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    Boosted M54 build and iron sleeves?

    As many know, I've got a twinscrew M54 boosted to 10 psi (11psi on the OEM damper). It will see mostly track duty and I will be building my own engine up soon. I've already addressed many potential issues. I've got the 4 bolt oil pump sprocket, ATI damper, S54 chain tensioner, rebuilt VANOS, CP rods, VAC oil pan baffle, ARP studs, and oil cooler. I plan to do OEM pistons and a slightly thicker head gasket (not sure about the exact thickness yet)

    The last "upgrade" I am considering is sleeving my block. Are iron sleeves a good idea to increase reliability of a boosted M54 that will see track duty? Or mostly unnecessary or not worth it?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bigjae1976 Click here to enlarge
    As many know, I've got a twinscrew M54 boosted to 10 psi (11psi on the OEM damper). It will see mostly track duty and I will be building my own engine up soon. I've already addressed many potential issues. I've got the 4 bolt oil pump sprocket, ATI damper, S54 chain tensioner, rebuilt VANOS, CP rods, VAC oil pan baffle, ARP studs, and oil cooler. I plan to do OEM pistons and a slightly thicker head gasket (not sure about the exact thickness yet)

    The last "upgrade" I am considering is sleeving my block. Are iron sleeves a good idea to increase reliability of a boosted M54 that will see track duty? Or mostly unnecessary or not worth it?
    Good question.

    The #1 reason why pro race cars sleeve blocks is engine life. I'm not talking about the life of a set of pistons, but the life of the block itself. If you are maintaining a race engine properly, you will be replacing 2 things on a regular basis: Piston rings and bearings. Some might argue that if the oil was doing it's job, neither should be the case, but this just isn't reality. When you hear of a drag car, or road race engine getting a "Freshening up", that's what they are doing.

    New rings need a rough surface to help mate them up to the cylinder bore properly. You get that by honing the liners. The issue with OEM liners is that they are only really good for 1 re-bore and hone. (Only 1.5mm thick) Starting with a slightly undersized sleeve will give you more rebuilds out of the block.

    If the block has zero custom machining on it, and it's basically an OEM block, running sleeves is kind of a waste. You'd be better off keeping a spare junk yard block in the garage to swap things into for the next freshen up.

    If you have significant block modifications, then running sleeves is probably a good idea.

    This next bit you are not going to like....

    The M54 has an absolutely horrible record in pro and pro-am racing. I wish I could put my finger on the exact cause of some failures, but some smart people are left scratching their heads sometimes. If you chose to keep using the M54 for your track toy, be prepared for more weird stuff to go wrong. Admittedly I'm talking about examples where RPMs were in the 8k area, but my point is that this engine was not built to be raced....at least at high RPMs.

    If I were in your shoes, I would not sleeve the block.

    I would however get a better set of pistons from CP, run a stock head gasket, and use Raceware head studs.
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    OK, thanks. This engine will see DE type track stuff about 12x per year, nothing competitive. So I just need it to take boost and rev up to 6500-6800 RPMs, last for a couple of years and I'd be happy.

    What's the reasoning behind using a stock head gasket? Are the OEM pistons a weak point?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by PEI330Ci Click here to enlarge
    Good question.

    The #1 reason why pro race cars sleeve blocks is engine life. I'm not talking about the life of a set of pistons, but the life of the block itself. If you are maintaining a race engine properly, you will be replacing 2 things on a regular basis: Piston rings and bearings. Some might argue that if the oil was doing it's job, neither should be the case, but this just isn't reality. When you hear of a drag car, or road race engine getting a "Freshening up", that's what they are doing.

    New rings need a rough surface to help mate them up to the cylinder bore properly. You get that by honing the liners. The issue with OEM liners is that they are only really good for 1 re-bore and hone. (Only 1.5mm thick) Starting with a slightly undersized sleeve will give you more rebuilds out of the block.

    If the block has zero custom machining on it, and it's basically an OEM block, running sleeves is kind of a waste. You'd be better off keeping a spare junk yard block in the garage to swap things into for the next freshen up.

    If you have significant block modifications, then running sleeves is probably a good idea.

    This next bit you are not going to like....

    The M54 has an absolutely horrible record in pro and pro-am racing. I wish I could put my finger on the exact cause of some failures, but some smart people are left scratching their heads sometimes. If you chose to keep using the M54 for your track toy, be prepared for more weird stuff to go wrong. Admittedly I'm talking about examples where RPMs were in the 8k area, but my point is that this engine was not built to be raced....at least at high RPMs.

    If I were in your shoes, I would not sleeve the block.

    I would however get a better set of pistons from CP, run a stock head gasket, and use Raceware head studs.
    Why does the S54 have a better record in racing? The block?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bigjae1976 Click here to enlarge
    OK, thanks. This engine will see DE type track stuff about 12x per year, nothing competitive. So I just need it to take boost and rev up to 6500-6800 RPMs, last for a couple of years and I'd be happy.

    What's the reasoning behind using a stock head gasket? Are the OEM pistons a weak point?
    Squish.

    By keeping the squish height with the head the same, you actually improve knock resistance. Lower compression CP pistons remove CC's from the centre, keeping the outer edge of the piston an optimum distance from the head. (Squish height)

    I don't have the data to back this up, but in theory having proper squish reduces knock exposure more than dropping static compression 1-2 points.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    Why does the S54 have a better record in racing? The block?
    I don't think it's the block, I think it's the crank and the valve train.

    That said, everyone that I know that competitively races and S54 uses a dry sump. Most of the issues I hear about with the M54 are not related to oil quality...so I'm not certain there's much correlation there.

    The S54 crank seems to have a better harmonic signature, despite it's added stroke. I would put that down to perhaps better base material, design, and manufacturing method. I'm speculating, but you really don't hear much about harmonic related failures. It's mostly oil related failures (bearings), and usually then it's not from people that run dry sumps. The S54s that seem to "hour out" show signs of fatigue failure on components...which doesn't surprise me when their mean operating RPM is so much higher than a "street car".

    The S54 valve train uses finger-followers to actuate the valves. This effectively splits the non-vertical load across the finger-followers, and the cam. By having a device (Fingers) to help handle this load, the cam and cam bearings see a reduced amount of stress. Most of the M54s I've seen torn down have wear issues in the cam ledges/caps. The S54 in comparison, doesn't show much scoring on the cam bearing ledges. When you look at the way highly competitive race specific engines are built, the cam bearing surface is cast into the cylinder head. BMW with the M50, M52, M54 in comparison uses a bolt in cam box that can be replaced. It's a smart idea to ease repair from wear issues, but I would prefer finger followers. (Added cost/complexity)

    Hopefully this gives a hint as to the differences in design. I don't have all the answers here, but I do some see trends....
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    I've been running some numbers and forged pistons really take the cost beyond my comfort zone. Especially since I have to do this twice.

    so...
    Forged rods, race ware 10mm studs, S54 tensioner, 3 bolt oil pump sprocket, oil pan baffle and everything else OEM.

    What kind of machine work am I looking at? I'm tracking that I should get the crank, rods and pistons balanced, rod decked, cylinder walls honed, along with a clean up of the exterior. Then assemble the bottom end.

    Some cam cap bolts pulled out of the head that's on my car now. The shop is going to time cert all of the holes...is this acceptable or do I need a new head?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bigjae1976 Click here to enlarge
    I've been running some numbers and forged pistons really take the cost beyond my comfort zone. Especially since I have to do this twice.

    so...
    Forged rods, race ware 10mm studs, S54 tensioner, 3 bolt oil pump sprocket, oil pan baffle and everything else OEM.

    What kind of machine work am I looking at? I'm tracking that I should get the crank, rods and pistons balanced, rod decked, cylinder walls honed, along with a clean up of the exterior. Then assemble the bottom end.

    Some cam cap bolts pulled out of the head that's on my car now. The shop is going to time cert all of the holes...is this acceptable or do I need a new head?
    It will run $1-$2k for machine work and assembly...just depends on the shop.

    Rods are a good idea if you are going to run some RPM all the time.

    I've had a cam cap stud pull out too....and from talking with others, it's usually the ones where there is an alignment dowel...which takes a bit away from the thread depth. Timcerting them all is probably overkill....unless some idiot was torquing the cam caps down beyond 10 lb/ft. Seriously. That's all they need. Considering there are 28 studs...and it would take about 10 minutes to do each one...you'll pay some $$$ for that process....

    Do you need some Raceware head studs? I've got a set....literally installed on my 330i engine...and removed to put the 11mm stuff in. Never ran.
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    Thanks...I'll be very interested in that set of head studs soon.

    In the previous discussion about the forged pistons and squish. So if I have the block and head decked which I'm told is almost always a requirement due to the metal head gaskets potentially leaking, basically that throws off my squish height because now the pistons will be closer to the head...assuming I use the same thickness head gasket? Can I just have my machine shop remove some material on top of the piston?

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    @PEI330Ci, you always provide very high quality, rare and useful information. Thank you!

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bigjae1976 Click here to enlarge
    Thanks...I'll be very interested in that set of head studs soon.In the previous discussion about the forged pistons and squish. So if I have the block and head decked which I'm told is almost always a requirement due to the metal head gaskets potentially leaking, basically that throws off my squish height because now the pistons will be closer to the head...assuming I use the same thickness head gasket? Can I just have my machine shop remove some material on top of the piston?
    You're the second person in 3 years to suggest removing material from the top of an OEM piston. Personally, I don't know if there is enough meat on the crown to do it, so you'd want to start the process by cutting an old piston into sections. If you don't have an old set of OEM pistons, I think I have a set...but I can't say for sure when I'll have the time to cut one up. (I'm very curious about this too!) Maybe I could send you 2 pistons along with the head studs? Anyway...something to do more research on I think.But yes....definitely you will need to address the compression ratio and squish change. A thicker head gasket may be the simplest and best course of action....since you have to install one anyway.
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by SlicktopTTZ Click here to enlarge
    @PEI330Ci, you always provide very high quality, rare and useful information. Thank you!
    You're welcome. Glad you enjoy my ramblings...
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    I think I'll just go with a slightly thicker head gasket then. Do you have a good set of pistons? I need some. I bought a block with internals but the pistons got dinged from the exhaust valves hitting them...overrev (not me).

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    Could these pistons be resused as long as the divots aren't too deep?

    Click here to enlarge

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    You've got a ton of $$$ into this, so please take what I'm about to say with a grain of salt.

    I think you'd be wise to take a step back and assess the scope of your project. Many of the things you've mentioned doing are "short cuts", and will catch up to you in the long run. Used pistons for example....not a bad idea for a frankenstein project where your not paying for machine work and have a very limited budget. Unless you are starting with fresh pistons and rings, there is no point to boring and honing an OEM M54 block. The other thing with OEM pistons/rings, is that the clearances are not set up for the heat that you will make. Look at the side of a set of OEM pistons from an FI engine, and you'll see what I mean: The wear is going to be centered in certain areas. In contrast, a good piston design that's sitting in the proper bore size will have next to no sign of wear on this. My nitrous engine was a really good example of this, where the only wear on the side of the CP pistons was from being pulled out of a rusty cylinder bore. The ring package on a piston is really important; a lot of people don't know that the majority of the heat transfer between the piston and the block is from the top ring. Heck, higher end piston designs are now hard anodizing the ring land areas because of this. So when you put an OEM ring package in, both the designed ring gap, and the thickness of the ring are not meant for higher heat exposure. The thicker the ring, the more heat it can transfer.

    I'm not trying to sell you a set of pistons; there are lots of reasons why OEM pistons are just fine. However, I think it would be useful for you to have more information to make a choice wisely.

    If I were to run an OEM piston, I'd want to be able to set the piston to wall clearance up properly, and run a new set of rings gapped to the heat range (HP) anticipated. This pretty much means sleeving an OEM M54 block to be able to run "used" pistons, or starting with a new set of oversized OEM pistons. (They do sell them) The thing is...when you work out the price of OEM Pistons, rings, wrist pin, locks....it's more expensive than a set of CP pistons.

    I know...I've made this more confusing. But....I would rather plan to build 1 engine well than 2 engines half a$$ed.

    That's my rambling from BKK....gotta fly...
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bigjae1976 Click here to enlarge
    Could these pistons be resused as long as the divots aren't too deep?

    http://www.germanboost.com/images/im...916a4c72-1.jpg
    I say do whatever you are comfortable with but I think solid advice is do it once, do it right. That means, get some nice new pistons...

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    Nope, no offense taken. That's exactly the kind of criticism I'm looking for. The ultimate goal is reliability. I do want to be economical and not spend resources to fix things that REALLY aren't addressing an issue. For example, I know a dry sump will be much better but I don't see the value.

    You point about the pistons is well taken! I saw you used the VAC pistons in your build so I would assume they are adequate. But what about the piston rings?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bigjae1976 Click here to enlarge
    Nope, no offense taken. That's exactly the kind of criticism I'm looking for. The ultimate goal is reliability. I do want to be economical and not spend resources to fix things that REALLY aren't addressing an issue. For example, I know a dry sump will be much better but I don't see the value.

    You point about the pistons is well taken! I saw you used the VAC pistons in your build so I would assume they are adequate. But what about the piston rings?
    Perfect, that's exactly what I was hoping for...just a candid discussion.

    VAC is a high volume reseller of CP pistons making them more affordable.....and CP knows what they are doing. That's not to discount the many other quality piston manufacturers out there, just that I chose a CP product. JE for example has an excellent R&D and racing support department, which has provided some really good technical information on piston design publicly. But....you can't get their stuff as easily as VAC can provide the CP product, so that's what most people use for BMWs.

    The custom Wossner sets I had done were about working with quality people. (Karl Poeltl) In that case, it was a blank sheet design with input from someone that had really pushed the M54 in N/A form. (348rwhp on a Dynojet)

    I hate to keep going back to this, because I realize this is a bit of a sore topic for you recently, but all these hard parts are useless without someone that knows what they are doing putting it all together. I mean, I understand the steps pretty well...and consider myself competent enough to run through the process myself...but there's nothing like the hands of a pro for measuring bearing clearances. (Everyone seems to hold micrometers differently) Now...admittedly, I go in and check many things after "my guy" is done, and sometimes I find something that we need to follow up, but the core of building a great engine still comes down to the guy doing it.

    Why do you think Bugatti (VAG) uses ONE guy to build all of the Veyron engines?

    I don't want to throw dirt on any specific vendor's feet here, but it's been known for bearing shell sizes to get mixed up from time to time. I've seen it across a range of engines including my own. It was the engine builder that found the tolerance issue in my case....unfortunately I know of another case where it showed up with the engine oil constantly overheating. (The engine never made good power, and couldn't be driven WOT for very long) Personally, I'd rather deal with that kind of issue before I ran it on the track?

    Man...it really is a shame that Chuck Stickley got out of the game....but that's life.

    Oh...and regarding the dry sump: Keep the RPMs down and you'll be fine. I do have a semi-drysump idea that I may try on the street car, but that's a little ways down the road yet. I need to get that monster running first.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by PEI330Ci Click here to enlarge
    Why do you think Bugatti (VAG) uses ONE guy to build all of the Veyron engines?
    Sorry...it's actually 2 guys...but you get my point.

    Edit: LOL...it's actually a team of 8.

    Are you sure you trust what I say?
    Last edited by PEI330Ci; 12-31-2012 at 03:11 AM.
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    Do the CP pistons come with rings?

    I think the hardware part is the going to be easy because of people like you. As far as the bottom end, the pistons were the only question and I've sorted the rest out. OEM crank, ARP bottom end hardware, forged rods, VAC coated bearings, forged pistons, raceware studs, slightly thicker head gasket, ATI damper, S54 tensioner, 4 bolt sprocket oil pump, baffled oil pan.

    Next will be addressing the head. I'm using Schrick 248/256 cams. I want to pocket port the intake side...not sure if I'll go for a full port and polish. I've had a retainer and cam cap near cyl 6 break twice. Also, I will address the cam cap bolt threads as you suggested earlier in this thread. What other frequent issues do I face?

    I'm on the hunt for a good machine shop and assembly guy here in Texas. I know they exist in Texas. I have what seems to be 2 solid recommendations. I guess at this point I'm not sure what are the right questions to ask to do some discovery on whether or not this guy knows what they're talking about. I think I have a start from your posts so far. I'll do some research and post a list here. I sure know that my current builder is garbage...although the machine shop may be decent.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by PEI330Ci Click here to enlarge
    Perfect, that's exactly what I was hoping for...just a candid discussion.
    Forgot to add this...I'm kind of offended. My skin is WAAAAYYYYY too thick to get offended by that.Click here to enlarge Plus, I am asking for and very appreciative of your input and assistance!

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bigjae1976 Click here to enlarge
    Do the CP pistons come with rings?

    I think the hardware part is the going to be easy because of people like you. As far as the bottom end, the pistons were the only question and I've sorted the rest out. OEM crank, ARP bottom end hardware, forged rods, VAC coated bearings, forged pistons, raceware studs, slightly thicker head gasket, ATI damper, S54 tensioner, 4 bolt sprocket oil pump, baffled oil pan.

    Next will be addressing the head. I'm using Schrick 248/256 cams. I want to pocket port the intake side...not sure if I'll go for a full port and polish. I've had a retainer and cam cap near cyl 6 break twice. Also, I will address the cam cap bolt threads as you suggested earlier in this thread. What other frequent issues do I face?

    I'm on the hunt for a good machine shop and assembly guy here in Texas. I know they exist in Texas. I have what seems to be 2 solid recommendations. I guess at this point I'm not sure what are the right questions to ask to do some discovery on whether or not this guy knows what they're talking about. I think I have a start from your posts so far. I'll do some research and post a list here. I sure know that my current builder is garbage...although the machine shop may be decent.
    Take 2 of responding to this. (I lost the first response trying to send through a dodgy connection before my last flight)

    CP pistons come with wrist pins, locks, rings, the pistons of course, and a detailed specification sheet for the machining/engine assembly. The assembly person will need to cut the rings to the gap required for your application, and I highly recommend using someone that has a proper ring grinding machine to keep the cut square. (And to avoid chipping the ring end...they are more brittle than people understand) The other thing I recommend to do is to CC the cylinder bore with a piston at TDC. This is to QC the actual compression ratio of the piston package. I've seen piston sets get mixed up before...and the wrong compression ratio was the result.

    I would leave the head alone...or if you want to spend some money there, buy some uprated valve-springs. I've seen even pro drivers miss shifts...and send engines well above their normal power range. It wouldn't hurt to have some 9000 RPM protection. If you have more money...have the valve seats re-cut. (Valve job)

    Properly porting the M54 head involves adding material. I've never seen any of the "regular" vendors showing port work with this done, so I'm assuming they are porting on looks instead of flow...specifically velocity in the curtain area. Personally, I'd leave the ports alone unless you want to spend some serious money.(And time)

    For a good engine builder: Dennis Faerman is a name I've heard about from a range of sources. He's done at least 1 boosted M54 that I know of, and a few S52s.(Along with a whole host of Ferraris, Lambos, and other exotics) But don't just take my word for it, check him out and see if he's what you are looking for. I would visit his shop if you can spare the time...it's best to talk about these things in person. Also, I don't know what his rates are, but I do know he's the kind of guy you get your money's worth with.

    On another topic: Have you considered running a stand-alone ECU?
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by PEI330Ci Click here to enlarge
    Sorry...it's actually 2 guys...but you get my point.

    Edit: LOL...it's actually a team of 8.

    Are you sure you trust what I say?
    For anyone wondering what the cause of my confusion was: I have a ton of Veyron info, from a range of sources. There is a very good magazine article about one of the guys that builds these engines. When I read it, for some reason, I thought that he was building them alone. I also have a range of german press videos that details the building of a W16, and the same guy from the magazine article was involved in a 2 man build team. Then there's the BBC's feature on the Veyron, where again the same 2 guys are featured again, but they mention a total engine build team of 8 people.

    Good thing I'm not a historian....
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by PEI330Ci Click here to enlarge
    Take 2 of responding to this. (I lost the first response trying to send through a dodgy connection before my last flight)

    CP pistons come with wrist pins, locks, rings, the pistons of course, and a detailed specification sheet for the machining/engine assembly. The assembly person will need to cut the rings to the gap required for your application, and I highly recommend using someone that has a proper ring grinding machine to keep the cut square. (And to avoid chipping the ring end...they are more brittle than people understand) The other thing I recommend to do is to CC the cylinder bore with a piston at TDC. This is to QC the actual compression ratio of the piston package. I've seen piston sets get mixed up before...and the wrong compression ratio was the result.

    I would leave the head alone...or if you want to spend some money there, buy some uprated valve-springs. I've seen even pro drivers miss shifts...and send engines well above their normal power range. It wouldn't hurt to have some 9000 RPM protection. If you have more money...have the valve seats re-cut. (Valve job)

    Properly porting the M54 head involves adding material. I've never seen any of the "regular" vendors showing port work with this done, so I'm assuming they are porting on looks instead of flow...specifically velocity in the curtain area. Personally, I'd leave the ports alone unless you want to spend some serious money.(And time)

    For a good engine builder: Dennis Faerman is a name I've heard about from a range of sources. He's done at least 1 boosted M54 that I know of, and a few S52s.(Along with a whole host of Ferraris, Lambos, and other exotics) But don't just take my word for it, check him out and see if he's what you are looking for. I would visit his shop if you can spare the time...it's best to talk about these things in person. Also, I don't know what his rates are, but I do know he's the kind of guy you get your money's worth with.

    On another topic: Have you considered running a stand-alone ECU?
    Thanks. I'll put that stuff on the questions to ask list. That's what I was looking at on the head...was some overrev protection and reliability. I guess my main concern right now is it seems like the current head is falling apart. Broken caps, cap studs pulling out...I guess that's part of the territory running the shrick cams. But all of that may be an installer issue.

    But doesn't shrick spec longer springs for certain grinds? Mine is 248/256.

    Stand alone? Its been a consideration, haven't really gotten there yet. Do I really need one? Not sure yet. I'm going to try Eurocharged to see if they can get the tune right. If that does not get satisfactory results then I will have to go with a stand alone. Satisfactory meaning a reliable tune with 300+ whp that can run in 100+ degree temps.

    You might have answered this before, do I lose ABS with a stand alone? From my understanding, I can throw any engine in as long as I have enough channels, correct? After all of this dropping in an S54 is still a possibility.

  23. #23
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bigjae1976 Click here to enlarge
    Thanks. I'll put that stuff on the questions to ask list. That's what I was looking at on the head...was some overrev protection and reliability. I guess my main concern right now is it seems like the current head is falling apart. Broken caps, cap studs pulling out...I guess that's part of the territory running the shrick cams. But all of that may be an installer issue.

    But doesn't shrick spec longer springs for certain grinds? Mine is 248/256.

    Stand alone? Its been a consideration, haven't really gotten there yet. Do I really need one? Not sure yet. I'm going to try Eurocharged to see if they can get the tune right. If that does not get satisfactory results then I will have to go with a stand alone. Satisfactory meaning a reliable tune with 300+ whp that can run in 100+ degree temps.

    You might have answered this before, do I lose ABS with a stand alone? From my understanding, I can throw any engine in as long as I have enough channels, correct? After all of this dropping in an S54 is still a possibility.
    Market value on used heads is about $500. It's a roll of the dice what you'll get though until you are able to tear it down. Personally, I think it would be wise to have an entire spare engine, so that you can pick and chose the best bits...and have a few spare parts for troubleshooting wear items. I've benefited from this myself on a number of occasions, even with the 330i street car build.

    The cams shouldn't have any affect on the cam trays or caps. The strength of the spring package has some effect, but the main thing is the mass and velocity of valve/retainer/spring/lifter bucket combo. Since you aren't planning to rev very high, this shouldn't be an issue.

    I'm planning a fairly detailed stand-alone article for BMW applications, which will address a lot of existing and a few un-asked questions. But...the main thing that people look at for a stand alone conversion, tuning spark and fuel, is actually only maybe 20% of what a good stand alone can offer. A DME tune won't offer you any driving tools, data logging, adjustable throttle mapping, traction control for different tire or weather types, and safety features that OEMs don't want to include due to liability reasons.

    You can run a stand-alone in parallel to the OEM electronics, and keep the ABS if you want. The other option is to re-wire the OEM ABS wiring so that it runs on it's own. (There are a few shops that can do this for you including Apex Speed Tech, and TMS, but it has a bit of cost)

    The M54 actually has more control channels required than the S54....so yes, a proper stand alone for the M54 could be used on an S54 as well. The more I learn about current and up-coming products, the more excited I am about this area for our cars.
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    Ok, so here's the plan...

    1. Get car back from incompetent mechanic.
    2. Drive car and build spare engine (block and head) - Engine 2.
    3. Once engine 2 is complete, install.
    4. Take engine built by incompetent mechanic (engine 1), tear down, install forged pistons, rebalance rotating assembly, do necessary machine work, rebuild bottom end. Check head, install. End result is a complete engine minus the oil pump and oil pan (might eventually buy a spare).

    I'd like to be able to interchange these engines without tuning issues or significant variance in power or specs. Is where blueprinting comes in?

    I like the data piece from the stand alone but I'm not sure how much I'll use it unless I start getting serious racing in NASA or BMWCCA. Then...I'd probably ditch this M54. I've quickly looked at stand alones but what are my options and what should I look for? I think I need at least 6 channels for an M54? I saw the Motec units which are supposed to be top notch but what else is out there?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bigjae1976 Click here to enlarge
    I saw the Motec units which are supposed to be top notch but what else is out there?
    Pectel.

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