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jakeb New Reader
12/20/11 7:17 p.m.

I am just about to start my swap but thought it was time to put together a build thread. I bought the e28 at the end of the summer after selling my practical e46 AWD wagon. I bought the e28 without a motor but a bunch of suspension goodies already done. LS1/T56 was the plan from the beginning.

I recently picked up a wreck 99 z28 with 55k miles. Just about done parting it out....this really was the best was to go to make the swap inexpensive.

I am a school teacher and the plan is to get most of the swap done over my break which begins in just under 2 weeks. Or at least the engine in, mounted, and most of the fab done.......so the heavy lifting work.

I have done a bunch of engine swaps but this will be both the first in an e28 and with an LS1.

Not many pictures yet but I normally go overboard with pictures...

Here is one of the car it is going in, 85 528e, red sport interior, euro bumpers, bunch of suspension mods.

And the LS1/t56 that is going in...pretty much stock, other than bigger TB, SLP Maf, SLP under drive pullys, the headers will not fit so they will be coming off

This car will have everything as it would from the factory, ac, cruise, etc etc. I may try and use all the AC stuff from the camaro, other than the parts in the dash.

just a small update.....more will happen tomorrow.

Got the garaged cleaned up some and the e28 up on the lift. Engine came out (it had half an m30 in it, head was gone) had to make a scrap run (m30, old m10, more random camaro parts)

The GTO oil pan will get swapped on tomorrow and the LS1 will get dropped in. I did some simple measurements and it looks like with the shifter in the middle of the console opening the heads will be in front of the brake booster. I have a remote booster from a e34 540 if needed but I will start with trying to keep the stock booster.

I have decided to drop both the front and rear subframes and have everything powder coated. The first stage will be to have ALL the mechanical bits of the car refreshed.

The firewall insulation is pretty beat up (what do you expect for an 85). A new one is NLA so I need to figure out if I want to just leave it or replace with something different. Any suggestions?

On to some pictures.

The lab...

The patient

Old m30

It's new heart

It's new home

I normally take a bunch of other random pictures so as I am sitting on the couch and need to figure something out I have pictures to reference. They all get dumped here for this project. www.theguestroom.net/e28 Feel free to check them out.

Engine is in, sitting on the sub frame and some blocks of wood. I will make the mounts tomorrow, look pretty straight forward and I already have a plan. I was hoping to keep the stock brake booster but there wasn't enough room to push the engine back far enough. I have a 540 remote booster that will work. I might look at the Porsche 944 booster and see if that would work too. Either way I have a solution so...

Steering is all clearing nicely.... The only trouble is going to be the passenger side exhaust manifold but I have a couple ideas. I can always make something if it comes down to it. Not any big deal.

On to some pictures

open wide!!

sitting in (passenger side)

sitting in (drivers side)

Like it was made to be there....I had this shift knob sitting around and it is the threaded type from a 2002...and it threaded right on. Not sure if it will be there at the end or not.

Trans/shifter in tunnel

clears suspension/steering

underside in front - I might lower it one board, unless it starts to hit the suspension. Things are pretty close back there

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
12/20/11 7:27 p.m.

This pleases me. Carry on.

No issues with clearance on the brake booster or exhaust vs steering shaft fights?

pigeon Dork
12/20/11 8:15 p.m.

Very nice! Keep the updates coming.

oldtin Dork
12/20/11 8:55 p.m.

I loved my e28 - it just needed another 200 hp. Stupid auto ADD.

Twin_Cam SuperDork
12/20/11 9:08 p.m.

Winning. You does it.

12/20/11 9:28 p.m.

long time lurker (creeper if you may ) first time poster, but that looks awesome, I've always said if the M52 in my E30 expires I'm going to track down an LM4 for it, this gives me all kinds of evil thoughts (it a good way)...

EricM SuperDork
12/20/11 9:44 p.m.


02Pilot Reader
12/20/11 10:07 p.m.

Another brake booster option is the hydraulic unit from the E28 533i/535i. You'd need to plumb the PS pump to power it, but it would buy you some clearance.

DoctorBlade Dork
12/20/11 10:51 p.m.

I'm always amazed at how natural a V8 looks in them.

914Driver SuperDork
12/21/11 6:38 a.m.

This pleases me too, but; when ya gonna talk about the 600 and 2002?

Bless you, Dan

tuna55 SuperDork
12/21/11 6:55 a.m.

The internet has been won.

DrBoost SuperDork
12/21/11 7:02 a.m.

How boring. Another superb chassis wrapped around another killer motor that will alter what mere mortals think about what makes a good car.

Ok, that was my internet smack-talk voice. In reality I'm a happier person just knowing you are doing this. Man, what a car that's gonna be.

93EXCivic SuperDork
12/21/11 7:34 a.m.


Is that a Fiat 600 I spy in the background?

driver109x HalfDork
12/21/11 7:38 a.m.

Awesome! I will definitely follow this. I have an E28 535is and my dream was to either turbo the M30 or drop an LSx. Some guys did a similar swap and has a multi part video build in youtube. I think they used a LSx from a truck though.

Taiden Dork
12/21/11 7:50 a.m.

I'm jelly

ransom Dork
12/21/11 8:50 a.m.

How about if you just set up a webcam in your garage and have it post a few times a day?

Between this, the 600, and the 2002, I'm pretty sure I want to follow your automotive exploits for the foreseeable future...

Well chosen, sir!

docwyte Reader
12/21/11 8:53 a.m.

I couldn't keep the porsche brake booster in my LS1 converted 944. I'm running a Ford mustang hydroboosted unit

Strike_Zero Dork
12/21/11 9:07 a.m.

Oh My Yes!!

Tom Heath
Tom Heath Web Manager
12/21/11 9:16 a.m.

I like where this is going.

jakeb New Reader
12/21/11 10:06 a.m.

thanks for all the words guys, and the kicker is so far I am under the challenge budget. If the plan would have been the challenge...... $1200 for the car and after parting the camaro I am around $500 for the ls1/t56 combo and still have more parts to sell. Oh did I say the ls1 only has 55k miles on it. Also have the g265 from the e28 to sell....hehe

The e28 already has new suspension all around, M6 short steering box, red sport interior, etc etc. It was a killer find. I plan to drop all the suspension bits and have them powder coated once I have the engine mounted and drive shaft length figured out.

I might actually try a 2002 booster or maybe a 944 unit...docwyte do you still have your stock one? Can you measure the diameter for me and the thickness? Do you want to sell it?

It is not a 600 but a 1960 500 actually. It is really rusty and it is a future project. I bought a 67 850 spider as the donor. 850 engine, trans, etc, etc etc will get swapped over. There is a guy in town with a bunch of abarth parts so that might be an option down the road. Maybe a nasty built up 850 engine.

My 2002 is a 70 with an m42 swap. The m42 swap is sorta my thing...or has been. Trying to move into "bigger" things.

I have talked with wayne from those videos, also ed from mwrench. He is putting an LS6 in an M6. www.mwrench.com

I actually have thought about setting up a webcam in the garage but it just hasn't happened. Maybe if I find time this weekend during lazy christmas days I'll put one out there.

a401cj Reader
12/21/11 11:44 a.m.

right here folks ^^. this is why i keep coming back

conesare2seconds Reader
12/21/11 11:53 a.m.

This thread rocks. That is all.

gamby SuperDork
12/21/11 12:01 p.m.

stealthfighter1 Reader
12/21/11 12:29 p.m.

ughhh, i'm in the beginning stages of an rx7 ls1 swap myself.... but i'm kinda trying to no make the mistakes i've made before ( putting motor in car , runs & drives but i've to trubleshoot all the time) so i want to simplimafy all the wiring / electrical stuff in the car . i want to use the simplified ls1 engine harness / body harness for gauges/engine operation. and a "custom" harness for lights / wipers / radio /windows .

i'm very nervous.

miatame HalfDork
12/21/11 12:44 p.m.

I'm getting very itchy to do an LSx swap...

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