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Thread: ABS for Sportster?

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  1. #1 ABS for Sportster? 
    regular forum contributor Club Member
    Join Date
    May 2018
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    17
    Hi my first posting ....joined MOC few months ago,

    Kit car has been on my bucket list for a while and I decided on the Marlin Sportster however there have been a few things to sort out before buying the kit namely somewhere to put it. Self Build new garage construction started in May and is finally nearing completion (planning conditions meant it had to match the house brickwork /tiles etc if you are wondering about the time its taken me?!)hoping to be done in next few months as I also have the drive to repair as well before I start tinkering in the garage says Mrs B .............but onto the query...........bought a 330i in anticipation to use as a doner in orange(rust) and blue livery and faulty ABS and was considering whether to sort the ABS out while the car is still drive-able before starting the strip down. I wasn't sure if I read somewhere that its not possible to fit ABS in the kit? Also not sure how the electrics transfer to the new fascia display in terms of the BMW warning lamps etc or whether these are disabled or substituted in the main? For reasons of space will probably start the strip down this winter and order the kit for assembly next spring any advice would be welcome on what is worth saving on the doner

    Cheers Berry
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  2. #2 Re: ABS for Sportster? 
    frequent forum contributor Club Member Mike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Gosberton, South Lincs
    Posts
    1,379
    Hi Berry

    Welcome to the club - the Sportster is a fabulous car to look at, and if built well, will be a beauty to drive.

    I started to try to put some useful advice together, but think it would be a lot easier to have a chat.
    I've left some of my thoughts below for the benefit of anyone else considering your choice of donor, in the hope it helps.

    Marlin do not tell you how you will be able to run the M54 engine in the Sportster, and it is a lot more complex than they let you believe, and ten times more complicated than you currently think........... ABS will be the least of your worries!

    To the best of my knowledge I don't believe there is anyone in the club who has installed an M54B30 engine in a Sportster.

    There have been a couple of guys who have tried to install M52B28TU engines (the predecessor, and very similar to the M54B30 engine, but without Drive-by-wire) that found it impossible to run. One abandoned that engine, and went for an earlier model which is less difficult to sort out electrically: the other built his Sportster, but then could not get it to run continuously and gave up on the his project for 4-5 years until I found someone who could re-code the ECU to get it running .......... but before you think "problem solved", you might like to ask him what it cost!
    He has a thread on the Madaboutkitcars website:
    http://www.madabout-kitcars.com/foru...ead.php?t=2512

    14 years ago I wanted to install the M54B30 in my Cabrio - (the Sportster chassis was developed straight from the Cabrio, so the engine bay is almost identical), but decided against it due to the electronic engine management complexity, and chose the M50B25 (from an early E36). Its a doddle to wire up by comparison.

    However, in the intervening years a very small number of clever individuals have developed the know-how to re-code the ECU allowing the engine to run in a swapped chassis.
    Like you are intending, I have now bought an E46 330i and had a software developer re-code the ECU, and before I agreed to pay for it, had him show me it running an M54 engine in a mule chassis.

    I have not swapped my M54B30 engine into my Cabrio yet, - (due to a family bereavement), but setting aside the mechanical installation, believe it will fit and run continuously.

    How much research have you undertaken into BMW engines?

    There are other options which will be easier to get running: but having said that, for me, the M54B30 is the best. The low down torque is immense, and flat delivery curve make it an excellent road car engine - better in my opinion, than the S50B32 (E36 M3 engine) which certainly has more top end horsepower (300HP vs 240HP) but only delivers it at crazy RPM, and at speeds which exceed the national limits in second gear!
    In a road car torque is more useful, and the M54 delivers that in spades from 1,500- 5,500rpm.

    If you want a chat send me a pm, and I'll pass you my number.

    Good luck with your research, and I hope you decide to go for it - but in the full knowledge of what it is going to entail!
    Last edited by Mike; 08-10-2018 at 07:27 PM.
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  3. #3 Re: ABS for Sportster? 
    frequent forum contributor Club Member b_caswell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    SE London
    Posts
    2,170
    My previous car was a E46 323 and the main dash computer died and it took the dealership a whole week to get the new one to talk to the car. Ended up being left wired to a computer online to Munich for two days.

    This may be useful reading...http://www.stavtech.co.uk/home/the-b...estroying-flaw
    Ben Caswell probably not the last word on anything here!!
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  4. #4 Re: ABS for Sportster? 
    regular forum contributor Club Member
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    17
    Thanks Mike ---This is starting to become slightly daunting after looking at the suggested thread!
    According to Marlin "electrics " are always a problem and ABS was optional
    I did ask them whether auto transmission was an option and they said no because of the size of the gearbox-- main reason being that there are far more potential doners available with auto boxes out there but anyway I managed to find a Manual...............
    Oh well mine could be the first M54B30 Marlin on the road think positive Berry
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