Hey everyone! So check out our e46 M3 drift car.
This car started out as a cheap Gumtree find to start using as Dan's drift car. The original concept was simple. Basic suspension mods, diff upgrade, swap the expensive and slow S54 out for an N54, cheap and easy to source engine so if replacements were needed they could be easily found!
The first part of the build was straight forward, Mounting the motor was simple thanks to Brock and his CNC plasma, we cut up some brackets and had Mitchy knock up all the custom fab to make it work.
Once we started there was some elegance to fitting the engine into the chassis, everything lining up fairly nicely and the only real drama being the stock twin turbos fouling the steering column. So the decision was made to fabricate a single turbo manifold to avoid the column and from there progress was fast.
Our in house fabricator at the time Mitchy killed it. The engine even on a stand was a work of art and the fitment was amazing!
Basic problems arose here and there but for the most part this swap wasn't overly difficult, using a Haltech Elite2500 with a custom made Arduino based CAN convertor to keep the rest of the car working with the haltech we decided this would be much more street orientated than track so we tried hard to keep as many nice standard bits as possible.
At this point we decided we should use a DCT from an N54 also, paired with a HTG GCU to try and be one of the first using the setup in Australia. The result as history would show was a regretful 6 months of a controller in it's infancy that should have been sold as a beta product and not a gcu. 6 months later the car was converted to 6 speed manual and we never looked back.
Ticking off many events and lots and lots of street km, this N54 combo had proven to be one perfect fit into the e46 chassis!
Fast forward 18 months from there and Andrew from Zeroto60 came for a look and a drive in the e46 to see just how much fun this car really is! His review video is a great watch! Watch here!
After a bit of arm twisting the decision to go ZF8HP was made, luckily we had Andrew around to document the process and then the future of the car! Check out the build in this Youtube playlist:
Zero to 60 e46 M3 8HP Drift Car
This is the car that really got us so deep into the capability of the 8HP transmission, which hopefully in turn gets anyone reading this as excited to get one going as Dan was when he first drove his e46 after the 'auto' swap!