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Thread: E30 saga continues

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    BMW Master bawareca's Avatar
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    Default E30 saga continues

    Well, it has been almost 4.5 years since I started my build thread, and 18 months since the last update, so it may be a time to start a new thread. Which also coincides with a change of direction, not general for the time being.
    With a few words, after the engine blew again (this time in a spectacular way) last February at AROSC racing school, I was really hooked-up and determined to go back to the track in a few months with a properly built engine. I was able to gain the parts quickly, but as often happens life comes in the way. I managed to slip from the side of my boat on the asphalt and destroy my heel, broken on 10-12 pieces. The good doctor removed the small pieces and put some exotic materials in the form of a 2 L-shaped plates and 12 bolts, all pure titanium. According to the good, doctor injuries of this kind are rare and at my age of 43 more often result in a loss of an active lifestyle, especially if the surgery is not performed by the highest standarts. Looks like he did a brilliant job and I was highly motivated to not loose too much time. 3 months after the surgery I was jogging and 6 months later i was skiing again. Reading this forum daily was one of the things that kept me focused and helped to keep the pain on the side.
    Anyhow, a few months ago i finally started putting the engine together with all the parts I gathered last year. All was new and shiny, and promising to last forever, but my enthusiasm was somewhat suppressed. After all, I just want is to drive my car flat out and not rebuild the engine 2 times a year, or be a "driving mechanic" and not just a driver. A few times i was tempted to buy a ready track/race car, even a few SPM cars, the biggest temptation being Emilio's orange Miata. Well, buying a ready car (even at amazing price) is not who I am, and also i have so much TIME and funds invested in the E30 that it would be a shame to abandon it.
    I have been thinking to put a S54 motor in this car for a few years, and I feel it is the most suitable [BMW, N/A] engine for this body, but the price of the engines and the complexity of the electronics has been the deal breaker for me. For the uninitiated, the S54 as a real motorsports stuff in a sheep disguise. 3.2 liter inline 6, 343 hp (333 in the US variant, mostly due to the catalytics integrated in the headers), 8000 RPM redline, solid(non hydraulic) adjustable rockers with roller cam followers, continiously adjustable double vanos with high pressure oil pump, 6 individual throttle bodies, dual oil pump pick-up and so on. It has it fair shares of problems , but when addressed properly it could live a long and healthy life even in a track/race environment. I also found out that in the recent few years a few guys on the M3forum were able to crack the software/tables to very good level. The MSS54 engine computer is now customizable with a home made or very cheap equipment, some knowledge required.
    So after some research and a decent luck I ended with this baby as a donor, low miles 2006 M3. Looks like a nasty impact, but the engine is practically untouched, not even a single scratch.






    Of course there are countless S54 into E30 swaps made and it is a pretty straightforward job. As a matter of fact the frames of the previous generations 3 series (E30, E36 and E46) are quite similar, sometimes within a 1/2 inch. The biggest difference in the E46 is that the front axle and the shock towers are moved forward, to increase the wheel base and move the biggest part of the engine behind the front axle. This fact along with the improved suspension design and geometry front and rear is the main reason for the great handling of the E46. Considering that the S54 is much heavier than the original 6 cylinder engine, installing this engine in E30 the straightforward way results in near Audi weight distribution (the engine mostly in front of the front axle) Obviously not my kind of beer, so I had to take a longer route with more landmines on the way
    So 5 years after all started, it has gone a full circle.



    It is time for a new beginning. I wish I had the fabricating (and design) skills of Moti and some others, but I have to do with what i have. Which is me, myself and a few tools. And the internet of course



    Sway bar in the way. Who needs a sway bar in a race car anyway? At least McLaren doesnt.





    Engine almost in it's new spot. As a mater of fact everything behind cylinder #1 is behind the front axle centerline, which would account for ~ 80%. Much better than the cars with anchor on the front bumper



    Last edited by bawareca; 10-10-2016 at 10:14 AM.

  2. #2
    I wanna go fast! thepass's Avatar
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    Sweet! It will be great to see this car out there at events again. Great recipe, that motor in the E30, and bound to be more reliable than the turbo setup. We are going down similar paths, despite very different chassis and engines
    bawareca likes this.
    Ryan Passey
    Singulär Motorsports | Goodwin Racing

    #13 1990 Miata
    "The sport dedicating to the spirits of time attacking motoring" -Emilio

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    RaceTape Ninja Force McCocken's Avatar
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    NICE.

    This was a unicorn idea for my e30, but I didn't feel comfortable with the s54. Just too high maintenance for the intended purpose. I had plans to either rebuild and swap in an s50 or 52 OR build a hybrid m52tu aluminum block to pull some weight out and put in a more modern DOHC engine without the VANOS.

    Good luck to you, sir! This will be a neat car to see on the track!
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    Yer pal,
    Force

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    Administrator ucfbrett's Avatar
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    Should be a monster when you get it done. Cool project!

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    BMW Master bawareca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thepass View Post
    Sweet! It will be great to see this car out there at events again. Great recipe, that motor in the E30, and bound to be more reliable than the turbo setup. We are going down similar paths, despite very different chassis and engines
    Next year will be very interesting. Some of us are moving from F/I to N/A and some are going the opposite way. We'll see who is going to be happy and who not so much.
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    LS 3 is always the answer when it comes to engine swaps.....
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    BMW Master bawareca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Force McCocken View Post
    NICE.

    This was a unicorn idea for my e30, but I didn't feel comfortable with the s54. Just too high maintenance for the intended purpose. I had plans to either rebuild and swap in an s50 or 52 OR build a hybrid m52tu aluminum block to pull some weight out and put in a more modern DOHC engine without the VANOS.

    Good luck to you, sir! This will be a neat car to see on the track!
    Well, it is not that much of a high maintenance engine, but needs to have it's needs addressed in order to run reliably. A friend of mine with a M3 coupe with 170 k miles is going almost every weekend to the tracks and after having taking care of the basics he rarely has a breakdown. Sophisticated VANOS system is one hat can cause problems, but there are now fixes and upgrades available that cost less than arm and leg. Connecting rods bearings are wear and tear item on this engine(by BMW standarts, where the conrod bearings last the lifetime of the engine), but they should be good for 50+ k miles. Because of the high revving nature the harmonic ballancer is another wear and tear item, but it has been proven that when properly cooled, the stock unit could last for a very long time. There is also an aftermarket upgraded one available made by ATI.
    As long as the RPMs are kept below 8100 and hp below 360, the stock components should suffice even for a track use.
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    Old timer craZee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stalker L67 View Post
    LS 3 is always the answer when it comes to engine swaps.....
    Agreed, even a 1st gen LS1 in my 280Z works awesome. Just flogged it for 7 straight hours at Auto Club Speedway this Saturday in 93 degree heat and it never ran over 210 degrees. Sure drank fuel however. I showed up with a full 12 gal cell and dumped eight 5-gallon jugs in it! Works out to about 11 mpg LOL

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    BMW Master bawareca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stalker L67 View Post
    LS 3 is always the answer when it comes to engine swaps.....
    Well, as you may know 42 is the answer to the ultimate question of life and universe, but you need to know the question for the answer to make sense
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    JJ1
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    I'm not sure what kind of ground clearance you had before but have you considered lowering the front subframe? Seems easy compared to the overall scope of the project and should improve toe/ camber curve and lower the engine a bit.
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  11. #11
    BMW Master bawareca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ1 View Post
    I'm not sure what kind of ground clearance you had before but have you considered lowering the front subframe? Seems easy compared to the overall scope of the project and should improve toe/ camber curve and lower the engine a bit.
    I was thinking about it, but the oil pan is already hanging pretty low, more than I am comfortable with. I was able to optimize the camber/toe curve few years ago with the SLR kit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bawareca View Post
    Well, as you may know 42 is the answer to the ultimate question of life and universe, but you need to know the question for the answer to make sense
    Well I can't afford a super computer and I don't have 7.5 million years to spare to figure it out.
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    BMW Master bawareca's Avatar
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    Well, looks like the ducting and air channelling is the hit of the season. To say that the E30 is aerodynamically challenged will be a huge understatement. Along with having the Cx of a brick, there is not much room for ducting the radiator and the other coolers. Especially with the turbo engine, properly removing the heat from the engine and subsystems was possible with only 3 options. And because i try to preserve the shape of the car as much as possible, turning it into Quasimodo was excluded. So it was either moving the radiator to the middle or the back of the car or moving the engine backwards to make room for ducting. I have been going over and over with this for the last 2-3 years and the time has come at last to turn my visions into reality.

    Scored a nice Fludyne oil cooler on ebay, great deal and exactly what I needed. With this high strung engine the proper oil cooling is a #1 task, I feel it has been taken care of.


    The original oil cooler plumbing converted for -12AN.











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    RaceTape Ninja Force McCocken's Avatar
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    HOLY crap!
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    Yer pal,
    Force

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    Administrator ucfbrett's Avatar
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    I really like your aluminum fab work.

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    BMW: B(araweca's) M(echanical) W(izardry)

    Last edited by Loose Caboose; 11-02-2016 at 12:21 AM.
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    Very impressive work! What rods/filler/method did you use to weld those adjusting tabs on the sway bar?
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    BMW Master bawareca's Avatar
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    I try to spent at least a few hours on the car every day, but not always possible. Progress is slow, but steady.
    Have been long due for a properly installed proper seat. Will tie it in the cage later.








    The exhaust is another thing I have been thinking about for years. The main problem is that i really want to have a flat floor some day. With the old engine the turbo exit was in the middle of the engine bay and there were few options to go on the side or top. With this engine this appears to be the only viable option. It also helps me in my decision to get rid of the passenger seat that my friends really want me to have and I really dont want to have.
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    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif Blackbird's Avatar
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    This is a good call

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    w00t Nurburgring's Avatar
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    Nice project! Great to see this one moving forward.
    bawareca likes this.
    Less powah is better

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