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Not Another Cheap V8 Swap... (Pic Heavy)

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    Not Another Cheap V8 Swap... (Pic Heavy)

    Oh my, what have I gotten into? Only if i knew....

    My love for BMW started back in 2009 when I read a Road&Track magazine about the E90 ///M3. In 2011 I purchased my first one, a 09 335i E92. It wasn't a ///M3 but I was happy, it's what I wanted! I was sold, loved it, modded it, drove it and so on. Then in 2013, I found Bimmerfest, this is where things get screwy for me. At Bimmerfest 2013 I came across several E30 platforms that just caught my eye. Never really appreciated the chassis but for some reason, I focused on the attention to detail on the builds. I found the car attractive yet masculine. The simplicity overwhelmed me, I was hooked!

    Fast forward a year, a friend of mine purchased a clean E30 on Clist and brought it out to a local BBQ meet I was attending to show it off. Immediately, I had to check it out. Of course, I asked for a ride.... This day was the start of what I knew would be a long, stressful, financially poor decision making road to E30 bliss.

    After a few months, I jumped the gun and purchased one of the first E30's I saw. Man, what a mistake that was. It was a pile of crap, piece of junk that wasn't worth the $800 I spent on it. I drove it for a couple of months then posted it up for sale on Facebook. I listed it at $1500 knowing someone would low-ball me only to be offered full price the very same day by a chick in NC. SOLD!

    Roughly 4 months of searching passes, I found the one! A local college student that's in possession of a fairly clean, tight, low miles car that was given to her by her dad (original owner) and who didn't appreciate the E30. She wanted it gone because she "needed" a truck to haul her canoe. After a few text messages and a test drive, I offered her $1100 bucks. She agrees with a smile on her face and I just became a proud owner of a 1988 325es. That's it, I just found the E30 that started as a inline 6 and will ultimately become a reborn, tire shredding, street romping, wallet draining, V8 thumping killer... Okay, maybe that's too much but you get the point.

    Well, what do you think? this is probably the cleanest shes going to look for while...
    Attached Files
    Last edited by E30Whore; 08-02-2016, 10:46 AM.
    My Garage
    09 Mini Cooper S (Daily)
    09 E92 335i Msport
    09 E70 X5 4.8
    88 325es - Build Thread - http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=383423
    87 325i m50 swap
    87 325es

    #2
    Not Another Cheap V8 Swap...

    The interior...
    Attached Files
    My Garage
    09 Mini Cooper S (Daily)
    09 E92 335i Msport
    09 E70 X5 4.8
    88 325es - Build Thread - http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=383423
    87 325i m50 swap
    87 325es

    Comment


      #3
      Not Another Cheap V8 Swap...

      My first fill up. Although I was grinning from ear to ear, I had my wife follow me in the X5 incase I broke down lol :D
      Attached Files
      My Garage
      09 Mini Cooper S (Daily)
      09 E92 335i Msport
      09 E70 X5 4.8
      88 325es - Build Thread - http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=383423
      87 325i m50 swap
      87 325es

      Comment


        #4
        Not Another Cheap V8 Swap... (Pic Heavy)

        I spent several months stalking these forums. No need to post, No need to ask questions...Just researching the build based off what others here have been doing. Once I felt I had a general grasp on what I was about to encounter, I solicit a buddy of mine who's well knows in the LS community. Ryan has several LS builds and has been invaluable to my project.



        We start our parts list, Ryan's mission is to find a Motor and Transmission while I'm working on the rest of the build. I start putting a list together on paper that addresses Breaks, Suspension, Rear End, Body and Interior.



        During this process (2-4 months) my real good friend Dan and I found a S52 swapped E30 in North Carolina. We took a break from our normal day to day "work life" to go check it out. Needless to say, we came home with it and now I officially have a E30 buddy here in Roanoke, VA! His car is the best I've seen personally. Here it is...
        Attached Files
        Last edited by E30Whore; 04-10-2016, 02:53 PM.
        My Garage
        09 Mini Cooper S (Daily)
        09 E92 335i Msport
        09 E70 X5 4.8
        88 325es - Build Thread - http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=383423
        87 325i m50 swap
        87 325es

        Comment


          #5
          Not Another Cheap V8 Swap...

          Back to sourcing parts. Now that I had time to do research on the swap, I see people advertise this can be done for 4-6k. If this is your budget, abort now because I can assure you, you will be upwards of 10k before you know it. General focus and direction of where you want your car to be will play a major role on budget however, doing it right still cost money. Sometimes I wish I just dug a hole in the yard and buried stupid amounts of cash in it. I probably would have spent less..
          My Garage
          09 Mini Cooper S (Daily)
          09 E92 335i Msport
          09 E70 X5 4.8
          88 325es - Build Thread - http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=383423
          87 325i m50 swap
          87 325es

          Comment


            #6
            Not Another Cheap V8 Swap...

            Out getting familiar with the E30, also decided to meet my Buddy Kevin for lunch. He's also a LS junkie and has been instrumental with my V8 101 crash course. Here is his G8.

            [ATTACH]106350[/ATTACH]

            Even though shes 20 years the elder, the E30 still looks good!

            [ATTACH]106349[/ATTACH]
            My Garage
            09 Mini Cooper S (Daily)
            09 E92 335i Msport
            09 E70 X5 4.8
            88 325es - Build Thread - http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=383423
            87 325i m50 swap
            87 325es

            Comment


              #7
              Not Another Cheap V8 Swap...

              After careful consideration, I have decided to go with the LM7 5.3 LS truck motor. Before the hate gets spewed from all the keyboard know it all's, I went with this motor because of availability, price, strength of iron block for forced induction and did I mention Price & Availability? After being stood up on two different LS1 for sale adds and being quoted outrageous prices, I scored this bad boy for only $300 bucks

              Spec's on motor:
              2006 LM7 from a Chevy Silverado 1500
              5.3 Iron Block
              295 hp and 335 lb·ft of torque
              76k Miles

              Price: $300 w/ $75 core charge Delivered

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              Just as much a pain to source "reasonably" was the T56 however, I didn't have a plan-B for this one nor was I able to compromise so after roughly 3 months, Ryan found one in Charleston SC. He called me Thursday, we made the trip Saturday. We scored a rebuilt T56 from a local race shop that was parting their shop car and moving in a different direction. Ryan offered them $1500 picked up and they agreed. We can now check the T56 off the list

              Spec's on transmission:
              2000 T56 from a Pontiac WS6
              Rebuilt Level 2 from Tick Performance
              B&M Shifter
              Spec Clutch/Flywheel

              Price: $1500 Picked Up in South Carolina

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              Next, parts start arriving! First box to hit the driveway causes all kinds of joy :o

              Spec's on swap kit:
              Sikky LS Swap Kit
              Sikky 1 7/8 Headers
              Sikky Hydroboost Delete w/ Pedal
              Sikky Intake kit
              Sikky Aluminum Drive Shaft
              Sikky Aluminum Oil Pan
              Sikky Remote Oil Filter Kit
              Sikky Engine & Transmission Mounts
              Sikky LS Valley Cover
              Sikky Power Steering Hoses
              Sikky E36 Steering Shaft Assembly
              Treehouse Control Arm Bushings
              Miscellaneous stainless lines/fittings/nuts/bolts/washers

              Price: $5693 Delivered

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              My Garage
              09 Mini Cooper S (Daily)
              09 E92 335i Msport
              09 E70 X5 4.8
              88 325es - Build Thread - http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=383423
              87 325i m50 swap
              87 325es

              Comment


                #8
                Not Another Cheap V8 Swap...

                Up to this point, I'm extremely satisfied with all the Sikky products, packaging, craftsmanship, shipping and customer service. Take a look for yourself...

                Hydroboost Delete Kit & Power Steering Lines

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                Hydroboost Delete Mount

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                Oil Relocation Mounting Kit

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                Aluminum Oil Pan

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                Aluminum Oil Pan

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                The parts speak for themselves :D:D
                My Garage
                09 Mini Cooper S (Daily)
                09 E92 335i Msport
                09 E70 X5 4.8
                88 325es - Build Thread - http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=383423
                87 325i m50 swap
                87 325es

                Comment


                  #9
                  Not Another Cheap V8 Swap...

                  E30/36 Steering Shaft

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                  Treehouse Control Arm Bushings

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                  Engine & Transmission Mounts

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                  1 7/8 Headers

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                  Aluminum Drive Shaft

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                  My Garage
                  09 Mini Cooper S (Daily)
                  09 E92 335i Msport
                  09 E70 X5 4.8
                  88 325es - Build Thread - http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=383423
                  87 325i m50 swap
                  87 325es

                  Comment


                    #10
                    This makes my swap look like I'm going the cheap route. Sheesh.


                    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                    e30Ls1 Swap IG: 1dirty30

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Not Another Cheap V8 Swap...

                      Lastly, the LS Air Intake kit rounds up the rest of the Sikky products. At this time..... ;)

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                      Up Next...... Some "Go Fast" parts for the 5.3 LM7
                      My Garage
                      09 Mini Cooper S (Daily)
                      09 E92 335i Msport
                      09 E70 X5 4.8
                      88 325es - Build Thread - http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=383423
                      87 325i m50 swap
                      87 325es

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Reyhan335 View Post
                        This makes my swap look like I'm going the cheap route. Sheesh.


                        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                        Nah, I doubt it bud. Different strokes for different folks. I mean, at least you have a LS1 lol and we are about at the same point even though you started a year after me :(

                        I am summarizing a lot of this just to catch up and bring us to present day however, a lot of planning went into everything I purchased so that I spent it once. I am building this one for me and no one else, I know not everyone will enjoy what I've done but i'm confident they will at least appreciate it!
                        My Garage
                        09 Mini Cooper S (Daily)
                        09 E92 335i Msport
                        09 E70 X5 4.8
                        88 325es - Build Thread - http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=383423
                        87 325i m50 swap
                        87 325es

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Not Another Cheap V8 Swap...

                          Okay, so for those of you not familiar with the LM7. Its a 5.3 Iron Block version of the LS lineup. At roughly $1600-$2000 cheaper than a LS1. Based on HP per dollar, the 5.3 is 10x better. Also, if you plan to run forced induction, the iron block is a great platform. To each their own but the LM7 has 295 hp and 335 lb·ft of torque which isn't to shabby for a starting point.

                          Here are a few goodies to spruce up the motor and create some more power out of the 5.3 LM7

                          Used LS1 Throttle Body attached to a LS6 Intake

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                          LS6 Intake

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                          Used 243 Heads

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                          Brian Tooly .660" Lift Platinum Valve Spring Kit

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                          Tick Performance Mild-Cam

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                          I also have but not pictured:
                          -Hardened Push Rod Set
                          -ARP Head Studs
                          -Katech Race Timing Kit
                          -Ported and Blueprinted Oil Pump

                          Price on whats listed above in addition to whats pictured is approximately $1700.

                          I will start doing a "Swap Meter" below most post that are relevant to build expenses. The "Swap Meter" will represent where I am at financially with the build at said point. For the hell of it, I will include the cost of car and any labor I come across however, I will not add my personal time or traveling expenses that I incur sourcing used parts. This should help those who plan to do a LS Swap down the road have a realistic budget.

                          SWAP METER: $10,368
                          My Garage
                          09 Mini Cooper S (Daily)
                          09 E92 335i Msport
                          09 E70 X5 4.8
                          88 325es - Build Thread - http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=383423
                          87 325i m50 swap
                          87 325es

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I had the Heads sent out to Harman's in Roanoke City, he is a old school Hot Rod guy with a great reputation with the older community. He came highly recommended and works the heads by hand prior to rebuilding them. During the three week wait, I went ahead and contacted Yury at Wiring Specialties. After some research and several conversations I ordered the Pro-Series Complete Harness for the LSE30. Not cheap but nothing worth it is right?

                            Harness Specs:
                            Wiring Specialties Pro-Series
                            New PCM with Tune
                            Coolant & Oil Gauge Adapters
                            GM Compressor Adapter
                            LS1 Coilpacks
                            LS1 F-Body o2 Sensor
                            Grounding Kit
                            EV1 Injector Type

                            Price: $1275 Delivered

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                            Kit can be found here.. http://www.wiringspecialties.com/ls1tobmwe30w.html

                            SWAP METER: $11,643 & climbing fast....
                            Last edited by E30Whore; 04-12-2016, 03:02 PM.
                            My Garage
                            09 Mini Cooper S (Daily)
                            09 E92 335i Msport
                            09 E70 X5 4.8
                            88 325es - Build Thread - http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=383423
                            87 325i m50 swap
                            87 325es

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Is that white e30 bagged?

                              Comment

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