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Old 01-20-2019, 04:45 PM   #1
iso_hi
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My M30-Swapped Alpine Coupe

What's up guys. I've only done a couple of build threads for two of the five E30's I've owned but have never kept up with them. I'll try to be consistent with this one.

My brother's girlfriend purchased a project M30-swapped coupe in the North Bay for $1600. The swap was complete and the car ran but it wasn't (and still isn't) BAR'd. Aside from the swap, the only other good thing it had going on was a super clean dash with zero cracks. It has a 4.10 open diff so it's not ideal for the highway. The car needed exterior and interior work for sure. I wish I had photos of it when we got it.

I found a video she made when we bought the car. I'm the guy who test drove it later in the vid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZyCAZzLwWc

She owned the car for a year and during that time she had my dad respray it in Alpine white (og paint), installed BC coils, and swapped in a black leather comfort interior. It was still missing a lot. She commutes between LA and the Bay so she never learned to drive manual and the car just sat so she gave me the opportunity to buy it. I sold my project coupe (which was driven across the country by a member of this forum recently) and finally I had a decent E30 to start a build I'll try and keep forever.

I've owned the car for almost a year now and decided to post my progress with the car here. Most recently I redid the cooling system (radiator/water pump/thermostat/etc) after getting stranded in Oakland on my way to meet up with a fellow member to check out his BAR'd build. I've also recently purchased some Recaro's and three-piece wheels. I'm waiting for Spring to install.

This car is being built to be driven hard and occasionally tracked so I don't think it will ever be perfect and I do not mind. Here are some photo's I shot today.

Hector
















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Old 01-20-2019, 04:50 PM   #2
rbmwiv
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What diff do you have in it now. I always put 3.25lsd in m30 swaps. Still is fast in a straight line and itís great for highway. And the gearing of the transmission it was originally matched to a 3.25 in the car it came from


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Old 01-20-2019, 04:54 PM   #3
iso_hi
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Originally Posted by rbmwiv View Post
What diff do you have in it now. I always put 3.25lsd in m30 swaps. Still is fast in a straight line and itís great for highway. And the gearing of the transmission it was originally matched to a 3.25 in the car it came from


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Still has the 4.10. Itís on my list to do soon. Iíll look for a 3.25 I appreciate the suggestion. I actually like the short gears around town but itís not fun on the highway.
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Old 01-21-2019, 08:08 PM   #4
iso_hi
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About a month ago I bought these Recaro's for $350 locally. I need brackets to fit them onto the E30 sliders and one of them is missing a headrest. They are two different models but for the price I don't mind. Both are black cloth.

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Old 01-21-2019, 10:24 PM   #5
rzerob
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Garagistic just started selling the brackets that adapt the Recaro seat to the E30 rails.

https://store.garagistic.com/Garagis...scription=true
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Old 01-21-2019, 10:26 PM   #6
Jean
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I loved 3.46 I had in my m30b35 swapped car. I did try 3.73 and 3.25 as well, but 3.46 imho was best. I can't even imagine having 4.10 with it LOL , 3.73 was too short but fun for city driving !
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Old 01-22-2019, 11:42 AM   #7
glnr13
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I agree, 3.73 feels too short, 4.10 must feel really short. I like 3.46 a lot, feels the most balanced, great for canyons.
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Old 01-22-2019, 01:27 PM   #8
lukeADE335i
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The best diff depends what you want out of the car - I've run a 3.73, 3.46 and 3.25 LSD in mine and found the 3.73 the most fun, and first gear was still useable.

The 3.25 is also excellent as it feels like what BMW would have built had they built an M30 powered e30. Either way an LSD is definitely the way to go whatever ratio - makes the car much more drivable.

Great looking car OP! I have to admit I have a soft spot for Alpine cars.

Massive Brakes recaro adaptors are also a good option for fitting your new seats to the e30 seat rails. They make the seats sit low to help with helmets seeing as you're doing the odd track day.
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Old 01-22-2019, 04:19 PM   #9
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Seems like an awesome car! What are your driving impressions with the M30? I know you don't have a before/after, but would you M30 swap a car again?
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Old 01-22-2019, 04:36 PM   #10
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Meh, Iíd totally stick with the 4.10. Donít need 1st gear on track anyway.
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Old 01-22-2019, 06:56 PM   #11
iso_hi
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Seems like an awesome car! What are your driving impressions with the M30? I know you don't have a before/after, but would you M30 swap a car again?
Thanks! I think the M30 is the perfect engine for the E30 chassis. I have yet to drive an S50/2 swap but I have owned E30's with the regular M20, eta M20, and M42. I love the torque from the M30 I can't help but smile very time I put my foot down. I don't have much experience driving this car aggressively since it's never had proper brakes and tires until now but the weather isn't the greatest at the moment.


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Meh, Iíd totally stick with the 4.10. Donít need 1st gear on track anyway.
I do like 4.10 but it's an open diff. It's also not the best for high-speed cruising which I don't really care for too much but would be nice to be at 2-3k instead of 3-4k.

I'll be doing more reading on the 3.25 and 3.46. I only want to swap this once haha.

ALSO



So after working on my credit religiously for the past three years after neglecting it in my earlier years, I refinanced my daily (Focus ST) successfully. I was so happy and found a good deal on these Equip's that I had to have them. They're probably not most people's choice for an E30 but I wanted to do something a little different after using nothing but basketweave. Also my first set of three-piece wheels. I'll install these in the spring after cleaning them a bit more and getting some quality rubber.





Next I'm going to try and start gathering parts to BAR the swap. I'll probably start with the OEM airbox.
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Old 01-23-2019, 04:42 AM   #12
lukeADE335i
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Nice - very JDM

Agreed on your view of the M30 too, it's an excellent swap in the e30 and I think BMW should have brought out a mainstream 335is in the e30 LCI, and in the process stamped the firewall slightly differently so the engine could sit back as far as possible
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:27 PM   #13
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I bar'd my M30B35 years ago and it was very simple, passed on the first try. Keep the swap clean, no messy wiring, use stock airbox (they like it), use correct CA legal cat for that engine (e32/e34 535/735) . Ensure your charcoal canister is hooked up, use all new hoses , no leaks.

About the only thing I didn't like about M30 swap was it's crappy MPG and how long the engine is in the engine bay (and makes the front end a little heavy compared to aluminum block engine, my m6x that I have in there now is almost 40lbs lighter in the front end (I corner weighted the car with both swaps) ...but it was dead simple/cheap/reliable .
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean View Post
I bar'd my M30B35 years ago and it was very simple, passed on the first try. Keep the swap clean, no messy wiring, use stock airbox (they like it), use correct CA legal cat for that engine (e32/e34 535/735) . Ensure your charcoal canister is hooked up, use all new hoses , no leaks.

About the only thing I didn't like about M30 swap was it's crappy MPG and how long the engine is in the engine bay (and makes the front end a little heavy compared to aluminum block engine, my m6x that I have in there now is almost 40lbs lighter in the front end (I corner weighted the car with both swaps) ...but it was dead simple/cheap/reliable .
not to thread hijack or anything but do you have the corner weight data from both setups? Curious as to how the light 318i ended up being with the m30 lump in it
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:44 PM   #15
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not to thread hijack or anything but do you have the corner weight data from both setups? Curious as to how the light 318i ended up being with the m30 lump in it
I sure do, check my build thread itís in there , m30 and m60 both .
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