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  #1  
Old 06-13-2003, 06:03 AM
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Question E30 M3 vs 911

Okay, after yet another stick vs. auto discussion, I figured why not another porsche vs bmw discussion.

What are the pros/cons between getting an E30 M3 vs. a late-80's 911? This would be as a second car, mainly for autocross/track/fun/tinkering. I'm a long ways off from actually getting a second car, but am curious.

Admittedly I don't really know too much about either. Just that I've always wanted a Porsche since I was a little kid, and after a few years of being a BMW owner (and getting a ride in an E30), I'm starting to lust after them too.
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  #2  
Old 06-13-2003, 06:09 AM
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Both cars are pretty cool. I went with the Bimmer because I wanted to learn high-performance driving on a traditional front-engine RWD platform, and because of the E30 M3's unique and very special history.
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  #3  
Old 06-13-2003, 06:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jetfire
Both cars are pretty cool. I went with the Bimmer because I wanted to learn high-performance driving on a traditional front-engine RWD platform, and because of the E30 M3's unique and very special history.
I'm tending to lean that way myself, for the same two reasons. But I still *lust* after that Porsche.
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  #4  
Old 06-13-2003, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by SpaceMonkey
I'm tending to lean that way myself, for the same two reasons. But I still *lust* after that Porsche.
I had similar thoughts myself, and for the same price as an E30 M3 in good shape, you can also buy a very nice 911.

I dunno, though...for me, there was just something about the E30 M3 that drew me to it. Enough, in fact, to make me sell my '99 M3 and buy a Jeep for daily "driving."
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  #5  
Old 06-13-2003, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jetfire
Both cars are pretty cool. I went with the Bimmer because I wanted to learn high-performance driving on a traditional front-engine RWD platform, and because of the E30 M3's unique and very special history.
hey jet,

is yours bored out to the 2.5 litre evo kit?

have been in the 2.3 (is this right?) engine'd e30m3 quite a bit. did not know how much low end people gain with the evo engine.
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  #6  
Old 06-13-2003, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by pdz
hey jet,

is yours bored out to the 2.5 litre evo kit?

have been in the 2.3 (is this right?) engine'd e30m3 quite a bit. did not know how much low end people gain with the evo engine.
I thought that was a stroker kit, not an increase in bore.
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  #7  
Old 06-13-2003, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by cenotaph
I thought that was a stroker kit, not an increase in bore.
It's both.

The guts of any 2.5L conversion kit are the crank and the pistons. All of the kits I've seen use the BMW 2.5L crank. The pistons vary from vendor to vendor; some will use 11.25:1 CR pistons, others back off a bit and go for 10.5, and of course you can specify your own compression if you so desire (and if you don't mind running on race gas). In any case, just about all of these kits will require you to bore your block. The stock 2.3L bore is 93.4mm and all of the pistons I've seen so far are 95mm. From what I've read, the block is robust enough to take the bigger bore.

The stock Evo3 engines had a bore of roughly 95mm and pistons with 10.2:1 or 10.3:1 compression, depending on who you ask. The reported increase in torque is dramatic.

Of course, I wouldn't know just yet. I'm still preparing to pull the engine. I have all of the tools, I just need to find some free time and take the plunge. Ought to be interesting. Once I determine what exactly must be done, it's time to decide which way to go.

The 2.5L conversion, of course, is high on the list. In terms of cost, it is not ultra-significantly higher than just rebuilding the engine with 2.3L parts. Some of the additional cost comes from boring the block, of course, and I could save money on a 2.3L rebuild by using used parts in good condition. Decisions, decisions...

Meanwhile, the autocross, track, and have-fun-driving seasons are all well under way.
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  #8  
Old 06-13-2003, 08:11 AM
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Well - if you go with the Porsche, take up Stuka on his 'oversteer lessons'. Rear-engined Porsche cars are well-known for snap-overteer, and don't even think of lifting in a corner, you'll get the off-throttle oversteer. Very rewarding cars to drive, just remember you have an almost 60% weight bias BEHIND the rear wheels. That weight can come around very fast. The Front engine/rear drive of the BMW is much more forgiving, there's not the huge amount of polar inertia to deal with.

But, yes, Porsche's are gorgeous cars, real fun. Cost more to maintain, though.

As an added bonus, once you get to handle the oversteering nature of a Porsche, the BMW's will seem tame.

Eric
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  #9  
Old 06-13-2003, 08:36 AM
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thanks for the info. jetfire.

how much is a crated engine (if you could get one) versus all of that regrinding and rebuilding?
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  #10  
Old 06-13-2003, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by pdz
thanks for the info. jetfire.

how much is a crated engine (if you could get one) versus all of that regrinding and rebuilding?
There really isn't a "crate engine" available that I know of. It may not even be possible to find a new-in-box 2.5L S14 overseas by now. You can find stock Evo3 blocks over there, though.

The closest thing to a crate engine would be paying a known builder to either rebuild my engine to 2.5L specs, or build one from scratch and sell it to me. As you might imagine, those prices are not kind. Most builders will port the heads at least mildly and go with more aggressive cams during the rebuild, which also add to the costs. A typical estimate for getting something like this done to an existing 2.3L engine would range from $6000 to $12000. Just the crankshaft, pistons, and related hardware generally run in the $2000+ area. A simple block bore costs roughly $400. These are all rough estimates, of course.
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sold: '99 M3 Coupe
Cosmos Black
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  #11  
Old 06-13-2003, 09:21 AM
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I have had a visceral love of E30M3s for over a decade...
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  #12  
Old 06-13-2003, 10:56 AM
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An E30 M3 is a wonderful car. I don't have anything bad to say about them, other than they can be on the expensive side to maintain. They are excellent on the track and auto-X.

Older 911 (84-88) will be a blast on the track (faster, but harder to drive than the M3), and more of a handful on the auto-x (slower than the M3). It takes skill (and practice) to get good in the 911.

The 911 (non-turbo) will be less expensive to keep on the road. They are pretty simple, and very reliable (easy to get 250,000 miles out of one).

Personally, the E30 M3 is more rare. If you find a nice one, jump on it. Porsches will always be available as most owners are now taking nice care of them. E30 M3's are getting stripped into dedicated track cars...
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  #13  
Old 06-17-2003, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Emission
Personally, the E30 M3 is more rare. If you find a nice one, jump on it. Porsches will always be available as most owners are now taking nice care of them. E30 M3's are getting stripped into dedicated track cars...
Yeah, I really am leaning in that direction. Just something in the back off my mind from my youth screams "porsche". Of course since many/most of the DE instructors here have E30's, I'm sure that will influence me more.
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