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Tech Forum : Anyone done an M50 swap?

- BMW E21 Community
   - Tech Forum
      - Anyone done an M50 swap?
Echo   Posted Friday, Sep 10th 7:53am [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Member
Post nr. 5

San Diego, California
E21 323i
I just had this crazy idea tonight, that if you can make an M20 fit, a M50 will definately fit... So, who has done it? How much custom fab was required? What are its benefits? Think i could do it with the cost of the motor for about 2 grand? (can get a motor for about 750) what do u all think???

Cheers,
Jonas

imaradiostar   Posted Friday, Sep 10th 8:21am [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Member
Post nr. 70
   
Nashville, TN
81 323i, 82 525i, 85 524td, 90 535i
I wanna know too- someone offered me an M50 motor today for chump change.

jamie

bmw_m_320i   Posted Friday, Sep 10th 9:48am [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Member
Post nr. 92
   
Helena, Montana
none right now :(
I've seen a couple of them, Korman Autoworks Did one, it was a M50 Turbo!

http://www.kormanfastbmw.com/pe21m50t.htm

RDAvena   Posted Friday, Sep 10th 7:26pm [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Staff
Post nr. 780
   
SELECT * FROM users WHERE clue > 0
1981 323i, 1988 545is, 1997 528i
Just look at Nic's site. Same install as the M42 just with two more cylinders and a thinner engine.

imaradiostar   Posted Friday, Sep 10th 9:40pm [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Member
Post nr. 71
   
Nashville, TN
81 323i, 82 525i, 85 524td, 90 535i
do you have a link to his site?

JJG323   Posted Friday, Sep 10th 9:48pm [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Member
Post nr. 208
   
Reading MA USA
1979 BMW 323i
Hello. At the Bav Auto Show a few years ago, I ran into an owner of a fly yellow 323i with an m50. Naturally I got the details on this.

According to him: The 2.5 m50 drops right in and you can use the 323i's tranny. It bolts right up.
The battery has to be relocated to the trunk.
Also A new radiator and fan have to be added.

Thats it except for some wiring issues. The wiring took longer than the swap.

I also asked him about performance. He claims he can smoke and stock e30 m3. He got the Jim Conforti chip as well.

NB: I am not sure if I liked it or not. It won best of show and I can provide pics if anyone wants to see them. I noticed considerable CRACKING in the top right hand side under the windshield in the engine bay and this was probably due to flex.

I asked him about this. I have pics about it. He needs to weld it. I can provide pics of the cracking if anyone is interested.

I asked him if an e36 m3 3.0 or 3.2 would work.
He said he did not "know if the chasis could handle it."

On roadfly in the classified I was suprised to see a lot of 2.5 m50 engines for $700 so. So they can be had realtively dirt cheap.

************************************************
On the subject of swaps: and which one?
S14 vs M20 vs M50?
*************************************************

IMO, the s14 swap may be the one to do. I know its a lot more expensive, but it could be fun, Due to the fact that built S14s can be made to make 300 HP! I was suprised to hear the S14 has more potentcial than the M20. Its because of the head design.

I am not sure but i thought u could also stroke a M50 24v 2.5 liter. And I am not sure how powerfull a built m50 2.5 liter can be, but I do know that it certainly had a lot of people interested in it at the BMW BAV Auto show.

So its (m50 2.5 liter) a cool swap, but I have chosen the m20. thanks Joe




RDAvena   Posted Friday, Sep 10th 10:09pm [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Staff
Post nr. 782
   
SELECT * FROM users WHERE clue > 0
1981 323i, 1988 545is, 1997 528i
www.bimmerboys.com

DHoang   Posted Friday, Sep 10th 11:06pm [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Member
Post nr. 147
   
Texas USA
323i, e39 528i, Maserati Spider, Tundra LTD V8 p/up
My local independent mechanic transplanted one on an '80ish 323i. $4800, which included motor, gaskets, fluids, the whole 9 yrds.

If you ask me, that is the way to go. Drop your beloved 323i off to your neighborhood garage, and a week later it's all sorted out.

Echo   Posted Saturday, Sep 11th 1:30am [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Member
Post nr. 6

San Diego, California
E21 323i
I would be doing the swap myself... I have some buddies that have done a few M50 E30 swaps, so i think they could help me... The thing that im worried about is cutting up the front so i can mount the radiator... Also, i would need to have an exhaust welded up as well... Can anyone let me in on the other custom fab work that would be needed?

JJG323   Posted Saturday, Sep 11th 2:52am [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Member
Post nr. 209
   
Reading MA USA
1979 BMW 323i
Echo or anyone interested, I can email you the pics of this conversion. You can see the CRACKING in the engine bay and the HACKING required to fit the radiator in. LOL.

He had to hack up the front valance to fit the fan and radiator in. . It goes under the front hood valance, too make room for the engine.
The m50 does look very nice and everyone was interested in it.

Like I said, I am not sure engine to swap.
The M50 will go in and its fast.
The M20 stroker goes in and its almost close to stock. But If I had a lot of money I will build
a S14 with 2.5 liters and a awesome cylinder head.
(300HP monster)
Joe

imaradiostar   Posted Saturday, Sep 11th 3:31am [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Member
Post nr. 72
   
Nashville, TN
81 323i, 82 525i, 85 524td, 90 535i
I'd love to see pictures of the swap if you've got them- imaradiostar@hotmail.com

thanks!

jamie

JJG323   Posted Saturday, Sep 11th 4:40am [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Member
Post nr. 210
   
Reading MA USA
1979 BMW 323i
Hello. On this other board there is a simliar thread and attached pics:

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=253389

Look Under thread "Feesability of an M50 swap into an E21?" and scroll down -yellow car.

But I will send u the cracking picture and another one.

thanks
Joe


imaradiostar   Posted Saturday, Sep 11th 5:01am [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Member
Post nr. 73
   
Nashville, TN
81 323i, 82 525i, 85 524td, 90 535i
thanks for the link...looks like I'm still "in queue" for my membership to be accepted. I applied months ago. This is getting aggrivating!

jamie

imaradiostar   Posted Saturday, Sep 11th 7:41am [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Member
Post nr. 74
   
Nashville, TN
81 323i, 82 525i, 85 524td, 90 535i
Echo wrote:
What are its benefits? Think i could do it with the cost of the motor for about 2 grand? (can get a motor for about 750) what do u all think???

Cheers,
Jonas


Major benefits- modern electronic management, chip tuning, and a tune up is six spark plugs and an air filter, almost 200hp with little work.

Of course, they have their problems like needing valve cover gaskets pretty often and the wiring for the electronics is likely to be somewhat difficult.

From what I've been reading it's almost a bolt-in and go conversion with regard to the physical connections. This means you can pretty much just drop one in and it should bolt up to the existing 323i tranny and subframe. I'm not sure about the whole radiator thing though- you may have to get a custom radiator and run an electric fan.

A guy I work with did an E30 M50 swap and he said the physical part was very straightforward- it pretty much bolted right in. The electronics really weren't bad but it can be tedious making sure everything is wired correctly. He said the entire swap took him about 20 hours. Figure twice that if you aren't a fast flat-rate mechanic like he is.

I am very seriously considering this all of the sudden- like I said, I have an offer to buy a wrecked E36 and take what I want for a swap. I'd probably want to retain my dogleg five speed though- I wonder if it could handle the 191 HP of the M50TU?

jamie

bmw_m_320i   Posted Saturday, Sep 11th 8:04am [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Member
Post nr. 93
   
Helena, Montana
none right now :(
Also dont forget Jeremy's 320/6 with the M3 engine, and e28 rear subframe http://www.remyvos.nl/jeremy/


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