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  1. #26
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Matt@Camber-Toe Click here to enlarge
    Im going to assume you changed the actual quench area in the combustion chamber, and possibly reduced its size (which would raise compression). That is the only think I can think of that you would need that much welding extra stuff to that would warp the head.

    He is correct in stating that this head will need a big amount of work to get it to flow numbers that an M54 head would. Its no wonder a turbo on an M54 at low boost puts it to the numbers we are struggling to reach on an N54 without blowing something up. Its intake and exhaust ports are so small and tiny they need to be bored out a lot to reach anything close to an M54 head would do...but as stated bigger is not always better. You might hit a wall and actually lose flow if you try to up the valve size to something near an M54. Not to mention now you start messing with the DI properties of the fuel in the chamber, how it swirls, how its mixed in with the air.

    You would probably show small benefits to doing a slight port and increase valve size and squeezing the intake/exhaust ratio up, but I have an idea that might even work better in conjunction with it: Tubular turbo manifolds.


    The problem is that you cant just expect numbers and if its worth it or not. You should do it LM and post your results. If you want to take that next step you have to forge the way. If everyone else had the same mentality of 'I will wait for someone else to do it' then we are all going to sit here and circle jerk.

    If I still had my car and the money I would do it. But Im going a different (proven and tested for the last 50 years) route.
    lol, im growing tired of leding the way. when/if the time comes and i do this, of course i will share

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    I understand but I don't think there is a clear number that can just be provided like that without any sort of base to work from as I don't believe anyone has done it. I have no idea what gains porting would provide at different boost levels on the N54. I would like to know as well.
    yes but someone has obviously done this somewhere else, and im sure they gathered data, so its out there, just have to find it

  2. #27
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Matt@Camber-Toe Click here to enlarge
    Im going to assume you changed the actual quench area in the combustion chamber, and possibly reduced its size (which would raise compression). That is the only think I can think of that you would need that much welding extra stuff to that would warp the head.

    He is correct in stating that this head will need a big amount of work to get it to flow numbers that an M54 head would. Its no wonder a turbo on an M54 at low boost puts it to the numbers we are struggling to reach on an N54 without blowing something up. Its intake and exhaust ports are so small and tiny they need to be bored out a lot to reach anything close to an M54 head would do...but as stated bigger is not always better. You might hit a wall and actually lose flow if you try to up the valve size to something near an M54. Not to mention now you start messing with the DI properties of the fuel in the chamber, how it swirls, how its mixed in with the air.

    You would probably show small benefits to doing a slight port and increase valve size and squeezing the intake/exhaust ratio up, but I have an idea that might even work better in conjunction with it: Tubular turbo manifolds.


    The problem is that you cant just expect numbers and if its worth it or not. You should do it LM and post your results. If you want to take that next step you have to forge the way. If everyone else had the same mentality of 'I will wait for someone else to do it' then we are all going to sit here and circle jerk.

    If I still had my car and the money I would do it. But Im going a different (proven and tested for the last 50 years) route.
    Great post!

    For everyone else:

    Someone just has to get serious with the N54 and do some of the things I did with the M54. For example, I cut up an entire engine to figure out some things like how thick the port walls are:

    Click here to enlarge

    Click here to enlarge

    I have a lot of measurements from that that were used in the porting process for both of the ported M54 heads that I've shown data for.

    With regard to the block, I'd prefer the N54's with the one piece main cap. But...I'm an M54 guy so I stick to doing my research:

    Click here to enlarge

    From that above picture I had Raceware for example make me a set of custom head studs. If you want to be a pioneer...you've got to pay.

  3. #28
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    this is a great thread, adam. I wish i had waited until after you cut up an engine to spec mine.
    Click here to enlarge

  4. #29
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by PEI330Ci Click here to enlarge
    For example, I cut up an entire engine to figure out some things like how thick the port walls are:
    I hope this does not come off the wrong way, but why have you worked so hard on the M54? Would it not have made much more sense to simply get an S54?
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  5. #30
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bluejeansonfire Click here to enlarge
    this is a great thread, adam. I wish i had waited until after you cut up an engine to spec mine.
    There was no way to tell when I was going to have the info that I have now available. Don't beat yourself up.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    I hope this does not come off the wrong way, but why have you worked so hard on the M54? Would it not have made much more sense to simply get an S54?
    Really good question.

    Yes, the S54 is a much better starting point initially. In fact in a number of cases, it would have actually have been cheaper to use that engine. However when I started tinkering back in 2005, I had no idea that I would take things this far. Things just kind of progressed, and I enjoyed learning so much about an engine that was widely ignored for various reasons. Now it's a niche. Whenever someone is doing something odd with an M54, they contact me. I get emails from race teams, and private individuals from all over the world. It's grown into a pretty fun hobby.

    I think at the end of the day I'll have more enjoyment from making say 500rwhp with an M54 than making 800rwhp with an S54. The challenge is there, and that's what I enjoy.

    There is a certain aspect of the M54 that I believe is a huge advantage over the S54 though....but it will be a while before I share the how and why of that. Lets just say my contacts with Pro-Mod race teams is pointing me in a certain direction...

  6. #31
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by PEI330Ci Click here to enlarge
    Now it's a niche. Whenever someone is doing something odd with an M54, they contact me. I get emails from race teams, and private individuals from all over the world. It's grown into a pretty fun hobby.
    I can see that. Plus, back in 2005, we really didn't know what the S54 was capable of fully at that point.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by PEI330Ci Click here to enlarge
    I think at the end of the day I'll have more enjoyment from making say 500rwhp with an M54 than making 800rwhp with an S54. The challenge is there, and that's what I enjoy.
    It's different, I can respect that.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by PEI330Ci Click here to enlarge
    There is a certain aspect of the M54 that I believe is a huge advantage over the S54 though....but it will be a while before I share the how and why of that. Lets just say my contacts with Pro-Mod race teams is pointing me in a certain direction...
    I honestly can't think of anything off the top of my head. Care to point me in the right direction?
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  7. #32
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    I honestly can't think of anything off the top of my head. Care to point me in the right direction?
    weight?

  8. #33
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by spdu4ea Click here to enlarge
    weight?
    With the block? That costs strength though, don't see that as an advantage for power.
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  9. #34
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    I honestly can't think of anything off the top of my head. Care to point me in the right direction?
    First off, the S54 isn't the highest flowing BMW inline six cylinder head. With careful work, I've seen flow numbers in the 290 area on the S54 intake, but it came at the cost of sub-5000rpm power when the engine was run. (You could see it in the port velocities as well) There is another earlier head that has seen over 300 cfm @ 28in when properly prepared, but we can't bolt that up to any of the newer blocks. So you have to use the older block ect....or for me, a non-M54.

    The M54 head, when well prepared, comes really close to the exhaust port flow of a stock S54. The intake side of the M54 doesn't do as well. If you were injecting a massive amount of nitrous, the port size and heat handling will affect things quite a bit. Keep in mind the port work on the head with the 31.5mm exhaust valves was designed for this:

    Click here to enlarge

    Click here to enlarge

    Click here to enlarge

    With that intake attached to the fore-mentioned head, it flowed 4 CFM less than without. That's efficiency talking.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by spdu4ea Click here to enlarge
    weight?
    The difference is about 50lbs.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    With the block? That costs strength though, don't see that as an advantage for power.
    I agree with that, I would gladly trade the aluminum for steel at the cost of 50 lbs. But then, it wouldn't be an M54 anymore would it?

  10. #35
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    Thanks for taking the effort of sharing years of findings. I got a friend with a 10.1sec M54 E30 that I am sure will appreciate your read as we have discussed tinkering with stock heads quite a bit.
    What would also be of interest is the relationship of boost with a better flowing head. If I have understood this concept perfectly boost is caused by intake restriction so assuming flow is improved and the turbo spin speed is constant boost should drop and CFM should remain constant.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Matt@Camber-Toe Click here to enlarge
    Im going to assume you changed the actual quench area in the combustion chamber, and possibly reduced its size (which would raise compression). That is the only think I can think of that you would need that much welding extra stuff to that would warp the head.
    Sorry, I never addressed this before.

    No material was added to the combustion chamber.

    I worked with Racer's Edge/Wossner in Germany on a custom "one-off" piston design for this application. We designed the compression ratio with the shape of the piston:

    Click here to enlarge

    Click here to enlarge

    I could have easily had 4 off-the shelf sets from CP for a similar price, but that's what "custom" costs.

    For reference, here's a 9.25:1 piston from CP I used on a previous engine:

    Click here to enlarge

    And another CP piston @ 8.5:1 for another M54 engine I'm building:

    Click here to enlarge

    The cylinder head wasn't changed to accommodate other parts, it was changed for it's own sake. I'll show why soon enough.

  12. #37
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by George Smooth Click here to enlarge
    Thanks for taking the effort of sharing years of findings. I got a friend with a 10.1sec M54 E30 that I am sure will appreciate your read as we have discussed tinkering with stock heads quite a bit.
    What would also be of interest is the relationship of boost with a better flowing head. If I have understood this concept perfectly boost is caused by intake restriction so assuming flow is improved and the turbo spin speed is constant boost should drop and CFM should remain constant.
    Thanks George

    I'd love to hear more about this E30...I'm not sure I know of this one yet?

    Boost pressure in my mind is a misleading indicator. The 2 most important measurements to me are mass flow, and temperature.

    You're description of flow is in general correct. Most people pursue more boost pressure because it's cheaper than changing the engine hard parts. However you generally lose more and more low end response to create this pressure. Improving the efficiency of the engine usually gives you more power everywhere, especially up top. It's a win-win situation in my mind, so I'm surprised so many people ignore the cylinder head and cams when building high-hp turbo engines. (Cue my rants about the N54)

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by PEI330Ci Click here to enlarge
    Thanks George

    I'd love to hear more about this E30...I'm not sure I know of this one yet?

    Boost pressure in my mind is a misleading indicator. The 2 most important measurements to me are mass flow, and temperature.

    You're description of flow is in general correct. Most people pursue more boost pressure because it's cheaper than changing the engine hard parts. However you generally lose more and more low end response to create this pressure. Improving the efficiency of the engine usually gives you more power everywhere, especially up top. It's a win-win situation in my mind, so I'm surprised so many people ignore the cylinder head and cams when building high-hp turbo engines. (Cue my rants about the N54)
    Here is a pic of the specific cars engine bay. I invited him to view this thread so maybe he can add some value if he pleases. We have two cars locally that are of similar league.
    Click here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by George Smooth Click here to enlarge
    Here is a pic of the specific cars engine bay. I invited him to view this thread so maybe he can add some value if he pleases. We have two cars locally that are of similar league.
    Click here to enlarge
    Very cool car, but that engine is an M52. (Note the single VANOS on the front and location of the oil filler cap) Did he change to an M54 engine in the same chassis more recently?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by PEI330Ci Click here to enlarge
    Very cool car, but that engine is an M52. (Note the single VANOS on the front and location of the oil filler cap) Did he change to an M54 engine in the same chassis more recently?
    Yep, that looks like an M52 to me.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by PEI330Ci Click here to enlarge
    I prefer to work with data when I can.

    The following is cylinder head flow data that I have collected since 2007. Some of it has come at great cost, but I don't mind sharing for the point of learning.

    I thought it would be a good point of reference to compare stock and modified M54, stock and modified N54B30, and stock S54 heads:

    http://www.bimmerboost.com/images/im...010/12/242.jpg

    http://www.bimmerboost.com/images/im...010/12/243.jpg

    I believe this may be the first time that flow bench data for both a stock, and ported 335 head (N54B30) has been posted publicly. Surprisingly, it flows a lot worse than the stock M54 head that preceeded it, but there is bound to be a reason. As you mention above, turbo spool and midrange torque is probably the main reason. However, I can see a LOT of work needed to make serious power with this engine unless someone wants to start with a billet head. Sure it flows...but the head is a problem.

    And to address the intake to exhaust port ratios:

    http://www.bimmerboost.com/images/im...010/12/244.jpg

    The N54B30 averages 91%, even with it's "low" flow numbers.

    The ported cylinder heads exceed 100% at mid-lift values, but this was not by design. The port flow was optimized to make power at a specific peak RPM values and cylinder displacement.
    Excellent info! Thank you!

    A small note, I believe it should be exhaust to intake flow ratio rather than intake to exhaust flow ratio.

    NA engines such as M54 and S54 need to have high intake flow which turbo N54 can compensate by boost. That is why FI applications require exhaust side to be worked on rather than intake side which can be helped by pressure.

    However, as you said, the less pressure needs to be applied, the better. So upgrading intake flow as well is very useful, albeit not critical.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by PEI330Ci Click here to enlarge
    Very cool car, but that engine is an M52. (Note the single VANOS on the front and location of the oil filler cap) Did he change to an M54 engine in the same chassis more recently?
    Sorry I confused my M motors. They all single vanos units but I reckon he will chime in soon.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by George Smooth Click here to enlarge
    Sorry I confused my M motors. They all single vanos units but I reckon he will chime in soon.
    No big deal, if the owner can chime in that would be cool.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by PEI330Ci Click here to enlarge
    First off, the S54 isn't the highest flowing BMW inline six cylinder head.
    i would love to do an s38 some day
    Click here to enlarge

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    I'd love to get my hands on an S70...that would be the ultimate BMW engine to turbo.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by PEI330Ci Click here to enlarge
    I'd love to get my hands on an S70...that would be the ultimate BMW engine to turbo.
    ...with s54 heads... i wonder if that would work, i really love the follower arms.... and reverse-flow the driver's side?...no this wouldn't work, unless the exahust went into the valley on the driver's bank only
    Click here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bluejeansonfire Click here to enlarge
    ...with s54 heads... i wonder if that would work, i really love the follower arms.... and reverse-flow the driver's side?...no this wouldn't work, unless the exahust went into the valley on the driver's bank only
    Sorry, I should clarify: S70/2 engine

    The down side of running I-6 heads on a V-12 are that the timing chain and coolant system gets duplicated....kind of tricky when you factor in the flywheel ect. It's better off just to make the most of the initial castings.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by PEI330Ci Click here to enlarge
    First off, the S54 isn't the highest flowing BMW inline six cylinder head
    What is? You mean strictly OEM, correct?
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by PEI330Ci Click here to enlarge
    I'd love to get my hands on an S70...that would be the ultimate BMW engine to turbo.
    Respectfully disagree, the S85 would be IMO.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    Respectfully disagree, the S85 would be IMO.
    I think aluminum bores are an inferior option. Displacement is also win. As are solid lifters. But the s85 does weigh less. The bedplate is a sweet bottom end. v10 not balanced like a v12. btw, if you're interested, I know of a blown s85 for sale very cheap.
    Click here to enlarge

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