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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 12-17-2010, 06:40 PM
FasterIsBetter FasterIsBetter is offline
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Mein Auto: '89 325i, '03 Heep KJ
The 325i needs an engine....

So, going to buy an engine next month. Heard m50 is a good engine but I read up and saw that the s52 is an even better engine. Also thought about an m60 swap. Both create nice power. I don't mind turboing the engine. My last car was turboed, but you can't beat the power curve of a well tuned N/A engine. L6 or V8, idrc. Whatever creates the best power efficiently. Going to build the hell out of whatever I get. Possibility of needing some help with the wiring eventually, but I am an electrical engineer so I should be ok. Any opinions on this would be greatly appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 12-17-2010, 07:45 PM
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E30-325 E30-325 is offline
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Turbo? M52 ftw
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  #3  
Old 12-17-2010, 07:48 PM
markseven markseven is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FasterIsBetter View Post
So, going to buy an engine next month. Heard m50 is a good engine but I read up and saw that the s52 is an even better engine. Also thought about an m60 swap. Both create nice power. I don't mind turboing the engine. My last car was turboed, but you can't beat the power curve of a well tuned N/A engine. L6 or V8, idrc. Whatever creates the best power efficiently. Going to build the hell out of whatever I get. Possibility of needing some help with the wiring eventually, but I am an electrical engineer so I should be ok. Any opinions on this would be greatly appreciated.
24V swaps are the most common, with lots of free documentation available and good aftermarket support. In addition, 90% of the swap parts come straight from the BMW catalog. I suggest the S52 for power and driveability.
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  #4  
Old 12-17-2010, 08:35 PM
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If you're going to turbo it eventually, go with an M50. Cheap to find, tons of info on how to swap it, and less cost = more money to spend on turbo goodies
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  #5  
Old 12-17-2010, 09:02 PM
FasterIsBetter FasterIsBetter is offline
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Originally Posted by markseven View Post
24V swaps are the most common, with lots of free documentation available and good aftermarket support. In addition, 90% of the swap parts come straight from the BMW catalog. I suggest the S52 for power and driveability.
Thats what I was thinking. Probably going to have to go standalone on that due to VANOS am I right? Or can I splice the S52 wiring harness into the original? This car will be stripped eventually. Going to strip the engine in the garage during the winter and have custom work done to the heads. What ever goes in this engine will be forged or billet. Not playing the breaking game.
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  #6  
Old 12-17-2010, 10:51 PM
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Hows bout a 2JZ? or a Cummings Turbo Diesel!? Ooohh the possibilities!!
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  #7  
Old 12-17-2010, 11:16 PM
markseven markseven is offline
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Originally Posted by FasterIsBetter View Post
Thats what I was thinking. Probably going to have to go standalone on that due to VANOS am I right? Or can I splice the S52 wiring harness into the original? This car will be stripped eventually. Going to strip the engine in the garage during the winter and have custom work done to the heads. What ever goes in this engine will be forged or billet. Not playing the breaking game.
You can buy an adapter to connect the 24V harness to the E30's. BMWs have very stout bottom ends, and head work (I assume you mean port/polish) doesn't pay dividends like it used to with old cast heads. BMW does a good job of cleaning up the flow at the factory. I think you will be good with stock internals unless you are going FI or NOS...
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  #8  
Old 12-18-2010, 05:47 AM
FasterIsBetter FasterIsBetter is offline
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Yes, I did think about the heads not needing any work. But I would prefer they install racing guides for me. I can seat and install the valves, but I do not have a press to install guides. I am going forced induction. Would like to be sitting at a safe 400bhp and have the ability to increase that to 500 or higher down the road to have a little more than a 400whp vehicle. 450whp would be cherry. Of course I would be upgrading the stock brake system with either the m3 suspension and brakes or 540 brakes. The car does handle nicely from factory.
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  #9  
Old 12-18-2010, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by FasterIsBetter View Post
Yes, I did think about the heads not needing any work. But I would prefer they install racing guides for me. I can seat and install the valves, but I do not have a press to install guides. I am going forced induction. Would like to be sitting at a safe 400bhp and have the ability to increase that to 500 or higher down the road to have a little more than a 400whp vehicle. 450whp would be cherry. Of course I would be upgrading the stock brake system with either the m3 suspension and brakes or 540 brakes. The car does handle nicely from factory.
M3 suspension and brakes.

540 units will negatively impact unsprung weight and alter the track, effectively undoing the E30 M3's handling characteristics. IIRC the 540 (E34 and E39) rotors wont fit 16" rims.
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  #10  
Old 12-18-2010, 10:05 PM
FasterIsBetter FasterIsBetter is offline
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It'll be a couple weeks before I can go get the engine. My Jeep just went out of commission. Chrysler = Fail....lol. Only have it because they do really good in snow and mud. And also Christmas just came. But I'm sure I can find a good s52 or m52 engine at the local junkyard. Turns out that there actually is a really nice junkyard a few miles away that claims to have all makes and models with 60 Acres of cars. Still debating on whether to keep my auto tranny in or not. If I do I might have it rebuilt. Read that the stock auto trans in the e30 are good for 450hp or better. Don't think the manuals are good for that high, but then again most everything BMW seems underrated. I might take it to the strip every once in a while so an auto might be nice. It wont be a DD, just a weekend Vette killer in the summer time. My buddy has a Z06 C6 that he bought. Wanting to run with it or pull on it good.
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  #11  
Old 12-18-2010, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FasterIsBetter View Post
It'll be a couple weeks before I can go get the engine. My Jeep just went out of commission. Chrysler = Fail....lol. Only have it because they do really good in snow and mud. And also Christmas just came. But I'm sure I can find a good s52 or m52 engine at the local junkyard. Turns out that there actually is a really nice junkyard a few miles away that claims to have all makes and models with 60 Acres of cars. Still debating on whether to keep my auto tranny in or not. If I do I might have it rebuilt. Read that the stock auto trans in the e30 are good for 450hp or better. Don't think the manuals are good for that high, but then again most everything BMW seems underrated. I might take it to the strip every once in a while so an auto might be nice. It wont be a DD, just a weekend Vette killer in the summer time. My buddy has a Z06 C6 that he bought. Wanting to run with it or pull on it good.
You lost me at auto...
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  #12  
Old 12-18-2010, 11:08 PM
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lol
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  #13  
Old 12-19-2010, 12:45 AM
FasterIsBetter FasterIsBetter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markseven View Post
You lost me at auto...
Lol, sorry. Don't get me wrong, manual tranny's are awesome, its much more fun to shift gears. But why replace the tranny with something weaker? I can throw the e36 M3 or z3 trans in it, but If it breaks I'm getting help from you to put a new one in. Its not so much the price of the transmission as it is the work involved. Pulling an engine and tranny sucks, just all I'm sayin, lol. Btw, love the stance and color of your car. I had a red car once, it was a manual, but I got pulled over too many times with it and ended up totaling it. My 325i is white with the 325is front valence and I'd love to get that same stance with similar wheels.

Last edited by FasterIsBetter; 12-19-2010 at 12:54 AM.
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  #14  
Old 12-19-2010, 09:13 AM
markseven markseven is offline
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Originally Posted by FasterIsBetter View Post
Lol, sorry. Don't get me wrong, manual tranny's are awesome, its much more fun to shift gears. But why replace the tranny with something weaker? I can throw the e36 M3 or z3 trans in it, but If it breaks I'm getting help from you to put a new one in. Its not so much the price of the transmission as it is the work involved. Pulling an engine and tranny sucks, just all I'm sayin, lol. Btw, love the stance and color of your car. I had a red car once, it was a manual, but I got pulled over too many times with it and ended up totaling it. My 325i is white with the 325is front valence and I'd love to get that same stance with similar wheels.
The ZF 5-speed bolts right in And you'll have the engine out anyway...
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  #15  
Old 12-19-2010, 09:13 AM
markseven markseven is offline
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You'll need an E36 driveshaft though.
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  #16  
Old 12-19-2010, 10:00 PM
FasterIsBetter FasterIsBetter is offline
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No prob, should be able to find an e36 driveshaft fairly easy. Will need a center console for an e30 manual trans. That could be hard to find.
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  #17  
Old 12-19-2010, 10:14 PM
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noexceptions325 noexceptions325 is offline
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actually you just need the shift boot... the consoles are the same, how many swaps have you done dude?
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  #18  
Old 12-20-2010, 12:30 AM
FasterIsBetter FasterIsBetter is offline
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Originally Posted by noexceptions325 View Post
actually you just need the shift boot... the consoles are the same, how many swaps have you done dude?
New to BMW cars. Made a big mistake while out cruising and totaled my last turbo car with 300+whp.
Wanting to start over with even more power in something more controllable. No, I'm not a honda guy, was a chevy guy. Always loved BMWs though. No one around here in charleston has a built BMW so I'm toughing this one out with research. Last engine swap I did was a 350 in an S-10. Have pulled many engines and replaced many transmissions. My biggest problem I think will be the wiring and tune. Probably going to obd 1. A kid that I know with a honda civic did a 300hp v-6 swap into his car and hes a complete idiot, so I in my intuitiveness and with my electrical engineering degree and car background assumed I could do this.

Edit: Also forgot to mention I have access to All-Data 2010.
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  #19  
Old 12-20-2010, 12:37 AM
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_Ethrty-Andy_ _Ethrty-Andy_ is offline
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its easy if you have the right parts/know what your doing. easy to get confused though
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  #20  
Old 12-20-2010, 09:39 PM
FasterIsBetter FasterIsBetter is offline
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Originally Posted by Ethrty View Post
its easy if you have the right parts/know what your doing. easy to get confused though
Well, if i get it tuned like my last car and do datalogs to be sent to TRM or a reputable tuning company. The wiring should be a breeze with a test light and some diagrams, just going to take a long ass time. Anyone know what power the OBD 1 stock ecu is good up to in the M50s? Just wondering if I'm going to have to go Mega Squirt or just run OBD 2 for more precise tuning.
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  #21  
Old 12-20-2010, 09:45 PM
FasterIsBetter FasterIsBetter is offline
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Originally Posted by The Otherside View Post
Hows bout a 2JZ? or a Cummings Turbo Diesel!? Ooohh the possibilities!!
LS1 crossed my mind many times, but that would be a very long project. My friends get lazy during fabrication and tend to slack off. In the S-10 350 swap which wasn't even my vehicle, I was conned into welding the motor mounts and I don't weld very pretty mig welds in places lacking in space.
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  #22  
Old 12-20-2010, 09:52 PM
FasterIsBetter FasterIsBetter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan... View Post
If you're going to turbo it eventually, go with an M50. Cheap to find, tons of info on how to swap it, and less cost = more money to spend on turbo goodies
Yea, that sound's like my best bet. The more and more I research into it, the more I think about how hard its going to be to find an S52. M52B30(bored 2.5mm) or B28 sounds good. Already picked out some good priced Eagle Rods ($450) and SuperTech 9.1:1 pistons ($900) for turbo builds on VAC. Wanting to make this engine bullet proof when its built. Unfortunately for the moment I'm wasting all of my money on siblings for Christmas. 8 siblings, $200 each because I'm too generous? Adds up....lol. Oh, and don't forget Mom, Dad, and Grandparents....

Edit: Whoops, apparently I still thought I was going to build an S52. CP Pistons for $1050 tho, not bad at all.

Last edited by FasterIsBetter; 12-20-2010 at 10:11 PM.
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  #23  
Old 12-21-2010, 12:09 PM
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_Ethrty-Andy_ _Ethrty-Andy_ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FasterIsBetter View Post
Well, if i get it tuned like my last car and do datalogs to be sent to TRM or a reputable tuning company. The wiring should be a breeze with a test light and some diagrams, just going to take a long ass time. Anyone know what power the OBD 1 stock ecu is good up to in the M50s? Just wondering if I'm going to have to go Mega Squirt or just run OBD 2 for more precise tuning.
if youa are FIing the car, go megasquirt or link. Standard ECU is fine for stock +/-10% or so. OBD2 is for latemodel engines.... dont go with that anyway its aa lot of headache and results in you having a system that is still factory built
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  #24  
Old 12-21-2010, 02:15 PM
FasterIsBetter FasterIsBetter is offline
Only Grandpa's Go Slow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethrty View Post
if youa are FIing the car, go megasquirt or link. Standard ECU is fine for stock +/-10% or so. OBD2 is for latemodel engines.... dont go with that anyway its aa lot of headache and results in you having a system that is still factory built
Yea, megasquirt looked to be a lot easier and better anyways. Looks like I will have to either go to Virginia or Pennsylvania for a good tuner. There's ton's of tuners around here, but no one knows megasquirt or BMWs, of course unless someone was so interested in this build that they came down themselves......
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  #25  
Old 12-21-2010, 06:56 PM
FasterIsBetter FasterIsBetter is offline
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Also, what manifold pressure are the stock plastic intake manifolds rated for?
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