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Old 02-25-2011, 09:47 PM   #1
BMW_Hatchback
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Default 328ti Post Swap Analysis

I owe many thanks to the knowledgeable folks on our very forum, BlueBimma, Phamster, CoolJess, spidertri, Xenocide, and many others.

I follwed Phamster's build primarily, and troubleshooted with many others mentioned above. I also recommend reading through http://328compact.co.uk/

Way overdue, but I'll document my process of piecing everything together and providing information that I found difficult to diagnose and figure out. Also some things I didn't see or find anywhere I'll put here. Hopefully I can remember it all.

In 2009, I swapped a a M52B28 from a 1998 328i into my 1996 318ti. I purchased the engine from Asmod3us (http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1170031) from CT. He shipped it freight to my residence in MD. I purchased a 5 speed ZF transmission separately that was pulled from a 328i as well. Check below for my detailed list of parts I purchased separately before starting:

Parts I bought:
M52B28 complete with accessories and DME, EWSII, Key w/ transponder chip (130k) Bought for $900+$300 freight
ZF 5 speed Transmission $275
Shifter Linkage kit and bits $Junker
M3 two piece 4 bolt drive shaft w/ guibo $80
M3 clutch and flywheel (96-99) $300
328 engine mount bushings
6 cylinder Radiator
New belts, hoses, and ground wires
E36 97-99 Fuel pressure regulator (to be mounted under the chassis unlike 92-96 models where it's mounted on the fuel rail)
328 Instrument Cluster

Aftermarket parts: Complete Six Cylinder Racing Exhaust: AA Track Pipe BMP Shorty Headers & More (purchased from Dahamler http://www.318ti.org/forum/showthread.php?t=26321)
ITG Intake and filter

Parts reused/left in:
Stock 3.45 differential
318 slave cylinder
Transmission Mount
4 Cylinder radiator for a few months
Stock Instrument cluster for a year

The Swap:
A guy I knew owns a general repair shop a few miles away, and he offered to let me use his lift and bay.

We drained the drivetrain of all fluids, except the diff. I installed the flywheel, disc, and pressure plate onto the engine along with the BMP headers. Then we began tearing down the engine bay by snipping the old PS pump bracket due to fitment issues with the bigger engine, and wiping it down.

Along with unbolting everything, we removed the battery and DME. We did not remove the harness for the chassis or fuses/relays. We hooked the engine up to the hoist and lifted out the engine and trans plus the first half of the drive shaft.

Before installing the M52, I needed to purchase new engine mounts as my old ones were shot pretty bad (causing a bad vibration back when I had the M44). I picked up some from the dealer and the next day we installed the mounts and mounted the M52 into the engine bay and replacing the old DME with the M52 DME. After that, matching up the plugs from the harness was pretty simple, without marking (which I don't recommend at all). Next was replacing the old EWS module behind the glove box with the M52 module, just unplug and plug in the new one. I also swapped the transponder chips within the keys.

Next was bolting up the ZF 5 speed transmission. I pieced together the M3 shift linkage, and bent the shifter arm to a shallow U shape to make sure it sat center and not offset (which could cause shifts to be difficult). We filled the trans with ATF and installed the fork, clip, and TO bearing. Then we bolted it up. At this point, I had forgot to purchase a new flywheel dust shield and it was left off by accident (I noticed after everything was finished). You'll read later about the clutch misalignment issue I had.

After bolting up the engine and transmission, we tried to figure out the drive shaft fitment. You all should know that the M3 driveshaft doesn't stretch out far enough full to reach the rear end unless you extend it. I learned this from phamster's build (http://www.318ti.org/forum/showpost....&postcount=139)
Bolting up the driveshaft was kind of tricky since the transmission and engine were already installed, but we thought with our dipsticks and figured a way.

Next was the exhaust, now keep in mind I bought a racing exhaust made an OBDI 6 cylinder swap ti, but my ti is OBDII so I experienced emissions related fault codes (no secondary air pump, or cat/post cat O2 sensors. The fitment was perfect though and it sounds great, not too loud and no drone.

The physical swap was complete, and I was ready to start it up and jump for joy. Think again. I put the key in, and all electronics came on as usual. I even heard the fuel pump prime, then I turn the key to ignite the engine and I got nothing. I wasn't surprised, as nothing was really my way for the majority of the year. I though to myself, what could it be? I certainly did do the EWSII system right getting everything from the donor car such as the Module, key chips, and the matching DME. I was filled with frustration, and had to leave my car at the shop for a month while I figured it out. Bluebimma and I tried to figure out if the engine was getting a good enough ground, but that wasn't the issue. Asmod3us is an honest seller, but the issue at the end was that the EWSII module he sent me was dead/did not opperate. I replaced it with my old EWSII black box and the engine turned over but did not fire up. This was progress, and I was filled with excitement. The shop did not have the tools to align my old EWSII module with the DME and chip so I towed the car to Tischer. I got the alignment by a buddy on a weekend, and the engine fired up but did not stay on. We cleaned the MAF, but the issue was that there was no fuel pressure regulator set up for the engine, leading to the engine not getting fuel and cutting off. After the alignment, I towed the car back home, where its been almost four months since its been home.

I purchased a FPR, and set it up to the fuel lines (thanks Jess for the small hoses). My friend and I fiddled with the schrader valve to see if the rails were getting fuel, and after a few times it didn't start. My friend's eyebrow rose, and he had a feeling. "Try it ONE more time.." I said whatever, and VROOM it fired up. Awesome!

Think again...
I let the engine run, and then I tried to put it in gear but the clutch would not disengage. I turned off the car, and tried to shift in gear and I shifted through all of the gears perfectly fine with the engine off. To diagnose this, I bled the slave cylinder to find no success. I was able to put the car in gear before turning it on and then it would move. I did some research and began to think I installed the disc backwards (I didn't). At that point, I knew I had to bring it to the shop we go to. The shop is called German Auto Works, and its located in Rockville, Maryland. I told them to diagnose the issue and go from there.

The verdict: The clutch disc, pressure plate, and flywheel were not installed properly and the flywheel had edges on it. They told me I would have to have it resurfaced and buy a new clutch kit. Another $400 flushed.

After they installed the new clutch kit, the car was ready to go, just needed to bleed the radiator and be on my way (thanks Jake for coming out and giving me a ride to the shop and back). The swap was done, but I did a few minor tweeks in the coming months like swap in the 6 cylinder instrument cluster to get a proper RPM reading. The stock cluster read 1.5x the actual RPM (80mph @ 5k seemed odd to me even for the 3.45 diff). I also swapped in the 6 cylinder radiator because my 4 cylinder had intermittent issues.

Summary of the main problems I ran into:

EWSII - the 328 module was dead on arrival = I swapped in my old module and had the system aligned.
.
Clutch not disengaging due to poor install = professionally reinstalled new kit and resurfaced flywheel
.
Engine not getting fuel - the 1996 318ti M44 had the FPR setup on the fuel rail, not under the chassis like 97-99 models. This wasn't really documented anywhere I looked, except in Phamster's thread. Since the M52 I bought was from a 98, the FPR from that engine was still on the chassis of the donor car. So I mounted a FPR to the fuel lines and hooked it up.
.
The guibo for the ZF transmission is not the same as the Getrag guibo.
.
The ASC plug on the engine harness did not have a place to be connected to, so its still unplugged.
.
The engine had a misfire in cylinder 2, but I replaced the coil and it idled smoothly and didn't not chug along.

I do not regret doing the swap myself (with help), I learned so much more about my car and the engine by doing it by hand, and in the end it worked out. The trick is, there is no trick, you can't take short cuts. If I had a shop do the swap for me, there would've been so much left for me to figure out.

I'm pretty satisfied with the car, tons of torque and decent for cruising. I do miss the MPG of the M44 though. If I remember anything else I'll update, but thats pretty much it for the most part.

Last edited by BMW_Hatchback; 12-25-2012 at 02:59 AM.
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Old 02-26-2011, 12:45 AM   #2
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Old 03-07-2011, 06:43 AM   #3
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What did you do for the secondary o2? I'm having the same issue as well, since the stock 318 harness doesnt have the connection. I was planning on maybe finding the singal from the ECU and just tap it.
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Old 03-07-2011, 06:52 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by jae_rex View Post
What did you do for the secondary o2? I'm having the same issue as well, since the stock 318 harness doesnt have the connection. I was planning on maybe finding the singal from the ECU and just tap it.
I used the M52 harness that came with the engine.
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Old 06-29-2011, 05:50 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by BMW_Hatchback View Post
Next was bolting up the ZF 5 speed transmission. I pieced together the M3 shift linkage, and bent the shifter arm to a shallow U shape to make sure it sat center and not offset (which could cause shifts to be difficult). We filled the trans with ATF and installed the fork, clip, and TO bearing. Then we bolted it up. At this point, I had forgot to purchase a new flywheel dust shield and it was left off by accident (I noticed after everything was finished). You'll read later about the clutch misalignment issue I had.
Quick question. You say you had to bend the shifter arm. Are you referring to the shift lever the knob attaches to or to one of the two rods the shifter attaches to below the center tunnel? Based on how my swap is setup, if I was able to bend the cast aluminum piece, that would center the shifter in the hole on the center tunnel and make the shifter perfectly vertical in neutral. Currently it appears to be in 4th when in neutral. The problem of course is that I'm a little reluctant to attempt to bend any cast aluminum parts.
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Old 06-29-2011, 06:05 AM   #6
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Old 06-29-2011, 06:12 AM   #7
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#9
Ok, so your shifter was too far forward when in neutral. I am having the opposite problem but the shifter isn't centered in its hole either. I guess I will cut down and weld up the cast piece, as much as I'd like to avoid it. I really figured there'd be a plug and play way to go about this. I see someone has had luck with a 325 upper aluminum piece. I may pick that up too to see how it works...they are cheap enough to guess and check I suppose.
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