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Discussion Starter #1
Hello board members!

I was just going through the forums reading about the usual mods and what HP increases to expect from them and it just occured to me, is it possible to buy an E39 520 and have it's engine swapped with one that has more potiental of being modified and one that you can mod rather cheaply (modding anything but german cars would be considered cheap :D) I mean you'd have a nice 5 series saloon (which i'm very fond of) but with a wild engine propelling your car well over the lovely M5 (providing you solved all the drivetrain problems and you have much more power)

There's people in Kuwait (Black M5 dont' read this!) who I've heard that change their Diablo engines (when it gets dirty and it'll cost $$$ to fix) with Chevy engines, It might sound stupid and very pointless to many, and the camshaft cover would change from "Platinium motors" to tin or something. But I found alot of cheap 520s around here and I thought of it as a maybe 'different' project car since i searched and haven't found any clues to anyone who's done it. Sure you'll disturb the already perfect balancing of the car, and ofcourse the handling, and it might as well cost you more than a used M5 here (very good deals emerging) and it really wouldn't sound nice to 'downgrade' from BMW to say a Chevy engine or Toyota, it'll have more vibrations and sound awful (the M5's engine is a legend that I believe in) and the E39 M5 is devilishly fast who the hell wants to go faster..... but i just want to know can it be done?

It's just a question that popped from the back of my head and I'm sure you guys have answers :)

Sorry for the long post everyone, I rarely post so this will probably count for 10
 

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In addition to the concerns you raise, there is the practical issue that modern cars like the E39 heavily integrate the engine control electronics and vehicle electronics, in a proprietary way that differs from manufacturer to manufacturer. Particularly the anti-theft aspects. Putting a Chevy V8 into an E39 for street use and making the combination work would cost many times more than buying an M5. The "good old days" - even up through the '80s - are long gone.

It would be a different matter entirely for a race car, where aftermarket engine controls (Motec, EFI and the like) can run the engine and the chassis electronics will be stripped out and replaced with simple hard-wired switches. But what classs would this Chevy-BMW run in?

Regards, Dick Roberts
 

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Putting an S62 into a 520 isnt easy. You have change out the steering assembly. V8 E39s use rec ball, I6 uses Rack and Pinion. ECUs need swapping, Front Suspension assembly to compensate for the Heavier engine and a whole list of things. Probably cheaper to buy an M5 or to find an E36 M3 motor and drop that in.
 

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Re: my dream..........

FAST 5 said:
fitting the new E60 M5 motor into the E39 M5 engine bay. ;)
Just contact Shadowman, cheaper, more power, and if want the extra revs, you can raise the rev limit depending on how much of the internals you want to change. cherrsagai
Regards,
Jerry
 

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:)

I realize that this post is almost 5 years old but I wanted to throw my .02 cents in here. As for the thought of installing a small block Chevrolet engine in an E39? I told my wife if the engine in our E39 ever went bad that I was going to install a Chevy V8 in it. I have built several Chevrolet LT1 engines for street rods and performance cars in the past.
I can take a 93-97 Chevrolet LT1 from a Z28 or Corvette, bore it .030 over and stroke it (increase the crankshaft stroke) to 383 Cubic inches. It is fuel injected, aluminum intake and heads with an LT4 Hotcam. This engine will produce around 430 HP with 420 pounds of torque. Couple it with a 4L60E 4 speed automatic OD transmission and it will fit in the E39. An after market wiring harness is available to make the engine work in the car for less than $500. I can build this engine for around $1200 doing the work myself, not counting the cost of the core. Not only will this engine out perform anything you are likely to be able to afford in a BMW, but it will get much better gas mileage than a stock E39.
I haven't done any exploration on how well the stock E39 rear differential will hold up to the power. If it goes, then there are options to change it to a beefed up performance rear. I mention all this because I can build this engine, buy the wiring harness and install it in the E39 much cheaper than I could purchase a used M3 engine for, or a used 528 engine for that matter.
I know that there are those that say the E39 could not hold the weight of the LT1. Keep in mind that it has aluminum heads and intake. OR, for that matter, a later model Chevrolet all aluminum LS engine could be installed from a Corvette. The worst problem that you would have is keeping tires on the car and holding it in the road.

Have a Goodern,

Ed
 

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I think there was guy named Gary Derian with an E34 wagon and he was in the process of putting a Chevy v8 in couple of years ago. I forget if it was the LS or the LT1 engine, but he seemed to be nearly done with it at the time, IIRC.
 
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