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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 02-16-2006, 12:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Need Some Advice (Engine Rebuild)

Hey Everyone,
I had put my project on hold for a while until i got a call out of the blue from a sponsor. so now i am taking every bit of spare time i have to work on my "baby". (1987 325is). i have begun to dismantle the engine, (valve cover, intake man., radiator, harnesses, etc. {properly labeling everything for an easy instulation}). I decided that i wanted to rebuild the motor and make it as new as i possibly can. Re-gasketing the entire thing, new pistons (possibly domed if anyone can point me in the right direction), i was also wondering if i should get rid of my A/C unit, how much HP will i get if i ditch it (not too woried about riding with the windows down) does anyone else now any cheap horsepower gains i could try. i am still budgetted even though i have a sponsor. they are only paying 55% of my purchases and i'm a broke college student. also does anyone know of any performance Cams i could get ahold of. ok well thanx for everything guys. will be posting more often now thanx.
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Old 02-16-2006, 03:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well first hey, welcome to BimmerWhatevertheycallitnow.

Your air conditioning doesn't eat any horsepower unless you actually have it on, and even then it's probably not a whole lot. Removing the compressor and plumbing will save you about 65 pounds in dead weight, though.

The cheapest (and one of the most reliable) power adders is a chip for your ECU. Jim Conforti is very experienced in manufacturing chips for the E30 DME, and so gets recommended pretty often, but there are several other options for those. To make the best of whatever other bolt-ons you add, your computer needs to be updated anyway. Schrick 272/272 cams are a popular choice for relatively mild M20s, especially desirable if you're still going to drive the car around town.

And the domed pistons thing, 325i pistons are hemispherical from the factory, aren't they?
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Old 02-16-2006, 06:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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To help you best I'd need to know what you are doing with the car. Drag, autocross, street sleeper/racer . . . . . . enduro

There are several ways to up power and peformance. Starting with what you want to do will decide how far, and what you modifiy.

But the #1 rule is:
How fast you want to go is in direct relation of how much you are willing to spend.
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Old 02-16-2006, 09:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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well i plan on just showing it for now untill i get more sponsors but i will be a sleeper/ street racer, (some drag).
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Old 02-17-2006, 08:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Sure wish I could find a sponsor with deep pockets....
You could always do a fan delete, put an electric fan on the radiator... and then of course the less weight that you have to haul around, the easier the engine has to work. Tighten that belt!

p.s. Aether!! haven't seen you in forever!! /hijack
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Old 02-17-2006, 10:45 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Resuming the hijack;

Yeah, been lurking around E30 boards for a while.
But most of the people there aren't really my type.

Ok, back to it.
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Old 02-17-2006, 07:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Better flowing exhaust, stronger spark, better fuel injectors, free flowing intake, oil cooler (mostly for longer engine/oil life), lower diff gears, etc. One could write a novel on what you could do to up performance.

Another idea is unless you want to keep it stock, for the amount of money you'll have in a rebuild/performance built motor, you may want to look into an M50 swap. Considering the cost/performance/labor/parts a swap may be afordable if you are trying to squeeze alot of juice from an M20 motor. Whole wrecked E36 are being picked up at public auctions for around $2,000-$3,000 it may be worth looking into.
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Old 02-17-2006, 09:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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thanx anyway on the idea for the swap but i love to work on cars and i'm gonna be going to school for auto. Love the work and experience. where would i find that different fearing differential?? the only swap i want to do is i want a 6 speed tranny ( 540) ........open to all ideas thanx
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Old 02-18-2006, 09:05 AM   #9 (permalink)
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You can get a differential from another E30 (3.25 or whatever) or from an M3 for serious low-end acceleration (4.10). People generally buy these from other E30 owners who are getting rid of theirs.

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Old 02-18-2006, 06:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanx for all your help guys, i'll have more picks posted soon on my progress, and the greatest thing is that i do all the work myself so i get a lot of self-gratification out of it.
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