In the last installment of the E30 chronicles, we finished up the intercooler system. In this chapter, we will be addressing the driveshaft and the fuel system. By the end of the chapter, the engine bay will finally go from black to dank.
The root of our problem with this swap is that everything on this car is designed in a polar opposite manner to an S-chassis. The fuel system is on the wrong side of the car and has to be routed across, the exhaust is on the opposite side and is going to need extensive heat shielding, the AC compressor is on the wrong side, the driveshaft yoke is in the wrong place, the heater core is on the opposite side, heck, even the hood opens the wrong way! If we didn’t have to solve all of these complicated problems, this car would have been done long ago. Nonetheless, we persevere.
When the E30 was designed, the engineers expected people to simply unbolt the driveshaft flange from the transmission, since the car originally did not have a slip yoke inside the transmission, but rather on the carrier bearing. S-chassis on the other hand, have a slip yoke that goes inside the transmission. Because of this, installing a 1 piece driveshaft on this car is quite difficult. It is not possible to first slide the slip yoke into the transmission, and then bolt the driveshaft to the differential, because the rear subframe goes directly underneath the differential pinion flange. Instead, we have to drop the transmission and move the engine forward, attach the driveshaft to the differential, then move the engine back slowly while aligning the slip yoke with the transmission.