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Thread: Engine Swapping? Start Here!

  1. #1
    M5Hunter is offline 800 Wheel Torques Supporting Vendor
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    Engine Swapping? Start Here!

    Last updated: 10/23/2012
    So your swapping a non BMW engine into your Bimmer?







    This thread will focus on the three most common swaps:


    LSx, 5.0L and 1/2jz



    Here are some tips, links and info to help get you started and keep the clutter of constantly answered questions out of our section:






    Budget:



    Probably one of the most asked question is "how much will a ____ swap cost?" There are a pile of factors that greatly sway the cost of an engine swap. A junkyard 5.0 swap can be done for around $2,500, or less if you can sell your BMW driveline. On the other hand, having a shop install your LS1 could cost you closer to $15,000. You should figure on roughly $7,500-$10,000 if you do the install yourself and $9,000-$15,000 if you plan to pay someone. If you come in under that, congratulations. I did my entire LS1 swap for about $4,000. I made my mounts for free using angle steel I had laying around. I made my headers for around $500, but keep in mind that I had over 100 man hours in them. I also bought my LS1 before the prices went to the sky. Keep in mind that there are a hundred little pieces your going to need that you dont even know about yet. Set aside some money for random trips to the local parts store.






    Engine Choice:


    Power isn’t cheap, bottom line. You’re not only paying for power, you’re paying for power potential. In "stock" form, any of these motors installed in your BMW will make more power and torque than your stock motor (in most cases). Before you start your swap, you need to figure out your main goals for the car.

    1A:
    Ford 5.0L
    These motors were in pretty much the entire ford full size vehicle lineup. Depending on the year they made between 180-225hp and most were around 300lb/ft. The best option is to get one that came in a fox body car 87-93. Also the 95-2000 explorers had a better flowing intake manifold and the iron GT40(or GT40P on 97+) heads from the factory(although they are 8.8:1 compression ratio rather than the fox 9:1). Worth noting, the 87-92 fox body 5.0L come with forged pistons, '93 use hyperutectic. I've seen these engines complete go for $200 on more than one occasion. T5's to put behind them are pretty cheap, as compared, but also lack the ability to handle over 350lb/ft(or so) in stock form.

    Positive:
    Millions of these motors floating around on the cheap
    Still major aftermarket support
    Maintenance parts are cheap and readily available

    Negative:
    All Iron(in stock form)
    Limited tuning options
    450hp limit on stock block

    1B:
    LSx
    Chevrolet "LS" series
    LSx is a reference to pretty much any Chevrolet gen3 or newer v8 engine. These range from an iron block/aluminum headed 4.8L up to the all aluminum 7.0L LS7 and everything in between. We will focus on the two most "common" swapped motors.

    LM7 5.3L
    These are the most available gen3 motor. They are a iron block with aluminum heads and came factory rated 305-315hp and 315lb/ft. They have been seen in most Pickups, Suburban’s and Tahoe’s for the better part of 12 years. These motors are a cheaper alternative the the all aluminum motors and don’t weigh that much more. All gen3 and up motors are externally the same dimensions, have the same mounting and accessory holes. To run a truck motor in your car, you will need, in most cases, and F-body oil pan and intake manifold. Also, the F-body accessory drive offers the tightest fitting package. They normally sell for around $700-$1000 less the transmission with the harness and ECU. I've seen them cheaper from time to time.

    Positive:
    Millions of these floating around
    Any LS1 bolt-on will work on the 5.3
    Extremely reliable
    Parts cheap and readily available
    Many tuning options

    Negative:
    Have to invest in parts to make it fit
    Iron block


    LS1 5.7L
    The LS1 was introduced in the '97 corvette and then made its way into the '98 F-body cars. The motor came in those cars up to 2002. They were rated at 345-365hp and 350lb/ft. This motor exploded onto the engine swap scene. Small dimensions, light(ish) weight and big power made this a huge advancement for Chevrolet and V8 engines in general. The aftermarket is over run by performance parts for the LS1. Simple mild head and cam swaps will net 400+ whp. Worth noting, 2001-2002 LS1' came with LS6 style intake manifolds and a better oiling system. Also, 97-98 ECU and wire harnesses will not work together with 99-2002 ECU and wire harnesses. The popularity of this motor and the limited supply has caused it to skyrocket in price the last 2-3 years. It was normal the see a full pullout with transmission for $2400 2 years ago, these days figure on atleast $3500.

    Positive:
    All aluminum
    Major aftermarket support
    Parts cheap and readily available
    Many tuning options

    Negative:
    Price going up, availability going down

    1C:
    1/2jz
    Toyota's power house for the Supra's. Both inline 6's, both came in turbo and non turbo versions. 1jz was 2.5L, 200-280hp and 185-268lb/ft and the 2jz was 3.0L, 220-280hp and 209-310lb/ft. These engine can be found in the Toyota Supra and the Lexus GS and IS series, turbo versions only came in the supra. These motors also have a huge following and have a large aftermarket support. These engines can be picked up for around $2500, less the transmission. These motors have major power potential with the right part combinations.

    Positive:
    Major aftermarket support
    FI available from the factory

    Negative:
    Costly to modify
    Must run an aftermarket EMS



    Kits:



    Engine mount "kits" are a pretty good chunk of your investment. They seem a bit pricey, but remember, you are in a market that doesn’t have a million people doing these swaps. Because of that, these parts are manufactured in low quantity which costs much more than making thousands at a time. The 5.0L swap parts are by far the cheapest out there. $210 spent will get you the motor and trans mounts and you can have the motor bolted in. The LSx mounts can be found for $900-$1600. A few companies also offer "LSx Kits" which will have other parts needed for the swaps including headers, driveshaft and even a radiator in some cases.


    These kits range from $3500-$5500 depending on where you get them and what components you want in your kit. 1/2jz mounts can be found from $200-$500 in quite a few different places. The 5.0 can use two pass side factory style fox body manifold/headers for best exhaust routing. The 1/2jz can also use factory/aftermarket Supra manifolds without issue. Read carefully, there are no factory or aftermarket LSx manifolds/headers that will fit the driver’s side of your car, period.


    Current LSx Mounts:
    http://nahrods.com/
    http://vorshlag.com/
    Samberg

    5.0 Mounts:
    http://e36v8.com/

    1/2jz Mounts:
    The best place I have found to find these kits is on eBay.

    Not all BMW’s have mount kits available. Here are a couple of members here that made their own kits and are willing to reproduce them for you:

    LSx E30:
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1404978

    LSx E39:
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1685796
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1769076






    Swaps:


    LSx Swaps:

    E28:
    JakeB: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1755686

    E30:

    garretvs: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=699289
    Fair: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1343977
    gmtech13: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1289653


    E36:
    Pzary3233: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1484990
    lovnbmws: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1700197
    Kaane: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1624778
    Borkish/bimerok: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1619249
    cglass8444: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1153832
    BRAAP: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1259268
    bimerok: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1289987
    lowside67: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1613727
    AgentHubcap: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1706626
    birdman2447: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1637237
    Tongboy: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1503369
    SHhhhh: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1622000
    ChiChiBo: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1492466
    357i: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1347123
    storageking: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1155061
    rao v1: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?p=10330641#post10330641
    rao v2: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1309695
    RahgBag: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1363423
    mateo m3: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1387602
    Don Nguyen: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1273903
    Zander: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1381205
    Mas280: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1518939
    Glen75: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1324481
    Vorshlag: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=675305
    Vorshlag: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1515421

    Z:
    Deano1712: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1705584
    4G63T: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1543792
    Vorshlag: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1225465&highlight=fair
    twinscrewed: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1762826


    E39:
    Quicksilver328i: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1660651
    James39: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1674320
    Schitzo: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1489862
    bmwman328e: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1423081
    rao: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1517185
    Agt. Orange: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1045119
    Jesus Freak: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1729344
    357i
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1888893
    RVAE34
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1900035


    E46
    BikealarmBlair
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1673679


    5.0 Swaps:

    E30:
    arathbone: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1624774&highlight=e30+ford
    71Criuser: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1622864


    E36:
    Fendbass22: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1496109
    aussiebj pt1:http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1258845
    aussiebj pt2http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1628256
    lawson4323: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1626636
    1rstbmw: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1340080
    Dasfinc: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1799669

    1/2jz Swaps:


    E30:
    scottj4589: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1249773


    E36:
    armyboot: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=775308
    M33P: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1671837
    50RTD: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1532886
    maskellBYAH: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1395822
    johnson507: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1522467
    jamdun17: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1755573
    Beaujewel: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1836202


    E39:
    930chas: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1542444

    If I missed your swap, please post it up and I’ll add it to the list!


    Helpful Links:

    Smaller brake booster for E36
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...php?p=25300896
    E39 cluster recoding
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1899207
    Chasis Reinforcement:

    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1715528
    LSx Coolant Temp Sensor:
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1488399
    Corvette FPR info:
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=682502
    LSx Coolant Hoses:
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1315212
    LSx Hyd Slave Cyl:
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1414038
    Mile Times:
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1666155
    Rear gear options:
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1617562
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1508300
    Nash’s Site, Lots of great info!:
    http://nash8503.com/Conversion_Instructions.html
    LSx Intake Ideas:
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1649463
    E36 LSx Wiring info:
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1492363
    LSx Alternator Upgrades:
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1802078
    Random Conversion info:
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1489060
    A/C info:
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...d.php?t=723277
    Parts needed to make a Power Steering hose:
    http://www.summitracing.com/parts/AER-FBM2608/
    http://www.summitracing.com/parts/AER-FBM1386/
    http://www.summitracing.com/parts/AER-FBM1389/
    http://www.summitracing.com/parts/AER-FCG0606/
    https://www.pegasusautoracing.com/pr...asp?RecID=6733
    BMW Wiring Schematics
    http://wedophones.com/BMWManualsLead.htm
    LS engine info
    http://www.nookandtranny.com/Info_LSx.php
    LSx E36 Weights
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1905875



    Payoff Links:


    Mas280:

    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1630178
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1633939
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1551538

    rao:
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1641183
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...d.php?t=843156
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1017781

    Maynor:
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1467624

    357i:
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1561468
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1684897
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1653486

    Deomn Speed:
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1538390
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1509970

    Fendbass22:
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...&postcount=195

    Thaniel:
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1337976

    I'm sure I've missed a pile of info, but this is a good start. Feel free to add anything you may find helpful and I'll add it up here. I dont have alot of 1/2jz info so post it up if you got it! Have videos of you swapped car? Post 'em up!

    After I update this post with information you guys add, I will delete your post so we can keep the post count low on this thread!

    Please check back often as I will continue to update information.
    Last edited by 357i; 10-23-2012 at 04:10 PM.

  2. #2
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    E36

    are there any actual build threads of a efi sbf swap? Also how different are the 5 series from 3 series. I'd love to do a early 00s m3 or m5 but not seeing anyone that has done a newer style with a 302.

    long story short before I purchase a car I would like to see what's all involved been doing hours of research but no real solid answers thanks.

  3. #3
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    I haven't seen any E46 SBF builds (you're early 00's mention) but there are several E36 builds including turbo builds. Not so much on the 5 series front from what I've seen. The swaps in general tend to be less common because "LSx all the things!"

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSxDreamer View Post
    I haven't seen any E46 SBF builds (you're early 00's mention) but there are several E36 builds including turbo builds. Not so much on the 5 series front from what I've seen. The swaps in general tend to be less common because "LSx all the things!"
    Lsx swaps are huge around here always had small block fords in fox mustangs, just burned out on the headaches from mustangs and wanna stick with something I know. I've got a factory explorer motor with a e cam and a 150 shot I was going to put in for the first year of the swap then I've got a little baby 306 I was thinking about doing after the car gets going, pretty easily runs low 9 in the 1/4 in the bustang.

    is most of the wiring the same in the e46?

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Has anyone successfully swap a RB into any Bimmer ever before )

  6. #6
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    There's a build thread going on right now in here.
    Ls2 e36 sedan

  7. #7
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    2011 BMW X5, 2010 BMW 5
    I am looking to swap a LS motor into a BWM E34. I haven't seen any information regarding this configuration so far. Concerns I have are; motor mounts, wiring harness from GM to the factory BMW and if any information is available regarding 4L60 or 4L80 transmission and driveshaft and using the stock BMW rear end. I would appreciate any help regarding the information above. The E34 is a bigger car inside and out and I am looking for any help. Thanks

  8. #8
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    not a bimmerforum thread but im nearly complete with swapping a 5.0 in my e28. I am the second person as far as I know to do this.

    http://www.mye28.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=118198

  9. #9
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    Just bought a 1987 BMW 325i and wanted a V8 in it. I want the mustang 5.0 but I noticed the newer mustang engines having more stock hp so I thought why not go big or go home. Does anyone have any knowledge if like a 2013 mustang GT engine would fit or is it only up to '93?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by YungLumberjack View Post
    Just bought a 1987 BMW 325i and wanted a V8 in it. I want the mustang 5.0 but I noticed the newer mustang engines having more stock hp so I thought why not go big or go home. Does anyone have any knowledge if like a 2013 mustang GT engine would fit or is it only up to '93?
    Try to do a search for the dimensions of the engines online. I have found a lot of info on the LS engines and even the viper engine as far as dimensions. Im sure there is info somewhere on the sizes of the mustang engines.

    The 2nd link has dimensions for the 2010 SC Cobra Mustang that may help some.

    http://bdturnkeyengines.com/engine-dimensions/

    http://southernperformancesystems.co...imensions.html

  11. #11
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    There is a coyote swapped e36 out there.

    Sent from my LG-H901 using Tapatalk
    Ls2 e36 sedan

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by YungLumberjack View Post
    Just bought a 1987 BMW 325i and wanted a V8 in it. I want the mustang 5.0 but I noticed the newer mustang engines having more stock hp so I thought why not go big or go home. Does anyone have any knowledge if like a 2013 mustang GT engine would fit or is it only up to '93?
    Yes it fits, but it's A LOT tighter than a pushrod 5.0. If you want easy, go pushrod or LS. Personally, I love the idea of the Coyote.

  13. #13
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    Coyote swap in an e36. I'm sure it's even tighter in an e30

    http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/sh...ghlight=Coyote
    Ls2 e36 sedan

  14. #14
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    650i 6-speed 95 RX7 LS1
    E66 LS swap 😳😳😳😳😳 I want this 4.4 gone!
    Last edited by shogun; 11-02-2018 at 10:49 AM.

  15. #15
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    I'm sure lots won't understand, but I'm lusting for an E46 something fierce. I'm also cheap and not as financially sounds as some (lots of) people on here. I'm really at a loss on what path to pursue. I don't really have a craving for crazy power, just a compact, RWD sedan/wagon that's enjoyable to drive and _reliable_. You can find E46s every day that "have an engine issue I can't figure out" or have blown head gaskets. My question is would it be better/cheaper/easier to get the cleanest "with issues" sample I can find and just fix it, or gut it out for a bare bones 4.8L/4l80e combo (when also factoring in long term maintenance)? I'm not afraid of the transplant itself but thinking about what the fuel/brake/AC systems need to work properly makes me hesitant because I don't know where to begin on a parts list/estimated cost.

    Sorry for the tangent, didn't really know where to put this...

  16. #16
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    Hey guys. This article is very descriptive and exactly what I was looking for. I have a 1994 BMW 530i E34 with the 3.0 M60 that I just blew up. It was my first car and the guy told me it was mint condition, of course a month later all the band aids wear off and it's leaking oil and the head gasket it toast. I think I am swapping a 5.3 vortec into it. I can find engine no problem, but I was going to run stock transmission because I am on a budge and don't want to buy a custom drive shaft or even have money for another transmission. Where can I find conversion kits for the 5.3 to my 5 speed bmw tranny? Also does anyone know exactly what I need to get this done? Engine mounts, tranny conversion, stand alone ECU, anything else? Please help.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeLaFLexico View Post
    Hey guys. This article is very descriptive and exactly what I was looking for. I have a 1994 BMW 530i E34 with the 3.0 M60 that I just blew up. It was my first car and the guy told me it was mint condition, of course a month later all the band aids wear off and it's leaking oil and the head gasket it toast. I think I am swapping a 5.3 vortec into it. I can find engine no problem, but I was going to run stock transmission because I am on a budge and don't want to buy a custom drive shaft or even have money for another transmission. Where can I find conversion kits for the 5.3 to my 5 speed bmw tranny? Also does anyone know exactly what I need to get this done? Engine mounts, tranny conversion, stand alone ECU, anything else? Please help.
    you are going to spend a lot more money getting the bmw trans to mount up to the 5.3 block over getting a driveshaft made. I really think it will be more difficult to not us a GM trans.

    You need engine mounts (trans mount, driveshaft). Engine computer and wiring harness. larger Fuel pump, c5 corvette fuel filter. full exhaust from engine back (or a hybrid of engine to your current exhaust). Cooling system (either new radiator or hoses that make your current one work with the engine). There will be a host of small items you will need. Keep your oil pressure and temperature sensors from the BMW block. YOu will need adapters to connect them to the GM block, unless you dont care if your factory gauges work.

  18. #18
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    My Cars
    1994 BMW 530i E34
    this makes sense, after more research it is pretty unreasonable to run stock transmission. What do you think would be the best idea for me? I am defiantly on a budge and I plan on running stock motor. I just want something cool and reliable. What transmission should I look into getting?
    Last edited by SmokeLaFLexico; 11-10-2017 at 03:29 PM.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1
    My Cars
    2004 325xi
    Any one dome a e46 xdrive with a larger engine swap? I would assume the m3 engine would be a easy one but I always thought a R32 skyline engine or a 1jz would be interesting. And sorry if this has already a conversation I'm new.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis
    Posts
    649
    My Cars
    650i 6-speed 95 RX7 LS1
    Quote Originally Posted by Tictac556 View Post
    Any one dome a e46 xdrive with a larger engine swap? I would assume the m3 engine would be a easy one but I always thought a R32 skyline engine or a 1jz would be interesting. And sorry if this has already a conversation I'm new.
    an S54 from an E46 M3 would be a pretty straight forward swap on an E46 Xdrive
    2006 BMW 650i 6-speed manual (Daily Driver)
    1995 Mazda RX-7 LS1 6-speed (Current Toy)
    2000 Ford Excursion Limited V10 4x4 (Giant tow work truck)
    2014 BMW 328d XDrive (Wife's daily driver)
    1993 Mazda RX-7 5.3litr Chevy V8 6-speed (why not have 2?)

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Westland, MI
    Posts
    93
    My Cars
    2002 E46 325i
    add me up please! E46 Coyote Swap https://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/s...6-Build-Thread

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