BMW E30 M52 Conversion part 5

My BMW E30 M52 Conversion part 5. The day of reckoning is finally here. Time to get the Bimmer up and running! The wiring conversion & ECU with the deleted EWS (Anti theft system) arrived on Thursday, thanks to a man named Dan from E30 Zone!


The plan for this weekend is to

  • Fit and connect engine loom & ECU
  • Wire up and fit an electric fan to the Radiator
  • Fit E30 brown temperature sensor to M52 head
  • Fit power steering reservoir
  • Fit Inlet Manifold
  • Fit throttle cable
  • Fit thermostat and housing
  • Fit airflow meter & RamAir cone filter
  • Connect the fuel pipes & Brake vacuum hose
  • Finnish of exhaust
  • Get Engine running

Rilus once again towed me & the Bimmer to the garage from around the corner. Started connecting the wiring loom to the engine, I figured it would take 40mins to an hour, well I was wrong, it was going to take much longer!

Plugged in the easy ones, boy was I glad I labelled up most of the connectors before sending the loom of to be converted to plug into the E30 connector. Connected some of the engine sensors, vanos valve (for the variable cam timing), oil pressure sensor, alternator, starter motor and a number of other connectors.

I then started to re-thread the e30 brown temp sensor to fit the M52 head, used a 12mm 1.75 die, i think, need to confirm. The E30 sensor is needed to connect to the Temperature gauge on the E30 as the M52 temp sensor goes to the ECU.

The vice at the garage needed replacing as Sean broke it during the week. Harry had bought a new one which needed fitting to the bench! 10 minute job? Nope, the new vice was a lot bigger and needed new holes drilled!

Well it took over a hour of drilling and sweating to get that sucker fitted! What with batteries going flat on the cordless, needing the big drill with a bigger chuck, for the 10mm drill bit. This drill didn’t have a plug, the new plug the fuse was blown, I was then searching for a fuse, got one and then the chuck wouldn’t undo as it was fucked! Well got it done in the end…..

Now I could finally get the temp switch re threaded. After 5 or so minutes it was done. Fitted it to the head and connected to the loom.

Rilus decided to wash the roof on his van?? Before helping me push the Bimmer on the ramp. Look at this for health & safety, Ahh,haha had my camera ready for any slip ups.

After we got the bimmer in the workshop and then It was just me, myself & I. Time to crack on……a few of the wires had me scratching my head plus I wanted to remove a few parts from the manifold that would not be needed.

I removed the charcol canister as the bracket was broke, the fuel evaporation valve and the ASC (Automatic stability control) flap from the throttle body. These would be redundant now. Then I just blocked of the hoses for these units.

Next, I drilled a very small hole in the thermostat to help with bleeding the cooling system, as you may or may not know, BMW’s are well renowned for been difficult to bleed all the air out of the coolant system, so the little hole should help a little. Then I bolted the thermostat housing onto the head, another job done, so far so good!

Then I had to get the plug for the ECU through the bulk head to connect it to the ECU under the steering wheel. This was a little awkward & didn’t do my back any good lying under the dash all twisted up. And another job ticked of the list.

Worked out where the few mystery cables had to go, secured all the wiring to the loom brackets and then it was time to fit the Inlet manifold.

Taking the manifold and wiring of when the engine was out of the car was so much easier. Refitting was a lot more difficult & would recommend doing it before engine is fitted if your loom is ready.

With the wiring In place, it was a bit tight fitting the manifold. After a little wiggling, pushing & shoving, it was on! Just had to connect a few more plugs and the throttle cable.

Having a look to check everything was ok & noticed the top hose from the heater matrix was pushing against the f’ing manifold.

Remember someone saying you should bend these Pipes down but as mine were plastic that wasn’t an option. So, would have to get the hose of, cut the pipe down & refitted the hose. Easier said then done another job for tomorrow!

That was it for today, would finish up tomorrow…..

Back once again at thr garage. Touring cars would be on at eleven, so flicked the TV onto ITV4. Started of by seeing how the electric fan was going to fit onto the radiator. I’m mounting the fan in front of the rad as there is very little space in front of the engine. Cut some pieces from the frame so the fan sits closer to the rad. Decided to leave this job until later.

I mounted the injector rail to the manifold which again was a very tight fit because of the fuel pipes. Got it mounted and raised the ramp to connect the pipes to the Bimmer from underneath. I needed some pipes to connect the petrol hoses together.

Found a metal pipe from some gearbox cooler pipes I had lying around and cut them to size. Connected the pipes to each other, another not so easy job that took a lot longer then it should of but got it sorted.

Before fitting everything else, I wanted to crank her over to make sure things were on the right track! The battery was charged up and ready to connect.

Turned the Ignition on and there was some clicks and hums, which was a good sign. Turned the key and my heart sank, the starter was spinning but not engaging, just whirring away, damn it! 🙁

Got a big bar and gave the starter a few whacks. Turned the key and the same, not engaging, just spinning, Bollocks!! I didn’t want to take it of because with the manifold on the starter was only accessible from underneath & you need to be a bit of a contortionist to get to the top nut & bolt!

Nothing for it, it had to come of! Disconnected the battery & removed the wiring. Unbolted it with some long extension bars and a Uj socket and it was of, not as bad as I thought but f`ing bad enough! As I removed it, I seen what the problem was! I had put one of the wires in the wrong place, hmmmm, I was not impressed.

While the starter was of I got some jump leads and connected it direct to a battery to make sure it was working ok. Yes, it was! Refitted and connected the wires back up, connected the battery & ready for round 2! Ignition on, turned the key & WooHoo, she was turning over 😉

I was now Happy, checked wiring to make sure nothing was getting hot or smoking, all looking good! Time to get everything else hooked up & get her running……

Modified the brake servo pipe and connected to the manifold, fitted the air flow meter & RamAir cone filter and modified the bracket to secure the filter. I will need to make up a CAI (Cold Air Intake) but for the moment that could wait! Connected the other various connections and secured wiring & pipes.

Time to fire her up! Didn’t connect the lambda sensors yet as I had to remove the exhaust and manifolds to do the finishing touches to the exhaust. Ignition on, turned the key and she started almost immediately.

Gave the throttle a couple blips and the engine settled down to a nice idle. No horrible tapping noises etc, sounded nice apart from the exhaust blowing as the lambda sensors weren’t on and the exhaust system wasn’t fully connected. At this point I was well pleased but still had a lot to do! 🙂

It was time for a late lunch and watch the end of the 2nd Touring car race. It was like a drive in movie, sitting in the Bimmer, watching the big screen tv and having my sandwiches & lovely cup of Tea!

As usual I was getting abusive text messages from Marsh (Rilus). He has CCTV installed at the garage and can view it all from his mobile. Big brothers watching, damn slag, good job I’m not paranoid!!

Next job was to weld a bracket for the power steering reservoir & top it up with fluid. Done this and decided to get the heater pipe done and out of the way! Had to lever engine a little to give some clearance & get the hose of, cut the pipe down & refitted the hose. Another job to cross of the list.

Time was getting on and my brother and his girlfriend were up from Beckenham having dinner with my Mum, Dad & sis at my ma`s favourite, “The Harvester”! The Harvester do take aways now and Ma said they would pop down with some Fish n Chips.

They came after they were finished to drop my dinner of and see how I was getting on. Yes I believe they were impressed.

I had to eat the lovely fish n chips with my dirty fingers as they never got me a knife & fork, it didn’t matter, I was so hungry I could of eaten a scabby donkey! After more abusive text messages from Rilus, it was time to get back on it!

Touring cars was now finished and Star Wars II, Attack of the Clones was on. This would do. Time to get the exhaust off and the manifolds.

I marked the manifolds were i wanted to have some more clearance. Removing the manifolds was like the krypton factor. With some twisting and wiggling they were off and in the vice. Got the Gas bottles ready to heat them up. Got them cherry red and bashed them in with a big hammer and big piece of pipe.

Next I wrapped the manifolds in “exhaust wrap insulating tape” to reduce under bonnet heat build up. This was a bit fiddly and time consuming but got it done. I fitted the Lambda sensors to the manifolds and tried refitting them. No joy, had to remove the lambda sensors and wrestle the manifolds back on, which was harder with the heat wrap on!

Got them bolted on and refitted the lambda sensors, secured the wiring and plugged them into the engine loom. Just had to connect the manifolds back onto the exhaust system but now another problem. Where I was bashing them it had bent one of the pipes which wouldn’t line up now!

No problem, I thought! Got the gas bottles again, fired them up and got the pipe red hot, got a big, big long bar in the pipe to straighten it. Would it bend? Would it fuck…….damn it! Well I would have to cut the pipe and weld a straight piece on but I had nearly been here for 12 hours now and my feet were real sore, back has twinging and my blood sugars were real low.

Got my sugars back up and had to tidy up and get the bimmer out. Finally I would be driving her out and not pushing or towing! 😉

The dramas were not quite over yet. Had to move a cab that was in front of the garage, drive the bimmer out, come back, move the cab back, lock up the garage and go.

When I drove the Bimmer down the alley, opened the big gates and then she cut out, everything went of, engine and lights. It was just the battery connection wasn’t secure, reconnected and drove the bimmer round the block to find a parking spot. Oh yes she felt good, real good, even with the blowing exhaust (sounded pretty good).

Walked back to the garage but no damn key for the cab? Jumped in the garage Corsa and drove back to the Bimmer & searched in it and around it, still no f`ing key? Drove back to the garage and there was the key by the big gates, result! Parked cab up, locked up and time to go home…..

Well Bimmer still not finished but the list is getting smaller and she is up & running, next weekend my Bimmer will be back on the road for sure……….


And a Big big thank you to Dan from E30 Zone. He is a E30 expert, a legend, just check through some of the posts on this essential web site that every E30 owner should have in their book marks. You will find Dans name. `DanThe` been recommended from many, many people, me included, thanks again mate for all your Help & advice! 😉


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