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3SGE BEAMS converted 89 E30///Stock as a rock 88 E30 325i Touring///

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    3SGE BEAMS converted 89 E30///Stock as a rock 88 E30 325i Touring///

    New to the forum but have been lurking for some time.

    I picked up a zinnoberrot 1989 318i with 180,000 km, manual, p/s, a/c etc off a customer of mine for a few hundred dollars (pistons number 2 now lives in the sump) and plan to use this to replace my current daily driver (supercharged LS1 Monaro) with something smaller but still as fun.

    I know most people who are into Euro cars hate Jap engine swaps but in Australia even and M40 goes for absolutely stupid money!

    So the plan is clean stockish outside with a clean comfortable interior but in an period style. The wheels i am having alot of issues with the wheels atm but i am quite sold on some BBS's like every other man and his dog. Handling and brakes are a must for me too, but not race car stuff here.

    The driveline is on its way from Japan currently and is from a low kay Toyota Altezza. If you are unfamiliar with this car the engine is a Black top "beams" 2 litre 4 cylinder that makes 210hp naturally aspirated and is fitted with a 6 speed manual gearbox.

    Combined with the purchase price of the car i am still under a few grand with this project.

    A close friend of mine has fitted this same engine into many cars locally (none BMW's) but we are confident it will be quite straight forward in terms of the swap. My only concern atm is finding a high enough diff ratio. Standard the Altezza used 4.1 and 4.3 in later models.

    An S14 would have been great (he rebuilt one recently) but it was very cost prohibitive.

    The body is clean in terms of dents, no rust etc but it was a nice shade of pink when i first purchased it. After a slight detail i think it's looking good enough not to need a respray.

    Will update when the engine arrives and the real work begins!

    Some pictures of the E30:-

    After a good wash and a clay bar

    After the polishing

    Last edited by kameleon; 07-30-2016, 08:08 PM.

    4.10 diff exists for this car


      I realise. It has a 6 bolt open centre 4.1 currently, but i have not been able to find a complete 4.1 8 bolt factory lsd at this stage (IX, tourings and some convertables afaik??)



        Well the driveline has finally arrived. The car will be in the workshop in the next few weeks and then the fun begins!

        More pictures and updates to follow.


          Subscribed. Looking forward to updates!


            the paint turned out good
            -FREEDOM- is cruisin at 80, windows down and listening to the perfect song-thinking "this is it"
            -The Beauty in the Tragedy-
            MECHANIC SMASH!!- (you all know you do it)
            Got Drop?? ;-)
            Originally posted by JinormusJ
            But of course
            E30s are know to be notoriously really really really ridiculously good looking


              Yeah we thought it was totally gone. It has been sitting outside in the weather since and is still red so im pretty happy with that atm. Maybe a respray it if it starts fading too quick.


                oooooo this will be cool


                  in for very cool thread....... good luck OP


                    Should be a really cool project. What are your plans for the motor? Are you just putting it in stock? If it is like any other Japanese engines, an intake, exhaust and tune will probably net you a lot of hp for the money. Have you thought about engine mounts yet?


                      at this stage it will go in stock besides intake and exhaust. Down the track it may receive the trd throttles, the header my friend makes for these engines, trd grind cams and all that jazz.

                      His race engine that is in his clubman makes 280hp (similar in specs to the trd spec race beams engines)

                      i wont go turbo with this car as it is a replacement for the stupidly powerly daily i have atm that is pretty much a waste where i live (no where to use all that power)

                      and my play car is a SW20 MR2 that has been in the build for far too many years (jdm hardtop gt turbo)that everything has been modified, changed or replaced (2.2l stroker with big turbo, intercooler inside the cabin, close ratio box yadda yadda) but thats another long story in itself.

                      I do have another gen3 3sgte we were going to use, but there was so many things required to change to suit rwd that it was not worth it in the end.

                      The beams is simple, basic, revs hard, sounds like a nice s14 when heard from the front and is super reliable. 6 speed manuals always nice too.


                        ps. Engine mounts etc are no big deal, we have done this to other cars before. The engine and box should be in place in 1-2 days. An auto elec will do the wiring as i simply do not have the time.

                        The front of the tailshaft will need modding but thats no big deal.

                        We have nutted most of it out before i bought the engine so time will tell if we were right!

                        If it goes well a few guys from work want to do this to their e30s too, so we will be copying all the mounts to make it easy to do another car.


                          subscribed. i loved the beams motor in the SW20 chassis. such a shame the US Market never got that motor in any other toyota car. i think it couldve made many toyotas more fun to drive in the 90s. Cant wait to see the results here.


                            Very interesting, im looking into swaps for my e30 and would like to do something different like a hard revving Na. Did you import the motor and box? Did you get loom etc too to do it? I assume engineering etc will be straight forward since it's Na 4cyl?

                            As you say everything costs so much here in Aus :p


                              Yes we have just fitted a red top beams into a friends SW20 chassis (genuine SW20 type, not a ST202 Celica version)

                              It works so well in that car and makes a nice change from the turbo MR2's in terms of the way it can be used.

                              I bought the engine, gearbox, loom and computer as a complete setup which i had imported by a friend.

                              The total cost as it stands including purchase price of the car and all the driveline landed is $2100. So it is starting well.