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Old 10-31-2022, 05:01 AM   #1
VolvoGLT
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Default Volvo 240: BMW engine options

Since my other thread about Volvo T6 options in a 240 quickly moved to BMW engines I'll have a separate thread for that.

What are the pro's and con's about the BMW options? Apparently great engines but pricey. Manual transmissions available.

Which engines could be fitted in a 240 engine bay? So far M52 and M54 were mentioned. The S variants (out of M3s as well) too.
What about the newer generations e.g. N52 or N54/N55 (turbo)?

Thanks
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Old 10-31-2022, 10:32 AM   #2
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DrZiplok has a M52 in their endurance race 245. It sounds amazing and is very fast on track. I think he also has the Getrag transmission too.

https://youtu.be/XlYw_-Kaq6M
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Old 10-31-2022, 10:53 AM   #3
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N52 is solid. I have yet to do Valvetronic control, but I am going to be working on it soon. the N52 i am tuning has it locked out. I have done n54 as well, but you have to delete the direct injection and go port only. both good engines, the N52 is already just port injection so that makes it easier a bit.

the other hangup is BSD bus control for the alternator, water pump, and oil level sensor, but we have a BSD board that controls all of that and integrates into maxxecu so all of that works just fine too.

I have done m54 and S54. the S54 is very complex and probably expensive, but i have tuned both NA and turbo application and it works well, just some setup time to go through everything. m54 is less complex with traditional solenoid vanos control (2 wire per solenoid as opposed to 3 per solenoid on S54), but both work fine and would have some inputs and outputs to spare just being used in an old 240.

Nothing wrong with using an n54 transmission or even a later M2 transmission, the later transmission has a magnetic gear position sensor via SENT protocol which can be read in maxxecu as well, for gear position and potentially shift cut?
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Old 10-31-2022, 01:55 PM   #4
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I think this depends on what you want out of the car. Power goals? Cost goals? Ease of swap goals? Transmission goals? I haven't done a BMW into Volvo but I've done some BMW into BMW swaps. I think a big perk about a BMW swap is the transmission options, packaging (NA and wiring is simple*), and finding whole donor cars. M50 is pretty old now, M52 is really just an obd2 M50 except you're in Europe so all M52's I think are aluminum block. M54 is great in stock form but they only have 2 piston rings. I'm not sure how cracked the N52 ecu is, the biggest hangup about the N motors is the complexity of the wiring. You can make an M50 swap run with just 3 or 4 wires, only 7 or 8 run from the engine harness into the chassis harness iirc, a lot like an LH car. M52 and M54 can be easily flashed to get rid of the immobilizer and other features you won't be keeping.
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Old 10-31-2022, 02:00 PM   #5
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S50B32 please
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Old 10-31-2022, 03:59 PM   #6
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S50B32 please
All S engines are very expensive...

S50B32 will cost you $6000-$12000. S54B32 a couple grand more
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Old 10-31-2022, 04:04 PM   #7
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My reasoning about the swap is that it'll be a lot of work no matter what 6 cylinder engine I choose. The newer N engines are not much more expensive than the older Mxx engines and the N54 and N55 come with a turbo which should make future power increases much easier than the NA versions. Since I need a standalone ECU anyways the added complexity of the N series engines seems manageable. Could be wrong though
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Old 10-31-2022, 04:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillettRun? View Post
N52 is solid. I have yet to do Valvetronic control, but I am going to be working on it soon. the N52 i am tuning has it locked out. I have done n54 as well, but you have to delete the direct injection and go port only. both good engines, the N52 is already just port injection so that makes it easier a bit.

the other hangup is BSD bus control for the alternator, water pump, and oil level sensor, but we have a BSD board that controls all of that and integrates into maxxecu so all of that works just fine too.

I have done m54 and S54. the S54 is very complex and probably expensive, but i have tuned both NA and turbo application and it works well, just some setup time to go through everything. m54 is less complex with traditional solenoid vanos control (2 wire per solenoid as opposed to 3 per solenoid on S54), but both work fine and would have some inputs and outputs to spare just being used in an old 240.

Nothing wrong with using an n54 transmission or even a later M2 transmission, the later transmission has a magnetic gear position sensor via SENT protocol which can be read in maxxecu as well, for gear position and potentially shift cut?
Thanks for the info! I read about the direct injection. So removing it is a must or just something to make it more reliable since it gets rid of the high pressure fuel pump? Do you leave the injectors on the engine or do you use plugs?
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Old 10-31-2022, 04:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VolvoGLT View Post
Since I need a standalone ECU anyways the added complexity of the N series engines seems manageable. Could be wrong though
M52 and M54 are best done with a simple reflash on the Siemens ECU. Or even an OBD1 conversion to the 93-95 M50 wiring and intake.
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Old 10-31-2022, 04:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
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M52 and M54 are best done with a simple reflash on the Siemens ECU. Or even an OBD1 conversion to the 93-95 M50 wiring and intake.
I have experience tuning the Siemens ECUs. No thanks. If you don't need to have an emissions readiness flag monitor, go with standalone.
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Old 10-31-2022, 08:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OVERDRIVE View Post
You can make an M50 swap run with just 3 or 4 wires, only 7 or 8 run from the engine harness into the chassis harness iirc, a lot like an LH car. M52 and M54 can be easily flashed to get rid of the immobilizer and other features you won't be keeping.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OVERDRIVE View Post
M52 and M54 are best done with a simple reflash on the Siemens ECU. Or even an OBD1 conversion to the 93-95 M50 wiring and intake.
Interesting.

If one would swap a M5x + ZF gearbox, does the shifter linkage need to be modified to line up in a 240? I think I've seen one or two of these swaps before, but can't find a link. Anyone have any reference builds?

Andersson Steel + Speed makes the necessary mounts...
https://shop.klracing.se/sv/artiklar...-12/index.html
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Old 10-31-2022, 10:01 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by oldschoolvolvo View Post
Interesting.

If one would swap a M5x + ZF gearbox, does the shifter linkage need to be modified to line up in a 240? I think I've seen one or two of these swaps before, but can't find a link. Anyone have any reference builds?

Andersson Steel + Speed makes the necessary mounts...
https://shop.klracing.se/sv/artiklar...-12/index.html
BMW shift linkage mounts to the chassis. Nowadays people like doing chassis mount shifters, I'm not going to say which one is right but there's plenty of ways to make it work. Side note, I've really wanted to Getrag 265 swap a 240, the reverse detent spring can be removed externally from the trans, and in some applications the Getrag had a transmission mounted shifter like an M47. So my theory is you could use an M47 shift lever, carrier, and reverse lockout and keep the shift pattern too, for the purists out there.
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Old 10-31-2022, 10:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlard View Post
I have experience tuning the Siemens ECUs. No thanks. If you don't need to have an emissions readiness flag monitor, go with standalone.
Yes, but not everyone doing an M52 or M54 swap will need a tune though. Same could be said about LH, it will work okay to a point, a standalone will always offer more unless you need OBD compliance like you said. Not disagreeing.
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Old 11-02-2022, 09:31 AM   #14
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I have done a few M52 turbo installs.

Speeduino ECU is dirt cheap and fits directly to original harness and utilizes the original ECU box and connectors. Wiring work is absolutely minimal. But this ECU might be difficult to source due to long lead times in semiconductor industry right now.

Power and cost is something to consider, cheapest option: stock M52B20, with T3/T4 will yield about 300whp and cost you $2-3k if you can do all the work yourself.
M52B28 with forged internals close to $10k, but power output will be higher ofc

And for these prices I include all the auxilary items, turbo, IC, ECU, injectors etc...

Pro's are good aftermarket and tons of support on the internet, transmissions are quite strong from the factory.
Cons are, expensive and slightly complicated to overhaul, camshafts especially are pricy compared to Volvo engines
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Old 11-03-2022, 03:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillettRun? View Post

…snip snip…

Nothing wrong with using an n54 transmission or even a later M2 transmission, the later transmission has a magnetic gear position sensor via SENT protocol which can be read in maxxecu as well, for gear position and potentially shift cut?
This may or may not be anecdotal, and also slightly off-topic maybe, but i’ve had both an E92 BMW 335i with a N54 engine and a F10 BMW 535i with a N55, and both with manuals.

Both of those manual transmissions grinded really badly when shifting fast to second gear. I’m unsure if they have the same transmission or not, but exactly same type of second-gear-syncro-failure on both of them. Supposedly they are really strong transmissions otherwise, but that ”feature” made the shift-to-second really slow.

Again no idea if the E86 with a N52 engine and a manual has a different transmission than the later N54/N55 cars, but the six speed in my E86 Z4 Coupe does not have this problem.
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