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"In this new Special Series named “S85-002”, I earn a badge of honour: I blew up my V10.

I document the service history of my original S85 engine and diagnose its failure. I go through the process to source, refresh and swap my S85-002. Most importantly, I document the S85-EVO high duration camshaft package

In this entry, the S85-001 gets pulled, undressed and gifts some of its parts to the 002. Some are replaced, some are restored, some are upgraded. This is part 1 of 2 documenting the swap process. " 
- Matt 

It's a swap first. 

In an earlier entry "Shifting Market Dynamics", I laid down a brief framework to the work we were going to perform.

This is first and foremost an engine swap, we are replacing the S85-001 that catastrophically failed with the S85-002. We're performing a few upgrades and slight refresh along the way - it isn't meant as a complete engine refresh. 

As such, our framework is to re-use previously working accessories from the S85-001 that didn't come in contact with oil flow, and potential metal shavings. All the working aftermarket upgrades made to the S85-001 will also be transfered over the the S85-002. 

We had completed the core work on the S85-002. The next steps required parts from the previous engine. 

With the S85-002 moved to the side, we pushed and rolled the E60 into the shop. The E60 holds a very special place, I missed it - and seeing the chassis move once more after sitting for 6 months had my in my feelings. 

I filmed and edited a reel trying to capture how it felt here.  


Here she was: cold, dusty, spider webs across the underbody. Winter was here, snow had settled, and temperatures were below freezing temps.

The Lipo4 battery had shut down - but it still was alive. It was a new 60Ah version I was testing. I purposely let it sit in the car for 6 months on its own. 

I removed it and put it on the trickle charger. It came back to life. 

It's not an engine pull per say. 

Phil's method to an engine swap is simple and time efficien: the engine will technically never move, the body will leave its soul behind (!). 

The method consists of raising the chassis on a lift, leaving the engine on stands. As such, Phil starts with the underside: removing all components, disconnecting all connectors and sensors from the underside, and the move to the top.

First, the BBS CHRs came off the car and not coming back on for a while. It's a shame as he had preemptively replaced the rear tires in hopes it would have been ready sooner. 

The front fender liners got fully removed. 

We inspected the current condition of the chassis in case we needed to change anything while in there. The rotors unsurprisingly had surface rust all over. 

The Bilstein B16 Damptronics' corrosion resistance disappointed. These were barely used for a year. 

The sealed monoballs were like new. They can endure Winter. 

The massive calipers were fine. All nuts and bolts had surface rust. 

The engine skid plate and undertrays were removed to gain access to the subframe. 

Next, we tackled dropping the entire header-back exhaust system. 

I discovered I had an Eisenmann Sport! The Race version would have had markings indicating "EXPORT ONLY". This explains the deeper, sport tone. 

The mufflers' hangers were a PITA to remove from the rubber mounting points. 

The front section's flanges to the headers was crusty. 

The 02 sensors on the headers were also removed.

With the exhaust out, it was down to drop the driveline. 

The carbon driveshaft got removed using the same efficient technique we used to install it. We previously documented it on "The fix is also in for manual V10s."

The carbon driveshaft's CV flange had surface rest, but nothing structural. It's expected considering it's in contact with the crusty differential flange. 

Next step: the SMG3. 

Phil would know his way around one blindfolded. All connectors and hoses were rapidly disconnected. 

The SMG3 notoriously has its own cooler bolted right to it, connected to the undertray ducts. 

Built by Getrag, for better and for worse. 

Transmission got pulled without any drama. We had already done so in 2022 to fit the flywheel and replace the clutch. There were no visual changes. 

Welcome to the slaughterhouse. 

So many things to go wrong here - but my SMG3 thankfully never had issues on this front. 

The clutch was nearly brand new. 

Back to the top. 

With the underside disconnection of the engine and its driveline components completed, it was back to the top side. We now had to disconnect and remove the cooling system along with the engine harness from the chassis. 

First, the intake was coming soon. The lid had previously been removed to be re-cleared as the hood liner sagged, and stained the clear coat. 

While in there, I also got the emblem painted in satin black. 

The Sealed Carbon Intakes were removed. They will be upgraded to the CSL Competition spec. 

I took the opportunity to further showcase the importance of the sealed design and its compatibility with the OEM air ducts. Below is the chassis duct breathing directly from the kidney grills. 

The lower ducts were removed from the front bumper. Those connect the lower side openings directly to the intake. 

It breathes in its coldest air from the lower ducts, closest to the ground. It also picks up most debris from this duct. 

Having put on short of 40,000km in all weather conditions without ever servicing the filters, it was time to open them up and inspect. 

The filters are oiled, and the red color comes from the oil itself. The engine side of the filter was relatively clean. It had lost some of the red's color saturation.  

The bumper side is where things get messy. The filter was dirty - filled with sand, rocks and debris collected over the years. I will clean and re-oil this filter later on, documenting how to along the way. 

In the meantime, I assembled the CSL Competition spec upper inlet tube with the lower housing to compare with the OE+ variant. 

I I fitted the larger side inlets and compared with the OE+. 

The cross section is over 2x as large as the OE+ version. This is bound to enable additional power increases with the high duration intake cam. 

It should also increase induction noise with the elimination of any flexible component to the intake tract. 

Back to chassis, Phil removed the radiator cover and hood latch mechanism to remove the radiator and condenser. 

The power steering reservoir was moved out of the way, but not removed. 

The coolant expansion tank was also moved out of the way, but not removed. 

The radiator hoses were disconnected and the coolant system was drained. 

Unlike oil, coolant drains fast. 

The radiator came out first. 

It was still good after all these years, showing little sign of wear. 

The radiator takes up a lot of space in the cramped E60 engine bay. With it removed, we could easily access other hoses and lines to remove the condenser and power steering fluid cooler. 

Considering their similar position to air filters, the condenser and oil cooler eat a lot of debrisIt accumulates at the bottom of each cooling system. 

With the condenser removed, only the power steering cooler and oil cooler remained. 

The RadTech Performance oil cooler would unfortunately be discarded. Oil coolers are notoriously difficult, some way impossible to fully clean of metal shavings. 

The condenser was still in working order, but it was clogged with debris. In similar fashion to air filters, the back was still relatively clean. 

The front, however, was a mess. The discoloured sections are from debris chipping away at the black coating. 

We took the garden hose to the backside, pushing out debris, rocks and sand. We were able to remove 90% of it. Some was unfortunately stuck in there forever. 

With the coolant system out, we removed the CSL carbon plenum off the ITBs. The removal process is simple. The trumpets get unbolted and the plenum comes off. 

It took all but 5 minutes. 

I removed the standard OE+ inlets and went about fitting the CSL Competition spec larger side inlets. 

A neoprene gasket had slightly unglued. We fixed it. 

A reminder to use blue loctite across all bolts on the plenum. 

And voila! A lot more air was going to be fed to the S85-002. Whether it makes power is to be determined. I'm hopeful. 

Lastly, the DME and engine harness gets disconnected. 

The MSS65 sits in this plastic compartment by the passenger side firewall. It would come out of the chassis and swapped to the S85-002.  

Jack stands were put at key positions under the front subframe, it got unbolted, and the chassis was lifted. 1, 2 [...] 3 - the body left its soul. 

This is what a dead S85 looks like. 

Condolences had been given months ago. This engine was an organ donor, nothing more. Phil got to work right away dissecting the S85-001.  

The engine harness and its topside engine plastic compartment was removed. 

All hoses and connectors were unplugged. 

The idle control actuators and throttle actuators were then fully removed. They will be transferred over. 

The idle control actuators sit by the engine starter by the firewall. 

Speaking of which, the started would be removed and swapped over as well. They recommended I buy a new one. I already had a spare, I don't mind paying labor to document the journey - so nah, I would keep this one!

I took the opportunity to capture where the starter sits. You can see why it's an expensive job to do with the engine in the chassis!

The starters sits on top of the flywheel, with its gear aligned with the S85 SMG3 lightweight flywheel. 

We also noticed the PCV hose by the exhaust had melted. This led to oil recirculation issues and oil accumulation in the plenum. 

When ordering a replacement part from BMW, they updated the part with a new heat shield. We deducted this wasn't caused by the V3 headers.

The undressing of the S85-001 was making rapid progress. 

Next, we tackled the thermostat housing and connectors. 

The ignition coils and spark plugs were removed. 

I had changed a few over the years, I had a mix of original BMW and BREMI ignition coils. 

Parts were starting to accumulate.

Phil was moving. It's often easier to remove than install things, ever more so when you've worked on so many of these engines. 

With the top side emptied out, Phil moved to the front of the engine.  

Brackets for wiring and hoses were first removed. 

Next, the VANOS solenoids were removed. 

We wouldn't transfer the adjuster units over as metal shavings could have made their way into the pistons' chambers. 

We re-used the updated Genuine BMW VANOS solenoids. They were inspected and thoroughly cleaned. 

The S85-002 VANOS adjuster units were then refitted with the solenoids. 

Both sides were fitted and torqued to spec. 

Brackets were transfered over and bolted. 

The cams stayed uncovered - the Bespoke S85 Valve Covers hadn't yet been painted. 

I asked Phil for a favour: I wanted the V3 headers swapped over to the S85-002 to capture unique pictures of its design and aesthetics. It wasn't in his usual order of removal - but he agreed.

The heat shields came off. You'll notice the triangle cut outs to the heat shield in the previous picture. This is required to clear the primary on cylinder 6. 

The 304 stainless steel had endured its share of heat cycles. It turns to a brown'ish hue, with slight blue spots. 

My V3 headers had been previously replaced with the updated collectors using bolts to secure the connection with the primaries. It reduces probabilities of exhaust leaks. 

The 02 sensor bungs showed no sign of wear. The 02 widebands would thread in and out easily.  

Even with the engine out of the chassis, removing these headers requires finesse. A variety of extensions and adapters are needed to access the nuts on the head studs. 

This nut requires particular ratchet gymnastics. Still, they came off in 15 minutes or so.

Phil grinded and cleaned the flanges before transferring the headers over to the S85-002. 

Having the engine out allows to fit the headers as a single piece instead of assembling the puzzle one by one. 


We slightly turned the engine over for money shots. 

The Schrick cams and headers were showcased in their full glory. You're looking at what is probably the most impactful performance upgrade combination to the S85. 

The money shot - as in this is all very expensive, but still a lot less than a stroker.

Enough playing for views, Phil was back to work transferring parts. 

This full day of work was intense. A lot was accomplished yet the most stressful day was to follow. 

Up next: the S85-002 is fully dressed, and put back into the chassis. Pre-start checks are completed and we give it start. 

Will it crank, power up or will it spin itself to death once more? 

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