Blackknight530i 530i6 -> M5 Conversion Build Thread - BMW M5 Forum and M6 Forums
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post #1 of 116 Old 6th September 2016, 07:06 AM Thread Starter
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Blackknight530i 530i6 -> M5 Conversion Build Thread

Hey guys,

This is the new chapter in this car's life that started with this thread: Blackknight530i’s 530i6 6-speed swap build thread, where I did an auto to 6-speed swap using an e46 M3 transmission and full v8 rearend and driveshaft. In that thread, I had talked about how I was planning on eventually swapping the M54b30 to a S54b32 M3 engine, and so everything was in preparation for that, but when I finally decided that my S62 swapped E38 was not really comfortable enough to drive and was going to require a lot more work to make it as nice as I wanted it, I decided to do something crazy and pull everything out of it and put it in my 530i6 and part the rest of the car. The S62 only has 59k miles on it now and the 420g that's attached to it only has 157k miles, so still quite fresh, but the 420g will be getting all new detents before going into the e39 and it already has a fresh new M5 flywheel and clutch kit. Motor mounts have about 17k miles, and the transmission mounts have less than 1k or so.

Where the car is at right now:





The car currently is mostly stock from the exterior, other than a debadge on the trunk, a small lip spoiler, and style 95 wheels in staggered 19x9/19x10 fitment mounted on e60 hubs and painted "Eleanor" gray (from Gone in 60 Seconds). It's black sapphire metallic and the paint still looks spectacular even with 211k miles, thanks to the help of some friends of mine who help me with some paint correction and waxing once or twice a year.

Interior is basically stock, except that I've done a NBT swap (2015 BMW Nav system) with 10.2" LCD and touch sensitive ceramic idrive controller, black face M5 gauge cluster with red/orange LEDs to match the rest of the interior lights, M dead pedal, and piano black trim. I just recently started doing the full M5 interior conversion with the Alcantara headliner, parcel shelf and pillars, as well as black M5 luxe seats refinished by Brian at Fibrenew in Raleigh/Wake Forest, and soon M5 leather dash, console, door panels, b-pillars. I will also be installing M5 or M door sills on the inside when the project is complete, mainly because my current ones need a refresh anyways. I'm not sure if I want to go with the M5 rearview mirror due to the fact that it looks kind of funky anyways and is a bit smaller than the stock one. If one comes up for the right price, I might consider it.





Performance mods include the 6-speed swap from an e46 M3, M5 rear sway bar, Zimmerman sport rotors, Koni Sport struts, M5 axles, 3.15 Open 540i differential with 540i driveshaft, and UUC Evo3 SSK with DSSR.

What's in store for the car in the next couple weekends:

Many of you may be wondering why I'm planning to do all this stuff with a 530i and why don't I just sell the 530i and buy a M5. Well, as you can read from the above thread and the list below it, my 530i may have high miles, but it is fully sorted. The entire cooling system, suspension, steering system, drivetrain, interior, hubs, brakes, interior, etc. have all been replaced and the body kept in great shape. The car is like new, every time I drive it. There are no leaks anywhere on the car, the engine has every bit of power as it did when I bought it at 56k miles, and it looks fantastic. The new engine going in has such low miles and I know it's history as well, so it's a known condition swap. I already have the S62 and 420g and nobody was going to buy the E38 with the S62 for what it was worth, since that car still needed so much to be sorted. The point is, for the amount of money I have in this swap, there isn't a M5 on the planet in as good of condition for similar money that I could have got, and I wouldn't have got anywhere near what I would expect for my 530i6 to make it worth selling it. I also intend to go all out and make this a full M5, except for a few minor differences.

I don't plan to swap the trunk floor to a M5 floor, but I do plan to modify it a bit to allow a dual exhaust muffler delete with quad tips coming out of a M5 rear bumper I got the other day. It's a genuine used BMW rear bumper, so no weird fitment issues. Another difference is that the fenders won't be rolled as much as the actual M5s are stock from the factory, unless I find a body shop that can do it. I've tried my best with a roller and it's got a lot more clearance than it did, but still not even close to what the M5 has. The last thing I can think of at the moment that will be different is that the M5 badges on the sides of the front doors will be installed in the gloss black rub strips that are currently on the car, since I'm not a fan of the matte black, which means the front and rear M5 rub strips on the bumpers will also be painted black sapphire as well. I still need to find a used M5 front bumper, belly pan and pork chops, but those are going to happen.

The parts I have acquired are going to be listed in a parts diagram when I'm done, but basically the list consists of the bracket and lines needed to relocate the ABS precharge pump to behind the bumper to make room for the driver side air box, V8 AC lines going to the compressor, a different battery cable that goes from the trunk to the firewall (since the I6 has the battery go to the driver side and the V8 has it go to the right side), M5 cooling parts (radiator, shroud, expansion tank, hoses, heater control valve, fan clutch and fan), Power steering parts (lines, M5 steering box, lower steering column shaft, reservoir), M5 3.15 LSD differential, M5 driveshaft, M5 brakes, and M5 front subframe.

I'm also taking the opportunity to do some upgrades and refreshing, while I'm at it. The entire front suspension, steering, and front and rear sway bars will be new. The suspension and steering will all be M5 spec Lemforder parts from FCP Euro, and the front and rear sway bars will be Eibachs. The front struts will be 15k mile Konis and front and rear springs will be stock M5 ones. The rear suspension arms and such were already refreshed previously with all Lemforder parts, so they won't be changed at this time. The fronts were needed due to the subframe being totally different on the V8s. All brand new Genuine BMW parts have been provided by Morristown BMW at an excellent price and amazingly fast shipping speeds.

That's pretty much it for this car, so stay tuned to see it all come together. All the powertrain/drivetrain that is currently in the 530i6 will be put into my 525it5 in the weekend following the swap for the 530i6 (549i6 ) to become a 530it6. I'll start a new build thread for that car soon as well.

I hope you guys enjoy this thread, as I usually post quite a bit when I do these swaps, so it should be interesting to follow. I don't expect it to take that long to get to where I want it to be, but any updates later on will happen in this thread, and not likely the old one anymore.

-Paul
2003 "M5" - S62/420g swap, M5 diff, M5 driveshaft, M5 brakes, M5 Traction Bars, Eibach Sway Bars, UUC Evo3/DSSR, Custom Exhaust,
BMW NBT Retrofit, M5 Gauge Cluster, Hella G4 Bi-Xenon Retrofit, M5 Extended Leather Interior Swap, APEX PS-7s, e60 Hubs, Koni Sports
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post #2 of 116 Old 6th September 2016, 04:38 PM
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Did I miss the part about adding a LSD?

Regards,
Jerry

'01 Black/caramel
Dinan Stage 3 suspension, SS jet coated headers, ESS SC kit w/ 1 range colder NGK's, 92mm pulley, 440 Big Greens, TTFS alpha N tune for meth, RK plenum plates, Sachs high performance PP and CCC proprietary clutch disc, stock DMFW, open brake ducts, Hamann front splitters, TEC cupholder, U.S.(Euro style) tilt/slide armrest, 6k HID fogs, 6k super white low beams, V1/Stealth1, dual head LI, 2.65 diff w/40% lockup/2x dynamic, compact spare, Euro trailer hitch, Mocal oil cooler, ACS type rear spoiler, Rogue custom SSK and tranny mounts, ST 355 BBK (fronts), BP sway bar brackets, Bluetooth retrofit, Speedhut boost gauge, Dinan TB's and VS, KB BAP, Howerton/HFS-3 Aquamist WI trunk setup.......
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post #3 of 116 Old 6th September 2016, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsfent View Post
Did I miss the part about adding a LSD?

Regards,
Jerry
Yup, it's there towards the end

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

-Paul
2003 "M5" - S62/420g swap, M5 diff, M5 driveshaft, M5 brakes, M5 Traction Bars, Eibach Sway Bars, UUC Evo3/DSSR, Custom Exhaust,
BMW NBT Retrofit, M5 Gauge Cluster, Hella G4 Bi-Xenon Retrofit, M5 Extended Leather Interior Swap, APEX PS-7s, e60 Hubs, Koni Sports
Coming Soon - M5 Bumpers
530i 6-speed swap build thread

2003 530it6 - M54b30/S6S-420g swap, 3.15 540it diff, e60 SSK, VMR VB2 19" Wheels, M5 Gauge Cluster, Hella G4 Bi-xenon Retrofit, NBT Retrofit, Koni Sports, 540i Brakes

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post #5 of 116 Old 7th September 2016, 05:01 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Mark!

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-Paul
2003 "M5" - S62/420g swap, M5 diff, M5 driveshaft, M5 brakes, M5 Traction Bars, Eibach Sway Bars, UUC Evo3/DSSR, Custom Exhaust,
BMW NBT Retrofit, M5 Gauge Cluster, Hella G4 Bi-Xenon Retrofit, M5 Extended Leather Interior Swap, APEX PS-7s, e60 Hubs, Koni Sports
Coming Soon - M5 Bumpers
530i 6-speed swap build thread

2003 530it6 - M54b30/S6S-420g swap, 3.15 540it diff, e60 SSK, VMR VB2 19" Wheels, M5 Gauge Cluster, Hella G4 Bi-xenon Retrofit, NBT Retrofit, Koni Sports, 540i Brakes

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post #6 of 116 Old 11th September 2016, 07:19 AM Thread Starter
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We made really great progress today on the swap. Since we had the foresight last weekend to go ahead and pull the S62 out of the e38, we were already a step ahead this weekend, which was great.



We started out by installing the new battery cable that goes from the trunk to the firewall on the passenger side, unlike the I6 cable that crosses over the transmission tunnel and goes to the driver side firewall. The easiest option to have done this would have been to cut both the old cable and the new one and coupled them together under the carpet, but without one of those big machines that does a really good crimp, I'm not sure it would have been the best option. Instead, since we didn't want to pull the center console and driver side seat, we just pulled the rear seats and passenger front seat and folded the carpet up and out of the way, kept the smaller power wire that goes from the distribution panel in the trunk above the battery, to the distribution panel under the passenger side floor and just ran it through the new grommet, saving us the trouble of having to cut a ton of BMW cable tape to pull the old one out. Unfortunately, the battery cable I bought had the BST connector damaged and so I'm not able to hook it up, which means that in an accident, the battery terminal will not explode and disconnect power. I think the Euro models don't have the BST, so I should be ok and might just need to code it out in the SRS module or something. If I feel like it later on, I might try to get a new cable and swap it out, but I think I'll be ok.

While they were working on the battery cable, I replaced the 3 remaining cam position sensors that I hadn't yet replaced, since they were downright easy to do with the engine out of the car.

Next, we moved on to disconnecting everything we could in the engine bay from above, including as many heater hoses, wire connectors, clutch line, A/C lines, fuel lines, etc. Once we got the car in the air, Steve and Jeff started to take out the 540i 3.15 differential and driveshaft, which I wanted to keep assembled together, since they were going to be relocated to the wagon later. Brian and I got to working on getting the brake calipers removed and tied up, rotors off (since I needed to remove the e60 front hubs and install them on the M5 spindles), ABS sensors, and brake wear sensor. Then we pulled the pinch bolts on the strut part of the spindle to make it easier to drop the subframe later, as we could leave the struts attached to the car, and that would keep them from damaging the suspension parts by folding outwards when the body came off the subframe. This worked quite well actually.

We then went to lunch and Brian's friend Rick who stopped by with his 625whp CTS-V was giving a few of us rides, while our friend Geoff drove the rest of us in his e61 535xi to the restaurant. Shortly after leaving, we started to notice some banging on acceleration, but Geoff thought it was just in need of a walnut blast, but when we turned onto the main road and gave it some gas, it sounded like something let go (like a tire blew out and was tearing up the fender), but when we pulled over and looked, I could only see a small amount of fluid around the engine and the tire was fine. It wasn't till Geoff reminded me that it was an XI and that he thought it might be the axle on the passenger side slid out of the diff (only held in with a circlip), which is exactly what it sounded like. We went on to lunch while we waited for the tow truck to arrive.

After getting back, we got to installing the new M5 differential from Clemster, filling it with fluid, packing the input flange with grease, and otherwise getting it prepped. It was finally time to pull the engine out. Since we made sure to disconnect everything beforehand, all that was required really was to get any last connections we missed disconnected, use our now "signature" method of using a wheel or two with a piece of plywood/OSB laid on top as a support for holding the subframe, lowering the car down onto that, then disconnecting the 6 subframe bolts. Finally we lifted the car off the subframe with the engine still attached to it, got out the engine hoist and moved the whole assembly over to the side of the shop in preparation for next weekend's wagon swap. Brian's not happy about having to give up some of his shop space this week, while he needs to work on Brandon's e38 parts, but I hope it ends up being ok.



After dinner, we decided to do as much prep for the S62 install as we could tonight, before getting a "good night's sleep", whatever that is. Steve and Jeff proceeded to remove the M5 steering box from the e38, as well as the heater control valve and steering column lower shaft. I feel terrible for them since they needed to work outside in the sweltering heat and humidity, while Brian and I swapped out the A/C lines, and did the ABS precharge pump relocation to behind the bumper. I didn't end up getting the M5 tray for the driver side airbox, so we had to modify the current one from the I6 to allow the wiring and brake lines to go down into it. It doesn't look pretty, but I'll get the correct tray and we'll fix it later.







In the morning, we're hoping to get the M5 steering box and motor mounts installed on the M5 subframe I got from Clemster and cleaned up, lift the engine and transmission and put them on the subframe, install the all new shift detents and shifter centering springs and hardware on the transmission, and get them installed in the car. We'll then have the cooling system, driveshaft, fuel pump, fuel pressure regulator, wiring, front suspension building (all new steering and control arms), and fluids left to do before hopefully starting the car tomorrow.

Ok, going to go to bed now to get that "good night's rest".

-Paul
2003 "M5" - S62/420g swap, M5 diff, M5 driveshaft, M5 brakes, M5 Traction Bars, Eibach Sway Bars, UUC Evo3/DSSR, Custom Exhaust,
BMW NBT Retrofit, M5 Gauge Cluster, Hella G4 Bi-Xenon Retrofit, M5 Extended Leather Interior Swap, APEX PS-7s, e60 Hubs, Koni Sports
Coming Soon - M5 Bumpers
530i 6-speed swap build thread

2003 530it6 - M54b30/S6S-420g swap, 3.15 540it diff, e60 SSK, VMR VB2 19" Wheels, M5 Gauge Cluster, Hella G4 Bi-xenon Retrofit, NBT Retrofit, Koni Sports, 540i Brakes

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post #7 of 116 Old 11th September 2016, 02:54 PM
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I think I need a program. Lol. I can't keep track anymore of what's been done where, and which parts have come from which car and gone to which new car.
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post #8 of 116 Old 11th September 2016, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
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I think I need a program. Lol. I can't keep track anymore of what's been done where, and which parts have come from which car and gone to which new car.
Easy. You need C++ to understand what's going on here.

The whole 530i / 6 speed powertrain including the I6 subframe, steering rack, and the DME wiring harness, was pulled out of this 530i and put it aside.

He and the crew will now swap in the entire M5 powertrain, DME harness, subframe and all the V8 steering components into this 530i. Eventually becoming an M5, or in other words, "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing."

Once the 530i conversion is over, it is time to move on to the 525i Touring project where the guts of that wagon will be pulled out and the 530i stuff will go into that Touring. Therefore, the original 525iT 5 speed will now become a 530iT / 6 speed.

As for the E38 7 series ... the crew are going to burn it with fire.

Be glad I didn't explain it in Binary language.
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post #9 of 116 Old 12th September 2016, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
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Wow, today was a REALLY long day. we got started this morning by finishing the prepwork for getting the engine in. We got the steering box installed on the subframe, with it's lines attached, then installed the Eibach front sway bar, since it would be the best time to do so. It looks really sexy along with the rear one we installed yesterday during the diff installation. Next we did the shifter detents on the transmission, and I did one of the centering springs, but I couldn't get the other snap ring to come out. Unfortunately, it was the one I really needed to do (center spring that handles 5/6 gears). Mine sticks pretty bad and has since I got this transmission for the 7. It doesn't cause a problem moving the shifter over to the right, but rather it seems to stay there, making the shifter not center to the middle properly until it warms up a bit. It's a minor annoyance, so I guess I'll live with it for now.

Next it was time to put the engine on the subframe and get it lined up to go into the car. We used a new technique to get the subframe lined up with the body this time, by creating our own plumb-bobs that would hang from the middle of the locating pins.



This worked well until we got it to within a couple inches between the subframe and the body, which then required us to move the engine/subframe around to get it to line up better. Brian suggested a really good idea to put the engine brace on and lift the engine a bit, which would allow us to shift the subframe around a bit, and we finally were able to get everything to line up and screw the bolts in. Unfortunately, I had expected the 530i subframe bolts to work on the M5 subframe, but they didn't. Brian had some other bolts lying around that worked well, but it did slow us down a bit. Once we got all that secured, it was time to figure out the steering linkage.

We had already had one heck of a time trying to get the steering linkage to slide up the shaft last night, but this time we realized that it just wasn't going to work the way we had it. We fought with it for about 5 hours, trying to figure out what to do with it. We knew that there was some kind of keying that would only let the shaft go on one way, but no matter how we aligned the splines, it just wouldn't go on very far. We had to pull the subframe off again, but this time we could support the engine while doing it and use the transmission jack to lower it down, so it went a lot smoother. After several hours of trying to get it to work, we were resigned to taking the upper shaft out of the e38 and swapping it. This proved to work great, but required taking apart two lower dashes to get the old one out and the new one in. It took us a lot less time than we originally though, so I guess we should have done it sooner in the day, but oh well.

I was so lucky Asim (Auaq) showed up to help today, because he was willing to do a lot of lifting of the steering box, while we were trying to get the steering shaft in and I couldn't have done it without him. When we finally got the engine fully installed, steering box completely hooked up after putting the swapped steering shaft, which went in easily, we prepped and installed the M5 driveshaft. We first got the driveshaft there, slid it into the diff flange, then the trans output flange, then the CSB, but we noticed that the trans end was sitting back about 1/2-3/4" or so. Memories of my 525it 5-speed swap driveshaft issues came rushing through my mind. We checked the part number of the driveshaft and I told Brian that I had in fact put a M5 giubo and output flange on the transmission, so it should be working fine. I looked at the location of the CSB mounting studs and they were as far forward in the slots as possible, without any preload, so I figured something wasn't right. I suggested that maybe the centering sleeve that goes on the transmission might have gotten dry and wouldn't slide on well, so we were going to coat the inside with silicone spray. We took the driveshaft back off the CSB and noticed that the centering sleeve had folded in on itself and wasn't allowing it to go on the transmission at all hardly. Made it a circle again and sprayed with silicone spray and it went on perfect this time. Got it all bolted up and tightened.

Then we moved on to draining the Royal Purple Synchromax out of the transmission and refilling with Redline D4 ATF, which I've been really happy with in the 530i6 and the wagon. Brian's new transfer pump made quick work of this. We then installed all the subframe heat shields, got the steering lines reinstalled on the steering box with new crush washers, and installed the Evo3 shifter and DSSR to the new transmission.

We called it a night after all this at about 12:30AM. We still have a lot to do, but I expect we'll get this going tomorrow. Still left to do is the Power steering fill and bleed, brake/clutch system full bleed (with software) and slave cylinder holding tool, cooling system install (radiator, expansion tank, connect all heater hoses), wiring connections (minor repinning of a couple wires, while more stuff like the sport button and such will be added later), intake install, etc, then test.

-Paul
2003 "M5" - S62/420g swap, M5 diff, M5 driveshaft, M5 brakes, M5 Traction Bars, Eibach Sway Bars, UUC Evo3/DSSR, Custom Exhaust,
BMW NBT Retrofit, M5 Gauge Cluster, Hella G4 Bi-Xenon Retrofit, M5 Extended Leather Interior Swap, APEX PS-7s, e60 Hubs, Koni Sports
Coming Soon - M5 Bumpers
530i 6-speed swap build thread

2003 530it6 - M54b30/S6S-420g swap, 3.15 540it diff, e60 SSK, VMR VB2 19" Wheels, M5 Gauge Cluster, Hella G4 Bi-xenon Retrofit, NBT Retrofit, Koni Sports, 540i Brakes

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post #10 of 116 Old 13th September 2016, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
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Wow, this day was an interesting one. It started out with me rescheduling my exhaust shop appointment from 9AM to 2:30PM, as I was pretty certain I wasn't going to have the car done by 9AM. Then I came downstairs to find that Brian was not doing well. Apparently a strain related injury that had happened a day or two before, was getting worse and he had to get it dealt with by a doctor. This meant that I was on my own for the day. OMG does everything go a lot slower when it's just one person.

I got to work on hooking up the A/C and power steering lines, putting the radiator in, properly mounting the oil filter housing and power steering reservoir, and installing the air boxes (that bracket being mounted with JB Weld Steel Stick worked very well and is holding strong). This stuff was going nice and smoothly, but was of course taking a while. I began working on the suspension building and got pretty far along, but it's not as easy as you think to install everything from scratch, instead of just replacing one or two parts at a time. I needed to put my e60 hubs on the M5 spindles, attach the guide links and thrust arms onto the subframe, and run the center link and tie rods through. I had preinstalled the struts into the shock towers, to make things a lot more manageable. One problem I was having was torquing down the thrust arms with the Eibach sway bar installed. There was no way I was getting a torque wrench and 22mm socket on it to tighten it, with the bar in the way, so I had to disconnect it from the endlinks and the subframe at the brackets to give myself enough clearance. I raised each spindle up using the support stand and torqued them as best as I could to spec while in "normal" position.

Another problem I ran into was the tie rod ends and setting an initial alignment by sight. Every time I tried to turn the tie rod ends, it would twist the boot, potentially damaging it, so I had to remove the tie rod from the spindle and spin it manually to get it moved a larger amount. I'm not sure how a shop doing the alignment will handle that. I finally got the suspension fully installed around 8:30-9:00 PM, so obviously, I didn't make the exhaust shop appointment that I had to call and cancel. I took a break for a little while around 10 or so and thought I was done for the night, but then decided to try to tackle the wiring. A lot of the wiring is the same as the 540i->M5 stuff, but since the 530i didn't have a starter relay, I noticed that the starter signal goes straight from the EWS to the starter, so I shouldn't have to do anything special for that. There is some additional wiring that I'll need to do for the oil pressure switch, aux pump wiring relocation and new connector, sport button and servotronic. The oil pressure signal just goes from the oil filter housing directly to the cluster, so that shouldn't be too difficult. The sport button will require an additional 2 wires from the auto trans harness going to the cabin, which I think I still have available. Servotronic will require cutting the connector pigtail from the e38 and running 2 wires from that to the Ebox to the DME. I even hooked up the battery to the car and turned the key on to see if everything basically worked. I haven't checked for initial codes yet, but there might be one for the fuel pump relay being the standard type, oil pressure switch, coolant low, etc. I haven't yet tried to turn it over, since it was about midnight or so and with open headers, I'm pretty sure the neighbors wouldn't be happy.

I still need to swap the M5 fuel pump and pressure regulator from the 7 to the 530i, but I'm not sure the best way to do that without dumping fuel all over Brian's driveway or shop floor. I also need to fill it with brake fluid, bleed the clutch, brakes and ABS, and fill the power steering fluid and bleed it. Then it's time to install the M5 cats after swapping my old O2 sensors, get the exhaust done and then an alignment and possibly A/C recharge. By then it should be ready to drive home.

For the exhaust, unless the shop guy thinks it can be done for a reasonable price, I'm just going to have him adapt the M5 cats to the current 530i exhaust rear section. It should get me by until I can do some better planning on how I want the exhaust done, as well as get my M5 rear bumper painted and installed.

Ok, it's 2:15AM. I'm going to bed now.

-Paul
2003 "M5" - S62/420g swap, M5 diff, M5 driveshaft, M5 brakes, M5 Traction Bars, Eibach Sway Bars, UUC Evo3/DSSR, Custom Exhaust,
BMW NBT Retrofit, M5 Gauge Cluster, Hella G4 Bi-Xenon Retrofit, M5 Extended Leather Interior Swap, APEX PS-7s, e60 Hubs, Koni Sports
Coming Soon - M5 Bumpers
530i 6-speed swap build thread

2003 530it6 - M54b30/S6S-420g swap, 3.15 540it diff, e60 SSK, VMR VB2 19" Wheels, M5 Gauge Cluster, Hella G4 Bi-xenon Retrofit, NBT Retrofit, Koni Sports, 540i Brakes

2001 749i6 - Retired and being parted out - M5Board Build Log
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