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jakeb Reader
6/11/13 9:12 p.m.

Starting an S50 E21 swap for a customer

A few bits of the planned build Fully rebuilt suspension (lowered on H&R) All reused parts will be powder coated 323 rear discs volvo vented brakes in the front ESM staggered BBS RS reps and some other bits along the way

Here is the car that it is all going into....pics are from the owner before he put it away last winter.

The engine going in

323 rear trailing arms

The lift is taking up by another build so the tear down will happen on jack stands.

Motor getting ready to come out

First step will be to pull everything apart and send any reused suspension parts out to be powder coated. Then get it back rolling again and start on the engine swap.

jakeb Reader
6/12/13 12:09 p.m.

More stuff coming apart...

Hard to get pictures under the car with it not on the lift...but either way here are a couple

Engine is just about ready to come out.

ransom UltraDork
6/12/13 12:22 p.m.

You're killing me. Eventually half my GRM forum subscriptions are going to be your builds.

I really need to wrap up the shop so I can stop relying so heavily on vicarious thrills...

Harvey New Reader
6/12/13 3:00 p.m.

And doing these projects isn't your "real" job?

Did I remember that right?

Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter PowerDork
6/12/13 4:25 p.m.

<== has a huge man-crush on jakeb right now.

oldtin UltraDork
6/12/13 5:28 p.m.

Nice looking e21. And yeah, your builds are killing me - If you're taking requests, I want to see a bavaria with an S38 and some other e28 bits thrown at it.

Woody MegaDork
6/12/13 5:59 p.m.

Super sleeper!

jakeb Reader
6/12/13 8:50 p.m.

haha thanks guys!

Harvey: My "real" job is a school music teacher but the car stuff is one of my jobs as well.

oldtin: s38 bav would be excellent...

This is a VERY clean e21. And will be excellent when it's done.

Mr_Estrotica New Reader
6/12/13 9:29 p.m.

I'm excited to see where this one leads. I lust after e21s on a daily basis.

I hope you have some magic up your sleeve for the diff. I grenaded two open diffs with a woken up m20b25 in my old e21. I imagine the s50 should do a bit more than the wheezing m20 ever thought possible.

I ended up making a franken-subframe of sorts. Combining the bottom half of the e21 subframe, and the top half of an e30 subframe so I could use the physically larger e30 diff. It wasn't particularly pretty (read: it was ugly as SIN and would have no place on a car like this), but it's still on the road. The secret ingredients to take up the extra width of the e30 diff is 2002 half-shafts and e30 CVs, they have the same splines and slip right together.

jakeb Reader
6/18/13 2:32 p.m.

I was gone on a short vacation this past weekend but back working in the garage today.

Got some more done on the e21...

Front struts just about all torn down....just need to pull the hubs (loosened allready) and backing plates then they can go off to the powder coater. For those that have done volvo brakes up front do you normally ditch the backing plate all together or trim it down?

Rear trailing arms more pulled apart....

Rear subframe pulled apart

engine is out

yamaha UberDork
6/19/13 9:19 p.m.

I cannot wait to see this unfold.

Harvey New Reader
6/20/13 12:26 p.m.

jakeb HalfDork
6/27/13 9:40 p.m.

All the suspension parts are going to the coater tomorrow... I was waiting for the front calipers to show up so I could trim the backing plates.

Trunk is starting to fill up with new parts

yamaha UberDork
7/28/13 6:29 p.m.


jakeb Reader
7/28/13 6:57 p.m.

Got all the powder coated suspension bits back last week. Suspension will start going together soon.

jakeb Reader
7/29/13 8:55 p.m.

Getting back to progress on this project. Suspension parts back from the powder coater.

There is also a box of odds and ends but no picture of that.

Lof8 New Reader
7/30/13 8:06 a.m.

I like your projects!

jakeb Reader
7/31/13 7:14 p.m.


New parts going together. Both of the front struts would have been together but some how one of the $2 strut bearing dust caps walked off.

Fresh powder coated strut housings, bilstein sports, and H&R springs

Rears...new vs old. Rear shocks were completely dead.

Junkyard_Dog Dork
7/31/13 9:27 p.m.

That looks a lot like what I ran on my e21. Except, you know, not crappy.

jakeb Reader
8/6/13 6:56 p.m.

Getting things put together.

New steering rack bushings...these were a pain to get all put together. old vs new

Mounted on the fresh subframe. Tie rods will get replaced once it is up on the lift.

Dark pic but on the car.

Drivers side

Passenger side...waiting on dust seal thing to put the strut all back together.

Harvey New Reader
8/7/13 10:39 a.m.

jakeb Reader
8/7/13 7:25 p.m.

Rear suspension is just about all together. I miss ordered (or was shorted) and missed a dust seal for one of the rear wheel bearings. So that is on the way...to finish putting the other trailing arm together.

bad picture...

This diff will get pulled out when I build the LSD for it. But I needed something to be able to get the car back to a roller and moved over to the lift.

jakeb Reader
8/12/13 1:39 p.m.

Brake calipers all pulled apart to go off to powder coat.

Pulled off all the wiring, intake, etc etc off the engine. It will get power washed and cleaned up before going in the car for the last time.

Up inside looks clean

e34 525 pan swapped on

jakeb HalfDork
8/23/13 4:02 p.m.

Well the car is still on jack stands but I couldn't wait any longer.

Mounts will get made with it on the lift as it's a ton easier to move things around but at least I can get an idea of where I want things to sit.

Engine is not in it's final resting place...it needs to go lower in the front or higher in the rear (which will be tricky), also the front needs to go slightly to the drivers side, and the entire thing will go back a little bit more.

Intake clears the brake booster

Front the front...front of engine will be a tad lower or rear will come up.

Oil pan clearance to front sway bar

Front clearance...it will go back a little further. I pulled back the 320 vs 323 rad sheet metal.

intake off..

oil pan above subframe

I am going to have to trim this part from the oil pan as it is hitting the steering rack mount. Trimming will allow me to lower and adjust the engine where I want it.

Front exhaust manifold will need to be changed or switch to a set of headers.

Trans fitment...tons of room in the tunnel

Here is why I can't go any higher in the rear tho. trans shift linkage is hitting the top of the tunnel. Tunnel will get massaged here and linkage might change...still up in the air.

E21323iBaur None
9/4/13 1:09 a.m.

This looks great so far. I was wondering if this car still has the m10 front engine cradle or if that was also swapped for a 323i cradle. Keep up the good work. I plan to swap a s50 into my 323i and this will be helpful.

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