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Why do people pick the E30 M3 to do an engine swap?

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  • Why do people pick the E30 M3 to do an engine swap?

    For the life of me I can never understand why people pick this car, of all cars, to do an engine swap. Surely there are cheaper alternatives out there. I totally fail to see the point behind buying and E30 M3 and making it a non E30 M3. If you're going to put a honda/nissan/gm/bmw motor in it, why not just buy the car that motor originally came with?

    This isn't meant to slam the poster with the vette engine in his car but I just don't understand why not just buy a vette?

    I see these threads all the time. Someone buys an E30 M3 and puts a different engine in it and claim, "this is what an M3 should drive like". To me that's like buying an expensive piece of art and touching it up with a felt marker because "this is what it should look like". It shows lack of respect to the original creators of the M3. If you truly appreciate the M3, you should appreciate how the engineers designed it.

    Having said all that, hack up as my M3's as you want because all it does is increase the value of my car.
    /rant

  • #2
    the chassis and body is what makes it very special to some...unique and original...it doesn't really need anything to stand out in the sea cookie cutter cars except for a couple EVO pieces here in there...

    in terms of under the hood, i guess some are just not happy with the power...and swapping may be a cheaper way to go instead of building up a proper 2.5L

    that's my $0.02, but i'd keep mine original
    O
    www.0770.ca
    ~ Sad to let the Zinno go, but it went to a good home ~

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Ottoman
      in terms of under the hood, i guess some are just not happy with the power...and swapping may be a cheaper way to go instead of building up a proper 2.5L
      not to mention they are a lot cooler lookin than the average car.

      wheres the mystery Anthony? I understand getting mad about people swapping motors for the purist, but the reasoning should be pretty obvious... ex. an S50 and everything needed to do the swap is half the price of a tricked out 2.5 and it makes more power. :idea:
      1990 M3/1998 M3 Sedan

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      • #4
        Re: Why do people pick the E30 M3 to do an engine swap?

        Originally posted by motoyen
        For the life of me I can never understand why people pick this car, of all cars, to do an engine swap. Surely there are cheaper alternatives out there. I totally fail to see the point behind buying and E30 M3 and making it a non E30 M3. If you're going to put a honda/nissan/gm/bmw motor in it, why not just buy the car that motor originally came with?

        This isn't meant to slam the poster with the vette engine in his car but I just don't understand why not just buy a vette?

        I see these threads all the time. Someone buys an E30 M3 and puts a different engine in it and claim, "this is what an M3 should drive like". To me that's like buying an expensive piece of art and touching it up with a felt marker because "this is what it should look like". It shows lack of respect to the original creators of the M3. If you truly appreciate the M3, you should appreciate how the engineers designed it.

        Having said all that, hack up as my M3's as you want because all it does is increase the value of my car.
        /rant
        This guy is so right - it is one thing to change to an alternative tyre size, an alternative rear axle, alternative springs etc - provided all these are part of the offering from BMW & its approved suppliers - but to put an vette engine, nissan engine - that is plain simple tasteless - the Munich Police should ban such deviations. Am I right in thinking it is mainly the Yanks who get up to such crass practices? Perhaps the Japanese too??
        Evo Sport 1990
        M3 CSL 2003

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        • #5
          My guess

          1 - It is "American Thing"! (I mean it in good way...) When someone buys a 66 Mustang; guess how many would restore it to the specs that is true to the VIN???

          2 - E30 M3's are not as rare as I used to think. Clean cars; yes. But majority are not so clean. So... unless someone is doing it to a EVO# or the bubble car, I have no concern.

          3 - It is cheaper than building a high reving S14. Hack, building any high reving motor is always harder.

          4 - Generally (I may be wrong) some of the E30 M3 owners on this group really-really know about their cars. So, it is a matter of time when they start trying and feed their "what if's".

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          • #6
            Re: My guess

            Originally posted by ///Mous3

            4 - Generally (I may be wrong) some of the E30 M3 owners on this group really-really know about their cars. So, it is a matter of time when they start trying and feed their "what if's".
            Yep.

            T

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            • #7
              Re: My guess

              Originally posted by ///Mous3
              1 - It is "American Thing"! (I mean it in good way...) When someone buys a 66 Mustang; guess how many would restore it to the specs that is true to the VIN???]
              Fair comment, but it is easier to restore a mid 80's car than a mid 60's.
              2 - E30 M3's are not as rare as I used to think. Clean cars; yes. But majority are not so clean. So... unless someone is doing it to a EVO# or the bubble car, I have no concern.]
              I have some sympathy for this view

              3 - It is cheaper than building a high reving S14. Hack, building any high reving motor is always harder.]
              But it is the nature of the car to be high revving - the 6 cylinder Alpina engine (B6S?) is not fun to drive.

              4 - Generally (I may be wrong) some of the E30 M3 owners on this group really-really know about their cars. So, it is a matter of time when they start trying and feed their "what if's".
              Look forward to hearing these views - I am sure I will learn a lot about how Americans can be so innovative & so imaginative
              Evo Sport 1990
              M3 CSL 2003

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              • #8
                Re: Re: My guess

                Originally posted by HANDBLT
                Yep.

                T
                Now when alpina put the 6 cylinder engine, ( I think it was 1988), the reaction was that the engine was too heavy. Remember those were the days of the heavy engines,unlike the new generation BMW engines. I drove the car and I felt there was unacceptable understeer, but also accept it was a great looking highway car. Perhaps they should have lengthened the chassis a bit ( that was the view of rally king Rauno Aaltonen).

                So putting a 6 cylinder car makes it different, not better. The Alpina 6 cylider version cost more than than the Evo Sport, but I know which one is more in demand.
                Evo Sport 1990
                M3 CSL 2003

                Comment


                • #9
                  This is a funny topic. It seems to come up from time to time here.

                  Here is my opinion is this...If you're a purist and choose to become a steward of history then go right ahead. If itís within your means to buy and take care of one of these wonderful cars and keep it a true S14 E30 M3 then go right ahead. But Iím sure that the purer of the purist would even argue that you shouldnít change the car at all from how it was delivered. So all you folks with 2.5L S14ís that arenít real EVOís SHAME ON YOU!

                  But honestly, please do not tell others what to do with their property. I for one, hate the notion that because I bought an E30 M3, that I am somehow now entrusted with maintaining some heritage or some other nonsense.

                  It is a car. A great car at that. But economics, personal choices, etc conspire to make people do different things to them. Iíve seen everything from concourse low mile original beauties to bastardized, fiberglass encrusted, versions that are hardly recognizable as E30 M3ís. But the fact of the matter is that who ever owned those cars had the right to do what ever they wanted to them.

                  Now if you bought the car for them. Then youíd have a say so. Are any of us in that position? I havenít bought anyone other than my wife a car. And trust me, I definitely donít have a say so on that vehicle! LOL.

                  What Iím saying is that you take care of your car in a way you think is correct and Iíll take care of my car how ever I feel is right. What ever that means.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by NWe30M3

                    What Iím saying is that you take care of your car in a way you think is correct and Iíll take care of my car how ever I feel is right. What ever that means.
                    Fair point, but the smart money will buy the unmolested car, right?

                    An original 911 RS from 1973 is worth 10 ten times what the subsequent individualised cars are worth. That is not an opinion - that is FACT.

                    So you guys keep putting Nissan engines in your E30 M3, and my Evo Sport will be worth more each day.
                    Evo Sport 1990
                    M3 CSL 2003

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Have to agree with Anthony on this one, being a retro-grouch purist.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        So it seems your main concern is the value of your car? I think If you invested $15,000 into a fairly conservative fund for the next ten years you'd have a bit more money then holding on to that M3. Didn't we all buy these cars to enjoy? It would seem that we all have our own ideas about how best to enjoy these unique vehicles. It would be totally absurd to me to own a 12,500 miles bubble car but someone else might get a big smile on their face everytime they open the garage door and saw the thing sitting there. Good for them. I just can't understand getting so upset that you'd need to start a thread. I think I've added a new one..you can't talk religon, politics, and engine swaps in e30 M3's without someone getting pissed off.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think that your right.

                          If you are going to modify a M3, then I beleive you should do so in the same CHARACTER as the original car. And the changes you make dont detract but enhance.

                          So Turbos and bonnet scoops and engine changes. Different bodywork additions, extra spoilers et al are frowned on by myself.

                          Conversely, a 2.5 conversion. Different suspensions and wheels and brakes even a set of race seats and a roll cage all tip their hat to the original car.

                          IMHO
                          SOLD

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Why do people pick the E30 M3 to do an engine swap?

                            Originally posted by motoyen
                            For the life of me I can never understand why people pick this car, of all cars, to do an engine swap. Surely there are cheaper alternatives out there. I totally fail to see the point behind buying and E30 M3 and making it a non E30 M3. If you're going to put a honda/nissan/gm/bmw motor in it, why not just buy the car that motor originally came with?

                            This isn't meant to slam the poster with the vette engine in his car but I just don't understand why not just buy a vette?

                            I see these threads all the time. Someone buys an E30 M3 and puts a different engine in it and claim, "this is what an M3 should drive like". To me that's like buying an expensive piece of art and touching it up with a felt marker because "this is what it should look like". It shows lack of respect to the original creators of the M3. If you truly appreciate the M3, you should appreciate how the engineers designed it.

                            Having said all that, hack up as my M3's as you want because all it does is increase the value of my car.
                            /rant

                            While many here hold the S14 upon a pedestal, and all said and done it is a quite remarkable engine, the criteria for its design has passed, BMW and the Rules that brought about its very existince have moved on, Alpina and Hartge had their say, and now your either a pursist, 4 cylinders rule, or your in search of the power that the chassis can handle, without running up third world debt.

                            Even those running a DTM or very near specification, for their engine, revert to modern day engine management system, which in itself is a clear addmission that times have moved on.

                            For sure buy one, keep it original and enjoy, but to dismiss those that seek or try to improve by adding more power, which ever route they choose, is almost like telling BMW not to put V8's into their E46 endurance racers, and are they listening !!!!!

                            Live and let live, enjoy, and DRIVE, whatever the engine, but please to say you can change everything about the car, but not the engine seems strange,
                            most aspects of the E30 M3 have alternatives, why not the engine ?

                            And yes, this is S14.net.

                            Regards,

                            The Gorilla.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Cuz they already have it or want it for it's looks/brakes and 5 lug hubs ??? That's why I figure one would do this to an E30 M3 instead of a much cheaper and plentiful standard E30.

                              Mouse, around 5000 E30 M3's were imported to the US almost 20 years ago, how many do you think are left? How can you say they aren't as rare? You only say that because you are within the circle. We live in So Cal where there are many E30 M3's yet how often do you run into them? They're not as rare as some other cars but they're getting there. Just ask the people who have been searching for years to find decent ones.

                              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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