Elio’s e34M5 3.8 “Upgrade”


This has all started with Elio taking a trip back to see “D-Family” in Italy. I did say to him to offset the cost of the holiday buy a nice cheap BMW, drive it for the time he was over there. Then cut it behind the gearbox and send it to home in Perth to sell. However I did mention cars like e36 or e46 M3′s, NOT a Very Rare, 1 of 343 RHD, factory delivered e34 M5 3.8 !!!!!

Now that is what Elio did. A family member (must be a cousin) stripped, cleaned, crated it up and sent it all!  We now have a full s38b3.8 m5 running gear, suspension and everything landed. This is beyond doubt the best packed and sent vehicle running gear I have ever seen! All this to upgrade his beautiful factory RHD e34 3.6 M5! …….Avanti !!

The Plan! thank goodness it was a driver before it was pulled apart, so we know it runs and is a goos oneStill we will have to give it a full check-over and look at what is needed to do the up-spec to his car. Elio has already supplied the needed new parts like rear and front crank seals, clutch kit, rocker gaskets, front cam wheel cover o-rings and water pump, for reliability reasons and the fact that while the engine is out, it would be silly not to replace those type of parts. At the same time 24 valve shims adjustment will need doing and then……we will put it all together and into his 3.6M5!

Action – Phase One ! The strip down. This has proven to be a time consuming issue due to the corrosion on every exposed nut and bolt! Even though this car was bought and driven in Italy before bringing to Australia by Elio, I’m sure this was a UK delivered car! Unfortunately the U.K put salt on their roads and this gets picked up by the car but not washed off!  The corrosion from that adds a double time frame to everything workwise on a motor! Just as well Elio is doing the best thing and replacing all that is needed, before it goes into his car! As with most cars of this age it has been used and repaired. In this case the oil sump has had a major whack and weld job done. Nice repair but the guy who changed the oil last was heavy handed with the sump plug and stripped the threads, now needing to replace the sump !!

Phase two – Timing cover paint stripped off then etch primed and painted satin black. For the factory look it was whizzed up too! The chain tensioner was replaced with upgraded model from the s50b3.2 (M3); front and rear crank seals replaced and the housings cleaned up, faced back to square from the corrosion and mess; both cam wheel front covers wire brushed with new “O-rings”  as is the rocker cover. The shims done (all 24) and cover refitted, water pump and pulleys replaced or cleaned up and refitted, replacement oil sump cleaned and fitted, flywheel whizzed up, clutch kit and gearbox fitted. Package Ready-to-Go! !

Phase three – The actual BMW Engine s38 3.8 swap/upgrade!  I think as this is such a big hunk of an engine should lift the m5 off it all. The old 3.6 Engine and box is out! Engine bay washed looking fantastic ready for the new engine combo. New engine mounts and parts were assembled to the cleaned up crossmember ready for the lowering of the m5 over it! …That’s done!  along with suspension, steering, gearlinkage and exhaust system, now to the fun bits: EMS to car wiring is nothing on a 1993 BMW thank God! In fact all the wiring on the 3.8 engine harness and the e34m5 3.6 car harness is the same except one wire not met by the 3.6 car and it is Grey! All fluids and filters done and fired up the beast, Yes all works as it should! a quick tidy-up and it is done……Finito !!!!!!


UPDATE 4/2014 – More work to make Elio’s M5 like new! we have reconditioned the rear axles , replace all high pressure hoses for steering, sway bar links and pitman pivots to rear suspension, “Full Service” and Fuel Injectors “Ultrasonic cleaning and Calibration”a search and rectify a hesitation on driving slowly (don’t drive slowly!) with a basic dyno tunning session .

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