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Thread: E39 Project on the Road

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Naperville, IL
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    2,462
    My Cars
    1998 540i

    E39 Project on the Road

    Summary - 1998 540i with a 402 LS2/T-56, did the swap in 14 weeks with 4 weeks of a break in the middle. Everything is done except for the AC (wiring is finished, but I need to make up the lines) and some tweaking. I have plans for forced induction after I drive it for awhile.

    Here it is, enjoy

    [UPDATES - Supercharger pictures are at post 70, dyno results at post 120]

    I picked up a very clean 1998 BMW 540i:













    Stock weight (with almost no gas in the tank):




    Exhaust (98 Camaro Manifolds and custom center section with cats):









    Modified GTO Oil Pan:



    Finished Engine Bay:


















    Finished Car:














    Finished Weight (this is with a full tanks, s there is about 15-16 gallons difference between the before and after pics, so the car lost a little weight ):






    Last edited by rao; 05-24-2011 at 11:43 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    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




  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Dallas, Ga 30132
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    1,337
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    97M3.4.5,EG,YZF
    Awesome!
    I was wondering what you'd been up to.

    Nice use of stock factory parts (ie, exhaust manifolds and factory airbox.) What are those manifolds from?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Carver, MA
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    Alpine 97 328is
    Great work! Looks like a very well-done swap.
    1997 BMW 328is Alpine White // Dove Grey
    ZF Swapped | 3.23 LSD | FK Coilovers | 17x8.5 Borbet Type C | 75mm Wheel Studs | 12mm Vorshlag Spacers | 5000k HIDs | Euro Taillights | Suede Headliner/Pillars

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
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    Philadelphia
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    Z3 2.5
    I really like the stock look of the car. It's a real sleeper.
    2001 2.5 Z3
    H&R/Bils Sport, ECIS Intake, E46 RSM's, WSM, Strong Strut CL
    Sharked, RE Underpulleys

  5. #5
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    Oregon
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    2006 330i 6MT
    Nice work, let me know when you want to sell it

  6. #6
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    E46, E53, E90, GSXR, MR2

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    97M3.4.5,EG,YZF
    Ha, i'd say the oil pan! BTW, what is that pan from?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Sandy OR
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    '97 M3 sdn, '00 528 sprt
    Nice work Rob.
    Any plans to take it to the strip? Keep it? sell it?....


    Quote Originally Posted by hefftone View Post
    Awesome!
    ...Nice use of stock factory parts (ie, exhaust manifolds and factory airbox.) What are those manifolds from?
    Quote Originally Posted by hefftone View Post
    ...
    BTW, what is that pan from?

    Please tell us this is an inside joke between you and rao and that you did see the text next to the pictures describing those parts...
    Last edited by BRAAP; 08-29-2010 at 04:53 PM.

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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    jacksonville, fl
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    2,229
    My Cars
    e36 m3 Ls2, 318I, 325is
    nice

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Naperville, IL
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    1998 540i
    Quote Originally Posted by EThirtySicks View Post
    Great work! Looks like a very well-done swap.
    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by jettore View Post
    I really like the stock look of the car. It's a real sleeper.
    That was the plan, thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaun K View Post
    Nice work, let me know when you want to sell it
    If you are serious, PM or e-mail me - if I sell this one I can start on another project


    Quote Originally Posted by Thaniel View Post
    Nice to see it. What was the tightest spot?
    Probably at the steering box. I went back and forth between the 6 cylinder and the 8 and decided that I liked the 8 setup better, it is certainly strong.

    Quote Originally Posted by BRAAP View Post
    Nice work Rob.
    Any plans to take it to the strip? Keep it? sell it?....
    I am still working on some details, and I will plan on using it like the other ones, as a my daily driver. I will probably get it to the track a few times, especially after it has forced induction...

    Quote Originally Posted by BRAAP View Post
    Please tell us this is an inside joke between you and rao and that you did see the text next to the pictures describing those parts...


    Quote Originally Posted by mateo m3 View Post
    nice
    Thanks.
    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




  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Dallas, Ga 30132
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    97M3.4.5,EG,YZF
    Oh, apparently I'm just blind.

    Whats sorta Forced induction are you thinking about?
    Last edited by hefftone; 08-29-2010 at 11:46 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Central Valley, VA
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    2,897
    My Cars
    2011 328xi, E36 LS1
    Nice! If I had extra money I would definitely make an e39 LS1. Such a great car.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Cuse, NY
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    07/85-535i5 01/99-540i6
    awesome!!!
    (oOO\(|||)(|||)/OOo) /00=[][]=00\

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    TX
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    1,820
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    '98 528i 98k 5-SPP
    That is one CLEAN setup. You definitely have
    SKILLZ, man...No hack mechanic rig-a-ma-ro there. I tell you what, if my i6 ever grenades, I'm copying your work in a heartbeat.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    TX
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    97 M3/4/5, MCS
    excellent job. That engine looks like it belongs in there! great work.

    would you say the E39 or E36 was a more difficult install?
    Last edited by MarketMaster; 08-30-2010 at 10:46 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Naperville, IL
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    1998 540i
    Thanks for the compliments

    Quote Originally Posted by hefftone View Post

    Whats sorta Forced induction are you thinking about?
    Odds are a rear mount turbo (that is what I planned on when I put it togetehr and I have a new Turbonetics TC76 turbo ready to go I might switch to a Magnacharger if I can find one for a reasonable price, but that is unlikely. I am not doing anything until I have everyting fully sorted out and I might just keep it as is, we'll see.

    Quote Originally Posted by MarketMaster View Post
    excellent job. That engine looks like it belongs in there! great work.

    would you say the E39 or E36 was a more difficult install?
    Hard to compare since I made all of the e39 parts myself and bought the mounts for the e36, but there is a lot more space in the e39.
    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




  17. #17
    Join Date
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    '13 Audi S4, '99 528iA
    This is awesome. Post a vid!

    Wonder how it'd lineup with a stock m5.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    S Bend, IN, USA
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    1,044
    My Cars
    95 B14/5,98 E39/6
    I love it. Need more info. Are you using a piggyback ecu etc? This seems like my next project I'll be in Schaumburg this week I would love to come see this car.

  19. #19
    Join Date
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    Memphis, TN
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    95 M3, 01 330ci

  20. #20
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    May 2008
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    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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    2012 Raptor, 2004 rx8
    Quote Originally Posted by rao View Post
    Thanks for the compliments


    Hard to compare since I made all of the e39 parts myself and bought the mounts for the e36, but there is a lot more space in the e39.
    Nice work!! must be a dream to drive

    I really want to do somehting like this. how man swaps have you done before? and how difficult did you find this one?


    did the e36 mounts fit perfectly? or did you have to modify it a bit.


    how about electrical? everything still work? (traction control, climate control, power option,....)

    and last question; what about the ECU? how did yu make that all work?

  21. #21
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    Aug 2010
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    NJ
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    2010 Mustang GT
    Very nice. Would love to hear more specifics as well.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Midwest US
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    97 m3 4/5
    Nicely done! Ever consider selling a bit of fabrication time locally? Beer cash etc. How did you handle emissions. I thought 95 n earlier was easy to pass, later not easy to get through. Any words of wisdom on the emission side.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Naperville, IL
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    1998 540i
    Quote Originally Posted by blt4424 View Post
    This is awesome. Post a vid!

    Wonder how it'd lineup with a stock m5.
    I will have a video but not for quite a while.


    Quote Originally Posted by larinah View Post
    I love it. Need more info. Are you using a piggyback ecu etc? This seems like my next project I'll be in Schaumburg this week I would love to come see this car.
    I am using the stock GM ECU. PM me if you are going to be in the area.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pzary3233 View Post
    Nicely done! Lets see the details!
    I'm not sure what details you are looking for.

    Quote Originally Posted by cowtownbimmer View Post
    Nice work!! must be a dream to drive

    I really want to do somehting like this. how man swaps have you done before? and how difficult did you find this one?


    did the e36 mounts fit perfectly? or did you have to modify it a bit.


    how about electrical? everything still work? (traction control, climate control, power option,....)

    and last question; what about the ECU? how did yu make that all work?
    It is fun to drive; it will be more fun with an additional 200 hp, but that will take a while.

    I have done several previous swaps. On this one I fabricated the parts myself (I did 75% of the welding). The e36 mounts would not even be close. This swap was not all that difficult, but like all of this stuff there are lots of problems to solve.

    Quote Originally Posted by HushH View Post
    Very nice. Would love to hear more specifics as well.
    Again, I am not sure what specifics you guys are looking for.

    Quote Originally Posted by mroadydriver View Post
    Nicely done! Ever consider selling a bit of fabrication time locally? Beer cash etc. How did you handle emissions. I thought 95 n earlier was easy to pass, later not easy to get through. Any words of wisdom on the emission side.
    Cash would work The car is fully OBD II compliant and should pass the OBD II test. In illinois pre-96 cars are not tested at all.
    Last edited by rao; 08-30-2010 at 04:57 PM.
    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




  24. #24
    Join Date
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    95 M3 6.0 Litre

  25. #25
    Join Date
    May 2001
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    Plymouth, MI 48170
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    1999LSxSwapped 557i & X5
    I hate you RAO! I wish mine was done. Looks great. Especially with factory airbox. Very stealth. Once I get mine done we will have to get together.

    E53 LSX Swap Coming Soon!

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