E39 BMW 540 LS Swap Completed - LS1TECH

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E39 BMW 540 LS Swap Completed

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Old 08-28-2010, 04:51 PM   #1
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Talking E39 BMW 540 LS Swap Completed

[UPDATES - Supercharger pics at post 24, dyno results at post 75]

Summary - 1998 540i 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):








Last edited by rao; 05-24-2011 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 08-28-2010, 04:52 PM   #2
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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 ):






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Old 08-28-2010, 08:13 PM   #3
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WOW!
What an excellent combination!!!!
BMW's handling and 402 grunt.
I've been considering so many different swap options this last year, and thats one of the best combo's.
Thanks for sharing, now post a build thread so I can copy you when the Ls1 Supra swap's done
Cheers
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Old 08-28-2010, 10:01 PM   #4
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That's cool man.
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Old 08-28-2010, 10:51 PM   #5
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Sick build, can't even tell from the outside what's lurking under the hood. Get some video clips of that thing!
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Old 08-28-2010, 10:58 PM   #6
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I'm planning forced induction w/ the e36. Any reason you chose doing the e39 over your e36?

Last edited by rotor vs. piston; 08-29-2010 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 08-28-2010, 11:26 PM   #7
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Great job. I say make it an M5 clone. Badassery levels are high.
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:23 PM   #8
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Thanks for the positive feedback

I always build sleepers, so the exterior will pretty much stay the same - the car does have a M5 differential though


Quote:
Originally Posted by rotor vs. piston View Post
I'm planning forced induction w/ the e36. Any reason you chose doing the e39 over your e36?

Mostly so that I could have people offer me 5 cents on the dollar for a pile of BMW parts and LS1 swap parts, and THEN flake out and not buy anything

The car is a lot larger, the interior is in a whole different league and I like the way it looks.

I have no idea how you will fit forced induction into an e36 with a LS1, but I look forward to seeing the results.
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Old 08-29-2010, 07:30 PM   #9
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Know how you feel, I sold my last project for MAYBE a quarter of what I put into it in parts.

I've seen a magnacharger on a e36, never saw the hood closed though. But I'm leaning to small twin turbo... just enough for an easy ~500whp on a stock cam. Still haven't even started, the car's been in the front of the house since I got it a few months ago.

Oh, very nice swap!
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:55 AM   #10
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Saw this down in Charlotte a few years ago - its a shop from NY that has a custom hood on it...
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Old 09-29-2010, 11:56 AM   #11
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The instrument panel is fixed, the CAN BUS finally gave up its secrets

Pardon the video quality:

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Old 09-29-2010, 01:05 PM   #12
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Awesome! I would love to own one of these conversions. I love that body style for sure.

Can't believe those pigs are 3800lbs. Wow!

Are you going to install a cutout prior to the factory BMW muffler system?

Can you post some pics up of the mods required on the Kmember... or if you simply cut the middle out and totally redid it.

Did the steering rack have to be moved down?

Did you simply call up a junk yard and get the manual pedal assembly?

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Old 09-29-2010, 02:39 PM   #13
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No cutout - you know me, I like my cars to be slow (actually I might to a rear mounted turbo so I purposely left the exhaust fairly small)

The K-member is untouched, as is the steering box and all of the steering components.

That is exactly where I bought the clutch and brake pedals; old fashioned, but effective
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Old 10-23-2010, 11:32 AM   #14
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Holy crap! Exactly the swap I have been waiting to see! You WILL be hearing from me in the future. Nice work!!

Can you offer any advice or guidance on the CAN BUS/making the factory gauges work?

Any major fitment issues? Looked like it slipped right in. All F-body accessories? AC work yet?

Can't see the pic, how much weight did it lose?

Thanks!
Jason


PS: You should get some badging that simply says 566i

Last edited by jmilz28; 10-23-2010 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 10-27-2010, 11:39 AM   #15
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what wiring harness/computer are you using..Gto?
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:33 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmilz28 View Post
Holy crap! Exactly the swap I have been waiting to see! You WILL be hearing from me in the future. Nice work!!

Can you offer any advice or guidance on the CAN BUS/making the factory gauges work?

Any major fitment issues? Looked like it slipped right in. All F-body accessories? AC work yet?

Can't see the pic, how much weight did it lose?

Thanks!
Jason


PS: You should get some badging that simply says 566i
Thanks. for the CAN/BUS you have to be able to code the instrument cluster module.

Fitment issues - just order up E39 swap mount kit from Summit Racing and it bolts right in The trickiest thing is the exhaust. What you really need is something that keeps everything tight to the block and up at the heads and goes pretty much straight back.

I had the AC working about 6 weeks ago

It gained 26 lbs, but that was comparing a full gas tank to an empty one, so it probably lost 40-50 lbs.

No badging for me - in fact I debadged it



Quote:
Originally Posted by speedshifterNC View Post
what wiring harness/computer are you using..Gto?
01 F-Body harness, computer and accessories.

Pics from last weekend:





Last edited by rao; 10-27-2010 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:47 PM   #17
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That's a badass swap!
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Old 10-28-2010, 12:27 PM   #18
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Very nice work! Super clean. But you took out a V8 and swapped in a V8. Don't see the point unless it is just to say you did it and to **** off the purist bimmer guys! Still nice work though!
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Old 10-28-2010, 01:18 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfg455 View Post
Very nice work! Super clean. But you took out a V8 and swapped in a V8. Don't see the point unless it is just to say you did it and to **** off the purist bimmer guys! Still nice work though!
They're not exactly powerful, and not the cheapest of engines to maintain.


Also you're saying most of the swaps on this board are pointless... most are v8 to lsx swaps.
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Old 10-28-2010, 01:25 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rao View Post
Thanks. for the CAN/BUS you have to be able to code the instrument cluster module.
Can you elaborate on this? Can a descent BMW tech handle this?

I just sold a VERY nice Dinan prepared 540/6 to friend of mine. It was my daily driver for a couple years. Wonderful car. Fast with class!

I wouldn't mind picking up another one to swap an LS motor into. I would probably start with a 528 sport. Same great car without the premium V8 price tag.
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1998, 2008, 39, 540, 540i, bmw, camaro, conversion, differential, e39, g8, gt, ls, ls1, lsx, m5, powered, swap

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