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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 10-26-2011, 01:30 AM
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HakenTT HakenTT is online now
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$50 camshaft upgrade solution for M50/M52 engines

Cheap camshaft upgrade solution for M50/M52 engines.

If you are on the budget and want to upgrade camshaft on your M50 engine, then there is a $50 solution to this.
Get intake camshaft from M54b30 engine. These are sold for cheap at E46 forums. People upgrade to ZHP cams all the time so their stock cams are on sale for $25 to $50.
Get the intake camshaft from 1992 M50 non vanos head and you will use it on the exhaust side. The timing tool block will not work, so before you remove your stock cam mark the points of the lobe peak location on the cam caps. You can find this at junk yards for $15 to $25.
Cam specs will be
Intake 240 duration 9.7 lift
Exhaust 240 duration 9.7 lift
Not as hot as S50/S52 cams but close enough(in my opinion S50/s52 cams are just too agressive for 2.5 and 2.8 L engines, they deliver more peak power but reduce power on low rpm)

For the intake cam you will need to get 96+ cam tray with lifters and caps, you can mod the M50 cam tray if you are realy cheap, M54 trays will work too. If you have the option of getting M54 intake camshaft sprocket with hardware, get it, it is lighter and better than M50/M52 intake sprocket hardware. Do not remove vanos gear from the cam, just shorten it down with the grinder 5mm. And cam tool will work with M54 intake cam.

This photo shows, M54b30 intake camshaft with hardware installed on the M50 head. M54 uses just one spring washer, it is made to reduce the vanos rattle and to tighten the vanos on/off thrust, similar to M52/S52 hardware but more simple and lighter.


Last edited by HakenTT; 10-26-2011 at 01:38 AM.
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  #2  
Old 10-26-2011, 04:22 AM
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LaCrosse540i6 LaCrosse540i6 is offline
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So ZHP cams would also be compatable for M50/M52's? Interesting.
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  #3  
Old 10-26-2011, 07:35 PM
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I'm surprised more people didn't comment on this. Definitely interesting.


I'll keep it in mind. Thanks for posting.
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  #4  
Old 10-26-2011, 08:01 PM
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Very nice. I'm glad somebody is willing to dig in and discover this kind of stuff.
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  #5  
Old 10-26-2011, 08:53 PM
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Hmm... I think I know what I'm doing for part of my turbo build...
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  #6  
Old 10-26-2011, 09:52 PM
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Wow this looks awesome.


Thank you. This might work without vanos....
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  #7  
Old 10-27-2011, 02:11 AM
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Yes would this work for non vanos m50? Otherwise looks like ill be spending for a used s50 cam.
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  #8  
Old 10-27-2011, 04:10 AM
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diggin it.

just a question, though. what and where are you grinding othe vanos gear?? just the end (where it appears there used to be a torx bit??)


df
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  #9  
Old 07-21-2012, 06:12 PM
NMSDAD1 NMSDAD1 is offline
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Very interested..
Could you post a video of this running?

Do you have any dyno numbers?
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  #10  
Old 11-23-2012, 04:01 PM
bosnianwog bosnianwog is offline
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So basically to get this to fit in my m52 i just have to grind down the m54 cam?
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  #11  
Old 11-24-2012, 09:46 AM
bmw-mania bmw-mania is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HakenTT View Post
Cheap camshaft upgrade solution for M50/M52 engines.

If you are on the budget and want to upgrade camshaft on your M50 engine, then there is a $50 solution to this.
Get intake camshaft from M54b30 engine. These are sold for cheap at E46 forums. People upgrade to ZHP cams all the time so their stock cams are on sale for $25 to $50.
Get the intake camshaft from 1992 M50 non vanos head and you will use it on the exhaust side. The timing tool block will not work, so before you remove your stock cam mark the points of the lobe peak location on the cam caps. You can find this at junk yards for $15 to $25.
Cam specs will be
Intake 240 duration 9.7 lift
Exhaust 240 duration 9.7 lift
Not as hot as S50/S52 cams but close enough(in my opinion S50/s52 cams are just too agressive for 2.5 and 2.8 L engines, they deliver more peak power but reduce power on low rpm)

For the intake cam you will need to get 96+ cam tray with lifters and caps, you can mod the M50 cam tray if you are realy cheap, M54 trays will work too. If you have the option of getting M54 intake camshaft sprocket with hardware, get it, it is lighter and better than M50/M52 intake sprocket hardware. Do not remove vanos gear from the cam, just shorten it down with the grinder 5mm. And cam tool will work with M54 intake cam.

This photo shows, M54b30 intake camshaft with hardware installed on the M50 head. M54 uses just one spring washer, it is made to reduce the vanos rattle and to tighten the vanos on/off thrust, similar to M52/S52 hardware but more simple and lighter.

+ m54 rotating assembly

3.1 super stroke monster..



You have to remove 5mm from the business end.. (?)
Is this guesstimation.. or measurement?
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  #12  
Old 11-24-2012, 01:47 PM
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Nicely done, definitely interested in doing this when I get a chance.
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  #13  
Old 05-12-2013, 08:55 AM
jaguarx7 jaguarx7 is offline
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I'd like to know where to find one of these for $50, I've been looking for one for over a year and haven't found one for less than $350. I can find used M3 cams for less. Anyone know where I can find one for a decent price?
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Cars are much more compact if you don't take them apart.

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  #14  
Old 05-12-2013, 01:30 PM
ditoedt325 ditoedt325 is offline
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Thanks for the info

I thought e46 was more differenter.
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  #15  
Old 07-30-2013, 03:22 PM
NZ NZ is offline
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Hey, Im digging this old thread up as im keen on doing something like this.but....
I have a question about using 2 different cams.
Why would you not just use 2 non vanos cams? how come its an M54B30 intake and a M50nv intake cam?
The thread lists the duration and lift the same? doesn't that mean they ARE the same?
Would really be keen on some info on this.

thanks
Andrew
NZ
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  #16  
Old 07-30-2013, 05:12 PM
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miles_trail miles_trail is online now
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Non Vanos cam doesn't have the Vanos gear, which means no Vanos, which means bad.

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How do you outcrazy a dude that lifts his engines without a hoist?

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  #17  
Old 07-30-2013, 05:16 PM
granlund granlund is offline
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You would be using the non-VANOS intake cam on the exhaust (which doesn't have VANOS) on the M50tu/M52.
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  #18  
Old 07-30-2013, 05:24 PM
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miles_trail miles_trail is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NZ View Post
Why would you not just use 2 non vanos cams? how come its an M54B30 intake and a M50nv intake cam?

I was responding to this question.

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How do you outcrazy a dude that lifts his engines without a hoist?

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  #19  
Old 07-31-2013, 10:39 AM
Alan777 Alan777 is offline
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I'd be curious about power gains and the powerband. After seeing s50 cams in an M50 I was severely disappointed.
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  #20  
Old 07-31-2013, 11:50 AM
SurreyBuddy SurreyBuddy is offline
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I don't want to be the guy that repeats the same question someone else has stated but; will this work on a non vanos m50 engine.

I understand non vanos is bad and i should sell my car but its not selling.
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  #21  
Old 07-31-2013, 01:51 PM
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Non-Vanos isn't bad. It's only marginally less powerful than a single-vanos engine that has lots more things to go wrong.

I have no idea if it will work on a non-Vanos engine, but my guts tells me no. It also tells me it's time to eat.
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Last edited by hornhospital; 07-31-2013 at 07:49 PM.
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  #22  
Old 08-02-2013, 02:57 PM
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miles_trail miles_trail is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SurreyBuddy View Post
I don't want to be the guy that repeats the same question someone else has stated but; will this work on a non vanos m50 engine.

I understand non vanos is bad and i should sell my car but its not selling.
The only potential problem I see is the Vanos gear hitting the valve cover, but it screws off of the cam so I don't see why it wouldn't be doable .
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How do you outcrazy a dude that lifts his engines without a hoist?

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  #23  
Old 08-02-2013, 06:03 PM
jaguarx7 jaguarx7 is offline
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No one's answered my question yet though, where do you find one of these for a decent price?
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Cars are much more compact if you don't take them apart.

There is a theory which states that if anyone ever figures out how and why the universe came to exist it would instantly dissapear, and a less rational, more complicated one would replace it.

There is another theory which states that this has already happend...
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  #24  
Old 08-02-2013, 07:53 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Re: $50 camshaft upgrade solution for M50/M52 engines

The for sale forum here or BImmerforums, Craigslist.

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guessing gets expensive...drivinfaster
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1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira" 1985 635CSi "Katja" 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"
HAVE I HAD MY MEDS YET?

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  #25  
Old 08-18-2013, 01:50 PM
highrev16v highrev16v is offline
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i got my m54 cams at pick a part for 24 bucks and in good shape.
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