This 1986 LHD BMW e30 325i imported from Japan has had many engine conversions. Starting with the basic s14 2.3 then a modified s14 2.3 and onto a s14 2.5 and last was the DTM s14 2.5 with slide block and Alpha-N set up with a Carbon fibre airbox. But this one must be the most fun! An all alloy 4.oltr v8 from a 740il with a 5speed from a e34 530! weighing no more than an m50 conversion!…..This has all come about because the 2.5 s14DTM motor dropped a valve seat at 3000rpm when setting up one Saturday for a Sunday event. Only minor damage, but this was enough for me to start thinking of other projects, you know “when your toy if out of action”…..and also having “on the shelf” both reconditioned complete m60 heads(740), a 265mm clutch kit(540LE), a 5speed gearbox(530) and a custom #404ecu chip!… not to mention the Alpina cast alloy engine mounts in position #5.
I think this maybe another Australian First ! ….a BMW V8 in a E30!
The rest of “Uber” is as it was before. “Evil Bunkie” still has a 3″ s/s single exhaust after headers, e30M3 coil-over suspension and upgraded AKG bush kits front and rear, standard e30m3 brakes and diff and bolted through boot floor, etc. But this time the standard e30 BMW 8 bolt diff is fitted with a Kaaz LSD centre using a taller 3.25 ratio(standard e30 m3). From the few m60 to e30 conversions I have seen on the net in Europe they tend to use a 2.91 ratio. That gives them a top speed of well over 260km/h! … good for Autobahns in Europe guys; but just try that in Australia without the “Force” labeling you a “Hoon” then taking your car away for crushing!! ….. Anyway “Uber” Bunkie is just for fun, in Drift type driving events .
Action- The dummy m60 engine (no crank, rods, pistons, cams or valves) was positioned (with help from my son), with alloy engine mounts(Alpina position-5) sitting on AKG S14 yellow urethane engine mounts leftover from my e30M3 and they are perfect! Next down is AKG red m20 gearbox mounts and m20 cross-member. This needed 70mm high engine mounts to clear everything or 80mm to have 10mm clearance gap. The conversions from Europe space the cross-member down from the car and I’m guessing it is for clearance to bonnet to use the original plastic cover. I can’t see any other reason! Nor have I done it! The starter motor is on the wrong side for my LHD car(parts here for a RHD contry) next to the steering knuckle with no room for exhaust, so BMW knowing this has made the casting for both left and right hand drive. Those wacky Germans! Just machine the hole on the side of the block needed and your done, but a LHD starter is needed as the RHD will not fit! On the drivers side of my car (LHD) it still has too much gear in the way: like fuel filter(now moved to rear), power steer hoses and reservoir. The brake booster has been moved with a e28 based kit (pivot system and relocated booster to battery box) as the head and cambox is covering the brake booster hole on the firewall by 3/4′s. This is the biggest challenge of the conversion if you don’t want it to look like a racecar! Another issue, smaller but still a pain was the spline on the v8 5speed gearbox: this is as most BMW’s but the drive plate from the 6speed is still a 10 spline with a much larger diameter. The guys in Europe and the U.S all go to a e34 530 240mm type flywheel and clutch that comes with the 5speed, but as I have already purchased that fantastic 265mm alloy flywheel from JBR, I don’t want to return it for a small one! I found a drive 262mm drive plate with sprung centre to suit single mass flywheel with same spline as the BMW 5speeds!! Other easy bits have been the e28 535 radiator fitting as it should, the fitting up of the tail-shaft and AKG short shift kit again left over from my e30M3 bolts up perfectly “AS IF” the Factory knew this was just meant to be! Finally the wiring is just an adaptor between m60 and any e30 engines. This is simple but have to do for either early or late fuse box connections. We have connected 16 wires for ’87 0n car, but my ’86 Japan imported 325i early type e30 only uses 10 of these, with 3 of them needing to be externally extended over to the ECU mounting where a 3pin plug for Tacho(BK), Power(GN) and Econo(WT) is there to connect up to the dash etc. Also a pulse resistance modification has been done to the e30 tacho to read a V8! …NO CRAPPY extra TACHO mounted on the dash! ..Last on the electronics list is, all New Parts -Ignition coils(x8), knock sensors(x4), crankshaft/camshafts sensors, Air-mass meter, Alternator and Starter motor purchased for reliability……… I love Pelican parts ( http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/index.htm ) cheaper and faster than our local BMW dealer!!!!
The m60 bottom end complete with the last of the chain guide rails arrived from Germany, heads have been lightly ported and polished and are now fitted to the alloy block, including 32 valves, 64 collet’s, 4 camshafts, 32 hydraulic buckets all guides and tensioners Now in the car the exhaust manifolds bought from the U.S. (LHD x5) have been cut at the first merge point and rerouted to fit the bottom section in a e30 LHD Engine bay. There is NO NEED to lower the crossmember! but will need to upgrade with plates welded on where the engine mounts to it. Back from the exhaust shop (Carline Mufflers Malaga) where Jeff and Dale did their magic and connect my 4 header pipes to the rear 3″ (e30M3 DTM) system but using a”Cat” converter and a centre muffler in one bolt-up flanged section! Returned have remove the engine and box to tidy up the engine bay and cross member sections. That leaves only the brake system type to do. Maybe an “Adjustable Pedal Box” or maybe hydraulic e32 type ?………NAH!!! too easy! that’s either for the Race cars or will be to much department of transport trouble! Better to make a custom system using standard available BMW brake parts (e28) to take the new (Renault/Golf type) ATE Brake booster over to the battery box. That way using the original 23mm Brake master cylinder from a e30m3 to go with the standard e30m3 brake calipers and not changing the ratio between them, thereby staying LEGAL!…………….Schnellvorlauf!!
Update – Early Jan’2013- Fired up v8 in-car for the first time. After making sure we had oil pressure and all fluid in we gave it a kick! Everything works as it should, tacho reads correctly against the BMW GT-1 diagnostic system at the same time and no fault codes or issues. It is always a concern with a new motor and when parts have come together from all over the world. The engine bay is mostly finished, only need to make a s/steel water pipe for the header tank on the drivers side, bleed the brake and clutch systems, replace c/f hood and BBS front bumper spoiler and its GO TIME!!!!
Take a look at first start-up! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7pD4gfhL2w
Update - Late Jan’13 - Drove around the block for the first time! Like the ones in Europe done this runs a bit hot too, need to swap the 92deg thermostat for a 78deg to fix and a large oil cooler should help to the oil survive. Rear tyres have a problem, evaporation I think? …Need to sort front to back brake bias and a bigger rear muffler!
Update – Feb’2013 - A several “test” drives found the V8 Engine to have massive heat sink after turn off. This has pressurised temporary heater hose to burst! Also air cleaner system is a aftermarket K&N cone type that loves to suck hot air from the engine bay, must fit original for piece of mind and some quiet! Brake rod needs to be adjusted off a touch as brakes have no gap when fluid gets hot. TPS need alignment to pick-up idle and full throttle, non of which has been there! Can’t wait till it runs smooth and has full power!
Update – March 2013 - After several RHS AKG yellow e30 S14 engine mounts shredding, it was time to go the extreme! Solid white Nylon I will turn up on my own lathe, Now lets see if the sucker splits!……also the intake noise is too much, the original 540 airbox is bought, modified(height) to be being fitted!
Update – June 2013 – After opening BM-Autohaus this month this project of mine has been put on the back burner for a little while, mainly due to a slipping clutch issue that I think is the result of mixing a 265mm flywheel/clutch kit from a 6speed and the use of a 5speed box!
Update – July 2013 - Now that BM-Autohaus is keeping me very busy my toy’s have been parked!! These will make a comeback when some of the bigger jobs are completed!
Update – December 2013- Uber has made it back to the workshop!…yes I’m not sure how much we will get done or how soon but at least it is not gathering dust 20k away at Elio’s!…… the issue of slipping clutch has to be found and fixed so when starting John’s e30m60 conversion we have all the answers!!……….Found! the boys pulled the Engine and gearbox out as one piece so I could fault find, the other manufacture of the clutch drive plate (a Non-BMW part) has a 3mm longer boss to the back of the plate ,the replacement ‘Exedy” brand is the same as BMW , now we can get on and finish with new exhaust heat wrap both sides , check everything and put back in!
Update – January 2014- Have gone to the net to check-out what everyone else did for clutch kit on 5speed boxes, as mine with 6speed alloy flywheel and aftermarket drive plate on 5speed box is a big fail, still slipping!….the “Euroboys” are doing the e39 alloy v8 flywheel for 5speed with the e36 328 HD clutch kit, well ok, lets give that a go…works well!!
Update 11/2014- After shredding much tyres and releasing the inner hoon(got that out of my system), have SOLD this conversion to Shaun……Bunkie will return….
Update 6/2017- WOW with a big turn of events….Benny has purchased this 2Door e30 to make “Uber” live Again!!!!…..will do another page for him..check it out!