1996 BMW Z3 with a LS1 V8

1996 BMW Z3 with a LS1 V8

Hasan Motorsports has always enjoyed the great feel and handling of a BMW Z3. But soon a condition known as torque fever started to develop. The first attempt at treating this alignment was by installing a supercharger kit. This only provided slight relief but didn’t give any long-term cure. Hasan finally realized the only acceptable treatment was to acquire a small block V8. So in November of 2005 Hasan began to swap a 5.7L LS1 into a tiny 1996 BMW Z3.

1996 BMW Z3 with a LS1 V8

Prepping the car to handle the increased power was important to keep up handling. The Z3 suffers from a weak trunk floor and a weak single differential mount. A.B.S Chassis Fabrication installs a Randy Forbes differential kit to strengthen the mount and trunk floor as well as make more room for a dual exhaust system. The body received a 1997 2.8 L Z3 body kit (front and rear bumpers, both rocker panels, both fenders) purchased off Bimmerforums for $200. To fill out the wider fenders, he bolted on a set of 18×8.5 CCWs for the front and 18×10.5 CCWs for the back.

1996 BMW Z3 with a LS1 V8

1996 BMW Z3 with a LS1 V8

The LS1 V8 features a LS6 intake manifold, LS6 PCV system, LS6 valve springs, GM Peformance Hot Cam, hardened pushrods, and ASP crank pulley. The engine made 357 horsepower and 372 torque to the wheels on a dyno. Also installed were Nash Motorsports long tube headers, Magnaflow x-pipe and mufflers, and a RPM Stage IV T-56 six-speed transmission. He also upgraded the brakes using a Wilwood 4-piston brake kit using E46 M3 slotted rotors.

1996 BMW Z3 with a LS1 V8

1996 BMW Z3 with a LS1 V8

1996 BMW Z3 with a LS1 V8

Anyone with a desire to attempt this swap needs to read Fitting the Motor Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. This will put in perspective the time and effort required. Hasan ran into all kinds of issues but through determination has built a very unique automobile and has rewarded us with helpful information.

1996 BMW Z3 with a LS1 V8

Source: Hasan Motorsports

8 Comments

  1. Hollis Martin

    I have a 1998 BMW 740i with 5.3 swap. It turn out great if anyone reply I will post some picture of it. Also I am wondering if there is anyone that could tell me how to get my mph. rpm. and oil, temp. guadges to work.

    • Charles Betts

      Hollis. We are going to put an LS1 corvette engine in a 1997 Z3. Could you e mail or text any possible pics or specs ? I’m a 45 year welder fabricator We have a full LS1 rolling chassis and plan on using factory exhaust out the side of car and use a t56 transmission. Any help would be appreciated. This is not our first swap. Chasbravo@twlakes.net. Cell/text. 949-500-6477. TN. 38570

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