DIY N54 Sheet Metal Engine Cover

Tallgeese179

Private
Nov 5, 2016
34
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Pittsburgh, PA
Purpose: Design and documentation of a community driven N54 sheet metal engine cover. Once the initial blank sheet metal cover is modeled, we can make aesthetic/feature modifications.

Ideation: In order to make a good design, we should put together a feature list. In the comments, chime in on what key features you would like to have included (keeping in mind features increase cost). I'll keep a list of features running at the top of the thread.

Start Date: TBD

Features:
  • Sheet metal design (steel or aluminum)
  • Venting above coil packs
  • Uses OEM mounting holes
 

Tallgeese179

Private
Nov 5, 2016
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Pittsburgh, PA
The one design currently available is: n54 engine cover.jpg

One design alternative could be to use cut hexagons instead of louvers, something like this pattern: hexagon.png

These are just some ideas to get the ball rolling on. I just always though of hexagons as the default for futuristic design so I'm a bit biased towards them.
 

Tallgeese179

Private
Nov 5, 2016
34
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Pittsburgh, PA
Let me know when you want to do this and how much. Pm me prices and details.

I'll probably get started on it sometime in the next 2 weeks. My time is being sucked up designing an HVAC system for my house, but I should have time after I get the floor plans finished and out. As for the cost, I'll likely just toss the CAD model up on MFG.com and see what types of quotes come in. The whole point of this is to make the model freely available to anyone. I'm not much for business so I don't plan on reselling these for a profit or anything like that. I'll put up copies of the quotes I receive and provide info on how to go about ordering it direct from a manufacturer.

Initially I will just put the cad model up and order a prototype for myself to check fit/function. After we can organize group buys from a qualified manufacturer to cut cost down. We would just need an MFG that is okay with shipping to different addresses.

Let me know if you have any ideas or preferences for the functionality or aesthetics though.
 

SingleTurboE92

Corporal
Nov 2, 2016
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Aubrey, Texas
I like the vents that are in the design that you have, I do like the idea of it completely covering the valve cover so that it can keep things from falling into the injector/coil area. I think leaving the metal raw and let the consumer powdercoat whatever color they may want would make production the easiest. The side on the passenger will have to be cut pretty close for us single turbo guys.
 
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Tallgeese179

Private
Nov 5, 2016
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Pittsburgh, PA
I agree, the louvers definitely have the advantage of providing airflow while still blocking things from falling in on the top.

Very good point, I see the single turbo guys always covering the front left corner with tons of reflective tape. The nice thing about switching to sheet metal will be the reduction in thickness. It will also be able to provide better protection to the plastic valve covers. I just have stock turbos so I won't be able to do fit testing, but I'll just make sure it's as at least as close to the valve cover as the plastic one is.
 

SingleTurboE92

Corporal
Nov 2, 2016
200
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Aubrey, Texas
Awesome sir, well when you are ready to produce and need to test fit for single turbo let me know. I have a pretty large turbo so if it fits with mine then it will fit anyone's lol .

IMG_2093.JPG
 

Ajehoti

Specialist
Nov 6, 2016
64
-16
0
West Palm Beach, FL
What would you Utilize for mounting points? Obviously the top engine cover mounts? I have my side wiring loom box removed obviously since the top mount doesn't give space for it.
 

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SingleTurboE92

Corporal
Nov 2, 2016
200
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Aubrey, Texas
Awesome, well don't want to hijack the OPs thread. I would love to hear about both of your builds. Maybe post a build thread in the N54 group. Looks like you have a lot of experience with this platform.
 
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Tallgeese179

Private
Nov 5, 2016
34
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Pittsburgh, PA
Wow, you ST guys are really running tight tolerances.

I plan on using the stock mounting locations (4 screws). My initial thought is to use male/female threaded standoffs in the rear left position, due to the recessed mounting holes (see below). That way the sheet metal stays relatively flat and just has slots to put a screw through into the standoff and stock mounting tabs. The slots would likely be left to right, that way you ST guys can shift the whole cover over away from turbo housing.

If my job has taught me anything about sheet metal: slots>holes

attachment.php?attachmentid=992862&stc=1&d=1394847371.jpg
 
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Ajehoti

Specialist
Nov 6, 2016
64
-16
0
West Palm Beach, FL
Wow, you ST guys are really running tight tolerances.

I plan on using the stock mounting locations (4 screws). My initial thought is to use male/female threaded standoffs in the rear left position, due to the recessed mounting holes (see below). That way the sheet metal stays relatively flat and just has slots to put a screw through into the standoff and stock mounting tabs. The slots would likely be left to right, that way you ST guys can shift the whole cover over away from turbo housing.

If my job has taught me anything about sheet metal: slots>holes

attachment.jpg
Well I'm ready for you to make em, happy to help fitment and get this product rolling
 

Tallgeese179

Private
Nov 5, 2016
34
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Pittsburgh, PA
It's great to see the enthusiasm. Honesty makes me more hyped to start prototyping. I'll be able to start next weekend at the earliest. I'll post updates when design starts.

For ST clearances, I'll probably need some more pictures. Ideally something like a head on pic and maybe at an angle from above to show the closest point between the housing and VC. Just hold a metric ruler in the pictures and use a decent camera.
 

Sean Webster

Private
Nov 5, 2016
35
12
0
Boca raton
Aje is throwing a VM mount 6466 in my 135 in a few weeks and this would be great to throw on. Reduce heat on everything there and keep it looking classy. I'm in if the price is right.
 

doublespaces

Administrator
Oct 18, 2016
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2009 E93 335i
Keep in mind, that unless you insulate the underside of the cover, you're going to melt a lot of shit. Plastic gets used on intake manifolds and engine covers for a reason.

What kind of material would you suggest knowing the outer material?