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E36 M3 (1992-1999) {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999


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Old Sat, Mar-31-2018, 06:40:19 PM   #1
Ajcanadian
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Default M50 head on s50

Hi, guys so I've read that the M50 head has the same casting as the S50. But after looking at the M50 headgasket and s50 headgasket. They are different. But my question is if they are the same casting why are the headgasket different? Which head gasket should I use? I've bought the headgasket kit from FCP for the s50

yes, I know i've gotta swap my s50 cams and cam trays to the m50 head.

Last edited by Ajcanadian; Sat, Mar-31-2018 at 06:54:04 PM.
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Old Sat, Mar-31-2018, 08:03:35 PM   #2
Braymond141
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Default Re: M50 head on s50

The head gasket is smaller because the block cylinder bores are smaller, not because the head is different. They are not going to supply an 86+mm bore gasket for an 84mm bore block.

You also need to swap the valve springs and lower valve spring plates. These are specific to the M3.

Last edited by Braymond141; Sat, Mar-31-2018 at 08:06:55 PM.
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Old Sat, Mar-31-2018, 08:06:58 PM   #3
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Default Re: M50 head on s50

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Originally Posted by Braymond141 View Post
The head gasket is smaller because the block cylinder bores are smaller, not because the head is different.

You also need to swap the valve springs and lowe spring plates. These are specific to the M3.
Alright, meanwhile I found an s50 head and block for $400. Should I go for that or not? Guy said he got it on a trade and doesn't know if it runs or not but he says it got a new headgasket
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Old Sat, Mar-31-2018, 08:10:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: M50 head on s50

Why are we on to another motor? Cheap is no bargain if you’re just winging this repair.
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Old Sat, Mar-31-2018, 08:14:51 PM   #5
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Default Re: M50 head on s50

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Why are we on to another motor? Cheap is no bargain if you’re just winging this repair.
Retainer's alone are like $300. The guy who blew it up is going to cover labor and machinist's charge. I'm paying for parts.
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Old Mon, Apr-09-2018, 07:24:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: M50 head on s50

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Originally Posted by Ajcanadian View Post
Hi, guys so I've read that the M50 head has the same casting as the S50. But after looking at the M50 headgasket and s50 headgasket. They are different. But my question is if they are the same casting why are the headgasket different? Which head gasket should I use? I've bought the headgasket kit from FCP for the s50

yes, I know i've gotta swap my s50 cams and cam trays to the m50 head.
I am putting an M50 head on my S50 hopefully this weekend. AFAIK the heads are identical, and like you said I am just swapping over my cams and trays from the S50. If I come across anything though I will let you know.

I had them on a bench, right next to one another, and could not find any visible differences. Like stated above, the head gaskets are only different because of the bottom ends, not anything to do with the heads. An S50 head gasket with an M50 head will work fine.
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This is a terrible idea... and I love it
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Old Mon, Apr-09-2018, 07:26:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: M50 head on s50

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Retainer's alone are like $300. The guy who blew it up is going to cover labor and machinist's charge. I'm paying for parts.
Just do the supertech kit. $600 gets you dual valve springs, seats and retainers. Plus, titanium goodness.

I did a lot of searching on this exact topic and price-wise this just made the most sense.

The stock valves themselves are pretty stout. New valve guides and seals are a good plan though as well. The seals usually come in the HG kit.

Are you taking the M50 head to a machine shop to get cleaned up and everything installed properly? Or are you trying to get away a bit cheaper and just slapping the thing on there?
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This is a terrible idea... and I love it
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Old Mon, Apr-09-2018, 08:04:17 PM   #8
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Default Re: M50 head on s50

Stick with stock valves and valve train. I have seen several motors drop valves with supertech parts. The last one was a BMW Master Tech and he refuses to use them again.
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Old Mon, Apr-09-2018, 08:06:37 PM   #9
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Default Re: M50 head on s50

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Stick with stock valves and valve train. I have seen several motors drop valves with supertech parts. The last one was a BMW Master Tech and he refuses to use them again.
I have a bunch of friends running them without issue on all different kinds of cars.

We'll find out if they're worth a shit soon though I suppose lol.
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Old Tue, Apr-10-2018, 12:22:52 AM   #10
Ajcanadian
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Default Re: M50 head on s50

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Originally Posted by Chaz17 View Post
I am putting an M50 head on my S50 hopefully this weekend. AFAIK the heads are identical, and like you said I am just swapping over my cams and trays from the S50. If I come across anything though I will let you know.

I had them on a bench, right next to one another, and could not find any visible differences. Like stated above, the head gaskets are only different because of the bottom ends, not anything to do with the heads. An S50 head gasket with an M50 head will work fine.
Sorry for the late respond. Just picked an S50 (block and head) it was like 400$. Putting the head from that motor to mine.
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Discussing M50 head on s50 in the E36 M3 (1992-1999) Forum - {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999 at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)