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#1 (permalink) Old 12-19-2011, 02:26 PM
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probably a noob question

I just picked up a 94 325 4dr 5speed quite cheap, the body has a golf ball size dent in the back door and the right front lower rocker is dented some. The interior is near perfect apart from a part of the headliner is falling in places.
The motor ran fine on the way home, leaks a small bit of oil but doesn't smoke or blow smoke out the exhaust, I went to the car wash and blasted the oil off the motor now it feels like it has a miss and vibrates some while sitting still. 2nd gear is also out, but was given another transmission to put in it.
Here's the noob question, will the M3 motor, trans, harness, and gauges be a direct bolt in? I may have a lead on a wrecked M3, with I believe the 3.2ltr, that still runs for a good price. This is my first 3 series, my other bmw's were all 7 series and were either sold or destroyed by a psychotic ex. Never much had to think about a swap in them so this will be kind of new to me. I've done a few swaps, mostly camaros and mustangs, so the labor is understood. Just never swapped a bmw motor so I figured I'd ask on here before buying into a major project that wouldn't work.
Thanks in advance for any feedback.
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#2 (permalink) Old 12-19-2011, 03:21 PM
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Firstly, no question can be "noob"-ified, every question is welcomed !
Yes, the swap you're intending will drop in, make sure you use the original ECU's etc. or you will be needing a garage to reprogramme it...


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#3 (permalink) Old 12-19-2011, 10:01 PM
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Thanks Dabsy, I figured I would pull the motor, trans, ecu, harness, gauges, and possibly the rear end as well. More or less just keep my 4dr body, steering rack, suspension, and interior. Could make for a nice winter project.....
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#4 (permalink) Old 12-20-2011, 05:58 AM
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Welcome to the Werkz.

Make sure you keep a good photographic history of the project.


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#5 (permalink) Old 12-20-2011, 08:36 AM
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I usually forget that part on a big project, but have a lot of photos of changing small things like a shifter...... I have yet to get any decent photos of the car as it is. Still not sure about the clutch, the peddle stuck down on me twice yesterday afternoon, yet with it stuck to the floor it still pulled. When its all the way in and sticks there the car starts to pull like its half out, if its not going to stick the car won't move. I'm thinking its the slave or maybe the master. No idea yet. The shuddering and the sound of missing are still present so I called the local dealership, didn't get a lot of info short of "bring it in and we'll see what's going on". Go figure......
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#6 (permalink) Old 12-21-2011, 04:01 PM
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Go for it mate...
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#7 (permalink) Old 12-21-2011, 04:09 PM
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a popular question i reckon. i was talking to a guy just the other day about this. he says the m3 NON EVO engine is a drop in job as it uses the same loom and gearbox (mine's a 328i so has a m3 box). but the evo swap is a much more difficult task. much more costly so for the sake of 35 ish bhp (at the top end) is it worth it?
i would personally make sure my car for the project is something special ie it has all the toys, leather, lsd etc etc or it just isn't worth it. for 3500 you can get an mw which also may be cheaper to insure as your car will now be (quite heavily) modified. by the time you've forked out for a good engine 1500 ish plus fitting, ancillaries blah blah you may find it more beneficial just to save the money and put towards an m3.
when the time comes to buy one you'll have some 'steer form the rear' skills and not have pranged an expensive project. when you buy the m3 the cost won't be quite so bad if you sell your current one to help finance it.
real quick about insurance, it will cost me about another 150 to insure an m3 evo but it will be about another 370 if i swapped the engine for an m3 NON EVO. thats just me though.
hope this helped.

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#8 (permalink) Old 12-21-2011, 06:46 PM
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I tried to upload a few pictures of the car but using my phone it won't let me. The interior in my 325 is amazing. Very clean, no cracks in the leather. Looks like a 80lb person drove it. Not even a crease in the seats, probably all redone. There's a few things to work out on the body but almost no rust, there's a dime size spot over the rear tire. Currently my insurance is $47 a month.
I just found out ill need a chip from turner motorsports to delete the key chip. The guy that has the motor is going to throw in the LSD, and drive shaft. So its the full swap for $2700. The exhaust that comes with it has cat back, not sure of a brand. I'm sure there's going to be odds and ends ill need to pick up along this adventure but its the amusement and wrench time I'm most looking forward to.
After the swap is done and the account has had time to catch its breath ill start the work to the exterior. Thinking mostly stock with a few carbon fiber odds and ends. Not too big on crazy looking body kits so probably end up with something simple yet with a good look. Point to repaint, factory black.
All this over time. I like the look of the car and plan to keep it around till this motor gives out. The odo in it now reads 399,687 miles, I'm thinking after the swap if it lasts half that many miles its well worth it.
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#9 (permalink) Old 12-22-2011, 11:27 AM
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Another question, am I going to have to change the axle and rear end as well with the swap?
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#10 (permalink) Old 12-22-2011, 07:39 PM
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i believe that may be the case. whilst i haven't done it myself logic would dictate yes. but i should imagine only with the evo engine.
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#11 (permalink) Old 12-23-2011, 12:16 AM
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The fine people at turnermotorsports.com sent me this link
**The Offical S52 SWAP DIY with TONS OF PICS** - Bimmerforums - The Ultimate BMW Forum

As for the shake and miss, I pulled the coil packs and found #3 not firing so I'm ordering another coil pack. I also found water/oil mix resting in the bottom almost to the top of the 5/8 head on the plug. Figuring I better check the rest I found water/oil mix half way up the PLUG, couldn't even see the 5/8 head. Ordered a valve cover gasket set. Then in my midst of nursing this poor worn down 400k mile motor alive long enough to get the motor at the house, probably go pick it up next month and start the swap in Jan, I picked up some Bosch plugs as well.
Now, I find its leaking a very little bit from the pan, this will just have to leak some. It's not to a full on drip so I'm not too eager to drop the rack and cross member to fix it.

That's where I'm at as of now, if I have forgotten anything or should do any other maintenance while attacking the valve cover please let me know.
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#12 (permalink) Old 12-23-2011, 12:19 AM
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Also, I shelled out another $175 for the guys LSD rear end so, needed or not, its there complete with drive shaft (from a 4dr).
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