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From digest.v6.n623 Mon May 5 14:04:12 1997
From: "Grant M. Wells"<>
Date: Mon, 5 May 1997 12:34:49 -0400
Subject: M50 Transplant into E30 details (long)

Grant M. Wells_at_ECCI
05/05/97 12:34 PM

I have received quite a bit of interest so I thought I would post this info to the digest
to help answer all the private emails.

First, my engine builder was Pete McHenry. He also provided install instructions along
with a few modified parts. The instructions detail harness hook up, assembly instructions,
parts to buy, sketchs, etc.

I don't think it is fair to list every major modification or assembly notes for I assume Pete
makes a profit from selling the install instructions (Don't ask me the kit price because I paid for
the engine & kit in total.)

Second, Bavarian Motorsports (Harold Audaer) located just outside of Atlanta did the install.
Some of you may know Harold & his PP 318i Club racer. First in his class for quite some time
for the races he can get to.

The install was quite lengthy reflecting labor shortages, rework of transmission brackets, clutch
mods, etc. The engine requires new motor mounts, full E36 engine wiring harness w/DME, M50
or M3 engine, shifter rework, dual exhaust from E36 through cats, E30 muffler, Radiator & overflow
from '89 or later E30, etc.
I chose a strong '87 325is since I wanted to go club racing in a few years and the limited slip, ABS, etc
would be handy. After driving a E36 & E30 M3, I got the power bug. Pete and I discussed different engine
builds and I chose a M50 due to its twin cam, chain timing belt, power potential. I ended up having
Pete build the M50 to M3 spec.
In hind sight, a used M3 engine out of the Roundel might have been cheaper, but I got a customized
engine so I can't complain. You can use the E36 transmission or the E30 M20 transmission with my
nod going to the E30 for weight savings plus mine had been rebuilt. No driveshaft changes.
The swap will work in any E30. (Pete has a M50 in a 318, as well as a M3 in a new 318ti; I heard he has
supercharged it, wow!).

I am still breaking in the engine so I will let you know shortly about the performance on the dyno
and Gtech testing. However, the best performance data is probably available from Turner
Motorsports who has a E30 330is (E30 with a E36 M3 engine dropped in, I believe the performance
data was listed in the Internet site for TMS) The benefits are (in my mind): start with a base car that is half the price of an E30 M3 (20 % of a
E36 M3) and turn it into a car that can keep up if not surpass (based upon suspension
tweaking) both for a total sunk cost of the price of a used E30 M3, part availability and low cost (rotors,
transmission, clutchs, radiators, etc.), low maintenance engine (No rubber band timing belt, No manual valve
adjustment,etc.), and lower overall vehicle weight than E36 before lightening of course.


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