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

From outside of the car, the K&N air filter and freed up intake really produced a nice induction noise.

Back on the dyno for the third and final time of the day. By further freeing up the intake, adding larger fuel injectors, and optimizing the tune, the TMS Stage 2 made huge gains in power and torque across the board. The S52 screamed to the note of 226whp @ 6,375rpm and 208 lb-ft @ 4,375rpm; A 15whp and 9 lb-ft torque gain over the manifold alone which puts us at 24whp over stock. On average, there is a 7 lb-ft torque gain across the entire rev range with as much as a 19 lb/ft gain @ 5,000rpm.

The Turner Motorsport Stage 2 system almost completely restores the mid-range torque lost from our larger manifold while yielding significant gains from 4,150rpm all of the way to the new 7,000rpm redline. The 24whp gain from the M50 Manifold and TMS Stage 2 takes our 240hp S52 up to 268hp at the crank (Assuming the same 15.8% drivetrain loss).

We in fact did see the advertised 15whp gain over the otherwise stock M50 manifold-equipped S52 for a total of 226whp. This puts the TMS Stage 2 and M50 Manifold at a 25whp gain over stock for less than $2,000 (assuming a $100 manifold) which is better than the $100 per hp rule-of-thumb for naturally aspirated gains. Thanks to the TMS Stage 2 package, there are virtually no losses in power in the daily driving RPM range while there are massive gains above 4,000rpm all the way to redline. Overall the TMS Stage 2 and the M50 manifold on top of it is one heck of a deal.

Driving the TMS Stage 2 + M50 manifold on the street is addictive, it completely transformed the car. The first thing that stood out was the dominating induction noise at wide open throttle, which is reminiscent of an E92 M3. The car is far from loud and is as quiet as stock under normal driving conditions. The new Shark tuning really improved the part-throttle response of the motor as well. Mid-range power below 4,000rpm feels identical to stock and where the stock car felt like it was running out of steam and laboring from 4,500 to redline, the motor now revs quickly and effortlessly and pulls hard all of the way to its new 7,000rpm redline and feels more like an S2000, NSX, or E46 & 92 M3 –and its flatter torque graph reflects that.

The Turner Motorsports Stage 3 includes everything from the Stage 2 but adds the (264/256 degree) Schrick cams and a revised Shark Injector tune.

The stock S52 cams have a 252* intake and 244* exhaust duration with 10.2mm of lift. The new Schrick cams have a duration of 264* for the intake and 256* for the exhaust side, with 11.2mm lift.

Unfortunately we were unable to perform this final install and dyno on the same day due to time constraints and the need for specialty tools that many BMW shops have or that you can buy or rent yourself. This last and final dyno will not be as perfectly comparable as our previous runs but should be as good as any comparison out there. We were eager to see the new gains since the subjective difference between the Stage 2 and the new cam-equipped Stage 3 felt like just as large of a jump in performance as going from stock to Stage 2 had.


  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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