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      11-23-2012, 06:39 PM   #1
Maestrob4u
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1M Coupe VR38DETT (Nissan GTR) engine swap?

I know it seems outrageous and almost Rediculous but, I must as this question of those more knowledgeable than I.

I've seen a number of videos on YouTube of Nissan GTRs thrashing the upper echelon of supercars (Some after a remap and a little fettling) and it got me wondering. If a GM LS engine, Toyota 2J and R34 Skyline engine can be loaded into an E30 3-Series...

Is it possible to swap a VR38DETT (Nissan GTR) engine into a 1 series?

If so (bearing in mind the GTR is a 4WD car) what would I need, besides the engine of course, how much could it cost and who would be barmy enough to carry it out?

Thank you all for reading.
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      11-24-2012, 01:02 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestrob4u View Post
Is it possible to swap a VR38DETT (Nissan GTR) engine into a 1 series?
Yes.

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Originally Posted by Maestrob4u View Post
how much could it cost and who would be barmy enough to carry it out?
Probably no one will ever do this, as it's an exceedingly bad idea. Cost would probably be in the 50k including engine range to do a reasonable job, with much of the money spent of getting the Nissan and BMW electronics to play together and/ or replacing them with aftermarket ECUs. The Nissan's V6 may well be wider than the BMW's engine bay, requiring extensive surgery, but that would simply add to an already unreasonable bill.

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Originally Posted by Maestrob4u View Post
I've seen a number of videos on YouTube of Nissan GTRs thrashing the upper echelon of supercars (Some after a remap and a little fettling) and it got me wondering. If a GM LS engine, Toyota 2J and R34 Skyline engine can be loaded into an E30 3-Series...
Herein lies the fundamental folly of the question- the assumption is that the engine is why GTRs thrash supercars.

First, the Nissan's engine is not particularly special. At 542 hp and 608 lbs dressed weight, it makes less than .9 hp per pound. An M3 GTS motor, in comparison, makes more than 1 hp per pound, and that's before you supercharge it.

Even boosted to 750 hp a GTR motor is only at 1.23 hp per pound, a number that doesn't compare well with the 1.4 hp per pound available from a number of motors such as a stock McLaren TT V8, or the ~1.5 hp per pound available from a supercharged M3 V8. In other words, by choosing the GTR motor you're going to screw up the BMWs weight balance and handling more than if you picked many other options. That's only one of your problems, however.

More importantly, the fundamental issue is that making power is the easy part- there are lots and lots of easier, better ways to making 600+ hp. A chassis that makes 600+ hp usable most time is the hard bit, and that's what the GTR does. With 4wd and active torque vectoring the GTR is simply able to deploy more of its power more of the time. A rear wheel drive BMW is fundamentally unable to deploy the same amount of power unless one turns it into a funny car, and then only in a straight line. So making a supercar beater with the GTR motor also requires the gearbox, 4wd system, suspension and tires from the GTR.

Yes, before you ask, those could be fit too. Nissan did it themselves, turning a lowly Nissan Juke into a Juke GTR. This car is only a couple seconds slower around the track than a real GTR, and only costs 500k euros/ 650k USD. And yes a tuner shop could do it cheaper and not as well, but any way you slice it that's a lot of money for something almost as good as a GTR.
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Last edited by Pete_vB; 11-24-2012 at 03:41 AM.
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      11-24-2012, 05:36 AM   #3
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Thank you so much for that. So I'm guessing a GM LSA (Cadillac CTS-V engine) or a BMW S85 would be a much better idea?
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      11-24-2012, 05:59 AM   #4
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Yeah, but if all you want is horsepower, just slap on RB turbos with full bolt-on and methanol injection. That'll get you in the 500+ hp range without destroying your car or your bank account.
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      11-24-2012, 06:12 AM   #5
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It's not just HP I'm after, I'd like the sound of something exotic/ unexpected from the engine bay and exhaust.
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      11-24-2012, 06:18 AM   #6
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A GT-R is a fundamentally different car to the 1M. I haven't driven a gtr so I might be talking out of line, but the main difference is that the 1M has soul. You can improve on the 1M by tweaking it, make it faster and more tamed, but to me it needs to retain its fundamentals to keep its soul.

My solution is giving what the 1M deserves without changing the inherit solution the M engineers have given us. It will not have EDC, or any clever torque converters, but focusing on lighter weight and improved components.
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      11-24-2012, 08:19 AM   #7
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If you're yearning for GT-R power and sound, save yourself the conversion hassle and choose the easiest option: buy a Nissan GT-R.

By doing so you got a 1M and a GT-R, with good value on resale day, instead of a complicated 1M which will be hard to resell.
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      11-24-2012, 09:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestrob4u View Post
It's not just HP I'm after, I'd like the sound of something exotic/ unexpected from the engine bay and exhaust.
Get an akrapovic.
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      11-24-2012, 09:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Thank you so much for that. So I'm guessing a GM LSA (Cadillac CTS-V engine) or a BMW S85 would be a much better idea?
Going to anything other than a BMW motor would be substantially harder due to the incompatibility of the electronics. My personal choice would probably be a tuned S65, not supercharged (to keep the weight down), maybe stroker or built with cams and a 9k redline. Any heavier motor, including the S85, would adversely effect handling.

But as long as you're dreaming, you might as well use the S70/2 V12 that BMW developed for the McLaren F1. 680+ hp @ 7800 rpm in LM trim.
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      11-25-2012, 11:34 PM   #10
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This is a really easy question to answer. The company to do the work would have to be RML group out of England. Cost will be in excess of $500k.

Those are easy questions to answer because RML already did this engine transplant into the Nissan Juke. Supposedly you can now purchase for $590k US.

Tranplanting into a BMW would most likely prove harder because the electronics will be completely 100% foreign. At least the juke was also a Nissan. From the road coarse test done on fifth gear the Juke R is a complete turd to drive. I would have to assume a 1M transplant would be better than a Juke but not as good as the purpose built chassis designed by Nissan for the a VR38DETT.

If you have absolutely nothing in the world better to spend that kind of money on then so be it. I can think of dozens of production cars and many dozens of motor transplants I'd take before this though.
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      11-26-2012, 05:20 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artemis View Post
If you're yearning for GT-R power and sound, save yourself the conversion hassle and choose the easiest option: buy a Nissan GT-R.

By doing so you got a 1M and a GT-R, with good value on resale day, instead of a complicated 1M which will be hard to resell.

I think what the GTR can do is amazing but, it's a hideously ugly car with a terrible looking interior reminiscent of a MK4 Vauxhall Astra with a 6 inch screen wedged into the dash.
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      11-26-2012, 06:29 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Pete_vB View Post
Going to anything other than a BMW motor would be substantially harder due to the incompatibility of the electronics. My personal choice would probably be a tuned S65, not supercharged (to keep the weight down), maybe stroker or built with cams and a 9k redline. Any heavier motor, including the S85, would adversely effect handling.

But as long as you're dreaming, you might as well use the S70/2 V12 that BMW developed for the McLaren F1. 680+ hp @ 7800 rpm in LM trim.
The McLaren F1 engine is definitely the stuff of dreams, aurally nothing comes close to that level, except the Pagani Zonda. Which company offers the S65 at the level of tune, or can modify one to the specification you described. Also what are the gains over stock.

I read that the LS motor (with supercharger) weighed 197kg, vs the S65's 202kg.

Last edited by Maestrob4u; 11-26-2012 at 06:30 AM. Reason: Double quoted the same quote
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      11-26-2012, 08:32 AM   #13
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What... Crazy idea...

In that case better to do F10 M5 engine swap
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      11-26-2012, 08:59 AM   #14
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What... Crazy idea...

In that case better to do F10 M5 engine swap
That would be most sensible, I believe there is a race team or tuner that has done this...black car, dayglow yellow M5 rims?
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      11-26-2012, 10:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
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I read that the LS motor (with supercharger) weighed 197kg, vs the S65's 202kg.
Where did you hear that? An LS9 (ZR1 motor) is 241 kg, and that's before the required external oil tank (dry sump). An LT1 (next gen 6.2L non-supercharged) is 211 kg.

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Which company offers the S65 at the level of tune, or can modify one to the specification you described. Also what are the gains over stock.
Dinan does a 500 hp stroker S65, which is the smarter way to go from a performance perspective, and Dinan has excellent experience with derivatives of the motor from their Daytona Prototype racing program making them one of the few I'd trust to do one well. A high revving 4.0l would be more for fun and the experience/ sound. Not sure if Dinan could be talked into doing one.
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      12-03-2012, 11:51 AM   #16
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Or just go to these guys....
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      12-05-2012, 03:04 PM   #17
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As someone who's done a Full swap on an 87 BMW, and those electronics were enough of a pain in the ass... this sounds like a load of frustration trying to even attempt.

Not trying to shit in your corn flakes, but even an S65 is going to be a difficult swap, let alone going with a different Automaker's engine.
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