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      07-01-2022, 07:16 AM   #419
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Originally Posted by Obioban View Post
IMO the last car BMW made with a truly great driving experience potential was the 128i.

The N52 came in a lot of specs and chassis-- from 174hp to 268hp, and in chassis from 3050 to 4300 lbs. So, you can come away from it with a lot of varied experiences.

But, in the 128i in particular-- if you add BMW's 3 stage disa (from a higher trim N52), headers, and a tune, you're at 300 factory reliable NA BMW horsepower in a i6 that weights freaking 328 lbs. Almost 150 lbs ligher than an S54! I'd kill for that kind of weight off the nose of my M3!

Combine that engine with a properly optioned 128i, and you have a car that is 3050 lbs stock- and sub 3000 lbs with just runflat delete and light weight wheels.

Add M3 subframe bushings, so the body is actually connected to the suspension, and you have a great driving little car. More factory mods possible if you want more, beyond that-- all the M3 control arms are bolt on, as done on 1M.

128i steering is great as stock-- none of the fake heaviness stuff they did on the e9X.

135i is a 300+ lb penalty over 128i, and all the turbo engine dynamics I don't want.

But, yeah, put a low factory trim N52 (e.g. the 228hp one in the e9X 328i) into a heavy chassis (sadly the e9X is a fairly heavy chassis-- e60 is only 72 lbs heavier optioned like for like), and I could see why you came away not overly impressed.



This is the stock subframe bushings in the e9X non M. They just ruin the handling, especially once you ditch the RFTs that they're there to hide. Replacing them with M3 subframe bushings brings the entire chassis up the the level of non M BMWs before e9X.



I suspect you'd like the N52 manual. Manuals from the same manufacturer generally have shift feel inverse to how much torque they're rated to handle. The Z4M was exceptionally good because they couldn't physically fit the 420g, with its higher torque rating, from the M3 (which was over rated, but does make it nigh indestructible, so... track offs)-- so they used the 330i manual instead. The N52 manuals are similarly low rated, and feel great as a result.

You should drive some more NA M engines
If I were to replace my E36 M3, I would get a 128i and do exactly what you outlined. Hoping to sell the M3 this year and if I can get into a house where I can store more than 1 car, I just might pick up a 128i.
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      07-01-2022, 08:55 AM   #420
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
The E82 128i is an E90 underneath.
Yep.

... but 300 lbs lighter. And smaller. Both of which means it drives significantly better.
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      07-01-2022, 11:53 AM   #421
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Yep. I have a 19kw Tesla solar roof (the solar shingles-- not the panels) and 4 powerwalls, with zero regrets. The power grid can go offline indefinitely, and nothing about my house changes-- with no generator noise/upkeep/fueling.

...And when the grid's not offline, I get a check for $300-400 per month from the electric company, and have no gas/oil bill.
And this is why I haven't done solar on our roof yet. In Oklahoma, they are happy to have your excess feed back into the grid, but they won't pay you for it.

Gotta love the good ol' boy oil and gas lobbying here.

We have a relatively small home but large roof that faces directly south with no shade blocking it anywhere I'd put on panels.
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      07-01-2022, 12:44 PM   #422
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
In searching for the E82 chassis weight to refresh my memory, one can find numerous references to the E82 being heavy for its size. 3,200 pounds seems to be a wet weight number, which is in the range of a lightly equipped E90 like mine. Near 3,000 pounds is the E86 coupe chassis.
The 135i is heavy, and that's the one people talk about normally.

A no sunroof (50 lbs for sunroof), no idrive (40 lbs for idrive), manual trans (60 lbs more for automatic) (that's what I meant when I said properly optioned earlier) 128i is 3050 lbs. I know this because my brother had one and we put it on my corner balancing scales.

I haven't had a Z4MC on my scales, but according to BMW it's curb weight is nearly 3300 lbs.

... unless you meant non M. Those are lighter. I'm assuming that's not what you meant, because very few (<300?) were sold in this country.
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      07-03-2022, 12:09 AM   #423
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obioban View Post
IMO the last car BMW made with a truly great driving experience potential was the 128i.

The N52 came in a lot of specs and chassis-- from 174hp to 268hp, and in chassis from 3050 to 4300 lbs. So, you can come away from it with a lot of varied experiences.

But, in the 128i in particular-- if you add BMW's 3 stage disa (from a higher trim N52), headers, and a tune, you're at 300 factory reliable NA BMW horsepower in a i6 that weights freaking 328 lbs. Almost 150 lbs ligher than an S54! I'd kill for that kind of weight off the nose of my M3!

Combine that engine with a properly optioned 128i, and you have a car that is 3050 lbs stock- and sub 3000 lbs with just runflat delete and light weight wheels.

Add M3 subframe bushings, so the body is actually connected to the suspension, and you have a great driving little car. More factory mods possible if you want more, beyond that-- all the M3 control arms are bolt on, as done on 1M.

128i steering is great as stock-- none of the fake heaviness stuff they did on the e9X.

135i is a 300+ lb penalty over 128i, and all the turbo engine dynamics I don't want.

But, yeah, put a low factory trim N52 (e.g. the 228hp one in the e9X 328i) into a heavy chassis (sadly the e9X is a fairly heavy chassis-- e60 is only 72 lbs heavier optioned like for like), and I could see why you came away not overly impressed.



This is the stock subframe bushings in the e9X non M. They just ruin the handling, especially once you ditch the RFTs that they're there to hide. Replacing them with M3 subframe bushings brings the entire chassis up the the level of non M BMWs before e9X.



I suspect you'd like the N52 manual. Manuals from the same manufacturer generally have shift feel inverse to how much torque they're rated to handle. The Z4M was exceptionally good because they couldn't physically fit the 420g, with its higher torque rating, from the M3 (which was over rated, but does make it nigh indestructible, so... track offs)-- so they used the 330i manual instead. The N52 manuals are similarly low rated, and feel great as a result.



You should drive some more NA M engines
I may not have driven a N52 with a tune, but I doubt I would be that impressed. It's no S54, or even S52. I would take an N54 any day of the week. If I wanted a mediocre NA engine I'd just get a Nissan VQ . Turbo is different, not always worse.

I'm sure you're right on the transmissions. MT usually feel better inversely proportional to the torque they need to handle. Z4M shift into second is awful but it's good other than that.

I've driven other NA M engines, I just left the V8s off as I noted. S65 is a gem and S62 is great. The only 2001+ M engine I haven't ever experienced is S85.
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      07-03-2022, 12:12 AM   #424
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obioban View Post
The 135i is heavy, and that's the one people talk about normally.

A no sunroof (50 lbs for sunroof), no idrive (40 lbs for idrive), manual trans (60 lbs more for automatic) (that's what I meant when I said properly optioned earlier) 128i is 3050 lbs. I know this because my brother had one and we put it on my corner balancing scales.

I haven't had a Z4MC on my scales, but according to BMW it's curb weight is nearly 3300 lbs.

... unless you meant non M. Those are lighter. I'm assuming that's not what you meant, because very few (<300?) were sold in this country.
There's zero way iDrive is 40 lbs, unless you're counting speakers that come with the package or something. I've held a head unit from an E90. The head unit and LCD assembly cannot possibly weigh that much. I looked at a retrofit thread and it's barely anything.

https://www.1addicts.com/forums/show....php?t=1273385
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      07-03-2022, 09:32 AM   #425
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I personally think an N52 is a positive selling point in a BMW. I'd take one all day over any of the turbo cars. BMW + turbo = $maintenance$.
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      07-03-2022, 09:45 AM   #426
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Originally Posted by wdb View Post
I personally think an N52 is a positive selling point in a BMW. I'd take one all day over any of the turbo cars. BMW + turbo = $maintenance$.
Count me on Team N52! I won't say never, but I can't imagine having an ICE car without one. I actively sought out the one year that F10 Fivers have the N52 (2011) for my wife's car (everything else is bad in it, but engine is good!), and am casually looking at 2010 E70 X5s as that's the last year they had the N52. The N52 perfectly meets my needs, and other than gaskets made of crepe paper, a great mass-produced engine.
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      07-03-2022, 12:26 PM   #427
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obioban View Post
Yep.

... but 300 lbs lighter. And smaller. Both of which means it drives significantly better.
On what world does a stock 128i weigh a crack over 3050lbs? BMW lists the curb weight at 3208lbs and the 135i at 3370lbs which is what one would expect with the additional weight of the turbos, ancillary cooling systems, larger brakes, wheels, and tires. It is not 300lbs. LOL. It's not like the N54 has an iron block or something.
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      07-03-2022, 12:36 PM   #428
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I personally think an N52 is a positive selling point in a BMW. I'd take one all day over any of the turbo cars. BMW + turbo = $maintenance$.
It really depends on the year and model of turbo BMW. I've owned my 2016 M235 for 6.5 years and 65k miles. It's been crazy reliable. Nothing as broken on it. Nothing. No leaks, no weeping seals, etc. I've done oil changes and filter changes, coolant change, a spark plug change, and preventative maintenance like a belt tensioner replacement, belt replacement, and coolant overflow line, all work done under an hour less than $300 in parts. My front brakes are needing replacement after 65k miles. I ordered all OEM BMW rotors, pads, and a wear sensor for $500. This car is driven hard and has been making 50whp and 70wtq more than stock for years. I really can't complain. I've owned lots of Japanese cars and the M235 has been more reliable.
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      07-03-2022, 01:20 PM   #429
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Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
I'm not sure why you are pissing all over the N52. Does it compare in power output to an M engine? No of course not because it's not an M engine; BMW builds M engines for M cars. Does that make sense?

The N52 was designed as the replacement for the M52/54, where the M52 was a replacement for the M20. It's BMW's regular street fair engine meant for powering mass-production economy cars like the 3-series and their SUV (barf) offshoots. I've owned the M20, M54 and N52. Not that anyone asked but choosing between all three, I'd have a hard time choosing between the M20 and the N52. The M52/54 just seems not to have the BMW in-line 6 DNA. The beautiful and romantic mechanical sounds of the M20 are hard to come by in most car engines, especially modern-day, emissions-tight versions. Some of us Bimmerheads like the I-6 configuration because of the inherent balance, which leads to long engine life with low maintenance requirements.

Not everyone wants a M car. Replacing big-end bearings every 50,000 miles is not a requirement everyone wants to sign up for.
It's not an M engine, I know. My original point was only that I don't see what's special about it. Every time I drove a car with one, I wished the car had an N54 or N55. I even prefer N20. There are engines to wax poetic about, but I just didn't see that as one of them and certainly don't think it's a high water mark or anything of BMWs "good old days". BMW has changed direction in some aspects, but engines are not one of their problems. It's a perfectly fine engine, but nothing I'd ever go out of my way for.

Just a secondary point, the I6 balance helps with harmonics, but I dobut there's any real world correlation to reliability. BMW has produced several unreliable I6 engines, and I'm not sure any of their engines are up to Toyota standards when you compare like-for-like. N55 is "reliable" if you don't care about PITA things like the oil filter housing gasket, valve cover gasket, oil pan gasket, etc. I suspect the same is true for N52.

Last edited by chris719; 07-03-2022 at 02:12 PM..
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      07-03-2022, 03:04 PM   #430
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Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris719 View Post
I may not have driven a N52 with a tune, but I doubt I would be that impressed. It's no S54, or even S52. I would take an N54 any day of the week. If I wanted a mediocre NA engine I'd just get a Nissan VQ . Turbo is different, not always worse.

I'm sure you're right on the transmissions. MT usually feel better inversely proportional to the torque they need to handle. Z4M shift into second is awful but it's good other than that.

I've driven other NA M engines, I just left the V8s off as I noted. S65 is a gem and S62 is great. The only 2001+ M engine I haven't ever experienced is S85.
I'm not sure why you are pissing all over the N52. Does it compare in power output to an M engine? No of course not because it's not an M engine; BMW builds M engines for M cars. Does that make sense?

The N52 was designed as the replacement for the M52/54, where the M52 was a replacement for the M20. It's BMW's regular street fair engine meant for powering mass-production economy cars like the 3-series and their SUV (barf) offshoots. I've owned the M20, M54 and N52. Not that anyone asked but choosing between all three, I'd have a hard time choosing between the M20 and the N52. The M52/54 just seems not to have the BMW in-line 6 DNA. The beautiful and romantic mechanical sounds of the M20 are hard to come by in most car engines, especially modern-day, emissions-tight versions. Some of us Bimmerheads like the I-6 configuration because of the inherent balance, which leads to long engine life with low maintenance requirements.

Not everyone wants a M car. Replacing big-end bearings every 50,000 miles is not a requirement everyone wants to sign up for.
Most people that poo poo non M-cars are also the same type of people that don't hold onto their cars past 25k miles, so they don't care about premature maintenance and wear items.
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      07-03-2022, 03:30 PM   #431
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Originally Posted by Cos270 View Post
Most people that poo poo non M-cars are also the same type of people that don't hold onto their cars past 25k miles, so they don't care about premature maintenance and wear items.
That's not my experience.

Other than S65 and S85 which are fatally flawed designs, there's really not that much more maintenance. N52 will still be a pain in the ass with the same OFHG, valve cover gasket, oil pan gasket, etc. as an N55 and S55 but it's still an N52. If I wanted N52 output from a car in 2022, I sure wouldn't put up with the normal BMW BS. N54 is one of the least reliable designs in modern BMW history and it's not an M engine. At least it's a pretty nice engine when it works, but still no longer worth the trouble.

What premature maintenance does an S55 require that your N55 doesn't? If anything, the gaskets seem to last longer on the S55, especially the oil filter housing.

Last edited by chris719; 07-03-2022 at 03:36 PM..
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      07-03-2022, 03:45 PM   #432
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cos270 View Post
Most people that poo poo non M-cars are also the same type of people that don't hold onto their cars past 25k miles, so they don't care about premature maintenance and wear items.
That's not my experience.

Other than S65 and S85 which are fatally flawed designs, there's really not that much more maintenance. N52 will still be a pain in the ass with the same OFHG, valve cover gasket, oil pan gasket, etc. as an N55 and S55 but it's still an N52. If I wanted N52 output from a car in 2022, I sure wouldn't put up with the normal BMW BS. N54 is one of the least reliable designs in modern BMW history and it's not an M engine. At least it's a pretty nice engine when it works, but still no longer worth the trouble.

What premature maintenance does an S55 require that your N55 doesn't? If anything, the gaskets seem to last longer on the S55, especially the oil filter housing.
I'm not saying there is or isn't a difference. I'm making a comment on the sensibilities of the people that buy/prefer M cars. Most lease them or don't keep them long enough for those maintenance items to be a concern - whether they be specific to M or non-M engines is irrelevant.
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      07-03-2022, 03:49 PM   #433
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cos270 View Post
I'm not saying there is or isn't a difference. I'm making a comment on the sensibilities of the people that buy/prefer M cars. Most lease them or don't keep them long enough for those maintenance items to be a concern - whether they be specific to M or non-M engines is irrelevant.
You're most likely wrong. Percentage wise, I would guess more M owners buy them and hold on to them. The most leased cars were always the base 3 series. Residuals are always worse on M cars.
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      07-03-2022, 03:50 PM   #434
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris719 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cos270 View Post
I'm not saying there is or isn't a difference. I'm making a comment on the sensibilities of the people that buy/prefer M cars. Most lease them or don't keep them long enough for those maintenance items to be a concern - whether they be specific to M or non-M engines is irrelevant.
You're most likely wrong. Percentage wise, I would guess more M owners buy them and hold on to them. The most leased cars were always the base 3 series.
That could be. For what's it's worth, I agreed with your previous post. The maintenance is basically the same.
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      07-03-2022, 04:06 PM   #435
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I may not have driven a N52 with a tune, but I doubt I would be that impressed. It's no S54, or even S52. I would take an N54 any day of the week. If I wanted a mediocre NA engine I'd just get a Nissan VQ . Turbo is different, not always worse.

I'm sure you're right on the transmissions. MT usually feel better inversely proportional to the torque they need to handle. Z4M shift into second is awful but it's good other than that.

I've driven other NA M engines, I just left the V8s off as I noted. S65 is a gem and S62 is great. The only 2001+ M engine I haven't ever experienced is S85.
Everything I've read says the N52 with intake/manifold/full exhaust and tune, puts down a bit more than what my S52 swapped E30 did 13 years ago.

But that S52 had the S50 intake manifold, OBD-I computer and tune, 3.5" Porsche MAF, Turner Equal-length headers and a custom full, mandrel bent 2.5" exhaust.

That put down 235/235 and was a blast in an E30.
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      07-03-2022, 05:19 PM   #436
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XutvJet View Post
On what world does a stock 128i weigh a crack over 3050lbs? BMW lists the curb weight at 3208lbs and the 135i at 3370lbs which is what one would expect with the additional weight of the turbos, ancillary cooling systems, larger brakes, wheels, and tires. It is not 300lbs. LOL. It's not like the N54 has an iron block or something.
BMW lists curb weights "as typically optioned"

The 128i is typically optioned with automatic transmission, idrive, and sunroof.
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      07-03-2022, 05:21 PM   #437
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OkieSnuffBox View Post
Everything I've read says the N52 with intake/manifold/full exhaust and tune, puts down a bit more than what my S52 swapped E30 did 13 years ago.

But that S52 had the S50 intake manifold, OBD-I computer and tune, 3.5" Porsche MAF, Turner Equal-length headers and a custom full, mandrel bent 2.5" exhaust.

That put down 235/235 and was a blast in an E30.
I've long thought a N52 e30 or N52 2002 would be a glorious time. The lightness of the N52 should prevent it from undermining either car.
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      07-03-2022, 07:22 PM   #438
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Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
My one N52 has 417,000 miles on it (33 oil changes). I don't need to say much more. So the pan leaked, BFD, most pans leak eventually. OFHG, another BFD, 1 hour repair.

S motors, 50,000-mile bearing wear, so one replaces the pan gasket before it starts to leak.
The only S motor that requires rod bearing replacement is S65/S85, and it's not every 50k, either. That design is flawed as I mentioned.

I'm not sure what's noteworthy here. You can own a motor with output like a Camry V6 but still requires more maintenance than one. When people 20 years from now talk about the old days of BMW, no one is going to give a second thought to an N52. Again, a fine engine, but claiming N52 E90 is the pinnacle of BMW or the last good car they made is completely absurd.
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      07-03-2022, 10:41 PM   #439
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I've long thought a N52 e30 or N52 2002 would be a glorious time. The lightness of the N52 should prevent it from undermining either car.
Yeah, I'd love to get into the E30 game again. But I just can't bring myself to pay what a clean brings these days.
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      07-04-2022, 06:28 AM   #440
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I think he meant the s65 and s85 rod bearings are the wrong size, stock, and should be swapped with aftermarket.

Time will tell, but I think this is a misguided theory-- and as a result just put new OE rod bearings in my s85.

S54 rod bearings can have a hugely variable life span, depending how the car is driven. If you don't go over 7500rpm, they will outlast the engine. If you're on track and bump your rev limiter to, say, 8600rpm (and use it), you'll be replacing them ever 20,000 miles.

I do mine as oil analysis asks for them, which ends up being every ~100,000 miles (which, with my usage cycle, includes ~20,000 track miles... but my rev limiter is only 8300 and I try to shift at ~8000 if I'm not in a situation where it'll upset the balance of the car).

But, to my point-- I replaced the rod bearings in my M3 wagon's S54 for the first time at over 200,000 miles, and they were not yet end of life. It only saw a couple of track events.
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