Piston Slap: E30 + LS1 = WIN

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta

Steve from Seattle writes:

As regularly mentioned on Piston Slap, the LS-X engines are the best in the world for their compact size, low weight, simplicity, reliability, cost and ability to make more power with simple bolt-ons. So I wanted to share my project to TTAC’s readers: we put a ’99 LS-1 and T56 into our BMW E30. Everything works, A/C, cruise control, etc. Seriously.

It’s a sleeper, except for the “357i” numbers on the trunk (nice of BMW to make a “735” that we could cut apart) and our “E30-LS1” license plate!! Only those ‘in the know’ get it.

We published a “How-To” CD, which documents how to build the E30-LS1. It contains pictures from the build, Catia drawings, wiring, fuel system, driveshaft mods, engine mounts, radiator system, A/C, HydroBoost, etc. I also have more pictures here.

Thanks and I hope everyone likes it.

Sajeev replies:

How can I not promote the hard work you did on this BMW? And you took the time to document and self-publish everything? Perfect.

I hope you motivate the Best and Brightest to tackle their own automotive projects. Which embodies the spirit of Piston Slap: the E30-LS1 is automotive lunacy and perfection in one package, likely to tick off every BMW fanboi. And shame them into silence with a command performance. Regarding your how-to CD: maybe TTAC needs another project car…maybe not. But a closer look with a Product Review is certainly in order.

Bonus! A Piston Slap Nugget of Wisdom:

The E30 is a fantastic platform from stem to stern. But don’t take my word for it, look at it’s racing success in the 24 Hours Of LeMons. But the engines are more than a little outdated for any other event. And what better upgrade than a lightweight LS-X motor for AMG-levels of grunt with proper BMW poise in the corners? Epic Win.

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2 of 62 comments
  • E30-LS1 E30-LS1 on Dec 08, 2009

    Well, I guess there is only one thing to do with a 911: http://www.renegadehybrids.com/911/Pictures/LS-1Pic01.jpg

  • Porschespeed Porschespeed on Dec 08, 2009

    If you're gonna do a 911, use a Toro/Eldo trans and get the engine in the back seat. People have been doing that since the mid-70s. If you want performance, I think Ron Simpson's probably still around. They do V8s into 914s. Of course, one could just get a used TT flat 6 and keep it as a VW-Porsche... @educatordan, I was just saying that the Jag engine is solid. I understand the desire, you make the call.

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