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Old 12-07-2018, 10:24 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Arizona
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Unhappy 1985 318i uncertainty

Came up on a 1985 318i that i wanted to buy to start my first project car, however, before i purchased i decided to do some research on interior pieces, drivetrain, and suspension components. After looking through for upgraded rear axles (since i will be LS swapping, will be using the sikky swap kit) and upgraded brakes almost all aftermarket upgrades are only for 1986+. I do know that conversion kits are offered for the rear drum brakes to disc brakes. However, is there anything else i should worry about with this year model since its excluded from almost any aftermarket upgrades due to the year? Or is it just the fact that it has drum brakes in the rear that it excludes it from all these other upgrades offered for the 1986+ models. Whats the difference between the 1985 and 1986+ models.

Side note: Many will be mad that im LS swapping, however, im a college student in the U.S so taking in account my funds and power goals, LS would be the cheapest. I wanted to go s54 but its just too expensive for me at the moment.
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Old 12-07-2018, 10:42 PM   #2
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If you're speaking strictly from a brakes point of view, front discs are non vented on pre 86 mounted to smaller strut tubes. Rears have drums. All swappable to post 86 with ease as in it's plug and play provided you have all the necessary parts and components.
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Old 12-08-2018, 12:07 AM   #3
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Awesome, just wanted to know since it was a concern of mine and it bothered me. I had imagined you could just update some stuff with the later models but i just wanted to make sure, thanks!
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Old 12-08-2018, 05:08 PM   #4
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You need the trailing arms for the disc upgrade. The front is simply moving to the big strut--51mm and you'll get everything else to bolt up. I think you can even run your old brakes/calipers if you don't want to upgrade to vented just yet, but don't quote me on that.

Also, battery is located in the front from the factory on the 318i, and the rear battery location isn't "carved out" for a battery the same way the 325s are. I think there are other smaller changes like this on the early 318, but generally they shouldn't interfere with your swap from what I recall. Be happy you don't have to take the tar out of the cabin!

F the haters dude, great idea on the LS swap. I hope you get a junkyard 5.3 and throw it in without even taking it apart.
'84 318i M10B18 | 93whp/90ftlbs | 147- Safari Beige | MS2E w/ LC, 2-Step
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Old 12-09-2018, 12:38 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jaxx_ View Post
junkyard 5.3 and throw it in without even taking it apart.
Al block or bust
'91 318is, M20B25, T3/T04E 60 trim (15psi), megasquirt, coilovers, Z3 rack, cold AC
[b u i l d]
[Car of the month: April 2018]

Always outnumbered, never outgunned.
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Old 12-09-2018, 09:57 PM   #6
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...and let's face it, it's not like the 84-85 cars are ever going to be really sought after.

Since you're going to want to upgrade anyway, I'd say you've got a good candidate.
But I'd go for significantly larger brakes both front and rear- Massive Lee's kits might
actually make good sense for you. Or similar...

You'll probably want a really big diff, too, and since yours is tiny, you'll only have to swap
it once.

go for it.

now, sometimes I just mess with people. It's more entertaining that way. george graves
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