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s50b30 euro swap

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  • s50b30 euro swap

    I will be documenting my project car, culminating in a euro s50b30 swap.

    I purchased this car back in 2010 from South Carolina and exported it to Australia. Now you know why prices are going up in the US

    Here is the historical post back in 2009 for our records.

    At the time of sale, it featured:
    - US s50 3.0L
    - Stage 3 Dinan - including Chip, Euro Air Mass Flow Meter, Fuel Pressure Regulator and Strut Brace.
    - Lightweight Competition Clutch and Short Shifter
    - CAI and custom fab exhaust
    - Bilstein shocks and E36 M3 quick ratio rack and pinion
    - BBS RC090
    - AC converted to R134a

    Some pictures of the car from the seller back in 2010.

    To cut a long story short, a lot of paperwork was required to get the car exported out of the US. Credit to those in the US who helped me with this process.

    The car took a long journey making its way to Australia via South Africa. At the time it was offloaded in Durban, during World Cup 2010. The car interior was vandalized, with paint, so I had to redo the interior back in Australia :-(

    I managed to fix it with a mobile leather repairman coming out. He did a great job. Overtime I changed the steering wheel and added some bling gauges.


  • #2
    Over time, upgrades were made to the car including:

    VAC Carbon Fiber evo wing

    AKG Solid bushings, diff, subframe and RTABs.

    H&R Sport Springs to reduce the ride height

    From this:

    to this:

    Changed the flywheel back to an e36 m3 dual mass and new clutch. Much better for street driving.

    I got a carbon front splitter made up from They supply body parts to teams competing in the British Touring Car Championships. I was unable to source the undertray at reasonable prices, so some improvisation required.

    The Sekruit windscreen cracked over winter and I had to replace it. It had many pitts and needed replacing anyway. Given the e30 m3 is not sold in Australia, sourcing one locally would be problematic. However that was not the case. My insurance company windscreen contractor sourced one locally. A chinese company called "Fujian" makes aftermarket screens for us. It is actually not bad and has green tinting at the top to reduce sun glare.

    Some small rust on the cowl

    Nothing better than having perfect glass to see out of.

    I added a Simota carbon air intake. Really it is just a carbon heat shield

    Looking clean after a well deserved car wash

    Overall the US s50 was a decent engine. Whilst the US s50 engine was not available in Australia, m50 parts were very easy to get in order to maintain the US s50. 5 speed close ratio gearbox mated to a 2.93 diff. Car had decent power and torque.

    However having the US s50 did not feel right for the car and I have always wanted to put a proper M engine into it. I would of been one of a very small handful of M cars in Australia to not have an M engine (unless they went Ls1 or JDM RB26 route).

    Putting an s14 was an option however was too expensive, hard to source parts locally and unfortunately under powered on the street.

    After a few years of waiting for the right deal, I found a s50b30 and pounced on it. It needed some TLC however. It came with the ECU DME 075 and Euro Headers

    more to follow



    • #3
      I scored an unwanted heavily modified VFT Carbon airbox suited for an e30. from another s50b30 e30 build in Australia.

      It accommodates for the brake booster location and is a work of art. The fabrication allows me to run the air filter inside e46 m3 CSL style, using a VW Passat panel filter, for maximum airflow. This saves me space, especially because the ABS would compromise the airfilter if I had to run it externally as you see in other s50b30 swaps using a carbon airbox.

      For now, I will run with the MAF, using an adaptor that the air-box came with and will experiment with Alpha-N mode perhaps later.

      I'll let the pictures do the talking.

      This is how it looked on the previous owner's s50b30.



      • #4
        Looking good! How does the air box sound?


        • #5
          Originally posted by jayrouse529 View Post
          Looking good! How does the air box sound?
          Hopefully it will sound similar to the previous owner however once I get it up running I'll get you some videos.

          Its been difficult sourcing some parts for the engine. Despite this engine coming with e36 m3 here in Australia, some parts must be ordered from Germany / UK.

          For example the cam sensors for the intake and exhaust. Actually I got these from No idea why they are in USA, given s50b30 specific. I got the last set, lucky me.

          12141401889 is the intake cam sensor
          12141401890 is the exhaust cam sensor

          This breather pipe 11151401194, also very difficult to source. I managed to get one from It is called "Entlüftungsrohr Ölabscheider"

          So the engine is in

          The stock euro headers are unable to clear the subframe & sway bar without significant rework. For now I have got Supersprint Ebay replicas. Probably lost some hp here, but without some significant $$ and skill to fabricate the 6th runner. Feedback from e36 owners on the ebay replica is good however.

          Powdercoated valve cover, looking good.

          Test fitting of the carbon airbox

          Today the engine was started for the first time to test and it went well. Sound clips will provided soon



          • #6
            So I am unable to have the MAF running as the sensor I have from the US S50 is not compatible. I am also unable to use the o2 senors on the replica exhausts due to position of the headers being blocked.

            Regardless for now I am running in Alpha-N mode. Will be investigating an alpha-n chip which hopefully will improve the rough idle on low rpm.

            Sound sound of the engine start up.


            Comparing the engine to the US S50, the US engine powercurve is definately in the lower rpms fwhereas euro comes alive in high rpms.

            US s50 sounded more deeper vs euro more refined and sharper exhaust note.

            Powerwise down low, not too much difference with the euro feeling slight faster. Up high rpms it feels amazing and much faster than the US S50.

            some completed pictures of the engine bay



            • #7
              How are you running the Alpha N setup? I had an issue where the Alpha N setup was somehow flashed onto a stock ECU (allegedly), but a month or so later the smell of fuel in the car was insane. Enough so that you couldn't even drive the car anymore. Kinda assumed the fuel map was possibly corrupt and it was dumping fuel, but was never positive of what happened exactly. Took the car off the road shortly after that to address other issues.


              • #8
                As the s50b30 is obd1, ecu can not be flashed per se. I got a custom tuned chip for alpha n mode as opposed to running mafless limp mode.

                It has 2 chips, one for the ecu and one for the vanos controller. A big difference compared to limp mode, idle is smooth and no longer runs rich as before.

                Here is me replacing the DME 075 Chip

                and here is the seperate vanos controller

                The s50b32 has the vanos controller built into the ECU as far as I am aware.

                makes a massive difference having o2 sensors running, as the alpha n tuning requires this to properly run.



                • #9
                  Wow so alot has happened since the last post. The 2.93 LSD did not compliment the s50b30 power as it took too long to wind up the power given kicks in around 5000rpm to about 8000rpm

                  I got new diff parts from diff lab, including new bearings, seals and clutch packs. Picture of the 2.93 diff being rebuilt to a 3.25 from a e28. Abit more zippy off the line and winds up faster than the 2.93 without killing me too much on the highway. e36 m3 ZF 5 speed gearbox for reference.

                  2.93 LSD

                  E28 medium case LSD rebuilt 3.25

                  Coated the headers with some VHT exhaust spray paint. Whilst not as good as a professional ceramic coat, the VHT does make a noticeable difference in temperature for the headers.

                  Not as nice as the RB9 that visited town, was amazed by the manifolds and could stare at them all day

                  Now that the car was running Alpha N, a base dyno run only produced 175rwhp which was significantly lower than expected. Tweaked the throttle cable to be responsive as the ITBs may not have been fully opened on the initial run. On the second run it ran 206rwhp. Assuming a 30% drive train loss it is only making appox 270hp at crank which is under the 286hp stock. Certainly the ebay US headers are not helping in addition to vanos issues.

                  I hope with changing the vanos unit that it will assist with mid-range power to improve my dyno readings.


                  Obtained a rebuilt Dr Vanos unit from another e30 s50b30 euro Aussie car. :-) have yet to swap this vanos unit.


                  Came across another e30 M3 owner who took out the local rally historical class. A very nice build.


                  Attended a few local car meets and some other nice cars to see. A Ford XR8 in the background.

                  Brakes started making some squealing so time to re-grease pads and guide pins. Need to buy a 7mm allen socket piece as I only have a allen key for the guide pins.


                  Replaced the brake sensors due to the pad warning light being triggered even though pads were fine. Will install some stainless steel HEL ADR approved lines later.


                  Saw the Jim Richards ATCC championship car and got all excited with the JPS livery.


                  Took a few chiped parts to the body shop for a respray. Apparently the front bumper had been sprayed times! Quality paint work by a local shop. Took the BBS Style 5 off for the centers to be redone gold/bronze


                  Some new black and gold BBS logos onto the hub cap to match.

                  Put everything all back together and threw away the red bumper tape. Good bye red, hello gold! Flame suit on, but let me know what you think? Personally I love it.



                  • #10
                    Added some new gear and ebrake covers.

                    Trial a black and gold colour scheme. What do you think?

                    This is what the euro s50b30 sounds like after taking it out onto the track.

                    Swapped the vanos unit with a rebuilt Dr Vano unit.



                    • #11
                      Based on the initial dyno runs, it was evident we were not making stock power and also running too rich. The ebay chip was not suitable for my set up. I decided to get a EMU Classic ECU, as it had all the functions I needed, within my budget.

                      Main thing to note is that I am running with a MAP Sensor and RPM as opposed to TPS and RPM. MAP and TPS does not work too well under load for idle situations, however with more time a 3D map could be achieved for ultimate flexibility. I am also running an O2 Wideband sensor and the we have got the AFR just right. I installed the George Graves display unit and it looks really good.

                      Dropped the car off to Hyperdrive Motorsport for the install and custom dyno tuning. If anyone needs the euro s50b30 engine wiring schematics, let me know. Nice Ford Cosworth :-)

                      Ending up making substantial increase in rwhp ~25rwhp in the midrange and a significant increase in torque ~40ft. This can definitely be felt. Car pulls alot harder now. The top end didn't improve too much more and may reflect the condition of the engine. Other euro e36 pulled 215 rwhp on this same dyno and a freshly rebuilt e36 m3 did 225 rwhp. Taking into account the differences in conditions compared to those runs with this being done in summer, this is pretty good.

                      The green line is the original dyno result and red line the new custom tune on the EMU ECU.

                      Got myself a new present, 370mm Mtech 2 wheel with Alcantra. Covered it with a layer of 3M Scotch Guard Fabric Protector from the sweaty hands.

                      It does get pretty damn hot in Australia, so aircon is a must in a black car. I am pretty happy with how the aircon is performing for a retrofitted 134a system. It does not blow ice cold, but cold enough to keep you cool without loss of gas over time.

                      Thoughts on the Z4M? I absolutely love it's ass.



                      • #12
                        I think you forgot to upload the photos.


                        • #13
                          Ah the websites hosting the images have expired. I'll have to reupload when I get a chance.


                          • #14
                            Re uploading photos - Here are some pictures when I purchased the car from South Carolina


                            • #15
                              Added a VAC Motorsport Evo Carbon wing and Carbon front splitter from ABS Motorsport