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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 Fri, Sep-29-2017, 08:28:23 AM   #1
EurAutoJunction
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Default E36 m3 5.5k rpm loss of power when hot

I took my e36 m3 to the drag strip last night and I'm not too happy about it. I got there around 5 and waited 10 mins with engine off before first run. I drove 30 mins to the track so the car was hot when I got there.

First run got 15.3, second run was 15.1, third run got 15.4. During all three run, once the car hit 5500 rpm, the car seem like it hit a wall. Like power power til it hit 5.5k rpm then the sound changed and no power at all.

I feel the car was way too slow for what mods I have on the car. I have m50 manifold, stromung catback, underdrive pulleys, 3.23 lsd diff, and 150 lbs off the car. Last time I was at the drag strip when the car was all stock, I ran 14.8.

So I parked the car for a good 30 mins and by then it was night fall, so the temp have dropped a bit. I went back to line up and ran a 14.5 this time, but there was power this time even after 5.5k rpm. It has power all the way til redline.

This morning I checked the car when it was cold and the clutch fan feel harder to spin than what I would like. Feel like its stuck in fully engaged. My question is would a bad fully engaged clutch fan have anything to do with my car losing power at 5.5k rpm when the car is hot?
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Old Fri, Sep-29-2017, 01:35:16 PM   #2
pbonsalb
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Default Re: E36 m3 5.5k rpm loss of power when hot

Did you get any trap speeds? They indicate power better than ET. Without knowing more, your 14.5 suggests the car is performing in the range it should be when cool.

I would think about sorting out maintenance and mods as you are doing, but in addition to the fan clutch, consider these questions:

Do you have a stock thermo? Is your aux fan working? What is your coolant temp? What is your oil temp? Do you have stock cats? Are you running 93 pump? Do you have a tune for your mods? Are your cams timed correctly? Is your IAT sensor correct -- some people use the obd1 sensor on the obd2 car and that does not work. Are you using the stock hood blanket? How old are your plugs and are they gapped right?

If everything is good, you could get into the high 13s at a little over 100.

If you are into power and drag racing, turbocharge and you can break 120 or 125 or 130 with a stock block S52 and compression lowered through a thicker headgasket. ET are harder to get down due to launching issues with that much power but 11s are no problem. It's low 11s and high 10s that take skill and practice and a properly setup car.
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Old Fri, Sep-29-2017, 02:14:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: E36 m3 5.5k rpm loss of power when hot

Sounds like you need a tune...especially for that m50. Are you running the stock airbox?
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Old Fri, Sep-29-2017, 03:41:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: E36 m3 5.5k rpm loss of power when hot

Quote:
Originally Posted by pbonsalb View Post

Do you have a stock thermo? Is your aux fan working? What is your coolant temp? What is your oil temp? Do you have stock cats? Are you running 93 pump? Do you have a tune for your mods? Are your cams timed correctly? Is your IAT sensor correct -- some people use the obd1 sensor on the obd2 car and that does not work. Are you using the stock hood blanket? How old are your plugs and are they gapped right?
The car runs perfectly fine, idle where it should, and mpg are correct. It has the correct thermo temp, aux fan is working, stock cat, 91 pump gas, no tune, timed correctly, and IAT is the stock s52 one (bought the turner m50 kit). The previous owner changed the plugs before I bought the car 2 years ago so I didn't mind checking yet.

The car felt right the first time I was at the drag strip. No power loss through the rpm. Since then, not much has been changed other than 2000 more miles, new mann air filter, mann fuel filter, injectors rebuilt, m50 mani, stromung catback, rogue ssk, all fluids changed, rogue tranny mount, and ecs underdrive pulleys. To me everything are up to date with the car.

The night before I went to the drag strip, I was trying to remove the clutch fan but I couldn't get the nut out. I must had damaged the clutch trying to get the nut out. I was able to remove the clutch fan last night with a sawzall. I will check the spark plugs later today.
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Last edited by EurAutoJunction; Fri, Sep-29-2017 at 04:20:23 PM.
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Old Fri, Sep-29-2017, 03:44:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: E36 m3 5.5k rpm loss of power when hot

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Originally Posted by M3n00b View Post
Sounds like you need a tune...especially for that m50. Are you running the stock airbox?

I could use a tune for more power but I doubt that is the problem to the loss of power at 5.5k rpm when hot since the power came back after the car cool down. Yes, I'm on stock airbox and filter.
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Old Fri, Sep-29-2017, 04:14:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: E36 m3 5.5k rpm loss of power when hot

More knowledgeable members can chime in, but, I would imagine the fan clutch being locked up would have an effect at high RPMs. I don't think it's meant to spin that fast. It seems like the faster the engine spins the more air that fan is trying to move. When mine locked up I noticed it immediately. It was accompanied with a loud howling sound above 4000 RPMs. I took mine out completely and replaced it with the entire fan delete mod. If the clutch is locked, I'd also be concerned about the fan blades breaking off. I think I've read where that can be a contibuting factor in the fan breaking.
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Old Fri, Sep-29-2017, 04:18:10 PM   #7
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Default Re: E36 m3 5.5k rpm loss of power when hot

The fan can be a pain to remove. You need a thin wrench and have to shack the end with a hammer to shock it. It is reverse threaded. The new one can be a pain to get started since the threads must be totally level/square. First time reading of the sawsall technique but it got the job done for you. There is a special thin wrench for the fan clutch and a second special water pump flange nut holder if you want to buy tools to make the job easier.

Hopefully your issue was just heat but it's hard to tell without knowing coolant temps. If it was hot enough for the aux fan to run, it was a hot engine to run at the strip. I am still surprised the problem was only above 5500. Heat should be a more general problem.

Without a tune, you are a little on the lean side with the M50. 91 is not as good as 93. And with a stock 6500 limiter in 3rd, 4th and 5th (6750 in 1st and 2nd), you are not taking full advantage of the m50 intake. You are probably down on power to 4000, equal to 5000, and above from 5000 to 6500. Ideally, you want to extend the range in which you are benefiting and minimize the loss and the tune with 7200 limiter will help. A can of octane booster might also help.
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Old Fri, Sep-29-2017, 04:30:00 PM   #8
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Default Re: E36 m3 5.5k rpm loss of power when hot

I really think it's the computer. Get a tune.
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Old Fri, Sep-29-2017, 04:34:54 PM   #9
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Default Re: E36 m3 5.5k rpm loss of power when hot

Quote:
Originally Posted by pbonsalb View Post
The fan can be a pain to remove. You need a thin wrench and have to shack the end with a hammer to shock it. It is reverse threaded. The new one can be a pain to get started since the threads must be totally level/square. First time reading of the sawsall technique but it got the job done for you. There is a special thin wrench for the fan clutch and a second special water pump flange nut holder if you want to buy tools to make the job easier.

Hopefully your issue was just heat but it's hard to tell without knowing coolant temps. If it was hot enough for the aux fan to run, it was a hot engine to run at the strip. I am still surprised the problem was only above 5500. Heat should be a more general problem.

Without a tune, you are a little on the lean side with the M50. 91 is not as good as 93. And with a stock 6500 limiter in 3rd, 4th and 5th (6750 in 1st and 2nd), you are not taking full advantage of the m50 intake. You are probably down on power to 4000, equal to 5000, and above from 5000 to 6500. Ideally, you want to extend the range in which you are benefiting and minimize the loss and the tune with 7200 limiter will help. A can of octane booster might also help.
Yes, I have the clutch fan tools. I removed it the first time when I swap in the under drive pulleys. This time around, it end up stripping the nut, so I had no choice but to pull out the sawzall. I have a thin spal electric fan ready to mount so I'm not worrying about a new clutch fan. The aux fan never kick on while I wad at the drag strip nor my car was overheating. The temp needle stay solid at the middle.

I plan on supercharging the car later on, thats why I decided not to get a tune yet. Honestly, I can't feel the loss down low with the m50 mani, but I can diff feel the diff in top end. It does pulled way harder on top.
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Old Fri, Sep-29-2017, 04:41:09 PM   #10
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Default Re: E36 m3 5.5k rpm loss of power when hot

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Originally Posted by M3n00b View Post
I really think it's the computer. Get a tune.
Bad dme perhaps? If it was a tune I need, wouldn't the consistency of power be the same on all temperature?
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Discussing E36 m3 5.5k rpm loss of power when hot 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)