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325iX engine swap

Discussion in 'E30 (1984-1993)' started by atomistic, Feb 25, 2011.

    atomistic guest

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    Hello Bimmer Heads!

    I have an '88 325iX (AWD) e30 that has 250,000 miles on it. I am wondering about the block and what my options are for replacing it at some point. I understand that the AWD system complicates matters, in that the front left drive axle goes through the oil pan, and because of this the oil pump is situated differently from other e30s.

    Anyone on this board have experience dealing with major overhaul of an iX? It runs, the head was rebuilt 50k ago, but I'm not sure how much longer the bottom end will last, or if I'm getting anywhere near the performance I should be getting. I do baby it right now since I have to replace one of the CV joints that is clicking. I have the parts to replace this (very hard to find!) as well as a timing belt kit that is about to be installed. Beyond that, I just want to know if there is some way that a regular e30 block could be used if I ever decide to do an engine swap.

    Thanks in advance! Glad to be part of the club finally. This is my 4th e30 and 5th BMW. 1st car was a '72 2002 :)

    A
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    granthr

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    You will need a motor from another 325ix if you want to keep it simple. Besides the oil pan, the dip stick is on the wrong side and the oil pump runs backwards! You could go with a metric mechanic motor or call Chris at BMW Wholesale, he would probably be able to source you a used motor.

    http://www.metricmechanic.com/

    http://bmrwholesale.net/
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    MGarrison

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    I don't know why the block wouldn't be able to be rebuilt using standard parts, as long as it's normal wear and tear and not damaged for some reason or another.

    A little pricey though, but not as expensive as a whole engine build from Metric Mechanic (which are well done, if you're willing to pay for that).

    Get a compression and leakdown test, and perhaps an oil analysis after 3k or more miles, for an indication of the motor's condition, unless you're really burning oil, smoking, or making a bunch of noise. Bit of a hassle on an 'ix, but I suppose dropping the oil pan for a visual inspection is a possibility, but I wouldn't think that would necessarily be worth the expense just for that unless it was required for other work.

    When you're ready to replace your engine, the likely least-expensive option would be to swap in a used one, if a clean one can be found. If the 'ix block is specific to the 'ix (don't know if it is or not), finding a clean swap engine could be a bit of a challenge. Perhaps the person running the 'ix register would know more specifics -
    http://bmwcca.org/index.php?pageid=sigs
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    granthr

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    The ix uses the same block as the regular i, but you will need to drill a hole for the dip stick and plug the old dip stick hole. It would be better for find another ix block.

    I mention Metric Mechanic because it is a great way to get an hp boost if he really does need a whole new engine. :D
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    mooseheadm5

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    Fixed that for you.
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    granthr

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    LOL :D Thanks Paul! Do tell, what is your experience? I know I have heard things about Korman, but MM too!!! :(
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    mooseheadm5

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    Well lets just say they have never produced an actual dyno chart for any of their work.
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    granthr

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    Good to know!
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    CSBM5

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    What's up with Korman? My experience dates way back with having a hot M30 built by Ray 30 years ago, and that was one hot motor that I autocrossed, tracked, etc, for the following 13 years. Had a blast with it, triple Webers and all, and it never gave a moment's trouble. Put about 100k on the motor some of which was very hard use at Summit Point and Road Atlanta.
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    mooseheadm5

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    I have relayed (on the MyE28 forum) the stories of my personal experience having had to repair a couple of 2002s that came directly from Korman to the shop where I used to work. It was disappointing, especially to the owners who had each spent thousands, that they needed to spend more to have the problems corrected.

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