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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 Thu, May-21-2015, 01:12:03 PM   #1
mrgicm
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Default S54 Forged engine rebuild advice?

Hey,

So I have a 2001 M3 with 120k on it, it has been in my possesion for 4 years and has been used as a track day car. All the maintanance was done fully and prematurely and as a result I have never had problems with the car.

Even on the Nurburgring for 4 years now and every time I would do up to 30 laps in couple of days and never had any problems with overheating or things like that, so I feel lucky.

Unfortunatly all good times come to an end and so did my engine .

As we were heading to Brno Racetrack in Czech Republik I started to get rough idile and strange sound coming from the engine while accelerating, at first I thought it was a coil or a bad plug (all was replaced 6.000miles ago).

After coming to the mechanic and taking out the spark plug I was in for a suprise as the top of the spark plug was missing.
And after removing the head we saw that the head gasket between the 5th and 6th cylinder and damaged the 6th piston and cylinder.

Well no point over crying over spilled milk I can be happy it lasted that long without problems.



Here you can see the damage on top of the 6th piston




Now I have decided to rebuild to engine with the following spec:

Forged FSR Pistons with 12.5:1 compression
Forged barillo rods with arp bolts
Bore the engine minimum as necessary
Dalton forged sleeves in cylinders
Treated rod barings
Schrick cams stage 1
Schrick lifters (still debating as price equals the cams)


Need your advice wheater to go for the valvs and springs and which ones?

My goal is to have a very reliable and safe engine with just 30-40hp more which I think is not a problem with this setup.


Please advise me on the setup as every information is welcomed and especially those of you have done builds like this.

Thank you,
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Old Thu, May-21-2015, 01:20:46 PM   #2
Obioban
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Default Re: S54 Forged engine rebuild advice?

How is the block and head where the head gasket failed?

None of that is necessary for it to be reliable. But, certainly would add power, which is fun. 12.5:1 will require race fuel, which is less fun.

Euro cars seem to burn out head gaskets faster than US cars for reasons unknown. Going forward, starting ~50,000 miles in, I'd start checking the compression every spring. Noticing the failure before it becomes an issue is the cheap/reliable way to stay on top of this going forward.

Rod bearings are absolutely a good idea. As are doing the Beisan VANOS lockdowns, if you haven't already.
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Old Thu, May-21-2015, 01:26:05 PM   #3
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Default Re: S54 Forged engine rebuild advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Obioban View Post
How is the block and head where the head gasket failed?

None of that is necessary for it to be reliable. But, certainly would add power, which is fun. 12.5:1 will require race fuel, which is less fun.

Euro cars seem to burn out head gaskets faster than US cars for reasons unknown. Going forward, starting ~50,000 miles in, I'd start checking the compression every spring. Noticing the failure before it becomes an issue is the cheap/reliable way to stay on top of this going forward.

Rod bearings are absolutely a good idea. As are doing the Beisan VANOS lockdowns, if you haven't already.
Thanks for your reply, your feedback is highly valued to me, the best thing is that I have checked compression every spring before season and it was all ok, the engine had no symptoms of any damage.

Just one week earlyer I was on the track entire day and had absolutley no problems.

Th gas is not a problem as most of the stations here have 100+ ocatane fuel so that is not an issue.

Head is also a bit damaged at that point but my plan is just to take another head and machine it and get it to be as new...
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Old Thu, May-21-2015, 02:17:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: S54 Forged engine rebuild advice?

So what was the root cause of the piston contact? Where was the failure?
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Old Wed, Feb-10-2016, 01:49:42 AM   #5
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Default Re: S54 Forged engine rebuild advice?

Hey,

So after it took a while I finally managed to pull the trigger on the whole engine rebuild , here is the spec list and all advice is more than welcome

- Bore the block to 87.5

- JE Pistons with 12.5CR 87.5mm

- Arrow rods with ARP Bolt set

- VAC Motorsport 1mm oversize valve set with springs

- Custom full head polishing and preparation

- Schrick 280 cams with DLC Rockers

- MLS Uprated head gasket

- Full Besian Vanos rebuild

- Stage 2 custom headers

- CSL carbon race airbox replica



So what do you thing about this setup and what do you think the figures will be? I am hoping at least a solid and higly reliable 400hp (crank)


Thanks
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Old Wed, Feb-10-2016, 02:16:48 AM   #6
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Default Re: S54 Forged engine rebuild advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrgicm View Post
Hey,

So after it took a while I finally managed to pull the trigger on the whole engine rebuild , here is the spec list and all advice is more than welcome

- Bore the block to 87.5

- JE Pistons with 12.5CR 87.5mm

- Arrow rods with ARP Bolt set

- VAC Motorsport 1mm oversize valve set with springs

- Custom full head polishing and preparation

- Schrick 280 cams with DLC Rockers

- MLS Uprated head gasket

- Full Besian Vanos rebuild

- Stage 2 custom headers

- CSL carbon race airbox replica



So what do you thing about this setup and what do you think the figures will be? I am hoping at least a solid and higly reliable 400hp (crank)


Thanks
- JE Pistons with 12.5CR 87.5mm
I recommend Mahle pistons for our motors.

- VAC Motorsport 1mm oversize valve set with springs
I try to recommend anything with VAC involved... do not do. Locate springs elsewhere.

- MLS Uprated head gasket
Not needed, you are not running forced induction. A good factory head gasket with ARP head studs will work wonders.

- Custom full head polishing and preparation
Unless this is being done by someone that has a lot of hands on with this engine platform and data to back it up or has been on one of the factory or support teams doing work, its a waste of money. Save it for your other parts.
Just clean things up and port match intake and polish the exhaust ports. Call it a day. You are not going to gain a huge amount.

Good luck on your build!
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Imola Red|Blk Cloth|6MT|FS CSL Custom TUNE -MSS54HP|CSL Replica Airbox|Euro Headers|BimmerWorld 3.5" race front Y and resonator|Hacksaw's custom 3.5" SS exhaust system w/Magnaflow and 4 tipped goodness|SGT RS-ENR Coilover Kit|Evo Sport Performance Pulley Set|CDV Delete|UUC USS & DSSR|Sparco Roadster Seats|StopTech ST-40 BBKs on all 4|Beisan Systems vanos rebuild w/original stock exhaust hub|Kirk 4 point roll bar|CF CSL Rep Trunk|GC Race F/R Sway Bars|TR Motorsports MT-1|Avin Avant 2|Seibon CF GTR Hood

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Old Wed, Feb-10-2016, 02:50:01 AM   #7
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Default Re: S54 Forged engine rebuild advice?

^agreed on all counts.

Especially avoiding any VAC products-- it's just asking for disaster.
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Old Wed, Feb-10-2016, 03:46:04 AM   #8
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Default Re: S54 Forged engine rebuild advice?

VAC dont usually make many of their products, they dont make valve springs thats for sure. Ive used their valve springs on other engines. they were made by eibach and were quality. i would look at eibach P/N for valve springs that have required characteristics and cut out the middle man. there are other suppliers though

http://eibach.com/sites/eibach.com.m...vs-catalog.pdf
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Last edited by digger; Wed, Feb-10-2016 at 03:52:49 AM.
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Old Wed, Feb-10-2016, 03:48:04 AM   #9
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Default Re: S54 Forged engine rebuild advice?

If it's a track only car for the most part I would suggest 288/280 for the cams.

Agreed with the above though, stay away from VAC at all costs.
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Old Wed, Feb-10-2016, 08:50:46 AM   #10
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Default Re: S54 Forged engine rebuild advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hacksaw View Post
- JE Pistons with 12.5CR 87.5mm
I recommend Mahle pistons for our motors.

- VAC Motorsport 1mm oversize valve set with springs
I try to recommend anything with VAC involved... do not do. Locate springs elsewhere.

- MLS Uprated head gasket
Not needed, you are not running forced induction. A good factory head gasket with ARP head studs will work wonders.

- Custom full head polishing and preparation
Unless this is being done by someone that has a lot of hands on with this engine platform and data to back it up or has been on one of the factory or support teams doing work, its a waste of money. Save it for your other parts.
Just clean things up and port match intake and polish the exhaust ports. Call it a day. You are not going to gain a huge amount.

Good luck on your build!
Thank you for your input, I will listen to your advice and change the order, do you think supertech valves are the ones to with?

With 288 schrick cams how will it set at idle?

I will also ask for Mahle pistons as the factory is near me in Gemany.

Do you think 400hp is possible?

Somehow I am trying to convince myself that dumping almost 10k in the engine at least I want to have a bulletproof reliable engine with some extta power ( not expectig some crazy number ofcourse but at least a solid 400hp along wit some weight reduction might do the trick.



Thank you
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Discussing S54 Forged engine rebuild advice? 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)