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BeardedMuffin None
9/20/18 1:42 a.m.

So after reading through all of Seths R63 build thread, I have decided to finally start my own. I have been a member of GRM for a while and attempted to contribute a few times only to abandon them a short while later. This one is different.  I'm pretty far into this one that there is no abandoning it. So without any further ado....

This is my 1991 BMW 318i in all her stock glory.  Amazingly this is the only picture I could find being from when I first brought it home. 

It was at this point I made a thread stating, I bought an e30, now what? Well, I found its direction after driving the piss out of it for a while.  Of course, the first thing that needed to be done was to lower it. So I started looking around pricing everything, and I found Turner Motorsports spec e30 suspension kit. I was not planning to go that far into it at once, but its one of those things...while I'm in there.  Sadly I dont have any pictures of the in-progress work or any before and after pictures so you are going to have to use your imagination of a lowered e30 on bottle caps.

So after I lowered it, I continued to drive the piss out of it. Didnt plan on getting wheels for it for a little while to save up a little bit. That was until a friend of mine was all "you need wheels, I know a guys selling some." So I, being the financially responsible person I am, went to look at them. So I get there and test fit them, and the fronts fit perfect. The rears not so much. The inside of the fender was sitting on the tires.  Okay, cool. I'll just roll them and come back. So I get with a buddy and use his fender roller. Go back to test fit and its.....better. still rubbed on the fender. Damn it. So I go back to said friends house and roll some more and pull the fenders a little bit. Go back....and they fit! Barely. Would still rub if I hit a decent bump, but not bad enough to warrant not buying the wheels for the price. 


So as you can see, it tucks the rear tire a little bit.  But I love them.  Also keep in mind that the suspension is maybe a 3-4 days being installed so the springs hadn't quite settled yet. So after they settled, they started rubbing again. So I said berkeley it. I cut the inner fender lip out and BFHed a couple spots that rubbed.  I wasnt too worried about it since I plan putting flares on it anyways. But after all that, they finally fit. And just in time too because there was a cruise to Taco Boy in Folley Beach, SC that next weekend.  What better way to make sure that everything sets right and test out than is a 3-hour drive there and back.  And it was a succes!

That green Mustang is now LS swapped as well.  But I digress.   One thing I did learn while I was at the beach was that this thing is a snow globe!  I needed tint bad. So a group of us got together with one of the window tint shops in town and got a group deal made so that it wouldn't cost us so much.  I guess you could say I got it pretty dark.

This photo also shows the new black housing headlights. That was one of those things that, both my headlights went out, so replace them with aftermarket.  At this point, it stayed this way for about a year.  I drove it quite a bit. Didn't have any problems with it.  None. The engine is a tank.  It handles amazing.  It looked great aside from needing a new paint job.  At this point you're probably thinking, "I though this was a LS swap build thread?"  Well here is the start of that story.  So a friend of mine was having problems with his e30 and I told him that I would come over and swap some parts from mine to his to find his problem.  One of the things that we swapped was the throttle position sensor.  Had to take the throttle body off to get to it.  And in doing that, the TB gasket tore. It wouldnt idle for E36 M3. Ran like E36 M3.  Was kinda bummed out.  Even though its an easy fix.  And what better way to fix it than to put an LS1 in it.  So out came the engine. 

I got the engine out and just stared at it thinking, holy crap what have I done.  Started to feel overwhelmed so i stopped.  Went inside and started looking online at all things for the swap and saw that Garagistic was having a sale on their mounts.  So to alleviate my anxiety I bought them...that's how that works right?   I couldnt pass them up for the price they were on sale for.  After all that I ended up stepping away from for a little while.  Life got in the way.  You know how it is.  

Then I came back. I was in a limbo, should I just sell it? Just put the stock motor back in it?  I got my answer when a friend said he was selling his complete engine from intake to oil pan and front accessories.  We knew that it would need a rebuild bc it was knocking when he pulled it.  So I get it home and start pulling it apart. Knock is the least of my worries...

Well that sucks.  But my friend felt really bad about this because he thought for sure that it was just bearings and insisted on getting me another block. So now I have a block I can use for my coffee table smiley But until then, I have a bottom end I need to source.  Lucky for me the I was able to get the same rotating assembly that came out of the block.  I gather all my parts and take it to the machine shop to get it all cleaned up and refreshed and the assemble the short block. Once I got it back, I ordered a cam (Texas Speed Torquer V2) and lifters (Johnson link bars).  Once those came in I installed them and put the long block together. 

All that was left after that was to measure pushrods, install the oil pump (Melling 10295), and my Canton oil pan. And now that all that is done the motor is going in the car.   Got all my gaskets on and mounts on and I at its current state with the engine in the car. 

If you have made it this far in my rambling, I applaud you. So that's all I have at the moment. I have a laundry list of stuff I still need to do.  So I will post up with updates when I have them. This has been a year in the making so I look forward to having something I keep updating to keep me motivated and keep track of my progress.

pushrod36 Reader
9/20/18 5:11 a.m.

What’s your plan for the brake master cylinder?

NOHOME UltimaDork
9/20/18 5:47 a.m.

That LS seems to have gone in without any major drama so far. Gotta be more than one post worth of fun to swap an LS into an E30...no?



BeardedMuffin New Reader
9/20/18 6:20 a.m.

In reply to pushrod36 :

Im going to be going manual brakes.


In reply to NOHOME : 

To be honest, its been pretty straightforward.  The biggest hiccup I ran into was that i had the mounts on backwards at first. I will have to take the BFH to the trans tunnel a little bit to get to the T56 to fit.  So I know that will take longer than I want it to.  Of course the easy part of this build is done.  Its getting everything to work together that will take a while too. I still need to get a handful of sensors for the engine.  The radiator I plan to use will require a little cutting to fit.  Getting all kinds of hoses and lines and stuff is gonna be fun. Im wanting to go AN lines and steel braided hoses on all things possible.  The hard parts are on its way.  Everything else has gone too easy.

Lof8 Dork
9/20/18 7:24 a.m.

I'm working on swapping an LS in an e36 at the moment.  I'm in to see the problems and solutions you come up with.  Good luck!

BeardedMuffin New Reader
9/20/18 2:52 p.m.

In reply to Lof8 :

Well, I hope I can help you in any way!

Andy Neuman
Andy Neuman Dork
9/20/18 7:00 p.m.

Looks like a truck engine with truck intake would fit in the engine bay. I may need to look into an e30 challenge car. 

Truth on the easy part being finished. Heavy lifting is done, but the heavy thinking isn’t. 

BeardedMuffin Reader
9/20/18 7:36 p.m.

replying to Andy Neuman:


Posting from my original account since something didn't coincide between devices: 

Yea, I was really surprised at how much top end room I had with these mounts. It sits a lot lower than I expected. I think if I hadn't gone with this oil pan, it would set on the cross member.  And I totally agree on the thinking part. I'm trying to go easy button on as many things possible to keep from having to over think a lot of stuff.  

BeardedMuffin Reader
9/22/18 12:29 a.m.

Would anyone happen to know if I can use the e30 outter tie rods with the z3 steering rack? I would imagine so, but some reassurance would be nice. 

ShawneeCreek Reader
9/22/18 9:51 a.m.

I believe so. I certainly know that you can with the E36 rack, because that's what I did with mine.

BeardedMuffin Reader
11/19/18 1:30 a.m.

So not a huge update. But progress is progress. I've gotten a bell housing and wanted to mock up the trans without the clutch bc I didn't have flywheel bolts and pressure plate bolts. But turns out that's harder than I thought. So I canned that idea. Instead I decided to make a little progress and got the engine wiring harness ran into the bay, but I need to figure out how to run the rest of the loom. I have a feeling I'm going to need to pull the dash to make it all fit. And I really don't want to cut a shorten a wiring harness. Anyone happen to know how hard it is to remove a dash? But I'm not too far from an initial startup. I have pushrods on the way and should have trunion upgrades shortly after. All I'll need is a oil filter relocation kit and I could essentially start it up. I'm shooting for first start up before the end of the year. 

BeardedMuffin Reader
2/13/19 1:10 a.m.

Disappointing/overdue update. Was not able to get the car started.  Instead, I've pulled the engine probably 3 times attempting to make progress.  And at this point, I've technically lost progress. Pulled once to put clutch in, to find out it was toast. Again to modify mount for headers to fit. And again to put new mounts that headers we're designed around, only to find out I need to cut some threaded tabs in the trans tunnel that held some rubber heat shielding to it for the bell housing to fit. I haven't done that yet though because I got frustrated and it was late. So now my engine is still out of the car waiting to cut those off.  But I did get a clutch for it and is on the engine. So at least some form of progress was made on it. It's just one of those things that I could have prepared for had I done a little bit more research.  I didn't want to take pictures of pulling the engine all those times, but I did get pics of the new parts to be installed, bc who doesn't like to see pics of new parts?

Hopefully I will have another update soon.  And one with actual progress. I think my first goal is to clean out the garage to make it a little more enjoyable as well. But until next time...

NOHOME UltimaDork
2/13/19 5:23 a.m.

If it were easy, it would make for a boring story.  Those mounts and the headers look nice, meant to work together?



BeardedMuffin Reader
2/14/19 3:58 p.m.

In reply to NOHOME :

Yeah, they go together. The first set of mounts I had wouldn't work because the headers hit the bottoms of them, so I went ahead and got the mounts the headers we're designed around. 

artur1808 Reader
2/27/20 6:44 a.m.

I'm not sure how I ended up here, but what's going on with this? Any updates? 

BeardedMuffin New Reader
4/5/20 6:53 a.m.

In reply to artur1808 :

I have been meaning to update, but there has been progress!!! I will have to grab my pics and video later. But they do include a first start-up! I honestly dont hove a whole lot left to do, but been lacking in the motivation to get out and working on it. I did get my garage cleaned up so I am now more willing to get out and work on it. 

BeardedMuffin New Reader
4/5/20 8:42 a.m.


So over a year later, here I am.  The engine is in the its final resting place. After pulling and hammering probably 20 or so times to get the bell housing to fit. You will also see that i have the headers installed. They fit perfectly. As they should for what I payed for them. 



Once that was settled, I got my rocker bearing kit. Replacing those where very easy. Nothing a bench vice couldn't handle. Probably took about an hour and a couple adult beverages. 




I got my fuel lines and corvette fuel filter in. That was easy enough. Just hook up some lines run to fuel rail. Also had to replace the fuel tank since the inside was really gross and didnt want any of that crap going through my lines. I dont have any pictures of it, but take my word for it, it was groddy.  One thing to also note is that i had to get a different oil pan in order for it to fit with my mounts. the canton pan was a little too long to fit. So i had to get the Sikky pan. and i would actually suggest that one anyways because it wont hang below the crossmember and steering rack. So no worries about smashing it on anything. Yet another thing I dont have pictures of, but I can if you would like. 




And for my next exhibit, you will. see that I have my Walbro 450 pump compared to the stock. I was pretty excited about it until I saw that it doesnt fit in the tank. So that went up for sale and I called up DeatschWerks and got a DW300 pump kit ordered. ​​​​




I also made a large order with Chase Bays and got a lot of stuff that I needed. It was a glorious day when i got to open all this up. I got a power steering cooler kit, coolant overflow tank,  brake lines, clutch lines, brake booster eliminator kit, and Radiator with a 16" mishimoto fan. 






Here is the Brake master, diverter valve, and clutch hose installed. its close quarters in there.  And a couple pictures down is the power steering cooler mounted with hoses ran. 






And for my next trick is first start up equipment. Walmart oil and battery. I have a video that I will post as soon as i upload it to youtube so I can have a link for you to see the first start up! that is pretty much caught up to present day. I still have to clear some trans tunnel to get the trans to fit properly, get some suspension bits and the front accessory drive, a driveshaft, bushings, break in oil, radiator mounted and fan wired, and some other stuff i know I've missed. I should definitely have had it further than this, but I've been lazy. I hope I can get the drive to get mor done now that the garage is straighened up. 

docwyte UberDork
4/5/20 9:32 a.m.

No brake booster?  I assume because there's no space for it?  I couldn't run one on my LS swapped 944 either, so I put in hydroboost brakes from a Ford Mustang.  That threw the brake bias off significantly but eventually Texas Performance Concepts made an adapter so I could reuse my stock Ate master cylinder.  I'd recommend you look into that...

BeardedMuffin New Reader
4/5/20 9:44 a.m.

In reply to docwyte :

yea, there isnt any room for a booster in the stock location. i do have an option to get an adapter to run hydroboost, but it puts it in the front of the engine bay. I will check them out though if this doesnt work out. Thanks!

OjaiM5 Reader
4/5/20 10:49 a.m.

Killer build, this thing is going to move. in my opinion one of the most fun cars to drive. 

I daily drove a s14 e30 for a few years and always wished for more torque / power. 

BeardedMuffin New Reader
4/6/20 2:27 a.m.

im really looking forward to making some progress on it and get it moving. it should be making around 400hp to the wheels, so its going to move out for sure. 

Azryael Reader
4/6/20 2:54 a.m.

Love E30s, and love the LS.

If I could have brought back one of the E30 wagons a buddy of mine had in high school overseas, I'd have been incredibly happy and would done this exact build.

therealpinto Reader
4/6/20 8:00 a.m.

No, booster, no dual circuit master cylinder?

In my book, that's "brave"... (not the booster-less part, the other one)

I surfed into their website and read

"This does not work w/ factory brake lines. This is due to the master cylinder being a single outlet design instead of dual/triple/quad like most OEM master cylinders. A common misconception is to believe this causes a higher risk of failure due to a lack of a back up line should one line fail. Most OEM master cylinders are still single feed internally & have the same assumed “risk” to our Master Cylinder. "

I disagree. Well, the RISK of failure is maybe not bigger, but the consequences are...in order to get type approval any modern (from 1970's on here) needs a dual circuit brake system, and they are tested to make sure they can stop the car even with just one circuit working. Sure, the pedal is longer, may need pumping, but it will stop the car with just one circuit. 

The parts look nice but statements like that would make me doubt the supplier. Sorry to be boring.


BeardedMuffin Reader
10/27/20 6:10 a.m.

So I have updates. Its been a long time and lots of things have happened. It runs and drives. Its almost there. I just have to tie up a few more things.  So first things first, here is the first start up video.  It was a very exciting moment for sure.  


BeardedMuffin Reader
10/27/20 6:17 a.m.

After I started up, I was finally able to start focusing on getting it moving. I seem to not have gotten pictures of driveshaft install and subframe bushing removal and installation, but I'm sure you know what that looks like.  But I eventually got it on the ground and movable.  So here is a video of pulling it out of my driveway for the first time in 3 years.  It promptly got its first bath in 3 years as well.   And of course this is open header.  I have that update coming up shortly as well.  


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