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View Full Version : S52 Engine Build/Swap- All practices disclosed


matty.dc
09-17-2012, 07:49 PM
I'm writing this thread because there doesn't seem to be enough concrete information about both engine building and the S52 in general.

In this thread I will cover measuring, part orientation, how to check clearance, torque specs for each part, parts lists, etc. I will also explain the reasoning behind certain things, tools required(specialty) and pricing so everyone can gauge their own build cost based on their needs and expectations.

matty.dc
09-17-2012, 08:07 PM
Measuring is an absolutely crucial element to building an engine. If it isn't done and a motor is just slapped back together without thought, you will be very sorry(or your wallet will be) when everything breaks at 7000rpm.

The tool I am using here is an inside micrometer. This tool will come in a kit that has many different length inserts to match your desired length. This one only has a 0.500" thimble so the inserts vary by 1/2".

The key to using the micrometer is to not over tighten the tool in place. When you fingers can gently slide around the thimble then the mic is tight enough. The reason you don't want to reef of the mic is because at that point you are deforming both the tool and the material you are trying to measure and will get a false measurement.

On the body of the mic, the numbers represent increments of 0.100". For example, "3" would be 0.300". The lines in between the numbers represent increments of 0.025".

In picture 1 it shows how the mic is exactly in the centre of the bore and level( I leveled it on the minor step at the top of the cylinder).

In picture 2, this shows the actual measurement. To get your starting inch measurement, you would move the thimble all the way to "0" and you would measure the length with a measuring tape. In this case it's 3". In this picture(it's hard to tell) the thimble has moved past "4" and the number 11 on the thimble is just about inline with the line on the body of the mic. This represents a measurement of 3.411".

Other tools used to do this are: (look up pics on google if interested)

Telescopic gauges and an outside micrometer

OR

A Direct read bore gauge

matty.dc
09-17-2012, 08:21 PM
For now I'll just cover the pistons with rod orientation.

In the picture below it shows the top of the piston. The red circle on the left is highlighting the "AW" with an arrow. That arrow is to be pointed toward the front end of the motor or stated by Bentley manual, to face the camshaft drive. The circle to the right is the piston's size, in this case 86.365mm.

The caps of the connecting rods have "C4" stamped into the top of them. On this motor those face towards the rear of the motor. Also the rod bearings have two small tabs on them and they should be on opposite ends.

When taking apart the rotating assembly, it is extremely important to match the existing parts with their current cylinder especially if you are not replace the pistons. The reason behind this is over time the parts wear in a certain pattern and the same wear may not occur in a different cylinder.

I will do other parts as they come along.

matty.dc
09-17-2012, 08:41 PM
Parts Purchased To Date

Valve cover gasket - 20.50
Head gasket - 74.75
Valve cover nut seal (16) - 16.00
Head bolt set - 14.50
Water flange gasket - 3.00
Oil pan gasket - 15.25
Front crank seal - 5.00
Rear main housing gasket - 1.75
Rear main seal - 9.25
Main bearing set - 93.25
Rod bearing set - 43.75
Main timing chain - 38.25
Tensioner rail 1 - 12.25
Tension rail 2 -13.75
Vanos cover gasket - 3.00
Chain tensioner spring - 5.25
Water pump o-ring - 1.75
Aluminum thermostat housing - 11.50
Thermostat housing gasket - 1.75
FPR vacuum hose - 6.00/M
Front timing cover gaskets - 4.50
Total-$390.50
These parts were from Pelicanparts.com

Bavarian Auto Recycling-
87.00mm over bore pistons - $719 w/ shipping to my Lewiston address.

Machining Services (quotes)
Company- Head and Block Specialty (Stoney Creek,on)
Bore to accept 87.00mm pistons - $325
Recondition Head Seals and guides - $450(will prob do myself)



More to come................

sb_600
09-17-2012, 09:04 PM
Awesome idea for a thread.

Question though - if you're spending that much money on pistons, why not spend a bit more and up the compression?

BmW1819
09-17-2012, 09:22 PM
Great pistons got them in my rebuilt m3 ;-)

matty.dc
09-17-2012, 09:25 PM
Awesome idea for a thread.

Question though - if you're spending that much money on pistons, why not spend a bit more and up the compression?

The $300 extra expense for pistons and added cost later in the tuning process wouldn't be worth it for an extra 5HP you would probably get.

Sunny87
09-17-2012, 11:18 PM
Thanks for doing this tutorial.

tehskeo
09-17-2012, 11:51 PM
This is fantastic! Thanks for doing this. Do you mind also going over the potential mods you can do at this point that would not cost much? An example would be to swap in S52 camshafts in an M52. Do people do port modifications to these engines?

matty.dc
09-18-2012, 05:26 AM
This is fantastic! Thanks for doing this. Do you mind also going over the potential mods you can do at this point that would not cost much? An example would be to swap in S52 camshafts in an M52. Do people do port modifications to these engines?

Yea, I could branch off of what I bought and note the options available. As for that specific mod, this motor is an S52 and if you were to buy them for an M52 it would be hard to gauge the cost. It all depends on who you would buy the cams from, unless you're buying them new. At that point you might as well have bought the Schrick or similar performance cams. I paid $350 for the cams and trays ( the motor was missing them).

As for port mods, I'm assuming you're talking about the head. I'm sure some people would port and polish the head to get the most out of their cam upgrade. I'm not going to be turboing or doing some crazy N/A application, so it's not really worth my time.

sb_600
09-18-2012, 07:45 AM
The $300 extra expense for pistons and added cost later in the tuning process wouldn't be worth it for an extra 5HP you would probably get.

Fair enough but it's more than 5hp.... I've got at least 12whp more in my bored m52 (11.5:1 86.5mm pistons, with s52 cams, m50 intake manifold, pulleys) than an s52 with similar bolt-ons... And the s52 still has more displacement... The other advantage is the crazy amounts of torque.

Anyways I'm not criticizing, just offering my $0.02. Should be a good thread as is!

ScotcH
09-18-2012, 10:25 AM
Agree with all this, and a great thread topic, except that the inside micrometer is not the right tool for this job. There is no way to get an accurate repeatable reading because you can never get it perfectly level ... and when you're dealing with .001", even a very light angle will make a huge difference.

You also need to measure in various places, and 90 to each other to check the bore roundess. All this should be done by your machine shop however, they better have the pistons in hand to check proper clearence ... any machine shop that says they don't need the pistons is not going doing it correctly.

A dial bore guage is the correct tool, and by sweeping it inside the bore you can find the exact measure, and easily find out-of-round. Also, for measuring bearings (which I assume you will also be doing), you will need something accurate to 0.0005". I got one from Fowler canada for a decent price ... you can go much more expensive, but the Fowler gauge seems repeatable, which is a good sign.

For crank journals you will need an outside micrometer and will be zeroing the bore gauge against it.

Measuring is an absolutely crucial element to building an engine. If it isn't done and a motor is just slapped back together without thought, you will be very sorry(or your wallet will be) when everything breaks at 7000rpm.

The tool I am using here is an inside micrometer. This tool will come in a kit that has many different length inserts to match your desired length. This one only has a 0.500" thimble so the inserts vary by 1/2".

The key to using the micrometer is to not over tighten the tool in place. When you fingers can gently slide around the thimble then the mic is tight enough. The reason you don't want to reef of the mic is because at that point you are deforming both the tool and the material you are trying to measure and will get a false measurement.

On the body of the mic, the numbers represent increments of 0.100". For example, "3" would be 0.300". The lines in between the numbers represent increments of 0.025".

In picture 1 it shows how the mic is exactly in the centre of the bore and level( I leveled it on the minor step at the top of the cylinder).

In picture 2, this shows the actual measurement. To get your starting inch measurement, you would move the thimble all the way to "0" and you would measure the length with a measuring tape. In this case it's 3". In this picture(it's hard to tell) the thimble has moved past "4" and the number 11 on the thimble is just about inline with the line on the body of the mic. This represents a measurement of 3.411".

Other tools used to do this are: (look up pics on google if interested)

Telescopic gauges and an outside micrometer

OR

A Direct read bore gauge

matty.dc
09-18-2012, 05:19 PM
Agree with all this, and a great thread topic, except that the inside micrometer is not the right tool for this job. There is no way to get an accurate repeatable reading because you can never get it perfectly level ... and when you're dealing with .001", even a very light angle will make a huge difference.

You also need to measure in various places, and 90 to each other to check the bore roundess. All this should be done by your machine shop however, they better have the pistons in hand to check proper clearence ... any machine shop that says they don't need the pistons is not going doing it correctly.

A dial bore guage is the correct tool, and by sweeping it inside the bore you can find the exact measure, and easily find out-of-round. Also, for measuring bearings (which I assume you will also be doing), you will need something accurate to 0.0005". I got one from Fowler canada for a decent price ... you can go much more expensive, but the Fowler gauge seems repeatable, which is a good sign.

For crank journals you will need an outside micrometer and will be zeroing the bore gauge against it.

I did 4 measurements
A- top inline with block
B-top 90deg opposite
C-bottom inline
D- bottom 90deg opposite

The inside mic is absolutely perfect for a user with experience, I get consistent readings every time. For novice users the dial bore gauge is the way to go, it's brainless to use.

matty.dc
09-18-2012, 05:25 PM
Fair enough but it's more than 5hp.... I've got at least 12whp more in my bored m52 (11.5:1 86.5mm pistons, with s52 cams, m50 intake manifold, pulleys) than an s52 with similar bolt-ons... And the s52 still has more displacement... The other advantage is the crazy amounts of torque.

Anyways I'm not criticizing, just offering my $0.02. Should be a good thread as is!

The available option for me was to go with stock 10.5:1 or the JE 11:1 Comp ratio. For you on the m52 it would've bumped the c/r from 10.2:1 to 11.5:1 which is a bit bigger jump in compression then I would've received so it really wasn't worth it.

That 11.5 would have been a suitable improvement, but I couldn't find a source with that C/R piston.

ScotcH
09-19-2012, 10:39 AM
The available option for me was to go with stock 10.5:1 or the JE 11:1 Comp ratio. For you on the m52 it would've bumped the c/r from 10.2:1 to 11.5:1 which is a bit bigger jump in compression then I would've received so it really wasn't worth it.

That 11.5 would have been a suitable improvement, but I couldn't find a source with that C/R piston.

CP has them I'm pretty sure (VAC). Both CP and JE can also do custom, for about $200 more than off the shelf.

matty.dc
09-20-2012, 09:59 PM
As asked here is a small list of parts that you could change up to if desired for added performance:

Pistons
Wiseco 10.5:1 C/R(stock): $780CAD - http://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-4082-e36-m3-32-liter-s52-wiseco-overbore-piston-set.aspx
CP Different C/R's : $1049USD - http://store.vacmotorsports.com/cp-pistons---s52-us-forged-piston-kit-p2030.aspx

Cams
Schrick - $1089-$1399 - http://store.vacmotorsports.com/camshafts--schrick-c163.aspx
VAC - $1499 - http://store.vacmotorsports.com/vac---m50-m52--s50us--s52us-high-performance--racing-camshaft-set-286--272-p1432.aspx

matty.dc
09-20-2012, 10:15 PM
Since I'm waiting for parts I will start on the different mods that are required for the OBD I swap:

OBD I Single Vanos Wire Harness
OBD I Sensors- Cam position sensor, crank position sensor(front of timing cover), Vanos solenoid(can use OBD II solenoid but the harness must be extended), Air intake sensor, Idle control valve (can use OBD II as well), OBD I MAF or HFM.
OBD I or II Ignition Coils - you have to modify the top of the valve cover to allow the coil wires to pass through nicely.
Silver Label 413 DME(EWS) or Red Label 413 DME(non-EWS)
M50 Manifold with throttle body and throttle position sensor.
--Feel free to add anything if you don't see it here.
21.5lb injectors (if you don't have an M3 or 328)

Chip required to run S52 OBD I system:
Red Label 413
TRM - $250 - http://www.racersmarket.net/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=garden_flypage.tpl&product_id=21&category_id=63&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=93
Turner - $250 - http://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-1374-e36-m3-30-and-32-turner-performance-chip-for-215-injectors.aspx

For the Silver Label 413 DME you need to buy the Turner chip with the EWS delete.

Upgraded Parts For Swap
--24lb injectors (if you have upgraded cams)
--540 HFM
--Chip to sustain 2 above mods(Turner or TRM Chip can both be custom set)

sb_600
09-21-2012, 11:10 AM
Chip required to run S52 OBD I system:
Red Label 413
TRM - $250 - http://www.racersmarket.net/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=garden_flypage.tpl&product_id=21&category_id=63&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=93
Turner - $250 - http://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-1374-e36-m3-30-and-32-turner-performance-chip-for-215-injectors.aspx

For the Silver Label 413 DME you need to buy the Turner chip with the EWS delete.



Or talk to Barrie from Midnight Tuning (PM bmwconnect)! He'll set you up nicely with a custom tune.

matty.dc
09-21-2012, 04:56 PM
Or talk to Barrie from Midnight Tuning (PM bmwconnect)! He'll set you up nicely with a custom tune.

Do you know what he charges? Post it up

team_ottawa
09-21-2012, 07:53 PM
Nice build thread. Good job man

egye30
09-21-2012, 09:45 PM
Ive got a good 413 red label if you still need one

matty.dc
09-21-2012, 10:05 PM
Ive got both a red label and a silver label

matty.dc
09-22-2012, 09:09 PM
Today, I bagged and labelled all of the hardware since the block has to be bare bones to go for the bore.

Contents of bags
-Main Bearings, bolts, oil squirter and caps (labelled #1-#7)
-Front timing cover harware
-Oil Pump bolts
-Oil pan and baffle bolts
-Rear main seal housing hardware
-Additional hardware (hoarded from the junk yard)

-When removing the top of the main bearings (block side), make sure to note the direction of the tabs (picture 1) and also make sure that the piston oil squirters don't fall out(picture 4).

-Pictures 2 and 3 are just pictures to remind me at the end of the build where all of the different sized bolts go.

cormier
04-17-2013, 09:29 PM
Hey I saw on the cruise thread you were wanting to break in the motor before the spring cruise -- hows the project coming?

matty.dc
04-17-2013, 09:49 PM
Hey I saw on the cruise thread you were wanting to break in the motor before the spring cruise -- hows the project coming?

Well here you go! The motor is in and now has about 200km on it. With the engine covers, I wanted a little bit of a different look so I did them graphite (same colour as my wheels).

uber e36
04-21-2013, 08:41 PM
Noob question:

When rebuilding, do you always need to swap to new, larger, pistons?

Can't you just replace bearings, seals, etc?

kruler
04-21-2013, 10:11 PM
Did this build thread go from bagging parts to having the motor in and painting engine covers?

matty.dc
04-22-2013, 07:21 AM
Noob question:

When rebuilding, do you always need to swap to new, larger, pistons?

Can't you just replace bearings, seals, etc?

Not always. It's really dependant on the wear in the cylinder. In my case it was quite severe so I went as big as I could.

matty.dc
04-22-2013, 07:21 AM
Did this build thread go from bagging parts to having the motor in and painting engine covers?

Yes it did lol. I will ffinish itvwhen I have some free time.