• Swappning an N54 twin turbo inline-6 into an E46 3-Series - Cool or Crazy?

      BMW engine swaps are always fun to see and this one is a bit different. Does it make any sense though? The E46 3-Series already comes with several inline-6 motor options that all have made much more power than the N54 and do not involve the pain in fitting the N54 and its electronics into a chassis for which it was not designed. This is BimmerBoost.com though and we definitely appreciate people who do things differently. So why swap in an N54? Because one can.


      The S54, M54, and M52 have all been done to death in the E46 chassis. A guy going by the name ApolloTheGod on the forums decided that since his E92 race car was totaled to take out the motor and put it in an E46 chassis. The goal being a 3100 pound car with somewhere around ~550 wheel horsepower and a 6-speed manual. Certainly respectable power especially when paired to a 3100 pound curb weight should he reach that weight goal (doubtful).

      The idea in theory is great, fun, and different but ideas on paper and actually completing them in reality are two different things. BimmerBoost would love to see this come to fruition but will ApolloTheGod actually make this happen or is this all just a pipe dream? Would an S54 make more sense? We will have to wait and see but BimmerBoost wishes him luck on what would be a great swap to see completed for the E46. He just has a long way to go.

      As you can see I have gotten it to fit perfectly


      I need to tilt the dash down just a tad bit, but tight fitment just as in the E90


      Snug as a bug here. You can see the outline of the E46 previous center console so it isnt that far up. With carpet in the car these center console snugs right in place


      I didnt get a good view of how far out the E46 dash came out but I know the door panels have an indent for the dash, this may fit with E46 door panels.


      Enough room for having stock A piller covers in as well if you wanted a full interior with the dash





      I tried to take this pic head on. As you can see I have some logistics to sort out with the steering column. I think I can move the bracket over a bit and have the column over about an inch and still work with the whole. I will investigate this more later




      As you can see the rest of the car is stripped. Engine comes out in about 12 hours time when I wake up



      Pulling out the M52




      Cleaning the engine bay. Pressurized water and simple green did the trick perfectly. I used an old tooth brush and a nylon brissle brush to clean it all up. I also hit the suspension too on the E92 and the E46








      This was a little upsetting. I will let pictures do the talking.



      Got both babies next to each other


      Here is the beast all ready to go in. Final step is to get my turbos balanced and reassembled then the swap is good to go


      Some rear end shots of the rattle can baby. I put my roller wheels on that I picked up for $100



      Got the whole work area cleaned up and everything ready for the next phase!
      This article was originally published in forum thread: Swappning an N54 twin turbo inline-6 into an E46 3-Series - Cool or Crazy? started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 69 Comments
      1. uniter's Avatar
        uniter -
        I got an SMG transmission for $500 bucks from some retard who thought it was garbage and I got it fixed up.
      1. Flinchy's Avatar
        Flinchy -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by uniter Click here to enlarge
        I got an SMG transmission for $500 bucks from some retard who thought it was garbage and I got it fixed up.
        yeah.. to be fair, SMG transmissions ARE garbage Click here to enlarge
      1. Palariev's Avatar
        Palariev -
        Hi guys, my project working powerfull, we know all about start n54 engine in older body.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Palariev Click here to enlarge
        Hi guys, my project working powerfull, we know all about start n54 engine in older body.
        ?
      1. Palariev's Avatar
        Palariev -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        ?
        Sorry, about E30 N54 from Ukraine.
      1. 1Zed4's Avatar
        1Zed4 -
        I thought that was an e46?
      1. Flinchy's Avatar
        Flinchy -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Palariev Click here to enlarge
        Sorry, about E30 N54 from Ukraine.
        wait what?
      1. hakentt's Avatar
        hakentt -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Palariev Click here to enlarge
        Sorry, about E30 N54 from Ukraine.
        Palariev is the ukranian drift racer who installed N54 engine in his E30 race car.

        Back on topic, I went to show my E36 with N55 to Apollo the guy who attempted to install N54 into E46. He got blown away by how I did my swap and was just saying "this is so cool".
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by hakentt Click here to enlarge
        Palariev is the ukranian drift racer who installed N54 engine in his E30 race car.

        Back on topic, I went to show my E36 with N55 to Apollo the guy who attempted to install N54 into E46. He got blown away by how I did my swap and was just saying "this is so cool".
        Your swap is awesome man.