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

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  • #46
    I've been reading these threads in and out and i finally would like to put my two cents in. :-P I dont think that our cars should have swaps. they are becoming more rare everyday. Roughly 17,000 made in the world..correct me if im wrong, think of all the ones that are totalled and all the ones already with swaps. there arent many that are original. These cars are special for their motors. Why change an already awesome engine? I understand the cost and torque differences but the engine, to me, is what makes this car so special, along with its excellent handling characteristics. I think that if you are going to do a swap of an s54 into an e30, use the non M models.. Those are basically the same chasis. Dont ruin a great car..i dont despise or hate anyone who does it but i just would never do it or see a reason for doing it..Like a few others already said, my car's value goes up every time someone does a swap. i dont care much about the value because i dont plan on selling mine, but later on the original e30 m3 will be even more sought after. just my opinion

    Noobie with lots of questions.


    • #47
      you can all spend the rest of your life talking about how good or bad it is to do engine swaps or upgrades on an m3 but it won't change a thing.

      it's useless to discuss a thing like this since it is nothing more than different people with different opinions..there's no right or wrong in this matter.

      and how about the "the m3 m3 is rare" thing....people could ask:

      "why do people pick an m3 as a daily driver?" they should take a normal e30 for that.

      or "why do people pick an m3 to build a track car?" take a normal e30.

      or "why don't people put their m3 in a museum"

      people own their car and should do with their m3's whatever makes them happy....put a vw beetle engine in it...stick a honda badge on the trunk...paint the car pink with green dots...trow in some neons...or set it on's your car and no one should bother you with what you should or shouldn't do with your car...same goes for the house...the garage..the pool...the bike...the whatever...
      stock cars suck...period


      • #48
        Hi all, New here but heres my 2 cents!

        Each to his own!

        While my M3 and C36 will most likely never be changed my 72 240z that was got new is running a 2.8 short block. Truth be told even as rare as my C36 is it can be replaced the Z can not. But I just enjoy driving them even if they are worth zilch when I'm done!
        88 M3
        96 C36


        • #49
          personally i like them standard ,but now having an evo sport after having had a ravaglia 215 bhp i can feel the diffrence in power the gain 23 hp seems like a lot more and the engine feels a lot torque er so i can see why a lot of folk with 195 or 200 bhp engines want that little bit more.......having said that the car is so well balanced when pressing on with the original light engine.if it aint broke dont fix m3 feels ordainary until you get it on a track.then it comes alive


          • #50
            M3 Swap madness

            I think it's great. Please pull your S14 motor out and sell it to me to put in my 2002. It's a win win. You get a V8 in your Butchered M3, I get an S14 in my 2002, and every other E30 M3 owner gets a bit more equity in their increasingly rare M3. Sound like a deal? If so PM me...


            • #51
              I'm very new on this forum but thanks to this I have fresh view on the subject.
              First of all, I dont understand the argument that the S14 is making M3 special. All of M3 ovners: you bought the car or the engine? The speciality of M3 is the handling and even with M70 V12 you can get the same weight and balance of the car. That the fact (just check the weight of M70 engine and think how many elements are useless for that swap). Also isn't M3 with M60, S62 or M70 engine more unique than standard M3? It is. I understand from where this argument is coming from but I'm trying to show that everything depend of point of view.
              Also some of posts in this topic sounds like fanatics voices and fanatism is always very dangerous.
              Just my two cents. Please don't kill me. :nesaw:
              P.S. I bought "normal" E30 for engine swap (event that I'm going to change all body panels to M3).


              • #52
                AutomaticAgave has the best viewpoint of all

                What's it matter, honestly? Bottom line is, it's whomever decides to swap out the motor in the first place's car, and not yours. If you're a purist, rest easy, as these guys keep adding value to your vehicles. Otherwise, the only flaming you should be doing should be for NON-M cars wearing M-Badges !!


                • #53
                  i don't know about you guys but i'm selling my prius engined E30 M3
                  for a mustang fastback. i'm gonna put an RB26dett in there like that cool guy from the movie and become a mad tyte drifter............
                  Manager's reply upon my exiting a customer's E30 M3 after moving: "Hey your zipper's down!"
                  Mine: "Holy crap, its not what it looks like!!"


                  • #54
                    From someone who'd considered it (and is likely passing) - because it's a GREAT platform, but the s14 is, frankly, dated. A friend once said "HP per Liter is ricer math" - and really, it always sounded to me more like an excuse for justifying a peaky torqueless Honda.

                    It's one thing to be a purist (yet how many who argue against swaps have stock cars?) it's another to be fanatical (as said above).


                    • #55
                      It all depends on the person, in my case, I love everything about the e30 m3, except the engine.. I like the e36 m3, just because of it's engine, which makes it logical for me to do a motor swap into the e30 m3.


                      • #56
                        Two reasons.

                        1. Because I can
                        2. It is MY car and I do with it what I please


                        • #57
                          give me the buzz....rattles......upkeep.......busted bushings......granny steering wheel........thin stock tires.....oh yeh, and light weight, rear wheel drive, connected to the road feeling, and huge f'in smile on my face.......thanks but ill take the 4 banger with some heart, instead of some floating torque whore that anyone can get from almost any car on the road.....i mean cmon......ive seen pickup trucks smoke the end of the many of the members on here have already stated.....does the car put the smile on ur face?.........or are u trying to connect with purpose-built car that really just doesnt keep up with the FAST and FURIOUS lifestyle of today......please leave the shells that are left to those who really care.......cheers

                          im drunk


                          • #58
                            yes, you clearly ARE drunk. we're not comparing apples to oranges here, we're comparing the s14 to the likes of honda's F20/22C (s2000) or the more modern S52/54 - to deny that progress had occured in the past 20 years is ignorance. I'm not saying the s14 is junk, in fact, i'm QUITE jealous of it compared to my m20b25 - just that a LOT of improvements in everything from CAD/CAM/FEA to metalurgy to ECUs etc have happened since then.

                            It's like why I want a BMW more than a Spec Miata - both are GREAT momentum cars, but I want more than just a good platform... the e30 M3 provides that, so what if people "ruin" it with a different engine, so long as you're not grossly throwing off the weight balance and "character" of the car, who cares what lump is under the hood?


                            • #59
                              Well said.

                              And at the end of the day, why does it concern you what people do to THEIR e30 m3s?? you still have your stock e30 m3 sitting there..? If anything, it will make the price of your car go up, so why complain?


                              • #60
                                Greetings, I am new to this board and just pushased my first e30 M3 with a very all original tired engine. I have not discarded the option of rebuilding the S14 but I am more inclined to do a swap (s52).

                                The primary reason I plan on doing the swap is thet I want 275+ HP to the wheels and don't want to imagine how much money I would have to dump on the S14 to get to this plus I do not want to bastardize the engine. I like to keep my S14 original so when the car starts to increase it's collectible value I will just swap back the original engine.