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Old 11-13-2016, 03:13 PM   #1
E30_Evan's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Pennsylvania
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E28 528e M30 swap question

Hello all,
I'm on the verge of buying an '88 528e. I was looking for a 535i, but the 528e presented itself and it is pretty much too clean to pass up. Will an M30b34/M30b35 bolt up to the transmission? How simple is the swap? Would it be cheaper to just find an "i" head and just run with the m20b27? Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
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Old 11-13-2016, 03:25 PM   #2
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No, the transmission won't bolt up. Will need the M30 trans and possibly driveshaft depending on the year, the swap will be pretty in depth. Exhaust will have to be changed, mounts, some wiring if I remember correctly, radiator, and some other misc things. The i head swap would be a ton easier.

1983 528e, 200k mile club, BBS Mahles.
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Old 11-16-2016, 09:39 AM   #3
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..and if you do a cam upgrade on the head before installing, you'll have a healthy combo.
1984 Alpina B6 2.8 #35 - (COMING SOON to a meet near you.)
1985 PRO3 #50 - converting to ST
1991 318i - "Baby M3" (not)
2004 X3 2.5 - "Bento"
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Old 02-03-2017, 10:42 AM   #4
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Do the swap! You will want a different differential as well, the 2.93 that the 528e has is slow as shit.

Wiring is easy, you are basically upgrading the Motronic 1.0 to 1.3 which is just swapping the engine harness and ECU.

An m20b27 needs a lot of work to produce good power and it will still fall flat on its face above 5500 rpm. To really get some power out of it you'd need to port the intake and match the exhaust, install an aftermarket cam, you'd want aftermarket ECU management as well and a good tune.

An m30 will produce more HP and Torque without any modifications. Find a good m30/trans and replace the all the seals/rubber bits and it will be well worth it.

1987 325e Lachssilber w/ MarkD chip and late bumpers, Zender EVO spoiler, s3.25 LSD

Originally Posted by nando View Post
I don't think there's really strong evidence that ZDDP harms cats.
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