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  1. #1
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    BMW S65 MT in a 33 Ford

    As this is an S65 forum and Iím moving into the mock-up phase of the performance aspects of my S65 based project, I thought its time to introduce it to this forum. Iíve been lurking around this site (and that other one) for the past several months as Iíve been thinking forward, while Iíve been busy doing the heavy lifting of fabricating motor and transmission mounts, building the rear cradle of the chassis to accept the subframe, etc., all to accept the complete drivetrain of a 14.6K mile wrecked manual trans 2008 e90 M3 into a 1933 based Ford Hot Rod. Have had a buildpage up on the ffcars.com forum documenting progress, a site more targeted to builders

    By way of background, as a 1970ís teen, I purchased a 66 Buick Riviera with a 425 nailhead that was wrecked in a head on collision for $75. Spent the next two years, while waiting to get my license, completely rebuilding the car and souping up the drivetrain. Car went super fast, but only in a straight line. When I blew the engine some months after it was on the road, I picked up a Triumph TR-6, 2400 pounds with a straight 6 and dual carbs. I bored and stroked the engine and did a full frame off restoration in my parents garage. The car was fast and with its IRS and large heavily cambered rear wheels could handle curves like it was on rails - - I fell in love with that top down two seater sportscar ride at high speed!!!!!


    The result was that for the next three and a half decades I have had the dream of building a lightweight American Hot Rod body matched with a European sports car drivetrain and suspension to get both the performance and look I wanted. Life (career, kids, marriage) intervened and that dream was put on hold. When a few years ago my kids sent me to Skip Barber's formula racing school at Laguna as a father's day present, a long dormant itch was really awakened.


    About two years ago, when my youngest went away to school (and long-since divorced), started to think I had the time to do this project and began looking in earnest at drivetrains and suspension packages. Before long I was bidding on Copart on wrecked e9x M3ís. Wasnít as sure of the chassis Iíd use as a starting point, but just after I found a low mileage complete drivetrain at the right price, came across an article on Bret Voelkelís Ridetech 1933 Ford Hot Rod beating a Lambo on the track at 204 mph and the handling he got from a Factory Five 1933 Ford with its tubular spaceframe chassis and the plan was complete: a car weighing 2100 pounds with an S65, the manual 6 (just more fun in a hot rod IMHO) and the full 5-link 3.85 geared M3 rear in a fenderless 1933 Ford Roadster. Even luckier that the donor S65 already had the Gintani rear exhaust and I was blown away by that sound.

    In short, the basic theme of the project is a street legal hot rod that has that traditional hot rod look from 20 feet away Ė no roof, hood, fenders, very sparse racecar like interior, light on creature comforts, monster rear and littler front wheels, etc, with no clue as to its supercar handling and performance. I found a set of HRE wheels on EBAY off a wrecked Lamborghini (same 5 x 120 bolt pattern as BMW) that was OEM matched for 200 plus mile performance with just the right track width for the ff chassis, traction patch and that hot rod look of monster wheels in the back and smaller up front: 19 X 13.5 (335/30/19) rears and 18 X 8.5 (235/35/18) fronts. Have time to decide on tires, but current thought is the Nitto NT05ís.


    Before I started I had read every post on S65/85 swaps and potential swaps and knew how rare they were, but until I got into it did not have a full appreciation for how every single tab, bracket, attachment point, pulley, etc etc etc would have to be custom built to make the project work. I now have a bandsaw, plasma cutter, 230 volt welder and milling machine in my garage (and thanks to the Artic Vortex this year, a new 80,000 BTU garage heater!) all getting a workout almost every weekend as I fabricate and frequently re-fabricate each and every part until it is just right functionally and aesthetically to my eye (this is after all my project).


    While this has become my own private version of a midlife climb to the peak of Mount Everest, no expedition has ever been successful without some incredible supporters, whose roles are invaluable. I was lucky to find a BMW dealer tech on Craigslist who loves the concept and the project and helping out when he can. In addition, Iíve been blessed with a group of supporting vendors that are all car guys, willing to provide advice and insight and support that goes way beyond providing parts. You wouldnít climb to the top of Everest without the advice and support of those that have been there before, and the success of this project is no different.


    Well-known in this community, Active Autowerke and VAC Motorsports are providing invaluable support and fantastic products, understanding that I am doing the installation myself yet over-enthusiastically providing advice and a sounding board (plus, plus, plus!!!) for all the tweaks necessary for this project to work. This week I am anxiously waiting for the first wave of AAís stage II, Level II supercharger kit, and VACís studs and bearings to be delivered and will be removing the oil pan to ship to VAC for baffling (with much more to come from each of them). Iím getting similar fantastic support from the teams at Factory Five and The Driveshaft Shop who is building the custom Driveshaft. Iím in the process of finalizing several others who Iíll post about later.


    As far as the S65 goes, besides the AA SC and the VAC bearings and baffle, I am firming up plans on a Pectel based SQ6 standalone. Milling my own remote oil filter set-up as none are commercially available and I need to get the filter out of the way so I have room for an alternator as the chassis is too narrow up front to fit one in the low OEM position. I will be making my own billet brackets to run the alternator (probably Jones Racing or March) above the passenger side valve cover symmetrical to the Rotrex C38. Made my own aluminum engine mounts and a new crossmember to work with the Vorshlag polyís.


    A rod with an open engine bay and an 18Ē wide grille commands equal attention to aesthetics and the challenges that brings. I am super stoked about the look of Activeís kit, particularly the plenum. Itís being shipped to me raw for the mock-up/get the motor running phase and will then go back to them for their amazing finish work when I tear the project down and send the chassis out for powdercoat. The challenge in the coming weeks is to get the intercooler and radiator and the tubing/piping mocked up so it all has that hot rod look in an installation where there is no place to hide and everything is on display.


    Some specs:


    Engine Ė BMW S65 with AA gen II, Level II SC, VAC bearings and baffled pan, remote oil filter, standalone ECU. AA kit estimated at 640 hp and 413 lb/ft torque (plus effects of deleting power steering pump, AC compressor and secondary air system and added benefits of a standalone)


    Trans Ė BMW Getrag six speed manual


    Driveshaft Ė custom by The Driveshaft Shop


    Rearend/suspension Ė BMW 3.85 5-link IRS, with OEM subframe and differential mounted with Turnerís solid subframe and diff bushings in a handfabricated cradle, RuffStuff off-road shock towers, and custom true coilovers


    Front suspension Ė Factory Five unequal length a-arm control arms with in-board coil-over shock suspension


    Steering - Ididit shorty tilt steering column and Unisteer electric power steering unit


    Pedals Ė Tilton triple floor mount with drive by wire assembly


    Brakes Ė Wilwood 12.69" rotors with 6p calipers in front, BMW M3 OEM in rear, Tilton .75 dual master cylinders, CNC billet triple Reservoir
    Wheels Ė HRE 547Rís, 19 X 13.5 (335/30/19) rears and 18 X 8.5 (235/35/18) fronts


    Exhaust Ė 100 cell cats, custom H pipe (chassis wonít allow for an X and no ground clearance below), Gintani rear section (pipes modified/shortened)


    Seats Ė Kirkey vintage road race


    Rollbar/backbrackets/removable sidebars Ė Custom home fabricated with 1 ĺĒ D.O.M. .134 wall tubing


    Body Ė Factory Five 33 Hot Rod fiberglass tub, doors and trunk lid. No hood, nose cone, fenders, roof, door glass!


    In addition, details on a very long list still to be worked out, but at the moment finalizing custom fuel cell, on-board fire suppression, custom radiator to nest with the intercooler piping, alternator, etc.


    Car is being built street legal with a view to lots of track days (more road than drag, but will certainly take it there too to get some numbers) and look forward to seeing many of you at the track.


    I was going to post other pics, but apparently don't have enough reputation points on this site to link to them yet. Hopefully that will change.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  2. #2
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    very cool setup and defiantly will be a custom car! 2100lbs and a high revving motor!

  3. #3
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    Dude... much respect.

    The Factory Five hotrod is badass.

    Awesome wheel/tire choice.

    I must say I'm surprised you went with the S65 though when there are so many domestic options you could go with for less $.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    Dude... much respect.

    The Factory Five hotrod is badass.

    Awesome wheel/tire choice.

    I must say I'm surprised you went with the S65 though when there are so many domestic options you could go with for less $.
    Not only less, but far more common.
    Honda CBR 1000RR, Superbike Supply, Arrow, HRC, BMC, Lee's Cycle, Galfer, EBC, Revzilla, AXO, Dainese, Scorpion Helmets

    Honda Grom, most fun you'll ever have on 2 wheels.

  5. #5
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    Incredible project, good luck. Looking forward to more pictures and updates.
    2011 E90 M3 \ Melbourne Rot Metallic

    Click here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    Dude... much respect.

    The Factory Five hotrod is badass.

    Awesome wheel/tire choice.

    I must say I'm surprised you went with the S65 though when there are so many domestic options you could go with for less $.
    Thanks Sticky, I know you don't give respect lightly! As to domestic options, that just didn't fit my dream to build THE ultimate driving machine! Something about that high revving motor!

    Thanks to you other guys as well.

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    this is outstanding.
    Click here to enlarge
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    VTX3's Click here to enlarge
    Got one more tow with AAA lets make it count Click here to enlarge

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    Car of the year!

    (can't wait to buzz around in this beast!)

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by In33anity Click here to enlarge
    Thanks Sticky, I know you don't give respect lightly! As to domestic options, that just didn't fit my dream to build THE ultimate driving machine! Something about that high revving motor!

    Thanks to you other guys as well.
    Well this is badass.

    Get me some good pics and I'll gladly put up a front page article for you.
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    Stage 2 or 2.5 E9X M3 S65 V8 supercharger kit for sale
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    Pics

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    Rear end
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    Bling
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    Pedal assembly/steering column
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    Power steering motor
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    Motor mounts (w/ Vorshlag poly's)
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    Trans mounts (w/ UUC's poly's)
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    Of course it all began as a complete drop-out!
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    Well this is badass.

    Get me some good pics and I'll gladly put up a front page article for you.
    Thanks Sticky! Pics are up. I actually went public several months ago with the adoption of the word "badass" to describe the look I'm hoping to achieve Click here to enlarge

  12. #12
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    Subscribed. Absolutely sick.
    2010 e92 M3 Jet Black | DCT | ESS Tuned | Akrapovic Slip-on | Challenge X-pipe | AFE Intake | 18" Volk TE37SL | KW V3 Coilovers | RPI Scoops | Under Drive Pulley

    2007 e92 Mont. Blue 335i | 6MT | COBB Tuned | Quaife 3.46 LSD | Helix FMIC | AA DPs | HKS Exhaust | DCI | Stett CP w/ Forged DVs | KWv2 Coilovers | UUC Sway Bars & SSK | HPF Stg 2 Clutch | HFS-4 | M3 Suspension Bits | DEFIVfab Diff Lockdown Kit | Stoptech Trophy BBK

  13. #13
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    What is the timeframe we're looking at for this? Factory Five provides great instructions as I understand it but there is a lot of work not to mention getting the S65 to play nice.
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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    What is the timeframe we're looking at for this? Factory Five provides great instructions as I understand it but there is a lot of work not to mention getting the S65 to play nice.
    Sticky,

    This build is like deciding to ski the back country. Once you go off trail, there are no instructions and you’re at your own peril! Once you decide on a drivetrain and suspension that requires cutting and reconfiguring the FF chassis (while preserving its integrity), all instructions go out the window. In fact haven’t looked at them since two hours into the first day of the build.

    Here’s some of the major obstacles I’ve been confronting back country with this build:

    The rear has been cut apart, built out and completely redone to accommodate the M3 IRS. Here’s the before pic with the rear sitting exactlywhere it ended up. You can see the body at the bottom, but the chassis doesn’t even come far enough for the rear end and all the brackets for the straight axle are in the way:

    Click here to enlarge


    Here's the finished product:

    Click here to enlarge

    One of the few things I didn’t like about the FF 33 was that the gas tank is mounted high, just behind your head in the trunk. And 5o lbs of fuel sloshing above the center of gravity also sends forces in all the wrong directions when going around a curve. I also didn’t feel good about the safety of a gas "tank" right behind the seats. FF was forced to locate the tank there to allow the long links on the 4 (or 3 optional) -link rear suspension and to give the driveshaft the room to travel. By going IRS, I eliminated the links and the driveshaft is now in a fixed place, allowing me the freedom to cut out that section of the chassis, reinforce it and fabricate in a steel cage for a much safer custom fuel cell with a bladder that puts the weight down low and just in front of the rear wheels to help put force on the traction patch. Result is a safer install with better hook-up. You could see in the after pic, the new spot for the fuel cell will be to drop it in the open rectangle. Of course all this means all the floor and side panels sent by FF for the trunk no longer fit and I now have to fabricate my own.

    Moving up front, the S65 mounts in a different place and lower than a Ford or Chevy the FF was designed for, and the headers were hitting the FF motor mounts at the flanks. Accordingly, to get the S65 mounted, the front X-brace was cut out and a new member welded in, the FF motor mounts cut out, and a new removeable cross member was put in place to mate with the S65 attachment points on homemade custom milled mounts. But this was in the way of the bracket FF put in for the electric power steering motor and the steering shaft. This meant finding a new place for the power steering motor (I opted for the firewall pictured in my last post) and redoing all the steering shaft geometry and plasma cutting new mounts and welding them in to hold the bearings in the right place for the new geometry.

    Before:

    Click here to enlarge


    After, note the absence of the back half of the X, a new cross beam welded in and the motor mounts and bracket for the steering on the uprights gone”

    Click here to enlarge

    The FF supplied rollbar is not legal for any class and didn’t provide the headroom necessary above a helmet. So I’ve cut and grinded away the FF rollbar mounts and fabbed up a new rollbar, brackets and sidebar.

    The S65 is prone to overheat if not properly cooled. Running an air to air intercooler for the AA SC kit behind that 18” FF Grille only compounds the problem. Moreover, the FF radiator is shaped in a way that doesn’t allow for a clean install of the intercooler tubing. Solution is I’m having a custom radiator made with a 4 inch core and double fans, specifically designed to work with the intercooler, and get the tubing to look nice. But the front brackets now all need to be remade from scratch to stretch it out and allow for the extra clearance.

    As you are probably aware, the theft protection of the DME and ECU on the S65 are practically impenetrable making them require use of a standalone in an S65 swap. But the SQ6 won’t communicate with the FF supplied Autometer gauges (and they redline way too low for the S65 anyway), so I deleted them and will be using a digital dash.

    Similarly, the S65 alternator is OEM mounted low on the driver’s side. But the chassis is too narrow up front to permit a low installation. Having studied it long and hard, I’ve decided to mount the alternator above the passenger valve cover symmetrical with the blower on the driver side. But unlike Ford and Chevy motors, where there are literally thousands of brackets available for any possible configuration, none are available for the S65 and I will be milling my own.

    The other consequence of putting the alternator high is that the S65’s front mount oil filter is now directly in the path of getting a belt to the alternator. So the filter had to go. The chassis was too narrow for a dry sump system, although I looked hard at making a right hand drive New Zealand based system work given the assymetrical shape of the S65 block. I therefore decided on a remote oil filter set-up. While VAC makes a set-up for the earlier version M3, and they're very common for other applications, there is no commercially available remote filter for an S65 with a wet sump. I’ll be custom making that as well.

    All that said, it’s a labor of love, and most of the changes will be subtle and preserve the essence of the M3 drivetrain and the FF 33. I hope to have the S65 running by the middle of this Summer, at which point I’ll rip it apart for powdercoating and chrome work, and for it to be fully on the road by Summer of 2015.

  15. #15
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    Editing your post for better formatting.
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    There that's better.
    Chrome Space Bar Issue: http://www.boostaddict.com/showthrea...338#post738338


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    There that's better.

    Thanks. It looked ok in preview. Go figure

  18. #18
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by In33anity Click here to enlarge
    Thanks. It looked ok in preview. Go figure
    The software behaves idiotically sometimes. What you see in the preview isn't always the final result when you click submit. It's a bit annoying.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by In33anity Click here to enlarge
    As you are probably aware, the theft protection of the DME and ECU on the S65 are practically impenetrable making them require use of a standalone in an S65 swap. But the SQ6 won’t communicate with the FF supplied Autometer gauges (and they redline way too low for the S65 anyway), so I deleted them and will be using a digital dash.

    Similarly, the S65 alternator is OEM mounted low on the driver’s side. But the chassis is too narrow up front to permit a low installation. Having studied it long and hard, I’ve decided to mount the alternator above the passenger valve cover symmetrical with the blower on the driver side. But unlike Ford and Chevy motors, where there are literally thousands of brackets available for any possible configuration, none are available for the S65 and I will be milling my own.

    The other consequence of putting the alternator high is that the S65’s front mount oil filter is now directly in the path of getting a belt to the alternator. So the filter had to go. The chassis was too narrow for a dry sump system, although I looked hard at making a right hand drive New Zealand based system work given the assymetrical shape of the S65 block. I therefore decided on a remote oil filter set-up. While VAC makes a set-up for the earlier version M3, and they're very common for other applications, there is no commercially available remote filter for an S65 with a wet sump. I’ll be custom making that as well.

    All that said, it’s a labor of love, and most of the changes will be subtle and preserve the essence of the M3 drivetrain and the FF 33. I hope to have the S65 running by the middle of this Summer, at which point I’ll rip it apart for powdercoating and chrome work, and for it to be fully on the road by Summer of 2015.
    Any legality issues with the digital dash?

    Also, where did you source the SQ6 from and how much was it? It's a hell of an ECU. Trying to get this all working with the stock DME would be too big of a headache.

    That said, who will tune the Pectel unit for the blower? The stock AA maps basically become irrelevant now.

    Some very interesting problem solving here.
    Chrome Space Bar Issue: http://www.boostaddict.com/showthrea...338#post738338


    Stage 2 or 2.5 E9X M3 S65 V8 supercharger kit for sale
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    Any legality issues with the digital dash?

    Also, where did you source the SQ6 from and how much was it? It's a hell of an ECU. Trying to get this all working with the stock DME would be too big of a headache.

    That said, who will tune the Pectel unit for the blower? The stock AA maps basically become irrelevant now.

    Some very interesting problem solving here.
    No legality on the DD in NY. I'm still finalizing arrangements on the Pectel and the who, and will post once its final. AA dropped the tune from the kit for me. They're really amazing and incredibly prone to be cooperative, which given the nature of the problem solving is an absolute blessing!!! It's literally taking me about 10 hours of research, planning and time acquiring lead parts (and sometimes tools) for every hour in the garage to be productive. Entire day in the garage today was taking final measurements for order of the driveshaft, coilovers, fueltank and measuring and thinking about (1) the prototypes for the remote oil filter and alternator brackets, which I'll make out of wood and then billet, and (2) the emergency brake, so I can order what I need and sketch during the week.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by In33anity Click here to enlarge
    No legality on the DD in NY. I'm still finalizing arrangements on the Pectel and the who, and will post once its final. AA dropped the tune from the kit for me. They're really amazing and incredibly prone to be cooperative, which given the nature of the problem solving is an absolute blessing!!! It's literally taking me about 10 hours of research, planning and time acquiring lead parts (and sometimes tools) for every hour in the garage to be productive. Entire day in the garage today was taking final measurements for order of the driveshaft, coilovers, fueltank and measuring and thinking about (1) the prototypes for the remote oil filter and alternator brackets, which I'll make out of wood and then billet, and (2) the emergency brake, so I can order what I need and sketch during the week.
    Very cool of AA to work with you like that. That's why I like AA. They're honestly good people and good to have around. @Andrew@activeautowerke

    Who will tune this though?

    I'll gladly wait on the details just was curious who you were getting your Pectel through.
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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Although I havenít finalized the who on tuning and ECM, pulled the harness today so ready to go out this week. Yesterday got some goodies from Active and began the process of mocking up the radiator, intercooler and grille mounts.

    Click here to enlarge

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    Then pulled the motor to pull the pan to send to VAC for baffling

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    One step forward, looks like . . .

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    There won't be any spacing issues with fitting an SC in there too?
    Chrome Space Bar Issue: http://www.boostaddict.com/showthrea...338#post738338


    Stage 2 or 2.5 E9X M3 S65 V8 supercharger kit for sale
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    Yes Reputation No
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    There won't be any spacing issues with fitting an SC in there too?
    Sticky, the SC mounts outboard of the driverside valve cover. bracket needs to be notched to clear the frame, but otherwise a perfect fit!!!

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