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Thread: Dlux BMW E21 build

  1. #51

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    The E28 subframe into E21 mod....

    I am not the first to do this mod. I have seen at least 4 others document it. I will try to do my best at my version.

    What the E28 subframe offers over the E21:
    5 lug conversion
    Much bigger/stronger gears
    Better choice of gear ratios
    Slightly stronger axle shafts
    Disc brakes

    The only downside I can see to the E28 subframe would be the extra weight. How much? I thought it was a good question so I weighed everything.

    E21 subframe-complete approx 190lbs

    E28 subframe-complete approx 255lbs
    Trailing arm-some brakes 39lb (x 2) 78lbs
    Bare subframe 29lb
    Axle shafts 31lb
    Diff 86lb
    Rotors/calilpers/pads 31

    So, looks like its approx 65lbs for the upgrade. Not too bad.












  2. #52

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    Since I took a lot out of my oil pan and I want to run an accumulator, I had to figure out a way to tap into the motor for external oil lines.

    Stock Camaro LFX has the weird paper type filter and the housing is built into the casting. I found out that a Traverse oil filter housing is more like old school housings where you spin on and off a metal filter. So now I can get a oil filter relocation kit and plump my accumulator and some larger oil filters in.

    This might be good to know for Camaro guys as I know a lot are searching for ways to plumb a turbo in and this would work great for that also.

    Oh, another note is that the oil pressure sender is different on the Camaro and Traverse. I didnt have a large 16mm (I think) tap and didnt want to buy one so I just bought a 16mm bolt, drilled out the center and then tapped it for the sender. Looks like it will work great.












  3. #53

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    Alright, no more spamming with multiple posts. Thats all caught up to date. I will continue to keep this thread updated with new work.

  4. #54

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    I think I got the e28 subframe sorted well enough that it will fit into the e21. I ran into some issues that I didnt see others running into. I am not sure if its me, my car or what?

    I spent way, way more time thinking and measuring than I needed to. I quadruple checked everything and in hindsight, I dont think I needed to.

    Here is a quick, dirty and easy way to install the subframe:
    1- cut the ends off the E21 subframe, clean up the excess welds\





    2- Cut off the ends of the E28 subframe. Cut them at the same angle as the mounts and as close as possible to the mounts.




    3- Measure from the front side of the E21 ears and draw a vertical line at 1.625". Measure from the bottom side .9". (Picture shows 1.25" which is what I did. See below. This route, 1.625" would be correct.)









    4- Place the front and bottom of the e28 subframe along these lines you just put on the ears and weld it in. Make sure the nut on the trailing arm clears the E21 ears. (see picture).



    5- Cut a section out where the fuel filler line will hit the E28 subframe
    6- Build a mount for the chassis to diff cover

    The way above is easy and "dirty" because it will move the wheel back approx .375" from stock, or at least it did in my situation. I dont think it would be a huge deal to install it that way but I went thru the extra work to make it work in the stock location. The big problem is that the gas tanks get in the way and hit the subframe so you have to section out the subframe to fit in where stock would be.

    The harder, yet stock fitting way:
    1- cut the ends off the E21 subframe, clean up the excess welds






    2- Cut off the ends of the E28 subframe. Cut them at the same angle as the mounts and as close as possible to the mounts.




    3- Measure from the front side of the E21 ears and draw a vertical line at 1.25". Measure from the bottom side .9".









    4- Place the front and bottom of the e28 subframe along these lines you just put on the ears and weld it in. Make sure the nut on the trailing arm clears the E21 ears. (see picture).



    5- Cut a section out where the fuel filler line will hit the E28 subframe and also where the gas tanks will hit the subframe.






    6- Build a mount for the chassis to diff cover

    The time lost was spent thinking about how to get the subframe to sit correctly and not be crooked or off center etc. After thinking about it, really, you only need to make sure youre not crooked from side to side and up and down. Everything else pretty much takes care of itself. If you draw the lines on the E21 ears and cut the E28 subframe square, everything else pretty much takes care of itself. Oh, and a huge time sink was that I didnt want to make the E28 subframe too short. Dont worry about that because if you cut it flush with the mounts, its still tough to fit in. I cut mine flush and then took off even a touch more. If you dont, it will be hard to push all the way back where it needs to go and the wheel base will be longer, rather than stock.
    Last edited by Erik D_lux; 01-21-2019 at 10:38 AM.

  5. #55

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    Wow. Did you fabricate the control arm, or did it begin as the E28 control arm? Just didn't totally follow the thread.

  6. #56

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    Are you asking about the front control arm or the rear trailing arms?

    Front I made myself, rears are modified E28

  7. #57

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    Nice conversion, and even if you gain some weight now you have some more HP, not to mention is more balance.

  8. #58

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    Yeah, I am concerned with weight overall but not too crazy. I still prefer reliability over light weight.

    I dont think I am going to gain much weight at all though. I lost a hair with the motor and trans swap, lost a touch with the front end and only gained about 65lb with the rear swap. So, I hope somewhere between 50-100lbs is all that I will gain? To me, thats not much and I am not concerned with it.

  9. #59

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    Eric,,, great build. I'm the guy that posted the exhaust chart on facebook yesterday. Thought I'd mention the oil pan I'm using. It's out of a Holden and it's from Australia. They don't really seem to like shipping to the US,, but I've gotten 2. Just about $250 with shipping.


    Here's one,,, and these are the guys that shipped to me

    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/ENGINE-O...AJvs:rk:7:pf:0



    Here's my build thread,, 2015 LFX into a 2015 Scion FRS

    http://www.ft86club.com/forums/showthread.php?t=117334


    pan.jpg

  10. #60

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    Awesome build thread man! Thanks for sharing.

    That pan is a super cool find. It would be so close to fitting in my car with no mods. Obviously, one of the best parts is that sump thats on the front too. I will see how mine works out.

    I only made it to page 9 of your thread so far. So funny how people resist putting these motors in. IMO, they are a great option for a smaller non LS motor. All the BMW guys are telling me I am a dumb ass for putting such a huge, heavy motor in. They dont say much when I tell them it weighs less than the stock 4cyl though. LOL

  11. #61

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    Couldn't agree more. Number I've seen is motor is 345 dressed,,, which should be less the lump I took out of mine. Hopefully will have it on the scales soon.

  12. #62

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    Right? I wish I would have weighed mine. I have seen 370# dressed. I am not running AC or power steering so I could have dropped another 15#?

    I know my turbo off my old motor weighed 75# alone (manifold included). The old motor weighed 380#, so 455# total with turbo included vs 370#. Pretty good deal if you ask me.

  13. #63

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    More work on the rear subframe.

    I will need to adjust my toe and camber in the rear since the plan is to have this car lowered. I am not a fan of welding on the adjustment plates so I decided to cut off all the mounts and make my own.

    As I sat under the car when putting the subframe in, I kept looking at the stock fuel pump/accumulator/filter setup. I couldn't handle it anymore. It just looks like another BMW band aid and its a mess, especially when previous owners have spliced parts in and things have worn over time.

    I took out the gas tanks, fuel and brake lines and will be replacing all of them with new. I was going to be lazy and try to run the brake/fuel lines but after pulling the tanks, I am glad I am redoing all of it. The fuel lines nor the brake lines were in great shap.

    I will be bracing the subframe mounts in the middle like the factory did after I get the tanks and lines back in so I can double check clearance issues.











  14. #64

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    My battery was located in the trunk. I pulled it and am going to toss it back in the front.

    I have always wondered how much extra weight youre adding by running all that cable back there. Now I know. 6lbs. Just food for thought but youre almost adding 25% of the weight of the battery in cable.

    On a side note... if anybody wants a pre cut battery cable, let me know. LOL


  15. #65

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    I worked on getting the gas tanks, fuel lines, vent lines, pump, filters all sorted out along with fresh undercoat above the tanks.


    I went with all stainless braided lines for durability. I did do 5/16 hardline from just after the filter to the engine bay. I ran the hardline in the trans tunnel so it never has a chance of being smashed.


    I am liking this much more than the factory BMW setup. I feel like its placed much better and much easier to service each individual part.










  16. #66

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    Now that I have the tanks installed, I showed some pictures of the interference that I worked with from the tank to subframe.




  17. #67

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    I added some trailing arm mount bracing and also got the diff mount on the chassis done. Getting closer to having that rear end in!














  18. #68

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    Love your style in fabwork

    FB: @DumbassCarCrew - IG: @fruttolo_dumbasscrew

  19. #69

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    Thanks bud

  20. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fruttolo View Post
    Love your style in fabwork
    +1

    and even a little jealous!

  21. #71

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    I hit the weekend with the goal of getting the rear end in. I need to learn to not have goals as sometimes they can just leave you disappointed.

    I knew that there was a chance that my brackets on my subframe would not allow for the adjustment that I needed. I totally forgot as I was half way done welding them! Whoops!

    My adjustment on the side for toe is good, the camber adjustment was not.

    The camber adjustment needed to be moved up a ton. I need to check but I think close to 2" over stock.

    As I cut off the inner brackets to make them correct for camber, I was also bothered by the binding that comes from twisting the toe side bushing to make it have the same angle as the camber side. After resisting all the work I would have to put in to cut off everything I had made and also make new brackets, I did it, I cut it all off and not only put on proper brackets but now, since I had a great idea of where my arms need to be, I put them in that spot and then made all the brackets at an angle so the bushings would see close to no binding.

    So, in the end, even though it was a ton more work to redo it all, I am glad I did it and I am really glad that everything is as proper as can be.








  22. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by DawsonLiri View Post
    +1

    and even a little jealous!
    Quote Originally Posted by Fruttolo View Post
    Love your style in fabwork
    Thanks again guys. It probably means more than you know. I am getting a lot of criticism off Facebook so it sure is nice to hear good words along with the bad.

  23. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik D_lux View Post
    Thanks again guys. It probably means more than you know. I am getting a lot of criticism off Facebook so it sure is nice to hear good words along with the bad.
    Where are you posting on facebook?

    problem is a lot of people is attached to the wrong side of "purism", they have a little list of "allowed mods" (that usually suck), but when you start doing more than bolting on off-the-shelf stuff on an old car they all freak out.

    FB: @DumbassCarCrew - IG: @fruttolo_dumbasscrew

  24. #74

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    I post on my personal page https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100010854313544

    I also post on E21 legion and BMW e21 groups. Both BMW e21 specific.

    I think Facebook is the problem. Facebook is just full of dumb asses who feel the need to comment on anything and everything even if they dont know what they are talking about.

    I think youre right though, people dont like ideas that are not within their constraints. They all flipped their lid when I told them I was putting a non BMW motor in and then really lost it when I told them BMW's are unreliable pieces of crap. LOL. They dont get it.... I dont get it....

  25. #75

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    Nothing new to my ear, I am banned from most big BMW italian pages because I held a fight with them, all the people there is like "old bmws are jewels to only drive once a year and if you mod them and/or put miles on them you are a monster" and I used to daily drive an e30 with wide steelies, tiny tyres, cut off silencer, a big homemade roofrack and runny paint I found it very funny actually, but kind of concerning if you think about it

    FB: @DumbassCarCrew - IG: @fruttolo_dumbasscrew

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