Friday, May 27, 2016

6-Speed V8 Swap: 1991 BMW 318i M62

The E30 generation BMW 3-series was the breakout story for BMW's mainstream domestic success -- sort of the automotive equivalent of the Beatles' A Hard Day's Night.  Sure, BMW had large scale success with the 2002 & E21 (and the Beatles with Please Please Me & With the Beatles) but the Bayerische Motoren Werke sold 2.4 million E30s from 1982 through 1993.  It was the beginning of BMWmania.  Find this 1991 BMW 318i M62 here on eBay bidding for $2,550 reserve-not-met located in Miwaukee, WI with 8 days to go.

An original E30 is a nice car to drive today, but the 318i version will certainly feel slow compared to modern speed why not get one that has been injected with roids and infused with the sweet aroma of a V8.  This isn't the best looking E30 you can buy, but it should be fun to drive.

Under the hood is an M62B44 V8 borrowed from an E39 generation 1997 BMW 540i, mated to a 6-speed manual Getrag 420G transmission.   This won't be a one wheel peel machine because power heads to a 2.93:1 medium case diff with limited slip out back. Stopping is accomplished by an RX7 big brake kit which offers 4-piston calipers and an oversized rotor -- who knew that Mazda parts would work easily on a BMW?

See a faster BMW for cheap?


  1. It is now up to $8700 and reserve is still not met.

  2. The nose even looks slammed from the engine! Love it, don't care about perfect balance messed up. It has to be so fun to drive.

  3. M62 V8 weighs 200kg fully dressed, not exactly piggy. Brake booster arrangement looks like E34 V8.

    Yeah, Mazda FD Turbo calipers and early Corrado G60 rotors as I recall.

  4. So many cars, so little timeMay 28, 2016 at 2:53 PM

    I once had both a brilliantrot '91 E30 (325is) and a '97 540i/6 that shared garage space for awhile. Maybe things weren't as quiet in that garage at night as I though. This sure looks like it could be their kid.

  5. This has to leave a shit stain in the drivers pants and a huge grin across their face. What a riot! Happy driving to the new owner, hope its easy to tame, sticky tires at all times for sure.

    1. Yeah, M62s go out of the pick-n-pulls for a couple hundred bucks, and if you're stupid lucky you find a 6-speed E39 and go home with the whole damn powertrain on a half-price day for under $500 with ECU and wiring then go home and get stupid drunk at your good fortune (since you never got to climb on top of Kate Upton, this will have to do.)

      For us Californians the whole 'custom exhaust' thing means 'no fornicating way' but we're glad to see someone doing something...

    2. By the way, this weekend is half-price. Have a complete E30 rear suspension sitting in the driveway for the Lemons car.

    3. Check the mileage on that M62/M62TU, at 175K they need cam chain guides (and ideally cam chain, and some other gaskets and seals). Easy with the engine out, a little more work with the engine in.


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