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1986 325I Mtech1 S54 Conversion Update 28/06/13

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    1986 325I Mtech1 S54 Conversion Update 28/06/13

    Hi R3vlimited! After just stalking around in here for a while i thought i would make a contribution to the forum, since i have gotten a lot of good information and inspiration from threads in here. I have also enjoyed several of the projects on the board.

    Warning wall of text here, if you dont wanna read, then scroll down, and there will be lots of pictures.

    First a little story of how i got started. I just spend 6 months in Afghanistan with the Danish Army. With the infantry in Helmand. The original plan was to turbocharge a M52B28 i had from another E30, which i wrecked before leaving home in August 2011.
    That changed when my sergeant suggested that i got an M3 engine instead, so i thought what the hell, lets look into that. So i made an offer to a local dealer and got a S54 from a Z4 pretty cheap considering it had only run for 50 km. When my bid was accepted i also got the 6 speed ZF box from the same Z4.
    This opened up a whole new world. What would i do for engine management, the OEM one dident come with the engine so i decided to go for a SC Typhoon from the UK, since its cheap and i dont have to do a ton of wiring myself. All of this happened while i was still in Helmand. When i got back on leave in December i then ordered the Typhoon, and that required the engine harness to be shipped to the UK for modification.

    First of a couple of shots of the tranny:

    Engine pictures - Before removing the harness

    Random parts i ordered while still in Helmand - Including a HFM(Correct english term? The air sensor) which i later have found out that i dont need.

    EVO3 Steering wheel :pimp:

    And finally the removal of the engine harness. Suck a new and modern engine got tons of sensors, and as a result even more wires :o

    Airbox has to come of, lots of wires underneath

    4 months without beer....

    Wiring harness! Weighed 9,5 kg!

    Engine ready for storage while i went back to finish my tour after leave

    Now some pictures of the car the engine is going into:

    Its in pretty decent shape(On the outside at least). Some rust underneath, and a bad exhaustjob means that the exhaust is rubbing against the rearfender.

    Apparently the small VANOS controlbox was needed for modification also, so of it came.

    A very annoying part to remove, at first i thought i had to remove the entire waterpump, but found that i could just loosen the top.


    When i got home again after finishing my tour lots were to happen!

    Got parts from VAC, and half of my harness from Specialist Components. Got an engine stand, some pics of that first.

    Off with the clutch and flywheel:

    Engine hoist was found:

    One of the items i got from VAC Ultra Light S54 Underdrive Pulley Set

    OEM pulleys

    Also got a VAC - E46 M3 (S54) Budget Race Exhaust Header So the OEM headers needs to come off! Its an US spec engine, so its the restrictive headers with cats on them.

    Lambda sensors comes off

    Comparison of the headers:

    Out with the OEM header studs. The flanges on the new header is thicker than OEM, so new studs are needed.

    VAC - S54 Drive by Wire Elimination kit next to the OEM electric motor.

    Testfitting the Airbox. Apparently you need to cut off a little dent in it, in order to get enough clearence, but hopefully i will get to that later on.

    Typhoon EMS and wiring harness:

    Getting the harness back on:

    And the VANOS controlbox


    The original plan was to go with an E34 oilpan and pickup pipe, but after reading some horror stories about oilstarvation when tracked i found Tyler (TinyT). I went to my garage and removed the oilpan and got it shipped to the US for modification. Tyler was then to find a local subframe for me, because that would be cheaper than sending my own No pictures from oilpan removal though(forgot my camera).

    Got some more stuff. Coils and some other stuff from Specialist Components. Picked up an E34 brakebooster, but that proved to be WAY to big. Also got an IS speedo, which goes to 8000 rpm, and has oiltempgauge, just like a M3 one. Also got engine mounts.

    Also got a VAC - Oil Line Adapter Kit for AN10 fittings.

    Coils installed:

    Testing header fitment. The rear one doesn't fit very well, but with my awesome infantry strength i was able to get it over the studs. As VAC say themselves, it is the one with the worst fitment.

    Z4 mount comes off:

    New E36 mount:

    From my wrecked E30 i had a nice pair of Recaro seats, so out comes the old ones:

    And in goes the other old ones :p Also the EVO3 wheel.


    Well, i ran into some problems! Rob from UUC have stopped answering my mails, and i was supposed to get tranny mounts and shifter parts from him, so i might have to find some alternatives!

    Got some more parts:

    -Mishimoto Z3 Radiator
    -Mishimoto 16" Fan
    -Borla 40349 (It says ProXS, but on their site its called Turbo XL).
    -BimmerWorld E36 S54 Conversion Exhaust Adaptor Pipe

    -Z3 Rack

    Parts without pictures:
    - BimmerWorld S54 EGR Plate
    - E30 to E36 rack kit from

    Oilpan and subframe are now in the mail!

    Pictures from Tyler



    Last edited by Loupoz; 06-27-2013, 03:33 PM. Reason: Found out its an 86, and not an 87'
    My 325I Mtech1 S54 Build

    Nice, I love brock wheels.
    I want a nice set of smoked MHW's (I know, get it line)
    Free Stuff!!:


      Seems to me, this is on a budget project. :)


        Great 1st post. Welcome to R3V!


          Holy crap... love it! That subframe/oilpan combo looks great


            awesome project. How much did the typhoon 2 ems and vanos control end up costing? DId they have any problems with the us spec motor and harness?

            Thanks for your service, be careful. Afghanistan is no fun.


              Shit damn.



                Originally posted by CrusherCurtis View Post
                Nice, I love brock wheels.
                Yeah unfortunately those might have to go, since im planning on a 5lug conversion, because i allready have some E36M3 front brakes and spindles. Maybe i should just get some in 5x120 instead :p

                Originally posted by mr ilia View Post
                Seems to me, this is on a budget project. :)
                Well, the pay is pretty good while youre out, but when youre back its crap, so with a project like this money disappears pretty soon. So im more or less waiting for next month all the time lol.

                Originally posted by CorvallisBMW View Post
                Holy crap... love it! That subframe/oilpan combo looks great
                Yeah its great work. Tyler has a thread with it on here:

                Originally posted by DuxNW View Post
                awesome project. How much did the typhoon 2 ems and vanos control end up costing? DId they have any problems with the us spec motor and harness?

                Thanks for your service, be careful. Afghanistan is no fun.
                Hmm it took them a little longer to figure out, because normally theyre used to euro spec S54's outta M3's. Cant say if they have done a proper job yet, since the engine isent in the car yet.

                The Typhoon itself is only 780£(about 1250$). That includes the modification of your harness and everything. It also comes with a tune for a standard S54. Then you also want a SC ECU USB-CAN PC interface wire, so you can hook your PC up.

                And thanks for the appreciation and positive feedback :D
                My 325I Mtech1 S54 Build


                  Wow that is great.

                  Did you buy that car a while ago from bilgalleri ? Because i wanted to buy it so badly.
                  Also how much did you get the engine for? Guess you bought it from koed right?


                    Originally posted by Zic View Post
                    Wow that is great.

                    Did you buy that car a while ago from bilgalleri ? Because i wanted to buy it so badly.
                    Also how much did you get the engine for? Guess you bought it from koed right?
                    Yeah right in both cases!

                    I first saw the car in late October(When i was still in Afghanistan), and asked the seller if he would wait on selling till i got back from leave. He wouldent. Then after a week or two, i saw it again. This time with a second seller. Asked him the same, and he also wouldent. Then i kinda abandoned hope. But then when i got home on leave in start December it popped up again with a third seller, and i got it from him.

                    Yeah got the engine from Koed. Payed 19500 dkr(3444$).
                    My 325I Mtech1 S54 Build


                      Only 20k dkr geeez. Time i get a 2.8 m52 from them. :stickoutt always thought schmiedmann was cheaper then koed.

                      Good project tho! Keep it up.


                        This is good.
                        1989 M3
                        2008 135i 6sp


                          Awesome thread! Looking forward to see how this goes. Good on you for kicking arse!

                          E30 318iS, E36 328i


                            Update 14/05/12

                            Finally time for another update. My front subframe and oilpan has finally been cleared by customs, it "only" took about a month. Picked up the package yesterday, and turned the subframe in for powdercoating today.

                            After a lot of waiting on Rob from UUC, and a whole bunch of other unreplyed emails, i finally called UUC. After talking to Rob it became pretty clear to me that i dident have any priority at all! So ive grown tired of waiting on him, and decided to order from AKG instead. No problems there, i also picked that package up yesterday.

                            Also bought a couple of PPM Racing axles on eBay. Also picked those up yesterday. Super service from PPM, i diden even ask for a reduced customs invoice, they just did that on their own, guess im not the first Danish customer lol :p

                            Pictures of everything will come, when its time to put it in the car/or i feel like taking pictures

                            Other than that ive actually fabricated/modified something! So this post will not only be pics of expensive parts ;) Ive been modifying my intake manifold to accommodate the extra space required by the VAC cable conversion. Its been done with the help of a Dremel, and some fiberglass and epoxy.

                            Cut with Dremel.

                            Sanded and ready for fiberglass and epoxy.

                            Wet fiberglass.

                            Dried fiberglass.

                            Sanded fiberglass.

                            I also started on a TIG-welding class. Ive used the schools facilities to start fabricating the exhaust parts i can do before the engine is actually in the car. And yes some pictures are taken at home, the days i forgot the camera :shock:

                            First off the Borla muffler needed some exit pipes long enough to get out back under the car.

                            Ready for welding.

                            First one.

                            Second one.

                            A bit of polishing.

                            Couldent reach in between the pipes, will do that some other time.

                            Flange on 3" piping.

                            Magnaflow cat.

                            Simons muffler.

                            Welding the cat on.

                            Some more polishing. Dunno what happened with the picture quality, most have shaky hands from all the welding or something lol.

                            Middlesection complete. Also did a pipe with a flange and a flexpiece. It is to be welded on to the Bimmerworld S54 Conversion Exhaust Pipe once i got it all up under the car.

                            Feel free to comment :D
                            My 325I Mtech1 S54 Build


                              looks great man! lots of fab work. this is going to be sweet.
                              AWD > RWD