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Thread: Poor Man's Z8 Project

  1. #26
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    Notched the framerail recently and installed the dressed engine









    Next up is to determine driveline angle then build engine mounts, get the custom driveshaft made and determine steering linkage clearance around the exhaust manifolds...
    Last edited by BimmerBreaker; 05-17-2021 at 05:11 PM.

  2. #27
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    looks like it fits!
    1995 Mazda RX-7 LS1 6-speed (Toy, project)
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  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venom13132 View Post
    looks like it fits!
    Sure does, it fit very well. My eyecrometers were calibrated properly the day I marked the framerail

  4. #29
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    I needed to adjust the transmission height but I did not want to make a fully custom transmission mount so decided to make these spacers to sit between the OE mount and the chassis

    I made some 1:1 size templates and used them to mark the plates I will be using for the transmission mount spacer



    Finished products before welding



    Zapped em up



    The mating surface had to be flat, so I had to shave down some bolt heads



    Spacers installed. One side was perfect but the passenger side will need some shims made in order to fit nice and tight to the chassis



    Transmission installed



    Alignment looks good



    It will require further adjustment though, as I am going to lower the engine just a bit more. I did some math on how much to lower the engine if I want to use the Euro mount so I'm going to get it in that position and see how it looks

    There's also a chance I'll leave the engine at this height. To be honest it's already pretty low in the chassis. This is also as far rearwards as the engine can go. There is definitely more clearance to the firewall but there isn't any more room in the transmission tunnel. Even just moving it back this amount will likely necessitate trimming a few more brackets off the trans for clearance



    The wiring harness is stuck behind the engine, it won't normally sit like that - it'll just come straight out the side. I'll be more mindful of that next time I install the engine

    I've also been working on this recently to fit the dual intake from a 750i

    Before, single intake



    Cut the radiator support so the dual intake would fit recessed



    Still needs a bit of work at this point but you get the idea how it'll look





    MAF port had to be modified too. The intake is from a facelift N62, which had a different MAF port shape. I did not realize this before I started cutting the rad support but I'm in it now so have to make this work



    Filled with plastic weld, then used a hole saw a little smaller than I needed to drill the hole, filed it by hand until it was a tight fit with the MAF installed and it's done



    MAF plugged in for the first time (it now has matching screws too, lol)



    Had to lower the radiator a small amount in order to be able to fit the intake on top, you can kind of see the bracket I welded on here



    And because the intake is sitting right over the radiator, I decided to wrap the intake tubes in heat reflecting gold tape



    Next up is to make engine mounts, planning on starting those tomorrow
    After those are done I can start working on a lot of things at once: steering linkage, exhaust manifolds, custom driveshaft, etc... but I don't want to start any of that until the engine is in it's final location

  5. #30
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    Wow, very nice work!
    Diving in at the shallow end!

  6. #31
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    coming along. Nice to see more progress!
    1995 Mazda RX-7 LS1 6-speed (Toy, project)
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  7. #32
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    This is sick, very thoughtful attention to details. I love seeing the 90s cars modernized, once you have it in there and running you won't run out of engines for a long time.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by motorV8ed
    Wow, very nice work!
    Quote Originally Posted by Venom13132
    coming along. Nice to see more progress!
    Quote Originally Posted by circuit.heart
    This is sick, very thoughtful attention to details. I love seeing the 90s cars modernized, once you have it in there and running you won't run out of engines for a long time.
    Thanks guys

    Shift lever is done now... made it adjustable in length by splicing a bolt/nut into the middle. Plan is to screw it in/out to the right height to get the shift lever at the right angle, then remove it and weld it or make a second lever the same length



    Working on the engine mounts too. Took longer than I care to admit to get these angles right. And go figure, the OE mount was hollow - so this necessitated trimming some of the "inside" of the mount off. It will be reinforced later



    Once it's bolted in and engine mounts are finished I am hoping things will start moving rather quickly. That will allow me to work on multiple things at once - driveshaft, steering linkage, cooling system, etc

  9. #34
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    Looks like I am going to have to make a custom steering shaft, really no idea what I'm doing in that regard though. Need to get this done before I can make the engine mount so I can make sure the mount clears around the shaft

    "D" shaped shaft, set screws loctited in place holding the shaft into the U-joints. Heim joint to hold one of the shafts in place

    Any advice on making a steering shaft? Never done this before and I'm afraid something will happen and it'll break or disassemble itself while driving and I'll crash and die

  10. #35
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    may not be much help, but i've used similar in the past for truck projects. Should be able to figure some parts to make it happen https://www.flamingriver.com/steering-universal-joints (not the only vendor)
    '03 M3. Titanium Silver/Black. Bilstein PSS10, 19" VMR 710, UUC SSK, UUC LWT clutch/flywheel, UUC catback, ///Avin Avant2.
    '95 S50 TI, bad weather beater, tow rig. 210hp210tq @ the wheels

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by BimmerBreaker View Post
    Never done this before and I'm afraid something will happen and it'll break or disassemble itself while driving and I'll crash and die
    lol. It will turn out fine, a bit of safe testing and you should be okay.

  12. #37
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    When I read the title I thought this was going to be an early Z4 with an S62, but this is even more fitting! Nice build man, waiting to see it boogie

  13. #38
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    RE: Custom Steering Shaft.

    I recently abandoned my project of dropping S62 into my E36 M3 LTW race car. I engineered an N62 Oilpan solution for it, and modified my subframe in a similar way to yours. Should have mailed you mine. Alpina built the B8 E36 cars using M60 engines modified into what would become the "hot" versions later introduced by BMW. They had close to 40 modifications to the chassis in order to put the M60 engines in there.

    One of the modifications was moving the steering column's exit on the bulkhead to a new location to simplify the steering linkage. You may find that is the best and quickest way to avoid a multi-link shaft. I'd be happy to sell you the parts at a good price that I bought for my project that I won't use, from Flaming River etc.... I have the adjustable shaft and the link to the steering rack, unused, uncut, unblemished. Lets put the parts to use!

    Nice work, creative solutions.

    Update: I did find the parts! I have the slip column, its longer than needed so you can cut it down to size. It has the ability to collapse in a collision. Very safe. One end is called 1 inch DD, the other is 3/4 DD and I have the chrome moly adapter from them for 17mm to match the rack and column as it exits the firewall. I also have a Euro RHD interior steering column mount that doesn't incorporate the pedal next to it, which might facilitate moving the interior column down and out.... Its what Alpina did. If OP doesn't buy these, they are available. You'll save over buying them from Flaming River, I've had them way to long to return them. The couplers are still wrapped, in their shrink wrap, not even opened. The slip shaft has been on the shelf for a few years.
    Last edited by M3 Euro LTW; 07-17-2021 at 07:20 PM.
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  14. #39
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    Hi Graham, I just stumbled on this thread and got caught up (I had been following on your website).

    I have an S85 swapped E46 here that I am working on, to clear the exhaust the shop that assembled it added a 3rd joint to the steering shaft. While it isn't terrible to drive, especially at speed, it has lost a bit of the E46 "feel." I would suggest doing everything you can to prevent having to do the same to the steering on your car (within reason of course).
    Current Garage... '00 R11S, '09 HP2S, '12 R12GSA, '00 Black 323iT (wife's), '02 Alpine 325iT (Eileen, Track Wagon)

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  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrallande5020 View Post
    lol. It will turn out fine, a bit of safe testing and you should be okay.
    That's kind of where I'm at now... I will say, after seeing the U-joints in person I feel much better. They are very beefy

    Quote Originally Posted by Pink120 View Post
    When I read the title I thought this was going to be an early Z4 with an S62, but this is even more fitting! Nice build man, waiting to see it boogie
    Thank you man. Me too

    Quote Originally Posted by M3 Euro LTW View Post
    RE: Custom Steering Shaft.

    I recently abandoned my project of dropping S62 into my E36 M3 LTW race car. I engineered an N62 Oilpan solution for it, and modified my subframe in a similar way to yours. Should have mailed you mine. Alpina built the B8 E36 cars using M60 engines modified into what would become the "hot" versions later introduced by BMW. They had close to 40 modifications to the chassis in order to put the M60 engines in there.

    One of the modifications was moving the steering column's exit on the bulkhead to a new location to simplify the steering linkage. You may find that is the best and quickest way to avoid a multi-link shaft. I'd be happy to sell you the parts at a good price that I bought for my project that I won't use, from Flaming River etc.... I have the adjustable shaft and the link to the steering rack, unused, uncut, unblemished. Lets put the parts to use!

    Nice work, creative solutions.

    Update: I did find the parts! I have the slip column, its longer than needed so you can cut it down to size. It has the ability to collapse in a collision. Very safe. One end is called 1 inch DD, the other is 3/4 DD and I have the chrome moly adapter from them for 17mm to match the rack and column as it exits the firewall. I also have a Euro RHD interior steering column mount that doesn't incorporate the pedal next to it, which might facilitate moving the interior column down and out.... Its what Alpina did. If OP doesn't buy these, they are available. You'll save over buying them from Flaming River, I've had them way to long to return them. The couplers are still wrapped, in their shrink wrap, not even opened. The slip shaft has been on the shelf for a few years.
    Would gladly take you up on the N62 pan if you ever want to sell it I've got an S62 on an engine stand I am not really sure what to do with... (never rebuilt an engine, lol). Though I think you mentioned a friend laid dibs to it before I could get to it, oh well

    Ended up ordering the steering bits this kind gentleman offered for sale, plus a few other parts from Flaming River in order to turn it into a multi-piece shaft. Currently stuck in the mail but, that's par for the course these days. I have faith it will arrive eventually

    Quote Originally Posted by George Hill View Post
    Hi Graham, I just stumbled on this thread and got caught up (I had been following on your website).

    I have an S85 swapped E46 here that I am working on, to clear the exhaust the shop that assembled it added a 3rd joint to the steering shaft. While it isn't terrible to drive, especially at speed, it has lost a bit of the E46 "feel." I would suggest doing everything you can to prevent having to do the same to the steering on your car (within reason of course).
    I considered all options and eventually felt it was inevitable to construct the two piece shaft

    This is the current routing mocked up with extensions



    With the engine installed - ended up making a few adjustments to get it to sit a bit better



    I then had a little ordeal with the transmission mount stuff. The spacers I made previously were to be used in conjunction with the Euro trans brace. It ends up that the Euro trans brace is meant for the 420G and the 420G for some reason has different bolt spacing at the mount than the ZF transmissions. Freaking Getrag. I could have drilled out new holes on the Euro trans brace but they would have been further bolt-to-bolt than the 420G. Because the mount sits at an angle this would have effectively moved the transmission upwards, which would have defeated the purpose of... lowering it with the spacers

    I was back at square one and just decided to make a custom mount this time around

    I spaced the transmission mount up by the distance I needed to lower it, doing some math along the way to account for the material thickness, ending up with something roughly like this



    I then worked my way inside out, checking the angles as I went, bending the center part of the mount



    Eventually ending up in this



    Installed to test fit it. It will get reinforcement ribs along the bottom next time the engine is out. I also kept the little "jig" I made out of the stock brace so I can remake one easily in the future, next time I will extend the center brace to the outer edge of the side pieces. For now I will leave the transmission installed as the fitment is spot-on



    So now comes some questions, I just want to double check...

    Up to this point my goal has been to get the front driveshaft to point to the CSB as straight as possible, which I finally achieved with this custom trans mount. Previously it had been pretty close but once getting the engine in roughly the right height it was no longer correct. Now the engine is at it's correct height and the CSB to transmission alignment is perfect



    I then ensured the differential input flange and transmission output flange were exactly parallel. I zeroed out this digital inclinometer on the differential input flange and then measured the transmission output flange, which measured perfectly at 180







    I thought this was correct because both U-joints are in the rear half of the driveshaft, so the front portion should ideally point straight into the CSB to minimize the load and stress on the giubo and CSB



    Is this thinking correct? It has been brought to my attention that driveshafts usually run at small angle to provide proper lubrication for the joints. However, I thought I was maintaining the stock driveline angle - my thinking was that both the U-joints are in the rear half of the driveshaft and because the CSB and differential are mounted at the stock locations, the angle would be the same as stock

    In any case, I have a driveshaft from an N62 car here sitting next to me. I have taken the driveshaft measurements from the giubo to about 3/4 spline engagement at the CSB and I will be getting the N62 large giubo flange welded onto the front half of the Z3 driveshaft and shortened/balanced at a driveshaft shop. I've also taken the measurements of the shifter carrier so I can get those taken over to a local aluminum welder along with the SAP ports so I can get those plugged and finally installed. Working on engine mounts next, I can get that done without the steering shaft parts here because it looks like there will be plenty of clearance between steering shaft and engine mount

  16. #41
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    Your thinking is correct. The trans output to CSB would ideally be as close to straight as possible and the rear shaft u-joints at 1-2 degree opposing angles. Tremec (I think) makes a driveline angle app for your phone if you want to double check everything however.

  17. #42
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    Nice build Graham, Iím surprised I never saw it before.

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by BimmerBreaker View Post
    Thanks man



    Almost feels weird using the future tense on a build that's been going on now for... 8 months But yeah, it will be sweet when this thing finally hits the road
    I don't see a build thread for your Ford V8 E30?




    Also one thing I've been asked more than any other on this swap is... how much does that thing weigh
    Well the answer may surprise some of you but the N62 weighs 8 pounds less than an S54

    Here are some other common points of comparison I compiled last night as well, for my own record, thought some of you may be interested

    S62 | 394 hp | 500 n-m | 487 lbs+ | 5.0
    N62 | 367 hp | 490 n-m | 470 lbs* | 4.8
    S65 | 414 hp | 400 n-m | 445 lbs* | 4.0
    N62 | 333 hp | 450 n-m | 470 lbs | 4.4
    S54 | 315 hp | 341 n-m | 478 lbs* | 3.2
    M62 | 282 hp | 440 n-m | 487 lbs | 4.4
    S52 | 240 hp | 320 n-m | 436 lbs | 3.2
    M54 | 228 hp | 300 n-m | 375 lbs | 3.0
    M52 | 168 hp | 245 n-m | 375 lbs | 2.5

    +No published info on S62 weight but it would weigh close to, but a little more than an M62
    *These engines also require oil coolers which are not factored into the weights

    Full build thread is documented here for anyone interested: https://www.ascfabrics.com/z3v8
    Love this build! Also, find myself wishing BMW made an inline 6 in the spirit of the S65. As in the N52 is a good, lightweight, reliable motor, but it's not a9k rpm monster. Missed opportunity for BMW imo

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteBear View Post
    Your thinking is correct. The trans output to CSB would ideally be as close to straight as possible and the rear shaft u-joints at 1-2 degree opposing angles. Tremec (I think) makes a driveline angle app for your phone if you want to double check everything however.
    Awesome, that's what I thought and a few others seemed to agree so I went forward with it set up like that

    Quote Originally Posted by JimLev View Post
    Nice build Graham, I’m surprised I never saw it before.
    Thanks Jim

    Quote Originally Posted by Tlow98 View Post
    Love this build! Also, find myself wishing BMW made an inline 6 in the spirit of the S65. As in the N52 is a good, lightweight, reliable motor, but it's not a9k rpm monster. Missed opportunity for BMW imo
    Thank you, and I think that's called the S54 I do wish they made an M version of the N52 though (or of the N62 for that matter)



    Driver's side mount finished (it's not rusty, just residue from the welding)



    Passenger side mount finished. Each mount has 4 arms, I will add some gusseting next time the engine is out



    At this point the engine was fully installed. I raised it up, removed the spacers I had, then measured everywhere I could. This transmission output flange angle was 179.9



    Here it is just sittin there, being installed... (if you squint you can just barely deduce that the engine mounts are installed)



    Good clearance here, though it's rather tight at the x-brace. I'm not entirely sure I want to run it with it being this close to the x-brace so I may simply space the brace out a bit or modify it a little



    The engine is quite far back



    Engine will come back out tomorrow but not before double checking all my measurements once again... steering shaft, driveshaft, shifter carrier... I think that's all as everything else is marked on the chassis, like where the slave is so I can run the hydraulic line nearby and a few other places that need some hammer clearancing

    If I was smart, I'd have V-bands on hand so I could figure out the header to midpipe routing and *maybe* not have to take it out another time after this but, alas, I am not


  20. #45
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    Sure you don’t want V-band clamps? I used them on my header collectors to the main CATS, so easy to disconnect, no gaskets to worry about.

  21. #46
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    I will be using V-bands, I just don't have them on hand - if I did I could tack weld them in place now and possibly save pulling the engine an extra time in the future. Not a big deal at this point in any case, but I am starting to get near the point where I'd like it to be the "final" installation so I can start it up and maybe let it idle a bit...

  22. #47
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    Guess I mis read your post, thought you weren’t going to use them.
    Before mine were welded on I drove it around with open headers, really sounded like a NASCAR motor.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by BimmerBreaker View Post


    Thank you, and I think that's called the S54 I do wish they made an M version of the N52 though (or of the N62 for that matter)
    The S54 is great in all respects, except one thing - It's a boat anchor. Now something as light as the N52, but with all the M fixings would really be transformative and allow them to build something akin to an S2000, but from BMW with a high revving straight six. I'm surprised they never had an aluminum block 'S' straight six. Rather odd. They made the v8 from aluminum after all. From a weight perspective the S54 is nearly the same as the 20yr older S38.

    Anyway, cheers again for the awesome build. This thing is going to be a monster. Also, I knew little of the N62, and so it's always great to learn about them. Especially in this way!

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimLev View Post
    Guess I mis read your post, thought you werenít going to use them.
    Before mine were welded on I drove it around with open headers, really sounded like a NASCAR motor.
    I'm not opposed to running it open header if it gets to that stage and I haven't finished the exhaust yet

    Quote Originally Posted by Tlow98 View Post
    The S54 is great in all respects, except one thing - It's a boat anchor. Now something as light as the N52, but with all the M fixings would really be transformative and allow them to build something akin to an S2000, but from BMW with a high revving straight six. I'm surprised they never had an aluminum block 'S' straight six. Rather odd. They made the v8 from aluminum after all. From a weight perspective the S54 is nearly the same as the 20yr older S38.

    Anyway, cheers again for the awesome build. This thing is going to be a monster. Also, I knew little of the N62, and so it's always great to learn about them. Especially in this way!
    I do generally agree, at least in the sentiment that the S54 would be better if it was lighter. There is an aftermarket solution to that problem though... https://store.vacmotorsports.com/vac...s54-p4808.aspx



    Got the steering shaft pretty much finished today, needs just a little tweaking, but it's pretty much there and it seems like it's within the specs for maximum operating angle but I will double check this before welding the support bearing into place





    Going to have to modify the framerail around the upper part of the shaft to let it sit "into" the frame a bit in order to offer more clearance to the engine. I will weld a little plate around the shaft in order to protect it in the event the engine flexes enough to possibly hit the shaft. I am not worried about it hitting on the bottom by the mount, as there is a lot of clearance there

  25. #50
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    Not 100% finalized in place, the upper clearance around the headers is too tight for comfort... few ways I am thinking of addressing that issue, but the general layout will remain the same in any case...

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