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From digest.v6.n95 Tue Jan 21 14:09:22 1997
From: "John F. Thomas" <>
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 1997 23:18:04 -0800
Subject: re: 325i vs. 325e

The e engine was used in the 325 from 84 to 88, and the i was introduced in 87. They utilize the same block, with the i engine displacing 2.5 litres, and the e engine displacing 2.7 litres. The difference in displacement coming from the stroke (crankshaft) not the bore. Beyond that, there are differences in the pistons, camshaft and valve springs (this is the single biggest difference in the cars) size of intake and exhaust valves, intake manifold, and exhaust. One more thing...the final drive ratio (differential) on the eta is 2.93, while the i engine is usually matched to a 3.73, also helping to bump the acceleration up. There are numerous differential combo's that could help the eta; 3.25 LS, or a 3.46LS being the favorites in combination with an aftermarket engine control chip (Dinan or Jim Conforti to name two).

the 'i' engine produces around 168 hp and 164 ft lb of torque (at 4500 rpm I think) and a compression ratio of 8.8 to 1. (redline at 6500 or 6800)

the 'e' engine produces around 121 hp and 174 ft lb of torque (at 3250 rpm I think) and a compression ratio of 9.0 to 1. (redline at 4800 stock, and 5300 w/ a chip)

A chip for the eta engine makes quite a change, pushing the numbers up to 141 hp and 192 ft-lb, and other mods can make even greater improvements.

I have been happy w/ my 325 'e' since new ... 10 years, but, if you want a screamer out of the box, then get the i engine...personally, I would shoot for an 89, because of the airbag, and the smaller bumpers, but that is just an opinion.

as for trip computers, the models marked as 325 e or 325 es come w/ the trip computer, not the stock 325 (which has the eta engine). suspension is the same unless you spring for an 's' model in either engine configuration.

Visit my www page for a description of converting the e to an i engine...basically entails a head job, wherein you replace the cam and springs w/ those from an i engine...supposedly gives quite a kick to the car. (other considerations would be to modify the intake and the exhaust to improve its high end)

hope this all helps...sorry for the bandwidth.

1987 325 142k (Dinan chip, springs, shocks etc) 1994 318i 25k

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