M5 airdam and some maintenance

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 […]

Fuel pump

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 […]

Oil leak

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 […]

Small things

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 […]

Welding the exhaust

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 […]

New clutch!

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 🙂

Engine out, again

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…

The first start!

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 […]

Sorting out the custom loom

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 […]

Some small things

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 […]

Exhaust things

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.

Throttle Cable

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 […]

Old one out, new one in!

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. […]

E36 radiator will do the job!

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 […]

Porsche parts!

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 […]

Clutch fitting

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, […]

Some good photos

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.

Assembly time!

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 […]

Rocker cover gasket

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 […]

More cleaning

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

Got LSD?!

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 […]

I got myself an m52b28!

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 […]


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!