fmorelli

Colonel
Staff member
Aug 11, 2017
2,114
Virginia
Gratuitously going to pile on in this thread ...

The whole N54 head thing has been bugging the crap out of me. First when I saw Omar's progress with the N53 fully built head, then with VTT's nice doc on results with Rebello, which @[email protected] posted. The constriction in the stock head's original design, to make the car NA-like with small turbos, works against what we are doing with these cars. I like VTT's program with Rebello - that would be top notch.

Today @[email protected] and I acquired a block and complete head for $225. Wish that happened every day :grimacing:.
c23117f5-8bd1-48c2-9f74-d77d1c95e642.jpg

I suspect that for a 600whp E85 far there is low hanging fruit in the N54 head. I'm planning to have the head ported and polished old school, not with CNC. I'm talking with a few other folks right now - there are some others being ported by guys. Plan to keep the valve train stock, and am looking to just basically reduce the PSI on the HP650s. Here's one in progress:
57218032_2625029710904341_8656178342212403200_n.jpg

Soon activities will be underway. We're just waiting on the stainless steel to arrive to build the outlet for the HP650. I hope to start posting progress and such when that occurs. Excited to get the HP650s on in May and see where all of this goes.

Filippo
 
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Panzerfaust

Sergeant
Jul 3, 2018
457
Chicago
Gratuitously going to pile on in this thread ...

The whole N54 head thing has been bugging the crap out of me. First when I saw Omar's progress with the N53 fully built head, then with VTT's nice doc on results with Rebello, which @[email protected] posted. The constriction in the stock head's original design, to make the car NA-like with small turbos, works against what we are doing with these cars. I like VTT's program with Rebello - that would be top notch.

Today @[email protected] and I acquired a block and complete head for $225. Wish that happened every day :grimacing:.
View attachment 26513

I suspect that for a 600whp E85 far there is low hanging fruit in the N54 head. I'm planning to have the head ported and polished old school, not with CNC. I'm talking with a few other folks right now - there are some others being ported by guys. Plan to keep the valve train stock, and am looking to just basically reduce the PSI on the HP650s. Here's one in progress:
View attachment 26512

Soon activities will be underway. We're just waiting on the stainless steel to arrive to build the outlet for the HP650. I hope to start posting progress and such when that occurs. Excited to get the HP650s on in May and see where all of this goes.

Filippo
The more I see posts about the head the more it bugs me too lol. I know which people you're talking about doing the hand porting if you're referring to the FB group post from the other day (not gonna lie, I creeped the thread more when I saw your name pop up too lol) and it definitely seems like a ported head is something that's still vastly overlooked along with cams.

The main reason it bugs me is because I already have cams, bearings, the SPLOCK etc. and most importantly approval from the "wife" to get all of that finished in the next couple months, but pulling the head + porting alone adds so much more cost when you cant DIY and at that point I'd want to do larger aftermarket valves too because I'm anal about doing everything at once if it's open. I'm still interested to see the gains from cams alone because I think that's something that's still overlooked, especially since people will spend ~1500-2k on stage 1 or 2 turbos for a 150whp gain. If I get 100whp, an extra 5-700rpm, and less stress on my turbos for doing (what was originally, at least) a minor engine refresh at the cost of $1100 for cams I dont see any issue there.

But I do see an issue with that fucking hump in the intake valves :imp: and knowing my luck I'll end up pulling or swapping the head in another year because I have a problem with not having "da best" and I want to take some 1/4 records with twins.
 

fmorelli

Colonel
Staff member
Aug 11, 2017
2,114
Virginia
I know which people you're talking about doing the hand porting if you're referring to the FB group post from the other day (not gonna lie, I creeped the thread more when I saw your name pop up too lol)
Yeah we have PM going ... I just got back in country ... so @[email protected] and I will figure out plan of attack. I'm just waiting for the hand carved before/after flow bench numbers on stock head components, before we proceed. It's getting a bit harder to bug @[email protected] as his shock dyno arrived and all I see are Ohlins photos for various development work going on. :)

The main reason it bugs me is because I already have cams, bearings, the SPLOCK etc. and most importantly approval from the "wife" to get all of that finished in the next couple months, but pulling the head + porting alone adds so much more cost when you cant DIY and at that point I'd want to do larger aftermarket valves too because I'm anal about doing everything at once if it's open. I'm still interested to see the gains from cams alone because I think that's something that's still overlooked, especially since people will spend ~1500-2k on stage 1 or 2 turbos for a 150whp gain. If I get 100whp, an extra 5-700rpm, and less stress on my turbos for doing (what was originally, at least) a minor engine refresh at the cost of $1100 for cams I dont see any issue there.
We'll find out more as more of us work it. I thought from Chris' VTT post it seem that the graph implied that adding cams had negligible return on cost. I don't know about valve size, given so much is stuffed in there already. I like the buy a spare head cheap approach ... and get that done.

Filippo
 

Panzerfaust

Sergeant
Jul 3, 2018
457
Chicago
Yeah we have PM going ... I just got back in country ... so @[email protected] and I will figure out plan of attack. I'm just waiting for the hand carved before/after flow bench numbers on stock head components, before we proceed. It's getting a bit harder to bug @[email protected] as his shock dyno arrived and all I see are Ohlins photos for various development work going on. :)


We'll find out more as more of us work it. I thought from Chris' VTT post it seem that the graph implied that adding cams had negligible return on cost. I don't know about valve size, given so much is stuffed in there already. I like the buy a spare head cheap approach ... and get that done.

Filippo
I'll be interested to see the results of his hand ported head too - if hes okay with you sharing it, I'd be interested in a PM or something as I know people on FB were being a bit... Facebooky to him, so I wouldnt be surprised if he didnt post it publicly.

I do remember VTT's thread and some of the results, especially how well a ported head flows but I didnt think a before/after cam graph was included in it, I'll have to check again. I also like the idea of a spare head and if I got one for the cost you guys got yours at I would probably jump on it and keep it for a rainy day, but I'm counting my blessings rather than pushing my luck with being told by my SO to finish the car ASAP. I know the head would help a ton with my end goal, but I still think the cams will be beneficial for running what I want with my MMP 1Ks since they enjoy higher RPMs similar to a ST setup and the duration will be a benefit either way.

If I had the ability to port and install the head myself or was as tight with my shop as you and Barry are I would be all over it while getting everything else done, but for now the handfuls of free labor here and there and "partial sponsorship" will do for me. I want to see what I can push stock fueling and the stock AT to do with a *proper* setup and weight loss, because theres no reason these cars should be stuck running the times most are. Even with twins and the stock drivetrain, a 600+whp lightweight car should be running much better than mid to high 11s so we're starting there before I likely snatch @doublespaces 6hp28 and get some form of better fueling. I'm hoping for consistent 10s before needing to go that route but we will have to see at this point.
 

ShocknAwe

Lieutenant
Jan 24, 2018
606
SC
I really wanted to do the N53 head and cams with my HP800s. End of the day I couldn't find anyone in my area willing to do the head swap part of the job for less than $3000. Ended up too much for me to gamble for my goals.

I might still do it down the road but I'm curious to see if the N54 Boysen HP800s and intake/inlet/outlet work will get me to 500-550 on 93. We'll see how logs look once Omar tunes it.

Also wondering if the stock head can support a 7500 limit.

Eagerly await info on how the N54 polish and port job goes. Nice thing there is that it would allow you to keep the Boysens which I really love.

-Alex
 

Panzerfaust

Sergeant
Jul 3, 2018
457
Chicago
I really wanted to do the N53 head and cams with my HP800s. End of the day I couldn't find anyone in my area willing to do the head swap part of the job for less than $3000. Ended up too much for me to gamble for my goals.

I might still do it down the road but I'm curious to see if the N54 Boysen HP800s and intake/inlet/outlet work will get me to 500-550 on 93. We'll see how logs look once Omar tunes it.

Also wondering if the stock head can support a 7500 limit.

Eagerly await info on how the N54 polish and port job goes. Nice thing there is that it would allow you to keep the Boysens which I really love.

-Alex
Yep, even if I sourced a junkyard head right now the rest of the work would put me in too much unless I decided it was worth it to pull the head myself and learn on the fly which I dont have the balls for lol. Plus like I said, I'd want everything else done too like swapping to ARP head studs and then probably convince myself to go with the JE/Carillo magic cocktail, higher compression, etc and I'd spend another 5 months with thousands of dollars worth of parts sitting in the corner of my room again. I did talk to Omar early on about purchasing an n53 head and what it'd take to modify the MMP manifolds to work with it which again cost is the only limiting factor at this point.

As for the stock head making it to 7500, I've been told that with cams + valve springs that shouldn't be a problem, however any higher and your best bet is lighter valves + ported head. Hopefully in the next month or so I'll be able to confirm that and at least post logs if anyone is interested. I believe BMS' 135 is also running just cams w/o a ported head and Terry claimed an extra 500+ of usable RPMs which any way you skin it will be beneficial for the strip, especially with an auto's FDR.
 

ShocknAwe

Lieutenant
Jan 24, 2018
606
SC
I'll probably end up running strict stock N54 until I blow something on the bottom end. Who knows how long that'll be, my engine is pretty healthy. Hopefully Omar is further along with the S55 frankenstein build work by then.

Definitely not going to do any head work in piecemeal, if I do it, it'll one off once.

Yep, even if I sourced a junkyard head right now the rest of the work would put me in too much unless I decided it was worth it to pull the head myself and learn on the fly which I dont have the balls for lol. Plus like I said, I'd want everything else done too like swapping to ARP head studs and then probably convince myself to go with the JE/Carillo magic cocktail, higher compression, etc and I'd spend another 5 months with thousands of dollars worth of parts sitting in the corner of my room again. I did talk to Omar early on about purchasing an n53 head and what it'd take to modify the MMP manifolds to work with it which again cost is the only limiting factor at this point.

As for the stock head making it to 7500, I've been told that with cams + valve springs that shouldn't be a problem, however any higher and your best bet is lighter valves + ported head. Hopefully in the next month or so I'll be able to confirm that and at least post logs if anyone is interested. I believe BMS' 135 is also running just cams w/o a ported head and Terry claimed an extra 500+ of usable RPMs which any way you skin it will be beneficial for the strip, especially with an auto's FDR.
 

Hydra Performance

Sergeant
Free Vendor
Jan 31, 2017
251
Alex,
One of the head mounting bolts is off by 5mm on the S55 compared to the N54, that was the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back and made me decide to abandon the idea. Currently more interested in handling/chassis improvement, plus I've already got my plate full with side-projects as-is - outlets being #1 on the list. Oh and did I mention that the Phoenix Race FMIC weighs 36.5lbs? That's 1.2% of the car's weight at the very front of the car and its really really bugging me :D
 

Panzerfaust

Sergeant
Jul 3, 2018
457
Chicago
I'll probably end up running strict stock N54 until I blow something on the bottom end. Who knows how long that'll be, my engine is pretty healthy. Hopefully Omar is further along with the S55 frankenstein build work by then.

Definitely not going to do any head work in piecemeal, if I do it, it'll one off once.
I totally understand people not wanting to do just cams, but I already had the full SPLOCK setup and rod bearings so the cams for me were really just a "fuck it, why not?" after thought :tonguewink:

Alex,
One of the head mounting bolts is off by 5mm on the S55 compared to the N54, that was the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back and made me decide to abandon the idea. Currently more interested in handling/chassis improvement, plus I've already got my plate full with side-projects as-is - outlets being #1 on the list. Oh and did I mention that the Phoenix Race FMIC weighs 36.5lbs? That's 1.2% of the car's weight at the very front of the car and its really really bugging me :D
A2W intercooler? Yes please?
 

Hydra Performance

Sergeant
Free Vendor
Jan 31, 2017
251
@Panzerfaust
OEM w2a core off a 570PS AMG M157 V8, perfect size/form-factor to stick this in place of the charge pipe with the addition of custom (cast) endtanks, and also have an OEM F85 X5M heat exchanger + pump assembly handy. Any questions? ;)

Or would you rather prefer a light-weight non-stepped 7" FMIC with a high performance tube and fin core with a target overall weight of 16lbs for the road-racing crowd instead?

55593306_565640370624310_3247465355651579904_n.jpg

53882720_434107680667079_7280405368461590528_n.jpg
 

aus335iguy

Lieutenant
Nov 18, 2017
915
W2A has always gotten my interest. The ability to add ice at the drag strip is a major selling point
S55 gear, almost all bolt on.
 

ShocknAwe

Lieutenant
Jan 24, 2018
606
SC
Considering doing it for my hp650 turbos instead of playing with the charge pipe I just get some silicone hoses and connect to that
If I recall the issue wasn't hooking it up, but DME logic to control the pumps. Dunno if that was ever resolved or if it killed the project.
 

Hydra Performance

Sergeant
Free Vendor
Jan 31, 2017
251
Gents,
a) I can get all the S55 stuff locally at the drop of the hat, but keep in mind that the stock core is sized for "just" 450bhp, and that there's a tight radius 270-degree bend to get the flow into the TB. Plus simple maintenance becomes more of a PITA. With my proposed idea, everything fits as it should including my induction kit, just need to run 2x 1.75-2" hot-side charge pipes along the front and around the motor (where the stock inlet goes) into this monster core where the charge pipe would normally sit. Bare minimum of overall volume with little/no packaging compromises, oh and a massive core to boot :)

b) Check out the TinyCWA controller by Tecomotive (link below), its an Arduino-based standalone controller that is actually designed for use with the OEM BMW Pierburg pumps. Also happen to have one lying around the shop that I bought for another project...

 
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Panzerfaust

Sergeant
Jul 3, 2018
457
Chicago
@Panzerfaust
OEM w2a core off a 570PS AMG M157 V8, perfect size/form-factor to stick this in place of the charge pipe with the addition of custom (cast) endtanks, and also have an OEM F85 X5M heat exchanger + pump assembly handy. Any questions? ;)

Or would you rather prefer a light-weight non-stepped 7" FMIC with a high performance tube and fin core with a target overall weight of 16lbs for the road-racing crowd instead?

View attachment 26560
View attachment 26561
Ha, I knew it! You're the man. I actually have the VRSF 7" HD intercooler for both less weight, less blocking of my other coolers and less pressure drop right now but both of your solutions sound excellent. The W2A setup would be nice as mentioned for the drag strip, but I'm also going to be stripping a lot of weight from the car so a well priced IC similar to the VRSF one but half the weight would also be killer so keep us updated for sure!

@ShocknAwe and group, I follow someone on IG who has done a successful N54 swap into an e36 318ti body that is running the S55 A2W system. I'd imagine he has it hardwired and running off of a switch or something but I'll ask him how hes running it just because I'm curious anyway. Like was mentioned above I think the issue was getting it to run with the fan based off of certain driving conditions, I think if one were to wire the pump to full tilt or off itd work fine for racing. Getting it to function like an S55 on a streetcar is the challenge there I'm sure, but I doubt Omar or anyone doing this completely DIY is looking to do it on a DD.
 
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