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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, new to the forum, just got my first bmw, not new to miatas. Ive had 5 miatas in the past 3 years that Ive torn down to the shell so i know my way around them well enough. Im building one for competition drifting and i figured it was time for an engine swap... ive been fabricating and welding for the past year and i want to try out my skills. Anyway, few months ago i was working on a friends e36 and couldnt help but notice certain similarities and easy swap factors in the drivetrain: rear sump oil pan, wall bolting transmission mount, center mounted diff... So I started taking dimensions. the s52 was a few inches taller but everything else appeared to fit with in reason. So when i found a wrecked e36 M3 I couldnt pass it up, 120k miles, other than the vanos tick, and the obvious rear end collsion, it was in great shape, for $2300!

THE PLAN: take the M3 motor, tranny, diff, and ALL the wiring and throw it in the miata. (Easier done than said) A walbro 190 in the stock tank should be more than adequate. Like i said all wiring is going in so i wont have to worry about electronics, im using the bmw gauge cluster and panels. The transmission brace will fit with some custom mounts. the miata rear subframe will need some trimming and extra bracing. exhaust comes out the passenger side so it will be custom too. A custom length driveshaft is needed, but flanges will remain the same, so i may just have it shortened. A custom diff mount will be needed. Im using the m3 rear knuckles and hub and will fit them onto some cutom extended control arms along with a 4 lug conversion on bimmer hub. a/c will be deleted and the bmw power steering pump will mate up to the miata rack. I probably missed some stuff but thats all the major trickery.


This miata was wrecked when i first got it, bone stock. It currently has a removable front end, roll bar, riceland coils, lightflywheel, exhaust, and adjustable control arms.





















This week i decided to make a stand for the miata since id be moving it around quite a bit and jackstands werent cutting. The subframes will be coming off and on and better for test fitting.









It turned out to be good roll cage practice.





Then it was demolition time..











Took out about 50 pounds, though Im sure Ill be putting in about twice as many wires haha. Anyway, here's some more of that MMM..




 

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in. not sure about the e36 but i know that swapping the e46 M engine is no joke.. i followed a thread where an MIT student swapped an M block into a e46 sedan and it took him like 2 years. if your wiring isnt correct you can brick the ecu on the first startup. the e36 might not be as complicated but be careful and good luck. looks like you know your stuff anyway
 

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Discussion Starter #5
in. not sure about the e36 but i know that swapping the e46 M engine is no joke.. i followed a thread where an MIT student swapped an M block into a e46 sedan and it took him like 2 years. if your wiring isnt correct you can brick the ecu on the first startup. the e36 might not be as complicated but be careful and good luck. looks like you know your stuff anyway
Yeah thats why I bought a running car, im just going to swap every wire directly over so i dont even chance it, and label EVERYTHING.
 

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Here's what i did this week, sorry for the terrible pictures.... ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................Someone wanted the front clip, and i needed more space to replace the vanos rattle so win win







Everything was surprisingly simple to remove, and while I was down there I noticed that the a/c had its own belt, itll be a breeze to delete. This car gets cooler everyday.


I also cut the doors out..










Took out about 30 pounds incuding windows





I traded a guy an rx7 steering wheel for this one, not bad!


Then it was on to the vanos seals, I had tons more room










At this point i either needed to buy the expensive cam block and sprocket holder tools or i could take a few hours and make my own own, so i found some scrap aluminum..
















The sprocket tool was fun. For the shaft, i didnt have any round bar to stick in the hole so i used a square one and ground down the square corners so it would fit.

 

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epic!

Looking forward to the next update!
 

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i remember this car FS on craigs a while back. was it you selling or did you end up buying it relatively recently?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
These past few weeks Ive started on a few suspension components and made progress with wiring removal. I also removed the miata's front subframe, it was welded to the bash bar but ill be modifying it.



I cut a 14mm section from each knuckle to increase angle. Im sure theyll hold up to a 2000lbs car but I plan on having them heat treated as well.









I modified the miata front upper control arms to be 50mm lower and 60mm wider. I lowered them as sort of a drop knuckle substitute to keep proper suspension geometry, itll make more sense when i finish the lower ones.









Im almost finished pulling the wiring harness, there was way more to it than the mazda but I was surprised with the ease of removal, also the full interior is up for grabs.







 

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ok, i like that you dive in and get your hands dirty w this sort of thing. i've got an NA project sitting in my garage right now that would benefit from some fab work too.
 

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Your upper control arm doesnt work like that. You accomplished nothing besides making the load paths all convoluted and making the arms longer. These dont work like drop spindles at all since the ball joint rotation point stayed in the same place. Only way to do what you wanted to do in the arms is to use a upper ball joint which puts the point where it locks into the spindle taper closer to the pivot point, or somehow put the upper ball joint upside down and below the spot on the spindle that it connects to, but I dont believe thats physically possible.
 
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