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Old 8th January 2016, 02:43 PM   #1
Matthead
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Hi, well after buying a 2.8 coupe and turning it from standard to this:





I've decided the time has come to do the engine transplant. The lil 2.8 has proved to be an awesome engine, 128k, totally standard bar an ecu upgrade, m50 manifold and an m3 oil cooler and has performed faultlessly for the last two years of trackdays. All I've done is the occasional oil change and just hammered it around snett and it's never once complained. It almost makes the engine swap a hard desicion as should it go wrong another 2.8 is cheap as chips but the s54 not so, but the thirst for more power and better lap times is to strong! So the plan is:
S54 engine
Engine management via a specialist components typhoon ecu and wiring harness
Conversion from dbw to cable throttle
Use the gearbox from the 2.8
I have an almost new lightweight fly and paddle clutch from the m52 that I hope to reuse but still not 100% sure it will all fit
Plus the million other things I will find out I need as the conversion progresses!!
I've made a start and stripped the front of the car car down:





I'm just waiting on some ramps so I can get under it to remove the exhaust and propshaft then it's engine out time.
I'm still searching for an s54 engine complete with the wiring loom to turn up, I've been let down 3 times now with time wasters so the search is still on.ill update this thread as work caries on if anyone is interested and if anyone who has done this has any solid advice I'd love to hear it!! That's all for now folks

Last edited by Matthead; 2nd September 2017 at 01:51 PM.
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Old 10th January 2016, 11:41 PM   #2
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Nice project, doing one myself for a road car. Can you tell me why you're going with cable throttle and dumping the bmw management?

Can only imagine what an s54 will be like with 17s rather than 19s, e46 feels lively enough. Should make an excellent track wagon!
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Old 11th January 2016, 04:34 PM   #3
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I've decided to loose the original ecu and go aftermarket for a few reasons, the aftermarket ecu will let the engine run without a load of the sensors needed for a road application, secondary lambda sensors, sport button permenantely on, and quite a few others, in my case, being a track car most of this stuff is not needed. Specialist components also take the existing engine side wiring loom and alter it so it plugs straight into their ecu and connects straight to the x20 so it saves a load of hassle with the wiring. The ecu can also connect straight to a race dash, I'm using a race technology one which also saves on wiring and lastly the ecu is fully mappable. Once the engine is in and has a few trackdays under its belt I will start tuning, cams, air box etc so the ecu can be tuned as I go along.
Hopefully it should be quite the animal once done, I think I will probably end up with 18's due to the lack of 17" slicks and the mass availability of 18" slicks. Just trying to work out out wether to wide arch it or not and all the wheel fitments that go with it all.
How is your conversion going? Any major headaches to watch out for?
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Old 12th January 2016, 11:55 AM   #4
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Bit the bullet for an S54 then

Did you manage to sort the OSF brake issue ?
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Old 12th January 2016, 03:15 PM   #5
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Hey Sam yup, I'm into it full on now, just need to find the time to get the old out and make a start on painting the bay ready for the new one!!

I did fix the brake issue, I took an angle grinder to the end of the wishbone to give up a little more clearance. I'm not entirely sure why there was a problem. The wishbones are meyle hd items so I can only think the outer bush housing was slightly oversize causing the problem. All sorted now though!
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Old 12th January 2016, 04:02 PM   #6
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Hi Mate,
You would be better off using the s54 DME.
Personally Ive left Ergen motorsport to carry out the loom conversion and DME coding.They have done everything properly with retaining the obd port.
They have their own wiring loom adapters which work with the s54 loom.
Everything is relayed and fused up.Its been almost a year and haven't had any issues at all.
Not really sure if you could use the m52 fly Ive bought them from eurocarparts for an s54. LUK brand.
You will need to use an e36 m3 front subframe to support the engine with s50 engine mounts which bolt to the s54 block.
S54 exhuast mani,centre section and welded to e36 s50 back box.Or custom.
Pretty sure ive been told that you can bolt the rear to the center section however you will need to extend the centre section slightly to reach the exhuast mani.Good thing about it might be that its easier to weld extensions on the straight areas rather than in bent areas like towards the back box.
S50 oil cooler to be used along with the s50 oil lines which connect to the s54 oil filter housing.
S50 oil pressure or oil temp sensor goes to the s54 oil filter housing where currently has a threaded hole bolted in not being used.
look on my journal for some info.
Standard s54 air filter housing cannot be used.
s54 fuel filter with regulator and s54 fuel lines from filter to engine.from filter backwards to the fuel tank can use the s50 lines which are plug and play.
S50 fuel pump does the job
If you plan to go oem, you might be able to use the Z3M air filter housing, other wise K&N which has the maf tube. Personaly I decided to go the alphaN/CSL route.Main reason to get an s54 swap in my opinion.
Fire away any questions
http://e36coupe.com/forum/viewtopic....225a&start=435

Its not hard at all
Good luck
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Old 12th January 2016, 03:45 PM   #7
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Adding 75% of the 2.8's horsepower (ish), in a lightened car. Oooh that'll be fun!
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Old 15th January 2016, 08:10 PM   #8
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Nice work pal.
M3 back box is ridiculously heavy. Almost snapped my leg.
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Old 16th January 2016, 03:14 PM   #9
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Thanks evo, you are not wrong, lying on your side under a car on ramps makes it really heavy and awkward to lift/ move!!
Anyhow, I managed to get a few hours on it this afternoon and disconnected the last of the wiring, removed the oil cooler and lines, disconnected the fuel lines and removed the power steering reservoir and lines, so I think it's ready to pull the engine out, hopefully I will get that done next week.
@kingoblack, yeah, I hope to see you at snett at some point this year!!
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Old 20th January 2016, 04:22 PM   #10
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Managed to get some more time on the car today. I've removed the engine and gearbox, took them out as one unit then split them apart once they were out and on the floor. It came out really easy, no problems at all so I was happy with that!!





I've also removed the last of the bits and pieces from the bay and gave it a good wash down ready to start prepping for painting. I'm also going to fit a purple tag rack and solid bush for the column whilst I'm in there and access is easy.
I've managed to source a s54 engine and should hopefully be picking it up next week.

Last edited by Matthead; 2nd September 2017 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 21st January 2016, 04:45 PM   #11
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So today's task was to get the engine bay cleaned and primed ready for paint. I started by giving it a good wash down with hot water and degreaser to remove the worst of the grime, dried it off and keyed all the paintwork with scotchbrite pads and wet & dry paper until it was all sorted. Bear in mind I'm not looking for a showroom finish, this is a track car after all!!
I then masked up the car and everything I didn't want painted and ended up with this:



After giving it another good clean down with panel wipe and a tack cloth I laid down the first layer of grey primer:





This was followed by another two coats and then the white primer was put down over that:







Just got to leave that to dry off and then give it a light wet and dry sand down and it's ready for a coat of alpine white.
I'm pretty pleased with it so far considering I'm no spray painter but I guess I'll see how the finished article looks lol!! As long as it doesn't look awful when the bonnet is up I'll be happy!!

Last edited by Matthead; 2nd September 2017 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 21st January 2016, 06:41 PM   #12
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Good graft mate this is going to be a weapon.
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Old 1st February 2016, 02:45 PM   #13
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It is vacuum line for brakes - bung it up as you have a pedal box
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Old 1st February 2016, 02:54 PM   #14
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Awesome. Thank you Polaris, that's just what I needed to hear. Thanks for the heads up!!
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Old 1st February 2016, 03:18 PM   #15
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Much excitement now there is a new engine to fit! Looking forward to seeing it in.
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Old 1st February 2016, 03:44 PM   #16
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FYI, when fitting the E36 alloy engine arms, you'll need to tap the threads in the holes as from memory, a few aren't used when in an E46.

And def get a Tornado if a track car, I wish I did now, even the stock ECU is good, a proper stand alone is much better for this kind of use. I'm even tempted to sell my set up to fund a Tornado!

Good luck with conversion, S54's are great in an E36.
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Old 1st February 2016, 04:18 PM   #17
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Yup, mucho excitement for tomorrow!!
@ jonniec, I've decided I'm gonna go with the tornado, it just seems the simplest option for me, I've spoken to the guys at specialist components and they have a couple of cars that are running their loom and ecu and have got great results out of them, they seem to have this all buttoned up and it greatly reduces the amount of wiring needed. And as you say, hopefully with tuning works further down the road this system should see me good.
Slightly nervous about having to tap the threads out, I'm not sure if I have a tap of the required size, what is the size?
Might have to back to the engines and have a look!!
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Old 1st February 2016, 04:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthead View Post
.
Slightly nervous about having to tap the threads out, I'm not sure if I have a tap of the required size, what is the size?
Might have to back to the engines and have a look!!

Don't be nervous, its almost easy as turning a screwdriver!

I don't to be honest. Best bet would be to take the bolts used to a bolt and tool supply shop and ask for the tap you need for them.
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Old 1st February 2016, 04:58 PM   #19
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Hehe, more nervous about not having the correct tap size than the tapping itself!!
I've been and had a look, it's much clearer now, the threaded holes are there in the block but because they haven't been used they are full of crap and need a clear out.
What would be the problem with using the s54 arms? They appear to be in the same place as the e36 arms and have the holes for the plenum bracket to bolt to. It would appear that the power steering reservoir will sit a bit further back. Is that all or am I missing something?
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Old 1st February 2016, 05:11 PM   #20
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You use the E36 arms, because then it sits how any other E36 6 cylinder would sit. So gearbox, prop, pas pipes etc all just falls in to place.
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