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Hello all,

I've decided to take a few minutes to share the latest project a friend and I have been working on. As the title states, we've been working on swapping a N54 engine into an e46 M3. Several months ago we found the rolling shell of an M3 on craigslist (no engine or transmission) for a pretty decent price.


Since then, we've been slowly acquiring the necessary parts to make this project happen. The first major component to arrive was the engine. The first thing we did was drop it in the bay. It was a tight fit, but looked like we wouldn't be having any major clearance issues.


After getting a transmission (6 speed manual from a 335i), we were able to place and orient the engine into position. This engine seems to have all the right cutouts to fit in this chassis, especially around the oil-pan and steering rack. We were quite happy to see this. I'll try to remember to get some pictures next weekend, as it really is impressive how well everything lines up.

From there, we were able to get started on our custom engine mounts. We ended up going with a two piece mount with polyurethane bushings for some vibration dampening. We used 3/8 plate for the engine and subframe mounts with 1/4 flat bar connecting them. For the engine mounted plates, we modeled the hole locations and plate dimensions in CAD, which allowed us to print a template, making it easy to drill the holes in the correct position. For the connecting bars, we cut up some cardboard to create templates, which worked surprisingly well.


Last night we finally got the mounts finished and the engine mounted in the chassis. (Well two thirds mounted, still need to make a transmission mount)


And much to our surprise, it even fits under the hood!


The next step will likely be wiring. We currently have the N54 DME, CAS, and JBE. Our plan is to try to integrate and use as much of the e46 equipment as we can. (Things like the instrument cluster.) That certainly isn't going to be an easy task, but as an embedded systems engineer, I'm fairly confident in my ability to make it happen. I'll try to keep this thread updated as we progress, but this is just a fun weekend project, so progress will likely be slow.

And finally, here's a link to an album with all the pictures. Over time I might even add titles and captions :)
https://imgur.com/a/iclvjMX_a_
 
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