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spoon_civic1 09-14-2011 06:08 PM

s54 into e46 sedan
he guys just wondering how difficult this swap would be, i currently have a 98 328i and a 2002 325i and a s54 complete drivetrain sitting around, was thinking of putting it into the e36 but was also considering the is going to be a curcuit car............just looking for the easiest swap if thats even possible lol

Thanks guys

Bimmer Heaven 09-14-2011 09:20 PM

Obviously the easy swap would be in the e46. E36 is very doable but way more work. As long as you have all the parts, almost everything is bolt on to the 325.

ScotcH 09-15-2011 02:12 PM


Originally Posted by Eurostyle (Post 1523626)
Obviously the easy swap would be in the e46. E36 is very doable but way more work. As long as you have all the parts, almost everything is bolt on to the 325.

Why more work? In either case it's really the same ...

gnome 09-15-2011 05:21 PM

Hey guys, its just a matter of time now before I will start shopping around for the S54 swap into my E46 Gnome-Mobile, and of course the 6MT swap along with it (might as well).

We can make this a reference, with photos and write up which would be great PR for a local shop. Perfect stealth Munchenwagen.
Any takers?

new member 09-17-2011 03:03 PM

Anyone interested in S54 swap into a Non-M E46 chassis may feel free to PM me and ask any questions.

I've done them and know every single aspect of whats needed and how to go about it.

I also dont need any money for this info and will share with anyone.

propr'one 09-17-2011 05:05 PM

^^do a write-up?

new member 09-17-2011 06:51 PM

Well, I can write it up BUT in short form , details could be told in person, as its easier and I can also show the car we did and its much easier to understand then sit here and read all this.

This is for Non-m E46.

Everything bolts right in, no need for any custom work or any stupid ways to go about it. However, you need ALOT of parts to make it an easy swap. Basically in order to make it a headache free swap you'll need the following
-s54 with all accessories intake plenum and box as well as MAF, both wiring harnesses, engine and accessories
- MSS54 DME from same motor
-M3 radiator and M3 oil coller
-M3 steering rack, later would need to shorten the tie rods or get aftermarket adjustable ones.(M3 has a much wider track all due to longer tie rods in the front, rear track is accommodated with low offset rims )
-M3 expansion tank
-M3 air pump
-M3 fuel pump and filter
-M3 exhaust manifolds and 02 sensors (your old cat back exhaust wont fit but a small trip to the muffler shop will fix that)
-M3 windsheild washer tank
-You DONT need to change keys, you will use your old key and your old ignition lock.
- You DONT need M3 EWS

Everything will bolt right in IF you have all the needed parts. I truly mean everything is bolt in, engine and the location of the other parts right down to the location of the airbox and location of the airpump (the holes that were used for the windsheild washer are now used for the airpump bracket.)Your old windsheld tank is now in the dumpster and you can try to mount the M3 tank behind the bumper or relocate the lines into your empty drug bin with your old tank there. The fuel delivery SHOULD be changed over from your non-m as the M3 fuel pump is needed for optimum balance as well as the fact that non-m fuel filter has different exit fittings. Just buy a fuel filter and the pump, lines stay the same.

You will use MSS54 DME and your old ms43 or whatever you had goes in the dumpster. Now you need to find anyone who has access to advanced coding software in order to delete the EWS from the car and synchronize the pedal to DME (now if you have the old E46 with a cable throttle you will need to buy a drive by wire pedal), any one will work it DOESNT have to be from M3 to work. rewire and process of switching from cable to DBW wont be discussed here.

Once the pedal is synch'd just start the car up and off you go. Your old cluster will work just fine and show all thats needed. You may pick up a separate oil temp gauge and put in whereever you want.

Its takes money to make it right and the ONLY reason why people have so much problems is because they think they can do it better then BMW engineers designed. They all try to fabricate some stupid brackets for oil coolers(instead of buying an M3 rad, because the oil cooler will ONLY fit onto M3 rad, been there done that) or new water lines for rad(the inlet is the same on the block but exit is different , because the ET is on the pass side and not on driver) or try to solder their old PS lines to the new ones...

A few key things to remember when you want to do this is NOT to buy things off of SMG cars and do NOT EVER buy a DME out of a convertable, or you will have the nightmare of your life.

Basically, if you have to ask , your best bet would be to pay a shop whos done it before and sit and wait for it to be done. Or try to do it yourself and mess it all up, your choice.

bmwmck 10-03-2011 10:21 PM

how much more difficult is it in an E46 328i with the good ol' M52?

new member 10-05-2011 10:51 PM

Just a matter of taking out the old cable out and wiring a new drive by wire pedal in. Not much more difficult, Id say add 2 hours to the job.

You'll have to reinitialize the pedal later anyway even if you already had a DBW pedal.

bmwmck 10-07-2011 12:07 AM

thanks new member. i didnt realize it was so similar to an m54-->s54 swap.

all in due time..........

ZiMMie 12-30-2011 08:33 AM

I didn't know how i miss this thread, But the swap is much harder that you make it seem sure it will bolt in,it the same chassis:huh?:. the main problem is wiring. I can think of plenty wiring schematics on mated this motor in an e46 that are not EVEN DOCUMENTED by BMW.

And NO its not similar to M54. It totally different rewiring of fuses, adding new wires to different modules, coding,programming etc. Try it let us know your outcome.

andy328i 06-16-2013 08:07 PM

Why is using a DME from a convertable so hard ?? I ask this because i might buy a m3 conv. and swap it into my 328i! Are you say it can't be done ? details please.....

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