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400hp S38b36

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Can a b36 produce 400hp – ish within the limits of its original 3535cc displacement and the 7250 rpm rev range?
If so, how? And how driveable would it be in the heavy e34?.
Would it be only in cams and compression work, or is there still more to get out of the head?
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· Registered
7,709 Posts
Here is an extract from Jari , one of the Finnish builder's of these engines :

2. Race Stage engine
-Schrick 280 Camsaft (inlet/Exhaust)
-Adjustable Camgears
-Whit orginal airbox and exhaust manifold
-Hestec ECU

352 Hp / 6650 rpm
415 Nm / 5200 rpm
117,4 Nm / litre / 1000 cc
99,6 Hp / litre / 1000 cc

So it appears that it can / has been done on a S38B36 without stroking or boring .

I have never driven the car , so I can't comment further .

· In Memoriam
2,445 Posts

I owned an M5 E34, S38B38 back in 1994 until 1999. What a fine automobile. One of the very few cars in my life I miss. Unfortunately I am going to disappoint you regarding 400 hp. I had the car professionaly moded by racing

Dynamics using higher compression, Shrick cams, chipped Ecu, larger valves, free flow filter and exhaust. The output rose to 385 from the standard 340 ans we called it a day. The car was not easily driveable. The torque band

rose sharply above 5000 rpm and the car was absolutely useless below 2500 rpm, making it necessary to engage all the time one gear lower than normal in order to keep the engine above 3500-4000 rpm. I tolerated this situation for

one year and then sold the engine to an E30 fanatic who installed it in an E30 M3 used for drift races.

If the car was mine I would have the Ecu chipped, a K&N filter and possibly an exhaust. These should take the car to 340-345 and keep it driveable. Anything more than that and you will be obliged to stay in "race mode" all day.



· Registered
1,073 Posts
George has a point.

Subtle mods such as an ECU chip and exhaust will aid driveability. Personally, I would not spent the cash to get a 400hp S38. It is quite simply not worth it.

If you want 400hp with lots of torque, pull your S38 and install an S62. It will be much cheaper too.


· Registered
453 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There is nothing like a NA screamer.
Dont get met wrong,F.I adds huge power without really sacrificing driveability, but i dont like it.
Thanks for the input.
Guess i will only opt for the chip and exhaust, and live with whatever comes out of it.
David - Am i right in saying that from your post it seems like they achieved 352hp with ONLY cams and ecu swop?

I would reather buy an e39 m5 than do a s62 transplant.
Mental note. - I promised myself that i would never again buy a high mileage e39. They are just too expensive too maintain. Burned my fingers terribly with a move like that before.

· Registered
7,709 Posts
David - Am i right in saying that from your post it seems like they achieved 352hp with ONLY cams and ecu swop?
That was only a Stage 2 tune .

Their Stage 4 tune pushes things further :

Stage 4. Race engine
-Inlet camsaft 296 by Mauri Virtanen, Finland
-Exhaust camsaft 280 Schrick
-Adjustable Camgears
-Cylinderhead works by Hannu Makkonen, Finland
-Throttle body M5 3.8 (S38B38) 50 mm
-Inlet valve 39 mm
-Wiseco Piston BMW M3 2.3 / 94 mm
-Compression ratio 12:1
-Stock S38B36 Cranksaft + stock conrods (3580 cc)
-Whit out airbox
-Stock air horns
-ITG Megaflow special made air filter
-Adjustable race exhaust 6-2-1 + exhaust pipe made by Marko Roni
-Hestec ECU

435 Nm / 6100 rpm
4000-7000 rpm + 410 Nm
121,5 Nm / litre / 1000 cc
417 Hp / 7000 rpm
116,4 Hp / litre / 1000 cc

And I believe they offer a more extreme Stage 5 tune too .


· Registered
899 Posts
Lanz has very good point.

All depends what you want, this is the most important !

If you want to be unique S38, is the answer. If you want to be cheap throw S62-B50. Delete the Vanos system and put cheap Haltec model stand alone and with nice exhaust you will make near 400RWHP (at the wheels) If you want Vanos put another 5000$ extra for Pectel stand alone with BMW double vanos control as the factory set up.

To reach 400hp out of 3.6 at the engine is impossible unless you do heavy work. I have spoken with the best engine S38 builders who spent a LOTS of money. They are members hear, Janne (MM-5) and Jari (Camber)

You need for S38.

- 3.8 parts in order to increase the displacement. 3.535 is not enough.
- Professional Head work 5 angle job and port the intake channel
- 50mm TBS 3.8, 3.8 Intake, or ITG air filter Dyno will show..
- Min 12:1 compression ratio
- Shricks intake minimum 296.. Exhaust...
- Min 7500rpms
- 39mm Intake valves.
- Custom Headers or M88/3 but questions.. You need to see the headers on M49 race CSL engine produce 470hp at the engine. Each pipe is huge
- Haltec stand alone or some other your choice.
- Custom 3 inch Exhaust.

All said above is starting from $7000+ and like a snow bowl you stop were, their no more down hill...

S62-B50 are going dirt cheap. You can get almost 400RWHP with custom long tube headers, exhaust and professional tuning.

My experience to hop up 3.6 for cheap is to use 3.8 cam gears, Mark's EAT chip and dual 2.5 inch exhaust starting from the headers. Magnaflow dual 2.5 inlet and 2.5 outlet in order not to lose the top end power and you will be happy for the money you spent. 280 Shriks will help too. Its all what you looking for man.

Be careful with E39 M5 it can cause you white hair ;)

Just my 02 cents

· Registered
225 Posts

I´m not an S38 engine builder. I only try to figure out how it must be done.

Thanks anyway.

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