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Fazda 08-10-2011 07:04 PM

1995 318i, boring to roaring in six weeks (v8 inside) CHANGES UNDERWAY SEE POST 61!!
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 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.

Facebook post:

"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:

Final Mounting:

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/ Exhaust.

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.


Fazda 08-10-2011 07:05 PM

The next several weeks consisted on assembling the car really.....




Drives in the parking lot just fine.



On the first test drive the 700r4 trans gives up.

It looked like our Bimmerfest deadline would fail thanks to something that we didn't even expect.

Not one to accept failure I got on craigslist and sourced a trans.

Wednesday August 3, 2011.

I picked the trans up right after work. Got together with a few dedicated friends and my twin and got to work

By 4 am thursday the trans was in. Car was together....



Torque converter failure.

This time things looked gloom.

Two hours of sleep, off to work where I made more phone calls than worked....

We were using older 700r4 transmissions with a 27 spline output shaft.

That converter was expensive and hard to get on a moments notice.

This was a budget build and this week had already lit my bank card on fire.

Luck turned for us though. One of our closest friends stumbled across the right person at the right time and showed up at 5 pm Thursday with a later model 700r4 with a a good converter and a common 30 spline output.

Go time.

By 11 Pm the new trans was in and we were driving the car around flawlessly.

Yes. Three transmissions in three days. 7 hours of sleep from Tuesday night to Friday night.

Late night test run:

I drove the car 12 miles to work and back friday.

Tied up some loose ends after work and we hit the road to Aberdeen around 7:30

Our cooling system needs work, but the car made the trip without major concern...

Maryland wooo!!!!

Six cars, Twelve people, 3 hours and we arrived at the Days Inn Aberdeen Late Friday.

Saturday Morning August 6th.

We celebrate Success, as well as my brother and I's 25th Birthday at Bimmerfest.

A fitting end to one of the most fun, exciting, stressful things I've ever been a part of.

Hate the car all you want, and many of you will.

But I don't think you can hate her story.

Myself on the left, Twin Brandon on the right. Birthday Cake in the center. Thanks to our mother, sister and Uncle who made the two hour trip for the show just to see our success.

I appreciate everything everyone that had a part in building this car has done.

Thank You all.

Jason and Brandon Draper- Owners

Dave McNamee Uncle, tuner, level head to keep things rolling

Dylan Draper, the little brother there to do what he could.

Brian Pizzo, Michael Kershaw, Pat Bonner, Kyle Ulrich, Brian Bonneau, Steve Heimbach Friends that were there for the long haul.

My apologies to our girlfriends, wives, and families. You can have us back now :)

Thanks for the sleepless nights guys. I'd say we did well.

Updates to come as there is plenty we want to change after the road trip.

Look for the car at h2o weekend in September in Ocean City!!!!

Did I leave something out? Feel free to ask. This was a lot to put together at once!

I hope you enjoy the car as much as we do!


drivinfaster 08-10-2011 07:23 PM

would that be ocean city nj, or md?? :dunno:

diggin the build, glad to see the pics, and great job!!


oh, and happy belated birthdays to you both!!

drive by72 08-10-2011 07:41 PM

Props to you! :bow: You rock dude!

hornhospital 08-10-2011 07:44 PM

Enjoyed the write-up. Nice work, thanks for posting!

Moeman10 08-10-2011 07:46 PM

Only bad thing I have to say.

Automatic :(

But great build and awesome work!

cj.surr 08-10-2011 07:55 PM

Awesome work! It's incredible that you got that done in only 6 weeks.

Fazda 08-10-2011 08:05 PM


Originally Posted by Moeman10 (Post 6247732)
Only bad thing I have to say.

Automatic :(

But great build and awesome work!

Hopefully she'll be a manual by h2o.

There was no meeting our deadline if we had went manual right away, but don't worry its on the to do list :)

Thanks for the kind words guys.

ethereal45 08-10-2011 08:43 PM

Great pictures, thanks for writing this up. Dope work.

Eight Thirty 08-10-2011 09:20 PM

Stick around man.

I hate seeing these nice cars to go to the beyond.

Moeman10 08-10-2011 10:48 PM

I'd like to try to make it to H20 this year. We'll see.

B_Rad_M3 08-11-2011 12:08 AM

Amazing Job guys!!!

Love the car looks awesome!!!

LaCrosse540i6 08-11-2011 12:47 AM

Great job guys!

It's nice to see an actual completed project in the sea of over ambitious never to be finished (or started for that matter) swap threads.

Just one question.. Where's the video? :D

OrionsGate 08-11-2011 05:19 AM

WOW!! more than just impressive, given the time crunch!!!

B1MM3R 08-11-2011 07:35 AM

Nice work.

ZeGerman 08-11-2011 08:21 AM

Hell yes! Awesome!

Joe__Sterling 08-11-2011 08:41 AM

What'd you do for driveline? Keep the e36 trans? If not what about the driveshaft?

Really cool project man, makes me want a v8 e36

aa240sx 08-11-2011 10:05 AM


Originally Posted by Fazda (Post 6247775)
Hopefully she'll be a manual by h2o.

There was no meeting our deadline if we had went manual right away, but don't worry its on the to do list :)

Thanks for the kind words guys.

Inspiring and I'm glad to hear you'll be converting to manual!

Nice work. What's next? Maybe an V8 engine swap on a Z4?

sweetbmwis 08-11-2011 10:50 AM


Really cool project man, makes me want a v8 e36
im sure for the right price that can be arranged:)

sethum 08-11-2011 10:55 AM

thats redunkulous!

Leusent 08-11-2011 03:41 PM

Lots of respect for anyone who can shoehorn a completely different engine into a car. You guys are car "hackers" in the purest form.


kanovic 08-11-2011 06:08 PM

looks great and the engine looks very nice only thing i did not like is the hood, wish you made it look stock with that engine. other then that great work!

hornhospital 08-11-2011 09:15 PM

That's the trouble with using a carburated engine. No room for the air cleaner or even a tube to turn the airflow into it. That's why the LSx is so popular for swaps into E36s. Really low profile with the intake at the front. I think they way it was done was excellent. Minimal visibility of the conversion.

Fazda, how's it do in the rain? Any problem with the breather pulling in water?

Fazda 08-12-2011 02:42 AM

I will answer all of your questions guys, it's just very hard to find time to sit at a computer and my job is surely not in an office...

Yes, there us nearly no way to keep the air cleaner under the hood, the small edelbrock filter was the mis nonchalant thing we thought of. I will be fabbing some kind of small scoop though. Then I'll just look like I'm trying to be cool :). As of now I avoid rain as I doubt it'd go well, although tuesday I brought it to work and we got the worst rain I've seen all summer. I covered the filter and luckily it stopped before I headed home.

petriej 08-12-2011 09:50 AM


Originally Posted by Poorboysracing (Post 6248533)
What'd you do for driveline? Keep the e36 trans? If not what about the driveshaft?

Really cool project man, makes me want a v8 e36


700r4 or something.

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