Originally Posted by uber e36
Well, I drive a B7S4 daily and it moves pretty well at the stock 340hp. I love the linear power of the V8, and of course, the growl. I drove a chipped B5S4 before this and while I liked the WOT power, I am not a huge fan of the turbo lag.
With the e36 being lighter and less power being robbed by AWD, I imagine anywhere from 350-400hp, at the crank, would be as much power as I would need.
I was thinking of buying a used S50/52 and rebuilding it in the garage. I want the experience of doing that myself and I have a friend who is a BMW master tech who could help with what I can't do. I can drop that in an experience the upgrade. Then, the next year, I can buy a supercharger, like the AA HKS setup and be happy.
S54 would be cool but it seems like it would offer less hp than the above, for roughly the same cost. I'm also not as comfortable working on an S54 and I like the idea of being period correct.
Keep in mind, this car will be driven occasionally through the Summer and I have no interest in the track.
Well let me begin,
Im not a fan of super chargers because all your power is at the top of the rev range and they dont make anywhere near as much torque as a turbo charger would on our motors, which is essential in a street car. Turbo's these days have come along way, from ball bearings, to billet wheels etc etc all to minimize lag. My set up should yield close to 400wtq+ by 3500rpm. It all comes down to sizing the right sized turbo for your application.
If youre only looking for 350-400hp a small to mid sized turbo would yield your goals excellently with minimal lag on a stock block with a mls or ces cut ring head gasket. I'd say skip on the M/// series motors as they cost alot more than a regular m5x series and wont yield all that much more power when turboed. Just make sure youre running m3 cams.
If youre doing a full rebuild i would advise on going to a forged bottom end. A common theme these days in the bmw fi world is to do a 2.8l stroker or franken motor, which utilizes an m52 block and s52 crank which stretches the displacement to a full 3 liters and keeps the bore small which makes sealing a head gasket a whole lot easier. You would have to run 135mm forged rods and custom pistons, which many vendors such as trm, maxpsi sell. This is what im running.
A turbo kit from any vendor on bfc. is around 4-5 grand, but if you piece it together yourself you can probably do it for 3ish.
Another common theme these days is, like someone else mentioned, is to throw an lsx series v8 in the chassis. You can run a solid 30mpg 400rwhp e36, although from what i've read the swaps are hard and complicated and when completed will cost from 5-10 grand depending which motor you choose. Vorshlag sells a kit which includes, mounts, drive shaft, headers etc for around $3500 but you still need the motor and tranny, new brake lines, an abs relocation kit
My only complaints about this motor route is the aluminum threads in the block strip really easy and its hard to work on in the e36 bay.
Good luck and keep us posted!