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

The Schrick cams from the Turner Motorsport Stage 3 package significantly increased the torque over the entire RPM range and produced a prominent ‘hump’ between 3,750-5,5000rpm.

As you can see, the cams really bumped the torque output of our 3.2L motor across the board with an average of 19lb/ft gain over the Stage 2 and peaking at 225lb/ft of torque at 4,250rpm, a 23lb-ft gain over stock! Horsepower is up significantly in the mid range (32hp gain at 4,250rpm) and netting a peak of 235whp at 6,400rpm. The torque improvement did taper off slightly a little higher up in the revs which affected our peak HP, but this could be easily accounted for by choked and clogged 14 year old catalytic converters and a stock muffler with almost 200K on the clock. With the engine flowing much better thanks to freeing up the intake system of the car, we would expect any improvements to the exhaust (which is now our bottleneck) would yield significant gains, especially at higher RPM.

Here you can see gains across the board with the Turner Motorsport Stage 3 kit with an M50 manifold. The massive torque gain starts as low as 2,500rpm and continues all the way to redline where there’s a 33whp peak gain.

Here’s an overlay of the baseline stock dyno compared to the TMS Stg 2 kit vs. the cammed Stg 3.

On the street the car is a riot. Now with 280hp on tap (still assuming the same 15.8% drivetrain loss), the car feels like a completely different animal and pulls harder than ever before at any RPM and urges you to constantly take it to redline. The increased mid-range torque really woke the car up and launches you out of a corner with a level of grunt that puts a smile on your face. This torque increase also makes it much easier to break the rear tires loose for on-throttle happiness and sustained sideways shenanigans.

While the addition of the Turner Motorsport Stage 3 cams did not net us a huge gains in peak power – which again could easily be due to our old restrictive exhaust, it did significantly improved the torque in the low and mid-range and makes the car a lot more fun throughout the powerband and for daily driving. For about $1,000 more than the the Stage 2 package, the peak power and especially the torque gains are well worth it for either street or track and is one heck of a deal to boost the output of the S52 equipped E36 M3s. We expect to see significant gains in power by freeing up the exhaust side of our S52. Stay tuned!


Turner Motorsport

Draco Performance


  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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