I’m contemplating an LS swap on an 83 533i

E28 technical advice asked and given! Troubleshooting, modifications and more.
Post Reply
DMnTX
Posts: 11
Joined: Sep 24, 2019 9:32 PM
Location: Texas

I’m contemplating an LS swap on an 83 533i

Post by DMnTX »

I bought an 83 533i automatic for a deal but have had the hardest time getting parts like relays and sensors. I’m about to throw in and put a 5.3 LS in it.
turbo_nine
Posts: 287
Joined: Aug 20, 2008 4:21 PM

Re: I’m contemplating an LS swap on an 83 533i

Post by turbo_nine »

While I'm all for putting an LS into this chassis, you can certainly find help here acquiring replacements for the sensors and relays you need. Which in particular are you looking for?
DMnTX
Posts: 11
Joined: Sep 24, 2019 9:32 PM
Location: Texas

Re: I’m contemplating an LS swap on an 83 533i

Post by DMnTX »

Cam/crank sensors and ignition relays. What I’m more worried about is having to replace the motronic or other ecm issues. I haven’t had good luck getting used parts or finding direct suppliers.
Mike W.
Posts: 25103
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Covid 19 Life during Wartime

Re: I’m contemplating an LS swap on an 83 533i

Post by Mike W. »

If you really want to do a LS in an E28, go for it. But parts for 533's are pretty easy to find and not expensive for the most part. Autohausaz, which I used to like but not so much anymore, has CPS and relays all for reasonable prices. ECU? They're out there used, supply goes up and down, but it's not really a common failure point. Like everything, stuff is cheaper and easier to find if you don't need it now. If you want to do a LS swap, fine, but don't do it because of perceived parts availability because parts are available. Not take your pick at the DIY junkyard like 15 years ago, but parts are still out there.
DMnTX
Posts: 11
Joined: Sep 24, 2019 9:32 PM
Location: Texas

Re: I’m contemplating an LS swap on an 83 533i

Post by DMnTX »

I appreciate the input. I wish I could agree on availability, but so far I’m about 200 or more in relays, all came used and 1 worked. I’m more frustrated to go the LS route but it’s an option. If I seem vague, it’s just that I don’t get on forums a lot and there isn’t a bmw community here in Lubbock so I’m learning lol
Vrizzotti
Posts: 11
Joined: Feb 20, 2021 5:58 PM
Location: Long Island, NY

Re: I’m contemplating an LS swap on an 83 533i

Post by Vrizzotti »

i have way too many parts, shoot me a pm. im actually about to rip out my m20 (e) with an auto and do an LS race car lol i have an ** 528e and a stoarge unit filled with e28 parts. if i can find the relays you need, i have some 265s and a 260 trans you can swap in as well as pedal box. basically anything for a manual swap. but my vote is LS :beer:
DFWTX85
Posts: 81
Joined: Sep 27, 2017 10:26 PM
Location: US

Re: I’m contemplating an LS swap on an 83 533i

Post by DFWTX85 »

I'm in Dallas and there's not a huge crowd of genuine classic BMW folks here. Many of them expect a turn-key car for $500 and it has to look brand-new too. Parts are not super easy to source either but you might be surprised about what you can get for parts due to scarcity.

If you're open to it I have all the parts you'd need to swap in a manual and more powerful inline-six, but if you score a deal on an LS and T56 (or something) then I can't truly fault you for going that route too.
DMnTX
Posts: 11
Joined: Sep 24, 2019 9:32 PM
Location: Texas

Re: I’m contemplating an LS swap on an 83 533i

Post by DMnTX »

Thanks y’all any help is appreciated. I got so frustrated I’ve been working on a 69 Chevy truck to feel like I’m saving money lol. I’m leaning to a 4.8 ls but that’s only if I can’t make headway on electrical. Mine has what is called the big 6 but it needs so much little stuff. I’m not sure I want to tackle a trans swap but I’d probably be in the same scenario as an ls swap.
gadget73
Posts: 698
Joined: Nov 22, 2017 11:30 PM
Location: New Jersey

Re: I’m contemplating an LS swap on an 83 533i

Post by gadget73 »

I have a 4.8 in my pickup, and I imagine in a vehicle that weighs roughly a ton less it would seriously move. They do make a little less torque than the 5.3 does but I don't think you'd ever miss it in that car.
DMnTX
Posts: 11
Joined: Sep 24, 2019 9:32 PM
Location: Texas

Re: I’m contemplating an LS swap on an 83 533i

Post by DMnTX »

Exactly! And I’m not going for a hot rod or track star, just more drive ability.
Post Reply