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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 09-23-2005, 11:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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318 M3 swap?

Dunno if it is even possible, but I also dont' see why not so I thought I would ask. I have seen some thread with people swapping M3 suspension into 318's, I was just wondering, has anyone swapped the M3 motor into a 318? Mine is a 96 if that helps any, thanks guys.
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Old 09-24-2005, 12:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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not to be rude or anything.. but why the hell would u do that...???

why spend 3grand on a m3 motor.. plus all kinds of other crap.. when u could go out and buy an m3..
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Old 09-24-2005, 12:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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haha, good question, its not like I have the money anyways, I was just asking if it were possible, you know, hypothetically. I used to have a non turbo dodge stealth, and sold it to buy a twin turbo stealth, I know its cheaper just to buy the real thing, just asking if it has been done.
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Old 09-24-2005, 01:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Possible? yes. Just about anything in terms of automotive mods is possible with enough money.
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Old 09-24-2005, 01:44 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It's actually really easy to do, provided you have the entire drivetrain, from the engine back to the diff. I am in the process right now. And as far as having the money to do it, I bought a wrecked one to rebuild (95 M3), and then my head gasket blew on the 318i, so that's why I'm doing it. It is just a side project. I've got all the suspension swapped, and the motors are both removed. I'm in the process of tearing down the engine for a rebuild. Also replacing/redying the entire interior.
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Old 09-24-2005, 02:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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It is not worth doing. For the cost of doing it (unless you DIY) you end up paying more than the cost of an M3. If you do DIY then you really have to have another driveable car to do it.
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Old 09-24-2005, 02:27 AM   #7 (permalink)
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there is a do it yourself guide in bimmer mag to install it in a 318ti issue #9 call 415-382 0580 to order it,
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Old 09-24-2005, 07:48 AM   #8 (permalink)
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yes some people do this to a 318ti because its the lightest 3 series. There are also people who install E46 M3 engines in 318ti. But they have so much money to throw around they use it as toilet paper.
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Old 09-24-2005, 10:52 AM   #9 (permalink)
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haha, well thats cool, like I said I know it would be cheaper to just buy an M3, I just didn't know if anyone had done the swap or not.
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Old 09-24-2005, 11:33 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I have another car as a daily driver, and I don't have money to throw around or use as toilet paper. But yes, if you were to have a shop do it, it would be a little expensive. It's really not that hard though. If I weren't rebuilding the motor (Doing it myself), I could have had everything swapped in three weekends. All you need is a lift, some air tools, and a couple friends. Luckily, the Air Force provides the first two at the auto skills center on base. But really, everybody makes it sound like this is a really difficult thing to do, when it's not. It just takes patience and attention to detail.
-Tim
PS: There is a guy on base with a 318ti Club Sport. Don't tell him, but I was really thinking about stealing his car.
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Old 09-24-2005, 12:40 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Only worth it if you do it yourself. Its also much easier to swap the s50/2 into a car that already had a 6 cylinder in it, since the engine mounts wont have to be changed (welded in).
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Old 09-24-2005, 12:59 PM   #12 (permalink)
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can you use the m3 subframe seems like that would be easier, i konw it is removeable on the older cars
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Old 09-25-2005, 02:41 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Sure it is easier to sell your current car then buy an M3, but for someone in my situation it doesn't work out all that well. I've got a '92 318is with 136xxx miles on it, basically the most I can sell it for is about 4k, I bought the car for a few hundred bucks and put a few hundred more to get it running, so let's say I spent about 1k on it altogether.

As you all know on average even E36 M3's are not exactly cheap about 9-10k and up. It's very hard to find a cheap one, so for me or anyone else in my situation it's much better to spend that 3k extra for the entire setup and do it myself, which would equal buying an M3 equivalent for about 4k. I think that's dang good! Of course not all the parts on the car will be M quality but that's not much of a problem.

Maybe I'm just rambling...
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Old 09-25-2005, 03:55 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Just do it man! But I do recommend having another car as reliable transportation while you get the project sorted out. As for the engine mounts, nobrakese36 is right. The subframe is bolted in, and has the engine mounts installed on it. They are not welded, as previously mentioned. I don't know about E46 or E30 cars, but my 318i and my M3 are very similar as far as chassis specs (Although the M3 has two bent frame rails, a torn floor, etc.), making it a very simple task to swap the engine and tranny. But keep in mind that the suspension will have to be upgraded, and I recommend upgrading the brakes too.
-Tim
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Old 09-25-2005, 12:36 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by BMWjesterFAN
Just do it man! But I do recommend having another car as reliable transportation while you get the project sorted out. As for the engine mounts, nobrakese36 is right. The subframe is bolted in, and has the engine mounts installed on it. They are not welded, as previously mentioned. I don't know about E46 or E30 cars, but my 318i and my M3 are very similar as far as chassis specs (Although the M3 has two bent frame rails, a torn floor, etc.), making it a very simple task to swap the engine and tranny. But keep in mind that the suspension will have to be upgraded, and I recommend upgrading the brakes too.
-Tim
Nice.. sorry i must have been thinking about m50/s50 swaps into e30's where the mounts have to be welded in.
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