GM 5.3 E30 conversion

Doing a minor build / restoration or an epic one, post it here
verde
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Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:36 pm

Pre Warning - This is the second phase of my cars build and due to high costs, not be massively rapid in progression but here it is.

I decided years back I wanted my e30 to be running a v8 with the m60 in mind however, have decided to forget half measures and fulfill the dream of LS power. More simplistic design, easier to work on with an array of parts, improved reliability along with plenty power and an incredible sound. It also works out much smaller and lighter than anything BMW has to offer V8 wise.

As far as the engine, loom and conversion kit I have been dealing with Kyle Rushall and Ian at lsx v8 uk. The idea being this car will be one of the guinea pigs for an accessible RHD UK based LSx swap package, they are working on the parts to get it in and I will install these as well as carry out the fab work on my own car. I will also be assisting assemble the engine.

The overall plan is such as -
GM L33 5.3 LS family engine ( aluminium block truck engine )
Standalone ECU
Custom Adapter plate and Flywheel mated to 5 speed M57 box. 330/530D
Custom mounts and sump are required
Prop TBC
Manifolds and exhausts TBC ( Some conversion parts available only for LHD )
Siiky steering shaft

Firstly I will show the car itself. Firstly an image of the car when I brought it home 7 years ago to how it stands now, already having seen a serious amount of work.

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It started life as a 316i SE and is now an M20 car with genuine tech 2 kit, sport interior and 325 running gear all round as well as brakes and BC coilovers.
Last edited by verde on Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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verde
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Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:43 pm

It should be noted as in with the usual M6x swap recommendations chassis reinforcement is required to ensure you dont twist and snap things, namely your subframe and trailing arms.

I am a big fan of Garagistic and have pretty much bought everything they have to offer including their chassis reinforcement plates, braided lines and poly bush kit which can be seen below.
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The straight bar is designed to add rigidity to your shock mount on the rear arm while the plate effectively adds strength to the legs. The smaller plates are for your front subframe to prevent the mounting points bending under torque. I have not yet carried out this on mine but will post up when complete.

I opted for the OEM+ Polybushes as not to make the ride too severe as ultimately the car is used for coastal back roads and mountain runs not track so I want some compliance and grip on rougher sections of road.

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steve_k
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Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:03 pm

wow dude sounds like phase 2 is going to be a good one,

like you i'm a big fan of Garagistic, got their front subframe reinforcement kit fitted, looking at either their rear kit or the srs concept kit.

whats the garagistic rear kit like? any good?

good luck with the build.
if it's got t*ts or wheels it's bound to be trouble...............prove me wrong.
getting oral sex off an ugly person is like rock climbing.....don't look down ;)
verde
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Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:17 pm

As far as engine progress goes so far we have prototype mounts and a sump which is currently sitting the engine nicely in position. The aim was to keep the engine as low and far back as possible for weight distribution and handling. Some of the earlier converted cars I have seen the engine sits very far forward due to working around a standard sump which is just ridiculous.

You can see here there is plenty room around the engine compared to the M60 swaps however, it is looking like either a siiky, vorschlag or flaming river steering shaft is required as the Corsa linkage appears to catch on the starter.
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A PMC LS adapter was purchased also to mate up the BMW box. This advertises that it fits all LS family engines when in reality it does not. It works with the newer 4th and 5th gen engines but not the earlier ones such as L33 and Ls1 so Kyle is having new adapter plates and flywheels made up that are the correct thickness and have the starter hole positioned correctly. Photos of them when they arrive.

You will see here the PMC version has been edited so the starter fits etc.
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The PMC flywheel wasnt too bad but is being improved upon also.
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I am currently looking for a 5 speed M57 box if anybody has for sale.
Marrakesh brown tech 2 LSx loading.....
verde
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Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:19 pm

steve_k wrote:wow dude sounds like phase 2 is going to be a good one,

like you i'm a big fan of Garagistic, got their front subframe reinforcement kit fitted, looking at either their rear kit or the srs concept kit.

whats the garagistic rear kit like? any good?

good luck with the build.
I hope so dude. It should really take the car to another level!

The rear kit is good man, it has been machined well and buttons up nicely. Decent thickness etc and isnt too expensive. I would go for it. I just think it gives you added reassurance you are not going to snap anything!
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steve_k
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Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:25 am

looks like i know where my money will be going (again),

i would love a V8 but i'm to much of a fanboi to my 2.7 m20.
keep the updates coming.
if it's got t*ts or wheels it's bound to be trouble...............prove me wrong.
getting oral sex off an ugly person is like rock climbing.....don't look down ;)
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aimlessrock
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Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:05 am

subscribed. :D
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verde
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Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:03 am

steve_k wrote:looks like i know where my money will be going (again),

i would love a V8 but i'm to much of a fanboi to my 2.7 m20.
keep the updates coming.
Its the import tax that stings the anus when it arrives! to be honest man if you have a nice running 2.7 going it makes sense to keep it.

Thanks aimless, progress as stated wont be amazingly quick due to how expensive it is.

Next steps should be -

Completed mounts which I will upload
I need to get hold of a gearbox
Front subframe reinforcement
Servo relocation to inside
RX7 front Brakes
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aimlessrock
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Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:14 am

looks like we need another category on the engine conversions now .

You could sell your B25 set up - could liberate some cash for you.
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verde
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Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:35 am

aimlessrock wrote:looks like we need another category on the engine conversions now .

You could sell your B25 set up - could liberate some cash for you.
Haha yes we need an LS Swap Everything category!

Unfortunately its just a B20. Its a great engine, runs smooth quiet, doesn't burn oil but I don't know how much value is in one of those.
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Satan
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Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:38 am

Good luck Verde.
verde
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Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:44 am

Satan wrote:Good luck Verde.
Thanks dude!
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verde
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Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:23 pm

Not a super exciting update but I have got myself a new fuel pump and a gearbox. I need a linkage but at least I have the main bit sorted now. M57 5 speed ZF. Of course all of the ZF boxes are pretty much identical to look at but good god the weight of this one must be about double that of a ZF petrol which I am hoping translates to stronger internals to handle the 500+ NM.

Tomorrow I will be welding my spare front subframe with the garagistic reinforcement kit so that it can be sent off for powercoating. I will upload images after welding for those brave enough to look.

This swap could be carried out in a week if you had unlimited funds but when its about 10 grands worth of parts and has a bit of R and D involved it takes a minute or two to get things in order.

Image

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steve_k
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Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:58 am

an update is an update regardless,

folk used to used derv gearbox's on 2.1 zvh (zetec bottom end, cvh head) in rs turbo's in the early 2000's as they were a lot stronger.

as for the welding, it don't have to be pretty just has to be strong enough.
if it's got t*ts or wheels it's bound to be trouble...............prove me wrong.
getting oral sex off an ugly person is like rock climbing.....don't look down ;)
verde
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Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:27 am

Well this is true. It’s all pieces to the puzzle. See that osnmy logic, I think diesel stuff tends to be designed more for torque in mind and turbos. I went 5 speed for longer ratios and will twin it with a tall diff.

Will get on with some welding soon
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steve_k
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Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:38 am

I speak from experience, had a 2.1 ZVH turbo in a rs1600i, it kept blowing the gearbox so swapped to a derv box & never had any problems again,

A tall diff should be just the job & match up well.
Depends if you want acceraltion or cruising.

As for the welding, well you could always grind them down if they ain't to pretty but under the subframe no one will see it so it don't matter.
if it's got t*ts or wheels it's bound to be trouble...............prove me wrong.
getting oral sex off an ugly person is like rock climbing.....don't look down ;)
verde
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Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:47 am

Well if bmw have applied the same logic il be fine. I have done some reading and it should be in fine with the torque. As for the diff ratio I reckon il be going quite tall at around 3.15 relying on nearly 400hp to take care of acceleration.

A forward warning for if you order the front reinforcement kit as well, it’s quite tricky as you are welding in a hole effectively. As assumed it’s not very pretty but it’s penetrated well so that’s all I’m overly concerned with. Photos on completion
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verde
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Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:44 pm

Right, please dont be sick. Im still learning. I will get these taken to be blasted and powder coated tomorrow.

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What is frustrating is the leading edge you can see here was 1 run the whole way round and looks to me pretty good. However to the left of that I messed up a bit.

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steve_k
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Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:56 pm

nowt wrong with that, clean it up a bit & you'll be fine, looks like a pretty cleanish weld to me,

when its powder coated don't worry about it,
my welding at first looked like bird shit (still ain't much better lol).
you've took the first step which is the main thing.
if it's got t*ts or wheels it's bound to be trouble...............prove me wrong.
getting oral sex off an ugly person is like rock climbing.....don't look down ;)
steve_k
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Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:59 pm

forgot to add, when i did mine i put the oblong plate on top then welded a squared off round washer underneath before i did the bottom plate, some might say it's over kill but i thought better safe than sorry.
if it's got t*ts or wheels it's bound to be trouble...............prove me wrong.
getting oral sex off an ugly person is like rock climbing.....don't look down ;)
verde
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Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:34 am

Thanks Steve! Will just need to keep on practising. I really need to sit and practise on some clean straight sheet as I always other than the top plate there seem to end up welding really tricky bits and pieces.

As you say I’m hoping the powder coat will hide some ills. I’m thinking you were being sensible there. I have not done that but perhaps I should have. Time will tell!

Might have my engine mounts this week or some images at least. I am dropping in a gearbox bracket to Kyle and Ian to see if that will work to finish off the engine mounts etc or if they will need to use the custom one they made. Be a saving for people if the OEM bracket works but I don’t know if a more robust custom one is more sensible anyway for added strength.
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steve_k
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Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:47 pm

you'll get there, sometimes the tricky bits are the best to learn on.

as for the g/box bracket, personally i'd go for the custom one as you know it will fit without being messed with but thats just me.

forgot to add earlier, if you want to strengthen the arb mounts a bit more you can use the rear arb brackets from a mk5 golf, but you would have to open/lengthen one of the mounting holes as they use the rear front subframe mounting bolt, no more trying to line up one hole while slipping the bracket in, also use the bushes from the same car but the poly ones ain't much more,

when i did it (last year) cost me about £25 to do it.
if it's got t*ts or wheels it's bound to be trouble...............prove me wrong.
getting oral sex off an ugly person is like rock climbing.....don't look down ;)
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Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:33 am

Nice progress man! :thumb:

I'm guilty of liking to open an E30 bonnet and seeing a BMW lump in there but i fully respect everyone's choices as its your car you do what you want.

That will be one beast of a car once finished and my favourite engine sound is from a V8 so I am really looking forward to seeing and hearing this one when its finished!
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Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:46 pm

I guess you are right Steve it’s somewhag of a baptism of fire. The easy bits should be even easier if learning on the hard bits. Is that the front or rear ones Steve? Il need to have a look if so.

I appreciate that Cypriot thank you. I used to love the idea of a bmw v8 but deep done have been one of best people who would LS swap the world. It’s more expensive but they are just such great engines. I’m looking forward to opening the bonnet and people being completely confused as to what’s going on with it!

I have a dyno video of the same engine built to a similar spec Kyle sent me but unsure how to embed when not on YouTube? Any help would be good
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Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:37 pm

[youtube] insert link here [/youtube]

That's how you post YouTube vids mate! And yes I love the shocked look when I open my bonnet, I can only imagine how people will react when they see yours :snigger:
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Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:54 am

euan, the brackets i used are these

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Febi-Rear-AR ... 1438.l2649

one hole needs to modified (opened up to fit an M10 bolt & extended) & they fit in place of the bmw arb mounts on the front subframe,
if it's got t*ts or wheels it's bound to be trouble...............prove me wrong.
getting oral sex off an ugly person is like rock climbing.....don't look down ;)
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Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:03 pm

I think the hard bit is to KNOW what will fit with what !!!!
The welding looks fine and should not be a worry mate :D
This is turning out to be one hell of a build.

Mart.
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verde
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Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:25 pm

Il maybe order a set of those Steve just to be safe. Thank you for that! Any other nuggets such as that are greatly appreciated.

Appreciate that mart. Just need to keep practising more!
The subframe was dropped in to the coater the other day so will get photos up next week when it’s back.
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steve_k
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Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:35 am

no worries eaun, the only other's i can thing of are,

mk mondeo estate rear drop links for the front wish bones on an e30.

also, if you have adjustable/blade end type arb's you can use a combo of male & female track rod ends (for go karts normally) to make a set of adjustable drop links, you can also use these on both the front & rear arb's as they can be used to prevent preload on the arb. (cheap aswell if you look around).
if it's got t*ts or wheels it's bound to be trouble...............prove me wrong.
getting oral sex off an ugly person is like rock climbing.....don't look down ;)
verde
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Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:51 pm

That is pretty genius actually steve! As it sits its currently just standard droplinks and ARB anyways.

Subframe is back from PPS, they did a good job. Blast and powdercoat for £20.
Next up I will be replacing my corsa steering linkage with a Condor Speedshop one. The Standard E30 knuckles are too wide and catch on the LS starter motor!

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I had the car down to the Scottish Car Show last weekend. Mark of E30STREET managed to amas almost 30 E30s to show on our stand which won best outdoor stand of the day!
Stole these photos off FB after being tagged, FB has ruined the quality.
The car did well over the 400 mile round trip and managed an eye watering 18/19MPG despite cruising. M20B20 fuel consumption vs performance is like a sick joke!

Image

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steve_k
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Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:35 pm

you'd be surprised when & what type of inspiration strikes :D

subframe looks good, also saw mick's (magpie) pics of the show, looked like a good turn out, didn't know your car was there though.

as for the mpg? i get about that round town from my 2.7 8O
if it's got t*ts or wheels it's bound to be trouble...............prove me wrong.
getting oral sex off an ugly person is like rock climbing.....don't look down ;)
verde
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Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:49 pm

Aye it was a cracking turn out of cars like, plenty of good machines with a fair mixture of style from skid cars to OEM standard. Good day out bar the sunburn.

Yeah thats exactly my concerns man. Its staggeringly terrible MPG figures. Once this engines in Il be getting 25-30 on a run out a 5.3. Massive gain over the 2.0 figures.
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steve_k
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Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:04 pm

verde wrote:Aye it was a cracking turn out of cars like, plenty of good machines with a fair mixture of style from skid cars to OEM standard. Good day out bar the sunburn.

Yeah thats exactly my concerns man. Its staggeringly terrible MPG figures. Once this engines in Il be getting 25-30 on a run out a 5.3. Massive gain over the 2.0 figures.
25-30 out of a lazy v8 is pretty good, keep the updates coming.
if it's got t*ts or wheels it's bound to be trouble...............prove me wrong.
getting oral sex off an ugly person is like rock climbing.....don't look down ;)
verde
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Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:17 pm

That’s the idea anyway Steve. The Camaro SS I had In Houston would do 18/19mpg and that was an ls3 so 6.2 in a very heavy car. Removing half the weight l, dropping 1.0 capacity, being manual and removal of emissions things should aid this. However the brutal cam might not LOL.
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verde
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Sun Sep 09, 2018 2:37 pm

Well my mounts are done and ready for powder coating. Ian has done a fantastic job on these and is working on finishing up the sump!

I could have fabbed up my own mounts but theres no way they would be as well done as these.

Image
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