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nsogiba New Reader
12/28/21 3:43 p.m.

Today's update - I brought home my freshly rebuilt 4L80E. I was kicking around the idea of rebuilding it myself but found a local builder who is experienced in the task and had it done in a week; for $600 this was far easier and faster than tackling it myself. 

Part of the reason the price was so good was that I brought him 2 80Es. #1 had decent internals but a large piece of the case broken off, and #2 had a good case but fried internals. 

The broken case was caused by a failed driveshaft u-joint that caused the yoke to whip around wildly and stress the case.

This is the inside of the pan of the fried 80E...not much was left. 

When I was a kid, my Polish parents told me a joke about a Russian watchmaker that is brought 2 broken watches to be repaired. He not only repairs both, but has enough parts left over to keep as payment. :smile: 

The broken case was mounted to a scrap aluminum 5.7 block I bought in 2014 to make a coffee table out of, but never got around to. Turns out the block is much more useful as a mockup device. Notice the massively worn thrust surfaces....this is after the block was glass bead blasted. 

nsogiba New Reader
1/14/22 9:29 a.m.

Not much interest here eh? 


Working on getting the drivetrain positioned in the last week or so.

Made up some pedestals out of 1-1/4 square tubing and round DOM. Drilled the square tubing, pressed in the DOM, then welded it up for good measure. These will get bolted to the SBC mounts and the adapter plates.

The first test fit with the F-Body oil pan pushed the engine pretty far back and still landed the stands a couple inches behind the subframe pads, so the engine needed to come forward a bit. Since the oil pan didn't allow for that, and I didn't want to cut up the oil pan, it was time for a different pan.

Stock F-Body


The 302-1 bought me a ton of room. I got it mocked up and slid everything in for a test fit.

I got the scrap block and trans in and decided to dig out a couple scrap cylinder heads just to make sure I had adequate space for manifolds. Of course I could only find one cylinder head so I decided to just install the actual motor with the trans case. It will have to come out again to get the actual trans bolted up and for some more engine bay clean up, but we are at least getting close to having mounts done.

Finally, I bolted up my M-Parallels which I've run on a number of cars. They're a square 18x9.5 wheel with a 255/35 tire. I am aware of minute bolt pattern difference between BMW and GM and am not expecting any issues based on first hand experience of others who have run these exact wheels on Chevy bolt patterns. Since the wheels use a 60 cone seat and the stock Kent wheels use a flat mag seat, I purchased new lug nuts witih a 1/2-20 thread and 60 degree seat, intended for a Mercury, to run my BMW wheels on a Jaguar with a Chevy bolt pattern.

Initial impressions are that the offsets and widths work great, but the setup will need some work to fit just right. Luckily I won't need any spacers but I will definitely need to roll the rear fenders as the tires are almost tucked at a stock ride height. The front will wait until the entire drivetrain is installed to ensure the springs are fully laden, but even then I'm assuming I'll have to lower the front to fill the giant wheel gap.

r3vhappy New Reader
1/14/22 11:46 a.m.

This is sick.

demnted New Reader
1/14/22 12:54 p.m.

Always loved the looks of these, NICE WORK.. Carry on

Doubleoh9 New Reader
1/14/22 5:03 p.m.

Very nice! Love the m-parallels, they look great on the car.

nsogiba New Reader
2/2/22 11:25 a.m.

Lots of recent progress, not a ton of pictures since I am just hammering stuff out before my son is born. 

Engine and trans mounts are done, some minor hammering needed in the tunnel for the 80E. I also had Fleet Pride shorten my steel driveshaft and installed it as well as changed the oil in the diff. 

I did find a set of 80's Trans Am mesh wheels for sale locally and thought they might look great on this car - they did not disappoint. So between test fitting the M Parallels and the TA wheels, I've definitely found that I need to lower the front and raise the rear. This car looks GOOD slammed though. 

In reality the rear might come up a bit with some new shocks as the current ones are blown and probably original, but I may need to install some spring spacers, and for sure will need to roll the fenders out back. The front can be lowered by spacing out the spring pan and by cutting the spring. 

General pics:

Modified truck accessory drive. I didn't want to pony up for the billet parts and just needed the alternator to clear the hood, so I cut a bunch of stuff off the top of the truck bracket and rotated the alternator down using the other mounting ear. It uses a 1" longer belt than stock, I could have reused the stock belt but it would have required a lot more cutting to pull the alternator down more and I didn't want to weaken the bracket any further. 


nsogiba New Reader
2/21/22 3:11 p.m.


I started building the hot side over the last few weeks. 

Cutting, grinding, welding, and metal dust every where. 

Due to the general space limitations of the engine bay it was pretty much a given that the turbo would be in the front of the passenger side. I would have loved to send the driver's side down and to the rear to go under the bellhousing, but it was just too tight with the footwells and firewall to do so. My ebay turbo log was also too bulky to allow the downpipe to go out the passenger bottom area. 

Failed modifications and placement of ebay log: 

I was never really thrilled with the plug wire clearance with the log anyways, so it was back to the trusty truck manifolds. I cut off the outlet of a driver's manifold and used scrap 2.5" bends from a C5 Corvette catback to start the bend. 

Some tight radius 2.5" 90s determined the final placement of the T4 flange and I added a self contained brace to prevent any movement or cracking due to the weight of the turbo. 

Unfortunately the wastegate still hit the wheel well when bolted to the turbine housing, so I ordered up another cast 7875 turbo, this time with a black finished compressor housing. I love the look of raw aluminum but it is impossible to keep clean after it's been touched with grease and oil.

So I finally checked all the fitment boxes: 
Good plug wire clearance
Wastegate doesn't hit anything now that it's not on the turbine housing anymore
Clears hood
Clear valve covers and engine beauty covers
Might be able to squeeze a small filter on the inlet

nsogiba New Reader
2/21/22 4:19 p.m.

My least favorite part of metal fabrication just happens to be the one I'm the worst at - joining two pieces of curved pipe, especially at odd angles. I have tried to eyeball this stuff in the past and always had huge gaps which made for a terrible time welding. I stared at the driver's side piping for a while wondering how I was going to tie it into the T4 flange, and had a lightbulb go off. 

Here is the angle I want the crossover pipe to enter the up-pipe. Obviously a large gap to fill.

Grab a bunch of skewer sticks and arrange/secure them around the piece of pipe you are trying to work with. Leave the clamps or zip ties loose enough so that the sticks can move with some resistance without falling out. 

Shove the pipe up against the other piece you're trying to intercept, and your shape should be transferred. 

Insert the actual piece of pipe you want to use, trace the shape with a sharpie and cut away. The part inside the sticks will be the one that fits precisely.  

Finally, started on the downpipe. 

The plan is to have a downward facing 3" length past the starter that will exit with a boost actuated cutout, and have a another 3" length continue to the back of the car to connect to the stock exhaust. Of course there are ton of muffling devices on this car; an odd looking cat that has a single inlet and dual outlets feeding twin resonators ahead of the rear axle, and twin mufflers at the very rear. The cat was crumbling and honestly looked clogged, which I'm sure was some of the reason the car was parked. 

white_averson New Reader
2/22/22 9:16 a.m.

Alright, have just been following this thread without commenting but I had comment to say that skewer trick is awesome.

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
2/22/22 9:49 a.m.

Dude! Loving the jaaaaaaaaggggg

Any way you can give morr details of the FEAD mods and such? And motor mounts?

Doing an ls in an amc swap with rx8 k frame, so ideas are very welcome. 

Gambit0117 New Reader
2/24/22 10:49 a.m.

we're gonna need some quality burnout vids. That vintage of jag are the perfect cheap swap cars right now and im really fighting the urge to find a crapped xjs to beat on

jfryjfry SuperDork
2/24/22 12:16 p.m.

What a great upgrade from the crown vic!  

chandler UltimaDork
2/24/22 1:17 p.m.

MPars are some of my favorite wheels but those GTA wheels beat them on that car for sure. Well done!

nsogiba New Reader
3/11/22 10:27 a.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

The FEAD is pretty simple, just move the alternator one bolt hole over and start carving away at the bracket until it clears your hood. Fab a link bracket and then find a belt that fits. It's pretty self explanatory once you start working on it. 

Similar story for motor mounts. I used the Jag pedestals because they already bolted to the subframe, chopped the tops off, and connected the dots to the SBC mount. 

nsogiba New Reader
3/11/22 10:28 a.m.
Gambit0117 said:

we're gonna need some quality burnout vids. That vintage of jag are the perfect cheap swap cars right now and im really fighting the urge to find a crapped xjs to beat on

They really are in the crapper, not sure why since they're cool looking cars. Probably because most are rusty and have no performance potential with the stock drivetrain. 



nsogiba New Reader
3/11/22 10:29 a.m.
jfryjfry said:

What a great upgrade from the crown vic!  

For real, it has way more street presence and will have better resale one day (hopefully). 

nsogiba New Reader
3/11/22 10:29 a.m.
chandler said:

MPars are some of my favorite wheels but those GTA wheels beat them on that car for sure. Well done!

Thanks, the date codes on the GTA wheels are 2004, I can't wait to vaporize them

nsogiba New Reader
5/16/22 12:19 p.m.

Finally knocked out the oil change on the X5. FCP's warranty program continues to work well. 

The billet oil filter tool is awesome and works for both the N54 and N55.

I have done hundreds of oil changes on many cars and never once had an issue with a drain plug until now. The plug came out with a high level of resistance, and inspection of the threads revealed they were almost totally stripped out. Cue the "Taps" music...:bellyroll :lol:

Going slowly with the tap coated in oil and pouring a few quarts of oil through the crankcase worked well to flush it. No leaks. Hooray.

Back to M3 content!

Important mod - adds at least 10 hp. :dance: 

My buddy bought me a membership, mainly to allow us to attend BMW CCA HPDE's in our region. I have a bunch of track time under my belt in my old C5 Corvette but have yet to take the M3 out, so when he told me about an HPDE at PittRace in June, I jumped at the opportunity to get some seat time. 

Jaguar is tying up my lift so I went old school and started the track prep in the driveway. 

New rear tires - Hankook Ventus V12 in a stock size

Power Steering flush with Pentosin

Brake fluid flush with RBF 600

Power Stop Track Day pads all around

Ended up only using one of these. 

Fluid was very dark. 

A few random pics of just using it for everything. This car really does it all - daily driver/commuter, weekend adventures, whatever. 

Side note - randomly found this model at Lowe's by the checkout. No Interlagos, but Alpine will do!

r3vhappy New Reader
5/16/22 11:34 p.m.

Been looking forward to an update. How's the jaaaaaaaag?

nsogiba New Reader
5/23/22 1:07 p.m.

In reply to r3vhappy :

Ask and ye shall receive!


Ok boys and girls, it's been a little while, time to get back in the saddle.

Finished up the hot side under the hood. The beauty of heat wrap is that it prevents components around the exhaust from getting damaged...and more importantly, hides your welds.

I still need to weld the cutout onto the downpipe and connect the downpipe to the stock exhaust under the rear seat area. Got tired of cutting and welding though, so I switched gears and tackled some "fun" stuff.

While the car was up in the air, I replaced the front sway bar bushings. I wonder how this felt to drive...

I have also been staring at this abomination of a ride height since the Jag motor came out. Now keep in mind, this is with the iron 6.0 and 4L80E installed, and all the heavy stuff in there...driveshaft, all motor accessories, hood. Only stuff to add is the radiator and intercooler, which can't weigh more than 30 lbs. It still sits WAY high, which is a testament to how much lighter the GM engine is compared to the Jag 4.2.

5" wheel gap!

So I pulled out the front springs using the approved method, which took FOR-EV-ER. Close to 1 hour per side. Gotta improve that...stay tuned, I have an idea for that.

The stock spring assembly used 2 nylon rings to further increase the ride height - those are coming out.

Just for fun, I dropped the car down with no springs installed (sitting on the lift arms) to get an idea of ride height, and for some much needed motivation.

SO much better. The BMW wheels are a 18x9.5 with a 255/35/18 tire, but I plan on also running the Pontiac wheels which are 245/50/16, so a hair taller. I use this website for my theoretical wheel/tire fitment, it's has a great little visualizer. Disregard the wheel offsets, those are just arbitrary.

Drake approves.

Here's the look I'm going for. Extremely convenient to dial up the front ride height using the lift button! The front still has about a 1.5-2" gap between the top of the tire and the fender, so I'm guessing there is about 3" of

And just for fun here it is completely laid out, at the bottom of the suspension travel. Obviously this is totally unusable (unless you're running air suspension), but sure does look cool if you're into the "slammed" look. I think a ride height this low is not very elegant, since the front end of this body is fairly narrow from the side profile and needs some ride height to "stand proud" and not "submarine".

The plan right now is to set the car down with the spring packers removed and see where it sits. If it still needs to come down (which I think it will), I will space out the spring perches 1/4" at a time until the desired look is achieved. I'm really trying to avoid cutting the springs so that the stock ride quality is preserved.

onemanarmy Reader
5/24/22 4:02 p.m.

Tucked M Parallels is always the answer!

rustomatic Reader
5/24/22 4:32 p.m.

Love the progress with the Jag--definitely looking forward to your work with the Holley, as I just ordered a Termi X for my old nag. 

As someone who has cut many coil springs in the past, I can confirm that you are not guaranteed a reduction in ride quality, just height.  Have at it.  Just whack a coil, and see what happens.  Theory (of increasing spring rate dramatically) is usually just that:  theory.

dannyzabolotny Reader
5/24/22 9:34 p.m.

Older cars tend to have linear springs, which means you can cut them with minimal loss of ride quality... I cut the heck out of my SN95 Mustang GT's springs and it rode about the same afterwards. In retrospect, I should have cut some more out of the rear springs, but oh well.

Also, you haven't seen true low until you've seen what people do to E38's, there's a couple guys locally that have them 1-2 inches off the ground, static. We can almost get away with it on our decent Arizona roads, but I can't imagine that would fare well in the northeast where potholes exist.

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