Transplanting BMW M57 (530d) engine in petrol car body


New member
BMW 850CSi
Hi, New to this forum, attracted by the article on Engine Swaps and the diesel conversation here.

Something Ive being researching for a while and floating from forum to forum with is putting a modern diesel in an older fuel guzzler. Problem is a lot of forums have a US Bias and there is very little diesel knowhow there. On the why: I like Diesels, I like cool unique projects and I do 140km a day. I used to have a V10TDI Phaeton, so I know how big diesels perform (which is to say ideal for my usage).

My idea is to get a 2007+ BMW 333d/530d engine (231bhp stock, 300 on tune) and put it in a BMW 8 series. Now before anyone cries murder for ruining an 8 series, I already own the top end 8 (the CSi), which I will keep along side a diesel Franken-8. And tired examples of 8s are getting very cheap and good for project work. They also have a chassis and gearbox designed for large high torque V12 engines.

Now there are a lot of issues with the plan of course:


  • 840Ci - 5sp Auto Box (ZF 5hp30) and Cable Throttle
  • 850i - 4sp Auto box (ZF 4hp24) and Drive by Wire


  • M57TU2D30 engine - fairly advanced, minimal after market ECU support (maybe this, but very expensive), drive by wire (or whatever it is on diesel), designed for a GM gearbox.
  • If I go for an older 530d engine the power and power band goes down a lot, but it would be cheaper with whole parts cars available.
  • 535/335d engines are great, but too expensive

- Will I need the stock ECU and Immobiliser and try to trick the car into running with all its usual bits connected?
- What about traction control and other bits like Speedo etc?
- Can I reuse the 8 series Auto boxes? Will a 4sp Auto Diesel be a horrible thing to drive?
- If re-using the old Auto box, I assume Id need a separate TCU? Luckily I found this one for the 4hp24 already.
- Planning on swapping to a diesel fuel pump but reusing existing hard fuel lines and plastic fuel tank. Will change the fuel hoses from old to new rubber, assuming this is all ok.

What do you guys think?
Wow, what a project. You certainly have your work cut out. Are you based in NI? There is tons of paper work involved getting the car re-registered. You'd probably need an engineers report.

The electronics in these is a bit of a nighmare, the ECU controls much more than just the engine. IIRC the immobiliser is also included within the ECU.

I think it would probably be easier to use a stand alone fuel management than try to bodge together 2 BMW systems.

You are spot on with the parts you need though.

I wonder if any of our resident remappers can shed any light on the inner workings of the ECU?
Hey, thanks for moving the thread as appropriate! Im in the ROI, I suspect the paperwork will be not much of an issue, stuff like that isnt very well policed here. :)
Either way any mechanic can state the engine was swapped and get it re-registered, they usually do it to reduce the annual motor tax (paper swaps)!

Id be interested to hear from anyone with ECU inner working knowledge!
Yeah, normal aftermarket ecu's really aren't up to the job of controlling a diesel engine,

they need to be more precise and the injector drivers need to be capable of supplying 120 volts or something mad like that,

best way is to use the ecu of the 530d engine and also an auto box off a 530d engine, trust me it will make for a better car to drive and will be easier to install,

a bigger turbo will help with power spread as will all the usual mods,

also lpg injection is a good way to go with diesels as big gains can be had from running propane in conjunction with diesel
Likely would be better all round, what about the existing gear stick control, is there significant differences in such a generation gap of Autobox?
yes there is,
the 530d is a steptronic auto
I mean differences in wiring, the 840Ci is actually Steptronic too, though that would restrict the choice to just that model (to keep with steptronic for the sake of reusing the gear shift wiring if possible).
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Then it could be possible,

i'm not too clued up on specifics but I would say ultimately you would need to buy a working 530d and have that and the 840 side by side to do the conversion then if you have any problem with wiring or anything else you can use the 5 as a referance, that would be my way of doing it

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