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BMW e39 touring Engine Swap

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Hi All,

I've got an e39 525i touring (5 speed auto) that I've picked and wanting to gauge effort and costs to do either of the following:

  • M62TUB46 swap (will need to source everything to make it run), ideally convert it to manual too
  • M62TUB44 or M62B44 (will need to source everything to make it run), ideally convert it to manual too
  • M54B30 (I have a running donor car), ideally I would like to convert to manual.

The above order is from favourable to least favourable. I know the M54B30 would be the easiest choice, but since I have a 525i, is it really worth the effort and money for the gains. Then again I don't know the effort or costing it would take to do the V8 conversions. BTW i would need some capable hands to help, i'm not a greasy monkey, just a monkey with a dream :)

There's a few 98/98 e39 540s on trademe at the moment that are ex-project cars that have been collecting dust. Ideally I'd like e53 4.6is thats been wrecked that I could get the necessary parts to do the full conversion (LVV compliant etc).

I'd like to hold onto the wagon for awhile cause I just love the e39 shape and it would definitely look sexy towing something (even a trailer with garden waste 🤣)

your input would be greatly appreciated.

thanks

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6L v12 from a e65 760i , rear sump engine 

 

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It will be cheaper and easier to sell yours and  buy a V8 one, there is a lot of stuff that needs changing, front subframe, steering box, suspension, brakes, wiring loom, driveshaft and diff, radiator, ecu ,  etc, etc, etc...

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4 hours ago, aja540i said:

It will be cheaper and easier to sell yours and  buy a V8 one, there is a lot of stuff that needs changing, front subframe, steering box, suspension, brakes, wiring loom, driveshaft and diff, radiator, ecu ,  etc, etc, etc...

fair. not interested in selling. its a bit hard to find oxford green touring with cream interior in a v8. 

I suppose if anything, just M54B30 swap and manual convert?! at least more torque etc.

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4 hours ago, BM WORLD said:

6L v12 from a e65 760i , rear sump engine 

 

tell me more. sounds like you have the bits for the swap, but I'm guessing a lot of mods needed.

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4 hours ago, aja540i said:

It will be cheaper and easier to sell yours and  buy a V8 one, there is a lot of stuff that needs changing, front subframe, steering box, suspension, brakes, wiring loom, driveshaft and diff, radiator, ecu ,  etc, etc, etc...

What if I had a running 540i donor car?

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Thats a good start, still a lot of work, even more to manual convert as well.

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Cheers mate. Good to know. I'd suppose thats why I'd pay someone to do the work for me, probably an expensive exercise.

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Consider just going for M54B30 + manual and set the rest aside for maintenance (how are the rear subframe bushes looking..? Cooling system, gaskets, etc.)

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I wouldnt bother building something you can just buy, it'll be a spiral of sunk costs and headaches. The only time it would make sense would be if you had the donor already, and could do the work yourself.

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m62 swaps will be expensive to do properly but will be many times better.

I wouldn't even bother with a b30 swap as the e39 is a heavy car.

Bear in mind a m62 engine will require the chain guides to be replaced unless it is a very low kms engine. This is not a cheap job.

As others have said, starting with a v8 e39 makes more sense, but if you are attached to yours, then a donor vehicle will make life alot easier and cheaper.

Im partway through putting a m62b46 and 420g into a e46 so ask away and I will do my best to answer your questions

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Throw an M3  S50B32 in it, keep the nice steering rack and avoid all that lard in the front 

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A V8 manual swap could be worth it if you had donor and manual bits already but otherwise would be a huge expense of time and money (ZF's aint cheap anymore but 420g boxes are crazy $).

You'd be better off buying a V8 then getting a respray and swapping the interior if you like your colour combo and want a V8.

Personally id just stick with the B25 or B30 and manual convert it, much easier and cheaper and will feel like a different car. Ive a chunk of my E39 manual conversion bit left if wanted.

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25 minutes ago, Eagle said:

A V8 manual swap could be worth it if you had donor and manual bits already but otherwise would be a huge expense of time and money (ZF's aint cheap anymore but 420g boxes are crazy $).

You'd be better off buying a V8 then getting a respray and swapping the interior if you like your colour combo and want a V8.

Personally id just stick with the B25 or B30 and manual convert it, much easier and cheaper and will feel like a different car. Ive a chunk of my E39 manual conversion bit left if wanted.

whats the point- you can just go and buy one 

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Not sure what point you are referring to. He said he wants to keep is car otherwise yes buying something else would to be ideal. 

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3 hours ago, Eagle said:

A V8 manual swap could be worth it if you had donor and manual bits already but otherwise would be a huge expense of time and money (ZF's aint cheap anymore but 420g boxes are crazy $).

You'd be better off buying a V8 then getting a respray and swapping the interior if you like your colour combo and want a V8.

Personally id just stick with the B25 or B30 and manual convert it, much easier and cheaper and will feel like a different car. Ive a chunk of my E39 manual conversion bit left if wanted.

What of the manual conversion have you got available? 

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3 hours ago, 3pedals said:

Throw an M3  S50B32 in it, keep the nice steering rack and avoid all that lard in the front 

what about the S52B32 that Brent has for sale at the moment?

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Out of all the choices, I like @BM WORLD's  v12 idea most.

No point putting in an engine that it came from the factory with, and the costs will be several times more its value.

The six cylinder options are underpowered in a heavy car - the m3 motors on offer came from cars that are nearly half a ton lighter and are not considered incredibly fast by todays standards.

Paying someone to do a full driveline swap is going to be super expensive so you might as well go full send and v12 it.

You will have a very unique car, with torque to burn.

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8 hours ago, SHRNTA said:

What of the manual conversion have you got available? 

Everything expect the gearbox (keeping it). Driveshaft is sedan length 

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E39 is not a heavy or lardy car with a six in it, we had a 528 tipped the scales at 1520kg and most medium spec ones are around that weight.

Both the E28 and E34 M5's were straight sixes - chucking a more modern performance 6 into an e39 shell would give you a "Pure m5" re- imagined  and make the most of a very nice chassis  

 The V12 is just a bigger lump of lard 

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I would buy a 540 touring. Swap all the good bits from yours into it.

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10 hours ago, 3pedals said:

E39 is not a heavy or lardy car with a six in it, we had a 528 tipped the scales at 1520kg and most medium spec ones are around that weight.

Both the E28 and E34 M5's were straight sixes - chucking a more modern performance 6 into an e39 shell would give you a "Pure m5" re- imagined  and make the most of a very nice chassis  

 The V12 is just a bigger lump of lard 

The curb weight of a touring e39 530i is 1750kg, and a touring e39 540i is 1845kg.

Why go to all the expense of installing an m3 engine when it has considerably less torque than what the 540i came with from the factory?

And thats all before we even mention the s62 from the m5.

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9 hours ago, zero said:

The curb weight of a touring e39 530i is 1750kg, and a touring e39 540i is 1845kg.

Why go to all the expense of installing an m3 engine when it has considerably less torque than what the 540i came with from the factory?

And thats all before we even mention the s62 from the m5.

 

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So how did they manage to cram another 230kg into the 530 over the 528? Poverty pack 528's were as light as 1450 kg 

 and yes the fully loaded 540's were up around 1750 to 1800kg with steel subframes etc not alloy like the 528 

why would you do it well only because it's different  and you would get almost the performance of the V8 but with the much sweeter handling of the 6 chassis 

 you would not bother doing a V8 swap because you can just go out and buy a V8 version 

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