LSX powered BMW M3, E36 chassis...
Posted 12 February 2010 - 06:08 PM
Now have the high pressure side of the power steering finished. Took the F-bod PS hose and M3 PS hose down to my favorite fluid line guys, (Oil Filter Service in Portland OR), showed them what I needed and let them build it the way they felt it should be built, and wa-la. F-bod hard line coming out of the P/S pump, Aeroquip hose in between with Aeroquip fittings beautifully soldered onto the GM and BMW hard lines, and the BMW Banjo fitting for the rack attachment. This new custom hose fits perfectly as it coils nicely around the alternator without touching anything.
I do have an idea for another custom built high pressure and low pressure line, would end up nicer than this and probably not much more in cost. Gonna bounce the concept off my buddy, (a member whose name escapes me, rhymes with "fell from the dike"?!), weâ€™ll see what he saysâ€¦
For now, here are the pics;
Posted 13 February 2010 - 10:18 AM
We found a smaller diameter brake booster allowing adequate valve cover to booster clearance that is one of the major issues with these conversions.
Here is one such Mercedes booster I mocked up with my M3 master cylinder and the JTR booster adapter;
Edited by BRAAP, 13 February 2010 - 10:30 AM.
Posted 25 April 2010 - 07:50 PM
Posted 06 May 2010 - 02:08 PM
Due to the similar design of the master cylinder hydraulic line connection between GM and BMW, the OE GM LSx clutch line can be made to fit the BMW master cylinder with a small massage, no need to buy fittings, cut the GM clutch line, etc... Only thing needed to buy other than your slave cylinder is a remote bleeder line/kit like the one from TICKshift.com.
I did hammer the tunnel about 3/4" deep trough where the clutch line comes out of the bell-housing to relax the bend on the clutch line, fits nice in the tunnel.
Yesterday in finishing up the clutch lines, I was going to go the typical route and cut the GM clutch line, install the -4 fitting, use the -4 to 10mmx1.0mm ISO bubble flare fitting, yadda yadda yadda, but with the GM clutch hose hooked up the trans I noticed its length is absolutely perfect in that it reaches the BMW master cylinder. I got to looking at the BMW master cylinder connection a little closer, removed the hard line retaining clip and wiggled the hard line out of the M/C and thought about what it might take to get the GM clutch line to plug into the BMW Master Cylinder. Spent some time measuring up both the GM and BMW master cylinder connection bores, then the GM and BMW clutch line fittings, sketched them out in AutoCAD and came to the conclusion it can be done. The BMW M/C bore is smooth at the O-ring diameter for what looks like all the way to the piston so the GM fitting could sit at any depth past the minimum. So I chucked the GM clutch line in the lathe and machined .020" off the diameter of the GM fitting as shown below and added a .040" tall chamfer to allow it to sit deep enough into the M/C to accept the BMW retaining clip and that's it, fits PERFECT! Using the GM O-ring, (BMW O-ring will not fit the GM fitting), it ends up compressing a total of .021â€ more than it does in the GM M/C, (tighter fit), not so much it causes any issues wit sealing, over squishing, etc. Surprising part is with a little brake fluid on the O-ring it doesnâ€™t feel any tighter when installing it. Installed and removed several times to verify fitment. Best part is the GM clutch line is already the perfect length!
Here are the drawings and pics, enjoyâ€¦
BMW Master Cylinder connection detail;
GM LSx Master Cylinder connection detail;
Hybrid LSx line-BMW Master Cylinder;
3D render of the Hybrid connection.
Retaining clip fits perfectly behind the crimped fitting;
Prior to installation;
INSTALLED! Retaining clip holds it firmly, wont go in any deeper or come out and it is already the PERFECT length! SAH-WEEETâ€¦
Posted 07 May 2010 - 06:22 PM
Spent a bit of the day upgrading my DIY brake pressure bleeder and setting up a BMW M/C reservoir cap for it. Hoping to have the ABS relocated and with new lines brakes done by the end of next week, or sooner.
Pic from engine bay;
Pic from under the car;
Posted 11 May 2010 - 12:01 PM
Made up my mind to go with the GM PCM and GM cruise control.
Sold the WOLF V500 and found Chevy Thunder, who will set you up with a stand alone GM PCM and harness for your LSx conversion. He sets some basic settings in the PCM such as tach signal to 6 cylinder, VATS delete, CAGS delete, sets the speed input to match whatever your gearing and tire size is, etc. He also custom builds the harness to whatever length you need to fit your application, including all the connectors you need such as the DLC, your choice fuel injector connector style, O-2 sensor connectors style, 3 wire or 5 wire MAF, coil sub harness connectors, GM cruise control, etc. Also includes the necessary relays and fuses for fuel pump, PCM power, cooling fans, configures for single or dual fan, your choice. The PCM is left unlocked for future tuning if you so desire. I received the PCM and harness and WOW! Every wire/connector is labeled for easy hook up. Relays, fuses, etc. Also included is a very thorough CD regarding many aspects of installing the LSx and PCM including diagrams etc. Very very helpful for anyone doing an LSx conversion.
I also did a bit of research and picked up the HP-Tuners pro suite so I can fine tune everything once it is up and running. Already been using the HP-Tuners to diagnose hung 2nd gear shifts and low idle swings on my wifes Suburban, (TPS/connector issues along with MAP sensor going out).
On his web site is tons of LSx info, PCM pin outs, how to measure your car to determine how long you need the PCM harness to be, etc. Lots of other pages hidden on the site that arenâ€™t accessed from the main pages, just surf aroundâ€¦
The LSx stuff;
Posted 12 May 2010 - 04:33 PM
Todayâ€™s distraction was the throttle which is now 100%. I have the clutch and throttle 100%.
Used the Lokar 36â€ LS1 cable and it fits perfectly. Length is perfect, clevis fits the BMW pedal perfectly, throttle travel is perfect, TB hits WOT with .050â€ between the pedal and the pedal stop on the floorboard, couldnâ€™t be any easier. Only actual work involved was altering the angle of the firewall penetration so the throttle cable ferrule was aimed more directly at the pedal for smoother actuation.
Next on the to-do list in order of priority;
Brake lines for the ABS relocate.
Heater hose and dual zone climate control valve relocate.
Swap the diff flange out to the 4 bolt style.
Mount the cruise control module and figure out the A/C.
Repair the rear shock tower mounts, (removed the rear tires and WOWZERS! Shock tower sheet metal is literally separating from the body!)
Lokar Clevis fits BMW pedal perfectly!
Throttle cable connected and routed.
Posted 14 May 2010 - 07:09 PM
Pulled the engine/trans out of the car and â€œfinallyâ€ relocated the ABS module to the passenger side behind the strut tower.
Drilled the spot welds that held the blower motor tray that was in this position, using the ABS module mount brackets cut off from the driver side, hastily fused them to new sheetmetal to hold the module in its new location. Welds look likeâ€¦.. wellâ€¦ lets just say pigeon poo is more aesthetic, but it works. Welding is not one of my strong points.
If time permits this weekend, I plan to have the ABS module plumbed.
Plenty of room to mount the GM cruise control module next to the ABS module and the climate control valves under the ABS module, if I donâ€™t mount them where the ABS module used to reside under the brake M/C.
Posted 15 May 2010 - 06:14 PM
Will tidy up the routing of the brake lines once the M/C lines are plumbed in.
Posted 21 May 2010 - 05:01 PM
Also finished up the Brake M/C lines a few days ago. All that is left with the brakes is to install the ABS travel sensor bracket when it arrives so I can install the pedal assy then bleed the brakes.
Also on the list is the heater valve and heater hose routing, I have a couple ideas in mindâ€¦
Posted 09 July 2010 - 02:29 PM
Participating in another thread elsewhere I finally performed the testing I eluded to earlier regarding measuring the BMW and LSx temp sensors in hopes the BMW and LSx temp vs resistance curves would be similar. Turns out they are not the same, the LSx PCM needs the GM CLT sensor and the gauge needs the BMW sender. Simple enough for the later BMW using the 4 prong sender/sensor as it threads directly into the LSx cylinder head, having two heads means one sender/sensor per head, all is well. :alright
For the geeks keeping score at home, here are the approx values I measured today. (Temp gauge was calibrated against an infra-red temp gun and Fluke temp probe and within 3% error. Temp vs Ohm should be within 10% of actual).
BMW EFI and BMW Gauge = BMW sender/sensor.
LSX EFI = LSx temp sensor.
Posted 01 August 2010 - 08:40 PM
Iâ€™m still alive, gaining a little weight, getting older, and still married. Oldest daughter graduated high school, she also got her drivers license and has commandeered my only mode of transportation. Summer weather has been real mild, actually sort of a weird summer weather wise. Our annual camp-in this year was fantastic, thank you to all that came out. The dusty hulk of steel that is close to being evicted, running or not, is still in the shop and on jack stands.
Water temp sendors AND sensors, BMW EFI, BMW Gauge and LSx, measured, (Senders and sensors tested were BMW BOSCH connection/square 2 prong; Black top, Green Top, Brown/Tan top, 4 prong prong round top, early Datsun EFI and GM LSx. Of interesting note is that all the BMW 2 prong EFI and Datsun EFI sensors were within 2% of each tother from 60-20 degrees F).
First the good news.
The resistance values-vs-temp values for the instrument gauges on ALL E36 cars, '92-'99 are the same! We all have been speculating they were different, come to find out they arenâ€™t. BMW originally utilized two separate sensors/senders, (one for the EFI, other for the gauge), on the â€™92-â€™95 cars then in â€˜96 combined them into one housing for the later cars, the 4 prong sensor/sender and retained the same exact values for both DME and gauge.
Now the great news!
What that means for anyone doing the 92-â€™99 E36, (318, 323, 325, 328, M3,) LSx conversion is the â€™96+ 4 prong sensor/sender works with their gauge and threads directly into the LSx head, no drilling, tapping, bushings, adapters etc to use the earlier 2 prong sensor, unless you want to. :confused Just deduce which 2 prongs for the gauge, (easy to do with the Bentley manual and an OHM meter), and youâ€™re there.
As for the pig tail, many other BMWâ€™s used this same connector, easy to find in wrecking yards on other cars.
Here are the pins to use (Looking at the connector's end. X20 pins based on 1996 328is):
Connector Part # 12521703571 - Need One
Connector Pins # 61130007657 - Need Two (usually comes with short wire and seal)
The just ho-hum news.
The LSx PCM sensor has a slightly different curve/slope compared the BMW EFI temps sensor, enough so that you wont want to use the BMW DME sensor for the LSx PCM, (see chart below). One could possibly adjust the CLT values using one of the tuning suites, I am pretty sure itâ€™s just easier to install the GM temps sensor in the other head and be done with it. For what itâ€™s worth, ALL GM temp sensors coolant and air temp have the same resistance to temp values, across the board, Pontiac, Olds, Chevrolet, etc, applicable to all GM Multi Port EFI vehicles.
X axis= Degrees Fahrenheit.
Y axis = resistance in OHMS.
BMW EFI I = OBD-I DME temp sensor.
BMW EFI II = OBD-II DME temp sensor.
BMW Gge I = OBD-I gauge temp sender.
BMW Gge II = OBD-II gauge temp sender.
LSx EFI = PCM temp sensor.
There seems to be a down side to these BMW temp gauges. I spent a bit of time researching this and here is what I found.
BMW incorporated some form of buffer within the instrument cluster itself that holds the temp needle straight up, middle of the gauge when the engine is between 140-230ish degrees F. If the coolant temp breaches 230-ish then the gauge will swing from the middle up to HOT, not an incremental climb as one would expect or hope for as the engine gets warmer. The sender itself is analog like any other sender for a temp gauge, this buffering is done in the instrument cluster. Some feel the Euro cluster has less of a buffer but I was not able to find any evidence to support or deny that claim. There is a bit of speculation as to why BMW did this, turning a perfectly useful analog gauge into useless cold hot dial, beneficial no one. (theories such a people are getting so stupid that when they wee gauge move from center they panic and take their car to the dealer so this prevents unnecessary warranty claims, etc). Regardless, I see no point in trying to figure out why BMW did this, it is what it is, any discussion should really be centered around a possible solution to obtain a true analog temp gauge. Some have talked about trying to remove the buffer in the instrument itself, others have successfully replaced the internal guts of the temp gauge with VDO guts, stock needle and now have a gauge that indicates temperature on an analog scale. If someone finds a way to eliminate the buffer itself or other way so to get around this, please share, for now, here is what I found;
The issue, for those interested in reading;
I tried to verify this â€œbufferâ€ thing in my car using a 0-10k potentiometer, (Variable resistor), no joy. I think I may to finish up more of the wiring before my instrument cluster will allow the temp gauge to function?!
In other recent news, received a set of prototype headers to mock up in the car in hopes of finalizing placement of the engine mounts, headers need a bit of work still, we are still up in the air on actual mount design/placement. Though with these headers mocked up I did learn that my choice for location of the Mallory Fuel Pressure Regulator was a poor choice. Headers were within 1/8â€ to 1/4â€ of the FPR. Removed the FPR and installed the Corvette FPR/filter in place of the OE BMW filter and all is well now. Connected the battery, (it still has power, even after sitting for over a year!) pressurized the fuel system, fuel pressure is right at 59-60 PSI. Probably should consider ordering another pump to have on hand in case this one dies once I get it on the road. Car had 19x,xxx miles when I put up on jackstands over a year ago, no idea how many miles on this pump and probably shouldnâ€™t trust it especially after sitting for so long and then ramping up the fuel pressure by 33%.
Another note for those of you using the Vette FPR, be aware that if your PCM came from a vehicle that had a FPR that utilized vacuum reference such as the trucks, (not sure about F-bodies), your fuel map will need the appropriate compensation to adjust for not having the Manifold pressure reference. If your PCM came from a vehicle that didnâ€™t have the vacuum reference FPR, no worries.
Posted 25 August 2010 - 04:37 PM
Engine is still sitting beside the car though I did get the low pressure brake line from the reservoir to the ABS module finished and connected. Ran a 3/8â€ hard line across the firewall with continual slope so any air in this large of line will naturally float up to the master cylinder reservoir or the bleeder block I fabbed and attached tot he ABS module. This bleeder block has two fittings that spaced out perfectly and directly plugs into the ABS module replacing those black plastic fittings. The Bleeder block is hollowed out with an open cavity at the top with a bleeder screw to seal it. Line out the bottom is 10mm with a small section of the 10mm BMW brake hose joining to the 3/8â€ line and the bleeder block.
Diagram showing the slope and relative elevations;
Low pressure line is lightly highlighted in GREEN;
Bleeder block, (excuse the crude work and finish, losing ambition to take my time and make it nice, just want it done)!
Bleeder block installed in the ABS module;
For those relocating their ABS modules, both of those black plastic fittings have the same size orifice opening even though they have two different size hoses, for some odd reason. As such, you are not confined to use 10mm for the larger one. Other European cars with ABS modules have similar fittings and at different angles, 45 degrees and straight show below, which may help in routing those low pressure lines.
Till the next update, hopefully before winter sets in, happy motoring...
Posted 07 October 2010 - 09:16 AM
I think my last substantial update was back in April or May? My how time flies watching grass grow. Once the headers get sorted and finally built, then itâ€™ll be gangbusters to get it on the road, probably wont stop to update the build thread till itâ€™s on the road and I can breathe againâ€¦
For now, just another pittly little update.
Started in on the wiring, reconfiguring pin out and inserting pins back in the circular BMW connectors I picked up for the ABS relocation, (just made and extension harness, didn't have to cut or splice the car or ABS module), in the middle of routing the LSx harness.
Thank you to Pzary for his advice I spent a couple days building a cheesy little PCM desktop tuning bench, now I can access and tune the PCM outside of the car, on the bench/desktop. Made a couple adjustments to the PCM tonight including Throttle Cracker, Throttle Follower, fuel cut parameters, will be massaging the VE table and ignition map to better match the Vette cam, etc. (PCM is '02 Avalanche), bench tuned a few others PCMs as well for other swappers, (delete VATS, skip shift, set tach signal, tire size/gearing, hi-lo speed cooling fan set points, etc).
PCM tuning bench extracting data;
BMW Oil pressure sender is installed on the LSx. Spent more time scratching my head with hand full of fittings trying to figure out how I am going to do this. Almost just drilled and tapped the 16x1.5mm adapter to directly accept the 12x1.5mm oil pressure sender, but couldnâ€™t quite bring myself to do that as the wall thickness would be quite thin and the last thing I want is to shear the head off the adapter leaving its threads in the block of an assembled engine. Using another 1/8 NPT fitting I drilled the female end and tapped for 12x1.5mm to accept the BMW oil pressure sender for the idiot light, robbed the LSx oil pressure sender crush gasket and installed the mess.
There has to be an oil pressure switch out here from another OE application that is 16x1.5 mm threads. Sure would make that a whole lot easier.
While watching the Grass grow I thought Iâ€™d play a little more with my 3M Di-NOC faux carbon fiber, (used it on the PCM tuning bench), and covered the aluminum plug cover for the EGR port on the LS1 intake. Donâ€™t like the shiny screw head, may have to faux anodize that, black sharpie.
Posted 21 October 2010 - 02:32 PM
Wiring is approx 95% complete, only couple connections to make, prime the oil system with the remote oil primer then fire it up.
In short, you must use the GM fuel tank pressure sensor with GM PCM to control the BMW evap canister vent and either the BMW or GM canister purge valve and you can NOT use a GM MAP sensor as fuel tank pressure sensor.
Specifics for us geeks;
Using and old PC power supply with its 5 volt DC power source I was able to test a GM fuel tank pressure sensor and the BMW fuel tank pressure sensor to see if the BMW sensor could be retained. In short, NO, it cannot be used with GM PCM. The BMW pressure sensor and GM fuel tank pressure sensor are reversed in their Voltage-to-pressure readings so it will not work properly. In using the GM PCM to control the evap canister and fuel tank purge valves, you must also use the GM fuel tank pressure sensor.
Also, you can NOT use a GM MAP sensor for this purpose. I have seen information on the net saying the GM MAP and GM Fuel Pressure sensor are the same, that is incorrect! Those claims are guesses, NOT tested or measured. After testing them side by side, (applying 5 volt and ground, measuring the signal while applying vacuum and pressure), they are not even close! They may look sort of similar, even have the same sealing grommet, but they are NOT the same nor interchangeable.
GM MAP sensors;
Testing the GM MAP sensors, my findings matched exactly what is found online. Registers atmospheric pressure and below i.e. vacuum. At atmospheric pressure, (WOT or engine off), voltage is 5 volt. Pull 5" of vacuum on the MAP sensor and the voltage drops to 4v. Pull another 5", (10" of vacuum total), voltage drops to 3 v. Pull another 5", (15" total), voltage drops to 2v. Pull another 5" of vacuum, (20" inches of vacuum total) and the voltage drops to 1v.
GM Fuel tank pressure sensor;
The fuel tank pressure sensor visually looks sort of similar to the MAP, has the same silicone sealing grommet but the MAP connector will not fit. For what it's worth, the crank position and Cam position sensor connector does fit the fuel tank pressure sensor. This sensor also registers pressure above atmospheric, but only barely and is MUCH more sensitive registering minute pressures below and above atmospheric i.e. vacuum and pressure. Of greater importance is its voltage to pressure values are reverse of the MAP sensor.
At atmospheric pressure, the fuel tank pressure sensor delivers 1.5 volts. As vacuum is applied, voltage rise is linear to 5 volts at approx. 1â€ or 2" of vacuum. My vacuum gauge is not accurate enough at that low of vacuum for an accurate measurement. Using your mouth you can easily max out the sensor with light suction or light pressure. Blow into it the voltage continues to drop below 1.5 down to minimum of .23v, I guess that to be pressure to be approx. 1-2 inches of pressure, not even half a PSI. Just blowing across the opening the voltage swings, this sensor is very sensitive.
Posted 30 October 2010 - 04:03 PM
Built a DIY LSx engine oil primer, (air actuated piston forces 4 qtâ€™s of fresh oil in to the engine oil galleys via the port above the oil filter), worked out perfect, RTz was on hand to help with pressurizing the oil galleys and film the video. Just cranking the engine over on the starter with the coils/injectors disabled works fine, I wanted fresh oil to the bearing before spinning the crank.
After a few electrical checks to verify wring was correct, no back feeds were going to keep the start engaged, pressurized the fuel system, etc. Then bumped the starter and the engine immediately came to life on all 8 cylinders, WOO HOO!
Here are some pics of the oil system primer and video of the start up.
As a gag we clamped an old dead Turbo onto one of the exhaust Maniâ€™s, it would barely spin, (boost gauge sitting on the intake)
Posted 22 November 2010 - 05:26 PM
Posted 01 December 2010 - 09:13 PM
The JTR E36-LSx driveshaft arrived today. Nice piece, spicer u-joints, heavy wall tubing, (.083"), 2 1/2" diameter. Hoping the smaller diameter will help alleviate some of the driveshaft rubbing issues the cars with the stock diff bushings and cradle bushings are exhibiting. Not 100% sure it will, still looks pretty tight in the areas a few others have posted about, will be keeping a close eye on it once on the road. Where the fuel tank crosses over the driveshaft hangs down just a skosch below the roof of the tunnel. The tank pushes up easily so has room to be raised, will be looking into raising it a little more, possibly another strap in this region.
Installed the tilt steering column from an earlier E36 that I picked up back in summer of '09. Install went smooth, I like the tilt function. Best part of todays project is the new steering column has good bearings, not rusted, don't squeak, etc. While I had the steering column out with great access to the instrument cluster I pulled that and installed a pin in location 13 of the X16 connector for future Euro cluster with oil temp gauge and also removed the ASC bulb for the ASC delete.
Wired in the PCM activated shift light into the cluster. Tore the cluster down to its essentials and spent some time scratching my head looking for a good location in the cluster for an LED shift light that would look OE. Ideally want it on the high side of the tach range. It can be done but will require a good long day with lots of detail work to pull it off nicely. Decided to save that project for another time, for now I took one of the indicator bulbs, installed a bright LED in-place of the bulb using the BMW socket, plugged it into the indicator in the bottom, just left of the center, looks like a gear with "!" in it. Not ideal, but at least the shift light is now wired in, functional, and OE appearing.
Sanderson headers is working on refining the design to be less compromising and clear most oil pans. Passenger side prototype header is complete and the driver side is getting one modification to the #1 primary. If all goes well with the driver side header I could have a set here in the next month or so.
Posted 20 December 2010 - 02:54 PM
JTR and Sanderson Headers are getting close to releasing their E36 LSx long tube headers. Approx ETA for release of production units is 2-3 months.
These pictures are of the Prototypes. Steel, long tube, 1 3/4" primaries, 3" collector, V-band connection, and they clear the stock steering shaft.
These prototypes have been given the green light from which Sanderson will build fixtures/jigs around for production units. Before any headers will be offered to the public a few pre-production units must also receive the green light from JTR, (quality assurance), once the pre production units pass, production will start. Again, earliest release of approx 2 months time so long as the preproduction units fit as intended.
Pics of the JTR mockup mule at Sanderson Headers.
Posted 28 January 2011 - 04:50 PM
Excellent clearance between the #7 primary and Mercedes booster as well as the stock BMW steering shaft. Taking them down to Finish-line coatings here in Portland on Monday for their Turbo-Black ceramic.
Now with headers here, mounts can be finalized, trans X-member designed and built around the GM F-bod LS1 trans isolator, heater hose/pipe routed, final fuel line routing into the engine bay, etc.
Here are some shots of the soon to be released JTR E36 LSx long tube mild steel headers.
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