Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
kiwinelson9879

E46 318i with an RB30DET and upgrades

Recommended Posts

Hello again,

Thought I would write this up while I have a minute for anyone interested. I built myself a silvia race car with a nice RB30DET motor and got sick of looking at it and never being able to drive it (because racecar)... so one day a customer came into my shop with a busted 318i manual E46 and I picked it up for a song.

Took me 5 minutes to pull the motor and measure up the engine bay for what I was thinking would be my new track car that i could drive everyday, something really fast and also nice enough my mum will jump in for breakfast out on the weekends.

What do you know the RB30 fits perfectly in the engine bay, and the BIG RB25DET gbox I have fits in the tunnel near perfectly... even the shifter sits perfectly in the BMW shifter hole in the tunnel... On advice from a mate who is a BMW fan I brought a set of e46 330i front brakes and a rear diff and brakes. When I pulled the rear subframe out someone had done a crap repair on the rear suspension and the subframe mounts had pulled through and cracked the body, so I googled how to do the rear subframe strengthening and cut up some plates and welded them in... the rear end will now be solid.

I have a few pictures in my phone I will put up now, and if anyone wants to see more I have about a thousand in my camera i will grab them out on the weekend.

This is the new sump (half way through making it) so the motor will have lots of oil

post-3271-0-47623800-1412719609_thumb.jp

Another of the Sump half done

post-3271-0-00888000-1412719619_thumb.jp

Long nights in the workshop tend to bring out a weird sense of humor

post-3271-0-21837100-1412719627_thumb.jp

Test fitting the motor to see if it will fit in the car

post-3271-0-16319600-1412719641_thumb.jp

The motor all mounted and radiator fitted, just mounting the intercooler so I can hide it behind the bumper for street driving.

post-3271-0-15534900-1412719659_thumb.jp

I have had to get the exhaust manifold re shaped to mount the turbo forward a little as the strut tower in the bmw is on a better angle than the Silvia one

post-3271-0-07721400-1412719672_thumb.jppost-3271-0-07721400-1412719672_thumb.jp

The nissan big aluminium radiator sits under the front panel with a few cuts and some minor farication leaving good space for the fans etc

post-3271-0-32842900-1412719680_thumb.jp

The bonnet closes (on the sivia the RB30 was too tall and I had to get a fibreglass "hump" made so I could close the bonnet) so it all fits in neat and sleeperish... I imagine an RB25DET would be a wayyyyyy easier fit but I built this motor and it puts out good power so i have made it work. The oil hose lines are just sitting there waiting fot me to mount the cooler somewhere.

post-3271-0-01950900-1412719700_thumb.jp

Like I said i have loads of pics, including the rear subframe strengthening stuff, the car isnt finished, driveshaft, turbo refit, intercooler piping, its not too far away... I may make up some spare engine mounts if anyone is interested, the certifier has been in every week to look over progress so i will get it certed as soon as it drivable.

cheers

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow awesome project man this will be a wicked sleeper! keep us updated

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great work.

I was thinking while reading that the RB30 might be a bit tall, but you've covered that nicely too.

Looking forward to more pics and progress news as and when you have time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys, will pull all the photos thus far off the camera and sort them out, upload some.

Thorburn - I looked at an M3 rear... a bit out of my price range in NZ, as im doing all the work myself it really doesnt owe me much... I decided on a 330i rear end with the 3.63 gearing and a Wavetrack LSD... i put one in a customers C55 AMG a few years ago and he beats on it with huge torque and it has held up perfectly... so for $900 its a way cheaper option than even finding a full M3 rear end in NZ under $3000.

Ive looked at the engineering, the 330i rear end is plenty big enough to push the car about under load.

gjm - Yes after test fitting the only this i was concerned about was height, but after getting the geometry all sorted on the hoist, i have room to spare, I can even fit a top mounted catch can under the bonnet (the RB motors like to blow a little oil under boost) but it really looks like the car was built to house an RB25/30 motor.

Even the usual issues with conversions like the hot side cooking brake fluid and such is eliminated because we are right hand drive the hot side is off on the passenger side of the car, plenty of room to run a big down pipe and wastegate unimpeeded by steering columns, brake boosters and master cylenders etc...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When i got the car up in the air to see if everything would fit...

post-3271-0-24576800-1412803983.jpg

post-3271-0-82765100-1412803994.jpg

Found the rear floor was torn at the mounting points from a previously poor repair I would guess?

post-3271-0-99446200-1412804013.jpg

The M3 Subframe reinforcement kit...

post-3271-0-43320300-1412803973.jpg

And with the rear out welding in the reinforcement... back end is now solid.

post-3271-0-96042400-1412804096.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well done. The rb30 is a great engine and the e46 is a great chassis. I have similar in the garage but probably won't go to the extent you have to put them together!! Definitely will be rewarding when you get to have the power and performance of the race car and the comfort and interior of a euro.

I went back and forth between having a single car to do both jobs of a daily and a race car .. At the moment have two cars for the job .. Would be great to have one! But its not cheap! Awesome that you are doing all the work yourself and doing it right!!

How are you going to tackle the wiring? I'm assuming the 30 has a standalone ecu?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, yes it runs a Link G$ so it will run on its own, i will see how I go wiring up the dash... its just a matter of finding the resistance etc, maybe run BMW temp sensors in the oil/water etc.

I mounted the oil cooler today... just waiting on the exhaust manifold to come back from HPC to get this moving forward in a leap. waiting waiting :) but here are some more pictures of it as it sits.

The shirfter hole lines up perfect with the RB25DET "big" box shifter

post-3271-0-41723200-1412908061.jpg

random engine stuff

post-3271-0-34658200-1412908084.jpg

post-3271-0-37364300-1412908104.jpg

post-3271-0-53226100-1412908124.jpg

post-3271-0-52939800-1412908142.jpg

post-3271-0-76144300-1412908158.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

that is a good price for the lsd. Where'd you get it from?
The reinforcement plates look great. Did you get them profile cut?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Thorburn - LSD I got from Ebay :) I find a lot of stuff is cheaper to buy directly out of the states... Have to watch out for rogue ebay traders of course but overall i seem to get good deals.

Yes, I made up some templates for them as well incase i need to make them again... you never know :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Thorburn - LSD I got from Ebay :) I find a lot of stuff is cheaper to buy directly out of the states... Have to watch out for rogue ebay traders of course but overall i seem to get good deals.

Yes, I made up some templates for them as well incase i need to make them again... you never know :)

haha if they're simple sheet steel with a few folds, once you have the templates, just laser cut (and fold a few) and you could sell a cheaper option locally!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i think you should sell me your mags :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looky looky what came back from the HPC today... and the new turbo fits under the bonnet too!

post-3271-0-64600900-1414634091_thumb.jp

In the car

post-3271-0-14787500-1414634110_thumb.jp

Turbo on

post-3271-0-32064600-1414634124_thumb.jp

Starting to look like a real car...

post-3271-0-85357700-1414634134_thumb.jp

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

nice merge collector. Did you fuse the inside and give it a grind?

What wastegate are you using?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wowwww bro that is some nice work! Damn this car is going to be a beast for sure !

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, the manifold is a Sinco built manifold originally for Fanga dans RB powered commodore, I havent done any work to it other than HPC, that is just how I got it :)

The Wastegate is a turbosmart 45mm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excuse me if you already mentioned in this thread but how much power was the rb30 putting down previously?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers guys, been a bit busy but back into it... the motor previously put out over 500hp. I built it myself and it was tuned by the EH Motors guys. Its a smooth running monster

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few updates on the project, I got my link G4 ecu mounted in the factory passengers air bag location.

Also i measured up and had my driveshaft made, 2 peice as for the power out put a 1 peice would of needed to be around 3" - 3.5" tubing. The e46 driveshaft tunnel is not that big.

post-3271-0-70367400-1416507387_thumb.jp

post-3271-0-08553200-1416507428_thumb.jp

post-3271-0-85120900-1416507586_thumb.jp

post-3271-0-94910400-1416507626_thumb.jp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also had a change of heart with the exhuast manifold, Due to the sinco manifolds size i choice to sell it and buy / upgrade to a new 6boost manifold ( google them ). it is the nicest manifold i have ever seen. i also got great coin for the sinco. win win :)

post-3271-0-45167200-1416508058_thumb.jp

post-3271-0-81076100-1416508096_thumb.jp

post-3271-0-95417300-1416508128_thumb.jp

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×