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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 08-27-2015, 04:48 AM
vengenz vengenz is offline
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Pros and Cons S50B32 vs S54!

Lately ive been thinking a lot about the direction i want to go with my 96 328is.
Swapping a better motor is going to happen, but which motor is the question?
I was pretty stuck on an S54 swap for some time, but lately the euro S50B32 has caught my attention.
So, i figured id ask everyone and get some opinions on it.
Id prefer to keep the car as a daily to enjoy driving around, but still surprise a few at events here and there
And enjoy a good powerful motor hiding behind a 328is emblem.
Ive heard with the S54, AC is tricky to keep, which is a must in AZ.
At a few HP shy, the S50B32 seems appealing.
Any thoughts? Anyone familiar with these swaps on non M e36s?
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  #2  
Old 08-27-2015, 05:31 AM
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bronx1987 bronx1987 is offline
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Euro spec S50 close to same HP as S54, one is newer and is a bit more advanced.
Not exactly sure as to what the exact changes are, but I would be hoping that they fixed the oil pump bolt shearing issue.
All I know for a fact is that the E36 engine will be a pretty easy conversion compared to the S54, and also the s50 is slightly heavier than the S54.
If you dont want to mess around with the aircon, go with the easier optionS50 , if you have no problem making the aircon work, go with the s54.
Both are top engines and won many awards for that reason.

As you already have a E36 OBDII car with a 6cyl engine, its a heaps easy swap if you have ecu and wiring loom ready to go with the s50.
Not sure how the wiring loom is for the s54.
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  #3  
Old 08-27-2015, 06:08 AM
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dc_wright dc_wright is offline
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Mein Auto: '06 Z4 3.0si, '11 128CiC
Probably your biggest challenge with the Euro S50 is finding one here in the U.S. If you do, expect it to be ridiculously expensive. The S54 swap would probably cost less, particularly if you picked up a wrecked E46M3 or Z4M as a donor car from one of the insurance auctions. Copart is one of the largest. E46M3's go in the $4K-$6K range depending on the extent of the damage.

http://www.copart.com/us/search?comp...%2CBMW%2CM3%2C
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  #4  
Old 08-27-2015, 06:36 AM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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^This. Finding an S54 in the US is going to be far easier than finding an S50B32.
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  #5  
Old 08-27-2015, 08:39 AM
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hnaz hnaz is offline
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Well, I dunno about that... once all is said and done, and the re-wiring involved... you will be well into your savings account. How much do S50B32 engines go for anyways?

And to the other person about the differences between S50B32 and the S54... S54 have solid lifters which will require periodic maintenance for proper rocker arm gap. S50B32 has hydraulic lifters, and virtually maintenance free.
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  #6  
Old 08-27-2015, 01:40 PM
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bronx1987 bronx1987 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hnaz View Post
Well, I dunno about that... once all is said and done, and the re-wiring involved... you will be well into your savings account. How much do S50B32 engines go for anyways?

And to the other person about the differences between S50B32 and the S54... S54 have solid lifters which will require periodic maintenance for proper rocker arm gap. S50B32 has hydraulic lifters, and virtually maintenance free.

Euro s50b32 engines run solid lifters too.
Only the povo pack s52 ran the hydraulic lifters.
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  #7  
Old 08-27-2015, 02:44 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hnaz View Post
Well, I dunno about that... once all is said and done, and the re-wiring involved... you will be well into your savings account. How much do S50B32 engines go for anyways?

And to the other person about the differences between S50B32 and the S54... S54 have solid lifters which will require periodic maintenance for proper rocker arm gap. S50B32 has hydraulic lifters, and virtually maintenance free.
You are mistaking the US S52B32 for the Euro S50B32. As said above, the S50B32 also requires valve adjustments.
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Last edited by ZeGerman; 08-27-2015 at 02:46 PM.
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  #8  
Old 08-27-2015, 03:02 PM
vengenz vengenz is offline
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How often are valve adjustments needed?
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  #9  
Old 08-27-2015, 03:10 PM
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bronx1987 bronx1987 is offline
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Not sure what the service manual said, but with all my solid lifter cars, about 150tkm-200tkm.
Only if a car runs rollers they recommend every 50tkm-100tkm (going by honda)
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  #10  
Old 08-28-2015, 02:27 PM
rochleeg rochleeg is offline
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S54 go the extra mile. 6 speed also WHAT
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  #11  
Old 08-28-2015, 05:57 PM
M-technik-3 M-technik-3 is offline
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LS2 or 3 shorter by two cylinders and dressed out about the same weight plus gobs of Torque and great HP numbers and tons of aftermarket toys. and if you have to have a 6....S54
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  #12  
Old 08-28-2015, 07:23 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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Yeah, I'd probably go with an LS before doing an S54.
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  #13  
Old 08-28-2015, 11:31 PM
vengenz vengenz is offline
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S50B32 just seems to be the better option. I refuse to do an LS motor haha.
Theres a place here in Phoenix thatll put an LS in any bmw for $4000, all parts included.
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