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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E30 (1982 - 1993)

E30 (1982 - 1993)
God's Chariot. The E30 was produced primarily from 1982 through 1991. The cabriolet was the one exception which was produced through 1993.

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  #1  
Old 09-22-2011, 08:07 PM
marineman2 marineman2 is offline
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E30 Questions

Hey everyone, I have a whole bunch of questions, and although I'm sure they have been answered elsewhere, I can't seem to find them. First, I have an 85 325e. Now, I don't expect my car to be fast, but I'd like it to be faster than what it is. I know that a chip, and differential are the two easiest options, but I have some concerns about some other things. First off, I have an automatic transmission. I know that the chips raise power, but am I going to feel it since my auto wont be in the 4,500rpm range? Also, I have read about having heads 'ported'. What exactly does that mean? Finally, I've heard about head swaps. The thing I'm unsure of is exactly what needs to be done. What heads do I use? What other components need to be changed? Is it actually worth it? I eventually would like to do a 5-speed swap, but I don't have the tools to make it as easy as I'd like. All in all, I'd just like some insight from others who have done what I want to do, or who have experience with these things. Thanks a bunch guys, I'm only 17, but I love to learn about mechanics, so excuse my novice-ness.

Nick

Last edited by marineman2; 09-22-2011 at 08:09 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-22-2011, 09:00 PM
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downhiller downhiller is offline
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a port and polish is enlarging the intake ports and smoothing them out to a polish finish. it in turns lets the air move freely with less turbulence, giving more power. chipping it will only raise engine rpms. the tranny will shift when needed based off the pressure built up from the pump and what valves are installed. yes putting a chip in on a stock tranny wont let you run it to the new redline, but youll still benefit from the torque and hp gains. as of the head swap, itll be easier to swap motors. plus therell be more to gain in the long run with a different motor then doin a head swap then rebuilding the lower end
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  #3  
Old 09-22-2011, 09:52 PM
marineman2 marineman2 is offline
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Thanks a bunch, I think I'll end up just putting in a chip, and a 3.46 differential, the others seem too pricey and time consuming for my situation. As far as the tranny swap, would you recommend it? I'd like one, but not if its gonna cost me an arm and a leg. From what I understand, junkyards are a godsend.
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  #4  
Old 09-23-2011, 12:54 AM
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HakenTT HakenTT is offline
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Don't waste your money on chips and other engine things. Keep it stock it is slow as it is already
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  #5  
Old 09-23-2011, 07:36 AM
marineman2 marineman2 is offline
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I know that. I jut want it to be less slow.... I'm not expecting an M3
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  #6  
Old 09-23-2011, 07:38 AM
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dlmpsy dlmpsy is offline
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You'll spend some cash getting your stock motor modified, the best bang is an engine swap. My advice is to do some minor upgrades (possibly focus on handling), if you want a fast car, the "es" isn't it...it's a great car but it wasn't designed to be a speed demon.
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  #7  
Old 09-25-2011, 06:56 PM
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im sure you can do the tranny swap for 2k-ish depending on how much you do yourself, flywheel, clutch, and the master/slave cylinder and where you pull the tranny, pedal assembly, and driveshaft.

and dont worry bout the haters on the etas. i kept mine pretty stock except for some intake, exhaust, brakes, and suspension upgrades. i kept up with miadas on the open track days. they had me in the straights but i caught up in the corners. im sure itd keep up with their "i"s until i hit rev limiter or governor
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  #8  
Old 08-10-2012, 05:22 PM
Joel86 Joel86 is offline
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I have some questions concerning chips.

I have read that when running a chip you need to use 91 octane fuel. Is it absolutely necessary? Because say I spend $250-$350 on a chip for maybe 20 hp and torque gains, but my wallet will hurt in the long run compared to running regular fuel.

Also, will there be a difference in fuel economy? Will 91 octane improve fuel economy? Because if my average mpg is also going to suffer; then I am loosing at the pump.

I manage to fill up once a week, or every 5-6 days the way I drive. If I run the A/C I obviously have to fill up more often.

I live in California, and we have strict SMOG limitations. Will a chip effect a SMOG check?

Does a chip provide any benefit on its own, or is it just not worth it in an eta?

Last edited by Joel86; 08-10-2012 at 05:43 PM.
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  #9  
Old 08-11-2012, 09:44 PM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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The 'e' engines are designed to be low reving and torquey. Port and polish all you want you wont remove the design intention. Head from same year 325i should fit no problems, then 325i chip is required for standard 325i performance. At that point you have a
325i with 325e on the boot.
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  #10  
Old 08-12-2012, 03:40 AM
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BmwMan92 BmwMan92 is offline
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you should run premium fuel anyways... unless you dont care about your car ; )
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Originally Posted by v8bimmer View Post
I just dont see any other logical way around this problem.
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  #11  
Old 08-12-2012, 11:48 AM
Joel86 Joel86 is offline
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Originally Posted by BmwMan92 View Post
you should run premium fuel anyways... unless you dont care about your car ; )
I thought the etas weren't required to run on premium? I understand its a better fuel, but its not an"i" or an M3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWFatherFigure View Post
The 'e' engines are designed to be low reving and torquey. Port and polish all you want you wont remove the design intention. Head from same year 325i should fit no problems, then 325i chip is required for standard 325i performance. At that point you have a 325i with 325e on the boot.
How long does it usually take to complete this conversion, and what would you say is the total estimated cost?
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  #12  
Old 08-12-2012, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel86 View Post
I thought the etas weren't required to run on premium? I understand its a better fuel, but its not an"i" or an M3
You should always 91 i find my e30 runs like crap an sounds just as bad but once i run 91 it runs alot ALOT better its like day an night i wanna try running something a bit high but not to sure how high to make a mix


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  #13  
Old 08-13-2012, 01:42 AM
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do you call 91 Premium in the states? thats regular here (green) then we have 95 (Red) and sometimes 98 (also red, 95 and 98 arent both sold at the same time) and then ethanol mix (blue)

In anycase, all E30s along with other non-vanos engined cars need 91, Vanos engines need 95+
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  #14  
Old 08-13-2012, 02:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _Ethrty-Andy_ View Post
do you call 91 Premium in the states? thats regular here (green) then we have 95 (Red) and sometimes 98 (also red, 95 and 98 arent both sold at the same time) and then ethanol mix (blue)

In anycase, all E30s along with other non-vanos engined cars need 91, Vanos engines need 95+
Yep here in Wa its 92
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Originally Posted by v8bimmer View Post
I just dont see any other logical way around this problem.
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  #15  
Old 08-13-2012, 02:35 AM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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98 is available here in Australia (not Austria) too. I run all my BMW's and Mini's on it - no exceptions.
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  #16  
Old 08-13-2012, 04:47 AM
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The ugly Octane rating rears its head again
You get research Octane rating as well as Motor octane rating and in the USA they add both together and divide by 2 to get a theoretical Pump Octane rating...
Then you get the Observed road Octane number also

a lot of the older cars in South Africa (including the E30) can not run continuously on unleaded fuel, so we have a lead replacement petrol 93Mon for them that runs lower Octane than the unleaded 95 MON. Whoever thought of this was sniffing too much fuel (a favourite pasttime for Luanda street kids), as these older vehicles often ran high compression ratios
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  #17  
Old 08-13-2012, 03:33 PM
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_Ethrty-Andy_ _Ethrty-Andy_ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick323 View Post
The ugly Octane rating rears its head again
You get research Octane rating as well as Motor octane rating and in the USA they add both together and divide by 2 to get a theoretical Pump Octane rating...
Then you get the Observed road Octane number also

a lot of the older cars in South Africa (including the E30) can not run continuously on unleaded fuel, so we have a lead replacement petrol 93Mon for them that runs lower Octane than the unleaded 95 MON. Whoever thought of this was sniffing too much fuel (a favourite pasttime for Luanda street kids), as these older vehicles often ran high compression ratios
that explains why a lot of the South African import E46s and the like have trashed cats by the time they get to New Zealand
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  #18  
Old 08-13-2012, 08:43 PM
Joel86 Joel86 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _Ethrty-Andy_ View Post
do you call 91 Premium in the states? thats regular here (green) then we have 95 (Red) and sometimes 98 (also red, 95 and 98 arent both sold at the same time) and then ethanol mix (blue)

In anycase, all E30s along with other non-vanos engined cars need 91, Vanos engines need 95+
I haven't seen anything above 92 in CA, and that's at select hand car washes. You can buy racing fuel at a race track or at motorcycle dealerships. Tell any average person out here 91 is regular and 98 is available they will sh*t their pants. Honestly when I bought the car off the previous owner I asked what kind of fuel it required. He said he always used regular (87). My mistake for taking his word for it. At the least I now know what I should be using.

Anyway, I e-mailed Doug at Turner and he said the chip shouldn't alter fuel economy. It may get a little better, but there shouldn't be a significant difference. And the chip is not CARB certified so chances are my car may not pass SMOG out here with the chip installed.

Last edited by Joel86; 08-13-2012 at 09:30 PM.
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  #19  
Old 08-13-2012, 08:55 PM
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downhiller downhiller is offline
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youll notice a difference in mpgs. theyre are going to go down cause youll be in the throttle more feeling that lil extra bit of power
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  #20  
Old 08-14-2012, 03:56 AM
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Nick323 Nick323 is offline
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Lightbulb Unichip tuning

We are Unichip installers & tune the car for optimum economy up to 70 % throttle and best power at WOT
This is not a pre-programmed chip you fit, but you physically put the car on a Dyno & tune it accross all loar/RPM ranges. Same as we used to jet carbs & dial-in Distributors in the old days
Surely there should be a Unichip tuner in your area...
I don't know what they ask, but check it out
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  #21  
Old 08-14-2012, 04:07 AM
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_Ethrty-Andy_ _Ethrty-Andy_ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick323 View Post
We are Unichip installers & tune the car for optimum economy up to 70 % throttle and best power at WOT
This is not a pre-programmed chip you fit, but you physically put the car on a Dyno & tune it accross all loar/RPM ranges. Same as we used to jet carbs & dial-in Distributors in the old days
Surely there should be a Unichip tuner in your area...
I don't know what they ask, but check it out
this is the way to do it. plug in chips are crap
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  #22  
Old 08-14-2012, 08:40 PM
Joel86 Joel86 is offline
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Location: California
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick323 View Post
We are Unichip installers & tune the car for optimum economy up to 70 % throttle and best power at WOT
This is not a pre-programmed chip you fit, but you physically put the car on a Dyno & tune it accross all loar/RPM ranges. Same as we used to jet carbs & dial-in Distributors in the old days
Surely there should be a Unichip tuner in your area...
I don't know what they ask, but check it out

Thank you for the feedback. I actually like the idea of this better than a chip. There is an installer/tuner down the street from me.
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