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  • First Post - Introduction and Questions

    Greetings everyone. This is my first post here, and I'd like to introduce myself and also ask a few questions. I'm Chris, and I'm somewhat new to the E30 and BMW in general. Honda and Acura have been my main interests (I've been a member of Honda-Tech.com for the past 3 years, and owned both a '99 Civic Si and a '00 Integra Type R), so it's slightly intimidating and exciting to be "starting over" with a new marque.

    The E30 M3 has captured my attention, and I've recently been doing as much research as I can on it, including reading over most of the threads archived here. Now for a few questions...

    First, a quick search on Honda-Tech will provided a decent searcher with a basic list of the best, the most effective, and the most common modifications for the Integra Type R (ITR). I'm very familar with all of these products and the roles they play. However, I've searched thoroughly and haven't been able to find similar information relating to the M3. Can anyone suggest some such modifications?

    Secondly, while the ITR is not intended to be a drag car, 1/4 mile times are a decent way to compare a car's "brute power" level. It's relatively cheap to build a high 13 sec. Integra, and a mid to low 12 sec. car is simply more expensive but still easily attained as well. For my own comparison and information, what sort of numbers can be expected with moderate modifications on an E30?

    I will undoubtedly have more questions and hopefully be able to participate more on this forum once I become more knowledgeable.

    Thank you in advance.

  • #2
    Welcome to the board. The E30 M3 is a legendary car but there's a few things you have to remember. One thing is that they are all at least 13 years old now so they use older technology like flapper door air flow meters, no knock sensors and no variable valve timing. Just a raw 2.3 16v I4 engine with ITB's that makes a good 200HP. Another thing is, the parts are relatively more expensive and harder to find as well as aftermarket parts compared to your Honda/Acura. Building up one of these cars can get expensive real quick too. All that is the price we pay for owning such a car. Although it runs a 15.5 1/4-mile stock, it's not known as a drag car and most owners will argue that if you want this car for drag, then you bought it for the wrong reasons because balance/handling of the E30 M3 is what it's known for. Anyway, stick around and form your own opinion of the car.

    88 M3 - LACHSSILBER/M TECH
    89 M3 - ALPINEWEISS II/SCHWARZ
    85 323I S52 - ALPINEWEISS/SCHWARZ
    91 M TECHNIC TURBO - MACAOBLAU/M TECH


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    • #3
      ditto what Barry said.
      If you want to build drag car, look for the regular e30 body (non m3) and do the engine swap from the e36 m3, then supercharge it!

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      • #4
        Thank you for the prompt responses. As I said, the ITR is no drag racer either, and it too is lauded as a balanced, homologated race car. In asking for numbers, I was really just looking for a means of comparision in terms of the car's acceleration performance, and as a way of determining how easy or difficult it is to improve upon that area. Thanks again.

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        • #5
          Padawan,

          it is very expensive to build up the engine if you
          remain normally aspirated. ask me because I did exactly that.
          I built a gr. A engine.

          There are a few people who have added supercharger or
          turbo. That is a subject of its own, but even more power
          can be had. I wont comment on longevity.

          The original gr. A and DTM cars that won something like
          1400 out of 1635 races worldwide had power ranging from
          300 to 380 hp. In hill climb form, right around 400 hp.
          The stock cars had power, depending on model
          and year, ranging from 195 to 238 hp.

          Most street tuned M3 achieve perhaps 250-280 hp in a well tuned
          normally aspirated state.

          The gearbox and differential is not setup of drag starts.
          Especially with euro gearbox (slightly different to the US
          gearbox), the first and 2nd gear is rather long. This
          is not a drag gear box. but the 2/3/4/5 gears are closer
          spaced, and that is more designed for track use.
          There is also a 2.33 first gear 5 speed gr. A gear box, with
          super close 2/3/4/5. With this gearbox you can drive 60 mph
          in 1st gear. So on a track, you can actually downshift into
          first gear on a tighter bend. All the higher gears are very close.

          Since you just want to know what could you get if you had
          a highly tuned m3? I think you can use the following:
          0-100 kmh (0-62 mph) in under 4.8 s
          top speed 280+ kmh ( 175 mph ).

          This is with a gr. A gearbox (long first gear)
          and 300+ hp normally aspirated engine in a sub 2400 lb car.

          Most street M3, heavier and less power, will not achieve these
          numbers. Some guys on the board say they are under 5.6 s 0-60.
          I really need to do some measurements next season on what my
          car can do. For some reason, Ive never attempted a 0-60 run in
          my car. But I do drive it on the Nordschleife when I can.

          John

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          • #6
            Welcome to the boards. I can't give you any exact acceleration numbers (I've never really been interested in them), but I can say that the ITR and the M3 share some of the same genetics. There has been some discussions on the forum about the two cars, so run a search and you'll get an entertaining thread with some good information.

            With regard to improving the performance of the S14, there is a healthy aftermarket if you know where to look. In fact, some of the best modifications are actually OEM BMW parts. But be prepared to drop some cash into the car if you want it to really scream.

            It seems that the most common modifications are a good suspension setup- lots of people around here laud Ground Control. For go fast engine bits, ditching the AFM will yield good results along with tuning flexibility as you add more and more to the car. Browse around for a while and I'm sure all your questions will be answered.

            Cheers.
            1988 M3
            2012 335is
            1993 Civic Si

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            • #7
              In response to your mods question: the cheapest way to get a good power increase is a Turner chip, the car likes this very much, and a free flow exhaust and an 8lb LTW flywheel. However, the really good popular setup is to put in the 2.5L crank from the Sport Evo (Evo III) and 11.25 compression pistons and Schrick 284/276 cams and a Turner 2.5L chip. That is one way to get torque...other things you can do is to replace the AFM with a MAF (from SplitSecond or Maxx), install the 48mm throttle bodies from the Evo III and bore the head to match (vs the stock 46mm T-bodies), more head work, adjustable cam gears, and there are tons of suspension and chassis mods that you can do. Checkout what Turnermotorsport.com has for the e30 M3...although they don't have the best prices they do have a lot of quality products for this car. Look at their Stage 3 head too!!

              Hope this helps, Mike
              "It is needless to say that self-propelling vehicles, like other machines, will never do as much for one who does not understand them as for one who does."

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              • #8
                I just thought I would add to what John said, building these engines is EXPENSIVE. You need to know that going into it. While it is pretty common knowledge what you need to do to build a streetable S-14 that makes 250-280 horsepower, it needs to be added that such an engine will cost $10K-$15K, probably closer to 15.

                If you want to get into the 300HP range, much more.

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                • #9
                  If you are new to the car and know nothing there are a few things that you need.
                  Oil pan baffle. Every major BMW parts supplier has these available. Pick one that you like. These are very low buck ~$75. The S14 suffers from a poorly baffled oil pan and during extended right hand cornering you starve the motor for oil and at the very best you'll spin a bearing.

                  Check your oil when you fill up. Goes along with the baffle and not wanting to ventilate a block (or wallet). 15/50 is factory fill and what most run, use brand name oil.

                  The aforementioned Turner/JC chip is a great upgrade. There are others as well. Dynospot racing has 91 octane specific chips and iigomotiv has some new chip tuning coming available soon. I'd trust any of these options. Word on the street is that the JC chip has the most aggressive spark maps.

                  Align yourself with a local independent E30 M3 SPECIALIST. Stick with that person for everything that you cannot do yourself from regular maintenance to a tuning program. FYI, I go 125 miles for anything I'm not doing myself. Also, many dealers are not aware of the car period. You can go to the parts department and they'll swear there was no M3 prior to '95.
                  Get your GFCP fix here SCDA
                  Fast E30 M3s come from here Vintage Sports and Racing
                  Race in your backyard!! T-Karts
                  Don't shoot your mouth off unless its loaded.

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                  • #10
                    just don't buy it for drag purposes... if quarter mile times matter to you stay away from the car... it's not what its for...
                    1990 e30 m3

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                    • #11
                      I saw an article in BMW Scene 3/03 issue. This guy used 2.3 S14 engine from an E30 M3 on
                      his '72 2002 set-up for drag. Turbo charged puting out 983hp @ 7100RPM max torque
                      715lb/lbs @ 6800RPM. It,s not M3, but its soul is. Just want to show what the engine is
                      capable of. This cost lot$$$$$$$ for sure.
                      But for me, it's the racing history , it's the car that you don't see everywhere And
                      most of all, DRIVING it... Weeeeeeeeeeeeee... on a twist and turn...

                      Learned a lot from these guys about This Ultimate Driving Machine.
                      Last edited by Robert; 01-01-2004, 06:45 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Padawan,
                        Three recommendations:

                        1. Join the BMW car club, so you can,

                        2. Join the club's E30 M3 SIG (special interest group)to get good information, and so you can,

                        3. TRACK the car at a driving school, so you can,

                        REALLY APPRECIATE the car!!

                        Ron

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                        • #13
                          remember, 2.3 displacement is a great advantage over ITR. it is a 4 banger, but in a mildly tuned car like mine (~225hp, low 14s), you really feel that torque pushing you in the seat at 5.5-7.5k rpm. Especially in a lightened car. It is pretty easy to drop curb weight from 2800 to around 2600.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by rongineer
                            Padawan,
                            Three recommendations:

                            1. Join the BMW car club, so you can,

                            2. Join the club's E30 M3 SIG (special interest group)to get good information, and so you can,

                            3. TRACK the car at a driving school, so you can,

                            REALLY APPRECIATE the car!!

                            Ron
                            Also dont forget that joining the BMWCCA gives you a discount on dealer parts (around 15%). This will pay for the membership very quickly as like others said, these cars are EXPENSIVE to own! Ask around though cause you will see that almost everyone here is willing to pay the $bling$ to keep them running. The car is just worth every penny in my opinion!
                            Also there is another side point to owning these cars, most everyone who owns one is very cool. We have a great community here at S14.net and also on the BMWCCA SIG board. Get a few meets under your belt and you will see what I mean. Lots of help here if you need it, just ask! Most of us do everything ourselves so there is always someone here that has been there-done that before you.

                            The number one thing with owning this car is preventive maintenance!!! Check the oil/fluids constantly, replace all wearing parts with OEM quality stuff when you can, have the valves adjusted on schedule, and save for an engine rebuild etc..

                            Im sure that you have experienced a lot of this with the ITR as the two share very similar traits. All you need to do is drive one and you will be sold! I rode in an E30 M3 once before I decided to chuck my passion for 60's muscle cars. I haven't looked back since.

                            Good luck and welcome!

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