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Varsity_Born 10-10-2012 10:32 PM

Engine Swaps
Hey Guys I drive a 2000 528i and a good friend of mine suggested I drop a 350 small block into it. I really want to make horsepower but I don't have the money for it if you have any suggestions please say something, Also, I need to know if the small block would even fit I'd want my car to sound mean, please post back Thanks

nsogiba 10-11-2012 05:41 AM

If you want the car to sound mean, cut the mufflers off.

If you want to go fast, be prepared to spend thousands and thousands, whether it be by modifying the BMW engine or swapping in a Chevy V8.

There is no "easy/cheap" way to go fast.

BentValve 10-11-2012 06:10 AM


Originally Posted by Varsity_Born (Post 7126584)
I really want to make horsepower but I don't have the money for it

Does not compute

Varsity_Born 10-11-2012 07:00 AM

Mmm well if I dropped the Chevy v8 in my car it would be about $1500 no including labor, if I were to invest in an M5 v8 the engine alone would be ridiculous; and because I live in California I cannot cut my mufflers, along with the fact that the I6 currently in the car I truthfully don't think sounds terrifying

DennisCooper! 10-11-2012 07:36 AM


Here's a link for you to begin reading. Please read lots, then also start to save up lots of money as well in order to do an engine conversion with substantially increased horsepower.

From your posts so far, it sounds as though you've not really got much knowledge and perhaps you've chosen the wrong car if you want it to sound 'terrifying'. Aside from these aspects, have you contacted insurance companies in order to check you'd be able to insure the potentially much faster car with the modifications all declared? It's always best to upgrade the braking power of your car first, then the do the power increases, unless of course you have the funds to do both at the same time. Don't forget the upgraded suspension required as well.

Happy reading, learning, saving and modifying :)

Cheers, Dennis!

LaCrosse540i6 10-11-2012 08:12 AM


Originally Posted by BentValve (Post 7126884)
Does not compute


4given 10-11-2012 10:25 AM

Isn't the 4.6L from the X5 a direct swap? I thought I read somewhere it was a lot easier than the LS swap.

DennisCooper! 10-11-2012 11:10 AM


Originally Posted by 4given (Post 7127449)
Isn't the 4.6L from the X5 a direct swap?


Please have a read of the various threads in the link I posted previously :)

Cheers, Dennis!

4given 10-11-2012 03:06 PM

I didn't see anything about the 4.6l swap but ill take your word for it.

poolman 10-11-2012 06:42 PM

Really think that it would be against the law to do this swap--you could run into trouble

Varsity_Born 10-11-2012 10:59 PM

How so

nsogiba 10-12-2012 06:46 AM

1. Emissions. 350 carbureted V8 will spew a lot more than your I6.
2. Almost positive that putting an older engine in a newer vehicle is illegal. You won't be able to register it.
3. Inspection (2 different VINs on motor and chassis)

BentValve 10-12-2012 06:49 AM


Originally Posted by Varsity_Born (Post 7128892)
How so

You live in Cali.

Varsity_Born 10-12-2012 11:27 AM


Varsity_Born 10-12-2012 11:29 AM

And oh okay so do you guys believe I should save up for a 540i m Sport?? And if I were to how much would you buy my 528i for if you wanted to buy it

BentValve 10-12-2012 11:31 AM


Need more info on your car.

DennisCooper! 10-12-2012 12:52 PM

Hi Varsity,

I give you credit for asking questions to further increase your knowledge, which is a good thing to do. However, I do suspect you are either very new to learning about cars and/or very young. You say you don't have the money for engine swaps, which I can understand as to do swaps properly will cost thousands. However, to my point above, have you checked for insurance costs as well as maintenence costs for bigger engined and faster cars? If you are indeed young you may find the insurance premiums asked for a fast BMW will be very high indeed. I'd suggest looking around the threads about looking after a BMW as well, as the 540i has particular items which need doing regularly or the costs to put right when broken will also be correspondingly very high as well.

In order to sell your 528i, you need to accurately describe it, take great photo's point out the maintenence it's had previously and whilst you've had it. Look on car selling websites for ballpark figures of how much 528i examples are going for :)

Cheers, Dennis!

LalaRay 10-12-2012 12:59 PM

lls its illegal to swap engines?

DPP528 10-12-2012 01:38 PM

In short, I wouldn't. The M52 is a great motor, one of the best ever made and I personally wouldn't trade it for anything. An engine swap would cost way more than the car is worth. Not to mention complications with traction control/mounting, It'll never be just right and it will dramatically lower the resale value of the car. Best bet if you really want more power is to go for the 540. It will probably be a pretty close trade for your 528, or not much more money. If you look on you'll see that 5 series I6's retail for about the same money as 540's. Get a manual transmission. If you look on craigslist you can find them for under $5000. Even a 528 that is beat to death can be sold for about $3000 if it runs, 528's in excellent condition can be sold for as much as $7,000. I'd look at private party/craigslist sales before dealers, you can get a much better deal buying directly from the owner. I know that here in NY there's a 99 540 for sale in excellent condition (120k miles) for $3,300 private party. Just look around and don't get so hung up on M packages and stuff like that, although they're nice, if you're buying an older car you'll need to change out the suspension in the next couple of years anyway.

dbaze540 10-12-2012 02:06 PM

I wouldn't be too concerned with insurance, I totaled 3 cars in two years and geico wanted to charge me ~$200 a month when I got my 540i so I switched to Amica for $104 a month, and they give me 2 free months a year.

Varsity_Born 10-12-2012 03:22 PM

Thanks Dennis and, I'm not a young driver just new to insurance and what not got my license maybe 2 years ago but just got this car about 6 months ago

Varsity_Born 10-12-2012 03:25 PM

And I have a question why shouldn't I got for the M package

DPP528 10-12-2012 03:40 PM

No substantial reason not to go for the //M package, it is sweet, but the seller knows it and you'll wind up paying for it. Ultimately it's only slightly upgraded sway bars, shadowline window trim and better rims. I like it don't get me wrong, my 528 is a sport, but if you come across a great deal on a nice, lowish mileage 540 and it's not a sport, go for it. For an E39 I consider anything below 120k low mileage especially if it's well taken care of.

Varsity_Born 10-12-2012 06:13 PM

I have a 528i sport as well but idk the difference between the sport and the regular 528i other than the wheel

DPP528 10-12-2012 07:38 PM

3 spoke Steering wheel
"sport suspension" which really only means slightly upgraded Swaybars, I think the ride's slightly lower also, but still shouldn't make much difference.
Sport wheels (different depending on the year, mine are 17" style 5's)
Black "Shadowline" window trim (instead of chrome) and black trim on doors and bumper
//M badges on the steering wheel and shifter (if manual) and... that's it.

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