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Old 07-22-2019, 05:18 PM   #1
Effduration
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Took a look and passed- E46 Touring w/M56 engine

Just sharing here...

I have been looking for the next engine swap project. Seller in my area posted an '03 325i (rwd) touring with 145k. Auto trans

Dark green on tan interior. Hood and tailgate have dents large enough to replace each. Interior was good for its age. No rust, and the rest of the car looked pretty good. I was pretty interested until I lifted the hood and saw the M56

Seller said it overheated and needed an engine swap. I have an M54B30 ready to go. I was thinking engine swap and then a manual swap down the road.

Seller was asking $1,000.

I thought about it. Looked into what it would take to swap it into a 330i rwd manual wagon ( fuel tank, etc) and passed. There is some value to some m56 parts (valve cover, fuel tank) but it all added up to a lot of effort.

Did I make a mistake on passing ?

Last edited by Effduration; 07-23-2019 at 07:58 AM.
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Old 07-23-2019, 07:38 AM   #2
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I'd have to see it, but $1k as the starting point on a rust free car is tough to beat if you're OK with the color combo. You can always get a new hood... the tailgate would be a bit tougher. Hard to say without pics.... but it sounds like a deal you're not likely to beat.
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Old 07-23-2019, 09:26 AM   #3
Effduration
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Okay thanks for input, so maybe it isn't too bad...I just agreed to buy it for $800. I have a "freshened" M54B30 with new piston rings and con-rod bearings ready to go in.

I will swap engine, fuel tank & lines, maybe a harness or two and a valve cover, a little coding, maybe a little wiring and hope for the best.
If that works, I'll consider a manual swap. An interior swap to black would be nice too.

I have previously replaced M54's, done engine rebuilds & head gaskets, & did a manual swap on a E39 530i which is now my DD.

Maybe I'll sell the M56 fuel tank and valve cover to help defray costs..
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Old 07-25-2019, 01:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Effduration View Post
Okay thanks for input, so maybe it isn't too bad...I just agreed to buy it for $800. I have a "freshened" M54B30 with new piston rings and con-rod bearings ready to go in.

I will swap engine, fuel tank & lines, maybe a harness or two and a valve cover, a little coding, maybe a little wiring and hope for the best.
If that works, I'll consider a manual swap. An interior swap to black would be nice too.

I have previously replaced M54's, done engine rebuilds & head gaskets, & did a manual swap on a E39 530i which is now my DD.

Maybe I'll sell the M56 fuel tank and valve cover to help defray costs..
If you want to keep it as a 2.5L, I'd buy it. If not, I'd pass. Converting it to a non-SULEV configuration is almost certainly illegal (and will be pretty obvious if you have to get it smogged), and none of the 3 liter (or normal 2.5) stuff will bolt up to the SULEV stuff.

If you have a non-SULEV donor car to go along with the motor, the patience to go through the wiring and parts diagrams go for it. If not...
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Old 07-27-2019, 03:35 PM   #5
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M56 tank is worth $4-500.
Hardest part of tank/evap swap is the need to drop rear subframe to replace hard lines.
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Old 07-28-2019, 08:42 AM   #6
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If you want to keep it as a 2.5L, I'd buy it. If not, I'd pass. Converting it to a non-SULEV configuration is almost certainly illegal (and will be pretty obvious if you have to get it smogged), and none of the 3 liter (or normal 2.5) stuff will bolt up to the SULEV stuff.

If you have a non-SULEV donor car to go along with the motor, the patience to go through the wiring and parts diagrams go for it. If not...
I have not done a SULEV to ULEV conversion. Sounds like you have experience with this, can you list the wiring differences involved? What parts are SULEV specific that will not bolt up to a ULEV (that would be kept) ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ewcmr2 View Post
M56 tank is worth $4-500.
Hardest part of tank/evap swap is the need to drop rear subframe to replace hard lines.
Why not cut the hard lines out? I would think worst case you would have to only slightly lower the subframe t get the new line in.

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Old 07-28-2019, 09:27 AM   #7
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UPDATE:

After careful consideration, I ended up NOT buying the E46 touring with the M56 engine. It is still avail in Lawrence, MA and f anyone is interested, PM me and I will connect you with seller.

Primary reason: A local '05 X5 in need of head gasket but in otherwise good to very good condition popped up for $1500. Seemed like better opportunity for me.

In thinking about the E46 (which also needed a head gasket) prior to walking away, I had settled on replacing the head gasket with engine in car (done before) and seeing how it ran as a stock M56.. A swap to M54, and manual swap would have been something to think about doing after that. I was aware of what the fuel tank and valve cover were worth, but stripping and selling the M56 parts was too much of a time suck for me. Went as far as speaking with current ebay sellers of M56 fuel tanks and was told the trick to removing the tank in one piece is to remove the right rear suspension.

Oh, in MA where I live they don't test emissions on pre-'04 model year cars. I believe the E46 wagon would have passed inspection regardless what engine I had in it.

Last edited by Effduration; 07-28-2019 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 08-29-2019, 11:30 PM   #8
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The nice thing about the SULEVs, besides the MPG they get, is that you can swap the tank if you are willing to cut the hard filler tube. And they are closer fuel wise to the m3 I understand with the PWM non return fuel system. When this one goes in another 50-70k I'll swap the tank to m3. or Crush it. Lol.
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Old 08-30-2019, 09:14 AM   #9
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No need to cut anything to remove M56 tank, everything unbolts and slips out of chassis.
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Old 09-02-2019, 12:32 AM   #10
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Agreed..Nothing is to be removed anything in order to clip. Just wait few days, everything would be slipping out so just be patient untill then dqfansurvey _sl_

Last edited by Glenn16; 09-03-2019 at 12:48 AM.
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