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  • 320is information saught

    Hello I the owner of an 89 325i in the market for a 320is, I love the understated looks, possibility of having a sedan with an S14. These are fairly unique and low production vehicles and I am familiar with the basics but would appreciate feedback from owners especially in the USA. Besides the obvious stroke difference, In what areas does the S14B20 differ from the S14B23, 25? If one wants can it be stroked out when a rebuild is needed?

    If anyone is selling one stateside or overseas with good ability to ship please get in touch.

    Thanks

  • #2
    I'm not a expert on the 320is but I'm sure that the s14b20 only really differs in the crank and pistons. It would be easy to compare differences on realoem by selecting a e30 m3 on one page and a 320is on another, and comparing part numbers for crank, rods, pistons, cams, and head.

    I'm sure you could build a healthy 2.3 or 2.5 or even 2.7 out of a s14b20 core without much or any extra cost than a b23 to b25 build. A 320is with a built high performance s14 fitted would be a very desirable e30.

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    • #3
      Thank you - that was my impression.


      Good idea re: realoem. I compared at found

      Block - hard to compare b/c 320is block listed as "block with pistons" M3 listed only block
      Crank - different on account of 72.6mm stroke
      Con Rods - different
      Pistons - bore identical, part numbers not likely because M3 had changes over time?
      Flywheel - same
      Head - same
      Cams - same


      Finally - a number of these cars I'm looking at online seem to have no fan. Is this a common 'mod' either deleting or replacing the engine driven fan and clutch with an electric one?

      Click image for larger version

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      • #4
        Here is one. http://enthusiastauto.com/qsearch/?i...orm_display=51
        while is a very rare car, can't justify the asking price specialy for a 4 doors cars, comparable 2 and 4 doors cars, 4 doors tend to cost around half of what a 2 doors would cost.

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        • #5
          Yikes. Exhibit A in why I turn off dealers in every search that allows it. Would sooner fly to Portugal / Italy first class, buy the best car on the continent, send it home in its own container and count my left over money on the first class flight home.

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          • #6
            It will be cheaper but not that much, be ready to spend minimum £25000 and up for a descent one, not sure if saw this article
            https://www.hagerty.com/articles-vid...r-a-record-66k.
            Clean E30 are becoming hard to find

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            • #7
              I follow the E30 market as an E30 owner. I gather approx 25k Euro (not GBP) is the entry point for a reasonable 320is.

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              • #8
                Here is another one, this might be a good deal.
                https://m.olx.pt/anuncio/bmw-e30-320...aNUhQkhtnKLx6E

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                • #9
                  Thanks - that car is quite representative of where I see the market.

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                  • #10
                    There's a lovely coupe 320is late built for sale up here in Canada. Asking 45 but he looks like he will take an offer, it's been for sale for a while.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by r-mm View Post
                      Yikes. Exhibit A in why I turn off dealers in every search that allows it. Would sooner fly to Portugal / Italy first class, buy the best car on the continent, send it home in its own container and count my left over money on the first class flight home.
                      Not here to defend EAG, but you will likely spend close to what they are asking on a clean, rust-free, fully sorted 320is sourced from Europe, shipped, serviced, restored to the level of their car, and dropped off at your door. Doubtful you'll be counting any leftover money on your flight home. More than likely you will be building a spreadsheet of costs and work needing to be done on your flight home with your European purchase.
                      1990 M3

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                      • #12
                        I'm trying to educate myself about the dog leg close ratio box and different final drive that these cars used. I'm aware of the technical differences to the US M3 but don't understand the 'real world' implications on the street, which is where I drive. Can anyone describe the net effect of the close ratio box and differential ? I'm not asking about the shift pattern or strength the two different setups (those are discussed widely here) but the actual feel of driving one or the other.

                        Thanks

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                        • #13
                          Honestly, I have a dogleg (265/5) and a LSD 3.23 rearend in my M3 and for daily street driving it is not as much fun as the NA 5 speed (265/6) and 4.10 rearend The reason is that on the street there is stop and go driving. In the dogleg when you stop you have to physically push the shift lever to the left and down. Once moving it is up to the right into the H for the other gears. This repeats with each stop. The NA is better suited to stop and go driving and that is why BMWNA insisted the 265/6 was installed. For track use or spirited driving, it is great as 1st is only used to get going.

                          I leave the dogleg installed as it is a good talking point at the show and shines. And if you are not in to a of stop and go driving, it is fun just as the NA version is fun.

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                          • #14
                            Is it right that the US M3 had a water pump mounted fan/clutch whereas the euro 320is (maybe M3 as well?) had a pusher electric fan in front of the radiator? All the 320is I have seen photos of are so configured. Presuming this configuration doesn't yield any cooling issues in hot climates, I can't see a downside to the electric configuration for how it eases maintenance access and presumably has some very slightly lower toll on motor performance.

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                            • #15
                              The US M3 had both (or at least my 1990 has both). The European E30 320is also has both I believe. I can confirm they have the viscous fan as shown in this picture (Yes - this is a 2.0ltr S14 in a 320is). I believe the electric fan was for the A/C condenser (where fitted).

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                              1990 M3

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