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What should Paul do with an E30

Discussion in 'E30 (1984-1993)' started by mooseheadm5, Mar 24, 2009.

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What should Paul do to an E30?

Modded M20B25 or B27 w/ optional SC 0 vote(s) 0.0%
S38B35 from 88 M5 with no other mods 2 vote(s) 40.0%
M50B25 or B30 with optional SC 3 vote(s) 60.0%
Other (specify) 0 vote(s) 0.0%
    • Member
    • Technical Service Advisor

    mooseheadm5

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    Well, decision time. The 535is has been sent with my brother to DC so we can restore it and build a turbo motor for it. James wants 500wtq. I'm down with that myself. That leaves me with my other cars to deal with. I dunno what to do with my E30 325i. It is a 4 door and had a pristine body until someone sideswiped a handrail as I was pushing it through the parking lot at work. I am over it, so whatever. It was a $200 car. It is going to be the "beater" car and the road trip car, so it must be reliable and get decent mpg. I will also tow with it so it must have torque and lots of it would be nice. I have a Mercedes supercharger on the shelf that would be good for about 8psi on a 2.5. It has a clutch so I can Mad Max the thing. I may be able to lay my hands on a 91 318i 4 door with a bad head gasket that is black, but that could cost me a grand.

    Option 1
    Build another bottom end for the ported 325i head that I have on the car now. I have it shaved and I don't think it wants to play nice with the 325i bottom end, since it was milled a lot for use on a 325e. I have already installed this head on the car, but there is an audible tapping noise from the top end that wasn't there when this head was on the 325e. I guess I could cut valve reliefs in the pistons and be done with it. This option costs anywhere from one head gasket and a set of studs to a complete rebuild of the 2.7 bottom end in my scrapped 325e. This can also lead to adding a supercharger in the future but it is more difficult because there is no serp belt drive installed. This is the path of least resistance and most likely to result in long stretches of nomodifications.

    Option 2
    I have that M5 semi parts car with a really good S38. It is worth way more in parts than whole. I have the E34 oil pan that I need if I want to drop it in the E30. It would be pretty unique, but peak at 300HP and cost me approximately $3500 or more in lost opportunity selling the motor and I would want to run MS on it. It would also cost me time fabbing mounts and I would have to take a hammer to the firewall. Monetary cost would be minimal. Maybe $3-400. I probably could sell this motor and trans for over $4k. This is the most unique, but in the scheme of things, the most overall "cost."

    Option 3
    M50. I have an M50 non vanos with a "freshly rebuilt head" and can get another non vanos M50 for about $400 if I desire. I could build a 3 liter out of it pretty easily. I can supercharge it very easily as well. This has been done to death, and I can do this in my sleep, but offers a light motor with plenty of torque. The cost would be intermediate. I would probably end up spending roughly $1000 total to make this happen without going 3L or supercharged.

    Option 4
    other- you gotta tell me what you suggest, though. Also, if I had the money, I'd go straight for the S54, but I don't, so keep things like that to yourself.

    z31maniac guest

    Post Count: 186
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    3.1L M20 with ITB's.

    But seriously, probably a S/C M50 would be my route. S38's are cool but not worth the effort or expense in my opinion. And lightly modded OBD-I S52 gets you to 300 crank HP, but with less TQ, and with a motor that doesn't cost eleventy billion in parts to rebuild.
    • Member

    az3579

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    Dude, you know me; I'm all for unique cars, but an S38 in a 4-door E30 that's going to be used for road trips and towing? Sounds like a waste to me.

    I'd go the M50 route if I was in your shoes; it's not really going to see the track but it has enough torque for the towing run. Cost-wise it sounds effective, but also does the 2.7i (is that what you meant by Option 1?)

    If you do care about the uniqueness, the 2.7i would be more unique than the M50 I think. But if it amounts to rebuilding, then the M50 sounds better.



    If I was in your shoes, I'd do the M50 and then supercharge it if need be...
    And it's already rebuilt; something to think about.
    And it should get better mpg than an S38 would.
    And would be more worth it if the M20 needed rebuilding (or am I wrong on this one?)
    And you wouldn't have to worry about a timing belt change; it's got a chain. :)
    And it looks fuh-reaking cool in the engine bay.
    And you can do it in your sleep. :D
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    With your proposed usage of the car, I'd go the M50 route, your option 3. It sounds relatively easy for _you_ to do, and should give plenty of oomph for goin' an towin'. It'll take more effort and expense to get the same oomph from any M20 regardless of how you achieve it, and there is no practical or logical reason to go to the immense effort to stuff the S38 into a 4-door family beater E30 that you might end up finding yourself sucked down the temptation path of 'if only'; "gosh, with this much hp, it sure would be nice IF ONLY it had better brakes.... gee, with this much power, it'd be much better IF ONLY it had a suspension to make the handling match the power..." And there you'd go, and eventually your family beater towing vehicle ends up on the trailer with coilovers, a full cage, race seat, and moving towards track-toy use only! ;)

    Spare yourself that and set it up for your intended usage as easily as you can with a setup that'll give you the hp & torque you'll need and want.
    • Member
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    mooseheadm5

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    And the magic answer is....




    Part it out. Yup. I will cherry pick the best parts to keep for a future E30 and part it out. I have been "coerced" into putting my M5 on the road, so I won't really need tan E30 right now. To fund the project, the car gets parted out. Anyone need any E30 parts? I have an 86 325e 2dr and an 89 325i 4dr. I am keeping the interior from the 325e and keeping a perfect dash. Almost everything else is fair game, including an M50 (non VANOS) long block without pan or pump. Just sold my OBD1 intake to my brother for a customer. One manual swap set of parts is sold and I am keeping the other fro myself in case I find a perfect car that happens to be an auto for future use. I am keeping the glass sunroof and maplight mirror from the 4dr (unless I find out that I have a spare.) Keeping my MSW/Ronals just in case. I will have an E30 2.7i kit for sale shortly. I'll take pics tomorrow of all my stuff and post a for sale. The proceeds will go to putting the M5 on the road.
    • Member

    az3579

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    Ah, wifey putting pressure on you to keep the M5, eh? GOOD. The M5's way cooler anyway. :p

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