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Thread: Project car

  1. #1
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    Project car

    I'm looking at getting a pet project going and looking for people who've been there or have some advice for car potential.
    At this stage I'm pretty sold on a E30 (early 3 series BMW) in a 2 door model (though I would take a 4 door if a nice one came along at the right price).
    Does anyone have any experience with these cars?
    They can be found with a variety of engines and the 325i (iS, iX) is the tastiest although pricey for a project base.
    Spares and junked vehicles should be in easy supply and 318i's in good order can be found at good prices, would they make a good starting point.

    I only want the car for a fun, reliable mode of transport and of course for the fun of working on it.
    Horsepower wins races. Torque pulls trailers.

    http://www.nuerburgring.de/fileadmin/webcam/webcam.jpg <Live cast from the 'Ring.

  2. #2
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    i had one, a 325. if you can get one with the e engine, which is the plain 325, the e, es, that engine does a little better than the i engine. the e stands foe economy, so it gets a bit better mileage, but somehow it actually gets a couple more hp. there are a lot of things you can do to get you a few extra ponies out of it, but no real big hp gains are to be found with the exception of fitting a turbo, or other such insanity. they are brilliant handling cars, and i regularly get my ass handed to me in autox by a guy that drives a dead-ringer for my old one. hope this helps, and good luck.
    Honor. Courage. Commitment. Etcetera.

  3. #3
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    i had one, a 325. if you can get one with the e engine, which is the plain 325, the e, es, that engine does a little better than the i engine. the e stands foe economy, so it gets a bit better mileage, but somehow it actually gets a couple more hp.
    Interesting, that was the 2.7L motor right? From what I've read it was built for economy and torque but was redlined at <5000. It might be torquier but I haven't read anywhere that claims more power. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_3_Series
    A BMW should rev!

    An engine conversion or some Frankenstein work isn't out of the question though.
    Horsepower wins races. Torque pulls trailers.

    http://www.nuerburgring.de/fileadmin/webcam/webcam.jpg <Live cast from the 'Ring.

  4. #4
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    We have an '85 323i that I drive regularly, it's a beaut. It's done over 350,000kms without a rebuild or anything, but the steering is still as tight as a drum. Burns a little oil and the suspension bushings need replacing, but otherwise it's great. It's not so complex that you can't do your own maintainence on it, they're not rare so parts are easy, and if you go to the right places they're not all that expensive either.

    If you wanna go a Frankenstein job, tell me that putting the 4.0 V8 out of a 540i in there isn't a good idea...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by P4g4nite
    Interesting, that was the 2.7L motor right? From what I've read it was built for economy and torque but was redlined at <5000.

    A BMW should rev!
    it was still a 2.5. i think they re-did the heads or something, im not 100% sure. the redline is a bit lower than the i, but as you stated, more torque. and i could be mistaken but if i remember right, its like 2 more hp. 117 to 119, or something silly like that.

    i also thought that a 350i with the 5.0 V-12 would have been an awesome beast.
    Honor. Courage. Commitment. Etcetera.

  6. #6
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    Not wishing to cross an ex-owner with the view of an admitted BMW neophyte, but the E engine was by all reports the one to avoid - or so said just about every AU magazine report I can remember reading. With its long-stroke & low-rev characteristics, the E as I recall generated many written references of 'Falcon' engined BMWs

    I've noticed dead-engined examples come up for sale every so often, for very cheap. FWIW a mob in Sydney called Castle (Hill?) Auto Electrics used to feature on their website a dead 1990s 320 which they'd converted over to Ecotec V6 power, with wiring to suit of course. I think this item is removed now but they claimed the owner was "way ahead on power and price" when compared to rebuilding the stock BMW engine, and it looked to be a very tidy conversion. However I grant you that a Holden V6 lump installed under the bonnet might not deliver that renown 'turbine smooth' high-rev experience you're after, so I've merely mentioned it as a curio

    Here's another curio I came across the other day, of slightly similar bent to where you might be heading, and served up for interest only

    http://forum.mbspares.com.au/viewtopic.php?t=2421

    Although I've ridden a couple of BMWs, I don't think I've ever driven one

  7. #7
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    problem with the E-engine was not the construction, but that the owners used them as BMW-engines.....
    "I find the whole business of religion profoundly interesting, but it does mystify me that otherwise intelligent people take it seriously." Douglas Adams

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by henk4
    problem with the E-engine was not the construction, but that the owners used them as BMW-engines.....
    brilliantly stated...

    the bmw was my first car, and i had it for way too short of a time to really learn what was good about it, and what was bad about it. i loved the car. it gave me more power than i could deal with, with my lack of any real driving skill. i do know that in some circles, it is a popular engine, and others its not. these days, if i were to get an E30, it would be an M3 or nothing. That car was crazy fast, and slightly off kilter to look at. regardless of what engine you choose, the handling of the E30 was beyond reproach. Small by todays car standards, and rather lightweight, it is great for autox and other short complex track type racing.
    Honor. Courage. Commitment. Etcetera.

  9. #9
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    +



    +



    = Fun.
    [O o)O=\x/=O(o O]

    The things we do for girls who won't sleep with us.

    Patrick says:
    dads is too long so it wont fit
    so i took hers out
    and put mine in

  10. #10
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    quiggs I expected a 1.8T swap from you.
    John says:
    so i had to dump acid into the block tank today
    i'm afraid to fap
    cause i got it on my hands

  11. #11
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    A 1.8T in a BMW would cause a tear in the fabric of time and space so cataclysmic that the only way to correct it would be to put a BMW motor in a Volkswagen.
    [O o)O=\x/=O(o O]

    The things we do for girls who won't sleep with us.

    Patrick says:
    dads is too long so it wont fit
    so i took hers out
    and put mine in

  12. #12
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    I like the e30 too. I'm gonna buy one this summer i think. Drove one last summer , 325i, beautiful engine, enough power for me. And of course the chassis is a delight.
    A friend of mine have built an 320i with an 745 turbo engine (picture). There are a lot of possible engine-swaps, cosworth, bmw V8, V12... But thats quite expensensive. He has sold that engine now and is soon finnished with a E46 M3 swap
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Nulla tenaci invia est via

  13. #13
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    vayren swap 3000hpz
    [O o)O=\x/=O(o O]

    The things we do for girls who won't sleep with us.

    Patrick says:
    dads is too long so it wont fit
    so i took hers out
    and put mine in

  14. #14
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    nice cars esp the M3 of that year. two of my cousins had em, one was a 325i 4 door and the engine blew in that after a while and the other was a 328i drop top. it was good till the car started rattling due to convertible top and the electrics started goin
    Gone:
    09 Ducati Monster 696
    09 Audi Q5 3.2
    03 Infiniti G35 Sedan
    07 Honda Civic Coupe LX 5spd

    Current:
    10 BMW 335d
    12 Audi Q5 2.0t
    10 VW Jetta TDI
    11 Ducati Monster 796

  15. #15
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    In Practical Performance Car magazine (performance tuning for grown ups) one of the contributers to the magazine has dropped a 3.5 our of a 5-series into an E30 318 AND turbo'd it for around 1000, not including the origional car I assume. It looked a bit of a bodged job tbh but if it works who cares?
    PPC - Put a V8 in it!

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