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      04-09-2020, 03:58 PM   #1
First Lieutenant
m3welt's Avatar

Drives: 2018 M2
Join Date: May 2015
Location: United States

iTrader: (1)

S54 swap into my already LS swapped E30 M3

Hey guys so I am hoping to get some advice from the e46 s54 community. I recently bought an E30 M3 with an LS1 with a lot of LS6 parts. Puts about 400hp and 360tq to the wheels on a recent dyno. It's a beast to drive and handles great. With r-compound tires, it actually breaks loose less than my M2. It just friggen goes.

The issue I am having is that I am kind of a purist at heart. I actually like chevy's but something about the sound is messing with me. I am really feeling like I need a proper M motor in it.

I think I have resolved that the S54 is the best swap to put in. However, I am struggling with the idea of losing the current power. I could supercharge the S54 but I don't know about the maintenance issues.

I had thought of S65 but too tight of squeeze and heavier than LS or S54. S14's are too expensive oem and to modify it to get more power is serious money. Also I am not trying to make it into a collector car, I just want to drive it.

My main goal is to have a weekend cruiser and occasional fun track and autocross toy. Nothing crazy, would still like to drive my wife and future baby to car shows but not trying to win any awards

Here's my pro's and con's list for each. If you guys could help steer me in the right direction I would really appreciate it!

LS pro's:
Lighter than all the other M motors except s14
Already in which it actually fits really well and easy to access for maintenance
Low end torque and great power
Cheap and reliable

LS con's:
Sounds like a vette (which isn't bad but still)
Clunky shifting (not the soft BMW feel)
Not good for resale "value" (not planning on selling but something to think about)
Not as special as an M motor

S54 pro's:
The sound (with the right exhaust)
The feel
Special motor
Fairly straightforward swap into an e30 nowadays

S54 con's:
Less power
Can have a lot of maintenance issues? (I only owned an e46 m3 for a short while but heard about the nightmares)
Low torque
More expensive in parts and actual motor and tranny.

If you guys could offer your opinion on what you would do if you were me, and why, that would be awesome! Also any other advice on the S54 in general, like why you love or hate them.
Attached Images
18 F87 M2 LCI BSM 6MT
84 R100 RT Café

2015 F80 M3 Mineral Grey DCT
2005 E46 ZCP M3 Silver Grey 6MT
1998 E36 M3 Silver 5MT
1968 E10 2002 Roundie Grey 4MT