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M60/M62 swap?

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    M60/M62 swap?

    Has anyone ever actually attempted an M60/M62 swap on an iX?

    I found this kit, which is what makes me curious:

    It's a bellhousing adapter for an M60 to M20 transmissions, and they sell a flywheel and clutch to go with it. That solves the most complex problem of the swap, in theory.

    The next challenge is the oil sump. The M60 is front sump, which is most likely going to land directly in the steering rack by my estimate, but as I don't actually have an M60 or any measurements, I don't really know. Curious if anyone does.

    There are a couple potential solutions. The E53 X5 has a different oil pump that moves the sump rearward a bit, but not quite a rear sump. My simple guesswork isn't that promising for it, though. The other option is a dry sump system from VAC:
    A bit pricey, but it does completely solve the sump clearance problem.

    Are there any other dealbreaker clearance problems? I know the strut towers are in a different spot, but I don't see that blocking anything. A remote oil filter is basically required, but that's easy enough, tap the block, run AN lines. I know the iX puts the M20 a bit higher up than a regular e30, but I'm not sure that that would require the M60 to sit higher. If it does, is it enough to require significant hood modification? Still not necessarily a dealbreaker, but a question regardless. Exhaust would be tight but I think it's doable.

    And of course there's all the usual M60 swap requirements, ABS delete, booster relocation or delete, etc. I'd prefer to keep the booster and just move it up front, maybe put in a smaller booster from a different model.

    Any thoughts on the actual technical limitations welcome. Also, any good sources for physical dimensions would be great.

    Dude... look at the sticky threads in this very forum.

    The E34 and E53 sumps are similar and both interfere with the E30 iX rack.
    I'm working on a crossmember that moves the rack forward 1.5" for sump clearance to those oil pans. Moving the rack forward isn't a problem... coming up with 24V and 32V engine mount arms that don't interfere with the E30 rack or differential on the driver's side is the problem. E53 arms clear all that crap, but the left one pushes the mount several inches back and complicates mount location structure on the crossmember.

    E53 mounts the diff inches to the left of the E30/E34 location, requiring a notch out of the driver's footwell for the driveshaft.

    Driver's side exhaust will be a disaster that requires cutting a bigger chunk out of the driver's footwell.

    Anyway, read the thread I linked above.


      Sorry, I didn't realize that thread had much if any V8 stuff in it, the title and most of the posts are centered around newer sixes. I've read about 15 pages so far, and it's definitely interesting. It's all centered around using existing parts, which is really cool, but I'm not opposed to a completely custom oil pan - in fact I had planned on that being required. I was more concerned about the engine itself actually fitting in the space. It looks like it should, but I didn't have any exact physical dimensions to work from.

      I really like your custom crossmember idea, it solves a lot of the issues with relatively few part changes.

      I honestly don't really know what I'm doing, but I figure I'm sufficiently mechanically inclined, and I've got the money and motivation to figure it out, as long as it'll physically fit. I'm still mulling over my options for what to do with the car. I had planned on doing an M20 turbo build, but I'm honestly a bit over the M20, needs too much maintenance and adding a turbo definitely won't help that. I don't have a workspace right now but I'll have a new shop by next year, so I'll be able to completely tear into it and do whatever I want.

      Thanks for the info.


        The left bank of the V8 requires radical changes to the brake booster. Check out the V8 swap sub-forum.

        The E30 iX front diff is a very small unit. All the others are longer from front to rear. Since BMW packaged the giubo forward of the starter gear in all the later AWD systems, the front of the diff, and therefore the front edge of the sump, also go forward. This change means that these later sumps simply won't fit in the E30 chassis.

        I felt that a new crossmember was probably a better way to go about it than a custom pan. If you could re-work the diff input flange and driveshaft so that the diff could sit further back, then it may be possible to fit it into an E30 chassis that way. There actually is room on the E53 pan to move the diff mounting pattern back, as long as you remove the giubo and alter the input flange.


          Originally posted by cscracker View Post
          I honestly don't really know what I'm doing, .... the M20, needs too much maintenance and adding a turbo definitely won't help that. I don't have a workspace right now ....
          The m20 needs fair less maintenance than an m60/62. So many more sensors on the v8. True, the timing belt needs to be changed every 4yr/60k and the timing chain is a 125k mile service, but I'd rather do 2 timing belts than a chain service. Hell, I'd rather do 6 or 7.

          You have to start with all the knowledge needed for a v8 swap into an e30, and then add a lot of complexity. If you admit you don't know what you're doing, this is probably not the project to start with. Buy a rwd e30, v8 swap that car, take the knowledge/experience you've gained, and then v8 swap the ix.
          AWD > RWD


            A V8 iX is a giant fabrication project because the parts just don't exist.

            If you build an M60B40 or M60B44 Frankenmotor with the timing chain idler sprocket between the banks, then the timing chain maintenance--which is mostly driven by the U-shaped guide on the M62 engines--goes away.
            Last edited by The Dark Side of Will; 08-08-2019, 07:00 AM.


              Sensors aren't a big deal, they are simple to replace and usually last a long time. The maintenance I was getting at has more to do with the constant valve adjustments, fast wearing spark plugs and distirbutor, 3k mile oil changes, etc. And that's in stock form - add a turbo and all that maintenance will have to be done even more often.

              I'll take a pain of a timing chain refresh every 125k or so over the constant required attention of an M20 any day. I'll put in new spark plugs and sensors, do the timing chain, and reseal the engine before I install it anyway. If it lasts 100k miles, I wouldn't mind pulling the engine out to do it again if I had to. Even when I was driving a lot, I didn't do more than 35k miles a year, so that's at least 3 years between major services, even if this was my only or even primary car, which it isn't.

              When I say that I don't really know what I'm doing, I mean in terms of custom fabrication. I've never done an engine swap before. I'm not afraid of doing it, though. The more I read up, the more I'm settling in on this path, it seems feasible to me, interesting enough, and the result worthwhile enough.


                Originally posted by Kershaw View Post

                The m20 needs fair less maintenance than an m60/62. So many more sensors on the v8. True, the timing belt needs to be changed every 4yr/60k and the timing chain is a 125k mile service, but I'd rather do 2 timing belts than a chain service. Hell, I'd rather do 6 or 7.
                Is that the service interval for the M60 or M62? The M60 has an idler sprocket on the chain in between the banks. It's basically maintenance free. The M62 has that idiotic U-shaped guide in between the banks. That piece of junk can be done in under 10k miles if you track the car often. The sprocket never wears out because it's pressure lubed. The U-guide wears out quickly, which then allows the chain to abrade the aluminum backing, which dumps aluminum grinder swarf into your oil.

                So you have to be careful specifying which V8 requires service.

                Also, a non-VANOS M60 doesn't have any more sensors than a non-VANOS M50... it just has two more coils and two more injectors.