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Old 01-21-2014, 01:55 AM   #1
eastinthewest
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M50B25 Swap First Timer

First off let me introduce myself. My name is Adam. Army guy stationed in Kaiserslautern Germany at the moment. I have been tinkering around with cars since I was a teenager, and by no means am I a mechanic, but most of my expirience was with muscle cars. I saw this E30 touring for sale locally here and couln't resist. The guy I bought it from also had an M50B25 he was selling as well. I ended buying the car, engine, tranny, and wiring harness as bundle from him for less than 2k.

So as per advice from a very old friend of mine, I am starting a swap thread. This is what I have so far:

-Stock 1990 BMW 318i Touring
-M50B25 NV from 95 525i
-ZF tranny
-Wiring harness from 525
-Aftermarket Coilover kit (not sure what brand, bought used locally)

Parts purchased
-E34 DME
-E36 Stock engine mount brackets
-E36 Motor mounts
-Permacool High Perf. Electric Fan (13") 3000 CFM
-E34 forward oil pan

I cannot work on the car in my own garage, so I am taking to a local do it yourself shop in february during a 4 day weekend to start the project. The two biggest things I am worried about are the mods to the wiring harness for the plugs and adding the fan, and the drive train. I plan to use the 240 that is in it right now, but if it is easier to use the zf then I will use that. Just not sure about the drive shaft. If I use the 240 I shouldn't have to change anything right?

Anyway, My buddy told me this forum was super helpful and friendly, so any suggestion, warnings, advice, or tips is more than welcome. Like I said complete rookie with euro cars.

Thanks for your time guys,

Adam
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:57 AM   #2
eastinthewest
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Oh and any radiator suggestions?
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Old 01-21-2014, 04:28 AM   #3
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You can re use your current m40 radiator, but it has a much smaller capacity.

I have no experience using a 240 behind a 6 cylinder engine, so really can't comment beyond that it will bolt up. If you use the 240 you can keep the driveshaft as is. If you use the ZF you'll need an e36 328i driveshaft with the 4 bolt differential flange.
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Old 01-21-2014, 04:49 AM   #4
frankie591
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Oh and any radiator suggestions?
Mishimoto s54 x-line triple core rad
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Old 01-21-2014, 04:56 AM   #5
eastinthewest
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You can re use your current m40 radiator, but it has a much smaller capacity.

I have no experience using a 240 behind a 6 cylinder engine, so really can't comment beyond that it will bolt up. If you use the 240 you can keep the driveshaft as is. If you use the ZF you'll need an e36 328i driveshaft with the 4 bolt differential flange.

I know it's possible, but I remember reading somewhere that torque may be an issue with the strength of the setup 240 and stock driveshaft.
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Old 01-21-2014, 02:21 PM   #6
NbAmTwE
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Using the ZF will benefit you greatly in terms of strength. It's a new trans that is less worn out, if such a thing exists! I didn't know 95 e34s in Germany came without Vanos, interesting.

Use the ZF is my recommendation, you can easily find an e36 DS over there, surely.

Get/make a skid plate since you're going that much lower than factory w/ coilovers.

When you install the ECU, it'll go on the mount reverse (connector side facing firewall) with e34 harness.
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:20 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Roysneon View Post
You can re use your current m40 radiator, but it has a much smaller capacity.

I have no experience using a 240 behind a 6 cylinder engine, so really can't comment beyond that it will bolt up. If you use the 240 you can keep the driveshaft as is. If you use the ZF you'll need an e36 328i driveshaft with the 4 bolt differential flange.
No you can't reuse the driveshaft, the stock 318 shaft will be too long, you'll need an E36 325 DS with the stock E30 CSB. The 240 will bolt directly up aside from one of the guide pins needs removed. You will need to source linkage from a 320 as they were a 6cyl car that came factory with the 240 and your stock mounts will work. The mechanical part of the swap is very straight forward. Everything bolts right in with the E36 mount arms. You will also need the brown coolant temp sensor from your E30, it should thread right into where the rear most sensor was under the intake manifold. The stock M50 spider hose coolant hose works well and I used a trimmed down M42 rear hose to the heater core and trimmed E36 hoses for the radiator. It also would be a good idea to get a new crank position sensor as they can cause the engine to not start.
Having not finished my own M50NV+G240 swap I can tell you it is far easier to run the harness when it is out of the car still. I'm still chasing down a no start issue on my car but I only get to work on it one day a week and it's an hour away. Do lots of searching and try to have as much information ready as possible before you start. You can check the link in my sig for referance of my swap as it's very similar. Again it's not running yet but could give you some pointers.
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Old 01-30-2014, 05:43 AM   #8
eastinthewest
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So, I read up on the drive shaft and you are correct. However, here's what I don't understand. If I'm using the stock 240 transmission and crossmember and mounts, why does the driveshaft length change?

Keep in mind I am new to this.
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Old 01-30-2014, 07:18 AM   #9
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So, I read up on the drive shaft and you are correct. However, here's what I don't understand. If I'm using the stock 240 transmission and crossmember and mounts, why does the driveshaft length change?

Keep in mind I am new to this.
The G240 was used on 4cyl cars here in the states. A 4cyl is a shorter motor than a 6cyl (go figure). The engine and trans sit further forward with a 4cyl than a 6cyl so the drivershaft is longer. Attach an M50 to a G240 and it will sit further back. The crossmember and mounts are actually able to slide back with the trans which is why you can re-use those.

I'm terrible at explaining things, I hope that makes sense.
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Old 01-30-2014, 07:22 AM   #10
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Oh and any radiator suggestions?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/140666708703
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Old 02-01-2014, 08:29 PM   #11
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I used to go to K-Town all the time. If your doing this at the craft shop make sure they'll. let you weld there. You'll need to make your own trans bracket. Depending on how much you drive on the autobahn would determine you trans question. I drove from ansbach to landstuhl in my m50/G260 with a 3.73 and it was great. Find a 325i G260 driveline and diff. The 320i had a G240 and a 4.10 open. MikeDE is 20 min from you. He can help you source parts too.
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Old 02-02-2014, 11:15 AM   #12
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Another suggestion, replace the crank position sensor. It's relatively inexpensive and can keep your car from starting. I spent two weeks chasing a crank and no start issue and a brand new CPS solved it. Unless you've heard the engine run, it's a good way to eliminate a variable.
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91 318is M50 swapped
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http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=302524
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Old 02-09-2014, 09:14 AM   #13
eastinthewest
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I picked up the shaft. All set to start next weekend. Pics coming
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Old 02-18-2014, 02:15 AM   #14
eastinthewest
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So this weekend I didn't end up taking a lot of pictures because I had to work as fast as possible. I was all set to get this thing done, aside from the exhaust, UNTIL I went to drop the engine in. I was using E36 mount arms and E36 engine mounts. Well I'm pretty certain now that E36 engine mounts are the wrong ones to use. Didn't fit. So with further investigation I guess I needed E28 mounts. I feel like a jack ass. So looking for the part this week, hopefully be mounted right this weekend. Then I can move on to electricals and wiring the themo fan.

Just for shits and giggles, has anyone ever ran into this problem?
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Old 02-18-2014, 03:05 PM   #15
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Subscribed... I too am about to swap a M50 into my 318is
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