Currently the BMW M3 runs and drives excellent, has no power-train issues, easily runs every bit of its rated mid to high 14 second 1/4 mile time. Previous owner installed Brembo Big Brake kit and Bilstein dampers.
The project is moving forward, sold the M3 power train to a local HBZ member that will be installing it in an S-30 chassis. (He drove the M3 a few times and feels that the BMW M3 power train would be SAH-WEET in a Z carâ€¦)
My approach to the LSx powered E36 is one of simple functionality while retaining the quality BMW ride and driving experience, i.e. no harsh vibrations, loud exhaust etc. A no nonsense LSx conversion. Nothing radical, not blingy, just a simple, â€œaffordableâ€ LSx powered E-36 daily driver that gets comparable MPG as the original power-plant, when not mashing the loud pedal.
I am sitting on a 2001 5.3 out of my wifes '01 Suburban, GM RPO LM7. At 160,xxx this 5.3 it ate the cam. Bought her a used 5.3 engine and swapped it in her Burb, she his tickled pink. So am I as I now have a "starter motor" for my E36. Removed the heads and removed the bungled camshaft and lifters, (detailed write up regarding the camshaft over on ls1tech.com). Purchased a 2001 Vette LS1 camshaft, new roller lifters, several other parts and goodies including oil pans, exhaust manifolds for mock ups, etc. Picked up a WS6 T-56 and LS6 clutch/flywheel package that is currently sitting under the bench right now awaiting installation! Long term plan is to stuff a pert-neer stock 6.0 under the hood,
I do have some help with this particular project, updates with details and pics will be sparse during the beginning, though when the â€œhelperâ€ is satisfied and deems all systems are go, there will be plenty of details, pics, etc. From my conversations with my helper, Once we start posting the specifics with details, etc, anyone else interested in doing this conversion with this approach will be very interested inâ€¦
Here are some shots of the car.
More info on the car itself.
Installed an Alpine head unit and some speakers as soon as I picked up the car, nothing special, just need tunes that sounded little better than OE. Replaced the front corner lights with smoked and had HID Euro Ellipsoids on the way, what a mess that was, will revisit headlights after the V-8 is up and running.... Today made a couple other interior changes as well. Mostly getting tired of my iPhone charge cord always being tangled up around the shifter. I keep my iPhone in the cubby behind the shifter next to the parking brake, sometimes under the parking brake handle itself. I donâ€™t like it in the sunglasses cubby ahead of the shifter as it is bit small and the cord was still obnoxious and in the way there as well. Being that is the only use I have for the 12v power port, (Valentine 1 is to be hardwired just as I had it in my 280-Z, Q-45 and 300-ZX) the most logical location to me is just under the arm rest next to the cubby where I keep the iPhone. After disassembling the arm rest and center console, I committed myself modifying the arm rest structure to get the power port in that location, (owning a specialty 240-260-280-Z car shop helps). In the end, I am VERY pleased with out come.
Now with the power port relocated, that left this awkward hole just ahead of the shifter. A few days ago I mentioned to my good friend that I was thinking about installing my S-2000 â€œEngine Startâ€ button in that location that I had in my 240-Z race car! He just laughed and walked awayâ€¦ Iâ€™m convinced we all have some â€œricerâ€ in us, mine turned up as this start button, (i.e. the current starting system functions fine, but still have the desire to change it to something different, even though â€œdifferentâ€ does not enhance the functionality, only the visual presentation.. ) So I installed it as well. I connected the illumination portion to the old cig light lighting wires. Just need to connect the button to the starter wire and itâ€™ll be functional.
Tried to get some pics of the illumination, pics didnâ€™t come out so good, but youâ€™ll get the idea. The OBC lighting is the normal dark orange, but for some reason shows up pink in the pics?!?!
First pic is the original power port with the charge cord tangled around shifterâ€¦
This picture is of the new power port location;
The Honda S-2000 start button, (looks OE);
Overall interior shot, iPhone is charging under the arm rest, out of sight, no obnoxious cords in the way.
Auto darkening mirror and Valentine 1 hardwire!
Added some more â€œde-luxingâ€ to the '97 M car. Spent the past 4 nights hit and miss, head scratching to see if it would feasible to get the auto darkening rear view mirror from my Infiniti Q-45 into the M3. Also wanting to permanently mount and hardwire the Valentine 1, I pursued both as one project. End result, Iâ€™m quite pleased!
The â€™96 Q-45 used to be my daily driver for several years. Back in Jan â€™07, sitting in traffic in Down Town Portland, the driver of a Dodge Dakota, looking down/phone/??? plowed into the back of me, didnâ€™t hit the brakes, totaling the Q ship. Thank goodness I had my head rest raised and my head planted firmly against the head rest when he hit. Neither of us were injured.
Any how, bought the Q-ship back from insurance for a song and a dance with intentions of cannibalizing its various features for future projects, such as this.
Also have the Factory Infiniti service manual for the car making it quite easy for projects such as this, (wiring diagrams are awesome in the factory service manual.)
The Infiniti mirror has all its auto tinting electronics built into the mirror itself, requiring just an â€œignition-onâ€ power source and a ground! Same for the V-1.
After getting the Q mirror base modified to fit the BMW, (cut off the top 3â€ of the mounting base), I mocked it up with the V-1 beside it, to be sure it would clear the Mirror, windshield, mirror mount, AND the drivers sun visor when swung down, I marked out the location of the BMW circular spring mount. Armed with a Bridgeport milling machine and a 3mm x .5mm tap, tapped the 3 holes into the Q mirror base to accept the BMW mount. Now the new mirror attaches to the BMW windshield mirror mount, just as OE with the sprung â€œbreak-awayâ€ feature.
Formed up the V-1 mount using 22 gage sheet metal to accept the visor mount for the V-1, (this is how I mounted the V-1 in my Datsun 280-Z, Infiniti Q-45, Nissan 300-ZX and now the M3â€¦) After verifying it was broke up on the correct angles, etc, I flattened the pattern out and traced that out onto 18 gage sheet metal for the actual mount bracket. The finished bracket isnâ€™t perfect, but looks great where visible once installed. After verifying that it fit as desired, painted it in wrinkle black paint last night, today spent he day reassembling the mirror, bracket, and wiring. V-1 works perfectly as does the auto darkening rear view mirror, or as Nissan calls it in the service manual, â€œAuto anti-dazzling mirrorâ€.
Here are a few pics of the install.
Edited by BRAAP, 07 April 2010 - 03:25 PM.