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Help with purchased engine

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  • Help with purchased engine

    Hey Guys.

    I could do with a bit of help please. I purchased my car off an auction site back in October and have been assured that the engine that is in the car has been put together around 600 miles. The last owner broke the engine in steady for 500 miles and then ran it for another 100 miles. The engine has a limiter on it which is set at 6000 rpm. However after we have fixed a few other long time storage related issues such as brakes, suspension, ill fitting exhaust etc, I would like to take it to a specialist to get tuned.

    The spec of the engine is as follows:-

    S14 2.5ltr block - Lightened & Balanced crank
    Extra Webbing & cooling oil jets
    Arrow Precision Rods
    JE Forged Pistons
    Group A style Head
    312/292 motorsport cams
    38.5/32.5 Sodium Filled Exhaust Valves
    29.5 ports
    SRD7 Springs
    48mm throttle bodies
    50/55 4 into 2 evo 3 manifold.
    Compression Ratio 12.0:1
    Carbon Fibre Airbox 18cm runners

    Maxx Alpha N ECU

    Any help or advice you can give will be greatly received, it would be helpful to know what to expect from the engine, expected rpm ceiling with this spec & who you would recommend to tune it.

    May thanks

  • #2
    Where are you located?


    • #3
      Car is in Hull


      • #4
        That should be a pretty stout engine. Great build specs. A lot goes into determining redline, and most of it centers around the valve train and it's limitations. You need to get your arms around what your valve train build spec is in order to determine what its RPM limitations are:

        Step #1 is to verify what type of valve shim arrangement you have.You need to determine if the valve shims are "shim-under bucket" type. Given the rest of your build spec, my guess is they likely are, but there's no guarantee given their cost. SRD7 springs are normally used in full-on race engines that employ shim-under buckets. If the engine does not have shin-under, then it has stock arrangement of "shim on top" of bucket which is much heavier, and, the shim discs can liberate themselves when the valve floats at high RPM's and can cause *lots* of damage under the cam cover. Determining shim type is one *very* important factor to identify what RPM you can safely rev to.

        Step #2 is to verify what type of valve keepers and upper retainers you have. My concern is that your "38.5/32.5mm sodium filled valves" are likely stock Sport EVO valves with triple groove keepers which are built for road cars that rev to no more than 8200 RPM's. These are pretty heavy valves in comparison to race valves. My concern is that heavy stock valves with triple groove retainers don't behave well at higher RPM's. High RPM's are all about valve control, and heavy valves make for poor valve control. For full-on high RPM race engines, I like to use lightweight race valves with single groove keepers. If yours are indeed stock valves, in addition to being heavy, I'm also concerned about what upper retainers were used to mate with the SRD7 springs. Stock valves should normally have stock upper retainers that accommodate triple groove keepers. SRD7 springs with stock retainers would be an unusual pairing and concerning to me as that's not a normal configuration. My concern is a poorly matched upper valve configuration can lead to keepers that come apart at high RPM's which leads to a dropped valve and big damage. More needs to be known about the valve train in order to determine what their RPM limit may be. So, you need to verify precisely which valves they are, and if they are triple groove or single groove keepers, and what upper retainers are used along with the SRD7 springs.

        If you can't determine what shim type and / or valve arrangement you have, then I would NOT rev over 8,000 RPM which should keep you away from the RPM's where catastrophic failures occur. If you determine that you have shim-under valve buckets and lightweight single-groove race valves with proper retainers matched to SRD7 springs, you should be able to rev well over 8000 RPM, and depending on your oiling, perhaps as high as 9000.

        Hope this helps, and congrats of what looks to be an awesome car!
        Ron C.
        Ron ///Man

        • '91 Gr-A Former CiBiEmme / Ravaglia - Sold
        • '90 M3 Faux EVOII Alpineweiss 36K Orig Owner - The Queen
        • '91 M3 Faux EVO III Brilliantrot Euro Driveline - The Rocket
        • '91 M3 Faux Gr-A Club Racer DM - The Alter EGO
        • '89 M3 M3T / ITR Club Racer
        • '94 Spec E36 - Eh....
        • '09 M3 - Tarmac Terrorist
        • '04 330Xi Sport 6 Speed - Snowmobile
        • '07 530 Xi - Highway Star


        • #5
          Silly redundant +1 to ALL of what Ron posted above.
          That engine sounds great, should be a blast to drive.
          The transmission is everything with getting the most out of those engines.
          jimmy p.
          87 E30 M3 Prodrive British Touring Car
          88 E30 M3 Zinnoberot - Street
          88 E30 M3 Lachsilber - Race (#98 SCCA SPU)
          92 E30 M Technic Cabrio - S14 POWERED!
          98 318Ti M44, Base - Morea Green
          04 Ford F350 - V10


          • #6
            That has the makings of a great motor. I have a very similar valvetrain with shim under bucket, same cams and instake / exhaust for the most part but with a 2.3l and the car makes great power. You'll love it for sure. Luckily you are in the UK so there are plenty of places that can take care of you out there.

            I have no direct experience but I understand Munich Legends has a great reputation


            • #7
              Sounds nice, if you mean Hull in England, I used to live in the UK and Paul Shepard was a good go to for tuning in the e30 M3 community. Think his user name on here is shepsevo3 and he’s also on the FB group, not sure if he’s still operating, it was 10 years ago but I’ve seen him comment recently.


              • #8
                Many good advices here... Sounds like a very good start for an engine.. just follow the above posts


                • #9
                  Hey Gents, thanks for all your feedback. Jimmy, i'm unsure what box it has in at the moment, the suspension is getting rebuilt by Leda at the moment so once its all back we can take it out and see what it feels like.

                  Ron many thanks for your help, lots of info there. I've been doing a bit of forum digging and managed to fill a few blanks:-

                  The valves fitted weigh in at 62 grams & are MS cams (Motorsport?)
                  Shims are under buckets.

                  It appears as though the engine was originally Spec'd by a member on here that goes by the name or Adrian H ( He in turn took advice from another forum member who's handle is John ( who it seems is/was very knowledgeable about S14 engines. It seems both members dropped off the forum sometime around 2005/2006. I have sent an email to John but so far had nothing back however he dropped off the forum in May 2006. It looks like John Sold Alpha N at some point? Adrian dropped off the forum around Oct 2005

                  There are plenty of back & forth's between the 2 members



                  The previous owner of my car Kevin says that he purchased the engine off Adrian around 15 years ago, i have searched the forum but been unable to locate the for sale thread. It may have been deleted. Consequently he took the car off the road, removed the sunroof, seam welded it, repainted it etc, then had a disagreement with the chap who was doing the refurb job. So i'm unsure how long the engine has been laid up for but its pretty safe to say it has been quite a time.


                  • #10
                    Sending you a PM with John's contact information.


                    • #11
                      Great engine spec! What Auction (site) was it on?
                      Unbelievable how somebody goes to this extent of engine build and then loses interest. It was all about the journey I guess.

                      Anyway, posted to add: John set up and has a forum there too: