LQ9 into E39 Swap
after seeing many awesome threads on here featuring E39s with LSX power, i decided to go ahead and do my own. i love the M62, but:
-not enough power
-too expensive to fix
-Vanos is knocking hard
-no potential for making easy cheap power
So, after researching, I've decided to go with a truck/SUV style motor due to price and availability over the more popular aluminum candidates. I like the idea of higher compression for NA application, so I will be going with an LQ9 (6.0 iron block, aluminum heads). seems that they are most readily available in 2002-2006 Escalade, so i'm searching for one now. tranny will be T56--anyone have any recommendations as to where to look for one besides car-part.com? maybe LS1Tech?
i have my eye on a local LQ9 from LKQ, but they want a $350 core charge. i obviously have no motor to give them to avoid that. for those of you who used LKQ, did you pay this charge?
i will be fabricating my own exhaust and mounts. will use Camaro SS manifolds and adapt them to the OEM exhaust, like rao did.
i have no clue where to start off with wiring. all i know is that i'll need the Escalade PCM (or can i use any fbody PCM?), and the harness. i'm stupid when it comes to electronics.
picked up a few parts to kick things off.
came off a 1998 Trans Am (guy upgraded to a F.A.S.T. or something)
it came with a drive by cable throttle body--i will probably have to use a drive by wire depending on the PCM i end up using. not sure yet, i guess it's based on compatibility/ease.
i'm in the process of cleaning the oil pan. this is "before". it sat for a long time. came off a 98-02 F body. not sure if it'll fit, with the crossmember, but i guess i can always modify it. (i have access to a full fabrication/sheetmetal shop at work). it was a good deal so i couldn't turn it down.
removed the baffle for cleaning...see anything unusual besides the dirt?
this is my first time inside one of these motors, so i will have questions about things as i go along. oil level sensor? the dark red cylinder on the end of the sensor is loose and flopping around. is that normal, or will i have to replace it? maybe i can snag the one off the LQ9 truck pan when i buy that.
can someone tell me more about the oil pan gasket? it is bent in a few places and the rubber has separated from the steel in a few places too. i'd replace it, but it looks to be riveted to the pan in 2 places. don't get it.
oh, and here's what it's going in.
hope to do many many more of these.
I'd be very concerned about the extra weight of your engine-trans combo. AFAIK, the LS swaps had aluminum blocks.
You'll end up with a poorly-handling E39.
That iron block though will give many more options for power adders such as forced induction and over-boring. The weight should be negligible. It is an 80lb difference between an LS2 and LQ9. You can make some serious power with this motor and the heads are basically LS6 heads with larger chambers. The LQ9 is 100% compatible with the LS1 and LS6 as far as parts go (intake, heads, headers, cam, crank, etc.)
There was an owner on a GTO forum who had a 04 or 05 GTO that swapped in a stock long block LQ9 with LS6 cam and dual springs and a 74mm single turbo and ran a 9.9 1/4 mile on street tires and his car weighed 4000 lbs! :yikes: First link has a video of the 1/4 mile 2nd is the profile of the owner:
And here is more about the same car:
825hp/847TQ to the WHEELS on a stock engine is damn impressive. Gotta love the aluminum head/iron block combo. As for the swap into an E39 just ask the people who have done an LS swap. The guys on the LS1 forums say its just like swapping in an LSx so that should be helpful. Good luck though and grats on a beast of an engine! :thumbup:
I will be watching.....
sounds awesome man! best of luck to you!
exactly what I wanted to see. I have had my eye on a e39 with a blown motor for 1000. I figured once I get enough finances Im going to do the swap
Found a motor just an hour away last night. Drove out there to inspect it-6.0L block, Al heads, no problems. Turned over by hand.
Came out of a 2003 Chevy Express van. 134K. The seller drove the van before pulling the motor, but I plan on running it on the engine stand before tearing apart the top end.
Includes whole motor, PCM, entire engine wiring harness, truck intake and pan and all truck accessories (of which I can hopefully sell most of them to recoup some costs), intake, maf, throttle body, all for a pretty good deal (not to mention delivered to my garage!)
She definitely needs cleaning up but I'm happy with it for what I paid. It's being delivered today. I need to buy a stand/crane asap.
Got the motor in finally. I had the seller deliver it and bring his crane to unload it, and to hook it up to my engine stand. I unfortunately bought the wrong length bolts for the engine stand – to – block, so for now it's sitting on a tire.
Began by removing the wiring harness (which is uncut except for the "body harness"), which should be useless to me (Chevy Van specific). Bagged and tagged everything that was plugged in-the rest I'll have to chase down and find out what it does. I'm terrible with wiring diagrams, so I guess now's the time to learn. The PCM has the "green/blue" connectors….from what I had read on LS1tech, this will play a part in tuning later on.
Then started pulling off all the accessories off the front. What an easy engine to work on!!! All bolts are either 8mm, 10mm, 13mm, or 15mm. this means I can have 4 sockets/wrenches on my rolling stool and not have to go back to the toolbox over and over again. Awesome design. Pardon the terrible work area-this is in the garage in my new apartment, I'm in the process of moving right now, so my main tool chest, benches, etc are all still back at the old place. I can't wait to bring over my welder….there are 3 broken exhaust manifold studs on the heads that need to be removed, approximately .75" above the surface of the head (yay!). I'll tack a few nuts on and pull them out.
Started cleaning the heads. They really do shine up nicely, but I have a long way to go. The block paint is peeling and rusty in places, so I will be wire-wheeling it down and painting it high temp black.
Pulled the left valve cover for fun. Looks pretty clean for 134K.
Threw the manifold on for fun.
The E39 "Fritz" watching me work….my girlfriend named him that (she wanted a strong German name). She always said "he's on the fritz" when the cooling system and crap was going wrong. We named her B7 A4 "Gretchen".
I dont think you understand how much more is involved. If you think an M62tu is complicated and this is easy then your sorely mistaken bro. Im not trying to "hate" or "rain on you parade" .
Btw quick question, What mileage are you at with the vanos knock? I bought mine with 130k and a vanos knock, Im at 192k today and still runs like a champ with a loud vanos knock. And i drive it like its stolen
Between VANOS issues, timing chain guides, cooling system issues, valve cover gasket leaks, valley pan problems, and lack of aftermarket support, I don't want to run this engine another 120K sleeping with one eye open. I want to enjoy it with minimal worry. LS series is known for very few, if any, major issues.
I understand that you have undertaken this swap already, completed it-thanks for your well informed and knowledgeable advice on the difficulty!
The dsc, srs, lkm, gauge cluster, body module, key system all communicate with each other.
Lets not forget the custom drive shaft that going to be needed.
Im not saying it can't be done, it has been done but your excuse that the m62tu is too complicated, unreliable and can't be modified is lame. Just say you thought it would be cool to swap in some American muscle and do burn outs all day and then I would understand.
Don't knock the m62. it does enough on its own. :)
I love burnouts and muscle, but I'm also tired of the M62 being a ticking time bomb. These are my two biggest reasons for the swap. But let's not argue more about politics! :) I really do love the M62 (that sound….….on my top 5).
What do you mean no ECU? I will have the full BMW harness, the full Chevy harness, the BMW computer/DME, and the Chevy PCM.
I will let others who have done the swap chime in on the "dsc, srs, lkm, gauge cluster, body module, key system all communicate with each other" comment since I know some of those are unaffected by the swap as long as they get power to certain relays. Not an expert here (far from it actually).
The driveshaft is a matter of blending the output of the T56 with a new input yoke on a BMW driveshaft. As well as keeping driveline angles in check. What's so difficult about that?
Anyways I had the same worries as you but I just overhauled the entire cooling system, intake gaskets, vcg's, belt tensoiners etc etc, I also run Evan npg+ coolant so no more worry's about exploding cooling system. Like I said I bought mine at 130k with the vanos knock and I've driven it hard up to 192k. all the money I saved not swapping motors went into suspension and brake upgrades.
Yeah, I overhauled my cooling system too, and also run NPG+. Good stuff.
I'm subbed although not a fan of the BMCHEVY....I hope this one actually goes the distance.
Bit of progress this weekend. No pics, I spent all of Saturday moving to my new apartment in North Buffalo so my camera is buried somewhere.
Big thumbs up to Mike93 for letting me borrow his engine hoist. Works like a charm.
Got the garage itself closer to where I want it-air compressor mounted, bench in place, lights installed, power strips/electrical, the usual. Started to disassemble the motor a bit more on Sunday but my Craftsman Air ratchet took a dump on me. I have a pile of tools I need to have warrantied by them next time I go in.
Got the engine mounted on the stand
Pulled off both motor mounts
Removed 3 broken exhaust manifold studs via welding a nut on method (1 broken stud still remains. It's 2mm below the head surface. I'll have this done professionally as I don't want to screw it up).
Pulled all 8 plugs, they are original and didn't look too bad.
Cleaned up the heads with a razor blade
Tried to remove the crank pulley bolt with my impact gun, didn't even budge. Those things have to be insanely tight.
I plan on having the heads off by the end of the week. Would like to have them cleaned and milled .030" to bring compression back up to around 10:1 or so. I've read that the 317 heads are very similar to LS6 heads, minus having a larger combustion chamber. Rather than buy new higher comp heads, I want to just mill them to reduce the size of the combustion chamber (to 66cc). Have also read that usually .006" material removed is about 1cc of chamber volume.
Casting Numbers 241, 806, 853
Head: 1997+ LS1 5.7 Liter Passenger Car
12559806 (1997-98) Chambers = 69cc
Combustion Chamber Volume: 66.67cc
Casting Number 317, 035
Head: 2001+ LQ4 and LQ9 6.0 Liter Truck
Combustion Chamber Volume: 71.06cc
Compression Ratio: 10:1 LQ9 Flat top pistons
Compression Ratio: 9.6:1 LQ4 Dish piston
Intake Port Volume: 210cc
Exhaust Port Volume: 75cc
Intake Valve Diameter: 2.00 inches
Exhaust Valve Diameter: 1.55 inches
So, I know how much I need to mill to go from 317 head (71.06cc) to 241 head volume (66.67cc), but how do I calculate compression ratio from that?
I guess the other option would be to buy 241 heads or 243 heads and sell the 317s, but who knows if 317s are a hot commodity.
Anyone recommend a good machine shop that can do this? I read online that TSP does this service for $75, but they aren't local.
Spent most of yesterday after work moving things to the new house and unpacking. I really hate moving, because you do so many little things, and it doesn't look like much….
Pulled the truck oil pan, baffle, and pickup tube off, scraped the block surface with a razorblade
Pulled the valve covers on each head and removed all 16 rockers, pushrods, and rocker bolts, bagged and tagged everything
I realize how crappy my pictures are coming out, I need to bring my good camera over.
Pile of stock parts continues to grow.
My workspace (work in progress in itself)
no pics yet, have to upload them, but recent updates:
welded a 3" QTP Y pipe in the exhaust system, now the M62 screams, love the sound. This is probably my 4th exhaust configuration on this car
removed the middle valley pan, need a new gasket for that
removed the heads on the LQ4. 10 long bolts, 5 short bolts per side. Need to buy ARP head bolts and new headgaskets. Any recommendations on headgaskets?
Removed the front crank pulley with a puller from Vatozone, need to buy a new bolt for that. Removed front cover (need a new gasket), timing set (chain was pretty floppy, vids to follow, need to buy a new LS2 set) and oil pump, followed by cam plate and cam itself.
Found a low mileage (16K) LS2 cam out of an 05 C6 Vette on LS1Tech….$90 shipped, I thought it was a good deal. That will be installed as soon as it arrives since I don't need anything to accompany it.
Stock Cam Specs:
LQ4: 196/207 .467 .479
LS2: 204/211 .525 .525
I'll try to upload pics of all of the above when I get a chance. My girlfriend is taking me on a surprise 3 day trip for my birthday so I'll be away from the computer for a bit.
Just throwing ideas around in my head, don't flame me.
I'm thinking about headers and what will be necessary to make them work. I know Rao used a set of manifolds with a few elbows to route where he needed to go. In everyone's experience, what are the "trouble spots" on where headers hit (aftermarket LS1 headers)? I found a cheap set on LS1Tech that would seem like the ideal candidate to "bolt up, find trouble spots, cut up, and reposition runners as necessary". This beat custom fabricating headers completely from scratch, which I could do, but would take forever. I would rather hack up and rework 1 or 2 runners rather than have to source the materials for 8 runners.
Again, keep the flaming to a minimum. I'm in this to learn and have fun.
haven't updated in a bit...waiting on parts to come in
went to the dyno with a friend...made 282 whp, 302 tq. M60 Manifold, cone filter, open cutout before the Y-res, and 3.15 open diff.
made some purdy sounds while on the rollers
best friend's El Tee Juan T/A put down 325whp/355tq. f*ck yeah 'Merica
scrubbed the heads, got more gunk off them. need to find a machine shop to mill them for me.
wirewheeled the valve covers. before and after.
installed LS2 cam. installed timing set (new HD LS2 stuff) and oil pump. timing this thing was.........too easy...felt like i was doing something wrong as there were like 3 steps.
I want to do something like this too. The electronics seem like a NIGHTMARE. Could you give some input on that?
Overall, been busy with little BS. Working on friends cars, etc. My biggest hurdle is having a 2nd car right now, so that I can pull the motor from the BMW. I have my eye on a nice automatic ‘98 Legacy Outback Limited with heated leather. I have been spoiled by the creature comforts of the E39.
LS6 Yellow valve springs came in. Need to put these on the heads once I’ve had them milled.
Sold my winter wheels to a guy in Rochester, was a nice relaxing drive.
Put my fiancee’s cat in the oven, she was a fan of that.
So back to the automotive portion of things…
My friend let me test fit his Style 65s. super wide and lots of rubbing.
Made good use out of the old stock LQ4 Van cam.
Beginning to clean up the block better. After some wirewheeling.
next important step: buy a winter vehicle so the BMW can come off the road!
2000 Subaru Outback 109K miles
2.5 Boxer 4-cyl, 5 speed, AWD
Power and heated cloth seats, heated mirrors, heated windshield
some nearly new Dunlop snow tires on it
taking the BMW off the road and registering the Suby this weekend.
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