Barbies & Unicorns.

Barbies & Unicorns.

"In this Special Series, I'm taking on a new challenge of diminishing returns with the M3 V8. I'm cammin' the S65 with Schrick's 292 camshaft kit: the biggest VANOS compatible cams. 

On this entry, I unbox the freshly received cams from Germany. I dive into the intentions & plans to install and measure improvements."

It's undocumented. 

I have had an interest in camming the V8 for a few years, researching what little information I could find, talking with a few owners & tuners with hands on experiences along with discussions directly with Schrick.

This is a rather undocumented upgrade package for the 4.0 V8. My intentions are to bring some form of clarity to this upgrade package, and hopefully give you more data in deciding whether it's right for your build, or not. 

I will be documenting the installation with the help of InnovAuto, break-in procedures, tuning, and real world results on the dyno and the street. I am doing this upgrade alongside a fellow V8 owner & EuroConnex member: we are sharing notes throughout.

I set out my goals with a few tongue-in-cheek questions on my Instagram reel here

Will I hit 400whp?
Will it idle like a LS?
Will my 100-200 kph times improve?
Is there bang for your buck?
But but but what about tuning?
Titanium what now?
Does it all matter if you’re having fun in the process? 


The forum blabla. 

Aw! Forums, lots of good, some great, and a lot of ugly. You could have your picks at which topics embodies this the most with the M3 V8, I go for the 292 Schrick cams discussion. 

The dynamics around cams are interesting: purchasing, fitting and tuning for them is an expensive proposition. Most owners that can afford cams can't afford the time to argue with anonymous would-be owners about dyno slips.

More often than not, cam upgrades are handled by race teams and motorsport shops that don't bother with forums. 

Those dynamics end up creating a "if you know, you know" situation, compounded by confusing, limited technical information provided by Schrick themselves. 

The duration question. 

The S65 is somewhat unique amongst its S54 and S85 brothers. Both the S54 and S85 have larger intake duration lobe whereas S65 shares the same duration on the intake and exhaust side, using 256 duration cams with 11.35mm of lift.

Below you're seeing the difference in lobes on the 288 intake and 280 exhaust cams for the S54.

See the difference? Oh wait, there are none! I received 4x exhaust cams. A would-be expensive mistake got fixed :D 

284 v 292

It was initially believed and understood the maximum duration compatible with the S65's dual VANOS was 284.

It was a confusion brought by Schrick's requirement to use its new valve springs and titanium retainers to fit the 292 cams while the 284s do not. Some assumed this meant it wasn't compatible with VANOS. 

From previous validated installations, it turns out the 292 cams and its 12.2mm lobe lift could be safely fitted to the S65B40. More duration theoretically equals more power potential.

Taking a book from the S54B32, the biggest VANOS compatible cam is my pick for the S65. I touched on the fundamentals of cam's nomenclature and duration in my Special Series on the 288/280 Schrick cams for the S54 here

Below is the charts provided by Schrick in their technical data for the 292 cams. You can see the intake and exhaust cam overlap clearly in the lowest area under the curves. 



I received my 292 set of camshafts from Schrick by mid-July. This is my unboxing impressions taking you into the technical features of the camshafts themselves. 

Each camshaft was individually packaged by Schrick. 

Following up on my traumatizing S54 experience, we found out we only had exhaust cams by the time we had the engine on a stand. The first thing I did unboxing these was validating the SKUs were correct, and they were. 

Notice the shorter VANOS sections at the front of the cams? It distinguishes the R and L sides of the engine. 

The cams feel heavy, but they are hollow, and somewhat fragile. You want to be careful handling these. 

The camshafts are made from chilled cast iron. They have individual markings that appear hand written, indicating the batch numbers. 

Each camshaft have integrated gears to fit the S65's head.

The VANOS low pressure system gets bolted here. It's where you end up having the springs and the infamous snap-in covers, a good while you're-in-there if you haven't done this service yet. 

You can learn the theory, you can have cams in your own hands, you can feel them while driving - yet the multi disciplinary, high level talent required in designing and manufacturing these at scale leave you with an inherent sense of "magic".

It's probably why Schrick is the only S65 camshaft provider I'm aware of. 


Up next: we settle on springs & retainers, and awaiting other surrounding, while-you're-in-there parts. 

In the mean time, get on the waiting list for the upcoming social buy on cams for the S65, S54 and S85

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The latest entries to the Stripper's build journal

I help you save money on everything you need for your E9x M3.

ConnexPlus is a premium membership for the most demanding BMW M owners.

A select group of members will save on everything they will ever need for their BMW M cars at the world's biggest BMW parts retailers.