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You look like a guy who might have an interest to get involved. I'm in the final stages of swapping a Gen4 LS 6 litre V8 and 6 speed into an e46 Coupe. It was a 325Ci auto.
It's running, tuned on standard fuel with about 270Kw at the wheels and feels pretty strong. It's a pre 09/ 2001 and i just coded it with NCSExpert from auto to man. The last thing now is to get the ABS working. I still have all brake warning lights on and the ABS is not working because of a CAN- ASC fault. I reckon it's because it can't see the the throttle and pedal anymore, so i will hook them up soon to give that a go, but maybe you have a different view.
I'm In Melbourne by the way but often travel to Sydney. If you want to chat you can get me on 0404063963
Get your exhaust sorted yet? Ive seriously considered the SMG to manual conversion after our chat and been doing a bit of research. I've started a thread HERE. The 2 links I posted in post 7 - Does that cover everything you think?
As far as the labour goes my cousin is a very good mechanic so he could prob help me out. Any advise or recommendation on the machining.