MasterC17 - E46 M3 Track Car - Part 2 (With N54)

MasterC17

Private
Jan 19, 2018
26
21
0
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2002 BMW M3
Backstory: I purchased a 2002 E46 M3 in January, 2012 with the intent of making it a Street/Track car. Fast forward two years later, and it was just a track car. I had a full cage done, complete front and rear aero, the suspension was completely upgraded, and the S54 was delivering as much power as a N/A S54 can (without spending thousands on it). I was able to get the weight down to about 2,600lbs (without driver) and it was putting down well over 300whp. It was a lot of fun and performed great, but at the end of the 2014 Season after three years of abuse the SMG started giving me problems. The car would sit for the next 3 years.

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F80 M3: I bought a 2015 F80 M3 at the tail end of 2014. Originally, I wasn't planning to use it as a "replacement" for the M3, but between the SMG issues on the E46 and a lack of time/motivation to fix it, I quickly began prepping the F80 for track use. I was very surprised to find that the F80 was an extremely competent track vehicle. With just a Tune, Downpipes, Pads, Brake Fluid, and some other minor upgrades, I was able to run within 2 seconds of my fastest lap in the M3 at Watkins Glen.

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2016-2017: Unfortunately, I did not have the time to do any events in 2016 and 2017. So, I wanted to come back in 2018 with a vengeance! I purchased two N54's, a DCT Transmission, various performance parts, stock parts, and a 2011 335is w/ 61k Miles to use as a donor vehicle to realize my dream - the same 2002 E46 M3 with an N54 and a DCT Transmission.

2018: Earlier this year, I began putting the puzzle pieces in place to make this a reality.

The M3 is currently at my body shop having a number of upgrades done. More on that later.

The 335is donor vehicle has been stripped down and the new wiring harness is in the process of being built, among other things.

A number of performance parts have been either installed or are on order from various vendors. More to come on that later as well.

I have swapped S54's into E46 Sedans, E36's, and even a Datsun. I've rebuilt and replaced several S54's, so I have a lot of experience with the platform, BMW's wiring, etc. Everything has been pre-planned out so this should be fairly straight-forward, albeit slow moving. I will keep the thread updated as things progress.

Here's some photos of the 335is in its current state:

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MasterC17

Private
Jan 19, 2018
26
21
0
Ride
2002 BMW M3
Here is the E46 M3 Build prior to beginning this swap (Minus S54 related modifications of course!):

Item/Part
Engine
Heater Core Delete
Driveline
AKG Steering Coupler
OEM Replacement Guibo
Cooling
Zionsville Radiator w/ 14" Offset Fan
BimmerWorld Oil Cooler
Exhaust
3.5" Race Exhaust SE
Brakes
CSL Rotors Front + Rear
Bimmerworld Brake Duct Kit
Rotora 4-Piston Fixed Calipers
Bimmerworld V2 SS Brake Lines
Hawk DTC60 Pads F+R
Suspension
Intrax 1K2 Coilovers (800lbs/400lbs)
Treehouse Racing FCAB's
GC Front Sway Bar
Ground Control Rear Race Control Arms
Ground Control RTABS
BW Rear Subframe Reinforcement
BW Rear Subframe Mounts Set
BW Front Subframe Reinforcement (Not Installed)
BW Motor/Tranny Mounts
BW Solid Differential Mounts Set
Wheels/Tires
Apex ARC-8 18x9.5 ET35
Maxxis Victra RC1 275/35/18
Bimmerworld 92mm Race Studs
BW 12mm Front Spacers
BW 5mm Rear Spacers
Interior
Sparco Evo 2 Driver Seat
Custom Aluminum Seat Floor Mount
Howard Motorsports Roll Cage
Custom Floor Pan Driver Side
6-Point Schroth Harness
Custom Sparco Steering Wheel w/ Functional Paddles
Exterior
BimmerWorld Front Splitter
BimmerWorld Rear Tall Wing
Custom Rear Carbon Diffuser
BW Carbon Dive Planes
MAShaw Carbon GTR Hood
MAShaw Carbon Doors
Scorza CSL Trunk
CSL Carbon Fiber Roof
Miscellaneous
AIM Pista MXL
Aluminum Tow Hook
BimmerWorld Fuel Starvation Kit
Helmet Hook
Wink 5 Panel Mirror
Braille B2105 Battery
Lexan Rear Windshield
[TBODY] [/TBODY]
 
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MasterC17

Private
Jan 19, 2018
26
21
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2002 BMW M3
For this build, I am looking to attain a consistent, reliable 550-600whp.

To accomplish this, I have ordered the following:

  • MMP Charge Pipe
  • MMP DCI Filter Kit
  • Vargas 2" Inlets
  • Vargas 2" Outlets
  • Vargas GC Lite Turbos (New Revision)
  • N20 TMAP Sensor
  • 50mm BOV w/ 7psi Spring
  • RB PCV Valve
  • Oil Catch Can
  • Coated Rod Bearings
  • VAC Oil Pan Baffle
  • Stage 2 LPFP
  • VTT Single Barrel Shotgun
  • MMP 3" Downpipes

I want to say thank you to Tony @ Vargas for being responsive, timely, and very helpful. I decided the GC Lite's were the best option for my build for several reasons. They have very quick spool, can easily deliver the power-band I am looking for, have been highly reviewed, and will be reliable under the stress I will put them through.

I have installed the Charge Pipe, DCI, BOV, and Downpipes.

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Keep in mind I am still in the fabrication process, so a lot of what you see right now will be changing in terms of mounting and setup.

Finally, I purchased a set of Moton Motorsport 3-Way Remote Reservoir Shocks to compliment the already fantastic suspension setup in the E46.

Best of all, this is just the start!
 

MRC-5.56

Lurker
Nov 24, 2017
24
21
0
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e92 335i
Awesome project. I cant wait to see it get completed. Do you have any concerns about keeping the N54 cool under heavy track use? Do you plan for any cooling upgrades or modifications?
 

MasterC17

Private
Jan 19, 2018
26
21
0
Ride
2002 BMW M3
Awesome project. I cant wait to see it get completed. Do you have any concerns about keeping the N54 cool under heavy track use? Do you plan for any cooling upgrades or modifications?

Yes, and already being taken care of. The car will have two Radiators, two Oil Coolers, a Race Intercooler, and a fan-cooled radiator for both the Differential and the Transmission. Additionally, some fancy ducting will be done to extract air in an efficient manner.
 
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DennisKing

Specialist
Nov 5, 2016
94
54
0
Portland, OR
As a guy that has a daily E46 Sedan that I'd love to swap an N54 and DCT into, consider me subscribed. Good thing I've got a spare N54 in my garage ;)
 

[email protected]

Lieutenant
Nov 5, 2016
596
606
55
Bay Area
This is the second N54 swapped E46 to run GC Lites. The other is in Europe and made the cover of Performance BMW Magazine. Pretty cool seeing two of these running VTT Turbos! Excited to see this car dominating on the track!

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boostE92d

Corporal
Jan 9, 2018
147
86
0
Houston TX
Ride
12 335is
I can't believe you are putting an n54 in a e46 m3. I hope it works out. There is also an e36 getting one for hill climb. N54 in motor sports? Check...
 
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Arhoads335i

Private
Jul 14, 2017
40
15
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335i
God bless!! Might want to get upgraded coils also but I’m sure you have already thought of that. Anyways I can’t wait to see the results!
 

MasterC17

Private
Jan 19, 2018
26
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2002 BMW M3
God bless!! Might want to get upgraded coils also but I’m sure you have already thought of that. Anyways I can’t wait to see the results!

For the moment will be sticking with Delphi GN10571 Coils and NGK 95770 Spark Plugs. If they give me trouble, I will upgrade :)
 
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veer90

Captain
Nov 16, 2016
1,000
763
25
West Nyack, NY
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e90 335i 6MT
For 550-600 whp you'll probably be running mid 20s psi boost assuming the head is stock. In terms of strength the Delphi are no stronger than eldors or bosch oem coils so the plugs will have to be gapped down to 0.018 or less.

upgraded ignition isn't 100% necessary but a very good idea at this point since you're going to be beating on the car at the track.
 
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Aaron

Lieutenant
Nov 3, 2016
544
200
0
Colorado
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Silver 2013 335is 6MT
I'm almost surprised you have this much experience with the N54, and are actually considering stock coils. Are misfires at the track fun?
 

fmorelli

Major General
Staff member
Aug 11, 2017
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www.morelliguitars.com
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E89 Z4 35i, F10 535d
... so the plugs will have to be gapped down to 0.018 or less.
Agree. I cannot think of a reason why one would want to pretzel the ground electrode, not to mention run such a small gap.

Looking forward to seeing you putting this together. I've actually forwarded a URL of this thread to a few other folks.

Filippo
 

MasterC17

Private
Jan 19, 2018
26
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2002 BMW M3
The feedback I had received from some experienced folks indicated that the upgraded Ignition was not a priority at this point in the build. Fortunately, it is very easy to add on after the fact. Let me be clear: I am not saying I won't do it, I'm just not at the point of doing it right now.
 

MasterC17

Private
Jan 19, 2018
26
21
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2002 BMW M3
Good luck with upgraded twins on track. I hope they work out but it would be prudent to budget in a ST conversion at some point in the near future.

Concerns with longevity? I know you went ST for your build right?
 

Aaron

Lieutenant
Nov 3, 2016
544
200
0
Colorado
Ride
Silver 2013 335is 6MT
You need to find more experienced experienced folks, or just smarter ones. The stock ignition can't even handle stock twins at stock power without misfiring down every straight.
 
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MasterC17

Private
Jan 19, 2018
26
21
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Ride
2002 BMW M3
You need to find more experienced experienced folks, or just smarter ones. The stock ignition can't even handle stock twins at stock power without misfiring down every straight.

Fair enough, they'll be done at some point before the car sees the track don't worry!