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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 Mon, Jan-15-2018, 02:53:12 PM   #31
lcrain
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Default Re: Need Practical Advice

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Originally Posted by Braymond141 View Post
No, it does not. It isn’t an S14. The S54 is quite fantastic everywhere.
Not arguing that it is not a fantastic motor, I much prefer it on the whole. I have two e36 m3's. One with an s54 (headers, full exhaust, tune) and one with a stock s52. To me, the s54 really starts to shine around 5000 rpm, as compared to the s52.

With the s52 car I can really enjoy the power within the confines of local speed limits. When I still drove the s54 car on the street, I found myself driving much more aggressively to get to that intoxicating 8250 (tuned) redline. Probably not the case for everyone, just speaking from my own experience with these cars.
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Old Mon, Jan-15-2018, 04:40:54 PM   #32
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Default Re: Need Practical Advice

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Originally Posted by lcrain View Post
Not arguing that it is not a fantastic motor, I much prefer it on the whole. I have two e36 m3's. One with an s54 (headers, full exhaust, tune) and one with a stock s52. To me, the s54 really starts to shine around 5000 rpm, as compared to the s52.

With the s52 car I can really enjoy the power within the confines of local speed limits. When I still drove the s54 car on the street, I found myself driving much more aggressively to get to that intoxicating 8250 (tuned) redline. Probably not the case for everyone, just speaking from my own experience with these cars.
Its top end 'overshadows' the overall elasticity of the engine. Which makes you forget how good it is over its intire power band.
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Old Mon, Jan-15-2018, 06:05:13 PM   #33
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Default Re: Need Practical Advice

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Originally Posted by lcrain View Post
Not arguing that it is not a fantastic motor, I much prefer it on the whole. I have two e36 m3's. One with an s54 (headers, full exhaust, tune) and one with a stock s52. To me, the s54 really starts to shine around 5000 rpm, as compared to the s52.

With the s52 car I can really enjoy the power within the confines of local speed limits. When I still drove the s54 car on the street, I found myself driving much more aggressively to get to that intoxicating 8250 (tuned) redline. Probably not the case for everyone, just speaking from my own experience with these cars.
Yup, pretty much the same for me. What helped the most for driving the S54 car around town was going to a shorter diff-- 3rd gear no longer topped out at 115 and was much more fun to drive as a result. The CSL airbox makes me drive like an asshat since it sounds sooooo good, which is ill advised.

The S52 in stock form is pretty meh if I'm honest, compared to cars you can buy nowadays. It's a great daily driving motor but it really isn't that special when you want to romp on it. Simple mods (M50, tune, catback) wake the engine up and make it silly fun, but I never went that far on the daily car, and as a result it was kinda boring compared to the S54 car (well, duh, I hear you say). The S52 for me feels torquier even though the S54 actually is, probably because the S54 hates being lugged or low rpm throttle, and the S52 doesn't give a shit.

I personally realized that I either needed to mod the S52, and lose the low end torquey daily driving specialness (and thus have more overlap with the S54 car), or buy another more entertaining car for daily use, so I did (mmm v8 burblegurgleburble). Two of the same basic car got a bit old after a few years. Still, I haven't sold my S52 car for reasons.
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Last edited by Bimmerman325i; Mon, Jan-15-2018 at 06:09:18 PM.
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Old Mon, Jan-15-2018, 07:28:23 PM   #34
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Default Re: Need Practical Advice

The s52 is nice for daily driving though since it’s easy to work on and gets 25mpg. Powerband is pretty much perfect too imo, at least for a street car.
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Old Mon, Jan-15-2018, 07:55:54 PM   #35
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Default Re: Need Practical Advice

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Originally Posted by M_Parallel View Post
Its top end 'overshadows' the overall elasticity of the engine. Which makes you forget how good it is over its intire power band.
I agree completely.
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Old Tue, Jan-16-2018, 12:05:40 AM   #36
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Default Re: Need Practical Advice

I understand the point of not wanting 2 cars that are essentially "the same," albeit an older and new version. I also get the curiousness of wanting to have literally 2 of the same car... This is where I keep circling back to and in essence, is why I haven't bought anything yet. Also, my parking situation is not as ummmm "ample" as some of you guys, and I don't want to move because of a car. Long story short I can't own anything much larger than an E46. I'm also considering an E46 touring, for utility's sake, and because I think they are cool when configured nicely. Most of them are terrible color combos and nearly all are auto. Slow as pigs either way though so I don't think it even matters.
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Old Tue, Jan-16-2018, 12:08:31 AM   #37
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Default Re: Need Practical Advice

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I understand the point of not wanting 2 cars that are essentially "the same," albeit an older and new version. I also get the curiousness of wanting to have literally 2 of the same car... This is where I keep circling back to and in essence, is why I haven't bought anything yet. Also, my parking situation is not as ummmm "ample" as some of you guys, and I don't want to move because of a car. Long story short I can't own anything much larger than an E46. I'm also considering an E46 touring, for utility's sake, and because I think they are cool when configured nicely. Most of them are terrible color combos and nearly all are auto. Slow as pigs either way though so I don't think it even matters.
Can confirm. Slow as ****ing hell. Also can confirm terrible colour combo. I bought it for this guy though, and he loves it.
Untitled by Chris West, on Flickr
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Old Tue, Jan-16-2018, 12:10:36 AM   #38
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Default Re: Need Practical Advice

LOL nice. Is your car 2wd or 4wd? Auto or 5MT?
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Old Tue, Jan-16-2018, 12:15:36 AM   #39
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Default Re: Need Practical Advice

Auto, 2wd. Its horrendously slow, but it looks relatively cool and its very utilitarian. I've never owned a 4wd car, but never felt like the RWD can't cope with deep snow with the right winters. I mean, we'd all love an AWD s54 6 speed wagon, but that would make the e36 seem kind of pointless.
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Old Tue, Jan-16-2018, 12:29:01 AM   #40
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Default Re: Need Practical Advice

Can also confirm those are great DDs. My brother has a 325iT, manual, sport....it's pretty great at DD but definitely is slow as shiiiiiiiiit. You can feel it's BMW-y but in stock form it really makes you appreciate how good a stock E36 M3 is. The wagon was pretty awesome in CO winters with a set of proper snow tires, despite the RWD. I wonder if an M54 swap would be a good compromise on the wagons to make them less narcoleptic.

That said-- my leftover S54 swap parts haven't sold yet, and he barely uses it, so.....M3T may end up happening whenever he decides to move on from it.

Then again he's taken it to burning man (a lot) so it's in need of a Braymond-esque restoration.

(I miss my Subaru wagon, a lot, so this idea really appeals to the incorrigible idiot in me)

gah, I'm going to go grab my sedan from storage and drive it. It needs a smog anyway.
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Discussing Need Practical Advice 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)