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: 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.