all this to an S54.

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    Call me crazy but i much prefer the way the s52 revs and delivers power, the s54 has always felt very blocky to me, leas emotional if that makes any sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RickyN F355 View Post
    Call me crazy but i much prefer the way the s52 revs and delivers power, the s54 has always felt very blocky to me, leas emotional if that makes any sense.
    Probably more to do with the drive by wire.
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