BMW M3 (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)

BMW M3 (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X) (
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-   -   S65 Swap into E86 (Similar to E46) (

ApolloTheGod Tue, Mar-28-2017 01:12:21 AM

S65 Swap into E86 (Similar to E46)
You guys wanted a thread here, so now you have it. Yes, this is into an E86, but the front subframe on the E46 is very similar and I'll be engineering my swap kit for the E46 as well. Electronics are also similar and I'll iron it all out. I've taken the time to paste below everything from the main threads on ZPost and Bimmer Boost.


I picked up a Z4MC the other day (more on that later) and I'm proceeding with a build.

I might not post everything about the engine build, but it will certainly all be on Bimmer Boost.

I'm starting a project build using the S65 platform. My first thought is to build a stroked motor and slap on a nice supercharger to make "big numbers". The problem is, there's a lot of information around about builds such as this and I'm left rather apprehensive. Admittedly, I'm not an expert engine builder, nor am I a physicist or mechanical engineer so bear this in mind when evaluating my statements. I am in no way attempting to be make any statements written in stone. I'd like to hear all of your feedback and thoughts on this matter to try and get a better idea of what to do.

Here's where we are at so far: I have the donor car for the build so at this time all we have to do is do the build. I'm still in the planning phase of this build and the only thing I have gotten is a block. Specifically, I just picked up a block from ebay for a very good price that was hydrolocked. Since I plan to build a stroked engine I figured this is no big deal at all and any machining/sleeves would render this a very usable block.

To elaborate on my goals a bit more, I really would like to get at least 700 wheel. My first plan is to go with the PPM stroker kit and a compression of 10:1. I've been speaking with Peter Helmuth from PPM in Australia and he has advised me that he can sell me the same stroker kit they use in their 4.8L race motor. It's an 86mm stroke and a 94mm bore. This sounds absolutely nutty awesome and it's something I'd like to do. He advised me that I don't really need sleeves even with running boosted. Now, this is where my apprehension comes into play. I'm not too sure about all of this. It seems to me that alusil is not exactly the strongest material in the world and sleeves like Darton makes are really great for running in boosted motors. My main concern with sleeves is excessive temperature retention, but again I'm no expert here.

Before I tackle the supercharger, I'd like to lay out my stroker build first.

I've attached some pictures of the block I picked up. One of the pictures details a repair that was one on one of the cylinders. Everything looks fine here to be a candidate for a stroker build like this. Thoughts on this block? I don't see anything that jumps out and throws a big red flag.

I ordered a ton of parts for this engine build and picked up several big items locally. Pictures to soon. This build is happening guys! I'll make sure to document all my steps and results for prosperity. Maybe the motor fails, maybe it does not. We'll just have to see, but I'm giving the stroker/supercharged motor a go. I'm sure I'll get a lot of flame over certain aspects of this build, but oh well. Gotta live life the way you want.

I just bought the car that will be being swapped. I'll be picking her up this weekend. Reason for getting this car: weight. It's much lighter, shorter wheel base, perfect for building something with great handling. The torsional rigidity is 32,000 N.m which is far more than most cars. The reason I'm building an S65 for this car instead of an S85 is weight and size. With the S65, it will sit further back in the bay than the S54 and weigh much less until I throw on the supercharger which will probably get it to be only a few more pounds heavier, but remember it will be further back for better weight distribution.

Believe me, I wanted to go with the S85 for the V10 sound, :bow: but too much weight.

If anyone is wondering what is going to happen to the S54 and trans, I may offer it up for sale when I get closer to pulling it. We'll have to see. I have a feeling grabbing a prepped rolling E30 and dropping in the S54 would be a fun treat. However, if anyone wants to reserve the S54, I am open to offers. It has around 90k on it and would be perfect for a track build. I won't be needing the 6 speed trans either.

More updates and pics to follow so follow this thread! :thumsup:


I picked up an intake manifold (I'll be running for a month or two on the stroker before I SC), headers, and tons of other goodies as you can see pictured. I have parts coming in for the rest of the week and even next week. The block will be heading out next week with any luck and we'll get this show on the road.

I almost have all the random tid-bits here and there to have a running engine when I throw the top end on my built bottom end. I'll eventually build the top end with cams and better springs, but not for now. Just bottom end.

A bit of a side note: I don't plan on running stock headers forever, I mainly got them because they were a good deal and should help me fit the motor in the car. I have no idea if stock headers will fit, but we'll see. I'll report all my findings in depth and with measurements so anyone else can follow in my foot steps.

I'll have the DCT trans, complete heads, and other parts next week. I'll be sure to include some pictures. Getting the DCT to work in this car is going to be a nightmare. I'm thinking I'll just throw in all the E9x electronics and gauges and get it to "fit" nicely with an OEM look.


Okay so you're probably wondering why DCT... Because it competes better and any prudent individual would conclude such. Yes, 6 speed is more fun, but I'm building a car for competition, not fun. Anyway, it will be ****ing cool to see a running DCT in a Z4MC that is OEM feeling/looking and clean. It could be a helpful DIY for anyone attempting to swap DCT into any 6 speed car and getting it to go in cleanly.

Update time!

Here is a pic of the complete head assembly I'll be picking up. I got everything for a reasonable deal so this will really expedite the build. Brian from VAC just got back to me today with a quote on the bottom end. It's expensive but VAC is a top shelf shop with top shelf wrench masters. I'll update more about the engine build as we get closer to sending the bottom off. I'll update this thread again Monday with the project car pics and more part pictures. I plan to assembly everything on a stand to make sure I have everything I'll need. It helps to visualize it all first :thumsup:

As a side note, you guys can expect things to keep moving at a good pace. The funds for this project have already been allocated so there won't be any hold ups due to money. If there's a hold up it's going to be with shipping or manufacturing of something.


EDITORS NOTES: I may not be proceeding with the below. I've been doing some research with the Z4 DME and I believe I can get most things to work together nicely retaining most of the Z4MC's OEM goods.

Here's the plan: I've got an E92 donor car with complete body harness and all electronic modules with options I want like Comfort Access and such. My plan is to basically pull out the entire Z4 electronic suite and harness leaving behind only lights, door locks, window switches, etc. I'll then be dropping in the E92 harness and modules and splicing connectors where I need them. This will result in a "drop in" electronics swap. I need the E9X M3 gauge cluster and some of the other electronics anyway so this is the easiest way.

You may now want to know how we're getting it all to fit... Well, I'll be fusing parts of the E9X dashboard with the Z4 dashboard. For instance, the gauge cluster tower part of the dash from the E9X will be cut off and fused in with the Z dash. Along with a few other areas, I'll then finish the dash in a leather or alcantara finish. I may remold the dash for a lighter version, we'll see. I may just know it's frankenstein underneath. :D

If you have any more questions I'll be sure to answer them. I want to make this as easy as possible for me so I'll be carefully documenting this process for anyone who wants to attempt or do something similar.


As far as I am aware the DCT and manual transmissions attached the S65 (I don't actually know which model name) are the same dimensions where they bolt in. So a mount I make for DCT should work with manual. If you guys are serious about doing this swap too I'll buy a 6 speed transmission to make sure and take the time to R&D.

Who all would commit to something like this? If you were to go 6 speed, you would not need to do many funky electronics stuff and the swap kit would be driveshaft, tranny mounts, engine mounts, and probably a few other small brackets and screws here or there. Perhaps a modified engine harness to get everything to work with Z4 electronics. As I develop this I'll note down what is needed.

Swapping in an S65 is actually an incredibly intelligent move for this chassis. It's lighter than the S54, performs better than the S54, and distributes weight better. It leaves more room in the engine bay for many additions.



Originally Posted by F360C (Post 21432608)
With the 6 speed it might be possible of going the route of not integrating all the e9x modules into the e86 since you don't have to worry about the DCT ECU/integration. If I remember correctly when Rogue engineering did the S62 V8 into their Z4 (non-M) Roadie they had a shop called North East Motorsport wire the z4 harness into the S62 DME. Then used INPA to work out the coding.

I know our DME is different from the E46 M3 DME but I also understand that it is very similar to the S85 DME which I assume is sorta close to the S65 one.

My brother was saying he talked to a guy at SEMA that worked for a shop in Chicago that did an S85 into an E46 and the guy also mentioned that it would be even easier doing it into an E86 M because of how alike the DME's are.

I agree the V8 is such an interesting swap for this car because it drops weight and moves the engine further back in the chassis.

You're car is going to be a monster even with out the blower!

I agree. Stroker first, the supercharger next. But it would be a monster even without being stroked. It's already a quick car with a stock S54. I'd like to get more information about that S62 swap as it sounds like I could learn a lot and it's good to hear the DMEs may be similar. I'm still fighting with how I can integrate everything. I'll work through it and hopefully find a good option but you are right, if I just went with a 6 speed it would be an easy swap.


Originally Posted by Punisher3.0si (Post 21441031)
Cool project. I love it when people do engine swaps that keep it in the family. It's very tasteful. This platform is perfect for a V8. I'd love to hear 0-60 and 1/4 mile numbers when it's completed!

The only engine that should have been dropped in the Z4MC is the S65 imo. It's the perfect fit. I'll be running the car a lot so you'll get lots of video and pictures of time slips :happyanim:


The car has been picked up and enjoyed for the last few days. I forget just how great the S54 really is. That engine is like the S65 and even has many similar sounds. Hit 4000 and you're off to the moon.

The car is in very good condition overall for a 10 year old car. There has been a minor accident in the past on the front right and the repairs were not done too well so I'll need a new passenger fender, but you probably wouldn't tell unless it was pointed out to you.

I ordered a ton of little things for the car that are needed like new ///M badges, brakes, trim pieces, screw covers, etc. I decided instead of doing a BBK for now I'll be using OEM rotors and a slew of pads to test out. I'll pick up a second set of OEM rotors and pair them with some PFC 08 pads and get some wheels I don't really care too much about for track days. Street pads are going to be DS2500 to start. Another one recommended to me was the Stoptech Performance pad that I'll try too.

I know what you really all want to see. You all want to see most of an S65, entire body harness, and a DCT trans fit in a Z4MC

This is a picture of my block and one of the complete heads. I picked up complete heads (head block, cams, vanos units, valves, springs, valve cover, all sensors, and coil packs) for $500 total for both banks. Ignore the mess. Garage needs to be cleaned out.

Here is a picture of the other head assembly and a few of the parts seen before and the DCT trans I picked up for $900. I believe it only has 20,000 miles on it. The assembled engine and trans pictured are from another project being worked on. Nothing too exciting, just regular maintenance.

I'll be piecing everything together soon to make sure I have the bulk of the important stuff so I can send it all off to the engine builder. I'm still debating if I want just the bottom end or assembled or the entire thing. Price will determine this. I'll be taking the entire engine to the builder in this Z4MC just for the lols.



My S54 has blown rod bearings. Judging by the amount of material in the oil filter, I might of even spun a set. Not great news but not too bad as the swap is going in soon. I ordered a new rod bearing set to drop in to keep playing with the wonderful S54 and have it rebuilt for resale. Also threw on new rotors and pads and pulled my calipers off for a rebuilt and recoloring. I found out the driver side front caliper was semi-stuck which explained some of my shuddering when braking. Another worthy mention about this car is that there is no good beer parking spot anywhere on it.

I broke down my S65 heads and started to go through them to look for any issues. Both sides in perfectly good health. I'll be sending them off to get cleaned better than they are but I took some time to try to clean the valves a bit to get an idea of how build up on the S65 works. Seemed pretty standard. They started to clean up really easily and it goes to show the benefits of running cleaner fuels. If any of you have torn apart motors running non-premium fuels you'll know the horrors.

Here are a few bonus pictures. My second block, my block in use (on the stand) and some more S65 head porn shots

In addition to tearing the heads down I also started to design my motor mounts and get some headway done there. I did some measuring in the car and started to plan how the transmission and engine will sit in for best effect. Pics below. Some of you might think I'm crazy, but I have always used foam board from a place like Hobby Lobby or Michael's as a method of designing the mounts first. It's nice to get a physical mock up that can be easily translated into CAD for machining. This lets you design what you need and make sure it all fits in real time.

If you're wondering about how to keep the engine still use a proper brace to keep the engine in place. Lifts don't work too well in my experience and a brace lets you get it more level. It should be noted that my engine is not in the bay yet, but I wanted to start on a template for the engine mount connecting to the block. I think it might be possible to leave the steering column and stock sub frame unmolested as well if my measurements are right. More to come soon.

Bonus pics: If anyone wants to know what happens to your walls when you hydrolock your motor, this is what happens (side note: it looks like a rod went out too):


ApolloTheGod Tue, Mar-28-2017 01:22:36 AM

Re: S65 Swap into E86 (Similar to E46)
What's the procedure for linking an image as a thumbnail? None of the usual BBcode is working :hmm:

liam821 Tue, Mar-28-2017 01:39:06 AM

Re: S65 Swap into E86 (Similar to E46)

Originally Posted by ApolloTheGod (Post 1067620915)
What's the procedure for linking an image as a thumbnail? None of the usual BBcode is working :hmm: doesn't allow you to link them with the normal [img] type tags. You'll have to either use a different image host, like photobucket or something.

p.s. sweet swap!

ApolloTheGod Tue, Mar-28-2017 01:40:39 AM

Re: S65 Swap into E86 (Similar to E46)

Originally Posted by liam821 (Post 1067620927) doesn't allow you to link them with the normal [img] type tags. You'll have to either use a different image host, like photobucket or something.

p.s. sweet swap!

I can use img but timg or img/url won't work. I wanted to have thumbnails present due to the size. If I link the images with img tag they link correctly but display at full size and they are several thousand pixels wide and tall so they look awful :thumbsdown:

liam821 Tue, Mar-28-2017 01:43:20 AM

Re: S65 Swap into E86 (Similar to E46)

Originally Posted by ApolloTheGod (Post 1067620928)
I can use img but timg or img/url won't work. I wanted to have thumbnails present due to the size. If I link the images with img tag they link correctly but display at full size and they are several thousand pixels wide and tall so they look awful :thumbsdown:

I think flickr will resize them automatically for you and do all the hosting as well.

twentyseven Tue, Mar-28-2017 01:58:46 AM

Re: S65 Swap into E86 (Similar to E46)
GL with the build and thanks for being so generous with info!

bimmerfan08 Tue, Mar-28-2017 01:58:53 AM

Re: S65 Swap into E86 (Similar to E46)
Sweet! :thumbsup2:

ApolloTheGod Tue, Mar-28-2017 02:02:19 AM

Re: S65 Swap into E86 (Similar to E46)

Originally Posted by liam821 (Post 1067620931)
I think flickr will resize them automatically for you and do all the hosting as well.

Fixing it now. Thanks


Originally Posted by twentyseven (Post 1067620935)
GL with the build and thanks for being so generous with info!

Knowledge should not be hoarded. Especially by those with the ability to do great things (hinting at some shops) :raspberry:


Originally Posted by bimmerfan08 (Post 1067620936)
Sweet! :thumbsup2:

I'm going to try my best to make Bimmerfest West but if not, I'll make East for sure!

delvin Tue, Mar-28-2017 02:04:23 AM

Re: S65 Swap into E86 (Similar to E46)
Very nice! Looking forward to the progress, we will all be watching I'm sure.

Apex_3472 Tue, Mar-28-2017 02:26:24 AM

Re: S65 Swap into E86 (Similar to E46)
I can't help but think in the end you'll want a BBK for this car. For all the power it will be putting down your major deficiency will be consistent and reliable braking during track events.

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