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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 08-14-2010, 03:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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BMW 325es Engine Swap Questions

So I just got a great condition 1986 325es with the intention of just putting a little bit of work into it and then using it as a daily driver. After more and more research though I am starting to itch at the possibility of doing an engine swap and turning it into a little sleeper road rocket.

From the research I've done it looks like the most common swap is to an M50/M52 or S50/S52

I have never swapped an engine before although I am very mechanically inclined and decent at fabricating, I have also never had an e30 before, or any old BMW at that.

I have also heard of doing just the head swap of a 325i but have seen a lot of people down talking that as well.

I want a good amount of power for cheap and hopefully not be too difficult.

The car currently has the 5 speed tranny that came with it and because I've never done an engine swap I'm wondering what else will I need to get to make things work? New diff? full new tranny? engine mounts? harness adapters?

What would you suggest I do and can you point me in the direction of some good info?

Lastly can you give me a ballpark price range for a job like this? I would try to do everything myself as I have access to all the necessary equipment but you have to remember I have never swapped an engine before and might need to call in some paid experts. I don't really want to spend more than 5k and that includes new suspension and wheels and tires.....

Thanks for all the help and the patience you have with a newb like me.

Cheers,
Tyler
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Old 10-08-2010, 10:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have a 1986 325e and I am wanting to do the same thing. Right now it is just a daily driver but in a couple of years I want to swap out the engine. I think it would be a great sleeper car. I will keep watch to see what you do.
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Old 10-11-2010, 04:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Not gonna happen on that budget. Most engine swaps budget at least 5k just for swap. Non-bmw engine swap, figure 10k+. If it costs less great, but dont even start if you dont have that. You'll just end up with a half finished project and end up selling it for a loss.
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:35 AM   #4 (permalink)
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engine swap

If you want to keep the car you have but want more power, then you shoudl get hold of a complete 325i or is engine......don't mess around with your 325e block and i heads, its not as simple as that!

Basically your engine is built to rev lower and deliver better ecconomy, so the head componants have less durabiltiy as they are not expecting to see higher compression or revving!

A straight engine change isn't so bad to do.....engine mounts are the same and so is the transmission bolting......buy an engine complete but you may have to check the wiring harness carefully......the 101 connector may well be different......so research the compatability of the engine harness on the 325e, hopefully you can change that onto the new engine and plug it in!

Consider a clutch change whilst you are there, you won't want to drop the gearbox too many times I assure you! In fact I will remove the engine and gearbox combined in the future to do any major work as its easier than getting to the bolts and starter when the engine is in place!!!

Have a go but keep it simple if you want to keep the cost down! As mentioned, any odd engine combination, can get expensive and not always reliable!

Good luck

Mark
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