Unread 10-22-2018, 03:04 PM
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Default Vorshlag Z4 LSx Swap Testing and Development

Project Introduction, October 22, 2018: Just wanted to officially start this development build thread for the BMW Z4 chassis LS V8 swap development. I may have talked about this Z4 chassis in another build thread but it is in the shop now getting a unique set of parts designed and built for LS swap, so it deserves it's own thread. We have made some progress so let's get to it.


I bought an old race car Z3 from a professional race team a number of years ago and had grand plans for a wide bodied race car, but that just didn't pan out.

This car had some right front frame horn damage, but it was also a fully caged race car and I felt like it was worth saving.

I took the chassis to my friend Shiloh who owns Heritage Collision. He does all of our race and street car paint work. He found this left front corner from another Z4, had that shipped in, and planned to swap it to our otherwise nice chassis.

The Heritage guys did an awesome job, as always. They bead blasted the cage, interior metal, and engine bay metal. Then they cut the spot welds for the right front structure, aligned and spliced in the new sections, welded and seam sealed it all up.

Then they shot the bare metal sections in primer - interior, engine bay, and cage. The car looked great, but we got busy on other projects and this one went into storage...


With a sale pending on this chassis I needed to get this out of storage and bring it to our new shop, which I did in October 2018.

We got the car unloaded and into the shop, then laid out some drivetrain parts we had to test with. There is always a "mock up" LS engine here, bellhousings, transmissions, and lots of oil pans.

The "normal" length Tremec T56 Magnum shown is brand new (around $3000). This is rated at 700 ft-lbs of torque, can come in multiple flavors (GM or Ford), and 2 ratios (close and long ratio). We have begun phasing out using the old "junk yard" sourced direct-shift 1998-2002 Camaro T56 transmission. Why? They are no longer available new (haven't been for almost a decade), the used ones are getting rare and expensive, and anything you find now (16 years after it went out of production) is going to cost $2000+ to rebuild. Yea, parts prices are insane, as many items Tremec doesn't even make anymore. It is way past "end of life". With the used core price + rebuild costs you will spend more for this 400 ft-lb rated T56 than the new 700 ft-lbs Magnum.

Some other parts we have set aside for testing - fairly complete LS long block and a few oil pans.


We mounted the new T56 Magnum to a proper bellhousing and the LS engine and started testing it in the Z4's engine bay...

We quickly built some motor mounts that put the engine where we wanted. This first iteration above looks good.

The LS sits back in the chassis pretty far and all of the heights look fine - lots of room to the hood, plenty of room for various oil pans. But the shifter was WAY up under the dashboard area. It was about 8" too far forward. Time to bring in the big guns...

Tremec makes another version of this called the T56 Magnum XL. This is still a direct mounted shifter but one that moves the shifter back about 7". It is not normally made with a GM input shaft but we have this version made special, and happened to have on one hand from one of our 86 chassis swaps. As you can see, the difference is all in the extended tailshaft assembly - which moves the shifter much further back than the "normal" T56 Magnum.

The shifter lined up perfectly with the T56 Magnum XL. Home run! We are building the transmission crossmember now. Of course we will test existing long tube headers to see if they fit, but we rarely get that lucky.


We hope to have the mounts built and wrapped up this week before this car goes to its new home.

I will update this thread with more pictures soon.


Last edited by Fair!; 10-22-2018 at 03:28 PM.
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