What engine to use for the money? - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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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#1 (permalink) Old 05-23-2006, 09:18 AM
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Question What engine to use for the money?

Hey guys i wanna do a engine swap, i have a 86 325es and i was wondering what engine would be better for the money? a 1987-1991 325is (M20), 1992-1998 325i (M50), or a 1995-1999 M3 (S50),(S52)?

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#2 (permalink) Old 05-23-2006, 11:01 AM
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M20 would be the easiest by far, but if you had nothing to do all day, go for the M50. The S50/S52 is super expensive.

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#3 (permalink) Old 05-23-2006, 05:33 PM
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I'm going with the S50. 1995. OBD I FTW.

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#4 (permalink) Old 05-25-2006, 09:07 AM
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alright i think i might do the M20 just cause im a young kid and cheap. Even though i really wanna do the M50 or the S50, how much does the average M50 and S50 swap cost for a e30??

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#5 (permalink) Old 05-26-2006, 09:03 AM
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I'm gonna go out on a limb and say about $5-7K. (probably a heavy estimate, and that's doing your own work) I always hear people talk all kinds of shit about how they can get an engine for $2K, but you get what you pay for, you know? My budget for my car is looking to be about $10K.
That includes:
Suspension
M-Tech II Body Kit
Ronal LS Wheels + Tires
H1+H4 Conversion
Engine Swap
Diff Swap
In Dash BMW CD Player (or trunk mounted 6 disc changer)
Tint
and hopefully a paint job.
I might go over my budget, but I really love the E30.
After I do the S50 swap, I would LOVE to get the Twin Screw Supercharger from Active Autowerkes.... But that's $8K by itself.
I'll talk my wife into it eventually...

'86 325es (TURTL3): PJ peetsa hawler
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#6 (permalink) Old 05-26-2006, 09:35 AM
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ok cool so where would the best place to get a S50 or a M50 for the price. would you rather do the M50 or the S50. Since im only 18 im not loaded with money, but i wanna put a newer engine in my E30, i really wanna do the S50 but i have a good feeling that it is a lil too much for me. So i was thinking about doing a newer M20 swap or a M50 for now, and then in the future when im alil older i could get more money and do the S50 swap, or do you think i should just keep saving and go big right away???B)

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#7 (permalink) Old 05-26-2006, 04:51 PM
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well, all of the adults will say to fix the nut behind the wheel first. I tend to agree. If you know your car backwards and forwards... then sure, get some. Go to a driving school, autocross, whatever. Get all the skills behind the wheel that you can. But know that 2 years experience + high performance bmw = expensive repair bills/tickets.

as far as M50 vs S50. I don't think there's really a comparison. Let me put it to you this way. the M50 gets about 190ish horsepower, which is only 20ish more than an M20 "is" engine. Not really going to feel too much there. However, the S50B30 (1995 M3), starts at 240 hp.... and OBD I is your friend, they are much easier to mod. Of course, you get what you pay for. Getting an M50 is going to be a lot cheaper and easier. You can always go Forced Induction from there.
Personally, I'm hoping for a weight to hp ratio of 10:1 at the wheels. (at least for a couple years) Should be pretty challenging. I'm going with the S50 because I now have the M20B27 eta.... 121 hp (woot!!) and think the kick in the pants I would receive from the M3 engine will be a good step up.
As far as where to get one, salvage yards, BMW shops, Ebay, friends, etc.
Just remember that just getting the Engine is the first part, there are a bunch of parts to the swap, then some pretty in depth installation stuff.

'86 325es (TURTL3): PJ peetsa hawler
'87 535is (BADWATER): almost done... really.
'86 325e (GRN HLL): DD/show/rocket
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#8 (permalink) Old 05-27-2006, 05:39 AM
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Bear with me as I'm pretty new to this and also researching engine swaps, but are all the engines being recommended here M3 engines? Are there any non-M engines that are relatively the same cost wise for installing? I'm assuming that a non-M engine would be cheaper to purchase.
Also, I had heard somewhere that somebody had done a small v8 swap, anybody have any info on that? My car is being built for track use only.
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#9 (permalink) Old 05-30-2006, 09:27 AM
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Question

Any one on this forum selling a S50? or know where i could get one

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#10 (permalink) Old 06-01-2006, 01:48 PM
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Alright say if i would start saving up for a 1995 m3 S50, how much do you think i would need to save up just for the engine???? , i know i will need to buy other parts to make the swap work.

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#11 (permalink) Old 06-01-2006, 04:23 PM
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I would say between 3500 to 7000. $7000 being a bmw rebuilt engine.
There are other deals out there, of course.

'86 325es (TURTL3): PJ peetsa hawler
'87 535is (BADWATER): almost done... really.
'86 325e (GRN HLL): DD/show/rocket
'04 x3 3.0i: Wife's Bimmer (manual, woot!)
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#12 (permalink) Old 06-02-2006, 07:23 AM
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ok, so where would i be able to get one? would the junk yard or ebay be the best bet?

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#13 (permalink) Old 06-02-2006, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ldsbeaker
I'm going with the S50. 1995. OBD I FTW.
and my motor will still be faster.


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#14 (permalink) Old 06-02-2006, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
and my motor will still be faster.
Okay. I can live with that. I'm not going to get in a pissing contest about who's going to be faster. BUT.... chances are we might never meet (not that I wouldn't want to) so I would be plenty happy trouncing people in my 'hood with my 20 year old car. Not for a second do I think that I'm going to have the fastest E30 in the world, I mean hell, I'm going to build it, and I don't have $$ falling out of my butt, so I'll just be happy with FAST.
I really appreciate your efforts, though. They are definitely food for thought, and great clues/gouge on a hot high compression setup.

'86 325es (TURTL3): PJ peetsa hawler
'87 535is (BADWATER): almost done... really.
'86 325e (GRN HLL): DD/show/rocket
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#15 (permalink) Old 06-02-2006, 08:11 PM
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haha :-P

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