View Full Version : ls1 in a bmw


E39_ls1
06-18-2011, 01:12 AM
Hi there, so I'm planning on putting an ls1 into my 97 e39. Now I planned on putting a ls with a t56, but am having a hard time finding a good one around here in the Bay Area. Anyone have any tips or advice. I want it to make about 450-500 hp and also I'm on a limited (I want it as cheap as possible) budget it here. Any help would be much obliged.

rao
06-18-2011, 05:45 PM
There are several build threads here and on Bimmerforums.

Good luck!

E39_ls1
06-19-2011, 12:44 AM
Rao!

I've read on your build, first off I'd like to say you did a GREAT job, and you were one of the people that inspired me to do this (my first build ever).

Now I'm doing this at the shop I work at, I have hoses and all, so I guess that shouldn't be a problem, but I am having issues with the cluster and traction control. What did you do to the canbus to make it work, I want to make this thing smog legal, I also know my cluster is a pre-can which makes it easier.

Do you have traction control on yours?
Also did you ever get that A/c working without the use of the switch?
What parts should I use? camaro radiator, bmw parts, etc?
Any tips?

I know I'm asking a lot here, but as a poor 21 year old trying to do something he never thought he could do, I get all excited lol.

Thank you very much for any help you can offer!

rao
06-19-2011, 03:56 AM
1. No traction control
2. AC works, but I do have a separate switch (I have some ideas on how to fix that but haven't done it yet)
3. I am using the BMW radiator with F-body fans and the stock BMW aux fan. The cooling set up works great.

claytonisbob
06-19-2011, 04:33 AM
Getting the traction control to work is going to be tough, but who would want it anyway ;)

BMW + LS != Budget

E39_ls1
06-19-2011, 03:49 PM
besides the cooling set up, what else are you using?
what are you using for the ac?
are you using the oil filter housing off the bmw?
how did you make up for cutting the gto pan?
Also, do you think the cruise control will work still? mine was originally a 6 speed

I'm 21 with a lead foot...I figured traction control might at least help me out a bit lol

anton28
06-19-2011, 03:58 PM
Cal gm sports salvage in rancho Cordova/ Sacramento area. That's where I've been going for the past 10 years for all of my gm needs.

gnx7
06-19-2011, 06:14 PM
www.norcal-lsx.com There is a $1200 LS1 on there.... not complete though.

I would like to own an e39 LSx setup myself one day :nod:

E39_ls1
06-19-2011, 07:53 PM
I just tried to call the guy...turns out he lost his phone...again lol. I'm definitely calling GM sports tomorrow. Maybe I can get a better price if I buy it through my shop

mujjuman
06-19-2011, 11:51 PM
hey guys whats up!!! yes i saw the E39 build also!! it was awesome! i am in the same boat. i am also low 20 something yr old and i am inspired to do an LSx swap into my car hahaha. also it needs to be cheap as possible.

i also figured that i'll put a 5.3L in there (as long as its 350hp and up, and it fits, i dont care) with a T56 trans. will a 5.7L or even a 6.2L fit? i can get the 5.7L cheaper than the 5.3

my car: 2003 BMW 330xi 5 speed manual with (another) blown engine.
should i make my own thread or can i tag along in here? hahaha.
i'm thinking of buying a used engine, but many of them in my area have high miles, like 100k-200k and some even more! how are these engines at that mileage? currently my engine has around 143k and its damn tired... unfortunately. many other E46's have over 200k and are fine

E39_ls1
06-20-2011, 10:55 PM
hey guys whats up!!! yes i saw the E39 build also!! it was awesome! i am in the same boat. i am also low 20 something yr old and i am inspired to do an LSx swap into my car hahaha. also it needs to be cheap as possible.

i also figured that i'll put a 5.3L in there (as long as its 350hp and up, and it fits, i dont care) with a T56 trans. will a 5.7L or even a 6.2L fit? i can get the 5.7L cheaper than the 5.3

my car: 2003 BMW 330xi 5 speed manual with (another) blown engine.
should i make my own thread or can i tag along in here? hahaha.
i'm thinking of buying a used engine, but many of them in my area have high miles, like 100k-200k and some even more! how are these engines at that mileage? currently my engine has around 143k and its damn tired... unfortunately. many other E46's have over 200k and are fine

How does it have another blown engine? Also 100k or so is nothing, mine is way over that. only reason I'm changing engines is because the exhaust valves are bad. What did you do to the car?

mujjuman
06-20-2011, 11:43 PM
I want to change engines because my intake valve stem seals are bad. they leak tons of oil into the combustion chamber. also my CCV valve is shot (relatively easy fix). we are also assuming my piston rings might be worn as well. the engine needs a typical rebuild.
the head gasket is fine though, it doesnt burn coolant nor is there mixing of coolant and oil. thank God.
I drive it normally. i dont abuse it, and i'm very particular about maint. keeping reasonable rpms when cold, etc. I feel like the used engine i bought was pretty worn out before I installed it.

also, i'm finding 6.0's for even cheaper than 5.7s and lower miles... if a 6 liter can fit in my 3 series engine bay, it would be awesome!

E39_ls1
06-21-2011, 01:38 AM
I can't find anything here, been looking with no luck so far

mujjuman
06-21-2011, 01:06 PM
i searched for all over the US... i figure its like $200-$300 to ship from California to NY.

millersta
06-21-2011, 04:12 PM
I want to change engines because my intake valve stem seals are bad. they leak tons of oil into the combustion chamber. also my CCV valve is shot (relatively easy fix). we are also assuming my piston rings might be worn as well. the engine needs a typical rebuild.
the head gasket is fine though, it doesnt burn coolant nor is there mixing of coolant and oil. thank God.
I drive it normally. i dont abuse it, and i'm very particular about maint. keeping reasonable rpms when cold, etc. I feel like the used engine i bought was pretty worn out before I installed it.

also, i'm finding 6.0's for even cheaper than 5.7s and lower miles... if a 6 liter can fit in my 3 series engine bay, it would be awesome!

any lsx should fit they are all basically the same motor although most 6.0 and 5.3's are iron blocks which are heavier

BMW REAPER
06-22-2011, 08:08 AM
hey guys im doing this swap on a e39 528i sport and was wondering about 2 things motor mounts and how do i line up the engine and tranny with the rear end so my drive shaft will be strait

mujjuman
06-22-2011, 12:35 PM
any lsx should fit they are all basically the same motor although most 6.0 and 5.3's are iron blocks which are heavier

Really? That's awesome! So does that mean a 6.2l might fit as well?! (feeling a bit ambitious now...)

mujjuman
06-22-2011, 12:36 PM
hey guys im doing this swap on a e39 528i sport and was wondering about 2 things motor mounts and how do i line up the engine and tranny with the rear end so my drive shaft will be strait

check out rao's thread. so much good info there.

Lil'John
06-22-2011, 04:29 PM
About 2 months ago I talked with a ref about a different swap. BTW, do NOT talk with CARB or BAR officials. I got more counter intuitive wrong information from the BAR guy than I could count. Call and speak with a ref. But here is what I gleaned about of that discussion:

For CA, he can't do any of the truck engines. He has to swap a car engine into a car. There is no wiggle room there. But what I was told is an iron block could be used with all the stock LS1/6 parts. But personally, I see that becoming a hassle to try to prove a 5.7L vs 5.3L/etc.

I have not seen a LSx BMW swap that was made CA smog legal yet(I've looked a few times here and bimmerworld)

The huge issue is the exhaust from what I've seen. CA doesn't allow custom headers and as far as I know, nobody has made a CARB compliant LSx BMW header. I'm not sure if a stock manifold or existing CARB compliant LSx header would work for the BMW.

Tuning also becomes an issue. My understanding is they do check for readiness on some of the codes. If they are tuned out, no smog. VATS would not be an issue.

Fuel related stuff also becomes an issue. Tank venting and monitoring equip from the donor vehicle must be installed.

To the OP, keep in mind you do need to use a 97 or later donor vehicle.

BTW, having done an almost successful engine swap in CA about 15 years ago with a TBI engine(had an idle issue I couldn't solve), the more sanitary and accessible everything is, the more happy the ref will be. Aside from the idle issue, I was in and out of the ref within 15 minutes.

mujjuman
06-30-2011, 02:42 AM
what is a "ref"? the smog guy in california?

blackmagicturbo
06-30-2011, 03:26 AM
^^Smog refs are in cali and determine if your car is worthy of a b.a.r. plate ,it allows you to go to a smog station and they scan it for the smog ,or something like that ..

Did you find a motor yet ? I have a pretty good guy in lancaster ,ca that has great motors ,hes not a wrecking yard more of a used engine distributor,, i believe he or his brother is big in the ls1 stuff ..auto fox 661-945-3500 good luck with your build :nod:

mujjuman
06-30-2011, 03:36 AM
I see. Thanks so much!!!!