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E30 Touring N54 Swap Project - @Garageaholic

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    E30 Touring N54 Swap Project - @Garageaholic

    Hey guys! Frank Macaluso Here.

    Looking to kick off a new thread for my new swap project. A 1988 BMW E30 LongRoof Touring! We'll be throwing in an N54 Twin Turbo with a 6 speed RWD Trans. This thing is going to be ALMOST as fast as the E36 N54 I just finished building.

    Here are the details:
    1988 Grey Market E30 Touring
    Bone Stock M20B20 320i
    Customer wants an N54/6
    diamonschwarz 181 BMW Paint - Likely a full repaint (no jambs)
    Big Brake Kit
    Sticking with 4 lug
    Coilover Setup - Midrange Grade
    New 17" wheels - Unknown type yet
    Interior work.

    This N54 will have all the works. Heat, A/C, P/S. all that stuff. We'll overhaul the N54 too and address all of the common issues like oil filter gasket, belt/pulley's, turbo overhaul...stuff like that.

    I am planning to document the swap here at a high level, but most of the goods will be on my youtube.com/garageaholic channel and instagram.com/garageaholic.

    The intro video will release this Friday, 10/4 at 2pm EST in premier mode, meaning that I'll be "watching" the video alongside the early adopters answering questions about the intentions of the swap, the plans for various aspects of the swap...stuff like that. Hope to see you there.

    Until then, standby on this thread for more progress this year. This is going to be a good one!! Bookmark this and don't miss the premiere!



    Some pics I took as well, document as much as possible before I start this swap! First a final send-off to the E36 N54. That's now going to Kassel for a final tune and then to the happy customer!















    [







    Recent Rebranding!!
    Visit Garageaholic for all of your E30 Swap Needs!
    E30 SM62/S62
    E30 M60 V8
    E30 M30 Big 6!




    Check out this E36 N54 Swap Build
    Instagram.com/garageaholic
    Youtube.com/garageaholic

    #2
    Very nice. Will you be modifying the subframe or the oil pan yourself? Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

    Comment


      #3
      Ok guys more updates on this E30 N54. If you have been following my youtube, kyou can see that I've made some real good progress in a number of videos that I'll try to document here!

      What's the first thing we do? We get this N54 sitting in this E30 Engine bay. There's only one way to do it - Brute force! In this episode, we set the engine in the bay and essentially leave it hanging in there. It's not sitting on any engine mounts or anything. Just jack stands on some 2x4 pieces. But that's okay. I wanted to know that it was at least POSSIBLE. to sit in there, understand what my clearances are and make the marks necessary to just get it sitting in there and make my body mods later.



      Once we realized we could get the engine to fit, we seriously disassembled the entire front end to find a whole SLEW of hairbrained wiring in this thing. Aftermarket LED fog lights, alarm system, the whole thing. it was pretty bad. All ripped out, cleaned up, and ready for analysis.








      Overall, the body was very clean and relatively rust free. Just a little bit of rust on the inside fender well on the passenger side, but that should be tackled pretty easily.

      Here is the video if you guys wanted to take a look at the disassembling effort on this E30 and what I found along the way.


      Then we decided to heck, make the core support removable. It makes removal and installation of the engine so much easier. Makes servicing anything in the front of the engine a piece of cake, and will aid in any type of additional servicing.

      There was some critical feedback I received on this video, but overall it was a smashing success. The procedure I documented very well in this video helps to inspire anyone to do this mod without having to sacrifice body panel alignment. I have done this on my E30 S62 and am grateful for it when I perform any repair jobs.



      Now on to engine and transmission bracketry. This was relatively straightforward, but the methods by which I made them are specific and need to be followed closely. Here are some pictures of the final outcomes of the brackets as I designed them.

      Driver Engine:






      Passenger Engine:




      Transmission:






      And here is the video that shows how I did it!



      In this next video, we make a completely new front subframe and moved the steering rack a SMIDGE forward. Nothing to far and shouldn't affect ackerman or certainly not bump steer! Everything is tack welded. Nothing is completely welded yet. Everything is in prototyping phase, remember until everything is complete - Nothing will be fully welded.





      Had to clear the VRSF Headers!


      Steering rack now placed, no interferences, and plenty of room to install the power steering lines.








      And a quick video here:


      And a pretty straightforward update, shortening the shift linkage. Picture below and video shown for clarity. I hope this helps any new fabricator to learn what it takes to shorten a shifter in a BMW Engine Swap. Here, we had to shorten both the shift carrier (Tig Welded ALuminum) and the shift selector rod (Steel).




      And finally, the last update for the day, we modified the exhaust headers. Yes. we had to cut the VRSF Headers slightly to allow clearance. Original ones were hitting both the passenger footwell as well as the passenger control arm lollipop. Again, pretty straightforward, just a whole lot of trial and error to fit correctly!!







      Here is the video showing how I modified it, but more importantly, the considerations that I made for the bung for the downstream O2 sensors. Very important that I made these serviceable, accessible, because on this very tight E30 body style, there is very little room for removing the headers to remove O2 sensors.

      Enjoy and happy fabbing. Until next time guys!!
      Last edited by Garageaholic; 12-28-2019, 08:42 PM.
      Recent Rebranding!!
      Visit Garageaholic for all of your E30 Swap Needs!
      E30 SM62/S62
      E30 M60 V8
      E30 M30 Big 6!




      Check out this E36 N54 Swap Build
      Instagram.com/garageaholic
      Youtube.com/garageaholic

      Comment


        #4
        Could take a look at treehouse / BimmerWorld track cab for exhaust clearance.
        Zach@Zakspeed.us

        Comment


          #5
          this is an awesome project. I love wagons

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by moatilliatta View Post
            Could take a look at treehouse / BimmerWorld track cab for exhaust clearance.
            Good idea, but we are looking for a somewhat stock, yet sportier feel. That means stock CA lollipops with 80A poly bushings!


            Thanks for the comments, guys!
            Recent Rebranding!!
            Visit Garageaholic for all of your E30 Swap Needs!
            E30 SM62/S62
            E30 M60 V8
            E30 M30 Big 6!




            Check out this E36 N54 Swap Build
            Instagram.com/garageaholic
            Youtube.com/garageaholic

            Comment


              #7
              I've ran the treehouse style bushing over 8 years in daily to track cars. I believe you will not have an issue with compliance.

              Now 80a poly in the location will degrade quickly especially with the extra heat, Powerflex may outlast what you have, but you're gunna want a heat shield. If the car actually gets driven...

              Food for though if you rethink or revisit it.
              Zach@Zakspeed.us

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by moatilliatta View Post
                I've ran the treehouse style bushing over 8 years in daily to track cars. I believe you will not have an issue with compliance.

                Now 80a poly in the location will degrade quickly especially with the extra heat, Powerflex may outlast what you have, but you're gunna want a heat shield. If the car actually gets driven...

                Food for though if you rethink or revisit it.
                Yeah, perhaps a heat shield is the most amicable solution. Thanks for the idea. May actually reuse the existing shield.
                Recent Rebranding!!
                Visit Garageaholic for all of your E30 Swap Needs!
                E30 SM62/S62
                E30 M60 V8
                E30 M30 Big 6!




                Check out this E36 N54 Swap Build
                Instagram.com/garageaholic
                Youtube.com/garageaholic

                Comment


                  #9
                  More progress on the E30 N54. I know it's been a while since I posted but I figured that now a good a time as any. Since the subframe install, I threw on the steering rack. Made custom tabs. the top tab has a threaded nut for easy install/removal of the rack.











                  Quick youtube vid here.


                  Same for steering column. Used some aluminum tube to extend the column a bit. It's a bit lower and forward, but that should have a minimal effect on bump steer and ackerman.





                  Next came power steering plumbing and reservoir install. I decided to bury the reservoir in the intake manifold!!!! Along with the coolant reservoir. I really wanted this engine bay to be clean and shaved, so this was a step in the right direction.









                  Here's the YT on how I did it!


                  Got a DME/CAS/Key ready for install later in March before first start!


                  Got the intercooler installed. Routed through 2.5" Aluminum tubing. Everything is mocked up, but it fits. need grommeting along the pass throughs, and you can see further down below that I started filling in the holes!








                  Next came the front sway bar install. I installed the E36 Front 3 Sway bar, courtesy of CATuned. Easy install! and I needed to use the E36 welded sway bar mounts as well. so that the poly bushings had something to mount to. Needed that bushing to sit flush and this was the way to do it. Also made for a pretty neat install.













                  Next was the coolant reservoir. Much like the power steering reservoir, I decided to hide this in the coolant reservoir. This required custom welded bracketry, but in my opinion so worth it because it's just another system that is hidden in this application.











                  So then we took the engine out and started working on the turbo rebuild. First? Start with wastegate rattle fix!!












                  Recent Rebranding!!
                  Visit Garageaholic for all of your E30 Swap Needs!
                  E30 SM62/S62
                  E30 M60 V8
                  E30 M30 Big 6!




                  Check out this E36 N54 Swap Build
                  Instagram.com/garageaholic
                  Youtube.com/garageaholic

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Some more updates on this E30 N54 Swap!

                    So I decided to perform all preventative maintenance - Did it in one succinct video, but I did all of the gaskets, water pump, front crank seal, valve cover, accessory belt (a/c delete), oil filter housing. All that. Pretty standard stuff needing to do on just about any N54.


                    Then I tackled the walnut blasting. On the E36 N54 I performed, I didn't do a good job AT ALL. But this time, I came prepared and bang it out with the right tools. I used the correct vacuum, tool, and blast media. This time, using the 40# blaster, MUCH Better results! A pretty succinct video is below if you wanted to watch!








                    And here is something I am ecstatic about revealing this! This is a PWM Fan controller that takes PT_CAN from the DME and converts it to a pulse width modulated (PWM) Signal. There is nothing on the market like this!

                    I've been working with wheeland consulting on this and they have really come through with an arduino/firmware solution. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. there will be more products out just like this that really hit home with being able to communicate with PT_CAN and put it to good use OUTSIDE of the typical BMW systems, so it's an extension of CAN which is amazing. This does not replace your thermostat, no, but it is tunable and can help your engine run cooler or hotter, depending on what YOU want, as a customer. It's an adjustable thermostat to supplement your existing thermostat! Cool idea and I'm so glad to work with Ralph Wheeland on this solution. More info to come this summer!!







                    Then we did some A/C delete


                    Then we worked on mounting the electronics box in the location that once was the battery. This is a pretty cool idea and may or may not have an E-box fan accompanying it for heat release. This is essentially where we left off so more to come here!









                    Installed the transmission on to the engine (GS6-53BZ) and upgraded to the 335is clutch. This was easy, but worth noting. We were sure to position the release bearing in a position that provides real good clutch release position!




                    Then we work on the windshield wiper reservoir - this was an aftermarket unit, yes, But it's small enough to be installed in an area that won't be found so it will help to maintain a shaved engine bay look. Can't wait to see how this looks after the drivetrain is re-installed!






                    Then we strengthened the front subframe. This allows installation of the E36 M3 steering rack and braces the engine mounting locations, so no risk in cracking or breaking the front subframe due to the near 400hp this will see!







                    And lest we forget the upgraded E30 N54 Engine brackets! Can't wait to install these on the engine and get them WORKING! Working with @wolfefabrication on designing and productionizing this kit for the masses. So happy to be working with Dillon on this. Thanks for all your help, e30chaptercca buddy!


                    Thanks guys! More info to come!!
                    Recent Rebranding!!
                    Visit Garageaholic for all of your E30 Swap Needs!
                    E30 SM62/S62
                    E30 M60 V8
                    E30 M30 Big 6!




                    Check out this E36 N54 Swap Build
                    Instagram.com/garageaholic
                    Youtube.com/garageaholic

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Some more updates!

                      So more updates here. Got the battery cable installed. Battery is now in the trunk. Got it routed up to the electronics box. That and the accelerator pedal was installed, mounted with some persuasion and also routed to the e-box!





                      Pedal installed in the E30 footwell.


                      Steering column final welded and painted up, ready for install!



                      And of course, the E46 M3 fuel pressure regulator to 5 bar required by the N54. I did this on the E36 N54 and it worked perfectly!


                      For those interested in viewing how I actually did it, take a look below!! Feel free to subscribe if you'd like. I always appreciate my subscribers!



                      Recent Rebranding!!
                      Visit Garageaholic for all of your E30 Swap Needs!
                      E30 SM62/S62
                      E30 M60 V8
                      E30 M30 Big 6!




                      Check out this E36 N54 Swap Build
                      Instagram.com/garageaholic
                      Youtube.com/garageaholic

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Hey All! More updates!

                        First, Bodywork! Got the front and rear bumpers worked. Still need to work more on the front bumper, but more on that later. For now, we worked the rear bumper and the engine bay - Got it all painted up and ready to go!















                        Then Came the N54 install!

                        Before that though, I have happily partnered up with Wolfetech Fabrication on E30 N54 Engine Mount Brackets with Transmission Bracket. These things are butch, look amazing, and situate the engine and Transmission perfectly. Yes, it requires subframe modifications on the E30 to make it fit, but overall, it's well worth it to have the engine positioned exactly where we need it!















                        Then came the N54 harness! I labeled the complete harness in chalk on my garage floor. Excellent for reference to come back to!


                        Installed the harness and got it installed into the electronics box! Fits real well actually!




                        Then it was time. time for first start! Here we go, so buckle up!!! Got the intercooler installed, just to see how the plumbing worked. But we got this thing working and fired up! SOOOOO EXCITING!!!!



                        Got a lot of wiring left to do!



                        Recent Rebranding!!
                        Visit Garageaholic for all of your E30 Swap Needs!
                        E30 SM62/S62
                        E30 M60 V8
                        E30 M30 Big 6!




                        Check out this E36 N54 Swap Build
                        Instagram.com/garageaholic
                        Youtube.com/garageaholic

                        Comment

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