05. We’ve seen some engines with rather odd radiator and heater hose configurations, but the L92 is pretty straight forward. There are, of course, radiator inlet and outlet tubes. There is also a pair of tubes for the heater system. The factory aluminum water neck of an L92 is aimed towards the passenger fender. Crocker cut, rotated and TIGwelded it to a more forward position aimed at the radiator.
06. Mating air conditioning components can get a little tricky, but if you live in a hot climate it’s nice to retain this comfort feature through an engine conversion. You need to route the A/C compressor wire to the new compressor and have custom hoses built or adapt the two sets of factory hoses to mate the compressor to the vehicle system. When mating to an older R-12 refrigerant system, it may be necessary to change out some of the old A/C components to be compatible with the newer R134A refrigerant.
07. Most starter hookups are pretty straightforward and swap directly. In some cases, it may be necessary to add a relay between the ignition switch lead and the starter solenoid to provide sufficient current to energize the solenoid. Also, be mindful of the need for ground straps from the engine to frame or transmission to frame.
08. Like most all engines built today, the L92 uses a serpentine belt to drive the water pump and all accessories. This makes standard belt setup a snap, but can make it more difficult if you ever decide to add other belt driven pumps to the engine.
10. With space at a premium, Magnaflow bullet cats were tucked just inside the frame rails and alongside the T-case, a Magnaflow 2.5-inch muffler continues the exhaust system. For most engine swaps, the exhaust is one of the last items on the checklist. Space under the body and between the frame rail will dictate what system you can accommodate and a skilled exhaust installer may be prized to finish the job.
11. The scariest part of swapping in newer engines for most people tends to be the wiring harness portion of the project. If you’re not comfortable splitting harnesses and assembling what you need, it may be a very good idea to partner early in the project with an experienced tuner to modify your harness and program your ECM for your specific application. For this swap, John Spear at Speartech Fuel Injection Services built a new harness for this application. John is an ex-GM electrical engineer and well knows his way around these engine control systems. Here the reprogrammed E38 computer sits in the footwell.