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    • Castro Motorsports LS7 swapped E46 M3 - Badass? Blasphemy?

      It is almost getting boring seeing LSX motors in just about everything. Yes, the engines are awesome. Simple, cheap (relatively compared to BMW M engines), light, easy to work on, powerful, tons of modifications, etc. The S54 inline-6 is the heart and soul of the E46 M3 and putting in a Chevy powerplant no matter how good just seems wrong somehow. That said, it is great to see a large V8 stuffed under the hood of the E46 and no doubt the car is a monster.

      Would you would want one? Would you still consider it a BMW? Did it lose its heart and its soul in this swap? Debate, discuss, drool, or condemn.





      Build:











      Since this is going to be a race car, we were able to make life easier on ourselves in this process, by deleting/permanently removing what wasn't absolutely necessary. After all, race cars aren't meant to be comfortable, but they definitely need to be light. We also needed to make firewall and trans tunnel modifications with our good friend - the Hammer, as we planned to move the motor further back then for better weight distribution.





      After doing plenty of research on various LS swaps, and seeing that we wanted to put this motor into multiple chassis in the future, we invested in a nice replica foam block engine. For the price you really can't beat this option IMO. The engine weighs less than 20 lbs, and has threaded nut-serts to be able to bolt up literally everything that a real LS would have! We also went ahead and started ordering materials for the engine mounts, and the headers.

      Anyway Chris and Jose got to work and came up with these engine mount arms. These were made to work with the AKG solid aluminum engine mounts that were on their way.











      The rear suspension was addressed next - AKG solid aluminum rear subframe bushings, trailing arm bushings and diff bushings were installed, along with their weld-in reinforcement kit.









      Here are some pictures of how the motor sits with the mounts in place. The stock rubber M3 mounts were used as place holders for the solid AKG mounts that were on back-order.



      The biggest issue, as with the E36 kit that are offered, was going to be the driver's side header. Since we're using 1 7/8" primaries, this was going to be tricky, especially since we moved the firewall in about 3 inches to sit the





      Since we're working within a deadline, we had to get moving on the headers. Oh hey, I wonder what's in that box?







      Since the passenger side was going to be easier, Chris and Jose tackled that side first





















      More work on the passenger side header:





      Basically done
















      The passenger side floor was cut for the DTM style, side exit exhaust. Way more work then I thought! :shock:







      A mock up of the muffler with dual 4" tips



      The new floor plate made, and was welded in





      Transmission brace completed



      Custom dual 3" X-pipe!











      DTM style exhaust - 80% complete







      O2 bungs added to the X-pipe





      Exhaust complete, with the tips slash cut to be parallel with the side skirt. Side skirt was cut nicely for a clean look







      Harness redone, wrapped, and ready to be installed



      Oh, and the REAL motor was finally installed




      Mmm, CNC ported heads by West Coast Cylinder Heads!



      Close up of the Dailey Engineering Stage 3 dry sump pump






      Close up of the custom ATI Super Damper



      The KW Club Sport coil-overs were also installed!













      ***The 2x4 pictured holding up the hood, was unfortunately our only option after Kalon lost the aluminum rod we had put in the truck when he left the shop***



      Decals installed






      This article was originally published in forum thread: Castro Motorsports LS7 swapped E46 M3 - Badass? Blasphemy? started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 28 Comments
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by StinkyM Click here to enlarge
        This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
        This is stupid. I wish I could burn every LS swapped BMW. I wish I could drive every 911 with a LS power plant off a cliff though. The former is like shooting someone from far away, the latter is like stabbing someone and staring them in the eyes.
        LOL

        I hear you, there's something wrong about it. But... I wouldn't mind an LS7 powered 993.
      1. Steve B. CBR's Avatar
        Steve B. CBR -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
        LOL

        I hear you, there's something wrong about it. But... I wouldn't mind an LS7 powered 993.
        I would have you ban me if you put an LSx into a 993.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by StinkyM Click here to enlarge
        This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
        I would have you ban me if you put an LSx into a 993.
        That's depressing Click here to enlarge
      1. Steve B. CBR's Avatar
        Steve B. CBR -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
        That's depressing Click here to enlarge
        Haha.
      1. Modernfuse's Avatar
        Modernfuse -
        to bring up the dead, I was at an event nearby. Don't shoot at me yet but it was Formula D and found out the top guy in the Pro2 circuit is Alex Heilbrunn and he drives a black E46 which is unmistakable. Hearing and seeing this car run is something to believe due to the wild grunt of a huge blower on this LSx motor sticking out of the hood. Just thought it was a good find regardless as you have to appreciate the amount of work.

        Click here to enlarge
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Modernfuse Click here to enlarge
        This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
        to bring up the dead, I was at an event nearby. Don't shoot at me yet but it was Formula D and found out the top guy in the Pro2 circuit is Alex Heilbrunn and he drives a black E46 which is unmistakable. Hearing and seeing this car run is something to believe due to the wild grunt of a huge blower on this LSx motor sticking out of the hood. Just thought it was a good find regardless as you have to appreciate the amount of work.

        http://www.bimmerboost.com/images/im...GA7D0013-1.jpg
        It's certainly different and cool in its own way.
      1. F1BHP's Avatar
        F1BHP -
        This is no longer a BMW M3 however I do like it. I have an E46 M3 which I have supercharged, I love the car and really do believe it is the ultimate chassis. I am not sure what it was that they got right but the feedback and the ability to dial in different driving styles with small tweaks is amazing. The only other car that I can say this about that I have driven is the Caterham 7, Lotus got it right over 50 years ago and really nothing has changed due to a near perfect balance.

        I have owned many Ferrari and driven a lot of performance cars including the new breed of lambos, Porsche, Astons and none have given me the same knowledge of what is happening at the wheels as the e46 and the Caterham 7 or the Lotus 7( I have the 1965 example)
      1. Modernfuse's Avatar
        Modernfuse -
        I agree that it is but a faux M3 and has looks but everything else has changed completely, the radiator and water pump are in the boot for one. BMW likes to have a balanced car and this creation cannot hold the same balance without re-engineering. Then we get to resto-modding and all kinds of other things, but when is it really crossing the line on a car to make something unique or personal?

        just a question.