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Blue Chunder: E46 318Ci / VQ37VHR Swap

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Made up a little plate to fit my three rivnuts to mount the fuse and relay box ... worked a treat and saved having to buy an expensive tool. Credit to @M3AN for the initial inspiration in the tools for hire thread :)

Got the box mounted up all good and have started terminating wires into it !! Once this is done I can jig up some temporary power and validate I've not stuffed up anything fundamental.

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So a fair bit of progress to report lately, mainly due to having caught covid and being in isolation downstairs with the rest of the family upstairs. Lucky for me the garage is conveniently located ... downstairs :D Also very lucky I've had a mild case and that it looks like we've managed to keep me from infecting other family members.

So essentially all of the Nissan power wiring is complete in the engine bay now along with sensor wiring needed to power up the engine (electrically speaking only). Thats things like the gas pedal, fuel tank temp sensor, OBD2 connector, neutral switch etc.

While in isolation I've also managed to get my Arduino happy with 2x CAN bus shields attached so I can pull from Nissan land and push to BMW land ultimately. Now that there is power on the engine I've also been able to start capturing CAN messages from the engine ECU in preparation for coding up the translation. Just today I found an awesome resource with all of the PID's and byte representations from a 370Z so that will be a massive help.

Also have been progressing the transmission mount by 3D printing some mockups and checking clearances etc. Waiting for a new hotend for my printer to try and get the ASA filament printing properly (more temperature needed i suspect). I've constructed a thermostat controlled 'hot box' for the printer also to try and solve warping issues using ASA. Its a little on the sketchy side so will be a 'print while we are home' only solution.

Onto the pics ...

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Level up achieved !!! Finally completed the wiring to a 'functional' state. Now to get it tidied up and map out the additional plug I will need to make the harness removable. Can't wait to get to the point where it can all be wrapped and finalised !!

Wasted literal days trouble shooting the last two issues, both simple explanations / solutions in the end:

  • My mobile diagnostic app NCSIII was showing the accelerator pedal (BMW item) sensor voltages as the same when they were measuring correctly on the wire. There are two independent sensors which have differing voltages (one is half of the other). Finally located a note in the service manual stating the diagnostics are expected to show the same / adjusted voltage reading.
  • Fuel pump relay signal would never fire. The service manual (EC section) notes ECU pin 22 is an 'output' which should show battery voltage for a second after key on (pump priming). Turns out the ECU actually sends pin 22 to ground when activated !! I guess its 'outputting' ground in a way and when measured with the full OEM wiring it would indeed show 12v. Tricky :P

 

 

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Wish I'd done this on the plug i have already wired up ... maybe I'll de-pin the whole thing at some point and deal to it. Anyhow, here is what i will be doing for the 'secondary' plug for the remainder of the ECU wiring. Cost effective solution for tidy wiring labels !! Sheet of laser print stickers plus clear heat shrink :)

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Another really satisfying milestone here getting the engine bay wiring virtually complete !! Just need to wire the back side of the 'secondary' plug which will have all of the wiring that will head into the cabin.

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My brain explodes in awe every time I check the progress on this thread. Seriously, seriously impressive stuff. Nuclear physics level sh*t.

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That connector is wiring porn, great work. 

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On 3/27/2022 at 10:14 PM, Vass said:

My brain explodes in awe every time I check the progress on this thread. Seriously, seriously impressive stuff. Nuclear physics level sh*t.

 

On 3/28/2022 at 1:05 AM, Twistee said:

That connector is wiring porn, great work. 

Thank you for the kind words gents :) Hopefully once things are complete it will look pretty OEM in terms of fit and finish, that's the goal at least.

Not much in the way of photographic progress to report of late bit I am achieving some pretty satisfying pieces, really cool to start seeing the engine and car go from two separate things to being somewhat integrated now !!

  • Wired up transmission so now have functional reverse lights and neutral switch
  • Wired up ignition on so can use the key to power up engine electrics
  • Run all cables inside the cabin that need to go there from the back side of the 'secondary' Deutsch 31 pin connector
  • Planned where the OBD2 connector and Arduino will be mounted
  • Located wires for oil pressure and alternator lights to the dash

Next up will be finalisation of the wiring inside the car ... fuel pump relay trigger, brake switch, power supply for Arduino, CAN connections, dashboard bits etc etc

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More good progress on the electrical side:

  • Getting the cable made for the starter / alternator and power feed to my PDM at MSEL which should be ready tomorrow
  • Cabin power / earth distribution complete along with the Arduino mounting
  • Arduino is plugged into both the BMW and Nissan CAN buses and validated it can diddle with the gauge cluster
  • New fuel pump relay changed to actually work (ECU grounds the coil instead of powering it as I had wired it) 🙄

So electrically speaking it should be possible to start it at this point !! 😲

Did a few other bits for fun:

  • Installed the front bumper temporarily to start thinking about a radiator ... might try and get the Chase Bays tucked item as the E46 items all seem to have freaky end tanks which won't allow easy moving of the inlet / outlets.
  • Completed most of the fuel system plumbing bar the return line

So I think I'm looking to take care of the dry sump plumbing now !!! I'd better start a GoFundMe to get that ball rolling a bit faster 😅 Oh also still need to get a clutch line made up so it stops pissing fluid on the floor ... and finish the trans mount / cross member ... oh and the header secondaries and springs / loops ... and probably a bunch of other stuff !!

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12 hours ago, borigthedwarf said:

Heaps of room in there for a couple of snails! 

Just not enough room in the bank account there dwarf man 😅

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Another slow period of progress here, but have got some odd bits moving:

  • 3D printed a mock up of the 180° -16 fitting I will need for the dry sump pump to tank connection. Should work well.
  • Ordered some sweet sweet new parts from Speed Science
    • Chase Bays tucked radiator, coolant overflow, washer reservoir, oil catch canm power steering cooler and AN fitting spanners
    • Adrenalinr resonator, muffler and bellows plus some hard to find in NZ 2.25" stainless tube
  • Making a new (proper) 3D printing enclosure with heating element and safety features controlled by Arduino

Trying to get the Peterson 2 gallon dry sump tank and brackets also but might be a few more weeks for that one ... once I have that and the radiator etc arrives I can start to lay everything out !! Bit of a shame but I will have to mount the oil tank and electric power steering pump in front of the front struts ... without going full race car and having the tank in the boot its about all I can do.

Here is my printer cabinet in progress and 750W heating element ...

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Got some shiny bits finally !! Seems like they shall fit ok which is a relief also as buying sight unseen. Pretty awesome looking product from a kiwi company no less !!

Awaiting the other Chase Bays parts still which should be here in July.

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Down to the final prototype for the transmission mount ... its been an on again off again piece of work but will be great to have it finalised !! Printing the remaining parts tonight as the printer is not big enough to do it in one shot. I'll be trying to get everything sorted for a single order at the laser cutters so that will involve two pieces for the trans mount in steel, cover for the exposed flywheel on the trans in aluminium and some plywood templates for the new garage entry profile which the concrete lads will use. <-- This could well be another thread in itself 🤣

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Went on a bit of an archaeological dig to see how thick my garage slab is ... about 130mm it turns out. Looks like they put the mesh under the concrete which is hopefully the case across the entire thing as it will make life a lot easier for the demo !! Basic story here is that my garage entrance is too steep for the E46 or my Odyssey to get in / out so I'm going to cut away about 1.8m inside and outside of the garage doors then contour it in a nice smooth radius which will be car friendly ... insane right :D

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Slow progress again lately ... awaiting those critical parts for the final push. Have ordered the laser cutting / folding for the trans cross member now and am focusing on getting the exhaust completed also. Made the 2 into 1 collector this weekend which is a 2.25" in and out to single 3".

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Got the laser cutting back and it all looks really good, drilled the three remaining holes for the trans mount and it fits up perfectly. Will be nice to get the posts welded up onto the plate and remove the jack stand finally !!

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Also picked up the first load of AN fittings for the dry sump plumbing which is pretty exciting. So eye watering, that's about $650 worth 🤯 and about a third of what I need.

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Got some solid work in today and completed the fabrication of the trans mount / drive shaft loop !! Just need to clean up the welds and a bit of spatter etc then paint and it can go in for good at last.

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Added a cone to the main exhaust collector to get from the 2.25" secondaries to the single 3" exhaust. Having to weld without purge gas from here so I can try and avoid another bottle fill which I won't use all of. No pics at the moment but also will be working on the header secondaries ... looking like the first start will be with a full exhaust which is disappointing :P Was hoping it would be headers only :D

Also have the rear muffler roughly in place so I can start working out how I will mount it ... should look pretty boss I think !!

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Oh, also got a letter for my drivers side airbag recall ... can't wait to take it in to BMW for that 😅 Need to setup some hidden cameras !!

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Would think your bumper would have an exhaust tip cut out?

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1 hour ago, Eagle said:

Would think your bumper would have an exhaust tip cut out?

It does... Just hidden a bit from that angle.

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Working along the header secondaries still ... pretty happy with how its coming together. Will need another bottle of argon to get everything finished up :(

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Just got to finish weld all this lot now and we are into the single 3" tubing at last !!! Plus make some hangers etc.

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