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  #1  
Old 05-14-2003, 11:28 AM
slinkt slinkt is offline
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Mein Auto: 325xi
E30 vs E36 M3

Which is the better blend of power and handling?
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  #2  
Old 05-14-2003, 11:31 AM
in_d_haus in_d_haus is offline
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I'd say, ratio wise, the E30..but the E36 is faster
  #3  
Old 05-14-2003, 11:58 AM
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JST JST is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by in_d_haus
I'd say, ratio wise, the E30..but the E36 is faster
Jetfire's going to have to field this one, as our most recent E36-->E30 M3 guru. But speaking just for myself, I cannot imagine living with less power than the E36 M3 provides.
  #4  
Old 05-14-2003, 01:54 PM
motoyen motoyen is offline
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Location: Vancouver
 
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Mein Auto: 88 E30 M3
The E36 is faster and more comfortable. The E30 is more responsive and IMHO a helluva lot more fun to drive.

E30 M3 vs E36 M3 article
E30 M3 vs E36 M3 vd E46 M3 article
E30 M3 vs E36 M3 vs E46 M4 article 2
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  #5  
Old 05-14-2003, 02:12 PM
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Jetfire Jetfire is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by JST
Jetfire's going to have to field this one, as our most recent E36-->E30 M3 guru. But speaking just for myself, I cannot imagine living with less power than the E36 M3 provides.
I thought I felt my ears burning...

I bought a '99 M3 last July, and about two weeks ago I sold it to buy an '88 M3. In my opinion, this decision REALLY boils down to what you want.

If you want a daily driver, forget about the E30. Yes, there are plenty of people who drive their E30 M3s to work; I know at least two of them and they're happy. But in my opinion the E30 M3 is a lousy daily driver for the money. The power curve is peaky, and the car does NOT have great acceleration off the line. Yes, it handles very well, but how often do you get to test your suspension's limits going into work? It's easy enough to drive in traffic, but you will feel like you're driving a Civic until you rev past 4000 rpm. To top it all, maintaining an E30 M3 is not cheap. If you're financing, I wonder if you'd even save money by buying any E30 M3 over a '99 M3. I would rather drive an E30 325is during my commutes than an E30 M3; the M50 engine is bulletproof and the torque curve is much friendly for everyday driving. I would pick the E36 M3 over either car, however, for its abundant power and relative comfort and safety.

Now...if you want to go autocrossing or to the track, or if you just want a weekend canyon carver, then think strongly about the E30. Note that I did NOT suggest you immediately ditch the E36 idea. The E36 M3 is much faster off the line, and the powertrain will give you strong acceleration in pretty much any gear at any speed. If low-rev straight line performance is important to you, the E30 is not a good choice. But here's what I like about the E30:

-It weighs much less than an E36 M3. I believe the E30 M3 tips the scales between 2600-2700 lbs, whereas the E36 M3 weighs around 3175 lbs. That translates to a HUGE difference in tossability and the race-car feel.

-It has a superior seating position and driving feel. I can sit in my '88 with a helmet and still have plenty of head clearance, where I was searching for every last millimeter in my E36. The steering, even after 16 years of bushing wear, is extremely precise and the feedback is superb -- the kind of feedback you get when you aren't carrying around lots of extra safety and luxury weight. I loved the feel of my '99, but I love the feel of my '88 even more.

-It has a very unique, race-derived engine. The little 2.3 L four-banger revved to 7250 rpm and put out 195 hp in 1987 (the first 1988 MY cars were released in the middle of '87). The JC chip will bump the redline safely to 8000 rpm. In a 16-year-old engine. The torque curve is peaky, yes, but once you hit 5000 rpm or so, the car will pull HARD. It's amazing how much power there is up top. That, combined with the superior handling, must have played big roles in the car's dominance in ETC racing back then.

-It is rougher than the E36 in many ways. It is visually extroverted out of necessity. It's much louder inside than an E36, and not at all what I'd consider to be comfortable for long trips. Many things vibrate and rattle that wouldn't make a peep in a more civilized car. Due to the car's age, it is squeaky and rattly over bumps on the pavement. I just don't see anyone picking up women in an E30. These are not all pluses to all people, but I like the E30's charms.

...So, which one should you buy? It depends on what you want. If you really want power, and you want to be both fast and quick, you will probably be happier in an E36. I would say that it is the better balance between sports car performance and everyday comfort.

If, on the other hand, you want something more extreme, go test drive an E30 M3. Decide for yourself if you're willing to put up with its quirks (INCLUDING the maintenance costs) for what it gives you. I did, and I am. So now I do. But without the Jeep for real-world driving, I don't think I could've done it.
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sold: '99 M3 Coupe
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Airbox baffle removed, ZKW ellipsoid headlights, UUC short shift kit, BMW x-brace, debadged

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  #6  
Old 05-14-2003, 02:38 PM
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JST JST is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jetfire

-It weighs much less than an E36 M3. I believe the E30 M3 tips the scales between 2600-2700 lbs, whereas the E36 M3 weighs around 3175 lbs. That translates to a HUGE difference in tossability and the race-car feel.

-It has a superior seating position and driving feel. I can sit in my '88 with a helmet and still have plenty of head clearance, where I was searching for every last millimeter in my E36.

Nice comparison. I will note that my particular E36 is nearly SEVEN HUNDRED POUNDS heavier than your E30.

On the plus side, I've got more headroom than you do. I have never had a problem with clearance for my helmet, as the pic below illustrates.
  #7  
Old 05-14-2003, 02:43 PM
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Jetfire Jetfire is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by JST
Nice comparison. I will note that my particular E36 is nearly SEVEN HUNDRED POUNDS heavier than your E30.

On the plus side, I've got more headroom than you do. I have never had a problem with clearance for my helmet, as the pic below illustrates.
And if that isn't worth 700 pounds, I don't know what is.
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'88 M3
Conforti chip, Evo airbox/K&N filter, UUC short shift kit, oil pan baffle, Hella H4 lights, OEM glass sunroof
sold: '99 M3 Coupe
Cosmos Black
Airbox baffle removed, ZKW ellipsoid headlights, UUC short shift kit, BMW x-brace, debadged

'96 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo V8
(Support Vehicle)
  #8  
Old 05-14-2003, 07:07 PM
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Bruce Bruce is offline
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Mein Auto: 88 E30 M3.2, 08 451
I agree with Jetfire in everything EXCEPT the weight of the E30 M3....it will tip the scales around 2900 pounds before taking anything out for weight savings.

That being said...

My cars (in order of pure driving fun):
89 E30 M3 2.5 (track car)
95 M3 (daily driver)
  #9  
Old 05-14-2003, 08:14 PM
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Jetfire Jetfire is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bruce
I agree with Jetfire in everything EXCEPT the weight of the E30 M3....it will tip the scales around 2900 pounds before taking anything out for weight savings.
Really?? I have literature that states something like 2685 with fluids but no driver. Well, either way, it's much lighter than the E36.
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'88 M3
Conforti chip, Evo airbox/K&N filter, UUC short shift kit, oil pan baffle, Hella H4 lights, OEM glass sunroof
sold: '99 M3 Coupe
Cosmos Black
Airbox baffle removed, ZKW ellipsoid headlights, UUC short shift kit, BMW x-brace, debadged

'96 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo V8
(Support Vehicle)
  #10  
Old 05-14-2003, 09:26 PM
motoyen motoyen is offline
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Mein Auto: 88 E30 M3
The official weight from BMW was unladen 2735lbs.
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  #11  
Old 03-08-2004, 05:48 PM
kylebes1 kylebes1 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1984 BMW 318i M50
Question

I have a 1984 318i, the thing has had only oild changes for the last thirteen years, I purchased it form my post-Depression sedrome stricken great grand father. Well the car is ****ty off the line, pulls steady and then you have to upshift taking all the fun out iof it. I believe the solution to your little debate is take a car like mine and stick a s50 or s53 engine in the bad boy. this will add a little weight to the front, unless you can find those rare s52 mad of all aluminum that came in M roadsters. This sounds the best, but I am sixteen so I will have to settle for a swap to an m50 engine and another five-speed.

Are there any incured maintanence costs on the s50 or s52 engines, like the 15000 mile rebuild that plaged the s14?
  #12  
Old 03-08-2004, 05:49 PM
kylebes1 kylebes1 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1984 BMW 318i M50
Quote:
Originally Posted by motoyen
The official weight from BMW was unladen 2735lbs.
Are there any incured maintanence costs on the s50 or s52 engines, like the 15000 mile rebuild that plaged the s14?
I want to drop one in my 1984 318i
  #13  
Old 03-08-2004, 06:17 PM
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Bruce Bruce is offline
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Mein Auto: 88 E30 M3.2, 08 451
Quote:
Originally Posted by kylebes1
I believe the solution to your little debate is take a car like mine and stick a s50 or s53 engine in the bad boy.
No such thing as a S53.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kylebes1
this will add a little weight to the front, unless you can find those rare s52 mad of all aluminum that came in M roadsters.
The M roadster S52 has an iron block. The only US Z3 engines that have an aluminium block is the M52TU engine in the Z3 2.8...and even then the cylinders have sleeves made of iron.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kylebes1
Are there any incured maintanence costs on the s50 or s52 engines, like the 15000 mile rebuild that plaged the s14?
No, not really, but there also is no such thing as a 15k mile rebuild on an S14.
  #14  
Old 03-08-2004, 07:27 PM
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Jetfire Jetfire is offline
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Mein Auto: '88 M3, Ex-'99 M3
The "S52 into E30" swap is pretty common, but don't think that you'll end up with some kind of bulletproof drivetrain. Any swap involves some amount of custom work and you'll be dealing with the quirks for as long as you have the car. Still, like I said, quite a few people have thrown the S52 in there. If you're trying to save money, you'd be better off just buying an E30 325is or an E36 M3. Seriously.

As Bruce said, there's no such thing as a 15000 mile rebuild on an S14. The engine is not without its weak points, but any properly maintained S14 can be driven HARD for quite a while before you'll need to tear into the engine.

(BTW, where the heck did this thread come from? Back from the dead...)
__________________

'88 M3
Conforti chip, Evo airbox/K&N filter, UUC short shift kit, oil pan baffle, Hella H4 lights, OEM glass sunroof
sold: '99 M3 Coupe
Cosmos Black
Airbox baffle removed, ZKW ellipsoid headlights, UUC short shift kit, BMW x-brace, debadged

'96 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo V8
(Support Vehicle)
 

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