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dyintorace GRM+ Memberand Dork
10/18/09 5:12 p.m.

Just found out about these guys. I'm trying to get more information, but, from what I've read so far, it sounds like a fun swap.


Sultan New Reader
10/18/09 6:43 p.m.

Crazy cool! They also have an e30 swap that they are working. They make it look like you could do swap with car for well under $5K. Wow.

mad_machine GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
10/18/09 8:09 p.m.

oh my... that engine in my ti

dj06482 GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/18/09 8:15 p.m.

I've been eagerly following that site, there haven't been any recent updates. Considering I've owned two 5.0/T5 fox body Mustangs and now own an E36, it seems like a very natural fit. Honestly, the E36 reminds me a lot of my Mustangs in terms of power delivery, but the M52 engines (as well as the M50s) are not cheap to replace/rebuild. Having a 5.0/T5 in there would make things much cheaper!

Paul_VR6 Reader
10/18/09 8:23 p.m.

Thats just two bad ideas in the same place. SBC into Fox body always seems like a good idea.

Strike_Zero New Reader
10/18/09 8:55 p.m.

If you do everything the "grassroots" way . . . you can get it done for ~$2500 (if you have a E36).

For me, I have the motor on the stand ready for a rebuild, wiring harness almost complete, car prepped, and mounts in hand.

The only thing I need now is a T-5, driveshaft, and exhaust.

So far I have about ~$1800 (would've been ~1500, but the first core had a cracked coolant passage on the back).

E36 @ 2400ish lbs + 270whp/300wtq =

Greg Voth
Greg Voth Reader
10/18/09 10:31 p.m.

Will I be the first on the board to do this swap and abandon my 5.0 1st gen RX-7 idea?

Possibly. I have found the donor and recipient prospects and the wife is 100% on board. Stay tuned for details.

Strike_Zero New Reader
10/19/09 7:57 a.m.

In reply to Greg Voth:

Do it do it do it . . .

I hope to have mine finished by the end of November . . .

Greg Voth
Greg Voth Reader
10/19/09 8:12 a.m.

Damn it I would need to work fast. Getting the cars and completing it in the two weekends I am not busy is not likely. Post pics of yours.

Was the wiring difficult? Any other problems you have encountered.

The BMW I am looking at is a 318 convertible automatic that was overheated. Changing it over to a manual shouldnt be hard and the wife loves E36 convertibles for some reason. I cant argue since we don't have any convertibles in our fleet so one would be nice.

Strike_Zero New Reader
10/19/09 8:26 a.m.
Strike_Zero New Reader
10/19/09 8:37 a.m.

In reply to Greg Voth:

So far everything is straight forward. Matt's swap manual is darn complete.

The only pics I have are picture of parts . . . nothing of real interest yet . . .

I have the motor on the stand awaiting a rebuild. The wiring is almost complete.

I'm pretty much at a stop until after the wedding (next Saturday); then it's all gears and wrenches ahoy!!

JFX001 Dork
10/19/09 8:47 a.m.

I was reading on that site about the headers. I believe that shorty's can be used to route them normally, instead of towards the front.

I gotta admit...I did some searching for cheap ti's last night.

Strike_Zero New Reader
10/19/09 8:51 a.m.

hehe . . .

Matt has options listed in the manual of what he thinks can work. Even gives you options on steering shaft positions and E36 M3 like that . . .

I'm routing the exhaust the way he did . . . Turbo may be in the future

Greg Voth
Greg Voth Reader
10/19/09 4:41 p.m.

Damn the BMW sold the same day he posted it. Apparently it was a one owner 95 318 vert that his wife overheated. Looked to be in real good shape from the pics.

Should I look for another cheap BMW or go back to my V8 RX-7 plans? I am torn.

dyintorace GRM+ Memberand Dork
10/19/09 6:28 p.m.

It is funny to see the prevailing attitudes of different automotive enthusiast groups. I found out about this swap from a friend who is on an e36 M3 (the car) email list with me. He posted about it there and I brought it here, knowing it would get a warm reception.

On the other hand, the response on the e36 M3 list has been markedly different. Lots of talking down on inefficient designs, poor gas mileage, etc. Quite humorous!

RossD HalfDork
10/19/09 6:43 p.m.

-as the BMW fans spend 3x as much to get the same power level as a slightly worked over 5.0 out of a $1000 mustang.

CLNSC3 New Reader
10/19/09 9:51 p.m.

That is an awesome swap! Pricing is very reasonable too! This is definitely getting added to my list of potential projects for this winter!

Strike_Zero New Reader
10/20/09 9:35 a.m.

In reply to RossD:

This is why I went the 5.0 way.

For the M50: - Used M3 Cams + Software = $675 = 170whp to 190whp

Let's not talk about cam + software for for S50/S52 motors . . .sheesh!!

The only thing left after that is a turbo/SC or engine swap.

  • Turbo = minimum $5000
  • SC = $5500

Known easy swaps

  • S50/S52 $2500-$4000 = 240hp
  • LS GENIII/GENIV = $10K-12K = How much HP you want?
  • Ford 5.0 = $2500-$5000 = 300hp-block splitting power
Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker Dork
10/20/09 10:20 a.m.

What does a modern 5.0 weigh? I know the T5 is a small, lightweight trans like the ZF and the 8 is shorter so it will move the weight back but how do they stack up on straight comparison - ( BMW iron block 6 - not the super sexy 2.8L aluminum)?

I assume the 5.0 has aluminum heads?

Strike_Zero New Reader
10/20/09 10:22 a.m.
  • All Iron 302 ~464
  • M50 ~447

T5 and ZF/Getrag are really close in weight. . .

The 302 will get aluminum heads later . . . The GT40P irons will work pretty darn well for now

Tetzuoe New Reader
10/20/09 10:47 a.m.

working on convincing a buddy with a ready to go shell behind his garage.

Soma007 New Reader
10/20/09 10:48 a.m.

Good idea in concept (as most V8 swaps are) but man the execution is ghetto looking. It looks like a hillbilly with a welder and a V8 got a hold of them "ferrin" cars and decided to marry the two.

Not saying it won't work but that exhaust design is an abomination. Looks like they just flipped the stock 5.0 manifolds around and cobbled them together with a Y in front of the engine instead of designing some proper headers. Generally making your exhaust do a 180 degree U turn isn't exactly efficient.

Also the webpage conveniently leaves out lot of details. Does the AC still work? How about the PS? Does routing the exhaust like that melt any of the hoses or plastic parts in front of the engine? Do the stock gauges work? Does the shifter line up with the existing hole in the chassis?

It's cheap enough but I have a feeling these guys haven't actually finished a car yet or have all the details worked out. Notice there are no pictures of the completed car anywhere.

Strike_Zero New Reader
10/20/09 11:10 a.m.

The Cobra Kit cars run the exhaust the same way . . .

You don't have to do the exhaust that way. Matt's manual explains a few other options. It was more or less done that way to prove you can put a V8 in an E36 chassis without doing funky stuff to the steering rod. And if you use on those front mount snail type devices, you would run it like that anyway

All that stuff works if you want it too . . .A/C should be easy if you want it too . . .P/S, yup there and working.

As far was I know, there is one guy close to completion (besides Matt). There are several others that have purchased the kit and working as time allows.

Besides, once I shut the hood, I don't think much of us care how it looks anyway

Sultan New Reader
10/26/09 7:39 p.m.


AngryCorvair GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
10/27/09 11:15 a.m.
Greg Voth wrote: Will I be the first on the board to do this swap and abandon my 5.0 1st gen RX-7 idea? Possibly. I have found the donor and recipient prospects and the wife is 100% on board. Stay tuned for details.

dude, your wife is hot!

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