Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 36

Thread: E46 LS swap turned street/track rat

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    98
    My Cars
    01 330Ci

    E46 LS swap turned street/track rat

    I initially started posting in the Engine Conversions after I got this car, but I decided to move it over here as it's taking on more of a track focus than I had initially intended. I knew I wanted to track it some but project creep is real...

    Started with a 2001 330ci, found a donor LQ4 that had been beat, had it cleaned up and stroked, and ditched the running M54 to make room.



    Donor motor was a mess...



    It was cheap since it had lived a hard life in a utility truck of some type (all off road from the looks of it). Lost oil pressure and had spun a main bearing and chewed up a cam lobe and lifter.



    Had a machine shop clean it up, machine it, and install a balanced, forged 408 rotating assembly.


    Out with the old M54 and test fitting the new





    Driver's side is TIGHT. Cut the steering shaft shield out and that freed up some space though


    Got to a stopping point on the motor and turned my attention to the rest of the car. Long story short, I had a "screw it, let's do this" moment. Cut out the trunk floor for a fuel cell and gutted the interior to make room for a six-point cage (seven point if you count the anti-intrusion bar in the driver footwell). No turning back now...






    Cage






    In addition to the cage and fuel cell my fabricator installed the subframe reinforcement kit from Redish Motorsports so that should help handle the torque this thing should put down. I was also able to pick up a complete dropout rear from a 2004 M3. That's the next thing going in when I have a chance to get back into the garage.

    And that's where it sits for now. I have a massive parts list and I'm slowly picking up things as I find them on sale. I try not to look at how much I have left to spend, it makes a guy's head hurt. I figure by the time I'm done and the car is on the road/track I could have bought any one of a good number of other badass cars pretty much ready to go. But hey, I've always loved the E46 and you don't see many in my area, let alone stroker swapped street-track rats. Looking forward to putting some road course laps down for sure!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    South Bend, IN
    Posts
    782
    My Cars
    '95 M3/'98 328ic
    This looks awesome, really nice fab work. Was all the welding done by you?
    -Zach
    2013 NASA Midwest Time Trials "B" Champion and Rookie of the Year

    EFFEKTIV Motorsport #188 TTB - E-fab / Motorsport Hardware / NOS Energy Drink
    Visit us @ https://www.facebook.com/EffektivMotorsport

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    98
    My Cars
    01 330Ci
    Quote Originally Posted by zabuomar View Post
    This looks awesome, really nice fab work. Was all the welding done by you?
    Thanks, and no, unfortunately I have almost zero welding skill. I used a great fab shop in Nashville for the cage, subframe reinforcements and fuel cell cage/sheet metal.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    98
    My Cars
    01 330Ci
    Steady going, even if it’s slower than I’d like. Got the clutch and trans set up with the motor and did some test fitting. I’m going to have to do a little massaging in the trans tunnel for clutch hydraulics and the reverse lockout connector and I’ll probably open up the shifter hole so I can fill the trans and tinker with the shifter while it’s still in the car.

    Been thinning out the factory wiring getting rid of every circuit I don’t need or want. I’ve dropped over 50 pounds just in wiring alone. And FYI, there’s a mass amount of it in these cars. It’s a time consuming PITA. When it’s all said and done I’ll have factory wiring for main power, lights and turn signals, horn, power windows, and ABS. I decided to ditch the full HVAC for simplicity sake. I’ll add in push button start and a switch panel for fuel, fans, and switched power. The only question I have yet to answer is will the ABS still function without the DME? I have read that it will, but then read that it wouldn’t. It’s still in place (or able to be put back I should say) but the only sensors still on board are the wheel speed sensors. I guess we’ll find out.

    Beyond that it’s been a hell of a learning process. Can’t wait to get it running.

    22EB2FE7-38CC-486E-8223-EFDC1169F11A.jpg

    C700FDE2-A5C2-4D64-81AE-65EB4DDE8FBA.jpg

    2EA4ADD2-3EBB-4085-B236-6B78E18518DC.jpg

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    98
    My Cars
    01 330Ci
    Progress continues at a snails pace. But it does continue. No pics to add, I've just been collecting parts in anticipation of having spare time to work on the car. Waiting for me in a nice little pile are:

    Holley HP EFI system
    Fuel rails
    Fuel injectors
    -6AN braided fuel line for feed and return.
    -6AN fittings
    Fuel pressure regulator and gauge
    ATL Stealth Box with fuel pump (will allow me to run internal fuel pump in the cell as opposed to external)
    New RTABs and RTAB limiters
    Other sensors, odds and ends, and probably other parts I'm forgetting

    In addition to that I still need to wrap up the wiring and get some switches installed...and about a thousand other things...because "project car." As bonus motivation my wife decreed I had until the end of 2020 to have the car drive-able or it had to go. Challenge accepted. Will get more progress pics up when I can for anyone that cares.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    33
    My Cars
    2003 325ci Coupe
    Your fuel cell mounting bracket is a work of art. I'll definitely be following along.

    On your rear shock tower, what gauge metal did you use in that rounded plate that kinda wraps around the tower, the piece that the tubes are welded to? I really like the design and will be copying that in some variation. Love the build!
    Project : 2003 325ci Coupe, Steel Blue, E46 (swap) genIII chevy v-8 swap (iron block, LM7, 5.3L). Daily : 2016 2-door, 6mt, Deep Black Pearl, MK7 GTI. Catless down pipe, front mount twin-cooler, BFI mounts, BFI stage 2 'daily' clutch w/ light weight flywheel, + Burger Motorsports JB4 tuned for a 30% ethanol mix, 13.6 sec 1/4mi @ 107mph. Parts Transport : 1992 Toyota Pickup, rattle can green, 22re, 5spd manual.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    98
    My Cars
    01 330Ci
    Quote Originally Posted by LM7E46 View Post
    Your fuel cell mounting bracket is a work of art. I'll definitely be following along.

    On your rear shock tower, what gauge metal did you use in that rounded plate that kinda wraps around the tower, the piece that the tubes are welded to? I really like the design and will be copying that in some variation. Love the build!
    Thanks, I had a great fabricator when I lived near Nashville. I need a lot more practice before I'm remotely competent with metal fab. I'm not exactly sure what gauge he used for the plate on the rear shock tower, but I feel like it might be 1/8. The cage was done in 1.75" diameter, .120 thickness DOM in order to meet the NASA TT/ST requirements.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    2,144
    My Cars
    '87 325is 24v turbo buil
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt330LS View Post
    As bonus motivation my wife decreed I had until the end of 2020 to have the car drive-able or it had to go. Challenge accepted. Will get more progress pics up when I can for anyone that cares.
    Haha, sounds like my wife...I was told no more new projects until I at least finish the e30 build...And then I bought an e92 that needs some work...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    98
    My Cars
    01 330Ci
    Quote Originally Posted by SS Ball3r View Post
    Haha, sounds like my wife...I was told no more new projects until I at least finish the e30 build...And then I bought an e92 that needs some work...
    Well played

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    98
    My Cars
    01 330Ci
    Finally got some time in the garage today. Got RTABs changed out and added Turner RTAB limiters. Cleaned up and repainted the brackets while I had them out. Opened up the trans tunnel a bit so I can fill it and remove the shifter from inside the car.

    As you all know the RTABs were a pain in the ass. I have the Schwaben subframe tool kit but that doesn’t include the cup for trailing arms. One 2-7/16” twelve point socket later and I had what I needed.

    IMG_0230.jpg

    IMG_0234.jpg

    Gratuitous garage shot. Just finished building it this past fall and finally getting to use it for its intended purpose.
    IMG_0236.jpg
    Last edited by Matt330LS; 02-03-2020 at 05:10 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    98
    My Cars
    01 330Ci
    No pics today, but tested my wiring. All lights, turn signals and four way flashers are good to go. Got a plan for ditching the keyed ignition for a switch panel with push button start. Ordered some Kydex T to make block off panels for the dash as well as a mounting panel for the Holley ECU. Little steps...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    98
    My Cars
    01 330Ci
    One step forward, several back. This is mostly a vent and thinking out loud so go with the TL/DR unless you're bored.

    --TL/DR version is I'm getting rid of all BMW wiring and making my own harness.

    Did an electrical systems check a couple weeks ago to make sure my wire thinning was still on track. Headlights, tail lights, flashers, wipers all worked. So yesterday I spent all day cleaning up the wiring, consolidating some wires and rerouting factory driver's tail light harness to go through my bulkhead on the passenger side (only one grommet hole in the bulkhead that way). Checked systems again and the wipers don't function from the switch (I can jump them from the relay) and the driver's xenon headlight flickers every couple minutes. Ultimately the gremlins went unsolved last night after a couple hours of fiddling, so I did some thinking today. Decided I'm ditching all BMW wiring in order to vastly simplify things. I ordered a marine fuse panel today and I'll wire the few circuits I need to that and my switch panel directly, along with a couple relays. Super simple and will greatly reduce the electrical headaches the factory systems can cause in a car that's this stripped down. Lights are 12V at the switch so a SPDT switch and relay will get low and high beams, the wipers' auto-park function is supposedly in the motor not the General Module or switch, and I can get a cheap aftermarket horn and run it from a momentary on the dash. Brake lights will run as normal just not through a CAN or K-bus and the backup lights are coming from the T-56 anyway. The last bit of this will be to make the ABS a standalone system. My research indicates I already have the MK60 module so it only needs power, four wheel speed sensors, yaw sensor, and brake pressure sensors. Worst case, I bite the bullet and buy an aftermarket harness for $900 but I may be able to do my own. Either way, it won't matter if the car isn't running and driving anyway so onward we go...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    98
    My Cars
    01 330Ci
    PSA---19 year old sound deadening residue is a pain to remove...that is all.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Central, MD
    Posts
    1,976
    My Cars
    1995 M3
    Nice build. ABS is half of my in-cabin wiring now. lol. Full custom harness will be nice.

    What's the " +0.005 " on the end cylinders? Bore? I thought end cylinders were usually bored a touch smaller diam?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    98
    My Cars
    01 330Ci
    Quote Originally Posted by aeronaut View Post
    Nice build. ABS is half of my in-cabin wiring now. lol. Full custom harness will be nice.

    What's the " +0.005 " on the end cylinders? Bore? I thought end cylinders were usually bored a touch smaller diam?
    Piston to deck height. The shop that balanced and assembled the bottom end had that marked at all four corners along with a note of what head gasket thickness to use.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    98
    My Cars
    01 330Ci
    Making progress. In the last few weeks I got the sound deadening out, cleaned the tar residue (no fun, in case you wondered), and primed and painted the interior tub.

    image0.jpeg
    image1 2.jpeg
    image2.jpeg

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    98
    My Cars
    01 330Ci
    Also got going on the wiring from scratch. Painstaking work but I'm more than halfway done.

    image3.jpeg

    image1 3.jpeg

    image2 2.jpg

    When I got tired of wiring I got started on the fuel system plumbing

    image0 2.jpeg
    Last edited by Matt330LS; 03-19-2020 at 09:34 PM.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    98
    My Cars
    01 330Ci
    Put the front end back on to start measuring the wire runs for the headlights and radiator fan, as well as the clearance for the radiator.

    image1.jpeg

    Don't have a pic, but I got rid of the trunk lock and made a pull-cable opener as well. At this point, the primary goal before the world goes back to work is to get the engine running. After that, at some point in 2020, the goal will be to get it moving under it's own power. So nothing much to do there, just wheels, tires, brakes and suspension...probably have to sell a couple of my organs on the black market to fund it all, but hey, first world problems.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    98
    My Cars
    01 330Ci
    Garage success this week. Got the engine primed with oil, flipped the master power and pushed the start button...engine cranks like it should (ECU isn't connected so no start yet, just testing connections at this point). Called it a day and cracked a beer.

    Also:
    -Most of the wiring completed
    -Non-BMW brake light switch installed and functional
    -Trans filled with fluid
    -Clutch hydraulics started
    -New hood installed and started marking and drilling holes for the Aerocatch latches
    -Chase Bays tucked radiator installed

    Need to wire up the alternator, get a serpentine belt, mount the radiator overflow and plumb the cooling and get a section of 3" pipe that I can temporarily rig up to mount the O2 sensor in prep for firing the engine. And load the base tune in the ECU. Surely other odds and ends that I've forgotten before first start...

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    98
    My Cars
    01 330Ci
    aerocatch in progress.jpg
    The passenger side went much faster and more smoothly than the driver's side did.

    aerocatch drivers side.jpg

    aerocatch complete.jpg
    Got them on the angle I wanted.

    radiator installed.jpg
    Radiator installed. Cutting the core support on an E46 is not necessary with this setup, but it gave me an extra .75" to work with regarding fans and plumbing.

    catch can installed.jpg
    Fabbed up a bracket and got the catch can installed.
    Last edited by Matt330LS; 04-26-2020 at 01:12 PM.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Central, MD
    Posts
    1,976
    My Cars
    1995 M3
    Nice clean build!

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    98
    My Cars
    01 330Ci
    Quote Originally Posted by aeronaut View Post
    Nice clean build!
    Thanks!

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    98
    My Cars
    01 330Ci
    Measure twice, cut once. That is all...

    image0.jpg

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Central, MD
    Posts
    1,976
    My Cars
    1995 M3
    HAHA...that's a bummer.
    That's, well, not even close.

    I so want to use a few custom hoses.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    98
    My Cars
    01 330Ci
    Quote Originally Posted by aeronaut View Post
    HAHA...that's a bummer.
    That's, well, not even close.

    I so want to use a few custom hoses.
    Yeah, it was my own fault for rushing a bit. I meant to mark the hoses where they met in the center of their overlap, then cut and install the joiner. INSTEAD I got in a damn hurry and cut out the section where the hose joiner would be.

    Fortunately Pegasus Auto Racing is somewhat local to me so I was able to get a replacement today and got it done. Measured three times for...well, for good measure...

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-31-2015, 11:16 AM
  2. E46 LS Swap Headers that WORK!!!
    By greenmonster138 in forum Engine Conversions
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 05-28-2014, 06:36 PM
  3. E46 LS Swap Wiring Questions
    By TON3R in forum Engine Conversions
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-23-2012, 09:52 AM
  4. where's the e46 LS swap???
    By Maersk in forum Engine Conversions
    Replies: 45
    Last Post: 12-04-2010, 07:22 PM
  5. looking for a street/track rat - trading/selling my drift car
    By mattmartindrift in forum Middle Atlantic - US
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-21-2009, 05:09 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •