Tested: S52 vs. M50 Manifold and the TMS Stage 2 & 3 Packages for the BMW E36 M3

Here you can see our bone stock 3.2L S52 with 199,000 miles on the clock.

E36 BMW stock Dyno

Strapped to Draco Performance’s AWD Mustang Dyno (Based in Mooresville, NC), our test car pulled an impressive 202whp and 202 lb-ft of torque. This is on par with other Mustang Dyno charts on the web. From the factory rated 240hp, this would mean there’s a 15.8% drivetrain loss.

Stock E36 m3 dyno

Not bad for our bone stock S52 with its original headers, cams, catalytic converters, muffler, and over 199K on the clock.

draco performance barry bodine

Here we see owner of Draco Performance, Barry Bodine (yes, from the NASCAR family of Bodines) removing the engine cover. Barry is an East-Coast expert on Import Tuner cars with a shop full of Subaru’s as far as the eye can see, a few domestics, and even an R33 GTR. He brings professional motorsports methods and standards to the tuner world – which is rare and so nice to see and work with.

s52 dissasembly

The airbox, HFM, throttle body, and fuel rail removed and all of the holes are plugged up.  The intake manifold is now ready for removal.


  1. I’m trying to find any before/after tests of the 1995 S50 3.0L engine when installing the TMS stage 3 kit. I’m trying to decide if it is worth it. Would you expect similar results?

  2. I have upgraded my own 1999 M3 using a cold air intake, a Porsche 903 MAF, 24# injectors, removal of the ESC hardware, an RK tunes re-flash, and a Billy Boat cat-back system. I had the car dyno-ed and achieved average of 234 wheel horsepower (approx. 279 flywheel). I can feel a mild loss of mid-range torque with this setup. I AM INTERESTED in any follow up mods you guys may have done; I am thinking about a Shrick cam upgrade, and I want to do more with the exhaust side, such as shorty headers and larger exhaust piping. I am not smart enough to handle the exhaust system changes – I need someone with engineering expertise in exhaust systems to help me. If you guys have done any follow up articles on your experiences, I would appreciate a link or some contact with me as a follow up to this e-mail. Look forward to a response. Thanks, William Lee. 702-539-1421. Fort Worth, Tx

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