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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 04-16-2012, 10:11 PM   #1
jogfrogjog
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engine swap questions for xi

Has anyone done any other type of engine swap into an Xi other than s54? Has anyone tried a v8 or other engine?

also, does anyone in Cali know the smog regulations for cars with swapped engines?

I should be moving to Cali the end of this month and trying to sell my car but if it doesn't sell then I'm probably going to be modding it so want to know about engine options for future plans. Could I pass smog with s52 swapped in? What do they look for?
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:42 PM   #2
SamDoe1
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Keep the engine, install supercharger. Engine swap isn't worth it, especially on an Xi.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:15 AM   #3
jasonbimmer
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slap on a jet turbine. why stop at V8's? its not like doing any of these are hard, aren't they?
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:18 AM   #4
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if you have to ask.. the answer is probably no.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:07 AM   #5
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How long have you had this car? How much maintenance work have you done? How much modding have you done on this car?
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:33 PM   #6
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Future potential buyers always look for V8 swaps. In order to pull that off, they assume the owner must have unlimited funds so therefore the car is well tended.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:34 PM   #7
jogfrogjog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamDoe1 View Post
Keep the engine, install supercharger. Engine swap isn't worth it, especially on an Xi.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonbimmer View Post
slap on a jet turbine. why stop at V8's? its not like doing any of these are hard, aren't they?
man e46 owners are a pricky bunch...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SamDoe1 View Post
How long have you had this car? How much maintenance work have you done? How much modding have you done on this car?
I've had this car for a little more than a year... for maintenance/fixing, I've replaced the control arms and inner ball joints about a month or so after buying it... I replaced a window regulator on the rear driver side window, replaced the tires, replaced the camshaft position sensor, the electric fan, volt regulator on the alternator, clutch line with a UUC SS clutch line and removed the CDV, and had the passenger side front axle replaced and regular oil changes with valvoline 5w30 full syn ~ every 3k miles... I bought the car with 145k on it last year and it's at 170k now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by White_Knuckles View Post
Future potential buyers always look for V8 swaps. In order to pull that off, they assume the owner must have unlimited funds so therefore the car is well tended.
sarcasm? you guys are bit asholish... but whatever...

The reason I am asking is because I have my car up for sale and nobody had made a decent offer so I'm thinking of just shipping it out to Cali when I move there in about a week so if I do that, I'm likely going to do the diff and subframe bushings and with 170k on the clock, if figure if I'm going to keep it, I might as well get a replacement engine ready for it... I would think a s52 obdI conversion should mate well except for maybe the oil pan would be cheaper than an S54 and simpler wiring and electronics wise and I feel the s54 is too high strung/too exotic to be cost effective for beatings and forced induction in the future...

The reason of asking about v8s is because if you get some American muscle, it can be drastically cheaper for power to money... I can probably get a built up ford 351 producing close to 350hp at the crank for 1k with forged internals with some connections... the reason of asking if people have done it is to see more in for what they did for brake booster placement if it was needed, headers, oil pan, tranny, and engine mounts...


I had an e30 as a project car and did an m50 swap including tranny and drive shaft, 5-lug swap with suspension components including TA bushing, subframe bushings, LSD swap and bushings, etc...

I know a lot of guys in the e30 scene have done m/s5x, v8, v12 swaps etc, I wanted to see if there was anything like that in the e46 scene and specifically with the Xi's...

it seems a lot of the e46 crowd at least here are arrogant nay sayers...
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:57 PM   #8
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In partial defense of the, let's say, "arrogant" replies, you need to understand posters with your question are most often 17 year old kids that have their parents car gifted to them where they have no interest in proper care. They want a fire breathing race car with a quick engine swap. The thing is, they have no money or skills. Thus the snippy replies.

You seem to be an exception. In a couple years up here, I've never spotted a Chev V8 or any exotic swap. V12's in E30's? Who knew?
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:04 PM   #9
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OP- the answer is no. There's one xi with an s54. That's it.
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:18 PM   #10
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ya, I think this guy had a v12 with twin turbos but an auto tranny since manuals were hard to come buy or were expensive... don't know if he ever got it to manual and what happened to his pics...
http://www.e30tech.com/forum/showthread.php?t=49779

here's really nice v8 build...
http://www.e30tech.com/forum/showthread.php?t=99901
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Old 04-18-2012, 12:37 AM   #11
tour(ing) de pantz
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a guy here (in denver) put an gm ls v8 into his e36 but as far as i know nobody has done it to an xi e46... i dont think anybody thinks its worth the time/money
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jogfrogjog View Post
man e46 owners are a pricky bunch...



I've had this car for a little more than a year... for maintenance/fixing, I've replaced the control arms and inner ball joints about a month or so after buying it... I replaced a window regulator on the rear driver side window, replaced the tires, replaced the camshaft position sensor, the electric fan, volt regulator on the alternator, clutch line with a UUC SS clutch line and removed the CDV, and had the passenger side front axle replaced and regular oil changes with valvoline 5w30 full syn ~ every 3k miles... I bought the car with 145k on it last year and it's at 170k now.



sarcasm? you guys are bit asholish... but whatever...

The reason I am asking is because I have my car up for sale and nobody had made a decent offer so I'm thinking of just shipping it out to Cali when I move there in about a week so if I do that, I'm likely going to do the diff and subframe bushings and with 170k on the clock, if figure if I'm going to keep it, I might as well get a replacement engine ready for it... I would think a s52 obdI conversion should mate well except for maybe the oil pan would be cheaper than an S54 and simpler wiring and electronics wise and I feel the s54 is too high strung/too exotic to be cost effective for beatings and forced induction in the future...

The reason of asking about v8s is because if you get some American muscle, it can be drastically cheaper for power to money... I can probably get a built up ford 351 producing close to 350hp at the crank for 1k with forged internals with some connections... the reason of asking if people have done it is to see more in for what they did for brake booster placement if it was needed, headers, oil pan, tranny, and engine mounts...


I had an e30 as a project car and did an m50 swap including tranny and drive shaft, 5-lug swap with suspension components including TA bushing, subframe bushings, LSD swap and bushings, etc...

I know a lot of guys in the e30 scene have done m/s5x, v8, v12 swaps etc, I wanted to see if there was anything like that in the e46 scene and specifically with the Xi's...

it seems a lot of the e46 crowd at least here are arrogant nay sayers...
all 24v oil pans have the same bolt pattern, the difference is the oil pump. S52, S54, etc. are all about the same amount of work (mechanically). you'd have to use the E46 XI oil pan.

S54 makes the most sense to me, electronically it's going to be simplest in an E46 (although still complicated). People on this forum seem to be terrified of all the "torque". But an S54 doesn't make a whole lot more than an M54B30. It does make more power, but that comes with RPM.

for something other than an inline 6 - yeah, the engine will be cheap. But you will spend 5-8x as much on getting the drivetrain to work (oil pans, differentials, transmissions, transfercases). On the other hand, it would free you up to use possibly much better components than the stock XI stuff. there are actually some good 6 speed transmissions with transfercases that have a 66/33 torque split and a VC lock. But don't kid yourself into thinking it would be cheaper, or easier.

A v8 (or even inline 6) swap on an XI is NOTHING like an M50 swap into an E30. an M50 swap is basically unbolting the old motor, and bolting in the new one. on an XI, there are things you're going to have to design/engineer from scratch. nothing is going to just bolt in.

but yeah, if you have to ask, the answer is still probably no. if you really think you can do it, you'll be doing research on it and figuring out your options, instead of posting a general thread asking a wide open question that nobody knows the answer to. that's why people are skeptical.

Last edited by hassmaschine; 04-18-2012 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:19 AM   #13
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You will drop more money into the car to swap the engine and all related equipment than it would be to light it on fire and buy a new one.

So again, save your money and buy a supercharger.

Or put it up for sale in a state that has more use for Xi (ie MN, WI, IL, ND, SD, etc.). You for sure aren't going to sell that for what you want in Cali.
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:49 AM   #14
jogfrogjog
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The idea behind this thread is to explore the options out there to see if there is some project plan that I can make for this car for the future...

Quote:
Originally Posted by hassmaschine View Post
all 24v oil pans have the same bolt pattern, the difference is the oil pump. S52, S54, etc. are all about the same amount of work (mechanically). you'd have to use the E46 XI oil pan.

S54 makes the most sense to me, electronically it's going to be simplest in an E46 (although still complicated). People on this forum seem to be terrified of all the "torque". But an S54 doesn't make a whole lot more than an M54B30. It does make more power, but that comes with RPM.

for something other than an inline 6 - yeah, the engine will be cheap. But you will spend 5-8x as much on getting the drivetrain to work (oil pans, differentials, transmissions, transfercases). On the other hand, it would free you up to use possibly much better components than the stock XI stuff. there are actually some good 6 speed transmissions with transfercases that have a 66/33 torque split and a VC lock. But don't kid yourself into thinking it would be cheaper, or easier.

A v8 (or even inline 6) swap on an XI is NOTHING like an M50 swap into an E30. an M50 swap is basically unbolting the old motor, and bolting in the new one. on an XI, there are things you're going to have to design/engineer from scratch. nothing is going to just bolt in.

but yeah, if you have to ask, the answer is still probably no. if you really think you can do it, you'll be doing research on it and figuring out your options, instead of posting a general thread asking a wide open question that nobody knows the answer to. that's why people are skeptical.
I would think any 24v s/m5x would have the same tranny bolt pattern... it's good to know the xi oil pan would bolt up to it... If I were to go with one of the bmw 24v straight 6s I think I would be able to go with essentially any tranny whether the stock 5-speed I have or a 6-speed and maybe need to make up for it in the output shaft to the transfer case... I would imagine the torque split is done at the transfer case, not the transmission since from what I see there is only one output shaft out of the transmission that goes into the transfer case...

For the as far as diff's, I initially wouldn't really do much with them...

For the wiring, I would think the earlier engines would be a lot easier to wire up because the ecu is a lot simpler in terms of not needing a chip for that car/engine...

I guess the issues would be with the traction control systems working especially with the drive by wire vs the cable throttle and translating the signals...


Quote:
Originally Posted by SamDoe1 View Post
You will drop more money into the car to swap the engine and all related equipment than it would be to light it on fire and buy a new one.

So again, save your money and buy a supercharger.

Or put it up for sale in a state that has more use for Xi (ie MN, WI, IL, ND, SD, etc.). You for sure aren't going to sell that for what you want in Cali.
Unfortunately, that would be classified as arson and if caught, I would be out a car and out the insurance money, plus possible jail time for fraud...
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Old 04-21-2012, 12:10 PM   #15
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Two things make me cringe. One weight. You put a big-ol' cast iron pig up front and basically ruin the 50/50 front to rear balance that make these a handling delight. Okay, so maybe you want a 1/4 mile car with a NOS button on the wheel but by-by canyon carving.

Secondly, my son spotted an 80's Jaguar V8 swap in a coupe. We checked out that car carefully as only a $6000 asking price. The kit was right the engine was fresh and the car looked like a bunch of money was in that thing. The builder explained he was dumping it due to many things mostly electrical. He never would tell us what he spent on it but I'm thinking it was considerable. We had him down to $5000 where he said "look I'm sick of trying to sell it, no buyer will touch it for what it's worth". We walked away 'cause I was concerned about an 18 year old tearing around in it. (bad dad). Still think I should have snagged that toy for me! Franken-cars have resale issues right in there with salvage titles.
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:46 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by White_Knuckles View Post
Two things make me cringe. One weight. You put a big-ol' cast iron pig up front and basically ruin the 50/50 front to rear balance that make these a handling delight. Okay, so maybe you want a 1/4 mile car with a NOS button on the wheel but by-by canyon carving.

Secondly, my son spotted an 80's Jaguar V8 swap in a coupe. We checked out that car carefully as only a $6000 asking price. The kit was right the engine was fresh and the car looked like a bunch of money was in that thing. The builder explained he was dumping it due to many things mostly electrical. He never would tell us what he spent on it but I'm thinking it was considerable. We had him down to $5000 where he said "look I'm sick of trying to sell it, no buyer will touch it for what it's worth". We walked away 'cause I was concerned about an 18 year old tearing around in it. (bad dad). Still think I should have snagged that toy for me! Franken-cars have resale issues right in there with salvage titles.
I just looked up the m54 specs and see that it's an alloy block... any idea of the weight of the engine?

With the e30's the ford 302 with aluminum heads was very close to the weight of the m20 and I think the m50 and it's one of the reasons I was thinking of that...

as for resale, my car currently has 170k miles on it and people are afraid of it because of the miles although the car is in great shape and has had a lot of the major maintenance items taken care of... I've been trying to sell it and it is essentially bone stock with clean title and history and maintenance records from the original owners... if it doesn't sell, I'll keep it but imagine the engine might go at some point so looking for replacement ideas... resale is already questionable stock with the miles on the car so a swap isn't gonna make much difference the way I see it...
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:42 PM   #17
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California requires a newer motor than the vehicle with all the emissions from the new motor intact and operational. It has to pass the emissions for the motor, not the vehicle.

Putting a non BMW would be a nightmare. You have to match the wiring to the car and build adapters to fit between the old and the new.

I've done Jeeps which are easy swaps. You can buy a wiring harness and adapters and there is lots of room. You do need the computer and all wiring from the donor engine. You also have everything approved by an emissions referee. Putting newer motors into older vehicles of the same type is time consuming enough.

There isn't enough money in the world to make want to do a swap in a newer BMW. This is from someone who helped swap a Viper motor into a TJ.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:38 PM   #18
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In partial defense of the, let's say, "arrogant" replies, you need to understand posters with your question are most often 17 year old kids that have their parents car gifted to them where they have no interest in proper care. They want a fire breathing race car with a quick engine swap. The thing is, they have no money or skills. Thus the snippy replies.

You seem to be an exception. In a couple years up here, I've never spotted a Chev V8 or any exotic swap. V12's in E30's? Who knew?
Truth!
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Old 05-13-2012, 01:42 AM   #19
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California requires a newer motor than the vehicle with all the emissions from the new motor intact and operational. It has to pass the emissions for the motor, not the vehicle.

Putting a non BMW would be a nightmare. You have to match the wiring to the car and build adapters to fit between the old and the new.

I've done Jeeps which are easy swaps. You can buy a wiring harness and adapters and there is lots of room. You do need the computer and all wiring from the donor engine. You also have everything approved by an emissions referee. Putting newer motors into older vehicles of the same type is time consuming enough.

There isn't enough money in the world to make want to do a swap in a newer BMW. This is from someone who helped swap a Viper motor into a TJ.
Thotfulspot is right. What will keep you from doing an engine swap on the xi in California is the exhaust (from headers to cats) on any other engine (you must use the components from the donor engine), which will not fit without modification. Modifying the exhaust makes it non-original, which means it is 100% likely to not pass the referee inspection.
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Old 05-13-2012, 01:51 AM   #20
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Google: Corvette engine in e46.. I did a while ago on a random whim and found some interesting builds. there were maybe 3 I checked out, didn't look to deep, was just wondering if the same thing had ever popped into another persons head.

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