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3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

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Old 03-13-2004, 01:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi my names Nick i just moved from London England to Canada To. about a year ago and have just purchased a 1984 318i auto trans with alot of k's on it. I would like to know what i need to swap in a 325i or 325is as i do not know the difference if any from the two. I have a secod parts car which is the exact same apart from its standard were as the one with the good body is auto .I know i will need the esentials wiring harness, motor and transmission which i can get a hold of but would like to know if there is anything else involved like driveshafts and so on. I also need to upgrade my brakes so wat route should i take preferably i would like to convert the rears to disks but would like to keep the 4 lug pattern these jobs i'm taken on hopefuly shouldn't prove difficult since my dad owns a mechanics shop and since i myself am going to get in the car game, but will like to know wat surprises or difficulties i might incounter and since the car i'm doing the swap into is an auto wat else would i need from the parts car besides from the foot pedal to convert to standard?
Your help would be much appreciated Thanx.
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Old 03-13-2004, 02:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The 325i is a 4 door sedan, the 325is is a 2 door coupe (the "s" stands for sport)
At most, you can swap most body parts, as their both an E30 chassis, however, not much can be done under the hood, seeing how the 318i is a 4 cylinder engine opposed to the 325i's 6 cylinder.
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Old 03-14-2004, 08:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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sorry i proberly din't make this cleari have 2 318i's one has a good body one doesn't but wanted to know the work involved in swapping in a 325's engine.
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Old 03-14-2004, 02:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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you can fit the six under the hood. plenty of room. you'll need to swap the trannies also. or get a tranny from an auto 325 (do they make an adaptor so he wont' have to do a tranny swap?) you will need the fuel system, ECU and all that good stuff. the drive shafts, and rear diff from the 325... basically take everything that make a 325 go and put it in the 318i... I don't know if it all would fit right (different wheelbases?) I have been thinking of doing a swap from a 325 my self... been trying to research it, and this is all I've come up with. hope i helped.
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Old 03-16-2004, 08:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
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hey buddy where abouts in Canada are you?
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Old 03-16-2004, 12:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It would probably be cheaper to just go buy a 325. I bought one on Sunday for $1300. It runs and looks great. Perfect interior too.
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Old 03-16-2004, 01:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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cheaper yes... but the 318i is lighter so if he wants to go faster the swap is what to do... oh yeah you'll need to upgrade the suspension also the 6 is heavier and will weigh down the front end.
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Old 03-16-2004, 02:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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U guys have been great help please keep the information coming Thanx.
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Old 03-16-2004, 05:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Ok, now you've got me curious. Is it lighter because of less options? (power windows and what not) Is that the only difference besides suspensions? I have dealt with Mercedes forever and just got into the BMW game so I have a lot to learn.
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Old 03-16-2004, 07:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Definetly swap out engines if you are looking for more power and if you have the money, also like the others said, with a new engine, you will need tranny and ECU and such to compliment the increase and power/new engine and shit. Also, I think that the 318i is lighter just cuz I think its a bits smaller, and that the engine is smaller.
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Old 03-20-2004, 01:43 AM   #11 (permalink)
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You could try and install a M42 or M44 engine... that would be a perfet conversion... than chip it... you will have a very enjoyable car for much less work.. installing the 6er will just make it top heavey and you will need to upgrade various things to counter for the extra weight/power... whereas a the 318is engine should be more similar to your current engine...
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Old 03-20-2004, 04:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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yeah the M42/44 swap would be a good one. cheaper, good power, and easier. didn't think about that. yeah the 318i is a bit smaller than the 325.
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Old 03-20-2004, 05:04 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally posted by '85 318i@Mar 20 2004, 05:28 PM
yeah the M42/44 swap would be a good one. cheaper, good power, and easier. didn't think about that. yeah the 318i is a bit smaller than the 325.
if i was you. i would go with a s50b30 or s50b32 it would be more worth it
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Old 03-21-2004, 01:57 AM   #14 (permalink)
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It is a 1984 model init.. well im not saying the body cant take it, but i would be a bit wary with installing a fat M50 motor in there.... for the age of the chassis... and the amount of work you would have to put in, it wouldn't be worth your while doing a big engine conversion... and the bits that go with it.... with a M42/M44 upgrade though you would be on the road much quicker.. i think anyway...
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