One advantage of having the front end apart was being able to bolt the tranny to the motor before dropping back in. Not sure this would have been possible otherwise - it definitely wouldn't have been easy though.
I didn't get pics of the actual drop-in, but with two sets of hands and pry bar we got 'er done without too much hassle. I didn't want to take the exhaust manifolds off so it took removal of the AC lines on the pass. side and some careful maneuvering around the steering shaft to wedge it in there.
I also got all new shifter bushings and a 545i shifter
Mark D chip
and I found a pic of the flywheel
So here it is all back together
The other thing I wanted to do before firing it up was the rear end swap. The 540i uses a large case diff and larger axles than the 530i, which uses a medium case. Since I added a 3.15LSD from an E32 and had previously replaced all the rear bushings/mounts, I did a wholesale swap of the rear end. Don't have many pics, but I have to say that my trusty motorcycle jack was invaluable both in this case and also while dropping the auto tranny at the beginning of the project.
old rear end coming out
B&B exhaust before install