Welcome to my BMW E28 ‘m20b20 to m52b28 swap’ blog! I’ll post the process of swapping the m20 with the m52 as precise as possible, could become handy as a reference 🙂 I’m not a fully skilled mechanic (in fact, I studied Digital Media & Communications) so bear with me when I’m writing weird things!
After three months of hibernation the m52 would only start when cold. When the engine gets on operating temperature, it wouldn’t start at all… So a friend of mine sugested to replace the crankshaft and camshaft sensors. After replacing both the sensors, it would start right away! Then I disassembled the entire front to fit […]
Within the time I own the E28 I’d never replaced the fuel pump. I replaced the filter back in 2015 but I trusted the pump though. Until the last day of my Wales roadtrip! After some research I found out the fuel pressure regulator delivers 3.5 BAR at the injectors and my original 520i fuel […]
I had the opportunity to buy an M5 airdam. A fibreglass replica though, but it looks stunning after a respray 🙂
Very very last minute I decided to do a 7 day road-trip to and through Wales! I made a small route: The entire trip was about 2800 km, from which 1600 km in Wales 🙂 It was epic!! I went on my own just to enjoy the superb m52, the awesome roads, the amazing views […]
I took the car for a spin to take some good photos:
I found a ‘new’ rocker cover (second hand but solid)! It’s dirty as hell!! But after a good clean:
The past days I noticed an oil leakage just above the exhaust manifold, that leakage caused some smoke coming from the manifold. At first I thought the gasket around the rocker cover was the culprit, then I suspected the small gasket rings around the rocker cover bolts but none of there would some the oil […]
A friend of mine got a spare oil filter house (m50TUb25) and I compared it to the m52b28 one. It shares the same basic design but as you can see, the bracket for the steering pump is significantly different. It’s narrower, doesn’t have the same hole for the lower bolt and more importantly, it has […]
I figured that 6 fresh NGK BKR6EK park plugs would be nice 🙂
The air filter was way too close to the engine and alternator, so it picked up a lot of heat. I bought a silicone hose to move the filter to above the battery. I made a brace using an old exhaust brace 😛 And how it sounds with a mic clipped to the filter:
I went to the BMW dealership to collect the new plastic thermostat tube and I scraped the exhaust 🙂 And this is the small part that leaked:
I noticed another oil leak… The small drum leaks on the gasket and this gasket can’t be replaced.
I noticed a small coolant leak in the plastic tube from the thermostat. A zip-tie will prevent it from leaking till I got the new one. Also the glovebox needed some adjustments for all the new cables.
This is what the exhaust looks like: After driving around a bit I noticed the sump was covered in oil, no wonder when the dipstick looks like this. That rubber gasket needs to be 1cm lower. Then I noticed this dent in the front anti-roll bar. Caused by the lower sump bolt… Then I picked […]
As said, I would need to custom make the part between the exhaust manifolds and the Simons silencer. Another friend and college accepted the challenge to build these custom pipes: The tricky part was to get the exhaust pipes right for the moving steering bar, that comes up a bit when steering. So one of […]
The new Valeo clutch pack arrived yesterday! Can’t wait to try it! This morning I picked up a new clutch slave cylinder, after mounting it correctly and trying it, I got disappointed. This is why: All the clutch fluid came through that little hole.
After hours of Googling and reading blogs, I found out I need the “Valeo Single Mass Flywheel Conversion Kit”. Fortunately this kit includes quite a lot: Single-mass flywheel Non-Self Adjusting Clutch and pressure plate Throw out bearing Pressure plate bolts Flywheel bolts Clutch alignment tool So, I ordered the set 🙂
There we go again. Yesterday I needed to take out the engine again as the clutch kept slipping in 3rd, 4th and 5th… I couldn’t find out what caused the clutch slip. After I inspected and cleaned all the parts, I put it all back in and today I tried it again. Sadly no improvement…
As said, I still have to connect the right wires to get the RPM and fuel economy signals to the dash:
After sorting out some wrong connected fuel lines (my fault, the pressure regulator sits at the opposite side compared to the m20), it was time to turn the key!! 😀 And after connecting the throttle cable and tidying up everything: Still, I had no RPM and fuel economy signal. But that should be an easy […]
Not my strongest point, sorting out the loom. This gave me a real headache… For the first time I was doing wiring and I couldn’t get my head round. None of the schemes I’d found told me the right thing (couldn’t find wiring schemes from a type 1 E28). Fortunately a good friend and college […]
Time for some small things. At first I decided to delete the CCV (crankcase ventilation) as I use the m52 dipstick without the small CCV pipe mounted to it. Deleting the CCV means I also have to make a plug for the hole in the inlet manifold. I made one out of POM again: Speaking […]
I realized I had to make my own exhaust flanges for the part between the manifolds and Simons mid silencer. For the first time I made something from a steel plate 🙂 2 flanges that match the manifold dimensions and 2 flanges that match the silencer dimensions.
Sadly I had to take out the engine… The steering bar and the front sub frame strut would hit the sump, so I needed to scrape some small bits off and I couldn’t get there while the engine was in the car.
Time to fit the engine loom and make a start with the custom loom (part between the m52 ECU and E28 car/dash loom):
Finally, after phoning every exhaust show in Holland and Germany my Simons Sports exhaust got delivered today! I also made a POM busing for the shifter (made of polyoxymethylene instead of rubber):
As my original m20 throttle cable snapped during the removal of the old engine, I needed to have a new cable. After some hours of searching and Googling I figured I needed the E36 325i cable with a curve in it (part #35411163228). I also made a custom plug for the coolant return tube. As […]
After checking the differences between the old brake booster and the new one, I noticed the rod on the master cylinder side had a different length. The old booster had some sort of stick on the end of the rod. After a wile I found out it could come off with pliers. Time to fit […]
I got the old m20b20 out! I started with taking out some small components on Friday night and I took out the engine on Saturday morning. After that I started with the brake booster. The rod needed to be shortened quite a bit. My father helped me sorting out the right length and shortening it. […]
Today I got all the oil I need for the swap: Castrol Edge 5W30 C3, engine oil ATF DEXRON II-D, power steering oil Castrol Syntrax Limited Slip 75W140, differential (LSD) oil
Some time ago I found another cool website that shows the m52 swap process: E28 Goodies. In a blog post on that website they mentioned an E36 AC radiator, that particular model fits the standard gap in the E28 front better than a 524td radiator. Spot the difference: As you can see, the expansion tank […]
More clutch parts arrived today 🙂
A Porsche brake booster, that’s what you need when putting an m52 in an E28 🙂 I think I will sand or sand blast the booster to get rid of the surface rust. But that has to wait for a few more weeks as I am in the middle of graduating… In the mean time […]
I had a clutch and flywheel lying in the garage of which I didn’t know anything. So I decided to Google the numbers and see if I could fit them to the engine. What do I have: BMW E34 520i (m50) single-mass flywheel Sachs pressure plate, type M228, suitable for ZF SRE Sachs clutch plate, […]
I took the engine outside to make some good quality photos: During assembling all the parts I fount out that the power steering oil reservoir can’t be mounted with both the bolts… It’s hitting the intake manifold. I’ll probably use the original E28 mounting points on the cassis instead.
I wanted to know how to connect the dip stick to the engine and I found out the the ICV couldn’t be bolted to something…
Finally I had some time to assemble some parts! I was very happy the previous owner already mounted the E34 oil pickup tube! I only had to adjust the plate next to it as the m52 plate has a little raised edge on the third raise. After that I mounted the new gasket and sealed […]
After working on the differential I also mounted some parts back on the engine. The coolant tube got 2 new rubber gaskets and got resprayed matt black. Oh and as the winter is over, more or less, I mounted the BBS RC’s back on the car!
Also the differential needed some cleaning. I also decided to take out the oil as I don’t know what oil the previous owner used and the condition of the oil is unknown. When draining the oil I came to the plan to refurbish the cover and to make it look good. That actually meant sand […]
One side of the engine was already quite clean, but the exhaust side was covered in dirt and oil. So I had to clean that 🙂
This made it so much easier to work on the engine! I could finally disassemble the oil pan and give it a thorough clean 🙂
I received some new parts! A new rubber boot that comes between the MAF (Mass Air Flow) and the throttle body, a hose that connects that boot with the ICV (Idle Control Valve) and a little gasket for the oil filter housing.
More disassembling and cleaning! You can clearly see there’s a lot of cleaning to do…
A new rocker cover gasket was also included in the “swap package”. Some days ago I found out the current one isn’t that fresh anymore, so the new one is quite a good occasion. Or is it? The ‘new old stock’ gasket is a flat one while the old one has a fitting edge… Investigating […]
I started with taking off the rocker cover, curious how the DOHC head looks like 🙂 Two important things I found out: the inside of the rocker cover needed to be cleaned! the rocker cover gasket was not so good anymore, I’d better get a new one
I started with cleaning some small bits and pieces. I also found out that we have a ultrasonic cleaning device at work. That came in handy for the oil filter housing!
Today I cleaned the power steering lines, pump and oil reservoir. Forgot to take photos how they looked like before cleaning, but they were all covered in oil and dirt…
In order to get all the power to the road I decided to look for a good and affordable 25% LSD. The fact that my car is a ‘type 1 E28’ makes it a bit harder to find a good LSD. I had to find a 188mm ‘small case’ differential, with a 25% ratio and […]
Today I picked up the entire “swap package”! It was quite a drive to get there but I ended up with a VW van full of cool stuff. What did I buy: m52b28 m52 wiring loom with ECU m50b25 inlet manifold additional m50b20 inlet manifold m52 exhaust manifolds open air filter ZF S5D 320 Z […]