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      10-20-2014, 01:02 PM   #1
BABYHESREALZ
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Swapping Motors in a AWD (xDrive) BMW

Haven't put much research into it but what are the difficulties in swapping a RWD motor into a xDrive BMW. According to BMW, their AWD is rear wheel biased with 100% torque going to the axle that slip is detected on. 40:60 on regular conditions. Which is an electronic AWD opposed to permanent AWD. However their driveshaft has an added plate & electronic motor at the front connected to the gearbox for distribution to both axles.

http://youtu.be/y9XelFndsC8

http://youtu.be/NlUJPca0ePk

Is it possible to remove the front wheel drive split, and make the power run 100% to the rear wheels using a custom driveshaft? Is it possible to mimic the AWD's driveshaft with an engine such as, maybe, a 2JZGTE or BMW's own S54? Would the swapped transmission work with a custom shaft that mates to the xDrive system? How can I go about doing an engine swap in a xDrive car?

emailed the driveshaftshop.com and they had no clue what I was talking about, maybe you guys can shed some more light and mentor me more on this idea.

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      10-20-2014, 02:10 PM   #2
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Not sure, but I think there's confusion.

1) BMW's xDrive is indeed a full-time awd system.
2) The motor has nothing to do with the awd system, other than the fact that it has a different oil pan (structural) that the front diff mounts to and that the right-side half-shaft goes through (I think there might be another slight difference - routing of a hose or something.)
3) The transfer case sits on the back of the transmission - causes the rear driveshaft to be shorter.
4) Engines have been swapped before.

There's a thread somewhere titled (something like) "Can a bmw be rwd like a WRX". Not sure which forum/site.
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      10-20-2014, 02:38 PM   #3
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Don't need an engine swap, motors are the same. Some people pull the fuse and apparently that works. This guy just pulled the driveshaft.

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...ved+driveshaft

He didn't do it purely to make his car RWD, he was chasing down another problem. But apparently it won't kill your car.
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      10-20-2014, 03:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floydarogers View Post
Not sure, but I think there's confusion.

1) BMW's xDrive is indeed a full-time awd system.
2) The motor has nothing to do with the awd system, other than the fact that it has a different oil pan (structural) that the front diff mounts to and that the right-side half-shaft goes through (I think there might be another slight difference - routing of a hose or something.)
3) The transfer case sits on the back of the transmission - causes the rear driveshaft to be shorter.
4) Engines have been swapped before.

There's a thread somewhere titled (something like) "Can a bmw be rwd like a WRX". Not sure which forum/site.
If I pull the whole electric system, right-side half shaft? & transfer case that drives the front wheels and connect a longer shaft from the rear wheels onto the new motor. Will it work? Will the front axle need to be altered or swapped?

I've see RB26DETT Motors come in different configurations, AWD & RWD variants to be precise. That was the reasoning behind me asking if the motor and transmission matter when mating to AWD. That brings me to my next question on if a AWD RB26DETT swap will be easier
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      10-20-2014, 05:58 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by BABYHESREALZ View Post
If I pull the whole electric system, right-side half shaft? & transfer case that drives the front wheels and connect a longer shaft from the rear wheels onto the new motor. Will it work? Will the front axle need to be altered or swapped?

I've see RB26DETT Motors come in different configurations, AWD & RWD variants to be precise. That was the reasoning behind me asking if the motor and transmission matter when mating to AWD. That brings me to my next question on if a AWD RB26DETT swap will be easier
Seems like a lot of work for little gain.
1) A 335xi has more hp/torque out of the box, and is relatively easy to boost up to 350-375hp or so. Don't really see what you're gaining by dropping a GTR engine in there unless it's the 600 HP one.
2) The 'xDrive front suspension is much different, and heavier than the non-xDrive, so why not go for a non-xDrive car?
3) The transfer case is on the back of the tranny; if you remove it you need the longer drive shaft... if you leave it on you don't, but you're paying the weight penalty of having it...
4) AWD or RWD variant of the GTR engine doesn't matter - you're never going to get AWD with that motor in an E9x chassis as nothing will match up.

I'm just totally confused on why you're thinking of doing this.
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      10-20-2014, 06:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floydarogers View Post
Seems like a lot of work for little gain.
1) A 335xi has more hp/torque out of the box, and is relatively easy to boost up to 350-375hp or so. Don't really see what you're gaining by dropping a GTR engine in there unless it's the 600 HP one.
2) The 'xDrive front suspension is much different, and heavier than the non-xDrive, so why not go for a non-xDrive car?
3) The transfer case is on the back of the tranny; if you remove it you need the longer drive shaft... if you leave it on you don't, but you're paying the weight penalty of having it...
4) AWD or RWD variant of the GTR engine doesn't matter - you're never going to get AWD with that motor in an E9x chassis as nothing will match up.

I'm just totally confused on why you're thinking of doing this.
335xi tops out at maybe 550whp with over $7000 spent. RB26DETT tops out at 900whp for the same price, though, not factoring the cost of the swap. We can also have a very long conversation on longevity from the 2 engines.

If I can pull the whole xDrive setup out, run RWD & hook a longer custom driveshaft, my question will then be would a 2JZGTE work? are there any other problems, mechanisms, etc. that the AWD system extends to? Differential or axles for example?

I have a close friend who own a xdrive car but in the 328 variant. It has sentimental value to him so he doesn't want to trade or sell for a 335xi or any other car for that fact. We're also rebuilding a 2JZGTE motor.

328xi badge + a 2JZGTE motor = 1 good looking sleeper
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      10-21-2014, 06:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BABYHESREALZ View Post
...
are there any other problems, mechanisms, etc. that the AWD system extends to? Differential or axles for example?...
The DSC (and other traction-control systems) assumes control of the center differential's torque-vectoring control motor, and assumes AWD (different parameters for rwd only). Might cause some funky conditions...

You're going to want an LSD in the rear in any case.

Is the Nissan engine direct injection? Not sure the lift pump in the 335i tank will have the volume and pressure for regular injection.

On longevity - considering that the main forum has a current post from a guy with 265K on his 335i, I doubt that the Nissan lasts significantly longer than the N54/N55 (especially modified.)

Last edited by floydarogers; 10-21-2014 at 06:39 PM. Reason: FI
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      10-21-2014, 06:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floydarogers View Post
The DSC (and other traction-control systems) assumes control of the center differential's torque-vectoring control motor, and assumes AWD (different parameters for rwd only). Might cause some funky conditions...

You're going to want an LSD in the rear in any case.

Is the Nissan engine direct injection? Not sure the lift pump in the 335i tank will have the volume and pressure for regular injection.

On longevity - considering that the main forum has a current post from a guy with 265K on his 335i, I doubt that the Nissan lasts significantly longer than the N54/N55 (especially modified.)
Totally forgot about the computer involved with the DSC/DTC systems. Figured they'll be tossed when using a standalone as well. Better going full RWD to ease that stress on getting the computer to work. If you have an idea that can lead this to work, please share

RB & 2JZs aren't direct injection, would need new fuel pumps. I've seen 200,000+ miles 2JZGTEs & RB26s from guys who rape the roads with their cars. The modding is unlimited for those motors. N54s are quite limited at the moment especially considering the price for the mods. Vargas sells turbo kits that cost $7k+ just to make 650whp on E85. $7k can rebuild a 2JZGTE with forged internals & add a sizable turbo making over 800whp pump gas.

Wanted something unique with the AWD platform, in a sense mimic an evo or sti for their traction
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      10-22-2014, 06:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BABYHESREALZ
Quote:
Originally Posted by floydarogers View Post
The DSC (and other traction-control systems) assumes control of the center differential's torque-vectoring control motor, and assumes AWD (different parameters for rwd only). Might cause some funky conditions...

You're going to want an LSD in the rear in any case.

Is the Nissan engine direct injection? Not sure the lift pump in the 335i tank will have the volume and pressure for regular injection.

On longevity - considering that the main forum has a current post from a guy with 265K on his 335i, I doubt that the Nissan lasts significantly longer than the N54/N55 (especially modified.)
Totally forgot about the computer involved with the DSC/DTC systems. Figured they'll be tossed when using a standalone as well. Better going full RWD to ease that stress on getting the computer to work. If you have an idea that can lead this to work, please share

RB & 2JZs aren't direct injection, would need new fuel pumps. I've seen 200,000+ miles 2JZGTEs & RB26s from guys who rape the roads with their cars. The modding is unlimited for those motors. N54s are quite limited at the moment especially considering the price for the mods. Vargas sells turbo kits that cost $7k+ just to make 650whp on E85. $7k can rebuild a 2JZGTE with forged internals & add a sizable turbo making over 800whp pump gas.

Wanted something unique with the AWD platform, in a sense mimic an evo or sti for their traction
Can you do all the wiring and welding yourself? If not you should plan to spend $5-10k+ on shop labor. As for DSC/AWD systems go to a coding forum and ask if it can be disabled, those guys know a lot.
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      10-22-2014, 09:04 AM   #10
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Can you do all the wiring and welding yourself? If not you should plan to spend $5-10k+ on shop labor. As for DSC/AWD systems go to a coding forum and ask if it can be disabled, those guys know a lot.
welding I can be able to do, wiring however I won't. Need some solid answers from guys who can make custom harnesses. Any ideas of shops or websites that specialize in those areas besides the forums?
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      10-22-2014, 12:59 PM   #11
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It seems like your mind is set on the RB motor, AND Nothing will match up. You'll have to ditch the entire ECU and computer systems and run the nissan or a stand alone ECU.

You will only do this if this is a track car. Cause I doubt that it will pass inspection in NYS.

You're pretty much better off finding another car for the swap. an old schoool bmw? Miata? 240's?
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      10-22-2014, 01:04 PM   #12
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You need to be specific like what car this is going into and what engine you want otherwise this whole thread is just pointless speculation. You can put any engine you want in the car provided you have the money. And if you think $7000 is too much to make the power you want then I doubt you'll want to see what it costs for an entirely different drivetrain to be made to work in the car...
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      10-22-2014, 01:31 PM   #13
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You need to be specific like what car this is going into and what engine you want otherwise this whole thread is just pointless speculation. You can put any engine you want in the car provided you have the money. And if you think $7000 is too much to make the power you want then I doubt you'll want to see what it costs for an entirely different drivetrain to be made to work in the car...
The car is a 2008 BMW 328XI. Didn't think I would need to alter much on the drive train besides the driveshaft & calibrating the motor to work with the DTC/DSC computer on the AWD side. The RWD setup shouldn't be much of a problem besides removing the whole transfer setup to the front wheel and getting a shaft from the engine to the rear wheels & differential. What else on the drivetrain needs be dealt with? Anything minor or major? What's the most cost effective step? A custom driveshaft runs about $1500-2000
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      10-22-2014, 01:47 PM   #14
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It seems like your mind is set on the RB motor, AND Nothing will match up. You'll have to ditch the entire ECU and computer systems and run the nissan or a stand alone ECU.

You will only do this if this is a track car. Cause I doubt that it will pass inspection in NYS.

You're pretty much better off finding another car for the swap. an old schoool bmw? Miata? 240's?
It's actually a 2JZGTE I'm considering. If the AWD doesn't work then I'll make it RWD. Seems like the most logical option. There's a shop in NJ called E-Shift Performance that did a 2JZGTE swap into a E39 M5 & E36 M3. They got the computer from their BMWs to work with the motor. Maybe through a custom harness. Didn't get a hold of them yet to ask these questions to.

We already have a 2JZGTE BMW E30. Swap went smooth besides the custom body work to accommodate the intercooler & the usual swap outs of stock E30 parts that can't hold the power (differential, axles, etc.). Gutted the whole electrical & ran a standalone with a racepack. Nothing besides the shell is BMW.
Figured in a 2008 BMW, the parts will be strong enough to hold at the most 700whp with the possibility to go beyond.

Passing inspection in the sense of what exactly? I know there's MK4 Supras both with standalones & stock computers that pass inspections. Stock computer's with OBD1&2. Will we have a hard time being that it is a 2008 BMW running a different motor? Check engine lights due to the swap? Would a standalone with a custom harness to the BMW computer fix this? Not too knowledgable on how the whole BMW ECU works & how it will work with a standalone
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      10-23-2014, 05:45 AM   #15
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335xi tops out at maybe 550whp with over $7000 spent. RB26DETT tops out at 900whp for the same price, though, not factoring the cost of the swap. We can also have a very long conversation on longevity from the 2 engines.

If I can pull the whole xDrive setup out, run RWD & hook a longer custom driveshaft, my question will then be would a 2JZGTE work? are there any other problems, mechanisms, etc. that the AWD system extends to? Differential or axles for example?

I have a close friend who own a xdrive car but in the 328 variant. It has sentimental value to him so he doesn't want to trade or sell for a 335xi or any other car for that fact. We're also rebuilding a 2JZGTE motor.

328xi badge + a 2JZGTE motor = 1 good looking sleeper
I don't know where you're getting the info that it'll top out at 550whp. Motiv motorsports big single kit has made well over 800hp/800ftlbs to the wheels on stock internals. If it's in line with the other big single kits, it'd be $8-9kish as well as being a basically plug, and play solution.
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      10-23-2014, 06:20 AM   #16
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I don't know where you're getting the info that it'll top out at 550whp. Motiv motorsports big single kit has made well over 800hp/800ftlbs to the wheels on stock internals. If it's in line with the other big single kits, it'd be $8-9kish as well as being a basically plug, and play solution.
Haven't heard of Motiv Motorsports, please forgive ignorance for N54s. Never really took the initiative to look up turbo upgrades for N54s or maximum capability of those motors. I use my 335i as a daily driver. But this isn't a post on upgrading N54s considering the swap is being done on a 328XI. Motiv was using E50 not pump gas as well. Also with the 2JZGTE, it gives me the option to run 1000+ HP.

& again I'll mention, I already have the motor.
It's just putting the two together that I am here gathering info on. I am 98.73% sure I can put the motor in the car and run it RWD. But I'd like to add a touch of uniqueness and run AWD. If I can't run AWD (reason for me creating this post), then what are the obstacles, that you know of that I may not know of, in gutting out that AWD system and running RWD only?
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      10-23-2014, 08:07 AM   #17
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Hey Baby -

Check out this thread on someone mating the E46's CANBUS system with non BMW motors (in this case, GM engines).

This will give you an idea of what is feasible and what's totally out of the realm of reason. Another thread to look at is this thread - http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?p=16007036 where a user managed to shoehorn in an LS engine into the e90 body and used a custom harness.

I have that users email and have been trying to get updates from him with no luck...but it'll give you an idea of the hurdles.

Also - if you make this work, I live in DC and travel to NYC often for work - I'd be happy to send you my car for a swap
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      10-23-2014, 04:06 PM   #18
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If you can mate the motor to the transmission, and make it all run, the AWD will work.
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