N20 engine swap

image Ok I was a busy boy today,,,,I dropped that N20 motor and trans today,,,,I got the new motor today,,,,got the motor in 1 day because there was only one N20 engine in all of America ,,,,,so we got a rush on it before someone else got the engine.image This motor is very easy to remove,,,plenty of room in the engine compartment,,,,,hopefully I can do the job in the aloud factory time limit of 16 hour,,,,,today of 6 hours of work,,,,I removed the engine and trans,,,removed the old engine,,,swapped over the new engine,,,,and swapped over the intake manifold,alternator,a/c compressor and starter motor,,,,tomorrow hopefully I can finish it,,,,that would be nice,,,,,what to get done with this motor.

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45 Responses to N20 engine swap

  1. ninja_zx11 says:

    Good work my friend!!


    • a.a. says:

      You are quick!


      • Thanks,,,,but my old body is paying for it now,,,,,lol


      • AM J says:

        Hi, and thank you for the valuable information that you share. I have an X3, F25, 2012, ECE version with N20 engine. Two years ago I had to rebuilt my engine (caused by a broken piston) and the car was fine after repair. Few days ago, the piston of cylinder 3 was broken again. I towed my car to my mechanic’s shop and after removing the engine and inviting an expert from a machine shop to check the engine block and head, they told me that my engine block should be replaced. Now, they offer a N26 engine (from an X3, 2016) to be replaced in my car. Is it possible to use N26 engine instead of my old N20 engine? I know about their major difference in emission regulating systems (ULEV vs SULEV which I don’t care), but shoould I worry about any mismatch or something else?


      • The N26 won’t work with your car,,,the engine harness and dime are different,,,you have to stick with what you have sorry


  2. An Lam says:

    did you have to calibrate the ecu for the new engine? I did an N20 swap on an F10 body and I can’t get the engine to start. It fouls plugs almost immediately


  3. Lenny says:

    Is it an AWD chassis? Because KSD allocates almost 50 hours to engine r/r procedure in 328xi/528xi


    • KSD only 16 hours for N20 engine swap,,,AWD can’t be that much more,,,,I don’t know anything that pays 50 hours,,,I rebuilt a N56 with a new block and pistons and swap over crankshaft only pays me 26 hours


  4. UltimateDrivingMachine says:

    Hello BMW tech. I recently read an article that made me kind of mad. It was an article about engine reliability and engine failures. The article was fairly new too. It ranked BMW as the 2nd to last in engine failures. I thought BMW engines were pretty reliable and made to drive hard? How reliable is the N51/N52 engine in your experience? How many miles do they usually last? Thank you for your input as always!


  5. UltimateDrivingMachine says:

    Good to know the engine is reliable. What do you think about the GM transmissions on the 328i coupes? Are they reliable?


  6. Darren says:

    Hi, I did a engine swap on my n20 328i and now I have vibration only at 800-1000rpm revving up or rpmdown. The symptoms exist in P/N/D at the same rpm range. I replaced engine mount, checked downpipe fitment, replaced o2 sensors, crank pulley and belt tensioner.

    Do you have any clue what I can check next? The replaced engine was 3000miles old by the way.


  7. turbocharged says:

    Hello, i got N20 with a broken timing chain. Should i rebuild it since its an interference engine, or just swap it out? if i swap it out, anything special i gotta do, in regards to reprograming anything? Whats the software for the injector calibration, e-sys? NCSexpert? thank you!


    • I would rebuild it if there was no damage to the Pistons at the cylinder head and valves,,,,,if they are damaged then I would do a engine swap,,,you will have to calibrate injectors or swap over your old injectors and put them into the same cylinders


  8. michalthenerd says:

    Hey bmwtechnician, thank you so much for all your helpful advice and information, especially with the N20 Timing chain/turbo oil feed line stuff.

    My 2013 X3 just seized up at 72k miles, i’m likely going to have to replace the engine completely. Do you know if there’s any compatibility issues between N20’s in terms of AWD -> AWD cars or RWD -> AWD?

    Got any advice for the replacement?
    I’m a mechanical engineer so I’ve got the affinity for it but I’d rather ask the seasoned professional/expert, your knowledge is much more valuable than anything else.

    Also, since BMW is in court this next week for the timing chain issue/oil pump again for an extension, do you happen to know if BMW had covered costs by people doing work themselves as opposed to going into a shop and having it done there?

    Thanks brother. Love from New York


    • Yes I would stick with the same engine RWD with RWD and AWD with AWD nothing comes to mind but knowing BMW there probably is something stupid different with the engines,,,,lol,,,,,and no we haven’t heard anything with customers being covered on cost for doing there own repairs,,,,the only time BMW did that was on the E46 rear taillights would burn out due to a bad ground in the taillight,,,,I can’t see BMW paying anyone back if they don’t have to.


  9. M W says:

    Hey BMWtechnician, Best BMW Blog on the net!
    So I bought a 2013 BMW F25 that’s had its engine replaced. Looking at the BMW dealer invoice, Exchange Short Engine p/n 11-00-2-420-311 is listed and although it has the word “short” in it and a lot of parts catalogs show a generic image of a cylinder block instead of an entire engine, is this p/n really a remanufactured long block?

    I’m inclined to think so as the cylinder head has a Feb2015 casting date on it and if I look in the oil filler hole, I see a bearing cap that appears to have an ’18 date stamp. I really want to know what this engine is – mainly to figure out if what kind of timing chain troubles I might be facing in the future… I might also guess that BMW contracts someone here in the USA to reman core returns… You happen to notice where those old engines get shipped to?

    Thanks a million… Cheers to 2021?!?!


    • So it sounds like the used a reman short block and reused the old cylinder head,,,,now hopefully they installed a new timing chain and rails,,,,the reman engines are all done by BMW no outside contracts,,,,the only outside contract is for BMW seats are made by a outside company.


  10. Ronnie Smith says:

    Can I use an N26 engine long block to replace my N20 that took a dump? Realize I will have to use components from my n20 2012 BMW 328i automatic


    • No that will not work,,,wiring harnesses and DME are not a match,,,,also some of the other components from the N20 will not work on the N26


      • Ronnie Smith says:

        Thanks and apologies for the double post. Didn’t think first one went through. Appreciate you clarifying. There a lot of misinformation floating around online. Glad I dug a little deeper.


  11. Ronnie Smith says:

    Hello BMWtechnician.
    The n20 in my 2012 328i automatic took a dump and I’m looking to replace it with aN engine from a salvage car. Will a n26 long block work? Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • AM Jahan says:

      Hi Ronnie, I am in the same situation. Did you replaced N26 Block instead of your dump N20 block?


      • Ronnie Smith says:

        No it is still broken and sitting my garage. We bought a Passat. Figure if I come across a good N20 that I can afford I’ll get it. I saw an article online that indicated they were nearly identical but apparently(per the answer to my question above) you can’t replace an n20 with an n26.


  12. AM Jahan says:

    Hi and thanks a lot for sharing valuable contents. Is it possible to replace an used N26 engine (in good condition) instead of a damaged N20 engine? Is there something to worry about? I mean only replacing the head and the cylinder block of an N26 engine and their internal parts (and not valve cover, DME, turbo, oil pan, oil pump, wastegate and etc) instead of corresponding parts in old N20 engine )with pneumatic waste gate). You kind reply is appreciated.


  13. Simon says:

    Hi Andreas, Hope you and your family had a good 4th of July weekend! Do you happen to know the difference between Engine short block 11002420310 and its replacement 11002420311? My mechanic is doing an N20 engine swap, and other than some extra parts, no one seems to be able to highlight the differences. Do they have a different timing chain rails plastic in it?


  14. Jeff says:

    bmwtechnician, my 2014 328i n20 timing chain guides failed (133,000). Dealer says replace engine. I’ve sourced an N20 out of a 2013 X3….both AWD. My question is, the “new” engine has the Pneumatic Wastegate Solenoid…mine the EWG. Looks like the bracketing could be changed allowing me to use my EWG. If I am going to use my wiring harness, computer, etc.. can I use my EWG in place of the PWG? Thank you


  15. Ryan says:

    I have a 2014 X1 sdrive 2.8s that came with the N20, can I swap in a N55? Will that work with the transmission?


    • It should work with the transmission,,,but nothing else will,,,,you are talking DME,,engine harness,,radiator, hoses,a/c system and hoses,,,might have issue with subframe and mounting issue,,,it not worth it and then it still might not work correctly


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