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M3 Rearend

Love the project. Did you consider a domestic rearend setup (ala 8.8 IRS from a Mustang, etc.) Just a couple full-power launches with that LS and your likely to need a flatbed to get home. Even a completely stock M3 can eat those output shafts and spit them out...

- CR

Well... It didn't take me long to get the next phase lined up.... A M3 rear end swap...


A bushing set is in route, the diff will be sent out for a full rebuild, and the trailing arms and diff carrier will be sent off for powdercoating before installing...


Dan B
 

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Discussion Starter #22
I have considered replacing the rear end with a Ford 8.8. I decided to keep with the M3 end of things initially. The shops I work with (Fields BMW in Lakeland, Fl), and (of all places) a local AAMCO shop can work on the car if it's not too much of a unicorn. (Much less for me to keep track of if it's 'mostly' BMW with a Chevrolet drivetrain.)

I have a couple of e46's - If I find a Ford 8.8 is needed (crunch the M3 diff or a driveshaft), I'll execute on moving to the Ford 8.8 at that time. It'll (hopefully) give me time to get all the other non-critical items completely replaced--> The interior leather and carpet (while not trashed) could use a refresh, and the paint (while not horrible) does have seventeen years worth of rock chips, and at least one portion was re-sprayed previously (overspray on the rubber seal around the tonneau cover as a tell-tale). I figured I'd start with the mechanical items, get that completely right, get the interior done, then get it re-sprayed.

If I get all the way through the car (paint, interior, and anything else that pops up along the way), and the diff and axles survive, I most likely will do the Ford 8.8 anyway, and transfer the M3 rear end to my '00 323Ci 'vert when it gets pulled (that car already has a diff from a 08 Z4 3.0Si - it's already got the 3.62 or 3.64 ratio (can't remember the ratio offhand)---> best modification I've done to the automatic transmission car).

When I got the car getting the swap, I put a M54B25 back in it (bought it with a blown head due to overheating) so I could move it around and get the major mechanical addressed (all completed before dropping it off to get the swap). I also used it as training to teach both my sons to drive a stick-shift.

The swapped car won't see alot of use, and only see the dragstrip occasionally; I'm not rough on cars, so I'm not expecting the diff to die an early death (The AAMCO shop pulled the diff out of the carrier, and I swapped it for a reman unit from diffsonline; the diff itsself will be 'like new').

If it eats the axles/output shafts, I know they sell 1000Hp rated replacements. I didn't replace the axles for that very reason - Left them (somewhat) crusty on the outside (you can't see them). I powdercoated the diff carrier and rear trailing arms because I don't want to pull either of those back off if I can't help it.

It's taking alot longer than I thought it would (what project doesn't, though), but I'd rather have it 'right' than 'right now'. I know the parts from ICT Billet, Vorshlag, and other vendors are done in small batches-->sometimes made to order, so there is alot of 'hurry up and wait'. While I am waiting, I am gathering all the other _things_ that I know can/should be done - headlight bixenon HID update, sway bars (still on backorder since November!), wider rims and better tires so far. I've also done some tinkering with my other 'vert - new mirrors due to accidentally pulling off one of the mirror covers when it caught on my beltloop, and I'm eyeballing puddle lights just because I think it'd modernize the car further.

It's a 'project car', and no project is ever really, fully completed (I've dug the financial hole half way to Germany, I might as well keep digging...). Post Ford 8.8, a procharger may even be in it's future. It'd be a hoot to take it to the dragstrip, and have it beat down the Corvette in a dragrace.

Dan B
 

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Discussion Starter #24
I have. I keep waffling back-and-forth between a Hyde Motor Works kit, and another LS swap for the '00 323Ci. (I like the project aspects of the Hyde kit...)

The '00 323Ci does see daily use (I alternate between it and a C7 Corvette as a daily 'go-to-work-mobile'). I have a number of fears on doing a supercharger on that car.... The engine has high miles (175k, and going up by at least 1000 miles a month), and is still a 2.5 liter. I suspect that it would have issues shortly after doing a supercharger - ring blow-by comes to mind immediately. It's also an automatic - I'd like to keep it an auto (daily commute is ~48 miles each direction - all of it in heavy traffic: a clutch for that trek would suck). The auto transmission (ZF 5HP19) will most likely have issues with a jump in power that large...

The motor in the '00 is in good shape - all the 'usual' wear items replaced and up-to-date. It currently has a set of ebay headers with the accompanying AA tune to code out the CEL for the post-cat O2 sensors, and runs fine. The entry level Hyde kit gives a ballpark of about 100Hp gain... It'd put me in the ~250Hp range ---> not enough 'bang for the buck' (coming from a twin turbo F150 with ~450 at the wheels, and a Corvette with ~450 at the crank - 250 crank is small fries).

The Hyde SC14 kit uses a Toyota SC14 supercharger which are not rebuild-able, and are getting old. The next kit up uses a M122H (which is rebuild-able), but by the time I factor in the kit, the supercharger, a rebuild for the M122H, and the labor to install, tune, and troubleshoot, I'd have just about the same as dropping in a 'lesser' LS base - something like a L83 (5.3L, ~350Hp with no tuning). You can find the L83's all day long on ebay with a 6L80 attached for ~$3500 with the harnesses and computers included (about the same as the supercharger kit, supercharger, and rebuild on the supercharger - nevermind the other items (bigger injectors, intercooler, piping)). Even with a refresh on the L83 (hone, rings, bearings, and camchain and gaskets) It'd be pretty close cost-wise. The 5.3L engines respond well to cams+ head work, and GM cams are way cheaper than BMW cams...

I have the engine that came out of the one currently getting a LS swap - but it's just a M54B25, and would have the same issues as the one currently in the car (good shape, but high miles), so I'd have the same fears on longevity. A refresh on either M54 or M52Tu engines + the cost of the supercharger would put me over the cost of just doing another LS (L99).

The last thought is: 'one project at a time'. Once the LS3 swapped 'vert comes home, I'll have a number of other things to do to it over the next year or so (interior and paint)... If I happen across a good deal on a L83 or a LS2/LS3 while still finishing out the LS swapped 'vert, I'll start caching parts on the shelf. In the interim, I can still daily it, and my son can borrow it if his car ('00 323i) is in the shop.

I keep getting tempted by craigslist cars with blown engines --- $600 to $800 e46, just needs an engine (or transmission)... I keep repeating the mantra of 'One project at a time' to myself...


Dan B
 

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Keep all your slips - you might be surprised how much the swap ends up costing!

Hyde kit with an M122's would be sick. I've seen some reasonably priced on eBay. You might be able to find a lower mileage 3.0 and just boost it. Bet you'd be ok as long as you didn't go over 9lbs. Can't comment on the transmission - don't know anything about that...

CR

A refresh on either M54 or M52Tu engines + the cost of the supercharger would put me over the cost of just doing another LS (L99).
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Oh Yeah - several folders full of receipts (one for each car).

Engaging a shop to perform the swap made it simpler - they are handling the juggling of the major things; Most of what I'm keeping track of are all the ancillary items...

I'll waffle back and forth on the '00 'vert until it's time to pull the trigger on something, and then it'll all happen, no matter which way it ends up going at the time. (I think some of it hinges on how the '03 'vert LS swap goes, and if there are any problems in the months afterwards...)

Dan B
 

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I am working on a LS swap into a 330ci using a 4L60E auto trans. I had to do some pretty serious hammering to make room for the 4L60E, I don't know how much bigger the 4L80E is but I would love to see how much work has to be done to the tunnel.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Yeah - that's one of the gotcha's. I got an idea from one of the 'car building' shows on Motor Trend TV on how to make it bigger with minor damage... They cut an 'H' pattern into the floor pan (straight down the center line under where the console goes, and from left to right at each end), expanded the tunnel by simply bending the flaps up, and then riveted a piece of sheet metal in so it maintained it's shape and new curvature. They used seam sealer and undercoating to seal it up. It didn't look that invasive on the show, but 'TV magic' can make even major stuff look easy, and the original size of the car's tunnel will play into it. If it ends up being that the center console will need some minor trimming to make it all work, I'd be OK with doing it that way (as long as it can be made to look decent, and not like a hack job).

I'll cross that bridge when that project ramps up in a year or two.

Dan B
 

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Yeah - that's one of the gotcha's. I got an idea from one of the 'car building' shows on Motor Trend TV on how to make it bigger with minor damage... They cut an 'H' pattern into the floor pan (straight down the center line under where the console goes, and from left to right at each end), expanded the tunnel by simply bending the flaps up, and then riveted a piece of sheet metal in so it maintained it's shape and new curvature. They used seam sealer and undercoating to seal it up. It didn't look that invasive on the show, but 'TV magic' can make even major stuff look easy, and the original size of the car's tunnel will play into it. If it ends up being that the center console will need some minor trimming to make it all work, I'd be OK with doing it that way (as long as it can be made to look decent, and not like a hack job).

I'll cross that bridge when that project ramps up in a year or two.

Dan B
I figure if and when the 4L60E gives up the ghost I will either bite the bullet and do a Manual 6 speed conversion, or do the tunnel mods you mention above and upgrade to the 4L80E
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Not a lot of updates on the engine swap to report.
The M3 rear-end is almost back together.
Not alot of movement from the shop doing the engine swap.

To feed my 'must-have-a-project-to-work-on' need, I've been doing small things to the '00 323Ci 'vert (and other vehicles).
LED fog lights ('whiter' light output to match the HID headlights):


Mirrors (my belt caught the mirror cover when I walked by the car in the garage, and ripped it off).
The mirrors I went with were cheap ($40 on Amazon), and so far, work fine (had to butcher the harness on the old set of mirrors to get the connector to make the mirror motors work), but they have three colors of LEDs in them, so the 'project' aspect is to wire the LEDs: white ones to come on with the fog lights, orange ones to come on with the blinkers, and blue ones to come on with the high beams.



I also ordered a set of puddle lamps with the BMW logo from Aoonuauto. They have a couple types: I went with a 'drill thru' set (drill a hole in the bottom of the door, and attach the lamp through the hole). I'm planning on wiring these up to come on with the interior lights when the door is opened. With the Coronavirus in full swing in China, it may be a while before these parts make it to me (no photos for this one yet).

Getting thru the wiring harness connector at the door is going to be interesting; I suspect some additional electrical 'pinning' on the door connector will be needed.

I also have been busy on the 'vette - new side skirts:


Even the truck got some love... A HUD:

I originally purchased this with the intention of putting it in the '00 323Ci 'vert, but when I tried it out, it didn't work. I suspect it cannot speak the appropriate protocol(s). (The Torque app on my phone works with a bluetooth adapter for both speed and RPM, so I know the data is there.)


Dan B
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Minor updates on the build...

The M3 rear end is now back from the shop completely rebuilt, and sitting on a pallet in my garage. All new _everything. Bushings, bearings, parking brake shoes, cables, etc. If it could be replaced, I replaced it.

The shop still has the car getting the swap done; They've had it nine months... (Good grief! I thought taking it to a professional would shrink the timeframe...) No motion to report there (nothing since December).

The Gold 323Ci 'vert got the mirrors wired in. There were three colors of LEDs in the mirror: White, Blue, and Orange. Orange was wired to the turn signals, white the interior lights, and blue the high-beams. The LEDs look ok.
Here's a pic of the white/interior lights:


It also had the 'BMW Logo' puddle lamps installed. Not bright enough to see during the day, but looks great at night...




I'll keep the thread updated with any changes if the shop gets anything done....


Dan B
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Well, So much for the 'one project at a time' comment from about six months ago...

"
The last thought is: 'one project at a time'. Once the LS3 swapped 'vert comes home, I'll have a number of other things to do to it over the next year or so (interior and paint)... If I happen across a good deal on a L83 or a LS2/LS3 while still finishing out the LS swapped 'vert, I'll start caching parts on the shelf. In the interim, I can still daily it, and my son can borrow it if his car ('00 323i) is in the shop.

I keep getting tempted by craigslist cars with blown engines --- $600 to $800 e46, just needs an engine (or transmission)... I keep repeating the mantra of 'One project at a time' to myself... "


I have two sons, both were driving '00 323i's. One of my sons is in the Navy, and called me telling me he overheated the car, and it 'blew up'. I told him to take it to a shop and get them to do a compression test and leakdown, and asked him about the exhaust color, oil color/consistency.. He took it to a shop and they told him it was dead.
He went and purchased a brand new truck.

I arranged to go grab the car at the beginning of July. Trailered it home (Florida) from South Carolina. Oil looks good, no white smoke... pisses water when it gets warm tho. Did a compression test--->~140 on all six. Coolant leakdown shows it holds overnight... Scan the codes, and it has a thermostat code... "WTF?" I think... I let the car run for a while... it started leaking coolant... it appeared to be coming out from the rear of the engine. apparently it's leaking from one of the hoses/joints once the motor is up to temp. I changed the thermostat, and... poof! working car.

So... I've re-inherited the car that got me into BMW back in 2005. I've driven the car for more than a half-an-hour at a time (on the interstate). No further lost coolant, no rough running, no apparent problems.

This one is going to be 'the experiment'... Not quite sure what to do with it, yet. I've got a buddy who's son can get his learner's permit in about 6 months. I may hang onto it for that purpose...

Dan B
 

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Looking forward to seeing the swap complete. Sounds like it's going to be well done and most likely worth the wait.

I wouldn't sweat the timeline so much, depending on what they told you when you delivered the car, plus COVID and whatnot. The swap is fairly involved as you know, and like you said, better to have it right.

Fun story, I had my car at a shop for some basic fabrication of interior panels and a few other things. They had it for months and when it was done I showed up to get it and was handed a bill that was 40% more than what I had been expecting. I paid it without complaint...initially. When I got the car home and had a chance to inspect the work more thoroughly it was awful (I'm guessing the shop rookie was given the task). Needless to say the owner picked the car back up from my house and took it to redo the panels "personally." It was a few more months until I finally got it back.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
I'm hoping it's worth the wait. It's taking a lot longer than I initially expected it to... While it's been out at the shop, I've gone thru a round of upgrades on the 'gold' 'vert, re-inherited the white sedan from my son (and done all the necessary corrective actions to that car), acquired all the parts (with the exception of the motor, transmission, and wiring harness) to do a second LS swap to either the sedan or gold 'vert... I was hoping that by taking it to a shop that would save time (you know.. spend time, or money..) in this case, I'm spending both...

As long as it comes back in good working order, then I guess it'll be worth it. But man... I've been at this a year already (the car has physically been at the shop since September 14th last year). I'm eager, and frustrated at the same time...

Dan B
 

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Discussion Starter #37
So... Thirteen and a half months after dropping off the car at Zero 2 Sixty Performance... He's done nothing, other than pulling the engine back in December of 2019, and setting a LS3+TR6060 on the front subframe crossmember: No engine mounts, no nothing. Lots of missed promised dates, and several lies.

I went over to Zero 2 Sixty on October 30th with truck/trailer, and reclaimed my car. The money for pre-paid for parts will be settled up later (likely at a courthouse). The shop that performed the subframe re-enforcement, and suspension refresh (prior to dropping it off at Zero 2 Sixty) is over in Orlando (Precision Sport Industries (PSI)), and I set it up to simply haul the car + pile of parts from one shop to another.

I hate taking a basket case to the shop. The car was in perfect working order when I dropped it off at Zero 2 Sixty.
Either way, I suspect PSI will get things moving in a couple months.

I'm disheartened that the project went so wrong due to a shop that claims to be a 'LS Swap Specialist'. Beware of that shop - they don't deliver, and it's been a sh*t-show for a year.

I'll continue to post updates as PSI does (or doesn't) make progress.

Dan B
 

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Well that sucks for you. Hopefully the next shop will be able to get everything sorted out and on the road relatively soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Well.. In the month and a half that PSI has had the car, I've had more phone conversations with them, and more activity from them than the other shop did in a year.

PSI verified the cam (and trunnions + valve springs) in the engine: Comp Cams , and we have all the correct parts on order: Wiring Specialties harness, new clutch, new oil pump (peace of mind), Sikky shifter relocation, all aluminum radiator, and a smattering of other things.

campic.jpg

Cam Specs:
DATE: 12/07/20 SPECIFICATION CARD CPRPSC_IT
TIME: 12:00:30
ITEM......: 32538133
DESCRIP...: CAMSHAFT, LS1 CHEVY / GEN III
GRIND#....: 32538133
SERIAL NO.: 316736-19
REMARKS..............:
REPLACES BTRLS3STG2
HYDRAULIC............: Y
I N T A K E EXHAUST________
LOBE ID..............: 13096R 3652R
VALVE ADJUSTMENT.....: .000 .000
VALVE LIFT...........: .612 .585
CHECK HEIGHT.........: .006
ADVANCE DURATION.....: 275 291
VALVES OPEN..........: 3 55
VALVES CLOSED........: 43 3
VALVES TIMING @......: .050
DURATION @ 0.050.....: 225 238
LOBE LIFT............: .3600 .3450
ROCKER RATIO.........: 1.70 1.70
CENTER LINE..........: 110.0 116.0
LOBE SEPARATION......: 113.0 CAM ADVANCE..........: 3.0
COMMENTS.............:

Fingers crossed, it goes smoother this time...


Dan B
 
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