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Project rolling wreck - 24v swap

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    Project rolling wreck - 24v swap

    I've been reading various build threads over the past several years and finally decided to start one for my project.

    I titled it "project rolling wreck" due to the history of my car and the fact it has been driving around half disassembled for two years as other projects took priority or just got in the way.

    My build will be based upon a 140k mile 1990 325iS that I acquired from a friend in late 2015. I did not really want the car because the garage was full but he could not find a buyer and shot me a price I could not refuse.

    The twist to this story is that the car was rebuilt by Zionsville Autosport in 1995 after being declared a total loss. The work on the body was done very, very well and has held up OK over the years. Most would never know it had been so badly wrecked but it is starting to show some signs of corrosion (surface rust, etc.) in the repaired areas. In 1995 a new partial right rear quarter, new left front inner fender support and new lower inner valence as well as fenders, hood and doors from donor cars was installed to repair the body. Other than a new front strut/control arm assembly, I don't think any mechanical parts were needed.

    The day I brought it home I began to sort the broken radio and poor front bumper fitment and broken hood release cable.





    My plan at this point was to clean it up, fix the little things and drive it for a while. It had the best running M20 I've ever experienced in an E30.


    MJ

    #2
    The plans to keep the car as a stock driver changed 3 weeks after I brought it home. I ended up with this:





    A "lightly rolled" 1997 Z3 2.8 automatic with 114k. Every panel on this car had damage but miraculously the driveline was untouched. I pulled the engine, trans, steering rack and diff - the rest went to the scrapyard.



    An aluminum block 24v E30 had always intrigued me since talking in detail with Pete McHenry about his E30 M3- 3.1 aluminum 24v swap years ago at Gateway Tech. No plans to make this a stroker but the lighter weight engine will keep chassis balance right.


    MJ

    Comment


      #3
      With the Z3 gone it was time to dig into the engine.

      A leakdown test showed a couple of intake valves were not sealing well so the head had to come off for a rebuild.





      Everything looked really good in the head otherwise and the block/pistons were in great shape. The cylinder walls looked new and the pistons only had a very thin layer of carbon - no need to touch the bottom end.


      Unfortunately I broke a head bolt when pulling the head.



      Of course it broke flush....I was briefly panicked that the block was junk because the threads of this head bolt were stripped but I was able to weld a nut to the top of the remainder of the bolt and it came out clean. I think the head gasket had allowed coolant to weep into the bolt hole and corroded the steel and aluminum together. The heat from the welding helped break the bond...I got lucky.

      I spent a ton of time cleaning the head bolt holes with wire brushes, kroil and brake cleaner to avoid issues during the build. (Harbor Freight has a nice set BTW: https://www.harborfreight.com/6-piec...set-61923.html)


      Head back from the machine shop:



      Also welded in an oil sump baffle.



      I don't recommend the VAC E34 pan baffle....it does not fit out of the box and required a ton of trimming/grinding. Should have gone with the Achilles piece....

      Head and block together again. No issues with head bolts stripping threads thankfully - the prep work paid off.


      MJ

      Comment


        #4
        With the long block now fully assembled...



        It was time to work on the valvetrain in preparation for cam install. Rather than buying all new lifters (big $$$) I decided to disassemble them, clean and rebuild.

        I followed this very detailed procedure posted on E46F:

        http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?p=14251457

        Instead of using solvent, I used a small ultrasonic cleaner filled with 50/50 simple green and water. It was amazing to see all the dirt that came out of the lifter body. You can see the before and after pics below - I assembled the lifters with light oil and put them back in the same position in the head where they were removed. (some say this does not matter but why not?).

        Apart dirty:



        Clean:



        Dirt from one of the lifter bodies:




        Assembled with S52 cams and rebuilt vanos with Besian parts:




        I have not yet mentioned my plans for the engine....I am keeping it OBD2, with OBD 1 intake, S52 cams, Markert tune for that combo (EWS delete, SAP delete, running lossless delete. Other than that it will be stock. For my purposes this will plenty of motor and dead reliable.


        MJ

        Comment


          #5
          I plan to run an E30 M3 cluster in the car and was trying to figure out the best way to mount the oil temp sender.

          Interestingly, I found that the E39 with M52 had an oil temp sender for the DME threaded into the oil filter housing while the E36 did not. However the housing is the same casting so a little machining and we have an oil temp sender located in an ideal location.





          The front crank hub torques to ~320 ft-lb so I had to borrow a bigger torque wrench from work:



          Also fabbed a crank holder tool from an old flywheel spacer and piece of box tubing. With this braced against the engine stand I did not have to fight things moving around:




          Next was getting the M52 power steering pump to fit with the E34 oil pan. I don't know if this is a common problem, but with my combination of parts the inlet of the pump hit the oil pan. I fabbed a bracket extension and welded it up. This modification also required a slightly shorter serpentine belt and I found that the length used for an Audi 1.8T worked perfectly.





          When converting to the OBD1 manifold and keeping the CCV, the metal coolant tube under the intake interferes with the CCV drain and the E34 dipstick needs to be modified for the drain and a new mounting position.

          I am keeping the throttle body heating circuit so the small tube feeding that on the larger coolant tube needs shortend:



          Dipstick mount:



          Drain tube cut from M52 dipstick and hole drilled in E34 dipstick:



          Metal tube mounted along with CCV. I used the Turner Motorsport OBD1 manifold conversion kit. Ignore the horrid welds on the intake support brackets...not one of my better moments but plenty strong.




          MJ

          Comment


            #6
            All of the work in the above posts was done in 2016 and nothing much happened this year. I decided to put the E30 into storage while I built a stroker M10 for my E21 320i. That project ended up taking longer than I thought...it turned into a light restoration of the entire car.

            The E21 is done and now its time to get back into the E30.

            I originally planned to run the G260 and 3.73 LSD that were already in the car but a deal came up on a ZF320 and 3.15 LSD from a '97 Z3 and I jumped on it.





            A used but recently rebuilt large guibo driveshaft from a 325e is on the way from an Ebay seller to match these parts. I could not find a driveshaft locally in any of the 'yards....everything is an automatic trans.

            Pulled the car out of storage last week. This is how the car was driven/stored for the past year and a half....





            Spent a couple of nights prepping and pulling the M20 and driveline. I am super spoiled being able to use my 2-post lift to do all of this work, it makes removing and installing engines from the bottom possible.

            My homemade dolly that has now been used for 3 engine/driveline removals:



            Out. Engine will be going to a fellow forum member for use in their project car.





            So that should catch everything up to date. I probably left out a few things from the work in 2016 but I will try to keep this thread up to date as the project moves forward from here. Still tons of work to do.


            MJ

            Comment


              #7
              Nice project. Love the interior color!

              I'm in the process of swapping in an aluminum block m52 as well.

              Edit: Just saw the last post. I have a 3.15 LSD too! Is yours a torsen unit?


              '91 318is - Aluminum block M52/ZF/Torsen 3.15 and fresh paint
              '05 330Ci ZHP 6MT - DD
              '03.5 Mazdaspeed Protege - Sold
              '91 318i Sterling Silver project - Sold :sad:
              '91 325i auto coupe - Sold
              '90 325iC - Sold
              '91 318i - Project/dead engine- Sold

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Codym42 View Post
                Nice project. Love the interior color!

                I'm in the process of swapping in an aluminum block m52 as well.

                Edit: Just saw the last post. I have a 3.15 LSD too! Is yours a torsen unit?
                Thanks for the kind words.

                My LSD is a clutch pack Salisbury style, I was looking for a Torsen but the deal I got on these parts was too good to pass up.

                Sounds like we will have similar builds.


                MJ

                Comment


                  #9
                  Sweet work man. I love the cardinal red interior!
                  Paynemw
                  1986 Toyota 4Runner SR5 - Sold!
                  the ebb and flow of 325is ownership - In RVA
                  1988 BMW 535is - RIP but my dream BMW

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Did you have any issues with putting new head bolts in the block? I have an aluminum m52 ready to go into my E30 as well but I'm worried about stripping the threads in the block if the head ever has to come off.
                    Your signature picture has been removed since it contained the Photobucket "upgrade your account" image.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Wishno87 View Post
                      Did you have any issues with putting new head bolts in the block? I have an aluminum m52 ready to go into my E30 as well but I'm worried about stripping the threads in the block if the head ever has to come off.
                      Normally it's not a problem.if the emgine hasn't overheated. I have took off head and reinstalled on alu block tens of times without problems. Even several times on same block.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Love the idea of an alu 24v swap. looking forward to progress on this one
                        1984 Delphin 318i 2 door

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Wishno87 View Post
                          Did you have any issues with putting new head bolts in the block? I have an aluminum m52 ready to go into my E30 as well but I'm worried about stripping the threads in the block if the head ever has to come off.
                          No issues but I spent a great deal of time cleaning out the threads in the block to make sure there was no debris, etc. If you follow the link in my 3rd post you can see what brushes I used to clean out everything.

                          Pazi88 is correct - if the engine has not been overheated then the threads should not pull out. I did not know the history of the engine and breaking off one of the head bolts made me extra careful.


                          MJ

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Looking good so far!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Aluminum block M52 is the best. You will love it. Im excited to see more people starting to swap these in. Im not sure why its taken so long. Its a wonderful setup, I love mine.
                              Simon
                              Current Cars:
                              -1986 BMW 325e & 1968 Datsun Roadster 2000
                              Previous Car Count : 21 ... and climbing...

                              Make R3V Great Again -2020

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