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Unread 10-20-2017, 10:23 AM
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Default Vorshlag RHD E36 LS3 V8 Swap Development

Project Begins - October 20, 2017: At long last we have found a Right Hand Drive BMW E36 Alpha candidate and we begun in-house development of the prototype pieces for an upcoming LS V8 swap kit this week.



We have been working for the last 10 months to get this RHD E36 chassis here along with the right transmission, bellhousing, oil pan, engine, and other parts needed to begin construction of this prototype "Alpha" RHD E36 swap.



This particular RHD chassis was one I almost bought 3 years ago, but missed out on. It was converted into an endurance road race car but the lackluster BMW straight six left the team wanting.... V8 power!



We had the stock drivetrain out and the LS3 + TR6060 trans here some months ago but there was some confusion as to the proper transmission that would work. We want to build this kit around the factory 1998-2002 LS1 Camaro Borg Warner T56 -or- the modern, aftermarket, new Tremec T56 Magnum 6-speed manual. The remote shifted TR6060 from a 5th gen Camaro comes with a remote shifter (yuck) that is waaaay too far back for this chassis. Recently the team we are building this Alpha swap for found a 4th gen Camaro T56, then we finally got a break in our schedule to begin, using our new fab guy Aaron as the lead tech on this project.



Earlier this week Aaron got the engine bay power washed and the stock steering shaft removed. Then Jon built him a E36 Competition Steering Shaft we use on our traditional LHD E36 swaps (to gain room for the exhaust headers) and it fit perfectly. We knew it would as we had sold many of these to RHD E36 owners in the past (people use these in many race car builds to get rid of the sloppy rag joint equipped OEM shaft).



We sourced one of our LS T56 aluminum bellhousings and bolted it to the LS3, re-using the original 5th gen Camaro clutch and pressure plate. Stabbing the 1998-02 Camaro T56 into the LS3 proved difficult - it was hung up and sticking out by 1/4" - until Aaron measured and removed the LS3 pilot bearing. He swapped in an LS1 pilot bearing and the trans slid right home. The splines and diameters on the T56 input shaft worked fine with the LS3 clutch then.



Next we needed to make some room in the engine bay. The charcoal canister needs to be relocated and the 3 channel ABS unit was also going to be in the way of the V8. Since the brake booster is on the other side of the engine bay we were able to simple relocate this only by about 8 inches vertically, making the need for an extended ABS wiring harness no longer necessary. We will show more of this when the relocation bracket is complete and the system plumbed.



With some transmission tunnel mat material removed (it was falling off, as usual) and a few other things removed, the transmission and engine were finally ready to go into the engine bay.



We played with front to back place and right side offset until we had the motor and transmission placed just right. This is a unique drivetrain placement that will clear the RHD steering shaft and brake booster + allow the use of both the OEM T56 we used here as well as the shorter T56 Magnum 6-speed without much modification of the factory shifter hole. With this placement the Camaro LS3 accessories will even fit - which is a no-go in the LHD E36 swap.



Lots of room on both sides of the engine bay with this location and the ABS pump pulled up out of the way. Aaron is already making an all new transmission crossmember for this RHD swap, shown above right. He will start on RHD motor mounts soon and prototype long tube RHD-specific 1-7/8" diameter headers will be built in the coming weeks.

More soon,

Last edited by Fair!; 10-20-2017 at 10:28 AM.
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