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318 engine swap

Discussion in 'E36 (1992-1999)' started by lodes17, Sep 6, 2010.

    • Member

    lodes17

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    My 96 overheated and the damage is severe. I am buying a used engine and my question is: Can the engine be swaped without droping the dreaded transmission? Or is it possible to pull the engine and tranny together out the top? M44 and automatic transmission.

    Thanks in advance.
    Mike stuck in Mackinaw City Mi
    • Member

    bcweir

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    If you're replacing it with an identical engine, you shouldn't have a problem

    But if it's a different engine, different year, etc, you MAY have to swap out more than that.
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    I guess the main question would be if there's clearance enough to separate the engine from the transmission without risk of damage to the transmission. If not, I think it might be a challenge to get the engine/trans out together without removing the hood. But I would think the engine and trans could be removed as a unit. I think you'd have to have the car on jacks or a lift, as I suspect you'd need some clearance below the car to pull the engine & trans as a unit. Good luck!
    • Member

    CRKrieger

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    It is probably a better idea to pull them together. Once the radiator is out of the way, it's normally pretty easy to get an engine/trans out; especially the shorter four cylinder.

    I understand why you refer to this as the "dreaded transmission". This is the perfect time to swap in a 5-speed. :D
    • Member

    lodes17

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    yes to 5 speed

    If I had a junker with all the extra parts, I really would consider living on the wild side. From what I am understanding, the transmillion has to come out DER BOTTOM. Has anyone bought an engine from Bavarian Engine Exchange? It seems that i have lots of junk yards trying to sell great engines to me?
    My trust level is not to high.

    Mike...........stuck in Mackinaw City, Mi
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    If removing only the transmission, obviously the only way to get it out is from underneath. Otherwise, I'd think, in pulling the engine, the topside constraint would be getting the engine/trans together to enough of an angle using an adjustable load-balancer with an engine hoist to where the engine would clear the front end of the car and the back end of the trans would be dropping down aft-wards of the front subframe. If they don't remove the hood, it would have to get pretty vertical I think. I can understand not wanting to pull the hood, but I didn't have much problem getting it back in place on my E30 (ymmv, E36's are obviously not exactly the same) by making sure the hood supports were lined up as close as possible to before-removal position. Worst case scenario (presumably - one can always imagine something nightmarish), it's a little out of alignment and you get a body shop to adjust it later. I would think you should be able to place some faith in Bav. Engine exchange, but yes - it would be a big hassle to swap a dead engine, go through all the work and expense, and have the replacement fail, regardless of where it's sourced.

    Have you considered a u-haul truck & trailer rental to get yourself and the car back home where you might not (presumably) be under (perhaps) as much a time pressure constraint? Or would that just be added expense and hassle? The news makes it sound like about 3.5 people in Michigan have a job, perhaps you could find a truck an trailer for sale cheap, get 'er loaded up an hit the road. I'd still think a rental would be cheaper tho, realistically.

    Good luck!
    • Member

    lodes17

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    trailering

    MGarrison

    I have considered trailering the 3 car back to Florida. We have been working all summer here in Michigan and on our way home we will work at Amazon.com in Kentucky untill Xmass. So, its a long time without 4 wheels. We have a motorcycle also for pleasure (mbw r1150rs) but the cold weather will close in on us even in Kentucky. We motorhome north for the summer and snowbird our way back. With only the RV as a tow vehicle, I would need to get a long flatbed tanum alxe trailer capable and haul the bike and car. All things are possible.
    The car is at a shop and they confirm the head gasket is gone. Its going to get tore down and we will see what the head looks like. There is a shop in Traverse City (100 miles) that is capable of machining or repairing a BMW head. Cost? Well thats where its at today.

    Mike.........stuck in Michigan.
    • Member

    CRKrieger

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    There is nothing so special about a BMW head that any machine shop that can work on a Chevy V8 head can't handle it. Should be a couple hundred for a complete rebuild with a valve job. Lots less for just milling it flat. If it's cracked, I'd pick up a used head from a salvage yard. It's not like there are no junked-out BMWs north of Ohio ...
    • Member

    lodes17

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    head work

    I appreciate the feed back on cost for the valve job. That eases my mind, i expected way more.

    THX.............Mike
    • Member
    • Technical Service Advisor

    mooseheadm5

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    A few points:
    Yes you can pull the engine and trans together, but you must be careful. Having a load leveler is a necessity.

    The hood can be supported straight up and down. It is designed that way after you remove a couple of little screws from the hinges. Do this.

    Your head is probably warped, and possibly cracked. Be prepared to replace it or the whole engine.

    Make sure you get an M44 and not the OBD1 M42. Trust me.

    I will never purchase an engine from Bav eng exchange. Long stories go with that, but I wouldn't. Local yards with good reputations are a better bet. That or go for an 6 cylinder with manual swap from a whole wrecked 328 or M3.
    • Member

    lodes17

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    ending

    Guys:

    Thanks for all the help and ideas, here is the end of the story.

    After a week at my local shop, nothing done or started, I got the key back and no charge.
    Stoped at another shop and they called around for another engine and tried to sell me one with out
    confirming the mileage. The price was to be $3000 for the engine swap. I didn't buy that.

    So now I was two weeks bumming rides, I bought the BMW tools and head gasket from Bavarian autosports, I got a few hoses, clamps, extra nuts and bolts as I did my own wrenching. The shop charge
    for milling the head and new guides installed was $240. I think that in total my cost was about $700.
    Doing this job myself was a large undertaking and I was nerveous throughout the two weeks it took me to finish. Getting two days off from work each week and trying to find time to wrench as the weather starts to close in here in northern Michigan was a problem. I fired it up three nights ago and it ran rough and smoked for awhile and then straightened out, Its so good to have wheels again. I will keep check of the fluids for another week, and a extra oil change also. Almost five weeks. Quite a lesson and lots of wrenching.

    Mike
    • Member
    • Technical Service Advisor

    mooseheadm5

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    Good show! Did you use the cam holding tool or did you just use a straight edge?

    If your car blew coolant out the exhaust, be prepared to replace the O2 sensor as well. The one on my wagon was toast after the head gasket blew on the PO.
    • Member

    lodes17

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    engine swap

    Paul:
    I bought the BMW tools, and didnt find them very great after seeing and using them. The engine to
    transmission lock rod was too large in dia. and wouldn't go into the hole. I used a screw driver.
    Because the car overheated and fried the gasket, maybe the gods will spare me the o2 sensor.

    Thanks for the warning.
    MIke

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