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M50 68 02


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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi TIm,  Welcome.


If I may be bluntly honest, the M50 is just about the last engine I'd put into a 2002, but if it's what makes you happy then go for it.


 Keep in mind the front radiator support will need to be modified along with the firewall, you'll need to fabricate a new transmission tunnel with relocated shifter opening.  You'll need to expect to do a custom driveshaft (taking measurements only after everything is correctly in place).  You'll need custom motor mounts, you'll need to figure out what to do with the wiring, and what to do with the brake booster. 


After all that you've got a motor that makes as near as makes no difference the same power as an M20, and weighs 50 lbs more (120-ish more than the M10)


The S50/S52 has been done on rare occasion, but again. Be prepared for a lot of fabwork and a potentially frusterating car to drive if not setup properly.




The Alloy-block M54 has been used but with the addition of turbos and mounting the transmission rearward. You can see the work that went into Paul Cain'es suspension/drivetrain to retain proper handling.


Edited by AceAndrew
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Well I was going to start this blog from my phone but my phone is a hunk so here it goes from the "humble beginning". When I bought the car it did not run and had been sitting for about two years at the owners house. The owner said it sat in a field for about ten years before that so the car had been doing a lot of sitting. It was in what looked like good shape only a few rust holes and very bad paint fade. 





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The very first thing I did was put some mystery oil in each cylinder and cross my fingers. I was hoping the pistons weren't seized. I bought a new battery, wired in an electric fuel pump (I know the mechanical fuel pumps have worked for years but I hate them), put in new plugs, changed the oil, poured a little fuel in the carb and the thing fired up on half a crank and ran like it had just been run yesterday. My very first idea I had was to rebuild the m10 and get around 400hp out of it and reconstruct the rear end. Then I got a crazy idea put into my head by a friend (thanks Ivan) to put in the m50 I had in my garage. I know some people say that is the last motor they would put in that car and that it would be hard to drive but I am set in my ways. The m50 that I have is out of a 92 325is and has 30k original miles on it. It is a non-vanos motor and is what I believe as the best m50 because it has the potential to become almost an S50 no problem. It has the only block that can handle the m3 3 liter pistons. I have herd many people say otherwise but this is what I have found through my research. The reason im not doing an m20 or anything like that is because I already have the m50 and all the parts that go with the engine $$$$. I started striping the body of the car and pulling out the interior (figuring this was the best place to start for my build) and here is what I found






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I jumped back to the rocker and where the fender mounts and started cutting the rot out, made a piece and tried to weld it in. I have never struggled with a mig so badly. I got a little 110 mig from a friend, figured it would be fine for sheet metal, and started trying to weld lol. I have used many of welders before but this has no voltage adjustments besides a couple of switches between high and low. So it was more of a trial and error for my first piece. It turned out horrible but what ever it held fine.

My terrible weld


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And I my usual ways I cant stick to any one thing so I jumped to modifying the front radiator support and front clip so I drilled the spot welds and took the nose off.

well, whacking the nose off certainly makes it easier to yank the engine and tranny out!





although....the amount of rust in your shell makes it worthy of the "hidden rust" thread from a few days ago. you might consider finding a better shell to start with.  you have quite the challenge ahead of you, 

Edited by mlytle


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  • 7 months later...

Well i have run into a huge wall lost my job, started a new one, moved from New York to Vermont and now find myself without a garage and my car is sitting on a trailer, covered and waiting for some love. I am looking day and night to find a place and when I do I will be back to work but until then i have been researching and coming up with a few crazy ideas...... well earlier AceAndrew told me that an m50 would put too much weight up front and make the car potentially undriveable so i have been thinking what if i put the trans. in the rear right too the diff and make a torque tube that would give it better weight distribution and sence im going with a sequential trans anyways it wont need too much fab for the shift linkage what are your thoughts????

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and I figured out what was wrong with the mig.... it was me. lol. I was running way too big of wire so voltage had to be turned up and it would just keep burning through. Never said I knew everything about welding but I know enough to get myself in trouble and I guess I will learn as I go

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Yes,  it wouldn't be strictly "undrivable", it would just handle akin to a snowplow is all.


As Ray linked to, Paul's car is the great exception here.  Moving the trans rearward would be a great idea, but also bear in mind Paul also used an M54 (which has an aluminum block).  However, I think by pushing the fire wall a bit and shifting the trans to the rear you'd have a pretty decent setup.

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I was fully expecting everyone to tell me i was off my rocker... thanks for the link that gives me an idea on how to set it up i have been asking everyone i know for ideas and they all were telling me i was crazy and they cant see why i would ever put all that work into a car like that. They all say old American cars are the only way to go

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