Engine replacement on '94 530i

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Hi folks,
I bought a Nikasil 530i back in '03, at a suitably discounted price given the excellent condition of the body and interior and the likelihood of engine failure. It ran great for 3 years, but now it's
starting to burn oil when the engine is cold, and the compression is getting a little lower than I'd like in a couple of the cylinders (6 of them top out around 180-185; the other 2 are down around 160). There's also a new, high-pitched periodic sound (not really a tapping; more of a squeak) that varies in period with engine RPM. My mechanic buddy says it sounds a little like blowby from a shot piston ring, but that the compression readings seem too high for that to be the case. Anyway, we're thinking of at least new head gaskets, probably new valve guides and seals too, and possibly just tearing the whole engine down and rebuilding from the bottom up. I've been looking for a machine shop that can bore out and sleeve the cylinders, but my impression from reading old posts here is that that's a dicey job and possibly much more trouble than it's worth.
What I'd like to know is whether anyone here has tried dropping a US- built engine into a BMW. My friend claims that a Chevy 350 ought to fit in the engine compartment easily, and it would be much cheaper than buying a rebuilt BMW engine and about the same cost as doing the rebuild ourselves (probably about $1000 once machining and new parts are taken into account). Alternatively, we could go to a scrapyard and pull a non-Nikasil M60 or M62 to rebuild ourselves, which would presumably avoid the need to do any cylinder work other than perhaps honing. I'm not very experienced with engine work myself, but my friend assures me that we can get the job done.
What sounds like the best course of action here?
Thanks, Zach
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On Feb 26, 2:26 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Find a friend who's not that stupid. Then, find a used BMW V8 to drop in there. What you don't spend in actual cash outlay stuffing a used Chevy engine in you will spend in aggravation getting it to work satisfactorily. -- C.R. Krieger (Been there; wouldn't do that)
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totally, you need to hang around with less rednecks, and more germans!. Chevy 350, damn, that is a stupid idea. You can pick up a 4.0 on ebay without nikasil and be done with a major upgrade.
By the way, YOU make it sound like all nikasil went bad, which is FAR from the truth... I would not hesitate to install a nikasil 3 or 4 litre with proper compression stats, save you that much more $$.
You have to do some homework and FORGET everything your friend told you.
wrote:

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You really believe that, don't you. It's better because it is BMW.
Wow, how narrow minded.
"SharkmanBMW" <sharkmanbmw at gmail dot com> wrote in message wrote:

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I guess then, you are a redneck, or you wouldn't have been bothered.
I said nothing about BMW being better than chevy engines... I said it was a useless idea when used V8 bimmer motors are readily available and FIT EASILY.....
Even you can understand that, no?
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A redneck? Because I like a Corvette.
again, narrowminded. "SharkmanBMW" <sharkmanbmw at gmail dot com> wrote in message wrote:

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wrote:

Depends on the Chevy engine. If you're talking an LS1/LS2/LS7 it is vastly superior to the BMW engine, including the 4.4 in my 540. Get past pushrods, doesn't matter. It is lighter and smaller and puts out more power. Heck, it's lighter than the I6 in my M3.
There are kits for retrofitting it to an E36 M3, which I am considering for building a track car.
Keep in mind, a brand-new LS2 is around $6K and puts out 400hp/400tq stock. Mods take that up a LOT for reasonable money.
Tom 03 M3 Cab 03 540iT Supercharged 07 Corvette convertible.
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and be done with it!!!!
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Smoke em all on the straight aways and be done with it!!!!
Why would it handle poorly? It's lighter and smaller than the BMW engines. Seems like that would be good :)
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Welcome to my kill filter. I believe you'll find there is a LOT of work and fabrication involved in this endevour and that the cost will be higher than just buying a different car. Whether or not you believe it is a better engine or not is irrelevant. It's not worth the hassle in my opinion unless you're just tossing money around to do it for the hell of it.
IMHO if you're going to do anything resemling an engine swap, get something that will drop in without major modifications needing to be done to the car. Save yourself a lot of time and hassle (as well as $$$)...
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Feel free to killfile me for disagreeing that the Chevy engine isn't as good as a BMW engine. I didn't say it would be cheap or do it.
Do you killfile everyone that disagrees with you? Must get lonely, Psycho.
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wrote:

I am quite happy I bypassed the killfile today looking for a series of posts as I get to read your missives again.
First, I never said anything about about disagreeing with you. For reference, I will repost your text below...

Nowhere in there do I see any disagreement reguarding your opinion that the Chevy engine is better than the BMW counterpart. You are entitled to your opinion and there are cases where I would agree with you. I would not attempt to put a V12 BMW engine in a Chevy Chevelle no matter how much the cool factor might weigh in. I would however put the latest and greatest Vette motor in one provided I had the resources to sink into it. Obviously I wouldn't do this for an old rust bucket, it would have to be a sweet ride to warrant this kind of expense. That said, the OP was asking what the best course of action would be, not if the Chevy engine was better and I'll agree with you again that for certain things, I would use nothing but a Chevy motor.
I saw in one of the other posts that someone refered to you as a redneck, this was unfair as a lot of people like Vettes. I really like the older ones as they were beautiful cars. I don't care that much for the newer ones however. They are still nice cars however. My favorite thing about them is that while they are fast once they get going, I can either take them off the line or I will run around them in the corners.
Please read this twice before you quip off a half baked reply. There are enough trolls on usenet...
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don't worry about tom, he is confused in regards to what I typed as well... it seems he has more money than brains.

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On 26 Feb 2007 12:26:04 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Whether you meant to do it or not, (and I note that this isn't crossposted) then I salute you for a near perfect incendiary question.
It's actually a pretty good question, and one that may have the purists (hopefully) scrambling to defend their positions, depending upon the quality of the arguments from either side. Let's see how rational the argument is...
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Dan.

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You jest, I assume? The cost of fabricating all the one off parts needed for such a conversion would be vast - and at the end of the day you'll not have achieved anything worthwhile.
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*Gun Control: Use both hands.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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You don't seem to be considering what should be the most 'reasonable' course of action. Drive the car for another year as is while you find a good deal on a direct replacement used engine. It won't be as interesting as the V8's that require new computers, wiring harnesses, exhaust systems, etc. but you'll be back in business with the least amount of cash and downtime. I agree with Psycho that engine changes are only attractive if you're looking for a resource consuming hobby and don't care when the car will be back on the road.

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For what it is likely to cost, you would probably do better to part out the 530i and buy a newer one with the proceeds and whatever your budget for the repair was.
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I too think it is a bad idea. I think Chevy makes great engines, but there is no way this a reasonable or practical solution for a one off. E36 track car? Sure, which is why there are kits. 5 series. Nope.
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message

more likely to modify their car than 5 Series owners. So, more aftermarket stuff becomes available for 3 Series cars. Although not many will put a Chevy engine into their BMW, there are other mods that I wish was available for my E34 535i. For example, a good aluminum radiator. No aftermarket aluminum radiator is available because very few 535i owners would spring for it. Yet, there's several companies who make one for the E30 and E36 3 Series. Further, if I had say a 525i, which use the same engine as is found in some E36 3 Series, then there is an aluminum radiator available for it. There's also one for the E34 V8s, but none for the 535i.
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JoshIII wonders: Why do you want a custom radiator? For example, what is the difference in a cutsom radiator vs. an OEM if they are both the same size and dimensions? Ans: Not much. If you are wanting a custom radiator that is oversized, then it makes more sense.
Reference: This guy added turbos and intercoolers *and* a custom radiator to his 1989 (E34) 535i GTR
http://redfivemotorsport.com/super.htm
Quoting: 04-12-2006 11:04PM Member ID: RedFive Link: www.bimmerforumsn.com "I tried the build it yourself approach with a supercharger for the M30. It ultimately cost me $8000 in new parts. Then I didn't have any money left to get the engine tuned properly, left in a NA tune chip and melted thru 2 piston on a built engine. I now have a TCD S2 on an even more built engine and I'm not driving it till it gets a stand-alone computer and some dyno time. If you're interested in a great deal, I'm selling my supercharger setup (with a TCD chip) for $3500. This includes the intercooler, bypass valve, and the custom radiator that was the key to making it work....."
Email him and ask where he had his custom radiator built, but he no longer uses the engine fan with his, ' and installed an electric.
JoshIII josh3i at hotmail . com
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