FAQ

Frequently asked Questions:

1) Q: Did the swap affect the weight balance?

A: No. The LS1 is an aluminum block whereas the old m20 engine was an iron inline 6. We put our car on 4 point scales and the weight came out to be 60lbs heavier than the original car, however the weight distribution was still perfectly balanced. This is because the t-56 6 speed transmission is larger than m20’s so the weight of the current engine package is more centered in the car.

2) Q: Does AC, power steering, cruise control, tach, etc still work?

A: Yes! We’ve managed to keep everything working on the car. The air conditioning blows cold, we can put on cruise control on the highway and idle along at 60 in 6th gear doing 1000rpm and steering is as light as ever.

3) Q: How much did it cost?

A: $6800. As far as parts involved in getting this running our total came to approximately $6800. We had additional expenses in supplying our garage to make the swap happen (engine hoist, welder). We additionally got it painted when we were finished so our total is more like $10,000. A full parts list is included in the swap guide CD.

4) Q: What else will I have to do if I get your kit?

A: The kit includes engine mounts, transmission mount, brake hydroboost reposition linkage, radiator mount, and a second differential mount that tightens up the rear end. The only remaining things you get to get fabricated are your exhaust system which any exhaust shop can do, and have your driveshaft (usually comes as part of the engine package with the transmission) shorted to a proper length to interface with the BMW rear differential.

5) Q: This is cool. I want one. Where do I get started?

A: Our Swap Guide CD is an awesome place to start. It goes through every part, step, picture and engineering diagram we created in building our monster. We sell it for $100 and it’s in the form of a 20 chapter, 250 page PDF. We’ll knock that price off if you eventually decide to get a kit from us. Then, find a clean E30. Join the message boards – r3vlimited.com and bimmerforums.com.

6) Q: How fast is it?

A: Too fast. I hope I don’t get thrown in jail for confessing this, but I’ve taken it up to 165…at which point it felt like I was floating and got really scary, although the car wasn’t even close to being topped out. I’ve done 130 UP mountain passes. Getting a 0-60 time is rather hard but it’s in the vicinity of 4 seconds. It does 0-100 in ~9 seconds. I’ve beaten a C63 AMG Mercedes 60-120. Same with a 911. It’s fast enough to get yourself into A LOT of trouble.

20 Comments

  1. Any advice on a shop in the NYC area that can do this type of swap. I’d love to drop my car of and let the shop handle the whole thing.

    Thanks. 1989 325is

    1. Hi Sander, Sorry we missed your question earlier. Yes the kit is still available, we plan to offer it indefinitely or till there is no longer demand. To purchase just go to the products page and follow the prompts through our direct buy, e-commerce site. Contact us at e30ls1@gmail.com with any other questions. Cheers, Garret

  2. Love the swap guys! You really did an amazing job and made a monster! One question I have though is what differentional are you guys running with your E30? Is the stock diff strong enough to handle all that powa? Or did you get a heavier duty one from an m60 or just something made to handle more power?

  3. My son and I found an 86 325e 4-door from Wyoming; no rust. We picked up an LS1/T56 also. Will be ordering the kit in a week or two. Question: the Stock diff is same as yours, 2.93 lsd. I have a 3.73LSD also, would that be riduculously low? Thanks.

  4. Hey guys, I just came across your blog because I’m hoping to get an e30 and do an LS swap.. do you still provide the kits and the guide?

  5. Such a cool ride! I just picked up a clean 1988 325 super eta and am very interested in undergoing this swap but I have to deal with these lovely California smog laws. I’m wondering if you guys were able to maintain emissions equipment and if the stock exhaust manifolds fit? Thanks!

  6. Personalabbau sozialverträglich – ist, das klingt nach Wunschdenken. Die Gecon Humanresources mehr als 20 Jahren im Bereich der Outplacement Beratung und hat Personalreduktionsprogramm entwickelt, in jahrelange Erfahrung eingeflossen ist.

  7. I live in california and am wondering if the swap is something that is smog legal. If all of the smog equipment is retained, will it pass?

    Thanks in advance!

  8. Hello I am considering purchasing a kit. For now I would like to do an ls1 I may be thinking to do mega squirt. But I am curious if you used stock ls1 ecu and harness and connected the apropriate wires to e30 chassis? And also what oil pan to use? Thank you

  9. Garrett, How do you feel about a GM LFX V6 swap? would their be much modification needed to your LS1 kit?

    much weight difference with a supercharged v6 ?

  10. I am confused from a couple of responses on threads here….I have an 84 325e….which is an E30 right? However you didn’t include that year in your compatibility listing. Am I in luck or not?

    Thanks

  11. Garret and Steve,
    Possibly buying an E30 roller, and was thinking about throwing an LS1 in instead of buying the stock setup. I’m very thankful that you guys have done this before and shared online as there really isn’t much other information out there on the web from the searches I’ve done. But, I have just a few questions I’d like to ask, just so I know what I’m getting myself in to if I decide to go the LS1 route.
    Firstly, what did you do for wiring, computer, and all of the electronic goodies, just pull them from the car you got your engine/tranny from?
    Secondly, from the pictures I saw on this website, it looks like the engine will be a pretty tight fit, did you guy have to cut and refab the engine compartment or trans tunnel?
    I have a Miata that I’ve thought about making a Monster and there’s a lot of re-fabricating that is required to fit an LS1 in to the Miata, is it a similar story with the E30?
    Thanks for your guys’ help!

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