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Thread: 96 BMW 328is LS1 Conversion OBDII e36/LS1 (Bimerok)

  1. #1
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    96 BMW 328is LS1 Conversion OBDII e36/LS1 (Bimerok)

    Here we go; I am finally starting my own conversion thread. I thought I would never commit to this conversion and never get to this point.

    I will start with a little background. Initially I started looking into the LS1 conversion about 3 years ago. Did a little research, followed few threads and conversions. At the time the project seemed way too complicated and pretty expensive to me, so I was on and off on that idea. About 1.5 years ago I bought myself a 328is (96) Ė



    This is far from my first BMW, so Iím not new to the brand. The car had just over 100K miles, free of problems, and I was enjoying it very much. Then about 1 year ago I got that LS1 itch again and this time it was strong. I started looking at different swaps and options deeper and in more details and I have to give credit, but the one that pushed me over the edge was one done by Thaniel. I am taking a lot of ideas from his swap. In November of 2008 I got myself a 2002 LS/T56 out of Firebird with 49K miles.






    And that was the official beginning of my project.

    I work as a software developer and not as a mechanic. I donít have a garage big enough to do the conversion in, so itís all being done on my driveway in front of my house, mostly on weekends and sometimes after work. Unfortunately, Iím weather depended. I consider myself a handy person. I have two previous swaps under my belt that include 91 e30-s50 (currently my daily driver Ė might have to go for sale soon) and 88 e30-m50 conversion that was done for my cousin. These conversions seemed pretty easy to me and not challenging enough. They are nowhere near e36/LSx level of difficulty.

    As with most of the swaps, there are more things that you can think of in the beginning. When you thought youíve though of everything, there is always something extra that comes up. The level of complication on some things turns out to be more than I thought initially. But after all it is still fun and great integration challenge.

    So in the beginning of the summer I started tearing my car apart. It was really hard for me to actually commit to taking a part a perfectly fine, running car.

    Eventually I slowly started taking apart the front end in preparation for original motor removal (it is still for sale: fine example of 2.8L m52 with 115k miles complete engine/tranny combo. PM if interested). Since 98% of all work is done by me alone, the progress is not done overnight, but rather slowly. I only get hand here and there from my brother and cousins Ö



    So removal of the engine itself followed next.







    Then some basic cleanup of the engine bay.

    P.S. I would like to apologize for the quality of the pictures as some of them will be good, using my D-SLR and some would be worse taken with an iPhone.


    ehhhh the auto mearge.....



    Since my cousin in Denver was thinking about e36/LS1 conversion as well, he managed to buy a foamy mock up of LS1 for only $100. But since I committed to actual swap
    before him, I got this in the mail from Denver.




    I figured this should make fabrication job much, much easier than working with a real beast. Next I ordered F-Body oil pan, intake manifold, valve covers and a spare BMW cross member. This would give me a pretty close idea of the real thing.

    I got myself some sheet metal and square tubing, urethane engine mount bushings to go off and started taking some measurements.

    First the ABS has to be relocated as the unit, along with the brake lines would be on the way of the headers. So some people move the ABS unit to the front, extending the brake lines and some just move it up and away from the motor, closer to the master cylinder. I decided to go with the rout of moving the unit up. In the process I realized that my year has slightly different ABS unit as compared with some earlier models. It has some extra hard lines going in and out and the brain right under the unit is bigger, which limits how high the ABS can be relocated. Currently, I made relocation brackets and bent the brake lines using a tube bending pliers that I got at harbor freight for ~ $8 and placed the ABS in its tentative location.





    Next on the agenda, was to mock up the engine mounts. First I tried to use some wood, but then realized that it doesnít work the way I wanted and not worth bothering with, so instead I used paper and cardboard that was much easier to just cut with scissors to get my lengths and angles that I needed.





    Once I got the desired results, I transferred the shapes from paper to steel and began cutting the metal.





    Last edited by bimerok; 08-14-2009 at 04:14 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    - 96 328is 6.0L. (LS1 to LS2 build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...ad.php?2098938)
    - 96 328is 5.7L. (LS1 build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1289987)
    - 95 ///M3 6.0L. (LS2 build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1619249)

    - 97 ///M3. (e46 Fender Flares/track car build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1727098)
    - 96 328is (Dual Fuel Pump to Surge Tank thread: http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/sh...ad.php?1964025)

  2. #2
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    After cutting, grinding, and welding metal, here is what I made for my motor mounts. This is my first and only evolution of the motor mounts and it looks like I nailed it from the first attempt, but time will tell. To be honest, I think they turned out to be decent and now I got real engine sitting in the engine bay (with a help of a jack supporting the transmission for now).


















    Next on the list is to work on transmission mounts, so that I can take the jack away from under the car and have the whole drive trine sit there by itself.



    - 96 328is 6.0L. (LS1 to LS2 build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...ad.php?2098938)
    - 96 328is 5.7L. (LS1 build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1289987)
    - 95 ///M3 6.0L. (LS2 build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1619249)

    - 97 ///M3. (e46 Fender Flares/track car build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1727098)
    - 96 328is (Dual Fuel Pump to Surge Tank thread: http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/sh...ad.php?1964025)

  3. #3
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    Looks good Can't wait to see what you do with the headers.
    Rob
    Prior projects:
    1998 540i with 6.6 LS2/T56 Chevy Power
    - pictures and details
    1992 325i with 6.6 LS2/T56 Chevy power - pictures and details
    1995 M3 with 6.6 LS2/T56 Chevy power - pictures and details




  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rao View Post
    Looks good Can't wait to see what you do with the headers.
    Yeah, can't wait myself to see what I will end up with.
    - 96 328is 6.0L. (LS1 to LS2 build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...ad.php?2098938)
    - 96 328is 5.7L. (LS1 build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1289987)
    - 95 ///M3 6.0L. (LS2 build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1619249)

    - 97 ///M3. (e46 Fender Flares/track car build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1727098)
    - 96 328is (Dual Fuel Pump to Surge Tank thread: http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/sh...ad.php?1964025)

  5. #5
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    great progress, i was waiting for you to open your own thread than am subscribing to... And again great start

  6. #6
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    Looks good man! Fantastic build thread!

  7. #7
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    subscribed! Thank you for building your own thread! im counting on your help to get an ls2 in my car!..i dont have a foam block to work with so its going to be a lot tougher for me! is your shifter clearing completly fine? is the motor offset to the drivers side at all?

  8. #8
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    2002 gtp 7psi
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    1972 Mach1 boosted

  9. #9
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    sweet

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ereid74 View Post
    subscribed! Thank you for building your own thread! im counting on your help to get an ls2 in my car!..i dont have a foam block to work with so its going to be a lot tougher for me! is your shifter clearing completly fine? is the motor offset to the drivers side at all?
    Yes, I agree it will be tougher for you without the foamy, but still doable of course.

    The shifter is clearing completely, though not through the stock hole. The stock shifter opening had to be enlarged. There is no way around it. Here is how it looks as of now. Actually I will need to trim a tiny bit more on the drivers side of the opening. Cosmetics will be done at a later date where all will be covered up and with an aftermarket rubber boot.






    The engine is offset a little bit, not to the driver’s side, but to the passenger side. This is done to clear the brake booster and give a bit more room for the headers. I moved it by about 3/4 of an inch.
    Last edited by bimerok; 08-16-2009 at 07:51 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    - 96 328is 6.0L. (LS1 to LS2 build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...ad.php?2098938)
    - 96 328is 5.7L. (LS1 build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1289987)
    - 95 ///M3 6.0L. (LS2 build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1619249)

    - 97 ///M3. (e46 Fender Flares/track car build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1727098)
    - 96 328is (Dual Fuel Pump to Surge Tank thread: http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/sh...ad.php?1964025)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bimerok View Post
    ....
    The engine is offset a little bit, not to the driverís side, but to the passenger side. This is done to clear the brake booster and give a bit more room for the headers. I moved it by about 3/4 of an inch.
    Good work. Offsetting to the passenger side has a few benefits, one being the valve cover to booster clearance you mentioned, another being a little more exhaust to steering shaft clearance. For what its worth, the C/L of the differential input is offset to the passenger side 1".
    For the LSx, that 3/4" to 1" offset to the passenger side also helps to offset the drivers weight, (when driving solo), along with the controls such as steering column and wheel, pedals, ABS, etc. Not as important to the street/daily driver crowd, more for the track minded folk.

    Something else to keep in mind when doing engine swaps is the relationship between the trans output shaft and diff input angles. Before I removed the S-52 & 5spd from my '97 M3 for my LSx conversion, I found the trans output and differential input angles to be within 1/4 degree, (+/- 1//2 degree) of each other in the vertical plane, (up and down). Tough to make out Bimeroks installation, but from what I can tell based on the measurements from my install, his looks pretty close. If it is off, it isn't by much.

    '97 Sedan, Cosmos Meconium, Click ME for the build thread.

  12. #12
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    Just a little update: Currently I am working on the transmission mount so I can finally get that jack from under the car that holding it right now. The mount should hopefully be done today.

    It turns out to be more complicated and labor involved then the motor mounts. Not having a lift to do this blows big time as well. I must have been under the car and back about 150 times for that mount so far. By the end I will have 12 pack of steel

    Anyway, I will post some picture of what I came up with for tranny mount as soon as I get it done.

    Next on the list would be finish up a power steering hose and get smaller diameter steering shaft made and installed. The steering shaft should save some precious space especially by eliminating those big BMW u-joints.

    Quote Originally Posted by BRAAP View Post
    Something else to keep in mind when doing engine swaps is the relationship between the trans output shaft and diff input angles. Before I removed the S-52 & 5spd from my '97 M3 for my LSx conversion, I found the trans output and differential input angles to be within 1/4 degree, (+/- 1//2 degree) of each other in the vertical plane, (up and down). Tough to make out Bimeroks installation, but from what I can tell based on the measurements from my install, his looks pretty close. If it is off, it isn't by much.
    Yes, the relationship between output of transmission and input of diff. should be pretty much aligned and close to being straight. I am also planning on leaving small amount of adjustability in horizontal movement.
    Last edited by bimerok; 08-17-2009 at 09:59 AM.
    - 96 328is 6.0L. (LS1 to LS2 build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...ad.php?2098938)
    - 96 328is 5.7L. (LS1 build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1289987)
    - 95 ///M3 6.0L. (LS2 build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1619249)

    - 97 ///M3. (e46 Fender Flares/track car build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1727098)
    - 96 328is (Dual Fuel Pump to Surge Tank thread: http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/sh...ad.php?1964025)

  13. #13
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    They should not be aligned; they both should have the same offset, typically 2-3 degrees up in the front.
    Rob
    Prior projects:
    1998 540i with 6.6 LS2/T56 Chevy Power
    - pictures and details
    1992 325i with 6.6 LS2/T56 Chevy power - pictures and details
    1995 M3 with 6.6 LS2/T56 Chevy power - pictures and details




  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by rao View Post
    They should not be aligned; they both should have the same offset, typically 2-3 degrees up in the front.
    Then I guess a little of horizontal adjustability that I will have should be enough in case I will need it.
    - 96 328is 6.0L. (LS1 to LS2 build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...ad.php?2098938)
    - 96 328is 5.7L. (LS1 build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1289987)
    - 95 ///M3 6.0L. (LS2 build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1619249)

    - 97 ///M3. (e46 Fender Flares/track car build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1727098)
    - 96 328is (Dual Fuel Pump to Surge Tank thread: http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/sh...ad.php?1964025)

  15. #15
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    Moving along pretty good.
    let us all see the Transmission mount when it is done.

  16. #16
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    guys on my build i'm missing the engine wire harness for my 95 m3, my question is does anyone know if a wire harness from a earlier or later year 318,318ti,325,328 or m3 will work for this swap? i'm having a hard time finding a 95 m3 wire harness. any input will help thanks

  17. #17
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    I'm not sure why whould you need m3 engine wire harness for the LS1 swap?
    - 96 328is 6.0L. (LS1 to LS2 build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...ad.php?2098938)
    - 96 328is 5.7L. (LS1 build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1289987)
    - 95 ///M3 6.0L. (LS2 build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1619249)

    - 97 ///M3. (e46 Fender Flares/track car build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1727098)
    - 96 328is (Dual Fuel Pump to Surge Tank thread: http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/sh...ad.php?1964025)

  18. #18
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    so do we do not need complete harness, just need to use x20 plug then?

  19. #19
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    I'm not sure if somebody does it otherwise, but I was going to connect LS1 to the BMW "engine side" of x20 connector and then plug it in to the chasis side. All you need is the connector itself, not the whole BMW engine wiring.
    - 96 328is 6.0L. (LS1 to LS2 build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...ad.php?2098938)
    - 96 328is 5.7L. (LS1 build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1289987)
    - 95 ///M3 6.0L. (LS2 build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1619249)

    - 97 ///M3. (e46 Fender Flares/track car build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1727098)
    - 96 328is (Dual Fuel Pump to Surge Tank thread: http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/sh...ad.php?1964025)

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bimerok View Post
    I'm not sure if somebody does it otherwise, but I was going to connect LS1 to the BMW "engine side" of x20 connector and then plug it in to the chasis side. All you need is the connector itself, not the whole BMW engine wiring.
    oh, that makes scene now. thanks

  21. #21
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    Got some power steering hose and fitings in the mail today. Will be putting it together soon.

    Transmission mount is almost complete and ready to go in. Will be posting more pictures shortly.
    - 96 328is 6.0L. (LS1 to LS2 build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...ad.php?2098938)
    - 96 328is 5.7L. (LS1 build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1289987)
    - 95 ///M3 6.0L. (LS2 build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1619249)

    - 97 ///M3. (e46 Fender Flares/track car build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1727098)
    - 96 328is (Dual Fuel Pump to Surge Tank thread: http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/sh...ad.php?1964025)

  22. #22
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    you need both the m3 wire harness and ls1 harness, in every build that i read both harness are rework into one. maybe i'm wrong how have other done this.
    Last edited by mateo m3; 08-18-2009 at 03:16 AM.

  23. #23
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    Could be. But as far as I see it right now, I don't think you need anything from BMW engine harness besides the x20 connector and possibly coolant sensor connector. I would not cut the original harness just for the 2 connectrs - you can either get those at a dealer or a junk yard.

    Will update once I get to that part
    - 96 328is 6.0L. (LS1 to LS2 build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...ad.php?2098938)
    - 96 328is 5.7L. (LS1 build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1289987)
    - 95 ///M3 6.0L. (LS2 build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1619249)

    - 97 ///M3. (e46 Fender Flares/track car build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1727098)
    - 96 328is (Dual Fuel Pump to Surge Tank thread: http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/sh...ad.php?1964025)

  24. #24
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    Did you assemble the powersteering line?

  25. #25
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    So far only one side. Will need to shorten the hose and connect the fittings for the other side.
    - 96 328is 6.0L. (LS1 to LS2 build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...ad.php?2098938)
    - 96 328is 5.7L. (LS1 build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1289987)
    - 95 ///M3 6.0L. (LS2 build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1619249)

    - 97 ///M3. (e46 Fender Flares/track car build thread: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1727098)
    - 96 328is (Dual Fuel Pump to Surge Tank thread: http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/sh...ad.php?1964025)

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