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View Full Version : E36 owners: Ever consider installing the M50 manifold without a tune?


Nolimit77
09-03-2012, 06:16 PM
Now, ideally the M50 manifold should be installed along with a tune but for those who do not have the extra $350+ this may not be possible. After doing my research I noticed allot of people asking if it was worth doing so and it was a question I had wondered about ever since I got the manifold. Well, what better way to test this than at the track. What track? Mosport! *rockout*

This past weekend was OTA event 7 & 8 so I thought I would do a true back to back test with the stock maifold and M50 manifold without a tune. Thankfully the weather was absolutely beautiful and both days had near identical nconditions within a degree and a couple % points. This was the most ideal testing.

Car:1996 328i
Class: GT2(Mosport class record 1:37.9)
Engine mods: K&N CAI, A/C delete, Fan delete
Suspension mods:Too many to list, PM if you want to know
Tires/Wheels: Kosei K1 17X8.5 with 245/40/17 Hankook RS-3 Tires

On Saturday, I was able to manage a 1:39.1(besting my PB by 2.1 seconds) and I felt that I had left nothing on the table in terms of time. After completing the first day, and since I was camping over, I decided to swap to the M50 manifold so I could do Sunday's event with it. After it was installed, I drove the car around the area to allow the ECU time adjust to the increased volume of air. It ran fine but I knew the real test would come tomorrow.

After waking up, I made sure to fill the car up to the same level as I had the previous day just to make sure things were as equal as possible. My only concern about changing the manifold was how much effect would the toque loss have on my exit out of 5B(3rd gear). Even with the stock manifold, the car would only come out of 5B at around 3500RPM. Any torque loss would make the car lug even more and unfortauntely 2nd gear is too short to utilize. During my first run, I immediately noticed speeds were higher through 2-3, 4-5a and 5b-8 and that the torque loss had not been as bad as I had thought it would be. As the morning went on they crept up a little higher as the computer was continuing to adjust to the new manifold. At the end of the day, I am happy to report that my new PB fell to a 1:38.5. I could not be any happier with the result! Again, I felt I had left nothing on the track so I can say without a doubt, the manifold swap resulted in a .6 second improvement over one lap at Mosport.

Below are the times/speeds from Saturday/Sunday:

Saturday with stock M52 manifold- 1:39.1 *Turns 5B-8, 184km/h*
Sunday with M50 manifold and NO tune- 1:38.5 *Turns 5B-8, 192 km/h*

Hope this helps those who have been waiting to install their M50 Manifolds. *wiggle*

cormier
09-03-2012, 06:32 PM
Wow, interesting data! Good to hear, I wouldn't have expected such a gain as the swap is usually downplayed quite a bit

Trekz
09-04-2012, 12:17 AM
I have 2 m50 manifolds for sale $100 a pop!

Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk 2

T.Dot_E30
09-04-2012, 09:49 AM
Those sound like great times *th-up*

Gleb
09-04-2012, 05:09 PM
OP, realistically speaking, the only thing you kind of proved, is that at 7/10 the M50 manifold is not much different from a M52 one.

Nolimit77
09-04-2012, 07:46 PM
OP, realistically speaking, the only thing you kind of proved, is that at 7/10 the M50 manifold is not much different from a M52 one.

What did you expect from a manifold swap without a tune? I think .6 seconds is worth the $150 investment. There isn't many things you can do to the car to gain that time with that kind of money. Actually, the only other thing would be an alignment. Let me go further...

OTA class rules use "PIPS" for each part changed or modified, some are worth 1 and some are worth as much as 12. There is a 5 PIP separation between each class with an expected 1 second difference in lap times. For example, if the fastest GT1 car is expected to do 1:25, then GT2 would have to do 1:26 to get maximum points(pax). This means that each PIP that you use, must at the very least gain you .2 seconds. In my case, the manifold swap cost me 1 PIP and gained me .6 seconds. So for me, it makes allot of sense!


I guess what it really comes down to is, is it worth it to you? The information I posted was intended to help people make the decision. Before this event, I did ALLOT of research and no one could provide real data so I took upon myself to change that. Was the test perfect? No, but it was really damn close. Take it for what it is. *rockout*

Gleb
09-04-2012, 08:49 PM
Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to start anything...
Just WAY too many variables.
Without back to back dyno testing and data, all you did is went .6 of a second faster on Sunday than Saturday.

Nolimit77
09-04-2012, 09:59 PM
Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to start anything...
Just WAY too many variables.
Without back to back dyno testing and data, all you did is went .6 of a second faster on Sunday than Saturday.

:idea:

Your right, it was all a coincidence.

Gleb
09-04-2012, 10:13 PM
A coincidence (often stated as a mere coincidence) is a collection of two or more events or conditions, closely related by time, space, form, or other associations which appear unlikely to bear a relationship as either cause to effect or effects of a shared cause, within the observer's or observers' understanding of what cause can produce what effects.

... so yeah.

Nolimit77
09-04-2012, 10:44 PM
A coincidence (often stated as a mere coincidence) is a collection of two or more events or conditions, closely related by time, space, form, or other associations which appear unlikely to bear a relationship as either cause to effect or effects of a shared cause, within the observer's or observers' understanding of what cause can produce what effects.

... so yeah.

Again, you are right. On behalf of BMW motorsports enthusiasts, thank you for your contribution to this thread.

If you feel there is any need to continue this useless spat, you are more than welcome to PM me.

Nolimit77
09-04-2012, 11:03 PM
Here is a vdeo from Sunday's event at Mosport.

http://youtu.be/sCPrRenNO3A

BigD
09-04-2012, 11:40 PM
There's no need to debate or tune anything. The M50 manifold has larger runners and makes more power, period. It's been shown an endless number of times on dynos, even for those who can't clearly see the difference in flow (it's hardly subtle). More importantly, it doesn't fall off at the top end like the M52 manifold. And the difference isn't outside of the range of the system to require any tuning. More flow simply means you need enough fuel to match the extra air. If the DME couldn't keep up, you'd see injector duty cycle codes. Don't waste your money on tuning and enjoy the extra power.

doogee
09-05-2012, 04:12 AM
Again, you are right. On behalf of BMW motorsports enthusiasts, thank you for your contribution to this thread.

If you feel there is any need to continue this useless spat, you are more than welcome to PM me.

To be fair, Gleb is correct. Track conditions can change quite a bit in just one day.

But I'm definitely a firm believer in the M50 manifold. Not so friendly for road cars, but it will definitely drop laptimes at the track. It changes the top end massively.

Nolimit77
09-05-2012, 09:25 AM
To be fair, Gleb is correct. Track conditions can change quite a bit in just one day.

But I'm definitely a firm believer in the M50 manifold. Not so friendly for road cars, but it will definitely drop laptimes at the track. It changes the top end massively.

Of course he is right but thats not what happened. I may not be the smartest person in the world but I understand exactly how track conditions can change and ultimately effect results. If you can somehow look up weather conditions from this past weekend, you will see that Air-temp/Humidity was nearly identical for both days. Track temps were within two degrees(thank you mastercraft temp gun). If I felt that the results were due to cooler conditions I would not have posted this as the last thing I wanted to do is mislead people.

T.Dot_E30
09-05-2012, 09:37 AM
Don't waste your money on tuning and enjoy the extra power.

While I agree that there won't be a huge improvement and it isn't the best hp/$, I dont think it's a complete waste.

TRM seems to have made an OBDII tune for the m50 manifold with noticable gains.

This quote taken from bf.c, m50 manifold, before and after TRM tune.



green is before the TRM tune
blue is after the TRM tune :cool:

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8423/7611356122_a592cf22be_b.jpg


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GCkiGut59E&feature=plcp

T.Dot_E30
09-05-2012, 09:50 AM
And just to show that there is an improvement with a tune, this is a quote from bf.c with dyno before and after an m50 manifold.

Notice the drop in torque you don't see above.


Red curve is with the m50, I barely notice the drop in the 3k range when driving and she really opens up after 4k now, very happy with the m50 swap.:D


http://i836.photobucket.com/albums/zz281/sfdrifts/m3/IMAG0106.jpg?t=1306390600

BigD
09-05-2012, 10:32 AM
My point is that tuning is not necessary to use the M50 manifold. If you want to mess with the timing, power can be gained with any manifold, since they build in a safety margin from the factory (and as such, it's not an especially great idea unless it's a track car). But the manifold alone does not require any kind of special tuning just for its own sake. A better manifold simply lets you flow more air. The MAF and IAT readings will inform the DME of this and it will adjust the fuel in step.

Nolimit77
09-05-2012, 11:45 AM
My point is that tuning is not necessary to use the M50 manifold. If you want to mess with the timing, power can be gained with any manifold, since they build in a safety margin from the factory (and as such, it's not an especially great idea unless it's a track car). But the manifold alone does not require any kind of special tuning just for its own sake. A better manifold simply lets you flow more air. The MAF and IAT readings will inform the DME of this and it will adjust the fuel in step.

This was the only point I was trying to make in my OP. :) Perhaps we can get more people in here to share their experience with this swap.

T.Dot_E30
09-05-2012, 11:53 AM
My point is that tuning is not necessary to use the M50 manifold.

Fair enough, I was just responding your statement that it was a waste of money.

Pretty sure it is well understood that a tune isn't required and that there are top end gains and some low end torque loss without a tune, but a tune can help get some of the low end torque that is lost back, so it isn't completely worthless, just another mod.

SiR
09-05-2012, 12:59 PM
you dont need a tune with the m50.

though as pointed out it can help recover some of the torque drop

Eau_Rouge
09-05-2012, 12:59 PM
For those who've done it, how does this swap affect fuel mileage?

Nolimit77
09-05-2012, 01:06 PM
For those who've done it, how does this swap affect fuel mileage?

I wish I could comment, but my car is for the track only. I have read some people say that MPG went up but I am not sure if there is any truth to it.

SiR
09-05-2012, 02:44 PM
you likely wont notice any change.

Driving habits, conditions and time of yr will be bigger factors in any mpg changes.
Its not like I hopped in and instantly banged off 100 more km per tank.

Even running shell vs other stations gas can effect mpg.


Overall mileage will stay the same between the two manifolds.

Eau_Rouge
09-05-2012, 05:06 PM
I wasn't expecting mileage gains just didn't want to hear that mileage dropped significantly. If it stays approximately the same, then I'm happy.

1BADBMR
09-05-2012, 05:16 PM
I've never considered a tune when I did my M50 manifold mod on my S52.
After the installation, I noticed a loss of torque down low, but I gained it all back on the top end! Great bang for buck imo, even w/o a tune

Alvin

T.Dot_E30
09-05-2012, 06:15 PM
I wasn't expecting mileage gains just didn't want to hear that mileage dropped significantly. If it stays approximately the same, then I'm happy.

If your driving habits stay the same you won't notice any difference.

Of course if you start ringing the motor out more often to enjoy the top end power you will decrease your mileage, but that's pretty much a given.

doogee
09-06-2012, 12:27 AM
Back when I just bought my 328is, it dynoed 198rwhp on a Dynojet with the only mod being an M50 Manifold. *th-up*

But cams and a tune took it to 220rwhp.

KIRASIR
09-06-2012, 02:07 AM
I just did this swap two weeks ago.

My butt dyno didn't feel much difference in the low end. The top end seems to rev quicker with much smoother acceleration after 4k.

The mileage appears to be unchanged.

Eau_Rouge
09-06-2012, 12:43 PM
Back when I just bought my 328is, it dynoed 198rwhp on a Dynojet with the only mod being an M50 Manifold. *th-up*

But cams and a tune took it to 220rwhp.

If this is the case, assuming a 15% driveline loss of power, then with cams and a tune, the engine puts out roughly 260hp at the crank.
Next question is why do some bother with an S52 swap, why not just go this route?
Are cams and a tune expensive?

sb_600
09-06-2012, 01:37 PM
S52 cams are about $300-400 used, and a tune is in the $350 range as well.

boro92
09-17-2012, 12:32 PM
Curious to know what lap time improvements one would see at Shannonville long track...I find that with the standard 3.23 diff, a lot of the time you are in the sweet spot for mid range power with the m52 manifold.

I'm always debating going m50, but this is the only thing holding me back. There are some sections where it just makes sense to keep it in 3rd or sometimes even 4th and hang onto the gear.

Nolimit77
09-17-2012, 01:27 PM
Curious to know what lap time improvements one would see at Shannonville long track...I find that with the standard 3.23 diff, a lot of the time you are in the sweet spot for mid range power with the m52 manifold.

I'm always debating going m50, but this is the only thing holding me back. There are some sections where it just makes sense to keep it in 3rd or sometimes even 4th and hang onto the gear.

Do not wait any longer, put it in. I was at shannonville earlier this year(OTA events 3 & 4) and I was in 4th on the back straight. In fact I believe my RPM was only around 5500 so I had lots of room before I ran out of gear. I think I would be in the 5900 region with the M50 manifold and would still have 700RPM to use. I believe you would be fine even with the 3.23 compared to my 3.15.

T.Dot_E30
09-25-2012, 06:11 PM
Hey, Do you have any videos of your runs?

Nolimit77
09-25-2012, 07:14 PM
Hey, Do you have any videos of your runs?

I am assuming your talking to me so is one. :)

http://youtu.be/sCPrRenNO3A

T.Dot_E30
09-25-2012, 08:30 PM
I am assuming your talking to me so is one. :)

http://youtu.be/sCPrRenNO3A

Awesome, thanks!

iverson03tj
12-24-2012, 05:13 PM
I just did this swap two weeks ago.

My butt dyno didn't feel much difference in the low end. The top end seems to rev quicker with much smoother acceleration after 4k.

The mileage appears to be unchanged.

I noticed the difference at around 4k rpm aswell. Low end still feels a bit sluggish. Also is there a huge difference between having the car tuned to 91 vs 89??