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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 06-25-2003, 04:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey everybody,
I have been looking around for an M3....mainly of the E30 style, but instead of shelling out 9-15K I was wondering about converting my 325is into a M3. I wanted to make it my project car, seeing I can't sell my first bimmer
I know I am going to spend a small fortune getting it all the way converted, but I just wanted others thoughts on the matter of whether it is a good idea or not. The body is in good shape, no rust, but in order to perform a full conversion, it'd need the new engine, coversion to a stick, and so on...
thanks
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Old 06-25-2003, 04:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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welcome aeris03 B)

the reason the E30 M3 has the fender bulges is becuase it has a wider track, it would look kinda weird to put the M3 panels on a 325is. you would have to replace everything except the doors, hood, and roof of your car. sure a stock M3 looks better than your car right now and can out-handle it, but that doesnt mean your 325 is hopeless. if u wanna mess with the exterior then look into getting a full Mtech-2 kit, which would make your car look awesome and 'almost' as good looking as a M3. as for the engine swap, a much better alternative than a 2.3L S14 is a M50/S50 from a E36 ranging from 2.5-3.0L's, they are more powerful, and have better technology to help fuel economy and reliability. in the end you would come out with a hot E30 thats faster than a M3 for just a little more than buying a stock M3. and i'm sure, if your not a hardcore auto-x'er, your 325is with some suspension mods would provide incredible handling that wouldnt dissapoint you.
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Old 06-25-2003, 05:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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because converting a 325i into an M3 takes so much time, effort, etc, it's so rare i've never heard about it being done... this is borrowed from http://www.geocities.com/empower99/differences.html

"The racing derived M3 shares very little body parts with other E30s (it has 20 unique body parts) and came with a completely different motor. The M3 is easily identifiable with its flared fenders, body colored bumpers/moldings/mirrors, front spoiler, side skirts, rear valence, rear decklid spoiler, high trunklid, rear window clip, and roof-mounted antenna. It's engine, the S14 2.3 liter DOHC inline 4, was derived from the 3.5 liter DOHC inline 6 found on the '88 M5 and was intended for motorsport use. It featured a very peaky 7100 RPM redline, 10.5:1 compression ratio, 4.10:1 limited slip, and close ration gearbox. M engineers also equipped it with a larger fuel tank, 5-lug 15" BBS cross-spoke rims, and upgraded brakes (thicker and larger diameter ABS-equipped ventilated discs, heftier calipers, and a larger master brake cylinder). Interior upgrades were limited to red gauge needles, oil temperature gauge in place of the economy gauge, sport steering wheel, leather sport seats, rear armrest (replaced the center seat), and an M logo on the instrument cluster and shift knob"

Even if you do it... it'll still be a converted 325i in my mind, never an M3... sorry dude... but hey, i'll still give ya props for all the work u put into it if you decide to go through w/ it anyway
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Old 06-26-2003, 10:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
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if i were you i wouldn't do it. One of my dads customers owns a 328 and he did an M conversion and it looked so corny, like its noticable that its not an M.. I dont know..its your choice, but people do make fun of it, just to warn you.
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Old 06-26-2003, 07:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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All I want to do is beef my baby up. Trust me, i have seen the ridiculous looking bimmers that are plastered with M emblems.....I'm not for show, I'm for go. Screw flared fenders and shotty body work. A shell of a car is a shell right? So all I want to try is investing in a different motor and turning it into a stick.
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Old 06-26-2003, 11:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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THAT"S the kinda mindset we're lookin for

if u want a sick e30, drop an m50 in there & get some aftermarket suspension B) that's about all u need
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Old 06-27-2003, 04:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info regarding the innards. Another question I had regarding the swap, would be a plain M3 engine from the E30. And if I did pursue this project would it be a good idea to use the car for daily driving?
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Old 06-27-2003, 04:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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hey guys, im a noobie here as well!!! sorry it sux im nota BMW owner, but i am a huuuugee fan!! i was reading the above and was wondering hte same things. Ive just got a few questions!

1) Would just a plain M3 engine swap be conducted to a 325is? meaning nothing looks wise, but just pure engine and transmission?

2) Once again, if an M3 engine swap was done, could the car be used as a daily driver?

3) How bad is the maintenance regarding both, an M3 angine and the M50?

4) Where can an M50 engine be aquired from?

5) How much do those engines (M50) cost and for that fact how much do M3 engines cost?

6) FInally, if a swap is done for the M50, then what sort of transmission should the 325is then have or better yet, deos those engines already come with a standard 5 speed manual transmission?

sorry guys for asking soo much, but i would really aprreciate it if you experets could chime in and shed some light on the issues

-anu

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Old 06-27-2003, 06:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Welcome aceprince B)

Reliability and maintenance wise the M50 has the S14 (2.3L E30 M3 engine) beat. keep in mind that the M3 engine is a 4cyl and you would have more trouble converting the exhaust components. The M50 2.5L has just as much power (189 comp to 192) along with 24 valves, valve timing on the 93-95 engines, and is by far the best choice for a daily driver. but if you opt for the 3L M50, you will get the same reliability plus incredible power with the potential to slaughter a E36 M3. but when once you start an engine swap theres no telling where it will end, the expense to buy the engine is just the tip of the iceberg, you will most likely run into issues with the suspension, transmission, exhaust, gearing, etc. Plus endless hours of labor which could hurt you the most. Your better off just re-building your M20 to a 2.8-3L stroker engine, that way all the original parts will still work and you'll come out with comprable power to the M50's.
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Old 06-27-2003, 11:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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nnot to sound ignorant, but what exactly isa stroker engine? ive heard of teh same thing for my s2000 but my other alternative, which is much mroe common is a supercharger or turbo.....neways, not to digress back to the M20.....so what would u suggest as the more long term in the terms of monetary as well as life of the car wise? Cause lets just say the M20 engine already has about 180k+. Would it be wiser to upgarade the M20 with a stroker or so forth, or better to just go with the M50 engine....or would the alternative be to invest that time and money into another car?

-anu
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Old 06-28-2003, 04:06 PM   #11 (permalink)
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i would go with a 328 motor...and convert back to obd1 get some cams intake exhaust...and you would have one hell of an n/a car
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Old 06-28-2003, 05:02 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fruityone@Jun 29 2003, 07:46 AM
i would go with a 328 motor...and convert back to obd1 get some cams intake exhaust...and you would have one hell of an n/a car
if thats the case then you should go with the Z3 2.8L instead if the 328 engine. the Z3 has a lighter alluminum block.

but building your M20 to a higher displacement stroker motor would technically bring your engine back to 0miles and would require a break in period.

btw stroking an engine is altering the crank pin location to increase or decrease the piston travel in the cylinder which then increases or decreases the engine's displacement.
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