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Discussion Starter #1
Not trying to blaspheme, hear me out guys :biggrin:

In theory could one buy an E39 525i 5speed, upgrade the body to M5 spec, coilover suspension, and drop an E36 S52 with one of the new whipple superchargers into the engine bay? The idea is to have roughly the same power curve as an M5, but in a lighter & more nimble package. Has anyone ever done this? What differences are there between the M5 suspension and a 525i other than springs and dampening?
 

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madbeast said:
Not trying to blaspheme, hear me out guys :biggrin:

In theory could one buy an E39 525i 5speed, upgrade the body to M5 spec, coilover suspension, and drop an E36 S52 with one of the new whipple superchargers into the engine bay? The idea is to have roughly the same power curve as an M5, but in a lighter & more nimble package. Has anyone ever done this? What differences are there between the M5 suspension and a 525i other than springs and dampening?
Sounds like a lot of work and expense plus the reliabity would be questionable with all those mods.

Mark
 

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while you would likely have a car that could handle better than the M5, due to the lower weight and rack and pinion steering, you'd probably have a fair amount of money into the car, and could have bought an m5 in the first place!

I had a 528, really nice car, well ballanced, nice handling and steering. Even with a power deficit, it was a fun car on track. I thought about the s52 conversion, and an sc but to me, it wasn't worth putting the money into a 528.
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Of course, this project would involve buying a $20000 car and pouring probably another $25000 into it - the point wouldn't be to have a cheaper M5 but rather a lighter M5. The engine would be a stock S52 (very realiable), with say..one of eurosport's new whipplechargers - it's new stuff but their prototype cars are rock solid, including alot of track time. Modded for sure, but it's not the most exotic thing I've heard of anyway. Rough estimate:

Engine swap: $6000 including labor & sell original
Supercharger: $7500
Suspension: $2000
Big Brakes: $4500
Body: Not sure about this, I think M5 fenders are wider, so doing an actual M5 body might get quite expensive.

To be honest I don't think I'd try this - this is just some food for thought, and to find out if anyone has done this before. From a simplicity and investment point of view, you can't deny the M5 is far superior.
 

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Interesting thought, and as a cost no object project I say go for it. E39's with 6 cylinders had an all aluminium suspension IIRC, and that lower unsprung weight makes a huge impact on handling, not even to mention the better rack and pinion steering.
There was an E39 with an S62 dropped into it, and I think it ran against Jimmy540's supercharged 540 in a magazine some time back. As I remember they had problems with the top speed limiter and some other computer quirks. Engine swapping isnt as easy as it used to be, but if you have the time and money I think that would be one fun project car. Just dont put an M5 badge on it... :haha:
:cheers:
 

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M5 is an automotive icon and a piece of automotive history. The reason I personally appreciate an M5 is not just for its performance. It is for being either the best or the first in more than a few of automotive innovation areas.
 

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madbeast said:
How about an "M4.99" badge :hihi:
hiha hiha. I guess that would work. Or if the car can totally stomp an M5, make the badge >M5... :haha:
:cheers:
 

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madbeast said:
Of course, this project would involve buying a $20000 car and pouring probably another $25000 into it - the point wouldn't be to have a cheaper M5 but rather a lighter M5. The engine would be a stock S52 (very realiable), with say..one of eurosport's new whipplechargers - it's new stuff but their prototype cars are rock solid, including alot of track time. Modded for sure, but it's not the most exotic thing I've heard of anyway. Rough estimate:

Engine swap: $6000 including labor & sell original
Supercharger: $7500
Suspension: $2000
Big Brakes: $4500
Body: Not sure about this, I think M5 fenders are wider, so doing an actual M5 body might get quite expensive.

To be honest I don't think I'd try this - this is just some food for thought, and to find out if anyone has done this before. From a simplicity and investment point of view, you can't deny the M5 is far superior.
Bunch of things could be difficult. For example, are you going to take the rack and pinion steering out? You will need to as there is not enough room for it and the M5 motor. So one of the advantages had just been negated.
But it is interesting to think about!!
Regards,
Jerry
 

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But if it is an S52 and not an S62 it should fit with the rack and pinion unit in place.
:cheers:
 

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madbeast said:
Of course, this project would involve buying a $20000 car and pouring probably another $25000 into it -
You could buy yourself a mint M5 for 45k:cool2: and it would truly be an :flag:
 

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I had thought of a similar swap when I had the 528. I was talked to Dinan about what he thought of installing a 3.2L M3 (240 hp) and using their Vortech supercharger setup. He told me to buy a 540. The overall package would be good (similar to an E28 Alpina B7S turbo, 330 HP) with good handling but not the reliability of a stock factory engineered vehicle. I remember an article where somebody installed the M3 motor and the perfromance was only about .7 second improvement in the 0-60 and 1/4 mile times. A better swap would be an LS-2 Vette motor with a 6 speed T56.

John
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yah I wouldn't think about swapping an S62, but rather dropping in a supercharged S52. The output would be somewhere around 400+ hp in a lighter car - should be at least slightly faster than the M5, which is more than fast enough for me to get into all sorts of trouble. Big plusses for me would be greater agility/grip and better steering feedback. But eh then again I'd miss that beastly growl lovelove A cheaper and less complex alternative - how about a 530i with a custom turbo setup...wouldn't have the instant torque characteristics the supercharger would, but would be cheaper overall to setup. I just read about a 5 series with an AA turbocharger, sounded pretty mean!
 

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Just buy a 540 and drop an S/C on it. You can do that for $45k and even have a decent low mileage 2003 540 with the M body kit for close to that price.

Everyone does engine swaps all the time, but usually or less sophisticated american motors or japanese motors (yes, I know they have sophsiticated motors, but I'm talking about the more basic older ones). When your talking about motors so heavily controlled by picky electronics and tuning, you have to be prepared to fork out a lot of cash in tuning time from someone who really knows what they are doing.

Someone swapped a full E46 M3 motor, SMG trans, AND drivetrain into a E46 323. He is a student at MIT so he has the brains, but he said he NEVER works on cars like this. He just read manuals and asked for help. Took him just over 1 year (he had to do it inbetween work and class).

When he was done, he threw 2 codes, and 1 was becaue the engine ground wasn't connected. So, it can be done, but he would have spent way over the cost of buying a lightly used M3 if he had to pay someone to do the labor.
 
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