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Old 09-19-2005, 01:59 PM   #1
bimma360
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325ix... m50 swap, yay or nay?

Just wondering if its easier to swap an M50 into an iX then a rwd e30. Harder? About the same? Thanks for the info, i searched and couldnt find any specific info.

- Dave
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Old 09-19-2005, 03:01 PM   #2
Jarvis
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Ever been under an 'ix? A motor swap in one of those would easily cost you 3 times as much as in a RWD e30.

Finding parts off of a european market E34 525ix would make it easier, but don't count on that at all.
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Old 09-19-2005, 03:14 PM   #3
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Re: 325ix... m50 swap, yay or nay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bimma360
Just wondering if its easier to swap an M50 into an iX then a rwd e30. Harder? About the same? Thanks for the info, i searched and couldnt find any specific info.

- Dave
lol.
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Old 09-19-2005, 06:49 PM   #4
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Hahah... i hate you guys. Well that answers that question, learn something new everyday.
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Old 09-19-2005, 06:53 PM   #5
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Old 09-25-2005, 07:16 PM   #6
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Don't listen to these people. They know what they're talking about, but do it. Just don't do an M50 swap, make sure it's an S50. The IX brake booster just needs a little modification, and you need a euro E34 525ix oil pan. I'm not sure there's all too much else that would be different about it (aside from the access to everything down there). One thing I didn't like about my old E30 was it's tendency to flip out around corners.

An S50ed iX would be sick.

Sell coke for 6 months and you should have moree than enough money.
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Old 10-03-2005, 01:25 PM   #7
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lol..
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Old 10-03-2005, 01:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarvis
Ever been under an 'ix? A motor swap in one of those would easily cost you 3 times as much as in a RWD e30.

Finding parts off of a european market E34 525ix would make it easier, but don't count on that at all.
Don't discourage the boy... I've read somewhere that the M50 used the same transfer box as the E30 325ix...

Don't expect it to be cheap since you are going down a path completely untraveled, let alone "less traveled", but I wouldn't rule it out. It probably wouldn't be "easier" than a regular M50 swap just because of all the documentation that already exists for that popular swap.

If you are thinking about it, search ebay/salvage yards for an M50, a transfer box and a tranny and see if they mate up. If they do then go for it, if not, sell the parts and recoupe your losses.
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Old 10-03-2005, 04:15 PM   #9
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By "transfer box" do you mean transfer case, as in from an AWD car? The only M50 powered AWD car was the european market 525ix. You cannot simply just go to a junk yard and find one. They're not exactly common even over in Germany, and I haven't heard of even one of them ever getting to the states. And even if a few did, they're definitely not rotting in some junkyard waiting to have parts pulled off them.

I'm not trying to discourage anyone. If someone thinks they can do all of this on their own, then by all means go ahead and try. But most people asking for help/advice on a forum are planning on working in their driveway/garage with handtools - and this is where I dare someone to try an M/S50 swap into a 325ix. If someone has the tools, knowledge and drive to attempt something like this, they wouldn't be asking strangers about it online in the first place.
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Old 10-03-2005, 05:10 PM   #10
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Chill out Jarvis... what I was saying was that i heard that the e34 525ix drivetrain was an M50 attached to the E30 325ix transfer case (yes, I meant case... sorry). I was merely hinting at a way of confirming it. I seriously doubt there is even one E34 525ix in all of North America.

And if you only have hand tools then I would seriously suggest you don't try an engine swap of any kind outside of maybe an M20 into a 318... especially in a driveway. I have a 5ft tall air compressor, an oxy-acetylene Torch, various mig welders, and access to just about every tool that might be used on any modern vehicle whether it be a motorcycle, car, or a Cat D9 between what I have and my neighbor, and even I was a little concerned about doing a well known swap.

If he has the funds and access it couldn't hurt to try... what... $800 for an engine, $900 for the case, $300 for the tranny... fuck it... maybe i'll give it a try next year. BMWWholesale is just a couple hours away... I'll give them a call next year and order up the parts and see if I can get those things mated together or not.
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Old 10-03-2005, 05:20 PM   #11
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Sorry, didn't know my post would lead anyone to believe that I need to chill out.

The t-case in this type of swap isn't even the worst part. Getting a custom aluminum oil pan is the worst part (which is one of parts that could possibly be used from a 525ix), since the front drive axles go through it. And the M50 engine usually (in RWD cars) sits tilted 10deg more than an M20... which tilts the trans which is attached to the t-case... you get where I'm going. IX drivelines are fairly fragile compared to all the RWD E30s, too.
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Old 10-04-2005, 09:37 AM   #12
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okay, since none of you have a clue (or an ix), and I've done some research into this, I'll let you in on what I know.

Your first and foremost problem is the oil pan. the transmission and transfer case don't matter, you would have to use the stock ix transmission anyway (which the t-case bolts to, and has little to do with the motor). To deal with the oil pan, you need the front half of an E36 oil pan and the rear half of the ix oil pan. like this:




I'm not sure of the exact measurements but if you were serious about this you could figure it out. I believe the tube sticking out is for the dipstick. on the ix M20 it goes through the block, obviously this won't work with the M50. you will also need to come up with a custom oil pickup for the M50 (maybe make the ix version work). it will cost $500-$800 or so to have the oil pan welded.

Then you have motor mounts. People have done this in europe, but I'm not sure what they used - maybe standard ix mounts will work. the big thing is the angle of the motor, you have to get the front differential flat; that is you can't have the front diff at an angle because the front drivehshafts need to come out straight.

You might also have to deal with the brake booster/resivour, but using a remote resivour isn't too hard and it's been done before by people around here.

otherwise, the swap is exactly the same. But if you really want power and not a lot of headaches, a turbo might be a better idea (I've decided against the swap, the motor is heavier and I've already been down that road before).
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Old 10-04-2005, 09:41 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uflnuceng
Chill out Jarvis... what I was saying was that i heard that the e34 525ix drivetrain was an M50 attached to the E30 325ix transfer case (yes, I meant case... sorry). I was merely hinting at a way of confirming it. I seriously doubt there is even one E34 525ix in all of North America.
to clarify, the 525ix used similar parts mechanically but the transmission, transfer case, and front diff are all different. you could probably make them work in a 325ix easily enough (you might need custom halfshafts up front and a rear driveshaft), but good luck finding a 525ix to part out..
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Old 10-04-2005, 10:06 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarvis
M50 engine sits tilted 10deg more than an M20... which tilts the trans which is attached to the t-case
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Old 10-04-2005, 10:12 AM   #15
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and? you had no idea what that affected (hint: it doesn't affect the transfer case at all).
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