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Thread: Watch the build-up of a Vorshlag E36 LS1

  1. #1
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    Fair is offline Senior Member Supporting Vendor
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    Watch the build-up of a Vorshlag E36 LS1

    Woohoo! The new engine conversion sub-forum is here! Well let's kick this off with a brand new E36 LS1 swap by the Vorshlag Motorsports crew...

    The old E36 LS1 thread exceeded 1100 posts, and we've changed several things from our "Aplha" E36 LS1 swap. So now it's time to start an all new thread with information on our "Beta" E36 LS1 swap. This project is moving along, considering we're still primarily doing suspension related R&D (we sell suspension parts primarily for BMWs), but we have made progress in the past 3 weeks on the swap so here are the pics.



    Stock 1994 318is, 5-spd. Pulling the radiator support/bumper assembly makes numerous trial fittings easier.


    Just getting the engine & trans to our shop during a freak Texas ice storm was an experience


    In it goes


    Stock driver's side manifold = Not possible. Pass side = Not possible. (this is not news to us, just wanted to show why custom headers were necessary)


    Getting the complete/dressed LS1 engine and trans over the K-member was a tight fit (it helps to drop the K-member about 2"), but once that clears that it glides right in. Moving the engine to a slightly off center orientation makes all sorts of things fit better.

    Centerline of car is marked "CL" on manifold, above. We're going for a .75" offset so that the brake booster clears the head. Note: Most cars have at least 3/4" offset to pass. side on symmetrical V engines anyways, so this is nothing unusual (we learned that one the hard way)



    The Mason front strut brace fits over an LS1 with room to spare... that's good to know.

    Details: This is a customer car and a chance for us to redevelop many key features from our first LS1 install 4 years ago... which was, at the time, the first E36 anyone had ever stuck an LS1 into. Those early mock-up pictures spawned a lot of other one-off LS1 BMW swaps and even a couple of kits (Nash and V3). It's not too difficult to imagine putting an LS1 into anything, though. Anyway, this customer wants a streetable track car and a lot of power; a naturally aspirated, all-aluminum, 7.0L LS1-based motor is being built that should exceed 650 hp on pump gas, built for 7500 rpm track use. These LS1 motors are getting fairly affordable and have always been very reliable.

    Picture gallery : http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/gallery/2343546/

    • Yes, we'll make this into a kit.
    • Yes, we know that BMW purists will turn their noses up at the thought of an American V8 in a BMW. (we're starting with tired E36 318's, not M3s!)
    • The LS1 engine weighs no more than the iron block in-line 6, and is 13" shorter so weight is more centrally located (cylinder 1 is right on the front wheel centerline) and lowers CG as well
    • Costs for the kit and various options will be available soon. We're gearing up for production soon after this beta car is running.
    • Wiring integration isn't all that bad...
    • The install should not require cutting, welding or hammering on the E36 chassis
    • This swap will not impact the factory braking system, suspension/handling, or steering. Some changes to the HVAC are necessary but it will have A/C.
    Last edited by Fair; 02-23-2007 at 08:23 PM.
    Terry Fair @ Vorshlag Motorsports

  2. #2
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    This looks great! Can't wait for the kit to be out this might be something I would do.
    Matt Kern | BSW
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    Very exciting work.
    No PMs. Email through forum please.

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    price of this kit will be in the area of?
    99 Techno S50B32 6-speed ///M3 (Complete)
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    damn terry....nice work!!!
    Franklin Joseph

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    Sign me up! Hope that this thread doesn't take four years.
    I like girls with a couple stab wounds, bullet holes, been knocked up a few times. I like girls who'll be able to drive me and look over and be like 'you know my driver's license is suspended.' I like girls who you know have bad credit when they're 21."

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    So by offsetting the motor 3/4" to the passenger side do you plan to keep the original steering linkage as well as not modify the position of the brake booster?

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    Badass. Good luck with the sawp
    e30 FTW

  9. #9
    Fair's Avatar
    Fair is offline Senior Member Supporting Vendor
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    Quote Originally Posted by M3 Muscle View Post
    So by offsetting the motor 3/4" to the passenger side do you plan to keep the original steering linkage as well as not modify the position of the brake booster?
    Yes, more or less... More info soon. So far the brake booster will not need to be moved or be modified. That is a critical design aspect this time around - not altering the feel or function or pedal location of the BMW brakes/ABS is crucial.



    The stock steering linkage might "fit" but would make header clearance grotesque in some key areas. The OEM aluminum U-joints/rag joint are huge, as is the sprung steering shaft. We have a new BMW-specific broach tool being built to be able to offer a low-profile aftermarket steering shaft assembly that will be a true bolt-on, to remove nasty rag joint and make a slim-line steering assembly.

    We're looking at this new steering assembly not only for this V8 swap but for trackers/racers looking for a more direct steering assembly; similar options are available for other cars out there. It also allows us to possibly offer the E30 folks an option for swapping in the E36 steering rack (which is SO much faster!).
    Last edited by Fair; 01-25-2007 at 07:06 PM. Reason: spelling
    Terry Fair @ Vorshlag Motorsports

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    Very exciting, will be subscribing.

  11. #11
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    how about the z3 steering assembly or are you keeping it stock?

    WTB: E36 ZKW Headlights, ACS Rear Diffuser,E36 M mudflaps front + rear

  12. #12
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    Looking forward to reading more. You guys at Vorshlag are always doing something cool.
    Current: looking
    Past: 2012 BMW 318d Touring M-Sport, 05' Lotus Elise, 08' VW GTI, 99' Apline White M3, 95' 318ti

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    You should have John Mason build some headers for that!
    www.E36-tech.com

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    um..ya what did you guys do with the stock m42?
    M42 Club Member # 102

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    Quote Originally Posted by bmw318is1994 View Post
    um..ya what did you guys do with the stock m42?
    It's for sale: http://www.vorshlag.com/forsale.php
    Current: looking
    Past: 2012 BMW 318d Touring M-Sport, 05' Lotus Elise, 08' VW GTI, 99' Apline White M3, 95' 318ti

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    Subscribed!

  17. #17
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    Very excited to see all the progress and glad there is a conversion section now!! I will be purchasing this kit for my '95 M3 once it comes out. It's an automatic with 155K on it, so that's kinda like a 318. I will be more than happy to sell my engine/trans to any purists out there. It will be LS1/2/or 7 for me!! Keep up the great work Vorshlag...

    SOLD: '95 Hellrot M3 - TCKline D/A coilovers, Eyeball Arms, UUC adj rear control arms, Denso Iridium plugs, angel eyes, smoked corners, Corbeau LG1 seats
    SOLD: '97 Silver 540i - staggered Beyern 18's, Cross-drilled rotors

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    This thread will be over 1100 posts soon if we don't get the basic information up here fast enough to curb the basic questions that the new people have...

    I'm so happy there is finally an appropriate forum for this!

  19. #19
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    +1

    If I lived in TX, I would offer to be a parts runner for Vorshlag Motorsports.

    Terry do you have any intern positions
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  20. #20
    Fair's Avatar
    Fair is offline Senior Member Supporting Vendor
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    Wow! OK, trying to stay ahead of the questions.
    Quote Originally Posted by raoke View Post
    how about the z3 steering assembly or are you keeping it stock?
    • Yes, a Z3 rack is on the list for this particular car, due to its faster steering ratio.
    • As Ralliart stated/linked (thanks!) the M42 is for sale. I can palletize and even offer to set-up freight shipping on this if necessary, but would prefer a local sale.
    • Price range for kit is between $1000-100,000. We haven't done a cost breakdown yet and cannot until all quotes are in and prototypes are built to verify kit components. We plan on offering this kit in "bare bones" form (motor mounts + trans cross-member + headers) to "complete bolt in" (bare-bones + several new hard lines and hoses + steering shaft + other assorted bits) all the way to "turn key installs" (through our existing dealer network). Air conditioning will be optional, as will full wiring harness conversions.

    Project Update (from Vorshlag co-owner HancheyB):
    The [complete] M3 [rear] subframe is now in. I didn't realize how *fairly* easy that process was. Key things to note:

    • M3 half shafts are 0.5" bigger in diameter than a 318 [1.00" vs 1.50" dia]
    • The CV joints go from "comical" [318] in size to "BIG BOY" [M3]
    • We looked at the mounting points for the calipers. We couldn't find any difference even tho [some people] say, "OH, M3 brakes won't mount to anything but a M3". I don't know. Like I said, it was just a quick visual inspection. They looked the same, but we didn't measure it.
    • The M3 diff is an inch longer and 1/2" wider.
    • The trailing arms look identical, but M3 ones have a cast "///M" in the side.
    • The subframe carrier looks the same, too, visually. Again [some people]say "they're so different". And I'm talking about suspension pickup [points] and stuff. The front mounting of the diff was different.


    Motor has to come back out [tonight]. Terry and Jason couldn't get the [aftermarket Pro 5.0 T56] shifter in and the 13 year old insulation [which has pulled partially from the floorpan] was impeding them as well. Gotta pull that out. I didn't see what they were doing. I was busy assembling Bilsteins, stock springs and camber plates together. Another [suspension development] project we're working on.
    Terry Fair @ Vorshlag Motorsports

  21. #21
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    This is great guys, keep at it. Going to keep my eye on this thread and an eye out for a rolling chassis. Cheers.

  22. #22
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    Very interesting! Id consider this down the road when my car dies. Cuz those domestic motors are TONS cheaper to mod up than our euros. Im definitely subscribing for progress and more info!
    Mods ~ Ones that make me fast enough, handle like a dream, stop me on a dime.....and all while still looking good.

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  23. #23
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    wow...subscribed also


    1999 M3 | 1993 NASA Camaro Mustang Challenge Racecar | 2015 RAM 2500 DSL CCLB | 2018 Corvette GS

  24. #24
    Fair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sirius600 View Post
    You should have John Mason build some headers for that!
    This was actually discussed between Vorshlag and Mason Engineering, and I'm sure he could have made some incredibly beautiful headers, and could have used a variety of of materials like carbon steel, stainless, titanium... his headers are always works of art.

    Instead, we are working with a volume header manufacturer to bring us a production LS1 E36 header right off the bat. They are slated to make both full length (1.75" dia primaries) and shorty style prototype LS1 headers at the same time, both in 304 stainless steel, with a production jig built for each. This way they can build the headers with the proper bends and layout to work not only with an LS1 in the E36 chassis, but also to work with their CNC bender. This allows a quick transition from "prototype" to "production" for this, the most pricey portion of the kit. Not so pricey anymore.

    We will, however, be sending other pieces that are a part of this swap along to Mr. Mason for production fabrication, and are carrying more of his parts every month. Some exciting new products are coming to Vorshlag from Mason, including coverage for some new models and all new parts never before offered for BMWs...
    Last edited by Fair; 01-26-2007 at 02:57 AM.
    Terry Fair @ Vorshlag Motorsports

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    cant wait to see it finished

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