It starts with an idea.
"A v8 e36 would be fun"
It's an idea. It sticks in your head, but you've got a family, a mortgage, and no free time so it stays that way.
Then, your side income of flipping cars throws a basket case Monte Carlo SS at you.
Restoring it and reselling would be the smart thing.
However, for the first time in your life you decide to throw financial gain out and do something for yourself.
A junkyard bound $600 e36 stumbles into your path and things start falling into place.
It's late June, and Bimmerfest is just six weeks away.
A few phone calls later it seems possible; Small Block Chevy E36....build it in just a few weeks. Drive it two hours to Bimmerfest.
From here on out, photos will tell a story.
This car was built by Myself, My twin brother, Our Uncle, Our younger brother and the joint efforts of a handful of lifelong friends.
The goal was obviously to complete the car, and get it to Bimmerfest.
The idea came from the desire to blend our love of Bmw, and the e36 body with our uncles love of American muscle together into a car that we can all enjoy.
-June 17 2011.
"When life gives you lemons, build a v8 e36"
-June 18, 2011
The car arrives, and as you can see it's seen better days.
Tearing the car down and mocking the v8 up... one sleepless night.
After looking at some ls1/ 5.0 swap mounts we drew something up and here's what we came up with:
The next several weeks consisted of taking care of various things:
-Shifter; stock E36 auto shifter with linkage customized to shift the Chevrolet trans
-Drive shaft; The local drive shaft shop had no idea what to do for me since I was using a BMW rear on a Chevy Trans
After much trial and error I figured it out....The Chevy rear has the same amount of splines as the BMW (luckyyy) I removed the flange from the Chevy rear and it slid right into the BMW rear.
Perfect. Except one small detail. The outer diameter was much smaller than the BMW flange.
Solution: I had a friend machine a ring to press onto the GM flange to make it the proper diameter so the rear would not leak. Shorten Chevy driveshaft 6" and we're in business.
The body and paint were just plain awful, so that was addressed.
The interior was borderline not sanitary.... removed it all, replaced some parts, cleaned what we could, and re-installed it after paint.
Rear: the stock 318i rear can't handle the v8. We swapped it with an auto rear from a 93' 325i. Also swapped the axles to 6 cyl. axles as they are beefier.
Trans Cross member, was mocked, and fabbed, and modified until it worked as we wanted.
Headers are Block hugger shorty headers. This was one of my brother's masterpieces.
He cut the collectors off, extended the headers and re welded the collectors so that there was easy access to the collectors and that the steering shaft wouldn't be in the way.
A custom dual exhaust set up to exit like an other BMW was made by him as well.
Other loose ends:
Wiring a carbureted V8 is simple, a few hours and everything was hooked up, a few switches inside and she fires right up.
Ecu and ecu wiring were removed, all other electronics are factory, and work.
Speedometer works off of the rear so it works as it should.
Fuel gauge works as we eliminated the factory pump and replaced it with a flexible hose. The factory Chevy mechanical pump then draws the fuel and things work well.
The radiator from a Fiero fits between our frame rails, so we used that.
A trans cooler from an e36 M3 keeps the trans cool.
A factory Ac fan does the secondary cooling.
factory windshield washer reservoir was converted to a coolant reservoir.
Bilstein Shocks and H&R sport springs hold the car up
Abs was eliminated and fresh lines cut, flared and hooked up to save space...and simplify the car.