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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 09-27-2004, 02:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I currently drive a 1991 E30 318i with the 1.8L DOHC 16V M42 Inline 4. It stock produces 134hp, and weighs 2,600lbs. I've gotten the AC Schnitzer chip for it, a Cold Air intake, a supersprint exhaust, removed the power steering and the mechanical fan (i have the auxillary electric set on a 99C thermostat and a manual over-ride to turn it on in the cabin. I removed the A/C for weight savings. The power steering and mechanical fan freed up a lot of parasitic drag. I also polished my intake manifold. My G-Tech gives me 181 hp at the motor, which was hit at a speed which correlates to 6,400rpms. I am able to run from 0-60 in 6.8 secconds (best run), and consistently in the 7.2 region. This is also the product of some weight reduction. These numbers are decieving, because the schnitzer chip gives me up to 7,100 rpms, and 1st and 2nd are fairly close. I have no torque outside of my 4,800-6,600 band of power, low end is spritely, but now powerful. Furthermore, I can keep even with my freind's 230hp 1.8T GTi to 60, he tears on my through 3rd, and I'm keeping even with him again in 4th. Long story short, i want more power.

I've looked into porting and polishing my 1.8, upgrading my fuel system with bigger injectors, pressure regs, and a pump, but i feel like i'm quickly reaching the terminal end of how far the little 1.8 will go. So i want to swap into a bigger engine. I want to know if anyone has any info on engine swapping E30s. I know an M20 is a direct drop in, but I think I want to go bigger if i'm doing the trouble. I know that the M30 3.5L fits, and want to know if anyone knows of where one could get that engine and a manual transmission for it (like a place in the US to get BMW parts, or wrecked bimmers), and what is neccessary to get this into a car like mine. Wiring, computers, etc, fitting it in. I know it is a dream, but on paper, an M70 5.0L V12 fits as well, but I'd like to drop an M30 in, if anyone has any info on that.
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Old 09-28-2004, 01:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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i am thinking about doing a swap myself, i have a 91' 318is m42.. i wanted to get an m20...you said its a direct drop in? what are things that need to be changed in the swap? can you name the things, do the mounts line up the same??? how is it a direct drop in? dont you need to change the fan and well obviously the manifold...but is there anything else oo yeah the ecu right?
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Old 09-28-2004, 02:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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From the stand point of a technician all u would be doing by adding fuel pump, bigger injectors, and pressure regulator all u will be doing is running your car excessively rich making it run poorly, losing power and having possible driveability issues. Ur stock fuel injection system with the pressure regulator would be more than sufficient to support the power u want to put out. If u want to do a motor swap the m20 motor wouldnt make sense it would cost u prolly around 900 it would drop in but only giving u 165hp and 180ft lbs tq. In my opinion the m50 motor is the better choice. Ur looking at around 1200 for the motor depending on where u get it from. Yes you will have to change a few things in the engine bay, motor mounts people are saying u can use 635 motor mounts and drill a hole into it to set it back further. u may have to get a different coolant reservoir depending on which set up u have, re-route power steering but u said u dont have power sterring anymore so not a problem for u. with the a/c out and now that u use an electric fan set up u should have no fitment issues what so ever. some people say u need a custom driveline but ive talked with people that use the e30 driveline and have had no problems. you could also use an e30 transmission if u wanted or use an e36 transmission.....ur choice. the swap is well worth the money u will spend and will lead you in the right direction for more potential horsepower down the road. just as a side note the m30 3.5 liter motor has a twin turbo kit out there for it but that is a little bit pricey. a good website to check is benliaws it has the top bmw web pages for aftermarket shops u can find a lot of info in there if u look in the right places. but if ur going to stick with ur slow 1.8 liter at least get the 318is differential which is limited slip so ur not running around peg leg style everywhere.
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Old 09-28-2004, 02:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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also i just wanted to add that g-tech from what i hear is pretty accurate but it only measures brake horsepower through the drive train in a manual u lose anywhere from 15-20 percent horsepower and in an automatic anywhere from 20-35 percent if u want accurate numbers u should go to a dyno and it will show u what ur putting down to the wheels
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Old 09-28-2004, 01:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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With the GTech, it does only give me wheel hp, that's right, and I used the 18% driveline loss out of the dyno book i found online for my car to get my 181 figure. I wouldn't call it a slow 318i, just not as fast as i'd like. It runs 0-60 faster than all the E30 but the M3, and will give an '04 325i a good run. As for the M50, that's a lot of wiring changes. It's a totally different computer. I'm not the world's best electrician, i can handle mechanical things well, but would just as soon not have to do any overly complex wiring. Could you give me details of what is necesary, wiring wise, to drop the M50 in there? Also, I have a getrag 240 tranmission in my car, will that work with the M50, or should i get a getrag 260 like the six cylender cars have? The M30 just seemed easier, and like it had more room to tune from it. As for motor mounts, i figured i might have to move mine or something, get bigger ones. Do you know of a good place to get motor mounts, and other parts of junked bimmers? As for the differential, mine isn't limited slip, but 3 time out of 4, it will turn both wheels. All the limited slips i've found places like Ebay are 3.73, vs 4.1 on mine, and i'd just as soon not get steeper gears, unless of course, i dropped a six cylender motor in there. I figured I'd have to get my driveshaft redone. I have a catco near here I could have do it i think. So wiring wise, how hard would it be to get a M50 vs an M30 in there, and where would I get one of these motors, thanks!
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Old 10-02-2004, 11:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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you are going to have to do some wiring since u will be using a different computer. there is a website zionsvilleautosport.com that sells a cd called the orca project cd. that is the cd u want to buy if u are interested in doing the swap it is for either the m50 or s50 motors. it is a very good cd it gives u part numbers and step by step pictures on how to do the swap. i believe that the price of the cd is 98 dollars. zionsville auto also sells everything u need for the swap but u can most likely find cheapier prices at local scrap yards. also u can find 4.10 limited slip diffs at junk yards ask for diffs from a 318is or if u get lucky they will have an m3 diff which is a 4.10 ls diff. if not contact me i have two and might be willing to give one up. DREW
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Old 10-03-2004, 08:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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check out www.e30tech.com , or www.r3vlimited.com for more info on e30 engine swaps
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Old 10-03-2004, 09:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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good luck, i plan on doing a 3.0L stroker kit on my M20.
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Old 10-03-2004, 09:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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with what you got done, it would be benifical to trade out your pistons and head, with one out of an E21 320. It is a direct bolt on. I have been in one where these were the only things done, and i was a huge difference compared to the 318 i was driving at the time. Now i just realized that you said you have the DOHC, so that may not work. Maybe someone else can elaborate on the for me.
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Old 10-04-2004, 01:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally posted by BimmerKris@Oct 3 2004, 08:20 PM
with what you got done, it would be benifical to trade out your pistons and head, with one out of an E21 320. It is a direct bolt on. I have been in one where these were the only things done, and i was a huge difference compared to the 318 i was driving at the time. Now i just realized that you said you have the DOHC, so that may not work. Maybe someone else can elaborate on the for me.
[snapback]204264[/snapback]
As you said mistake, 16v....

The M10 was long gone at the time the 318iS M42 came around. It was old technology at that point dating back to the 60's. It's like Apples and Banana's.
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Old 10-04-2004, 04:59 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I had the same problem as you man, but with a 325is. The only difference though is that I know these cars can handle sick as hell and with that they could handle a lot more power. After doing a lot of research I have not seen any E30's on the track with engine swaps that could beat the modified M20's and the strokers (3.0l).

You can get plenty of power out of that 3.0l stroker for a lot less than converting to a M30. 300hp is possible out of the 3.0l with other things but still NA. Buying a M30, swaping it, wiring it, getting all the other stuff, will cost you toooooooooooo much man, and you will probably not be driving it for quiet a bit. Also, your weight distribution will not be messed up as with the other engines. Consider the transmisson and stuff too. You got to change that too man. Clusters probably too, computer.....damn there goes that hole in your pocket.

If you lose weight, and get a stroker, you will have a reliable but fast ass car man. SEAM does it for $2200 I belive and they are mad cool. Give him more money = more power. No joke. Plus, if you really get sick of it try and turbo charge a 3.0l....

You live once man, and spending all that money is gonna hurt if you don't like it. A big decision my man. If you want even more power than you would be better of switching the car to something else.
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Old 10-04-2004, 05:59 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally posted by XtremeDream@Oct 4 2004, 03:59 PM
* After doing a lot of research I have not seen any E30's on the track with engine swaps that could beat the modified M20's and the strokers (3.0l).

You can get plenty of power out of that 3.0l stroker for a lot less than converting to a M30.* 300hp is possible out of the 3.0l with other things but still NA.

[snapback]204735[/snapback]
My car is much quicker on the track and autocross than quite a few other modified M20 cars. It's the prep work. I also have a project car using the leftover M20 europarts from My m-technik I car from Germany. So that is BS This board is very sheltered and does not have any hybrids for the most part.

Ever hear of a Bimmerushi? BMW 318is with a Diamond star 2.0l turbo engine from the Eclipse. He has mad power and still a good balance.

300hp from a NA M20 lets see that one please. I really want to see it. So I can build one, for less than a M30 swap. Sorry I'm a doubter but most 2.8 and 3.0l M20's make in the range of 185 to 225hp. The small head doesn't flow well as the senior six.

PM me or what ever but I'd like to see the figures.


Edit: on the diff note an M50 with a getrag 3.73 has more than enough pull you might be trying to source a 3.46lsd or a 3.25lsd like I went to but I swapped to a ZF transmission from the 525i that I sourced my engine.
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Old 03-09-2010, 02:17 PM   #13 (permalink)
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if you over boor it to take e30 M3 piston heads and use a m47 crank and shrick cams. the intake cam size between 258 and 263 degrees and 6 mm valves on the intake side. and you will have a tun more HP esp. when you upgrade the electrical system and fuel injectors meaby around 200 ish at the wheels. that is with the 5 speed and a rear diff or 4.27
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:48 PM   #14 (permalink)
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