Skip to content









Hi, I am looking for advice on a project I have in mind.

I am buying a down and out 635I to restomod. I love the E24 but they were underpowered and are feeling dated. My thought is to swap in a E62 or E65 V8 along with suspension and brake mods, new paint etc etc. I have heard that one or both of these engines had rod bearing problems related to lubrication. If that’s true is there a better BMW V8 i might consider.

One shop is suggesting I go with a Gm LS3 motor for power and reliability. I’d prefer to keep it all BMW but I am intrigued with the idea of the LS.Would installing the Gm motor ‘ruin’ the car in terms of resale value from your point of view ? Any other advice you might have on a project of this type ?



Hello Mr. Hagan, congratulations on the purchase, I really like that chassis. First part of your question, yes, they do have bearing issues, it does not seem to be a lubrication issue but rather a material defect, either way, they have new bearings aftermarket that will fix the issue. You can always go with a 4.4L V8 from the E39, just change the front timing cover gasket before installing it as it is a common issue that takes a lot of labor to repair once installed.

The LS3 or any LS series engine really is a really popular choice because of the price and the power that it produces, it will be a fun car with the LS.

As far as the resale value is concerned you would loose money selling either car as that is the norm for modified cars. The BMW engine will make the car more valuable as most people that like BMW’s like to have a BMW engine in the car. My advice when building a car like this is to build the car that you want and not as a car that you will sell. I would also think about an engine from an E39 M5, that would be a very nice combination. Please contact me with any questions and/or advice, I will be more than happy to talk to you about it.

Gil Neves


This Post Has One Comment

  1. Hi Gil, thanks for taking the time to write. I really do appreciate it !

    I had initially been planning on finding a very nice 635 M6 to drive and leave stock but they’re getting hard to find and they’re also getting pretty pricey (upwards of 60k-70k for a decent one. I would never want to violate a nice M6 with restomod type modifications…that wouldn’t be right. So….it occurred to me that it made more sense to create a REALLY quick, M6-beater out of the much more common base 633i, 635i of which there are many more.

    I agree with you that BMW aficionados would probably recoil at the notion of a BMW with a non-BMW engine (me too !) however part of the problem is finding a shop here in SW FLORIDA to do the engine and drivetrain swap. I’ve talked to Barr’s, here in Naples but they don’t seem very l interested in the project. My shop at home in NE is and they’re the ones who preferred to do the LS swap as something they’re quite familiar with. You can buy a new GM crate LS with 480-520 hp with transmission for around 15k vs trying to find and rebuild a good BMW V8 with the better bearings and end up with less hp than the LS.

    If I could find a competent shop to do the BMW swap, I would prefer to keep it all BMW. Any suggestions ?

    Again, thanks for you input and thanks for the tip about the timing cover gasket.

    Steve Hagan

    PS: resale value is not a primary concern for me but it’s always prudent to keep it in mind

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top