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  1. #1
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    Castro Motorsports LS7 swapped E46 M3 - Badass? Blasphemy?

    It is almost getting boring seeing LSX motors in just about everything. Yes, the engines are awesome. Simple, cheap (relatively compared to BMW M engines), light, easy to work on, powerful, tons of modifications, etc. The S54 inline-6 is the heart and soul of the E46 M3 and putting in a Chevy powerplant no matter how good just seems wrong somehow. That said, it is great to see a large V8 stuffed under the hood of the E46 and no doubt the car is a monster.

    Would you would want one? Would you still consider it a BMW? Did it lose its heart and its soul in this swap? Debate, discuss, drool, or condemn.
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    Build:

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    Since this is going to be a race car, we were able to make life easier on ourselves in this process, by deleting/permanently removing what wasn't absolutely necessary. After all, race cars aren't meant to be comfortable, but they definitely need to be light. We also needed to make firewall and trans tunnel modifications with our good friend - the Hammer, as we planned to move the motor further back then for better weight distribution.

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    After doing plenty of research on various LS swaps, and seeing that we wanted to put this motor into multiple chassis in the future, we invested in a nice replica foam block engine. For the price you really can't beat this option IMO. The engine weighs less than 20 lbs, and has threaded nut-serts to be able to bolt up literally everything that a real LS would have! We also went ahead and started ordering materials for the engine mounts, and the headers.

    Anyway Chris and Jose got to work and came up with these engine mount arms. These were made to work with the AKG solid aluminum engine mounts that were on their way.

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    The rear suspension was addressed next - AKG solid aluminum rear subframe bushings, trailing arm bushings and diff bushings were installed, along with their weld-in reinforcement kit.

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    Here are some pictures of how the motor sits with the mounts in place. The stock rubber M3 mounts were used as place holders for the solid AKG mounts that were on back-order.

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    The biggest issue, as with the E36 kit that are offered, was going to be the driver's side header. Since we're using 1 7/8" primaries, this was going to be tricky, especially since we moved the firewall in about 3 inches to sit the

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    Since we're working within a deadline, we had to get moving on the headers. Oh hey, I wonder what's in that box?

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    Since the passenger side was going to be easier, Chris and Jose tackled that side first

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    More work on the passenger side header:

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    Basically done

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    The passenger side floor was cut for the DTM style, side exit exhaust. Way more work then I thought! :shock:

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    A mock up of the muffler with dual 4" tips

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    The new floor plate made, and was welded in

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    Transmission brace completed

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    Custom dual 3" X-pipe!

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    DTM style exhaust - 80% complete

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    O2 bungs added to the X-pipe

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    Exhaust complete, with the tips slash cut to be parallel with the side skirt. Side skirt was cut nicely for a clean look

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    Harness redone, wrapped, and ready to be installed

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    Oh, and the REAL motor was finally installed

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    Mmm, CNC ported heads by West Coast Cylinder Heads!

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    Close up of the Dailey Engineering Stage 3 dry sump pump

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    Close up of the custom ATI Super Damper

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    The KW Club Sport coil-overs were also installed!

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    ***The 2x4 pictured holding up the hood, was unfortunately our only option after Kalon lost the aluminum rod we had put in the truck when he left the shop***

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    Decals installed

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    Stage 2 or 2.5 E9X M3 S65 V8 supercharger kit for sale
    : http://www.boostaddict.com/showthrea...r-kit-for-sale

  2. #2
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    Very cool. The s54 is a amazing motor but this is a great project. I wouldn't mind having a LS swapped m3. I thought about doing it with a e36 m3 a while back.
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    ESS 6XX kit

  3. #3
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    I love it and would take it in a second.

  4. #4
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    It's a racing car..... yada yada yada............ and with the LSx, Kw coilovers, etc etc, the only thing BMW about this car is the shell

    Great engine though !
    2005 Porsche 996 TTS RWD - Eurodyne 60-130 in 6.50s
    2015 Audi A3 2.0 TFSI - Eurodyne 0 - 100 in 10.67s
    2015 McLaren 650S (RHD) - UK - 1/3rd owner yet to drive


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  5. #5
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    Wow that's awesome.

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    I don't like the side exhaust. But I see the valid points for a race car have a LS in it. You can literally go down to the parts store and most likely get the parts. The 240 SX drift crowd will do a LS swap just for that reason.

    Now would I do it to a M bmw no. but a 325is, 318i or a 540i Wagon on HELL YES!

  7. #7
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    No longer a BMW but I guess it's cool.
    E88 N54 Alpinweiss/Coral Red/Motiv HTA 3586r Tial .82AR/Motiv Port Fuel/BMR 3.5" Exhaust/ER CP/Synapse/VRSF FMIC/Rob Beck PCV Valve + Cap/ST Coilovers/M3 FCA + Tension Rods/M3 Subframe Bushings/M3 FSB/AA Strutbrace/DINAN Camber Plates/Apex ARC-8/Project Kics/VAC Hubs/Rogue Transmission Mounts/Alpina TCU Flash/Icarbon/Kerscher/BMW Performance
    F30 335 X-Drive EBII....PPK otherwise Stock
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  8. #8
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    I think it's pretty cool. One of the best balanced chassis, and one of the best NA motors. Put them together and you get this masterpiece.
    Burger Motorsports
    Home of the Worlds fastest N20s, N54s, N55s, S55s, N63s, and S63s!

    It is the sole responsibility of the purchaser and installer of any BMS part to employ the correct installation techniques required to ensure the proper operation of BMS parts, and BMS disclaims any and all liability for any part failure due to improper installation or use. It is the sole responsibility of the customer to verify that the use of their vehicle and items purchased comply with federal, state and local regulations. BMS claims no legal federal, state or local certification concerning pollution controlled motor vehicles or mandated emissions requirements. BMS products labeled for use only in competition racing vehicles may only be used on competition racing vehicles operated exclusively on a closed course in conjunction with a sanctioned racing event, in accordance with all federal and state laws, and may never be operated on public roads/highways. Please click here for more information on legal requirements related to use of BMS parts.

  9. #9
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by fastgti69 Click here to enlarge
    I think it's pretty cool. One of the best balanced chassis, and one of the best NA motors. Put them together and you get this masterpiece.
    Curious, is "one of the best balanced chassis" better than a 'Vette chassis? Otherwise, all that work for what? Awesome fab skills and build though.

  10. #10
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by BigM62 Click here to enlarge
    Curious, is "one of the best balanced chassis" better than a 'Vette chassis? Otherwise, all that work for what? Awesome fab skills and build though.
    Vette is too long to be as nimble as the e46, I've driven both cars and the e46 just feels 100X better than the Vette.
    Burger Motorsports
    Home of the Worlds fastest N20s, N54s, N55s, S55s, N63s, and S63s!

    It is the sole responsibility of the purchaser and installer of any BMS part to employ the correct installation techniques required to ensure the proper operation of BMS parts, and BMS disclaims any and all liability for any part failure due to improper installation or use. It is the sole responsibility of the customer to verify that the use of their vehicle and items purchased comply with federal, state and local regulations. BMS claims no legal federal, state or local certification concerning pollution controlled motor vehicles or mandated emissions requirements. BMS products labeled for use only in competition racing vehicles may only be used on competition racing vehicles operated exclusively on a closed course in conjunction with a sanctioned racing event, in accordance with all federal and state laws, and may never be operated on public roads/highways. Please click here for more information on legal requirements related to use of BMS parts.

  11. #11
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by fastgti69 Click here to enlarge
    Vette is too long to be as nimble as the e46, I've driven both cars and the e46 just feels 100X better than the Vette.
    The C7 is even better balanced and supposedly far more playful and nimble. I'll know for myself soon hopefully.

    Stage 2 or 2.5 E9X M3 S65 V8 supercharger kit for sale
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    The C7 is even better balanced and supposedly far more playful and nimble. I'll know for myself soon hopefully.
    My friend Jacklyn's Husband just took keys of a white C7 on valentines day. He hasn't really taken it out yet. It looks pretty sweet though!

  13. #13
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by onisyndicate Click here to enlarge
    My friend Jacklyn's Husband just took keys of a white C7 on valentines day. He hasn't really taken it out yet. It looks pretty sweet though!
    What does he do with it? Stare at it in the garage?

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  14. #14
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    What does he do with it? Stare at it in the garage?
    Maybe there's snow outside.

  15. #15
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by SLV335I Click here to enlarge
    Maybe there's snow outside.
    I don't know what that is.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    I don't know what that is.
    Yes you do. It is what you drive to.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    What does he do with it? Stare at it in the garage?
    Well it just finally cleared up with the snow in KS. So yeah pretty much. He's driven it a couple of times. When he goes to the strip (3 hours south of us) I'll ask him to send me the video and a photo of the time slips.

  18. #18
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by BigM62 Click here to enlarge
    Yes you do. It is what you drive to.
    In my all wheel drive car Click here to enlarge

    Stage 2 or 2.5 E9X M3 S65 V8 supercharger kit for sale
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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    This is so wrong... but its soooooo right


    this thing will be a monster thats for sure

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    2 out of 2 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    damm!!!1

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    This is stupid. I wish I could burn every LS swapped BMW. I wish I could drive every 911 with a LS power plant off a cliff though. The former is like shooting someone from far away, the latter is like stabbing someone and staring them in the eyes.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by StinkyM Click here to enlarge
    This is stupid. I wish I could burn every LS swapped BMW. I wish I could drive every 911 with a LS power plant off a cliff though. The former is like shooting someone from far away, the latter is like stabbing someone and staring them in the eyes.
    LOL

    I hear you, there's something wrong about it. But... I wouldn't mind an LS7 powered 993.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    LOL

    I hear you, there's something wrong about it. But... I wouldn't mind an LS7 powered 993.
    I would have you ban me if you put an LSx into a 993.
    Honda CBR 1000RR, Superbike Supply, Arrow, HRC, BMC, Lee's Cycle, Galfer, EBC, Revzilla, AXO, Dainese, Scorpion Helmets

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  24. #24
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by StinkyM Click here to enlarge
    I would have you ban me if you put an LSx into a 993.
    That's depressing Click here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    That's depressing Click here to enlarge
    Haha.
    Honda CBR 1000RR, Superbike Supply, Arrow, HRC, BMC, Lee's Cycle, Galfer, EBC, Revzilla, AXO, Dainese, Scorpion Helmets

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