1'Series Hatchback N54 Build/Swap

dvb1995

Private
Nov 24, 2016
31
Europe
Hello guys,

For some time now I have been wanting to swap an N54 into my E87 118D (n47 engine), and now I finally decided to take the plunge and try to see if I could make it work.

A little background:
In 2012 the N47 engine in my car had its chain break causing massive damage to the head/valves, and because of that the entire engine and turbo was replaced by BMW. That was all fine and dandy until a couple weeks ago when the car suddenly made a loud thump and proceeded to die. The car no longer had any compression, a chain at the bottom of the engine, and multiple valves smashed.
I contemplated buying a used N47 diesel engine, but as I also wanted my daily driver to have an automatic gearbox, I decided it would be better to just buy a crashed 335i with an automatic trans.

I don't have much experience with swaps, but after a lot of research i don't see it being too hard.

Some issues i foresee:
- My car is made after 9/2009, whereas the donercar is made before. That means they will have different fuseboxes/wiring.
- Donercar has Idrive whereas mine has the radio professional.
- Donercar has adaptive headlights and not halogen like mine.
- Donercar is an automatic whereas mine is manual
- Donercar is a coupe and my E87 is of course 5 doors.
- My diesel car has start/stop and a DC/DC converter

I will need to shorten the drive shaft(and have it balanced) and also make an exhaust system for the car.

If there are any other difficulties you can think of, please tell me. :)

I hoping to have this done my the middle of December.

TL/DR --> going to N54 swap, hope everything goes smooth, done in 3 weeks.
 

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dvb1995

Private
Nov 24, 2016
31
Europe
Today i started out by removing the broken N47 Engine. I foresee the wiring being complicated later on, so im making sure to write down their original location.
 

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dvb1995

Private
Nov 24, 2016
31
Europe
Haha sadly I'm only 22 and don't have a real shop, I'm just doing it in my garage :)

And no you can't buy an n54 hatch. 130i is the largest version.
 

doublespaces

Administrator
Oct 18, 2016
8,889
AZ
Haha sadly I'm only 22 and don't have a real shop, I'm just doing it in my garage :)

And no you can't buy an n54 hatch. 130i is the largest version.
Ah, don't worry about it! I think this is an awesome project. Turbo Hatch 1er is super cool!

I believe the early cars have MSD80 and the later cars have an MSD81. Also, there is likely a bunch of coding you'll have to do, hopefully you aren't forced to purchase a new DME due to coding of other modules. Other people will know more about this than me.

So, when you're all done, will you have the 335i VIN in the electronics?
 

dvb1995

Private
Nov 24, 2016
31
Europe
Ah, don't worry about it! I think this is an awesome project. Turbo Hatch 1er is super cool!

I believe the early cars have MSD80 and the later cars have an MSD81. Also, there is likely a bunch of coding you'll have to do, hopefully you aren't forced to purchase a new DME due to coding of other modules. Other people will know more about this than me.

So, when you're all done, will you have the 335i VIN in the electronics?

The donercar is an MSD80, and the 118D has a bosch edc17 ecu. The car will run with the MSD80 ecu. I plan on using a mix of the two wiring looms as the original has the wiring for the extra doors, but of course not for the gasoline engine. I think i will have to make some modifications to my fusebox, but i'll worry about that later.
 

Flinchy

Private
Nov 5, 2016
41
Australia
@Flinchy I'm pretty sure has done, is doing, or was doing something like this?
Was doing. Will do in future. Just molest the hell out of a from factory N54 first haha. Had to sell the 130.

IIRC Dme cas and Dash cluster go in and that's all the engine wants to run electronics wise. Should plug into the JBE fine. Engine loom goes to the dme, then another loom goes to the cabin>JBE, as does every other bit of wiring almost.

And ofc the tcu if swapping Auto.

Realoem your JBE part number, from memory most models all share a JBE part number and as long as its new enough its fine. Just might have a faster or slower CAN either way.

Hardware wise no different to any swap, New 6cyl subframe etc. N47 have a medium case diff? May be a bit fragile.
 
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Flinchy

Private
Nov 5, 2016
41
Australia
to be frank- you're in for a hell of a wiring mess to make it work natively. I know this, as I've built stand alone harnesses for the N54 and made it run off the factory components. It's not easy.
Thus is retaining all factory electrics, not trying to delete anything at all. Dme won't know the difference when it still sees everything it should.

Its a swap that's been done a few times over the world, no issues with Dash lights or anything.
 

dvb1995

Private
Nov 24, 2016
31
Europe
Was doing. Will do in future. Just molest the hell out of a from factory N54 first haha. Had to sell the 130.

IIRC Dme cas and Dash cluster go in and that's all the engine wants to run electronics wise. Should plug into the JBE fine. Engine loom goes to the dme, then another loom goes to the cabin>JBE, as does every other bit of wiring almost.

And ofc the tcu if swapping Auto.

Realoem your JBE part number, from memory most models all share a JBE part number and as long as its new enough its fine. Just might have a faster or slower CAN either way.

Hardware wise no different to any swap, New 6cyl subframe etc. N47 have a medium case diff? May be a bit fragile.
I think I will need to swap dsc also as the on in the diesel doesn't natively send a vehicle speed signal to the ecu. The dsc from the donercar, I don't think, will accept the signal from the e87 abs sensors. So those will be changed.

I plan on swapping the entire rear subframe from the 335 into the e87. Including the diff.

The problem with my jbe is that it doesn't have the k6300 relay needed for the n54. And the pre 9/2007 fuse box won't work in my car.
 

dvb1995

Private
Nov 24, 2016
31
Europe
I'm sure you know, but the online BMW WDS will come in very valuable I bet
In preparation for the swap I have spend many hours looking at wds but many times it only has wiring diagrams for pre 03/2007 cars.

to be frank- you're in for a hell of a wiring mess to make it work natively. I know this, as I've built stand alone harnesses for the N54 and made it run off the factory components. It's not easy.
I can't see it being too hard but having never done it before it's hard for me to really say. The car might end up never driving again haha

The nice thing is that a lot of the wiring is contained within the engine bay and the amount of wires going into the car is limited.
 

Flinchy

Private
Nov 5, 2016
41
Australia
I think I will need to swap dsc also as the on in the diesel doesn't natively send a vehicle speed signal to the ecu. The dsc from the donercar, I don't think, will accept the signal from the e87 abs sensors. So those will be changed.

I plan on swapping the entire rear subframe from the 335 into the e87. Including the diff.

The problem with my jbe is that it doesn't have the k6300 relay needed for the n54. And the pre 9/2007 fuse box won't work in my car.
Yeah my thought just before reading this would be speed signal - your n47 e87 has an external reluctor ring yeah? Not like the n52 ones and n54 powered cars with it in the wheel bearing

Might be able to get a newer n54 based jbe that has the relay you need and will also play well with your car?
 

dvb1995

Private
Nov 24, 2016
31
Europe
Yeah my thought just before reading this would be speed signal - your n47 e87 has an external reluctor ring yeah? Not like the n52 ones and n54 powered cars with it in the wheel bearing

Might be able to get a newer n54 based jbe that has the relay you need and will also play well with your car?
That is an option but I think I'll just solder in the relay and resistors
 

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Corporal
Platinum Vendor
Oct 25, 2016
149
Houston, Texas
Yeah my thought just before reading this would be speed signal - your n47 e87 has an external reluctor ring yeah? Not like the n52 ones and n54 powered cars with it in the wheel bearing

Might be able to get a newer n54 based jbe that has the relay you need and will also play well with your car?
you mean an ABS sensor that isn't in the hub?


I think I will need to swap dsc also as the on in the diesel doesn't natively send a vehicle speed signal to the ecu. The dsc from the donercar, I don't think, will accept the signal from the e87 abs sensors. So those will be changed.

I plan on swapping the entire rear subframe from the 335 into the e87. Including the diff.

The problem with my jbe is that it doesn't have the k6300 relay needed for the n54. And the pre 9/2007 fuse box won't work in my car.
pre 9-07 are way different. like, waaaaaay different. You need to find diagrams post 9/07 if your car is such.

In preparation for the swap I have spend many hours looking at wds but many times it only has wiring diagrams for pre 03/2007 cars.



I can't see it being too hard but having never done it before it's hard for me to really say. The car might end up never driving again haha

The nice thing is that a lot of the wiring is contained within the engine bay and the amount of wires going into the car is limited.
 

dvb1995

Private
Nov 24, 2016
31
Europe
Today i took out the electric steering rack from the hatch, and replaced it with the one from the 335i

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then i took out the seats, carpet and parts of the dash. Then i changed out the pedal assembly for the automatic one. Im not putting in the accelerator yet...

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The car is already pretty full of parts.....

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