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Old 07-07-2019, 05:10 PM   #1
ZeKahr
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M20 vs M50 maintenance costs

For those of you out there who have owned cars (E30 or otherwise) with both the M20 and M50, which engine have you find to be the cheaper of the two to maintain, money-wise and time-wise? I initially believed the M20 would be the cheaper engine to maintain due to its simpler design, but it seems that this may not be the case for the as the intervals for things like timing belts, engine belts, oil changes, ignition system on the M20 are much shorter than things like the cooling system on the M50 and that there are more items on the M20 that need to be refreshed on a periodic basis compared to the M50
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Old 07-07-2019, 10:07 PM   #2
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The m52tu is a superior engine.

Hell, the oil filter placement alone in m50/52s rates it above the m20s.
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Old 07-07-2019, 10:16 PM   #3
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M20
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Old 07-08-2019, 04:34 AM   #4
325e '87
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If you do all the work yourself? Ive had two e30 cars, both well past the 200,000 mile mark, and the big money stuff for me has always been chassis related things like shocks, bushings, bearings.

I don’t know anything about the newer engines, so all I can say is if you invest $1500 in having a spare head and a timing belt kit I’d say you’re good to go for a really long time with the 20.
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Old 07-08-2019, 02:53 PM   #5
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What's with people being afraid of the timing belt? It's not expensive ($100 for a kit with a water pump) and you only have to do it every 4 years or 50k miles. Valve adjustments are also no big deal, easy and fast.
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Old 07-08-2019, 03:18 PM   #6
ZeKahr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 325e '87 View Post
If you do all the work yourself?
No, I don't have a garage and my neighborhood does not let me work on cars. I pay a shop to do all the major maintenance items like the cooling system and do things like oil changes and ignition coils on my own. I don't even own an E30
(currently an E46 owner) but am looking into one.
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