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-   -   Project BMW 357i V8 from UK (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=851414)

bikealarmblair 06-17-2011 02:26 PM

Project BMW 357i V8 from UK
First post


I thought you might like to see my little project I've been doing & am part way thro. I've been posting it on E46Zone so I've copied it over hope it works...

As some of you are already aware I do some wiring work for Craig Taylor @ DynoTorque / CAL Sport apart from running a motorcycle dyno Craig is also an expert fabricator/engineer & puts LS 1/2/3 engines into different cars I've wired a dozen or so up for him & the V8 rumble/torque has finally got under my skin so he's making me one

I've bought a 2001 325 M Sport Coupe for the conversion into which is going an LS1 5.7l GTO engine & 6 speed box, it's not 'just' an engine swap tho it'll need hand made header pipes, prop, steering rod etc & while we are it were installing the rear end from an E46 M3 to give the car an LSD upgrading the suspension & brakes as well as sorting all the niggles with the car.

It's going to take quite a while to do & the engine is on its way from Canada & should land end of May or early June, in the mean time I'm assembling/sourcing all the parts etc

The Car...

M3 LSD Diff & rear end

LS1 5.7l GTO Engine & box

Laser cut widgets for the custom headers

The Carbon cube trim was worn out on the drivers door & needed replacing as I had to the door trim off to fix the CDL I decided I'd have a go at painting the trim & see what it looked like

I think it looks ok not sure if I'll do the rest or just get a new carbon trim for the drivers door

All the old bits engine/box/ecu/diff etc will be up for sale soon if anybody is in need of parts.

Rear AP calipers being sized up for brackets onto M3 read discs


A quick update or backdate
I sourced an M3 propshaft from a local breakers for 95

Brakes are proving to be a tad more trying tho...... The rear AP I'd sourced was TVR Cerebra I have a mate who has one (suprisingly enough with an LS V8 in it) & he had a matching AP for the other one I had so we swapped only for me to discover his AP a rear & mine is a front!!! Never mind I'm still going to get the brackets made up & when another rear caliper turns up I'll fit them then.

Front brakes are causing problems too well the brembo I won on eBay hasn't turned up lots of comms from the seller before I paid & zero since, his auction said the item was in Malvern & cash on collection but when I'd won he made some story about being on holiday in Aus for 5 weeks & his sister had them in newcastle so he could only post them etc... So I'm currently going thro the eBay dispute system....

Well I have to give eBay a thumbs up money was back in my account by lunch time yesterday & I 'think' I may have sourced some AP 4 pots too

Loobed my old black MV1's on still not sure on what to do about wheels unlike most I really like MV1's but this is 3rd car that's had them,,,,




Well the scales say 1421KG lets see how much it gains when it's finished.

Craig measuring up for the mounting brackets for the AP Calipers & bigger discs




It needed a small spacer to clear the wheel but I'd intended to run spacers as the wheels sit to far in anyway so I popped next door & pinched some from driftworks....

Next up is the AP rear calipers


While I was @ driftworks I got Phil's old H&R anti roll bar off him for mine, my pile of stuff in the corner is getting bigger


Ready for bodyshop


Rear brakes are done


Car is back from bodyshop & Droftworks brought round a load of boxes (HSD's anti rollbars brakelines & loads of powerflex bushes.
The new radiator, engine mounts & fuel pressure reg/filter have been delivered too.

Engine should be here next week too Craig is stacked with big jobs so I doubt much if anything will start to happen for the next week or two but I'll be badgering him lots n lots!!!

Shiny things


Tomorrow I'm taking the subframe/diff etc out so I can measure up for the additional suports, I guess the project starts in ernest tomorrow

The engine is just waiting for customs clearance then I'll be off to London Port to collect it, I'm ready to burst!!!

We have started!!!

Complete back end removed so Craig can stiffen up the subframe mounting points


& it's a good job we were planning to stiffen the back end up.... the trained eyes will see the crack starting & the movement on the spot welds



Today I've removed the 2.5 engine/gearbox/wiring & front suspension.


bikealarmblair 06-17-2011 02:26 PM

There isn't a lot of the car I bought left...... Tomorrow will be spent delivering all the bits I've removed to it's new owner & gettibg the boot floor ready for the DynoTorque upgrade kit.

Oh & more shiny stuff arrived today too :)


The DynoTorque subframe kit waiting to be fitted




I've not done much the last few days, Craig has had a look at the engine & the clutch is fubar'd :( It seems clutches are a weak point on LS1's & the clutch of choice is an LS7 but to fit an LS7 clutch you need an LS7 flywheel too all in about 700 ish :( Why did I buy that cam LOL after a bit of surching I found a brand new one that's been taken off a new engine for 300 :D

Ive put the new front shocks on


Craig busy making a racket grinding & then welding in the DynoTorque subframe strengthening kit


Tomorrow I'll finish re-bushing the M3 subframe, anti roll bar & trailing arm & start sorting brake lines then I can re-fit the petrol tank & subframe maybe....

Painted the repair


Subframe poly bushed


& then got it back into the car


Got the rear suspension & brakes on & ran new braided brake lines to the front


How sad am I ;)


Craig's been busy today

He's made an new steering arm & relocted the ABS


Going to be a slow couple of weeks on this now when I ordered the engine I ordered it with a certain type of sump unforttunately the breaker didn't have one so he fitted a different one thinking it would be ok so after a quick measure up it defo won't fit with this sump & I've been able to source one in the UK so the sump he's fitted is being sent back & a the correct sump is being sent out to me, so just a case of being patient which is something I fail at!!!! The frustraiting thing is had he asked we'd have told him the sump he fitted wouldn't work.... until the sump is in Craig can't mount the engine, so he can't make the headers or get the propshaft modded & I can't start the wiring etc....

Anyway I can't post without one pic so here's what the engine looks like with no sump


I've made a start on the wiring....


& pushed it outside for a wash


The black wheels look better clean & in the sunlight


& That's where I'm at stuck waiting for Calspeed to send the correct sump & ThunderRacing to send the cam...

Has anybody else done one of these & can give me some help with the can bus tacho & coolant temp??


bikealarmblair 06-17-2011 02:27 PM

As I said not much can be done until the sump etc turn up but I've been doing my best to keep it moving along...

All the brake lines are now connected to the moved ABS pump


Done as much of the wiring as I can for now


What do you do when you can't buy a big enough back box? Well if your Craig Taylor you just cut/weld/bend one till it's the right size....


And then this morning Fedex handed me a package....


Just waiting (still) on the sump despite lots of assurances from the place I bought my engine (Calspeed & Performance) from were still waiting for them to sort their mistake out.

chorizo 06-17-2011 02:33 PM


rg1bmw 06-22-2011 01:18 AM


ThatGuy_JZ 07-08-2011 05:33 PM

I love this

loayo 07-08-2011 06:16 PM

subscribed :)

PRDesignsTony 07-09-2011 01:08 PM

wow thats a lot of work

KohbraxE46 07-09-2011 01:20 PM


bikealarmblair 10-26-2011 01:55 AM

Can't believe I haven't kept this thread upto date, car is finished bar a few niggles to iron out & being used regularly

A minor update

Sump has finally tuned up late today :D so things should start moving forward, not that we've been idle while waiting for it..

Craig has fitted the new cam, cam chain, pushrods, uprated valve springs & collets


The engine just waiting for the correct sump.....


We've been able to do a bit on the exhaust & some of the pipework under the bonnet


bikealarmblair 10-26-2011 01:59 AM

A friend of mine has been over today looking at the canbus side of things & it's quite involved & going to take some work to do so as temp quick fix I'm going to install a set of E36 clocks I have while Rob works on the can bus.

This morning Craig fitted the LS7 clutch & T56 gearbox together & then poked the engine into the hole.....


& the he made some engine & gearbox mounts


& it's in :)


That's a very long difficult day made to sound very easy.... it's not trust me!

I've dropped the prop off to be shortened & have the correct end fitted for the T56 box & in the morning I'm off to Jetex to collect the bends & pipe/parts so Craig can start making the headers

It's been a busy few days for Craig @ DynoTorque he,s made the exhaust headers & connected them to rear section along with sorting power steering lines.









Waiting for the t**t that's borrowed efi live to bring it back so I can unlock the ECU then it will start :)


bikealarmblair 10-26-2011 02:02 AM

It runs :)



Still plenty of work to do before it's finished if a car like this is ever finished.....

Seems like I've got a faulty brake master cylinder as I no pressure to the rear brakes, not ideal ;)
Needs to have the wheels aligned etc & still quite a bit of wiring/interfacing to sort out so still a few late nights left in it yet!!!!

But I'm a happy chap Craig's work is amazing I can't thank him enough for the work he's done & the endless advice & use of his workshop for the last month or two, I honestly wouldn't trust anyone else with car/van/bikes

Oh yeah it's gained a bit of weight..... It's 1499kg so 78kg heavier not all of that is engine tho, it's down to bigger brakes/wheel spacers/anti roll bars/diff/boot floor mods etc so it's about the same weight as a STD M3

I taxed it earlier & have done 5-6 miles in it, it's fast.... I love the way when you rev it the car rocks side to side, it's as quite as I could make it but you can still hear the V8 rumble it's almost wrong in a BMW. I've got lots to sort out before it's really roadworthy at the moment the brakes aren't working correctly, no abs, speedo or any gauges apart from fuel I think the can bus is connected to more of the car than I first thought. Lots to do but I can already tell this is going to be a fantastic car

I've got to the bottom of some of my issues today I've refitted the BMW engine ecu with hindsight I should never have removed it.... & now have a working temp gauge :) & I've been able to scan the car & the reason (or at least one of) I have no abs or speedo is because the car is not seeing the rear wheel sensors the M3 rear end is from a later 2004 car with DSC & it looks like the sensors are not compatible with my ASC unit so tomorrow I'm going to try & get some older sensors & fit them, with a bit of luck that will sort my brake issues too only leaving to decide which way to resolve the tacho either machine my front pulley & fit the BMW sensor or source a convert box from the chevvy crank sensor to the BMW one.

Todo list is very small indeed, aircon pipes/gas, bleed clutch, fit trigger ring for rev counter & clean it


The last few days have been a blur!!!! I'd say the car is 90% now my todo list is almost empty :) I think all that's left is to have the aircon gassed, alignment done & tweak the map when it's got a few more miles on it, oh & fix it.....

Obv you just can't buy aircon lines for chevvy in a bmw off the shelf so at DynoTorque that means Craig makes them....


I've gained control of most of my gauges, I made this really hard work for myself by taking out & selling the bmw ecu with the engine I didn't realise how much of the car was connected to the DME, heater, aircon, abs, speedo instrument cluster with the help of my mate rob & a bentley manual, bmw tis, bmw laptop software, chevvy laptop software, digital volt meter & a lot of time we refitted what we needed of the bmw DME & wiring and had a trigger wheel made to so the DME still thinks the bmw engine is fitted.....


All of which gives it


Took a couple of pics before I drove home in it last night


Unfortunately the bmw expansion tank has sprung a leak so I'm off to try & source one or there will be UBMW for me :(

Not really an update more just an excuse to post a pic or two


bikealarmblair 10-26-2011 02:03 AM

Wideband sensor controller


Craig made me an adaptor to put the sensor in the exhaust


Still a few bits to to make it 100% finished but its getting close

bikealarmblair 10-26-2011 02:04 AM


Over the coming weeks/months time & money permitting I'll be:
Sort ABS/brake issues, still have a long pedal & odd ABS performance I really don't want to remove the ABS but it's becoming an option & fit rear AP's
Sort Air bag faults (passenger seat pad override)
Connect oil level sensor from LS1 sump to BMW DME
Find/sort irritating noise from rear seat/shelf area
Get air con gassed
Replace front tyres
Decide how high/low I want the car & get Alignment sorted
Make front strut brace & mod tower so camber can be adjusted easier.
Fit Parrot hands free kit
Make it quieter
Map the fuelling
Drive it like I stole it
So over the last month I've been a bit lazy/unfocussed but I have done a couple of bits to it....
Brakes: I'm hating brakes at the moment! I found that the ABS module was faulty so finally gave in and ditched it another set of new braided lines were made up and fitted, I have brakes..... Well kinda it now stops in a straight line but pedal feel travel is still the same :( So it must be a master cylinder ratio issue even tho the maths say it's all fine.... So I replace it with a bigger one & also put the rear AP calipers back on & the difference is minmal :( Without Craig pushing me at this point I'd have just parked it up & sulked! Craig modified the pedal pivot but still no real difference it seems that everything makes it a 'little' better but nothing fixes it 100% we also changed the servo as we had one but no difference... I'm beaten!!! Craig isn't tho he checks the internal diameter of the pipes & it's dash 4 not the dash 3 he specified (means nowt to me either) so yesterday I made new front lines with dash 3 and the pedal is 75% better!!! Going to change the rear lines too & fingers crossed I should have the amazing brakes this car needs! Craig your a hero without you this would be just another unfinished project.

I've made a sensor pad bypass for the passenger seat airbag mean the pass airbag will always trigger now, these are on eBay for 15 but I made mine using 2 100ohm resistors & a diode so about a 1

I've replaced the front tyres with some awesome Dunlops (well Craig treated me to them as a unneeded thank you for getting his website up to date :) ) they have transformed the car the grip & turn in is fantastic wet or dry very impressed this is the first E46 I've had that doesn't understeer

I've been twiddling with the HSD's & have a decent compromise between looks & bottoming out getting to the garage, I've also backed the front camber off from 3degrees to 2degrees since fitting the Dunlops but will still get it aligned at some point if only to see how close to correct I've got it.

Been logging the fuelling/mapping & it was being restricted by the MAF/throttle body so before an E46 forum dyno day I decided I'd change the MAF with one we had just before I left for the dyno.... Car felt flat as a fart :( and made shockingly low 326bhp on the dyno, on my return to DynoTorque after some of the piss take had stopped Craig told me the MAF I'd put on was from a car that had been written off in floods..... No wonder it felt flat!!! So I took it off & Craig got busy porting the throttle body for me & also persuaded Pinhead to remove the LS2 MAF from his ute (he's had a mafless tune) so I could use it on mine a few new pipes later & it feels like a new car the bottom end is now so sharp the pick up is much faster :) much more mapping/tuning is needed but I can't believe the difference it's made so far.


So my to do list now looks like:
Replace rear brake lines again
Interface LS1/BMW oil sensor
Fit/gas aircon compressor
Front strut brace
Fit Parrot
Fix rattles
And more destroying rear tyres :)


bikealarmblair 10-26-2011 02:05 AM


Originally Posted by Bikealarmblair (Post 1911393)
So my to do list now looks like:
Replace rear brake lines again
Interface LS1/BMW oil sensor
Fit/gas aircon compressor
Front strut brace
Fit Parrot
Fix rattles
And more destroying rear tyres :)


Brakes are now sorted and are amazing :dw:
Aircon compressor & lines fitted just need to get it gassed
Strut brace is being made this week
I've found two of the rattles (both are not conversion related)
I'm about to make my first mapping changes to the ecu
& it needs more tyres....

bikealarmblair 10-26-2011 02:06 AM

Took the car over to Greg @ ProTuner for mapping today 14 hours of mapping....

I'll let the pics & vids do the talking


And of course the scores on the door.....

407 bhp 430ft Lbs both at flywheel


bikealarmblair 10-26-2011 02:07 AM

I love this car B) I needed to go into brum earlier & left it parked in a side street, when I walked back to the car it just looked aggressive I walked past it & then back from the other way just so I could look it some more.... Not sure if it makes me a bit odd tho? I wanted to take a pic but felt like a twat so didn't lol

Popped into DynoTorque on the way back for a cuppa & cause the car keeps leaving lines.... Craig thinks it may be impossible to fix.....


Any ideas on how I can fix this problem.... ;)

Took a few new pics & never being one to miss a chance to post them enjoy


My fav pic of the car to date :)


LA Prince 10-26-2011 08:22 PM

Whats a 357i?

Bavaryan 10-26-2011 08:37 PM

that is an awesome car. Reminds me of the build where they put the corvette engine into the IS300. Props for keeping it looking stock with that monster under the hood!

ari00 10-26-2011 09:23 PM

AMAZING job, and props to you for doing this!! Some purists here have their opinions about a conversion like this, and they're entitled to it, but I personally love it, and would be my dream someday if and when my motor dies. Seems like a LOT of work, but it must be nice to have a friend like Craig.

Thanks very much for the detailed descriptions and pictures, and enjoy your 'new' 357ci!

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