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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Fri, Jan-24-2020, 03:06:36 AM   #1
2005E46M3ZCP
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Default Max safe RWHP for an Naturally Aspirated E46 M3

So! stock E46 M3's make 333 HP at the Crank, so after mechanical loses I'm guessing they make somewhere around 280 something Horsepower to the Wheels. I've read claims of some members cars making 350 to 400 Rear RWHP, but not sure if these cars are running Turbo's or they're just heavily modified, but that seems a lot for a car that's NA or maybe I'm just uneducated. I haven't dyno'd my Car, but with the Full Supersprint exhaust and Eventuri intake and mild tune, it's quite a bit faster than it was stock, but I could only guess what HP my car makes to it's rear wheels. Anyways! I think I'm done as far as anymore Engine Mods, but I'm curious at what point Mods on a S54 engine get to the point where it's detrimental to the reliability of the engine and parts start breaking, unless internal parts are replaced with something stronger. The Mod Bug can get a bit addicting, but I don't want to create a nightmare in quest of ultimate Horsepower.
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Old Fri, Jan-24-2020, 03:10:18 AM   #2
pbonsalb
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Default Re: Max safe RWHP for an Naturally Aspirated E46 M3

Stock block motors with a turbo system have made 700 rwhp.
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Old Fri, Jan-24-2020, 03:12:53 AM   #3
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Default Re: Max safe RWHP for an Naturally Aspirated E46 M3

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Stock block motors with a turbo system have made 700 rwhp.
Good Grief, and they manage to not blow to pieces making that much power. I'd imagine you'd have to make a lot of internal mods to keep that engine together. Will the Transmission handle something like that.
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Old Fri, Jan-24-2020, 03:37:42 AM   #4
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Default Re: Max safe RWHP for an Naturally Aspirated E46 M3

Stock block. No internal mods. The strength of the S54 is not the limitation to naturally aspirated power, which will never get anywhere close to the power holding capacity of the stock internals. There is simply a limit to how much air you can get into a naturally aspirated stock internal S54. The bolt on breathing mods help. But the cars making near 400 rwhp have changed camshafts. To get any more power you could run more radical cams than the ones that contribute to the 400rwhp, but they might require different valve springs. Tuning on race gas or E85 instead of pump gas helps. Raising the compression ratio helps but you have to pull the head for that and it could put the motor past pump gas limits. And you could port the head, but again, you are pulling it and altering it.
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Old Fri, Jan-24-2020, 03:38:44 AM   #5
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Default Re: Max safe RWHP for an Naturally Aspirated E46 M3

Stock internals and trans are massively strong. So long as you don’t have some garbage tune with unsafe values, you aren’t coming close to the limit of the mechanical parts with N/A mods. Even with boost you need to make massive power before weaknesses show up.
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Old Fri, Jan-24-2020, 03:29:23 PM   #6
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Default Re: Max safe RWHP for an Naturally Aspirated E46 M3

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Stock internals and trans are massively strong. So long as you donít have some garbage time with unsafe values, you arenít coming close to the limit of the mechanical parts with N/A mods. Even with boost you need to make massive power before weaknesses show up.
Assuming you mean tune here, but yeah, what others are saying...you can hurt a bone stock motor w/shit gas, a crappy tune, improper maintenance, or a combination of any of these factors. Generally speaking, as long as you run proper fuel and tune responsibly, these motors will handle 500+ HP pretty reliably...which won't happen NA in my lifetime.
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Old Fri, Jan-24-2020, 04:18:01 PM   #7
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Default Re: Max safe RWHP for an Naturally Aspirated E46 M3

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Anyways! I think I'm done as far as anymore Engine Mods, but
Rightttt
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Old Fri, Jan-24-2020, 04:29:20 PM   #8
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Default Re: Max safe RWHP for an Naturally Aspirated E46 M3

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Originally Posted by 2005E46M3ZCP View Post
I've read claims of some members cars making 350 to 400 Rear RWHP, but not sure if these cars are running Turbo's or they're just heavily modified, but that seems a lot for a car that's NA or maybe I'm just uneducated.
So you donít know if the cars you were looking at were NA or turboíd
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Old Fri, Jan-24-2020, 05:45:54 PM   #9
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Default Re: Max safe RWHP for an Naturally Aspirated E46 M3

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Originally Posted by 2005E46M3ZCP View Post
I think I'm done as far as anymore Engine Mods

Bad news, you're not!
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Old Fri, Jan-24-2020, 09:58:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: Max safe RWHP for an Naturally Aspirated E46 M3

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So you donít know if the cars you were looking at were NA or turboíd
These arn't cars I've seen in person, I just see some of the Dyno Graphs that are posted on this Forum or some of the Horsepower Claims and was curious of what about the limit is as far as Horsepower you can get out of a S54 engine and still be Naturally Aspirated safely. I don't have any interest in putting a Turbo on my Car, prefer to keep it NA, but when I see 400 RWHP I'm assuming the car is probably Turbo'd, but maybe extensive Mods are capable of producing that much Horsepower at the Rear Wheels on a NA car.
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Discussing Max safe RWHP for an Naturally Aspirated E46 M3 in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)