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Old 02-01-2015, 03:29 AM   #1
Q8y_drifter
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'89 316i E30 LS1 Swap Build Thread

Hey everyone!

I currently have an 1989 Alpine White 316i coupe with an RB25DET swapped into it. Purchased the car a couple years back with a blown RB25DET already swapped in. Decided to buy it, replace the RB with a new one from the scrap yard and beat on it.
Well I had no idea what I got myself into and ended up having to fix a TON of issues along the way. Fast forward to a week back when, on an impluse, I said fuck it and decided to just yank all the RB engine/trans parts out and stuff an LS1/T56 in there.

This will be the thread to document my build. The donor car is a base model E30 with drum rear brakes, 168mm 3.91 LSD, roll up/down windows and pretty much as base (read light) a model can get. I plan on listing out every purchase I make along with prices I paid so members can get a clue on what swaps like these end up costing.

Found an LS1 from a Chevy Caprice at the junk yard. Picked it up for around $850.

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Alpine White 1989 E30 Coupe - LS1/T56

Last edited by Q8y_drifter; 02-01-2015 at 05:51 AM.
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Old 02-01-2015, 05:19 AM   #2
CLM21
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Nice! There's a lot of ls swaps going on right now....
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Old 02-11-2015, 09:16 AM   #3
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will follow working on same build, almost exactly
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Old 02-11-2015, 10:36 AM   #4
shiboujin
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What swap kit?
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Old 02-11-2015, 10:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shiboujin View Post
What swap kit?
Sikky.
1-3/4" headers, Sikky steering shaft, steel driveshaft, stock LS1 with all new bearings, gaskets, hardware and a nice mild cam kit
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Old 02-12-2015, 05:17 AM   #6
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Niiiice. Makes for an easy peasy swap!
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Old 02-13-2015, 11:29 AM   #7
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Got my 241 heads back from the machine shop. Cleaned up, resurfaced and checked over. Got a ton of parts as well, taking pics of those later on.

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Old 02-15-2015, 09:17 PM   #8
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Watching intently...
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Be sure to remind them that the M42 is one of the best engines ever made, but be sure to not mention where it actually falls on that list.
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Old 02-16-2015, 01:48 PM   #9
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ARP main studs & bolts

Clevite H-Series standard size main bearings




LS1 bare block cleaned up. Dura-Bond single piece cam bearings installed



Cylinders honed







Main bearing clearance checked. All within 0.0015-0.0020in. Stock crank with polished journals and new lower cam sprocket.





Crank installed and ready for pistons and rods.

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Old 02-17-2015, 06:29 PM   #10
The Dark Side of Will
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What are your plans for the rest of the components?
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Old 02-18-2015, 04:17 AM   #11
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Not much really. Just looking to refresh this engine and upgrade some parts if needed. ARP bolts/studs where necessary, all new bearings, all new gaskets and seals, a nice mild cam for a bump in power and component upgrades where reliability may be a concern. Stock T56 if i can just get my hands on one. Rest of the car is already sitting on all new bushings, suspension, Z3 rack swap, etc. Will need a 188mm diff and stronger axles though. Will post more once parts come in.
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Old 03-07-2015, 09:48 AM   #12
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Sikky swap kit. Went with 1-3/4" headers, steel driveshaft and Sikky steering shaft.









Stock rockers upgraded with Comp Cam trunions





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Old 03-07-2015, 11:17 AM   #13
1991 e30 bmw 318is
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sick lookin gear! i wish i knew if the headers would fit my set up... o well just order pipe to finish building mine.
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Old 03-08-2015, 01:03 PM   #14
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Those headers are gorgeous. I think mine are robbing some serious power stupid 1 5/8 Grr.
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Old 03-09-2015, 04:19 AM   #15
shiboujin
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Damn. you got a nice camera lol.
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