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Another s52 e30 coming soon!

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    Another s52 e30 coming soon!

    So I'm finally getting off my ass and making a build thread and hopefully a project blog soon, once I figure out what hosting service to use. The scope of this project is to build a DD with enough power for some fun. Nothing heavily modified, since I need to keep it legal and reliable. The victim is an '88 325is with 231,xxx miles on the current engine. Here's a shot of it:

    Here's the build sheet, along with some notes:

    Rebuilt '99 M3 s52 engine with:
    -OBD1 intake + OBD1 sensors + e34 525i oil pan, dipstick and tube
    -OBD1 harness
    -3.5" 540i HFM
    -24 LB injectors
    -AA chip for all mods
    Rebuilt '99 M3 ZF Tranny
    UUC Aluminum flywheel w/e34 M5 clutch
    e36 Drive shaft
    YEAR? e28 535is 3.25 LSD
    Stock e36 M3 exhaust for now
    Porsche 944 brake booster

    I'll compile a more detailed list when I get a chance.

    Some engine pix:

    Along with the new engine, I'll be installing all new suspension bushings, sway bar links and control arms. Using all stock rubber (I know, I know) for now. I like it comfortable for commuting. The current suspension is made up of H&R Sport springs and Bilstein Sport shocks.

    I'm also changing the whole interior to black (stock color is tan) with a complete set of front and rear seats from an '88 M3. I've already replaced the carpet with an anthracite one, which I dyed really dark charcoal with SEM vinyl dye. The front seats have also been replaced. The rears are waiting a re-dye to be installed.

    The last thing I'll do is paint the car-all the top surfaces are toast. The clear-coat started going last summer and is now pretty gone after only 1 year.

    The car is staying 4-lug, and right now I'm thinking about eventually getting a BBK.

    The engine is currently at the machine shop-I'll detail the disassembly process and machine work done in the next update.

    sweet, subscribed!


      talk about doing things right the first time, nice job.

      As time went on, the factory developed the car each year, making it faster, more comfortable, and capable of handling at higher speeds.
      You don’t want this. You want the trickiest, most dangerous, oldest model you can find. Only then can you prove to the world that you’re a man.


        Originally posted by madjurgen View Post
        talk about doing things right the first time, nice job.
        Yeah, well, been reading the boards for the past 2 years deciding on what I want to do....


        A little history on the engine-A few months ago I bought a parts car for $2500. It was a front-end crashed '99 M3 with 144k miles. The guy's cousin had crashed into something, so he bought it off of him to part out and make some money. It turns out he didn't really have the time or space to do it so he stripped the whole interior and sold me the rest.

        I was able to remove the whole drivetrain and suspension from the car, and then got rid of the shell for free! by going to I signed up on their website, and 1 week later a tow truck came by and took the shell! I had to fashion some tall dollies to be able to roll the shell out of my garage.

        There's no way I could have done it without them. The flatbed came by and dragged the thing up in less than 30 min! I was pretty stocked to get the room back!

        So I took the engine block to the machine shop 2 weeks ago to have it
        magnafluxed (checked for cracks) and sonic tested (cylinder wall thickness). The machinist said there where no cracks and the walls came in good. Here are the sonic test results:

        The sonic test is done as follows: 3 measurements are taken (top of cylinder, halfway down and near the bottom) at 4 different sides of each cylinder. Take a look at the pix.

        He was a little concerned about are #3, sides B1 and B2, and #5, A2, but
        called the block good. I still had to fix the broken off rear oil pump mounting hole, which broke off when the previous owner ran over and into
        something. I looks like the pump got pushed back, breaking the 2 front mounts at the pump, and the rear mount at the block.

        I took the block to a welder (friend of a friend) and he was able to weld up a new mount. I was a little worried he wasn't going to be able to fix it since welding cast iron is no easy task. He said BMW uses some of the best cast iron he's ever had to deal with though! He was able to weld it up and felt really confident on it holding up fine. The rear mount bolt torque spec is only 16 ft-lbs, so I'm not too concerned either.

        I got a chance to take the cams off and then take the head, cams and crankshaft to the shop for checking. The head has no cracks and according to the machinist, the valve guides and springs are all within spec! Sweet! Less parts to buy! I was thinking about going with dual springs but, I'm not modifyng the engine enough for them to be necessary.

        I don't think it'll see 10k RPM unless I money-shift. I am going to buy exhaust valves though. The valves are getting the standard 3-angle valve job and the seats are getting refreshed. I still need to rent the torque plate for when they clean up the cylinder bores. The cams and crank also checked out ok.

        No cracks and they are not bent, so I'll have them polish the journals and
        call it good! I should be able to use standard bearings since I'm not grinding the journals down.

        What's next? Nothing much as far as machining goes! I'll have them deck the block ever-so-slightly to make sure I have a clean mating surface. The head will also get cleaned up the same way. I'll have to take the
        flywheel and pressure plate assembly so they can balance the rotating
        assembly. Oh, I also need to take the pistons in for checking and cleaning.

        I'll also have them install new wrist pins. I really need to clean up my garage and get ready for assembly!

        Next up-transmission work. Anyone know where

        I can get syncros/parts for the e36 ZF??


          dude, keep it goin, detail what your doing with your pics on the engine built up, it will be a good guide for others


            I'm planning on it! I've seen enough engine swap threads where people just drop one in. I figure a full engine rebuild thread would help some people out. Hell, between your's and this one, one could do the whole thing!


              Very nice build man...I've been slackin on mine because I've been really busy with work and college! Summer semester ends July 3rd so REALLY looking forward to be driving a 24V equipped E30 by the end of July!!!!
              IG: deniso_nsi Leave me feedback here


                Another local swap! Keep up the good work. I'm building a m3 swap car now too.


                  That's awesome your doin it right the first time. I needed a DD so i threw it in but got another 24valve in the garage. Glad you don't have the down time of doing it twice like the majority of us.


                    surebimmer-I thought yours was done? You doing another one?

                    318isbmw-are you going to be rebuilding that second s52? How many miles are on it?

                    Well, my car is still running and I'm not planning on taking the M20 out until I have all the parts required for the swap ready to go. I don't need to DD my car since I have my wife's (She carpools to work) but I still don't want my car taken apart for so long. I already have a half-built car sitting ('85 CJ7) and really don't need 2. :)


                      Ahhhh, so this is why you needed the cam sensor. I was wondering about that.

                      Great plans!!

                      Originally posted by Janderson
                      Properly placed zip ties will hold bridges together.


                        Yup! I was collecting parts. You didn't think I was going to install it on the M20 did you? :D


                          Yep got a m3 roller for cheap. Going to throw a s52 in it. I have two m50's to steal all the obd 1 stuff.


                            surebimmer-so when's the project getting started?


                            So last week I finally got a bunch of parts I needed to give the shop. I ended up getting all new exhaust valves and new oil seals for the head. I also picked up an oil check valve.

                            The torque plate also came in and also the head and bottom end gasket kits. The connecting rods are also getting new pin bushings. I brought all the pistons in for cleaning, balancing and checking of the skirt-to-wall clearance. This will tell me what rings I need to get and how much gap I have between the pistons and cylinder walls.

                            Also took the lightened flywheel for balancing:

                            Parts ready for the shop:

                            All the work should be done by the end of the week or early next week! I still have to get new rings and bearings. The cams and crank should also be getting polished. Woohoo!

                            Also on the list are new timing chains and guides. Pictures coming soon. Time to go clean the bench and get everything ready for assembly!
                            Last edited by e30serg; 07-10-2008, 03:12 PM. Reason: Pictures added


                              pix added.