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From Boost to Reliable. M62b44 Swap!

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    From Boost to Reliable. M62b44 Swap!

    Hello all!

    I have decided to start a project thread for my V8 swap into my formally m20 turbo e30. The swap is currently
    in its infant stages, but I wanted to keep a record for my sake and to help others along the way.

    The Car:

    1987 325i which was previously running an oringed m20 with MS management at 14lbs. A fun setup but I became tired of the constant problems that a home built turbo setup involves, I became a professional at changing m20 headgaskets.

    With what I swore would be its last breakdown in October 2012, I began to look at other options.

    The Motor:

    I had previously owned an M30e30 and had a lot of respect for that swap, but I felt I would eventually want more power and end up turboing that setup as well. After a ride in my friends E39 M5 I was sold on a V8 swap even if it wasn't an S62. LS1 crossed my mind but the entry level price and extensive swap modification scared me away.

    I got in touch with Robert K who I have known for years from the SE Brodeo. I told him I was looking for a swap motor for the e30 and to keep an eye out. About a week later he and the boys at Kadunza had found a hail damaged 1997 e39 540i for cheap and I put a deposit on the 150k mile motor.

    Made arrangements with Robert for the complete engine/wiring harness/ecu from the e39 and the
    clutch/flywheel/transmisson from an m60 car. Luckily I was in Tennessee last weekend for the annual Brodeo at the
    Tail of the Dragon and swung by Kadunza afterward to pick her up!

    I plan on refreshing the V8 while it is on the stand, recently ordered top and bottom end gasket kits,
    timing chain guides and tensioner, water pump, and valley pan gasket/cover. The car and motor will then
    travel to a friends house (mattdk318i) where we will be making motor mounts and new body mounts to avoid having to space the subframe. Brakes are going to be a modified e32 system. Currently looking for a tuner that can delete ews and make a tune for a b40 manifold.

    I will be updating this thread as the build progresses, let me know if you have any questions/comments.
    This sub-forum has help me get this far so I would love to give back!
    Last edited by Zacm829; 02-19-2014, 02:07 PM.
    1987 325i-M60b44 swap

    Good brodeo times. Try to get an early b40 manifold with trumpets if you can - there were two different b40 manifolds IIRC


      Nice, let us know what you find out about b44 tune w/o ews.

      And yes, look at my thread for example there were at least 2 different manifolds for the b40 plus another for b44...
      Mtech1 v8 build thread -

      OEM v8 manual chip or dme -


        If it ends up being too much of a hassle you can always go M60b44 :mrgreen:


          Lol^^ m60b44
          Because V8

          Doing it wrong since 91:wgaf:


            If you're unaware, M60 heads fit on an M62 block with some finagling. The nickname for this setup is as such.

            More aggressive cams, and a 10% compression bump


              Corey, do you still have the hookup on mishimoto radiators?
              1987 325i-M60b44 swap


                A big maybe. Been trying to work things out in that regard. I've had a couple people pm me asking the same but I hardly have time to even peep in on the forums these days. I'll try to find out for you.


                  Can't wait to see this! I have contemplated another BMW engine swap into my E30 but I'm so far into my M20, it would be foolish to back out now.
                  1989 325i - 2.7i, Holset H1C, 42lb injectors, 14.7 psi, whodwho MS-PNP.
                  2009 X5 - DD Duty
                  2018 VW Atlas - Wife/kiddie/grocery hauler


                    Well I finally got the engine on the stand to prepare for the tear down and cleaning. Didn't have an engine hoist so I got creative with a tilting trailer and jeep winch.

                    I placed an order for all the refresh parts last week and they showed up today. Sadly I'm working nights over the weekend so I will wait until next week to start.

                    This is what $800+ in parts looks like.

                    That is all I have for now. Should be an update next week and hopefully I'll be painting the block then as well!
                    Last edited by Zacm829; 02-19-2014, 02:01 PM.
                    1987 325i-M60b44 swap


                      I have slowly been cleaning up/painting and resealing the m62. I did end up getting an m60 manifold from Robert as well.

                      Started by pulling the intake manifold and the valley pan to replace the gasket!

                      New vs old. I purchased to update URO parts version.

                      Got the new valley pan and gasket install and moved on the replacing the notorious timing chain guides. Mocked up the m60 manifold as well!

                      I came to a stopping point when I needed to remove the crank bolt (Jesus bolt). I'm going to either need a larger impact wrench or the tool designed to prevent the crank from turning. That is all for now. Plan to have her all sealed up before Christmas then transport to Columbia for installation preparation.

                      Also picked these up to run some wide rubber and flares in the rear!


                      Last edited by Zacm829; 02-19-2014, 01:58 PM.
                      1987 325i-M60b44 swap


                        Sweet progress, amazing that what $800 in parts looks like.

                        Whats up with the orange engine?


                          Yes it was disappointing when I saw the total just to refresh without headgaskets!

                          I had an extra can laying around and sprayed it down as a base coat. I'm going to be finishing it with a gunmetal color.
                          1987 325i-M60b44 swap


                            The m60 head gaskets are damn tough. They're some sort of metal I can't remember which but there should be no need to replace them. I've got a 200k mile m60 and she's got great compression across the board.


                              Originally posted by Vtec?lol View Post
                              The m60 head gaskets are damn tough. They're some sort of metal I can't remember which but there should be no need to replace them. I've got a 200k mile m60 and she's got great compression across the board.
                              I agree, I wasn't worried about them since this motor only has 148k on it and the compression numbers looked great (see below). With a new water pump and coolant system this thing should be fine for years!

                              Compression numbers


                              Last edited by Zacm829; 02-19-2014, 01:48 PM.
                              1987 325i-M60b44 swap