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Thread: Diving in at the shallow end!

  1. #1
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    Diving in at the shallow end! (another LS1 into E36)

    I would like to introduce myself and start my build thread. I recently purchased a 1999 E36 convertible from a member here (Jim Brink, who posted under 99E36LS1 and "C10 LS1 1968). The twist is that he had ALREADY converted this car to LS1 power. He fabricated many of the conversion bits, and he also upgraded many of the components like suspension, brakes, etc. (He pulled his Chevy mill and Magnum trans out for another project.) You might say that Jim got to do all the hard work! I just have to put another V8 in there that is why I say I am diving in at the shallow end.


    The chassis is in beautiful shape. As I mentioned, it is a 99 convertible (323i), and it has essentially no flaws. It spent most of its life in the upper Midwest, but clearly did not see any winters. No rust, clean Carfax, no obvious flaws.


    After agonizing over the drivetrain, I recently bought an LS1/T56 pullout combo from a 2000 Camaro from eBay (90k miles). I chased my tail for a while trying to line up components to make the job cheaper or better. In the end, I concluded I was not going to be able to save any money once all the bits were rounded up, and I was certainly not going to make the job any easier.


    I am older than most of you, and I am not out to set any records for HP or quarter mile or anything. My goal is to have a car that is quick, reliable, streetable, and refined, but interesting, with lots of grunt. I have silly notions of pulling an RV with it eventually, but that is a story for another time!


    This swap would be merely a weekend project for many of you. However, I am not in your league! I have not done anything more serious than a head gasket in the last 20 years or so. So I will be learning as I go and asking stupid questions. I look forward to your help!


    Paul



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    Last edited by motorV8ed; 04-13-2019 at 10:11 AM. Reason: Made title more indicative of content
    Diving in at the shallow end!

  2. #2
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    Just a slow start this weekend (before a freak snowstorm got me sidetracked!). Got the stock exhaust manifolds, motor mounts, and transmission mount off without much incident, and just starting to sort through and label the harness.

    My rough plan at this point is not to go into the internals. So far, I am planning to change the clutch (and slave) and add a remote bleeder. I will also prophylactically change the starter, as it is the older design with one weak bracket tab, and I understand it is tough to change it after installation. Other suggestions welcome!
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    Diving in at the shallow end!

  3. #3
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    Man I like spending other peoples money.

    I'd pull the front cover and replace the timing chain and oil pump. Easiest way is to pull the pan first.

  4. #4
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    Got back from a trip, and had a new LSx Engine Stand from Speedway Motors waiting. Hmmm, it seems a bit shoddy finish, but no big deal. And hmmm, it was supposed to include mounting bolts, but it didn't; but no big deal, I have appropriate bolts.

    So I lifted the engine out of its shipping crate for the first time, and tried to attach the legs of this stand. The driver's side went on fine, but the passenger side leg did not clear the starter. Not by much, but no go. I checked, and their website explicitly says it clears the starter.

    Did anyone else use this stand and have problems? I was going to return it and shop for another. However, I think maybe I will just drill out a couple of the holes (or, ideally, slot them). I don't think it would take much, and I think it would still function okay. I don't want to lose any more time!
    Diving in at the shallow end!

  5. #5
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    I see you already have a TurnOne power steering pump installed by the previous owner of the engine, that's a big plus! Hopefully he drilled the orifice size correctly so it is not "over-assisting". As far as what to do while engine is out, definitely replace the oil pump with high pressure one. They are relatively inexpensive. Also any leaking gasket that you see, now is the time. I see your oil pan is some what "oily", so while you're doing the pump, good time to replace the pan gasket along with the front timing gasket/cover.

    In your last post, you are talking about engine stand legs that don't clear the starter - it is hard to imagine that the starter can interfere with it, because from my experience usually there is a lot of room between the two, but then yet again, I'm not sure which mounts you are using and why the new starter you got is so much bigger... In any case, if you're planning on slotting the mounts, keep in mind that if you slot the 4 holes that bolt up to the engine, you will then have the chassis side that will not align and will have to be slotted, and possibly changing the angle of the engine and then it goes on and on... Just make sure you're thinking through before you make the change and evaluate if the different starter design is worth it.

    Good luck!
    - 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)

  6. #6
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    So when you say engine stand is it the typical pivoting type that bolts to the bell housing bolts or is it a engine "cradle" stand that bolts to the engine with two bolts to each of the side of the block? I have a L92 in my shop that is bolted to the engine cradle type and yes the starter will not clear the left side vertical angle iron support. Might be able to clear the starter if the left rear support is modified.
    If you are going to remove the oil pan a pivoting engine stand that bolts to the bell housing bolts is the only way to go. The cradle type is much better for moving the engine around long term or transport to a machine shop because it's so much lower.

  7. #7
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    Thanks very much for your comments, guys. I appreciate it.

    The stand in question is like a cradle, but not the kind that bolts to the bellhousing. (See below.) I wanted the kind that could support the engine with the tranny installed. (https://www.speedwaymotors.com/Speed...and,33112.html) To be clear, I was only thinking of modifying the stand, not the mounts in the car.

    I decided to simply notch the stand to accommodate the starter. It bothered me a little, because that notch is RIGHT WHERE it could weaken the stand the most. But I figured it was still plenty strong enough, and I was correct.

    As happenstance would have it, my new Bosch starter came in just a few hours later. I held it up to the existing piece, and it is a good 1" shorter. I have no idea what the provenance of the old starter was, i.e., whether it was original equipment or not.

    By the way, Bimerok, my trip was to Philly. I grew up there (Northeast Philly), and I go back from time to time for family obligations. Maybe I can catch up with you on a future trip sometime...

    After getting the engine stand sorted out, I made a crude cart out of a mover's dolly and some scrap wood. Upwards and onwards!
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    Diving in at the shallow end!

  8. #8
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    I managed to separate the T56 and engine today. I built a crude "transmission jack" by attaching a wooden cradle to my li'l ol' floor jack. I got smart and made an OSB (i.e., chipboard) insert that fits into a Hazard Fraught mover's dolly, and then used that as the base for the cradle. After detaching the T56 from the LS1, I lowered the cradle into the dolly, and then pulled the floor jack out for other tasks.

    A big question in my mind was the clutch. I had already bought an LS7 clutch (and new slave). It became clear that the donor car had its clutch replaced sometime its 90k life. The clues were that one of the bellhousing bolts was absent, but it turned out to be used as one of the tranny bolts. Also, 2 of the other bellhousing bolts were not torqued down. Since the engine only had 90k miles on it, I was curious to see what the condition and model of the clutch was.

    To my inexpert eye, the clutch was quite new. It was an OEM (Valeo) GM LS1/LS6 clutch. It has the same thickness as the brand-new LS7 clutch, and there was even some light "writing" on the friction surface of the clutch disk (saying "Valeo") that had not completely worn off yet. The flywheel looked pristine. I probably could have just stayed with that setup. Nonetheless, I decided to proceed with my LS7 clutch and new slave, and try to sell the old one on Craigslist. (Heh heh, good luck with that.)

    I gave up and ordered a locking tool for the flywheel (the kind that replaces your starter). I think I will be happy with that compared to prybars and bellhousing bolts.

    DSCN2533.jpgDSCN2538.jpgDSCN2539.jpg
    Diving in at the shallow end!

  9. #9
    JimLev's Avatar
    JimLev is online now Artifically Aspirated Moderator
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    Not sure what you'll be using for an exhaust manifold.
    See post 14 if your looking for the GM log manifold. PM me if your interested in it. I'd like to get rid of it, I have no need for it.
    https://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/s...uto-swap/page2

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimLev View Post
    Subscribed.
    Not sure what you'll be using for an exhaust manifold.
    See post 14 if your looking for the GM log manifold. PM me if your interested in it. I'd like to get rid of it, I have no need for it.
    https://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/s...uto-swap/page2
    Thanks for thinking of me for the exhaust possibility. However, I bought this car from user "C10 LS1 1968," who made custom headers that I will be using. But correct me if I am wrong: I didn't think that any stock manifold works in a E36 swap due to the infamous interference potential between the steering rack and exhaust for cylinder #7.

    Today was some work on a brake line on the chassis, nothing on the engine. Lots of Mity-Vac bleeding, but more in the future...
    Diving in at the shallow end!

  11. #11
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    I have the timing cover off, but haven't dropped the pan yet. For 90k miles, I think that color looks acceptable...

    DSCN2576.jpg

    I am putting together my parts list, and would like an opinion.

    As Jim and Bimerok mentioned above, an upgraded oil pump may be a good idea. Here is one question: Melling makes one that has stock pressure but 18% higher volume (M295HV). They also make one that has 18% higher volume and 10% higher pressure (10296). Is there a reason to think higher pressure is a good thing for my application?

    I was a little concerned at the amount of slack in the chain. I am planning to replace the chain and sprocket anyway, but the threads on ls1tech lead me to believe this was normal? It is right around 1/2" on the slack side, 1/4" on the driven side.

    DSCN2581.jpg


    Also, my early LS1 does not have a chain damper (AKA dampener). I am planning to add one to limit chain slap via this kind of kit from Trick Flow (or maybe the Melling equivalent) https://www.trickflow.com/parts/tfs-30675600:
    TFS-30675600_ml.jpg (Plus the damper itself, obviously.)

    Does anyone have a reason NOT to add a damper?
    Last edited by motorV8ed; 04-26-2019 at 07:19 PM.
    Diving in at the shallow end!

  12. #12
    JimLev's Avatar
    JimLev is online now Artifically Aspirated Moderator
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    If it were my engine I'd got with more volume, not more pressure. The new pump will have all the pressure you need.
    More pressure could lead to more oil leaks down the road, however an LS is no where as bad at pissing out oil as our BMW engines.
    Yes, do the damper. The cam timing won't walk around.

  13. #13
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    I opted for highrt pressure pump, but my car sees occasional street and mostly track (although haven’t been out in a long time). My observation is that higher pressure pump is optimal for me, because when oil gets up to temp, the pressure does not drop and is kept at around 45-50psi during normal driving. Also no leaks of any kind even with a road coarse track usage.
    - 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)

  14. #14
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    Man learn something new everyday I didn't know the earlier LS engines didn't have a timing chain dampener. In my opinion since the engine has 90000 miles I would go the 1096 pump. My thoughts are that the engine has some miles and wider bearing clearances due to the miles. Make sure you get the pump o-ring seated properly.
    Looks like you are making good progress. Kind of fun building a not so stock car project isn't it?

  15. #15
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    Thanks again, gents! I appreciate the help and feedback. Parts are ordered (this was my evening project).

    I dropped the pan this afternoon, and am pleased to report there was nothing ferrous in it! That is a relief. Everything looked clean, with only a tiny bit of sludge that readily wiped up with a shop towel. A good deal of my time was spent scrubbing the outside of the pan, of all things.

    Yes, I am having fun. I'm happy enough with the progress, but I am not sure I would call it "good progress" amongst this crowd.
    Diving in at the shallow end!

  16. #16
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    Santa arrived from Rock Auto!

    I got a new high-flow, high-pressure oil pump; timing chains/sprockets; the chain damper; a camshaft thrust plate; a new crankshaft position sensor; a new oil galley plug; all required gaskets, seals, and bolts; and I splurged on a new harmonic balancer. The old one was probably fine, but it is a pleasure to behold the nice new one, instead of the rusted-to-shite old one.

    In the meantime, I have been fiddling with making an A/C relocation bracket. I believe I will be able to put a SD7H15-style compressor in the same block-hugging spot that the Holley and Vintage Air brackets do... but using a mass-market, direct-mount compressor (the kind with tangential mounting bolts, rather than the "ears" those two brackets use). The benefit is that you can use a compressor from a junkyard, instead of the special ones needed for the commercial kits. (Whether a junkyard compressor is a good idea or not is subject to discussion. ) I should be able to post pictures of that effort soon.
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    Diving in at the shallow end!

  17. #17
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    How much slip can a slip yoke slip?

    Because I bought an E36 that had already been converted to LS-power (by Jim, C10 LS1 1968), there is a lot of things I don't have to worry about. However, Jim used a T56 Magnum, and I have a stock F-body T56. Because of the different spline count on the output shaft, I knew I needed a new slip yoke. However, I just realized that the Magnum case is just about one inch longer than the stock unit.

    Pardon my ignorance, but is that in the range of difference that you can make up with a longer slip yoke? Or am I looking at getting a longer driveshaft made?

    In case you want to see the dims, these may be useful:
    Magnum dimensions: https://static.speedwaymotors.com/rs...dimensions.pdf
    Standard T56 dimensions: https://help.summitracing.com/app/an...ion-dimensions
    Last edited by motorV8ed; 05-06-2019 at 09:46 PM.
    Diving in at the shallow end!

  18. #18
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    You have to really measure and see once everything is in the car. I wouldn’t buy anything beforhand. As for the slip, I would stay within 0.5 to 0.75 of an inch, not more.
    - 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)

  19. #19
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    As said above .50-.75" out from the end of the trans is best. Keep in mine the rear end is fixed so the yoke doesn't move in and out like a live axle car.
    I would redo the drive shaft. Keep the drive shaft ends on both ends. Add new yoke. Should be a piece of cake for your local drive shaft shop. Should be able to reuse the u-joints.
    Also do install the engine and trans to make sure the trans mount is in the right place due the difference between the standard T56 and the magnum T56.

  20. #20
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    Okay, thanks for the advice guys. I'll wait on the slip yoke and drive shaft until I get ready to put this in the car.

    I did get the timing chain/sprocket and new oil pump in last weekend. The new chain looks/feels stouter than the old one, and the chain damper reassuringly fills the void between the sprockets. Might as well show some pix!
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    Diving in at the shallow end!

  21. #21
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    Don't forget a bit of blue Loctite on all the bolts.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by C10 LS1 1968 View Post
    Don't forget a bit of blue Loctite on all the bolts.
    Now he tells me!


    Today I got the pan lined up and on, as well as the rear cover, the timing cover, and associated seals. Went with a new oil barbell and a new crank position sensor. Nice to have the engine buttoned back up.

    It was a bit of a freak-out when there was an additional, unused gasket in the Fel-Pro timing cover gasket set. Turns out it was for the water pump on the rare transverse-mounted (FWD) cars. Phew!
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    Last edited by motorV8ed; 05-10-2019 at 11:59 PM.
    Diving in at the shallow end!

  23. #23
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    Rtv

    Again a bit late but don't forget a bit of RTV on the rear cover and timing cover where it meets the oil pan.

    Just back from a cruise around the local lakes in the 68 C10. Such a radical difference from the C10 to the E36. The C10 is so much the old school hot rod. Still fun but just makes you think about the progress over 51 years.
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  24. #24
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    Wow, the ol' gal is looking nice! Very clean. I am happy for you that you got it on the road.

    Yes, fortunately, I read enough books and watched enough youtube videos to know about the RTV in the corners. In fact, in my 4th image above, you can see the tube of RTV under the engine and just make out a little dab of it squeezed out of the corner on the left of the picture. I felt like it went well.

    I was tied up all day today, but after dinner got the new harmonic balancer bolt on and twisted to the correct spec.
    Diving in at the shallow end!

  25. #25
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    Got the FEAD accessories cleaned up an installed today: water pump, AC bracket (more below), alternator, and power steering pump.

    As I mentioned above, I have been working on a DIY bracket for a block-hugging AC compressor. I will break that out into a separate post. I tell the whole, long story in case it helps others.
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    Diving in at the shallow end!

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