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Discussion Starter #1
Summary - 1998 549i with a 402 LS2/T-56, did the swap in 14 weeks with 4 weeks of a break in the middle. Everything is done except for the AC (wiring is finished, but I need to make up the lines) and some tweaking. I have plans for forced induction after I drive it for awhile.


Here it is, enjoy :)

I picked up a very clean 1998 BMW 540i:













Stock weight (with almost no gas in the tank):




Exhaust (98 Camaro Manifolds and custom center section with cats):









Modified GTO Oil Pan:



Finished Engine Bay:


















Finished Car:













Finished Weight (this is with a full tanks, s there is about 15-16 gallons difference between the before and after pics, so the car lost a little weight :D )






 

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Swap looks pretty swell.


Were you able to retain any of the factory electronic gizmos? Cluster, OBC, mpg?
 

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nice must be fast
 

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Nice work. I enjoyed seeing that box and pan brake outside the shop with the exhausts.

How's it run?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the comments.

Swap looks pretty swell.


Were you able to retain any of the factory electronic gizmos? Cluster, OBC, mpg?
The OBC is gone and the cluster is on its way out :) Actaully it will be there but it will be covered by new gauges.

I applaud you for the work itself. OTOH, this is blasphemy to me. I mean really, just the VAG expansion tank pictured there brings tears to my eyes.....:crying2:
hihaWell it was the right configuration and the right price - plus it isn't electrical so it might last for a longer than a week


Nice work. I enjoyed seeing that box and pan brake outside the shop with the exhausts.

How's it run?
It runs pretty well. It is pretty quick, but will be a lot more so once I add the forced induction :wroom:
 

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Glad it wasn't an M5
 

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Nice swap, very good to see you lost a little weight as well! Engine swaps arent my cup of tea but its good to see a finished project. Those LS motors are so easy to make power from, its probably already very near if it has not already exceeded M5 power. With a good F/I setup you will be walking all over ESS M5s (sorry guys)
I applaud you for the work itself. OTOH, this is blasphemy to me. I mean really, just the VAG expansion tank pictured there brings tears to my eyes.....:crying2:
Its a nice swap, and as OC here said in this post, at least it was not done to an M5!!
Glad it wasn't an M5
 

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Nice project!! Can you describe how you handled the driveshaft-to-tranny interface and how did you move the shifter far enough rearward?

I wish more folks would try a project like this after getting a $20K+ estimate to replace a failed motor (that often leads to car retirement). Compared to engine swap projects to extend life, far more M5's are scrapped and parted out. Becoming "dead" is hardly better than getting an ethnically diverse heart transplant. That applies to humans or machines.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I hadn't thought of using an M5, but thanks for giving me the idea :biggrinbounce: anybody have one for sale cheap :deal: ?


Nice project!! Can you describe how you handled the driveshaft-to-tranny interface and how did you move the shifter far enough rearward?
Driveshafts are actually very simple, although them seem to cause a lot of concern. After talking to a local driveshaft shop that has done a few custom pieces for me in the past, they convinced me to keep the 2 piece stock setup. From there I mimicked the stock angles (although it is not all that critical with an independent real suspension), took the measurements and they modified the stock driveshaft. I have had the car to highway speeds and there are no vibrations or strange movements from the back. I also installed a M5 differential (I really wanted a 3.46 ratio but the cost was crazy) and I reinforced the diff mount - I posted pics in a separate thread along with pictures of the useless Dinan reinforcement "kit".

I used a GTO shifter which places the shift lever about 2.5 inches toward the rear, allowing me to put the shifter dead center in the stock shifter hole with a reasonable amount of firewall clearance.
 

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must be super fast. I drove in a friends 240sx with an ls1 swap. It's unbelievable how cheap it is compared to bimmers to get another 100hp out of these motors.
 

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must be super fast. I drove in a friends 240sx with an ls1 swap. It's unbelievable how cheap it is compared to bimmers to get another 100hp out of these motors.
Yeah... ordering directly from Germany some rare euro part that adds 15Hp versus walking into a store, buying some edelbrock parts, and screwing them on for 60hp. Whether or not its your scene, LSx swaps at least make sense compared to a lot of other automotive fads out there...
cough

cough
 

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LSx motors go in anything.

Jag owners throw them in to replace heavy 6's or finnicky V-12s'
They fit in Nissans and are super popular with old Datsuns
Hell there's even kit to put them into Miata's, and it only adds 50 lbs to the car!

If I had an LS 5-series I'd totally throw a twin screw on top :)
 

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I hadn't thought of using an M5, but thanks for giving me the idea :biggrinbounce: anybody have one for sale cheap :deal: ?




Driveshafts are actually very simple, although them seem to cause a lot of concern. After talking to a local driveshaft shop that has done a few custom pieces for me in the past, they convinced me to keep the 2 piece stock setup. From there I mimicked the stock angles (although it is not all that critical with an independent real suspension), took the measurements and they modified the stock driveshaft. I have had the car to highway speeds and there are no vibrations or strange movements from the back. I also installed a M5 differential (I really wanted a 3.46 ratio but the cost was crazy) and I reinforced the diff mount - I posted pics in a separate thread along with pictures of the useless Dinan reinforcement "kit".

I used a GTO shifter which places the shift lever about 2.5 inches toward the rear, allowing me to put the shifter dead center in the stock shifter hole with a reasonable amount of firewall clearance.

Can you please tell me what car donated the transmission? I'm still not understanding how the front driveshaft interface is accomplished because most domestic cars use a slip yoke and the BMW uses a rigid flange. Something needs to prevent the driveshaft from moving fore and aft. In domestic cars, this is usually accomplished by relying upon the rear flange on the differential. BMW takes the opposite approach, using the tranny flange for the same purpose. I am not familiar with the tranny used in the GTO, so maybe that's the missing link in my mind. Perhaps it's not a slip yoke design?
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
From the pictuyres it loocked like an easy swap. I guess it was not that easy as it looks?

What si the power?
Not a particularly difficult swap if you are comfortable with fabrication. I swapped in a much milder can in anticipation of forced induction, right now the car has roughly 450 hp and 450 ft lbs at the flywheel.


Can you please tell me what car donated the transmission? I'm still not understanding how the front driveshaft interface is accomplished because most domestic cars use a slip yoke and the BMW uses a rigid flange. Something needs to prevent the driveshaft from moving fore and aft. In domestic cars, this is usually accomplished by relying upon the rear flange on the differential. BMW takes the opposite approach, using the tranny flange for the same purpose. I am not familiar with the tranny used in the GTO, so maybe that's the missing link in my mind. Perhaps it's not a slip yoke design?
It is pretty straightforward. Nothing needs to prevent the driveshaft from moving back and forth and in fact you have to allow some movement. The driveshaft is fixed at the rear. the CV joint at the rear allows some movement and the slip yoke also lives up to its name and allows some movement. However, there is only a very small amount of movement in an independent rear suspension setup, there is much more with a live axle.

The transmission is from a 2001 Camaro (it has been rebuilt and improved, but that is what I started with). This transmission does indeed have a splined end, which is the same as millions of other transmission (like the Turbo 350 for example). The driveshaft shop uses a slip yoke that fits the transmission and a u-joint the other end of the u-joint is attached to a tube which is welded to the front portion of the BMW driveshaft (they pick a tube diameter that slips inside of the BMW driveshaft). Then it is high-speed balanced.
 

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Not a particularly difficult swap if you are comfortable with fabrication. I swapped in a much milder can in anticipation of forced induction, right now the car has roughly 450 hp and 450 ft lbs at the flywheel.




It is pretty straightforward. Nothing needs to prevent the driveshaft from moving back and forth and in fact you have to allow some movement. The driveshaft is fixed at the rear. the CV joint at the rear allows some movement and the slip yoke also lives up to its name and allows some movement. However, there is only a very small amount of movement in an independent rear suspension setup, there is much more with a live axle.

The transmission is from a 2001 Camaro (it has been rebuilt and improved, but that is what I started with). This transmission does indeed have a splined end, which is the same as millions of other transmission (like the Turbo 350 for example). The driveshaft shop uses a slip yoke that fits the transmission and a u-joint the other end of the u-joint is attached to a tube which is welded to the front portion of the BMW driveshaft (they pick a tube diameter that slips inside of the BMW driveshaft). Then it is high-speed balanced.
Thanks. However something definitely needs to prevent the driveshaft from becoming a flying drill bit when subjected to sharp torque spikes from accel, decel, potholes or wheelspin! Have you ever watched a driveshaft on a pro tractor pull (some 2pc with near zero angularity) or seen race car driveshaft dynamics with an under chassis camera? The BMW OE center bearing is really not designed to resist ANY fore-aft loads, although it may meet that need under light duty. In the case of BMW, one end is securely fastened to the transmission flange with free floating rear connection. In the case of GM live axle setups, the rear of the driveshaft is securely fastened to the rear differential flange with front tranny interface free floating. It's hard for me to accept that a rigid, firm flange restraint on the end with NO telescopic CV is "optional", since this strategy is used by every OEM, truck and aftermarket race setup I've seen.

You retained BMW's flexible, telescopic rear CV with a free floating domestic slip yoke, so it appears your driveshaft is restrained fore and aft by the light duty center flexible bearing. I have never seen such a setup and have some doubts whether it will withstand severe duty use. Anyone who has seen truck pulls or seen a driveshaft transmitting high loads under transient conditions knows the driveshaft sees big fore and aft forces that serve to toss it. In my experience, rubber-insulated center mount bearings for 2pc driveshaft are never used for this purpose on trucks and i've never seen it done on a car either.

I just hope your driveshaft shop knows what they're doing. I'd be replacing the rear telescopic CV with a non-telescopic double cardigan or running a couple hoops and maybe sit on a piece of sheet steel. This solution they chose seems to defy conventional wisdom wrt driveshaft restraint.
 
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