04-10-2011, 04:38 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Springfield OH
My Ride: '00 323i + '75 2002
The past weekend I was finally able to find some time to work on the '02. The 2.7l block and 885 head are still at the machine shop, but luckily for me I ended up with 2 complete m20's and so I was able to use the spare engine as a 'dummy' to get the engine and transmission mounts made up. At first I was planning on fabricating my own mounts for everything, but considering how much free time I've had to spend on this in the past month I made the decision to purchase some premade mount from Manimal (a member on 2002faq.com). They turned out very nice, the only thing I might change is to cut the tabs and re-weld them so the engine sits slightly lower in the bay. As is there is well over 1" of clearance between the oil pan and the subframe, and one of the upper mounting bolts for the transmission is blocked by part of the firewall. No biggy, but it would make removing the transmission without taking out the engine more challenging. Oh, and I also had to drill out the locating hole on the passenger side mount so the rubber pin on the stock mount would fit through it.
Here you can see the one hole I had to enlarge:
And here you can see the pin fitting nicely inside the hole:
For the driver side mount, you have to notch the stock rubber piece so it will fit at the correct angle. Here's how much I took off with a cut-off wheel:
And here you can tell the my angle was a bit to large. I took off material @ a 45 degree cut, in hindsight a 30 degree probably would have done the job:
With those modifications done I was able to drop the engine in without much trouble. For some reason my driver side engine mount was a little to far in, so I took my trusty BFH and persuaded it to get into it's proper position. Once everything else is mounted and in place I'm going to drop the from subframe and refurbish it, at which point I will also weld in some re-enforcement on the driver side engine mount. For now it fits/works just fine though.
With the engine mounted in place next was the transmission. For those that don't know, the stock '02 trans is a 4-speed, which allows it to be very small. This means that the transmission tunnel is also very narrow. The transmission I decided to use is the getrag 260, which came on all the 6 cylinder e30's. It's much tougher and reliable, but that comes at the price of being much larger. So because of this the tunnel needed a lot of massaging. But after about 5 minutes of minimal results the massaging gave way to cutting and cursing lol.
Here's a picture of the stock transmission tunnel:
And after the cutting and cursing, this is what was left:
In order to help gain more clearance, I also took off a majority of the random tabs on the side of the transmission case:
It doesn't look like much, but removing the tabs probably gained me another 1/2" of clearance along the top edge, which was were the most interfering was happening.