View Full Version : S54 swap complete

03-13-2005, 03:31 PM
Hi Guys;

I've been away working on this transplant for the past 8 months (its the first one in north america using original ECU/wiring)... though the second one (e36) only took about 3 weeks to get up and running. As Mark D was saying in another post, the hard part is the electronics. We had the engine in and out in 2 days. To give you some history to this project, I originally had a 2.8 Ltr engine in my car. This engine started to missbehave due to a poor installation of the AA supercharger kit. Due to this condtion the engine became unusable and thus required a rebuild. After exploring several options, I decided to sell the AA S/C kit and go back to the N/A route. Mark D suggested to me that I talk with Mike from Munich motors. That was in July of 04.

We basically ended up stripping almost everything out of the engine bay and installed the S54 with the matching 6 speed transmission. The donor car was a 2002 M3 with only 500km - basically a brand new engine/tranny. The engine bolts right on, however the drive shaft and shift linkage needed modification. The driveshaft was shortened and balanced.

Here's where it gets intreresting. Mike's shop is one of the only ones in canada that has a full (not partial ie. using a laptop) GT1 diagnostic unit. This is the diagnostic computer used by the dealers to program any ECU/control unit of ALL OBD2 cars. This station can only be purchased by dealers in Canada. However I've imported one for him from the US. This component is key since it also has in its memory all the electronics circut diagrams of ANY car produced by BMW. Further more, it also permits full diagnostic capabilities and simulations.

The next phase was to compare my original wiring diagram with the 2002 e46 M3. Big Difference. The M3 has a completely revised architecture with almost all comunication going directly to the ECU whereas previous generation cars (e.g. e36 variants) had independant compontents. The other challange is the newer generation EWS (anti theft system). This must be aligned three fold (EWS unit, ECU and the electronic signature on the key itself). I've spent a considerable time with the electrical engineer at munich motors comprehending this task at hand. Beleive me it was not an easy one.

As of about two months ago, the car was fully operational and the attention to detail is astounding - event the sports button is there and lights up when pressed. All major compnents have been replaced with e46 M3 counterparts, this includes all engine accessories, etc. I took the car out for a spin and some further testing. We're using original e46 M3 headers and most of the midsection (all the way back to the rear axles - fits like a glove). If you look at the car today, it looks like it came from the factory installed this way. Mike and his team did an excellant job on this conversion, but its not yet quite finished.

Along the way I've revamped the engire suspension geometry of the car. I've installed a coil over kit (S/A - TC Kliene with 500/500 lb springs), 28mm f. sway bar, e30 M3 forged control arms, eccentric f. bushings, adjustable camber plates, rear suspension and adj. trailing arm bushings. We are also in the process of installing a re-built LS differential (e30 with M roadster back plate). This should be complete end of next week. I'm expecting to have the car on the road by mid april.

Pictures will be posted next week. That's it for now.


03-13-2005, 04:02 PM
sounds crazy! cant wait to see this, i gotta see some time slips once u get all the bugs sorted... just curious if u have any concerns with getting the wheels to stick i.e. traction...
Good Luck with the build!

03-13-2005, 04:09 PM
Right now I have 17 inch rims on the car (99 e36 M3 LTW staggered) with 255 rear tires. Traction will be a bit of an issue as the amount of torque easily overpowers the capabilities of this setup. I'm looking at 18 inch BBS wheels with 275 rears. This will most likely resolve the traction issue to an extent. On the opposite end of the scale, braking right now is done with M3 callipers, zimmerman rotors and Hawke HPS Pads.


03-13-2005, 04:09 PM
congrats, post pics whenever you can I'd love to see this beast

03-13-2005, 04:10 PM
I'll take some pictures when I get back from the US on friday next week. :)


03-13-2005, 04:12 PM
your gonna go through a lot of rubber! any ideas on what rubber your gonna get?? maybe some r comps?!?!

03-13-2005, 04:26 PM
pics pics pics!

03-13-2005, 04:36 PM
probably the new Toyo T1R


03-13-2005, 04:42 PM
sounds like a good choice! Now all we need are Pics Pics Pics and some more Pics!

paul christians
03-13-2005, 04:45 PM
Hope to see you and the at the meets etc.....

paul christians
03-13-2005, 04:46 PM
the T1SR's are better than last years........

03-13-2005, 05:01 PM
definately eager to come out to some of the meets. When is the next one coming up? I'd like to take the car out in and around the first week of april.


03-13-2005, 05:02 PM
i agree with early april, as my car is winter driven anyways...:D

paul christians
03-13-2005, 05:04 PM
mild april.........

03-13-2005, 05:08 PM
wow man, that sounds amazing!!! can't wait to see the pics!!!

03-13-2005, 05:14 PM
Thanks :) Should have some pics available soon...


03-13-2005, 05:26 PM
Sounds like a lot of work has been put into it! Cant wait to see pics!

03-13-2005, 05:52 PM
Wow.....Now thats a crazy project :eek: Good luck and Post some pics up

03-14-2005, 10:43 AM
very impressive. I can't wait to see this beast !

04-20-2005, 08:03 PM
You are the man!


Please Help! Check your PM!

04-20-2005, 08:40 PM
Pics are here: http://www.maxbimmer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=52061