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Tom Kyle

Hi Jay -

Thanks for the write up. Always glad to see articles on E36s!

You mention that converting to the M50 manifold is "not well-suited for street cars" but also state that the conversion is "a must on any S52 car." Can you clarify?


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It's good and easy to use. Beginners and pros will be very pleased to use this.

CGS intake

Intake manifold conversion can really improve horse power ratings. If you really want your car to perform well you should consider doing this upgrade.

Jay Baier

Tom, In this write up I am trying to say that this modification is not "ideal" for a sole street car. In my opinion and with my driving style the modification works well. I also have other modifications that increase the low end torque so its a balancing act.

If you were to put an M50 manifold on a bone stock S52 then you would really notice the drop in torque and the increase in mid to high end power. In my case, I have other modifications that balance it out so the loss is not drastically noticeable.

The modification is great for the track because driving on the track you are typically reving in the high RPM constantly. If you have simple modifications like the Euro HFM, software, exhaust, power pulleys then I think you would enjoy the M50.

Hopefully that answers your question. Thanks for reading.

Zack Gross

I took my car to the track for the first time last month (all I've done power-wise is the basic shark injector) and I really noticed the lack of top end power. I was wondering if the manifold swap can be feasibly done by itself, with nothing but the basic software and adapter kit. Will the A/F ratios be able to be maintained without bigger injectors or other upgrades? I know you obviously recommend such upgrades, but I don't have the money for them right now (maybe later on down the road). I DO have an M50 manifold right now though and can afford the conversion kit. I know I'll lose low-end torque, but is it worth it for the added top end power? How much can I expect to gain in power and lose in torque?

Thanks for any advice.

Jay Baier


Yes the M50 Manifold conversion can be done without any other modifications. If you have the manifold all you need is the adapter kit and you will be ready to do the conversion.

In my opinion if you are going to track the car more I think the M50 is worth it. You will notice a slight decrease in low end power on the street but as soon as you reach the 4,000 RPM mark you will see a nice boost in top end.

Overall it is a relatively cheap and easy way to make some power for the track. I actually did an M50 on a previous M3 with basic software and I enjoyed it a lot.

So basically YES it is worth it and YES you can do it without any other modifications. Down the road the injectors and Euro HFM would be great to add. I can't give you specific numbers on power but its noticeable.

Austin Steele

I did the M50 manifold conversion a few years ago and have been very happy with it. I hated the power drop off after 5k rpm before - now the engine pulls all the way to redline. I did not get a noticeable dip in midrange torque, maybe a little, but I believe the lightweight flywheel I already had in there has made up for any losses. Question: What software should I use? I have shorty headers and a Stromung muffler, but no cams, injectors or HFM. I had an AFE intake but it made no difference so put the stocker back on.

Jay Baier


Glad to hear that you are happy with your M50 manifold conversion. You can give us a call here and we can get your the correct tune. Most likely it will just be a basic TMS-Conforti Tune with an increased rev limit. You can call Drew at ext. 113 for more info.


Air Suspension Kits

Thanks for your article. I'm really looking for blogs/forum that discusses car modifications. Your article is a nice one.


._ Hey nice article. Really good work! You have a new subscriber!

CGS Motorsports

Great article and well explained. Maximizing power is what enthusiasts really do best in their cars.

Air Jordan Boutique

Excellent post. It makes me realize the energy of words and pictures. I learn a lot, thank you! Wish you make a further progress in the future.

Air Intake Kits

To bring out the best power in your car is to know the physics in it. It's a good thing you have come up with this.

Chris Levesque

Hi Jay

You mentioed in your response to the post by Austin on 9/14/11 about a tune for a M50 upgrade without cams or injectors. I am dodin the same mod and would be interested in the best softtware upgrade as well for this. You mention to call Drew at ext 113. Can you provide more info on this. Is it Drew at TMS? Thanks for the help. Chris

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