533i S54 swap full build thread

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BavAdrian533i
Posts: 214
Joined: Nov 12, 2014 9:52 PM
Location: Fresno CA

533i S54 swap full build thread

Post by BavAdrian533i »

Hey guys so since there is not much info about what it takes to S54 swap a e28 & the challenges you have to face especially financial wise. I thought id make a full build thread explaining & demonstrating what it takes to get it done. There are cheaper ways to get this swap done but this is the route i choose for my car because i did not want to deal with the headache later down the road. Anyway here is what were working with this is my 1983 533i that was originally bronzit beige I did a full respray on excluding the engine bay.

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However there are a few things i would like to change ill be documenting everything on here well at least that is the plan. Yes my car is on air suspension sorry for all the purists out there but i found it better to have a car on air here where i live due to the road conditions here.

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My first set of real 3 piece wheels :)

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New tires

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First time laying it out on her new wheels :)

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Enough of that lets get to real deal. The day i went to go pick up the S54

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A month later i happen to find a e28 at a local junkyard to me with a full nutria brown interior. Everything was there & complete. The car had 85k miles & the interior is in mint condition as you can see. Also got the full interior for a whooping 300$ haha cant beat that.

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Hauled it back in the c10

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Ok so now the fun can begin this is the current status of the 533i. Last time it will have a m30 in it.

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I started off with the rear end, i wanted to get the rear subframe out to get sent out for powdercoating meanwhile i can start tearing into removing the engine. 30 plus years of oil, dirt & grime on the rear suspension components.

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And its out

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That is the current state of the car as of today 12/6/19 i will keep you guys updated as i get along with the build. Please stay tuned & let me know what you guys think




Ok so im back after i took some time off due to the holidays & also had to paint a car for a customer of mine. Hopefully this time ill make more progress. Anyway i got all my suspension parts like the trailing arms, subframe & a bunch of small brackets to the powder coater. As you can see they turned out great!

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I got all my trailing arm bushings & rear wheel bearings pressed in at a machine shop forgot to take pics of that but you get the idea. I started to assmeble the parking brake parts with new shoes, hardware & basically everything new.

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Then i decided to powerwash the wheel wells & give them a quick coat of paint.

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New diff got resealed & new fluid. Came from a auto e24 with low miles is what i was told from the guy i bought it from.

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Finally go the subframe all together with all its new parts. Here is a quick rundown. I got new axels, stainless steel lines, 3.25lsd with 540i rear brake pads & new calipers. Paired that with some stoptech race pads. Also got new brake dust shields & new ebrake cables.

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I choose to go with ST for sway bar upgrade.

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Thats all i got for now folks ill keep you updated as i got stay tuned for whats next!
Last edited by BavAdrian533i on Feb 02, 2020 11:41 AM, edited 2 times in total.
thugginrobby
Posts: 406
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Re: 533i S54 swap full build thread

Post by thugginrobby »

;)
muleskinner
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Location: ATL

Re: 533i S54 swap full build thread

Post by muleskinner »

Looking forward to following this.
vandiesel
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Joined: Jan 02, 2012 5:16 PM

Re: 533i S54 swap full build thread

Post by vandiesel »

sub'd
BDKawey
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Location: Newark, Ohio.

Re: 533i S54 swap full build thread

Post by BDKawey »

subby
richardb
Posts: 60
Joined: Jul 20, 2011 2:39 PM

Re: 533i S54 swap full build thread

Post by richardb »

That's going to be a lot of fun. What did you pay for the S54? Nice that the prices on those motors has gone down a lot in the last 10 years.

I think I'd want an electric conversion on my car if the M30 ever craps out.
BavAdrian533i
Posts: 214
Joined: Nov 12, 2014 9:52 PM
Location: Fresno CA

Re: 533i S54 swap full build thread

Post by BavAdrian533i »

richardb wrote:That's going to be a lot of fun. What did you pay for the S54? Nice that the prices on those motors has gone down a lot in the last 10 years.

I think I'd want an electric conversion on my car if the M30 ever craps out.
I paid 3,200 for a 110k mile s54 complete with engine harness , ecu etc.
T_C_D
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Re: 533i S54 swap full build thread

Post by T_C_D »

Did you really just try to justify the air ride due to bad roads. In Cali? :rofl:
cek
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Re: 533i S54 swap full build thread

Post by cek »

Oh, hai! Subbed.
BavAdrian533i
Posts: 214
Joined: Nov 12, 2014 9:52 PM
Location: Fresno CA

Re: 533i S54 swap full build thread

Post by BavAdrian533i »

Hey guys its been a while since ive done an update so here we go again. Out came the old & tired m30.

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So when i bought the car I believe it had gotten into a slight accident or something so now that i got everything off im going to be replacing this panel.

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Since i waited for someone to cut this out of a part out car i decided to get busy on the engine bay. I deleted some unnecessary brackets that were no longer gonna be used.

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Masked up & ready for some spot priming !

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After that i decided to do some welding. So i welded up my power steering gearbox bracket. Mine was completely gone.

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After that i decided weld up new brackets for the expansion tank. I seen a couple of guys mount the expansion tank on the passenger side shock tower so i decided to do the same. I got a brand new e30 tank. I made sure it was level & as straight as possible.

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Still waiting on that panel... what to do, what to do, hmm .... well maybe i can refresh my s54 by rebuilding the vanos.

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Here are all the parts i will be using. I choose beisan systems seals kit , oil pump disc etc.

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Vanos unit off

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Time to rebuild this vanos unit with all new seals, & a new oil pump disc.

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Up next was the solenoid pack seals.

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After that i choose to replace all the cam sprocket bolts with upgraded ones from dr.vanos

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A new upper timing chain guide wouldn’t be such a bad idea either since it was already in two pieces instead of 1 haha.

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Got the vanos unit back on. Decided to upgrade the vanos oil line with an upgraded one from dr.vanos these are prone to cracking so definitely an upgrade.

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Next big job was to tackle the rod bearings. Since this s54 has 110k miles most likely none of the previous owners had opened up this S54 so i decided to change them out. I went with ARP rod bolts since they are reusable & are stronger compared to the oem bolts.

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Marked the rod bearing caps for removal & reassembly i wanted to be sure they went back on exactly how they came out.

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Ouch yea good thing i decided to change them these rod bearings had seen better days.

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Next up test fit of the m50 oil pump & pick up tube which fit up nice!

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After that i went ahead and threw on the oil pan but id did not quite fit. The oil pan baffle was hitting on these two little brackets for the s54 rear sump pickup tube. I needed to delete those so in order to do that i needed new main bearing bolts because they can not be reused. So had to place an order on those & new parts to rebuild my oil pump.

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Since i was stuck waiting on parts & got really impatient i decided to start ripping apart the interior. Yes i know its not a good idea to be doing multiple things at once but i was so impatient & had a bunch of parts to go in the interior as well.

So out came the dash & HVAC box

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Just my luck the hvac box had a huge hole underneath so now i get to buy a new & wait for it to arrive :|

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Since i had a new behr heater core & at some point my carpet got full of coolant i went ahead & replaced my heater core. The box was filled with like 20 plus years of dirt, grime & leaves so it was a good time to do some good cleaning.

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So thats it for now guys im stuck waiting for parts which hopefully arrive soon so i can get some more progress going but so far so good. Let me know what you guys think!
tschultz
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Joined: Mar 01, 2009 8:58 PM
Location: Denver, Colorado
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Re: 533i S54 swap full build thread

Post by tschultz »

Great work, thanks for the update! Always enjoy the pictures of the great work on these projects.

I always wait in anticipation for E28 S54 driving videos but they seem to be scarce!
davintosh
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Re: 533i S54 swap full build thread

Post by davintosh »

Cool stuff. Keep it coming. :popcorn:
vandiesel
Posts: 159
Joined: Jan 02, 2012 5:16 PM

Re: 533i S54 swap full build thread

Post by vandiesel »

Sometimes when going through a build thread I have this funny thought. Oh I guess here is another person with the same disease. Build threads are like an addiction confession. The disease runs deep here and it is a house of addicts. LOL
sethcphoto
Posts: 24
Joined: Nov 13, 2018 4:19 PM
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: 533i S54 swap full build thread

Post by sethcphoto »

This is so clean! I thought I was the only one on this forum with air suspension, glad to see someone else! Definitely subbed to this!
rubix_cube12
Posts: 156
Joined: Apr 03, 2012 7:21 PM

Re: 533i S54 swap full build thread

Post by rubix_cube12 »

Keep it up. Definitely excited to see more updates.
wormzde
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 27, 2020 11:07 AM
Location: KS

Re: 533i S54 swap full build thread

Post by wormzde »

What size tires are your running ?
M5ER_28
Posts: 24
Joined: Oct 13, 2013 7:12 PM

Re: 533i S54 swap full build thread

Post by M5ER_28 »

My friend, you have no idea how much respect I commend you with. I’ve been looking for a thread like this for sometime. Please continue to update us step-by-step how you were doing with this build. As you said in the beginning they’re just not enough as S54 swap into the E28 that are documented online. I myself have come across the opportunity for an S54 for a very low price that will probably need the same maintenance done on it that you are doing. I am just not sure how deep this build will cost me. (Trying to keep this build under 15k) I’m assuming you will go with a ZF 5 speed to fit the tunnel? Will you be relocating the battery to the trunk? Please continue to update us!
BavAdrian533i
Posts: 214
Joined: Nov 12, 2014 9:52 PM
Location: Fresno CA

Re: 533i S54 swap full build thread

Post by BavAdrian533i »

Yo whats up guys long time since ive done an update but grab some popcorn and enjoy some more progress on the s54 swap!!

Ok so where did i leave off oh yeah we were dealing with the evap box. So i started to look for one on the interwebs so meanwhile that came in i decided to get busy on the interior.

Carpet came out & I discovered some slight rust by the drivers side floor.

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So the only best thing to here is just to treat the rust from spreading since it was not too bad to replace the floor. So i used this chemical to treat the rust & ready for any top coat.

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So then i decided to remove all the old insulation in preparation for new sound deadening.

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One side done...

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Then etching primer the rusty floor

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Ok so with the magic of editing were done with the sound insulation. Haha came out good but another job i wish i dont have to do any time soon.

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I ran out of sound deadening material might order up some more to do the back who knows but for now the floor is done.

Next up i started to tackle the rusty battery tray panel. I started to cut it out little by little.

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My original plan was to section part of the strut tower as well but id figure it was to much work so i hammer & dollied out the crunched up metal as best as i could & came up with this.

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The new panel came in from a donor car i waited over a month for this piece & it was a total pos. This car had been sectioned years ago because it had old school silicone bronze welds. Looks like they welded it with a torch. Super shitty & part of the frame had been sectioned as well & someone just globbed seam sealer over it.

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So then i was thinking should i use this piece or wait another month or more to get another piece & maybe in the same shape as this one. So then i decided to use part of it. I had a plan in mind just needed it to come to life. I got to work..

So i decided to just use the front face of the panel. Alots of cutting, grinding & thinking later i ended up with this.

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But then i needed a battery box?! Luckily i had one from many years ago. So i dug it up from my garage. I did some cutting & grinding on this piece as well.

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Then i started to test fit everything.

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Next up the front panel...

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Overlapping the panels to make our cut.

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I used some self tapers to keep everything tight as possible.

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Then I quickly mocked up a fender & everything else to make sure fitment is good.

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Up next grills & lights.

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But i did not like the gap between the edge of the grill to the fender. Hmm i did some tweaking.

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Ahh much better now i can sleep at night haha but everything seem to fit up great as you can see.
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Yes i did test fit the hood but did not snap a pic oh well lets take everything back off again & start cutting & welding!

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Everything is cut / welded time to grind down the welds & apply some filler.

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Tech tip a small paint stick cut into a small piece makes a good small block when getting those tiny spots as straight as possible.

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Bodywork done ready for primer.

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Masking her up late at night.

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Primed.

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Ok so everything else was prepped for paint & ready for paint! This how she looks before paint.

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Then i decided to quickly paint my subframe. Honestly i was not proud that i did not remove it & got it powdercoated but i would need to remove most of the suspension which is faily new. The front suspension has less than 500 miles on it so i said screw it & just rattle can black it. It should do the job.

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Not too bad ehh

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Ok so we are ready for paint!! I cleaned up the garage blew the heck out of it washed it & got a new tarp from harbor freight to put on the floor just to minimize dust. Im not in a paint booth so dust is the enemy here but i try my best to get the cleanest job out of my garage that I possibly can.

Masked up & ready to be slicked in haha

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Ignore the non masked sway bar i had a new one going in.

Ok so time to lay down some sealer.

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Then base went down.

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After that this is where it gets exiting. Time for CLEAR ill let the results speak for itself.

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I was very happy how the battery tray panel looks now with paint

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Honestly it came out great but i know i could have done better but it will do for now. It was difficult to spray all hard to reach areas but got it done.


So im going to cut it off here ill upload another separate update just so i wont have issues with uploading it.
cek
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Re: 533i S54 swap full build thread

Post by cek »

Seriously impressive work. This is going to be a fantastic car. I really appreciate all the photos!
Hffvdbl
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Joined: Nov 21, 2011 4:50 PM
Location: DFW TX

Re: 533i S54 swap full build thread

Post by Hffvdbl »

keep up the great work. These cars deserve to be brought back like this. Appreciate your thread!
Mdreamer
Posts: 241
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Re: 533i S54 swap full build thread

Post by Mdreamer »

Great work! Thank you for sharing your progress... It's truly impressive.
Zengineer
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Re: 533i S54 swap full build thread

Post by Zengineer »

Great thread, great build. Love the direction you are going, keep the posts and photos coming!
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