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Thread: E39 swap or ?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    sunderland ma
    Posts
    3
    My Cars
    2000 bmw 540 sport wagon

    E39 swap or ?

    I'm trying to decide whether to do an LS swap on a 2000 540I wagon. I own the wagon, 135k Florida no rust car with a dropped timing chain (that's the way I bought it). It's a sport with auto. trans. I have an LS3 motor, T6060 trans., Chevy controller kit, bell housing, flywheel, and some misc. parts. I have a conversion kit from Madison (BMWman). I will need accessories, exhaust, & everything else it might take to finish. Here are my concerns: Personally this conversion has waited through 2 surgeries (1 knee & 1 rotator cuff) & me getting old in the meantime. Also i'm fairly colorblind. Getting no support from family to take this on. I'm guessing 100 to 200 hours to finish it, plus the help I would need, especially with wiring, but also exhaust, driveshaft, changing to stick shift, A/C & PS, etc.
    Things I would need to know: What fuel pump do I need? What radiator & fan setup are people using? I think I read to use Camaro LS front accessories? Has anyone done this with T6060 trans.? Can I use the T56 crossmember with a different (Camaro) mount? What about the shifter?
    I talked to someone outside Boston who can help with canbus wiring. If I do this, would like to have everything working from BMW stock dash, switches , A/C, etc. There are probably 50 more things I'll need that I don't even know about yet. It's difficult to go to other peoples conversions & see that all the pictures have disappeared. Found a few videos on youtube that might help but really not much.
    I know I have to make my own health decisions, but It would be great to get some input on the rest. I'm sure it might cost me $5k more to finish, but I hope not double that. Thanks, Paul

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Somewhere, USA
    Posts
    209
    My Cars
    2000 528i /560i
    Quote Originally Posted by 2000 548 View Post
    I'm trying to decide whether to do an LS swap on a 2000 540I wagon. I own the wagon, 135k Florida no rust car with a dropped timing chain (that's the way I bought it). It's a sport with auto. trans. I have an LS3 motor, T6060 trans., Chevy controller kit, bell housing, flywheel, and some misc. parts. I have a conversion kit from Madison (BMWman). I will need accessories, exhaust, & everything else it might take to finish. Here are my concerns: Personally this conversion has waited through 2 surgeries (1 knee & 1 rotator cuff) & me getting old in the meantime. Also i'm fairly colorblind. Getting no support from family to take this on. I'm guessing 100 to 200 hours to finish it, plus the help I would need, especially with wiring, but also exhaust, driveshaft, changing to stick shift, A/C & PS, etc.
    Things I would need to know: What fuel pump do I need? What radiator & fan setup are people using? I think I read to use Camaro LS front accessories? Has anyone done this with T6060 trans.? Can I use the T56 crossmember with a different (Camaro) mount? What about the shifter?
    I talked to someone outside Boston who can help with canbus wiring. If I do this, would like to have everything working from BMW stock dash, switches , A/C, etc. There are probably 50 more things I'll need that I don't even know about yet. It's difficult to go to other peoples conversions & see that all the pictures have disappeared. Found a few videos on youtube that might help but really not much.
    I know I have to make my own health decisions, but It would be great to get some input on the rest. I'm sure it might cost me $5k more to finish, but I hope not double that. Thanks, Paul
    Paul,

    A swap of this kind is a significant undertaking but is also very rewarding. Writing a check is easy and requires no skill (other than those required to earn the money) while building something with your own hands is something one can be proud of. Facing your own physical limitations honestly is very important and making purchases in tools or equipment to make the work easier is a good idea if you can swing it. I know for me, crawling underneath cars stopped being fun and started to hurt some time ago. That said, if I want to enjoy the car then I have to do the work as paying a shop (and trusting their work) wasn't an option. As far as family support goes: My wife has been as understanding and supportive as one can be when their spouse is "wasting money and time in the garage". I suspect she would have preferred that I just bought a Corvette....

    Now for the details:

    Fuel = Walbro 240 lph and C5 filter / regulator is the easiest way to go. If you go larger like I did (Quantum 340 lph) an adjustable regulator is required to get 58 psi.

    Radiator & Fan = F body is the easiest. I built a custom aluminum radiator with a Taurus fan.

    5th Gen Camaro accessories fit beautifully on the 6 cylinder subframe. Your results may vary given the V8 subframe / steering box and drivers motor mount arm.

    TR6060 = watch my build thread for updates as I'm currently swapping from a built 4L80E to a built TR6060. Using the same "Jesus Freak" mounts, TBD if the trans mount with require modification.

    Wiring = Not terribly difficult if you have experience chasing electrons in one form or another. Given your color blindness you will need help as you cannot always rely on connector positions for a given circuit. I have found discrepancies between posted literature and the actual car.

    Lastly, I've found this forum to be filled with a great bunch of folks who are very happy to spread their knowledge and experience. If you decide to take it on, rest assured one of us will chime in to lend a hand if you have questions.

    Good Luck!

    S.F.
    Last edited by StolenFox; 10-16-2018 at 10:41 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    sunderland ma
    Posts
    3
    My Cars
    2000 bmw 540 sport wagon
    Thanks for the response! Knowing I can get help along the way is huge. I know starting with a V8 540 things will fit a bit different. Are you getting close on the trans. swap? I have a crossmember made for a T56, hoping I can use it TR6060 which looks bigger at the back.
    Anyway, the wheels in my brain are gearing up, trying to absorb all the info I can find. I'll let you know what I decide. Thanks again, Paul

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