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Old 04-17-2018, 02:40 PM   #1
stevemd
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Year: 2004
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In The Market for a M54B30 or Dare I say S54

After replacing a bad CCV system and an intake boot, compression testing, etc, in this barely-running '04 325xit that I bought, I was pleasantly surprised that it began to run nicely with no more CEL (just by doing the intake boot and CCV).

However once warmed up, it started to blow white smoke out the tail pipes. I noticed the coolant level dropping and mayonnaise in the oil fill cap and oil fill hole. So the die is cast as some playwright said.

Having done a M30 headgasket and other stuff in the past, I have the skill set to do an engine swap, even an S54 if I can shake loose the funds.

Not sure I want to try pulling the head off this 180k mile lump in-car or out, having heard the horror stories of pulled engine block threads and not knowing the overheat history of this car.

Any suggestions as to what route I should go: fix the existing lump, source M54B30, source S54?

Last edited by stevemd; 04-17-2018 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 04-18-2018, 12:51 AM   #2
AndreBXP
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M54b30 is an easy straight engine swap.
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Maintenance > Mods. Suspension built by Ground Control, tuned by Rob43.

Cars: 2004 M3 6MT Track Toy | 2011 X5 35d Tow Rig | 2004 330xit 6MT ZHP Daily | 2008 328xit Daily
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Old 04-18-2018, 01:01 AM   #3
paraklas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevemd View Post
After replacing a bad CCV system and an intake boot, compression testing, etc, in this barely-running '04 325xit that I bought, I was pleasantly surprised that it began to run nicely with no more CEL (just by doing the intake boot and CCV).

However once warmed up, it started to blow white smoke out the tail pipes. I noticed the coolant level dropping and mayonnaise in the oil fill cap and oil fill hole. So the die is cast as some playwright said.

Having done a M30 headgasket and other stuff in the past, I have the skill set to do an engine swap, even an S54 if I can shake loose the funds.

Not sure I want to try pulling the head off this 180k mile lump in-car or out, having heard the horror stories of pulled engine block threads and not knowing the overheat history of this car.

Any suggestions as to what route I should go: fix the existing lump, source M54B30, source S54?
A used S54 is 3x the price of an M54, plus the additional amount of work to be done to have it properly working, whereas the M54B30 is a straight swap, can be done in less than 2h. This is without of course touching either engines' issues.

Saw a few days ago someone selling a complete "S54 package", for $7000, including engine, electronics, gearbox, axles, diff, mounts, rear axle etc. He even had it running on a pallet.

Personally I just went for a good condition B30
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Old 04-18-2018, 07:06 AM   #4
stevemd
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Thanks, guys. Probably will go for a good-running B30 if I can one verified in good-running condition.
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Old 04-18-2018, 08:46 AM   #5
SaberLily
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My Ride: E46 xi
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Model: 325xi
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Look on Copart for a crashed car. Might find an M3 for cheap. Salvage and irreparable title vehicles would be perfect.
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Old 04-18-2018, 10:45 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by stevemd View Post
Thanks, guys. Probably will go for a good-running B30 if I can one verified in good-running condition.
I also vote for the B30 swap. When the wife blew the head gasket on our 2004 325Ci I sourced a low mileage M54B30 with a warranty. Replaced a ton of parts while the motor was out.

Best motor swap method is to put the car up on a lift and drop the engine and transmission down as a unit onto a cradle. Makes it so easy to access those pesky engine-to-transmission bolts!
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Old 04-18-2018, 10:56 AM   #7
paraklas
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I also vote for the B30 swap. When the wife blew the head gasket on our 2004 325Ci I sourced a low mileage M54B30 with a warranty. Replaced a ton of parts while the motor was out.

Best motor swap method is to put the car up on a lift and drop the engine and transmission down as a unit onto a cradle. Makes it so easy to access those pesky engine-to-transmission bolts!
Or pull engine with headers and gearbox still attached at once from top. Just undo exhaust, mounts and driveshaft.

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Old 04-18-2018, 01:42 PM   #8
Alex323Ci
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M54B30, wouldn’t even try an S54 on an Xi. S54 is involved as it is, can’t imagine the addition headaches with an Xi.
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Old 04-18-2018, 01:55 PM   #9
SaberLily
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M54B30, wouldn’t even try an S54 on an Xi. S54 is involved as it is, can’t imagine the addition headaches with an Xi.
Already been done. And not that much work.

https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1102352
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Old 04-18-2018, 01:56 PM   #10
zander271
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M54B30, wouldn’t even try an S54 on an Xi. S54 is involved as it is, can’t imagine the addition headaches with an Xi.
After following Tippey's thread, yes its def more involved but IMO not really not that extreme.

The two biggest hurdles would be to drill out holes for the oil baffle the XI needs and modification of the dipstick guild tube. Other than that the engine will slide right in. Wiring does not seem super difficult. Once I've got my shop built and have more room I'll be confronted with the same quandary as the OP.

RAW NA power or boosted(super charged) m54b30.
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