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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 10-12-2012, 10:58 AM
92_foxgt 92_foxgt is offline
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E30 or E36 track day/DD

Hello,

I have an issue I'm torn on. I like the looks of the e30's much more than the e36's, but I've been told that an e36 would perform better for track days and the like. Here is my issue, which would give me the best bang for the buck? I would also daily drive the car so take that into consideration.

1) Buy an e30 and do some basic mods, would this outperform the e36 and still cost less?

2) Buy an e30 and swap e36 suspension and engine/tranny from a wrecked/donor car? Would this be more costly than a stock e36? Noticably better performance?

3) just buy an e36? would that be the cheapest/best performing option?
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  #2  
Old 10-12-2012, 01:49 PM
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Newman271 Newman271 is offline
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E30's are the Chariot's of God's lol. I've owned a e36 and currently own a E30. My e36 had Tein springs with Bilsteins and front and rear strut bars. It handled pretty well after the alignment, but it seemed kinda "squirrely" when hard cornering. My e30 with Tokico springs and KYB's with a front strut bar without an alignment seems to have a better balance and feel. Also, the e30 weighs less.
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  #3  
Old 10-12-2012, 02:52 PM
markseven markseven is offline
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To a large part "faster" is dependent on driver skill. At NASA events you will see Vette's giving point-bys to Miatas.

To answer your question, E30 hands down.
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  #4  
Old 10-12-2012, 06:36 PM
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_Ethrty-Andy_ _Ethrty-Andy_ is offline
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look, i hate e36. but if you want a competitive track car, they are better than the E30. buy a 325i or 328i Manual coupe, and you have a great competitive car right out of the box. The M50 and M52 engines are both fairly bullet proof as long as they aren't allowed to over heat, which happens quickly and unexpectedly, youd do well to change the cooling system completely on that car.

if you want fun though, a car you can slide out and you dont care if you are the quickest, an E30 would be the way to go. They are down on power to the E36, and the trailing arm suspension setup is very dated.

im thinking about building a race car seriously next year, and an E36 328i Manual coupe is more than likely the way ill be going, even though my heart tells me E30 E30 E30
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  #5  
Old 10-13-2012, 08:40 AM
markseven markseven is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _Ethrty-Andy_ View Post
look, i hate e36. but if you want a competitive track car, they are better than the E30. buy a 325i or 328i Manual coupe, and you have a great competitive car right out of the box. The M50 and M52 engines are both fairly bullet proof as long as they aren't allowed to over heat, which happens quickly and unexpectedly, youd do well to change the cooling system completely on that car.

if you want fun though, a car you can slide out and you dont care if you are the quickest, an E30 would be the way to go. They are down on power to the E36, and the trailing arm suspension setup is very dated.

im thinking about building a race car seriously next year, and an E36 328i Manual coupe is more than likely the way ill be going, even though my heart tells me E30 E30 E30
Really?
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  #6  
Old 10-13-2012, 09:14 AM
E30 hobby car E30 hobby car is offline
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I have both, an e30 and a e36 328i. I find the e36 a much better handling car. that being said my e36 is mint and the e30 is still a work in progress. but eventually i will be swapping a m52 and drive train into the e30 and doing a full coilover kit. then i guess it will be comparable.

but for the price of the swap and suspension, you can get a e36 and your off to the races with out much work.
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Old 10-13-2012, 09:26 AM
markseven markseven is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E30 hobby car View Post
I have both, an e30 and a e36 328i. I find the e36 a much better handling car. that being said my e36 is mint and the e30 is still a work in progress. but eventually i will be swapping a m52 and drive train into the e30 and doing a full coilover kit. then i guess it will be comparable.

but for the price of the swap and suspension, you can get a e36 and your off to the races with out much work.
What are you basing this on? How much track time do you have in each chassis?
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  #8  
Old 10-13-2012, 09:46 AM
E30 hobby car E30 hobby car is offline
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i dont really have any track time in either car.

I am basing my comments on the condition of my e30 325 when i got it and the kind of work it needs in order to be comparable to a decent e36 328i.

I found my e36 much better at high speed corners and S turns while my e30 slides out much sooner. also, my particular e30 is a 325e so its slow as molasses. both having stock suspension. the stock suspension in almost any e30 will be worn out or atleast spongy by now while a 98 e36 has better suspension and less worn components.. of course that all depends on the car you get, but on average that should be about right. I have seen rusted out POS e36 and super clean stock e30's, but thats not average. especially here in canada.

So, the cost of a coil over kit is, lets say $1000.00
M50 or M52 can be sourced with tranny for $1000.00 (local wreckers, may or may not be in good working order)

you still need to upgrade some stuff and change some stuff for the swap at lets argue $600-$1000.00

and the E30 its self can range from $500 to $2000.00 depending on a whole wack of crap.

So, at the end of the day, you would have a really decent e30. but you have to put in alot of work (if your able, and if your not then its going to cost you 3 times as much for the swap, at a shop)

if you took that same $ amount you could go purchase a pretty decent e36 and jump on the track.

there is always exceptions to the rule and if you look hard enough you might be able to find the right car, but i am arguing the law of averages, or atleast what is most common in my area.
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  #9  
Old 10-14-2012, 09:53 AM
markseven markseven is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E30 hobby car View Post
i dont really have any track time in either car.

I am basing my comments on the condition of my e30 325 when i got it and the kind of work it needs in order to be comparable to a decent e36 328i.

I found my e36 much better at high speed corners and S turns while my e30 slides out much sooner. also, my particular e30 is a 325e so its slow as molasses. both having stock suspension. the stock suspension in almost any e30 will be worn out or atleast spongy by now while a 98 e36 has better suspension and less worn components.. of course that all depends on the car you get, but on average that should be about right. I have seen rusted out POS e36 and super clean stock e30's, but thats not average. especially here in canada.

So, the cost of a coil over kit is, lets say $1000.00
M50 or M52 can be sourced with tranny for $1000.00 (local wreckers, may or may not be in good working order)

you still need to upgrade some stuff and change some stuff for the swap at lets argue $600-$1000.00

and the E30 its self can range from $500 to $2000.00 depending on a whole wack of crap.

So, at the end of the day, you would have a really decent e30. but you have to put in alot of work (if your able, and if your not then its going to cost you 3 times as much for the swap, at a shop)

if you took that same $ amount you could go purchase a pretty decent e36 and jump on the track.

there is always exceptions to the rule and if you look hard enough you might be able to find the right car, but i am arguing the law of averages, or atleast what is most common in my area.
An E30 with H&R Race springs, Billstein Sports, and 22mm/19mm sways, and camber pleates ($1500) will significantly outperform a 328 on a stock suspension (and you will have a fresh setup). The power/weight ratios of a M20B25-powered E30 and a M52B32-powered E36 is very similar (the E36 has a slight edge).
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  #10  
Old 10-14-2012, 12:37 PM
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Like Mark said, a modded e30 will outperform a stock e36 with similar drivers..

If I was doing it, I would personally go with a stripped down e36 on bilstiens/H&R race springs with fresh suspension bits. The e36 is still one of the better handling cars BMW has, and now that e30s are becoming harder to find in clean condition, its not uncommon to see them selling for more than an e36 in similar condition. The e36 is a common car for teens now, so finding them in dire need of repairs is very common, which can be an awesome bargaining chip to get them cheap.
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  #11  
Old 10-14-2012, 07:53 PM
92_foxgt 92_foxgt is offline
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Thanks for all the input guys. I have 0 issues doing major work. My current car I fabricated a turbo kit from scratch, built the megasquirt from a kit and tuned it myself(plus complete drivetrain and chassis and suspension supporting mods). I just want the most performance for my money in parts/car. Here in SC I can find decent e30s for around $4-5k, an e36 is $7-8k.

Last edited by 92_foxgt; 10-14-2012 at 07:55 PM.
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