Sunday, December 3, 2017

Budget M5: 1992 BMW 525i S52 Swap

Modifying cars is a tricky business.  A similar comparison would be a chef adding just the right amount of seasoning to your dinner- too much or too little does nothing good for the food.  DT often pokes fun at dinners where the chef has had a heavy hand with the seasoning.  Today's E34 5 series strikes just the right balance and looks to be delicious meal.  The late model M3 S52 in the engine bay makes makes 50+ horsepower more than stock 525i engine and the M5 spec alcantara euro interior is off the charts cool.  Find this 1992 BMW 525i for sale in Darien, CT for $7,500 via craigslist.

The 1992 525i has 144,000 miles on the chassis.  The swapped OBD1 S52 engine has 120,000 miles on it.  The listing does not mention if the seller performed the engine swap or bought it that way.  The exterior was repainted the original oxford green a few years ago and has acquired a bit of wear and tear since then.

The seller reports the following details about the engine, maintenance, and suspension:

Engine is a S52 converted OBD1 with 120k miles
M50/S50 manifold
21.5 pink injectors
TRM chip
supersprint exhaust
water pump, T stat, tempt sensor is all new. The car Runs strong.
The suspension was done a few years back but the car has not seen much time on the road since.
The bushings, tie rods, control arms and such were done.
Bilstein sports shocks, eibach springs, ST sway bars. Car rides and handles great.
also the car has M system throwing star M5 wheels on it.

The M3 engine swap is definitely cool, but the interior euro M5 seat swap is really the cherry on top here.  The seats are a made of a hurricane alcantara suede and have a very period pattern in the inserts.  You could speculate that the running costs for a S52 M3 engine would be far cheaper than the more exotic and rare S38 M5 engine which makes this E34 a sure winner in the penny pinching DT universe.

See a cheaper way to experience an M5? email

Cory is still working on getting the interior reinstalled and parts swapped on his 1995 Mercedes C36 AMG.


  1. Drool... what an awesome set of upgrades. Wish I had room in the stable for this one!

    1. I agree, I love this build and I feel like it is a very reasonable build for the money.

    2. I totally agree, awesome build! Nice find!

    3. This would be a great low-stress alternative to an M5. Or replacement for one...wrong coast for me though!

  2. I went to check out this car today. It is very tempting as it drove great, made nice noises, very good paint, and had that amazing euro interior. All of the interior wood trim was covered by a carbon fiber wrap which is an acquired taste. The tires were older and should be replaced. Car came with some extras which included a set of stock wheels with good rubber.

  3. Those throwing star wheel covers are worth a pretty penny on their own...


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