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  1. #1
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    Oh look - another M50TU swap

    My family picked up this nice E30 87 325(E) a couple years ago.

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    It drove nicely, so long as you didn't drive it for an hour, park it for 6, and then drive it again (wouldn't start, or was very hard to start). Then it developed this cute thing where if you were driving down the highway (or any road) you might randomly start puffing black smoke, bucking, and then perhaps stall. Obviously over-fueling but the fuel pressure was fine, injectors clean, cold start not leaking, etc. So after replacing all of the ignition system and most of the fuel system on the car, I said to hell with it.

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    Got the lump of junk out

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    Picked up a 320i booster

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    Some ebay headers:

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    Got some E36 mounts and stuff and made them pretty

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    New 325i (M20B25) clutch kit

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    Flywheel resurfaced:

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    E36 318TI Nissens radiator (went with this for the built in expansion tank, the mishimoto is kind of cheaply made and needs an expansion tank, etc barf)

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    Flywheel on!

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    Clutch and PP on:

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    And now I wait for more parts - so, I started just cleaning and painting stuff:

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    Getting close(r)

    Going to go up to my friends and modify the booster and do some valve cover stuff.

    ECS Tuning pulled through with a fastener order.

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    Probably have a 2nd order to place, but for now this will get me going.

    Went to my buddy Bemdub's house over the weekend and we managed to modify the E21 booster and thread the shaft down. Need to put that damned thing in and get rocking and rolling... though gfs birthday is this weekend so that prob won't happen.

    Minor updates

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    made room to bring her in!

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    Welp, not much progress on the actual car but I spent the last 2 weeks cleaning the garage out. You couldn't walk in the garage prior, it was terrible and embarrassing. Spent another day today cleaning up and pushed the car in!

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    Also put some more race deck down.


  2. #2
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    Going to try and powder coat some more stuff this weekend. Got to pull the trans to get to the oil pan again - what color should I do the oil pan and t-stat housing?

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    Little more updateage.

    Spent today/tonight scrubbing the crap out of the cars engine bay. Still have a lot to go. It had a power steering leak so I need to push it out and wash the frame rail down - its super gunky. Also want to wash the splash tray off, that thing collected all the gunky.

    Here is a taste of how clean most of the upper bay is now:

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    But you can see how dirty the areas around like the washerfluid and ABS pump (opposite side) are. But you can see how nice and fresh the E21 booster is (ready to go in)!

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    Which will replace the gross current one:

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    And I also got some "benches" in - need to move stuff around, crap on the shelf isn't staying. I have a lot of trash on the floor right now because of T-giving and not wanting to leave mounds of trash outside in the driveway until trash day lol:

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    Want to drop the oil pan and maybe coat it this upcoming weekend! Waiting for an ECS order to come in though with new hardware.

    Mike I can't say I have seen wrinkle orange but its got to be out there. I will keep an eye out.

    E21 booster fully painted and in - not bad at all really, just laying under the dash is what sucks - back is aching haha

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    Pedal is all hooked up and the threaded shaft is perfect (thanks to bemdub for helping out with that) and the brake switch engages, all is good. Next...

    Well, I couldn't sleep knowing that I didn't address the oil pump nut and knowing that the motor would have to come out if the oil pan gasket had to be replaced, that troubled me too. So, today I was off from work and I decided to take action. This also means I'll have the oil pan coated. I won't say what color until it's done Click here to enlarge The downside is that it required pulling the flywheel and clutch again, but whatever, small issue in the grand scheme of things. I can't wait to put the new oil pan hardware on it!

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    Brakes all topped off ready to be bled. Pedal engages the brake light switch, everything is perfect thanks to bemdub for helping me rethread the booster.

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    Mmm super blue. I had like a teaspoon amongst 3 or 4 cans, so I decided to suck it up and just buy 2. I'll be set for another 3 - 5 years Click here to enlarge Clutch awaiting to go back on.

    Updates!

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    More to come tomorrow!

    So close - having issues with engine mounts not lining up Click here to enlarge

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    Clean up power steering spill (mostly)

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    so close... but the mounts seem not right

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    Going to have to re-assess tomorrow... too beat, had a dentist apt (hate the dentist, yuck), then my buddy andrew came over and we worked until about 5PM on this. Barf.

    Took this pic this evening Click here to enlarge

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  3. #3
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    So although the motor was in, the trans wasn't bolted up to the body and the engine mounts weren't tight to the subframe because the exhaust headers were touching the body right at the firewall. The one header was perfectly fine, the other, the back 3 cyl, was touching the underside of the car - lame.

    So this needed to be addressed:

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    The result? It clears nicely Click here to enlarge Oxy torch ftw.

    We also finished up bolting up the transmission, heated and bent the shifter selector (shifter is now perfect!). I need to pick up another circlip for the pin in the shifter handle, but that's no biggy. Just need to bolt up the driveshaft and then technically its "done" mechanically, I think. I need to replace the water pump, t-stat, put in the radiator, then do the wiring.

    Did a bunch more work, though it doesn't look like it.

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    Harmonic balancer on new hydraulic belt tensioner assembly, etc., radiator, M20 harness out (looks so clean witho

    So progress is ongoing, I pulled the M20 harness and all blah blah but I need help picking the starter for this. I don't really know which starter to use. This setup is an M50TU block, a 325E transmission (getrag), and a 325i M20 single mass flywheel and clutch. So what starter do I go with? I have ordered what I think is a later E30 325i starter, but it looks just like the other starter I have off the E30 325E to be honest. I also have an M50TU starter and that has a larger spur gear and more electrical connections. Hrm.

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    I do have a new issue. I was laying the harness down ready to rock and roll... zip tying cables up when I noticed...

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    Oh noes. I managed to slide the boot on the one side back more to find a total of like 6 - 8" of wire burned up. Not sure what caused this... kind of bugged by it because I am now concerned about the ECU and sensors on the motor... sigh.

    So it will sit like this until I find another harness. I don't want to replace the wiring because I don't know how far back it goes - I'd rather get another harness without Big Daddy's Carolina Style BBQ going on inside.

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    Sigh.


  4. #4
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    Spent a bit putting the stuff together. Per 328iJunkie I got the 318 firewall covers which clean the look up DRAMATICALLY. I need to still trim the piece near the M50 manifold but for here's what it will look like. Its got fresh plugs, coil packs ready, majority of wiring hooked up, ready to go soon!

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    Click here to enlarge this sunday is win!

    That said, a delivery has arrived.

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    Click here to enlarge wut...

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    I actually had a dream last night or the night before that I took my current motor and put it in there and picked up a new turbo for mine lol. Then I woke up and realized how ridiculous that would be.



    Got some new parts/work done.

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    I needed a water pump pulley - stocker was like $27, ECS aluminum slight over drive pulley was $30. NICE!

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    Whoa wait, AC line is gone. I had put off pulling the M20 compressor because of how nasty (and non eco-friendly) venting the refrigerant is. Well, today I was cleaning up the under tray and happened to pop the cap on the schrader valve to find a ton of yellow dye fizzling out of the valve. I pushed the center in and it went "pft." Turns out I found the leak lol. And it also turns out it was empty. Perfect!

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    Thats where the compressor was hiding, laying on the pan there. That pan was full of about 1/8" of grime. It took like 100 oz of purple power to wash it enough to loosen it up. That and a brush made quick work of it. Now its clean as heck, no sludge anyway. Awesome!

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    Also - its wired! I think! It looks good to me. I think I still need to tap for vehicle speed, but everything else is wired up. You can see the late model E30 318 covers came in handy making the wiring all tidy. Can barely tell its not a factory setup!

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    You can't tell from here but the E34 throttle cable is run. That was a PITA. Also, how clean does that TB look? Cleaned it up and painted it flat black. Very nice and clean inside too - looks almost like it's been machined fresh. Fuel rail had some surface rust too so I sanded it down and wire wheeled it wherever necessary - painted it. So fresh.

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    And finally, awesome all-black engine cover. Wewt. Clean.

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    That's all for now. Need some radiator hoses and to sort out the fuel lines/vacuum lines/idle valve stuff.

    Getting closer. Had to take a break and work on my E34 for some time.

    Back at the E30 this weekend.

    I ordered a p/s pump off ebay. It came pretty grimy. Felt sad considering bolting it to this pristine clean M50. So I went up to Multiplexs on Saturday to chill and get some odds and ends done. Ended up soda blasting it and bead blasting it. Might paint it black.

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    Then today I finally bolted everything down. Ran fuel lines to the rail. Bolted down intake manifold. Finished hose clamping everything. Finished making the radiator hoses. Ran the E34 throttle cable and hooked it up to the throttle body:

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    Then later tonight I went and drained the trans (again, the fluid absorbs water), and filled it with redline MTL this evening.

    So.... close. I want to go over the wiring once its light out (maybe tomorrow after work or sometime this week). So really the only mechanical stuff left is belt (ordering a shorty so I can bypass p/s for now), electric fan (eventually), and exhaust (open headers for now). I have new knock sensors and oxygen sensor coming this week. Vroom this weekend? Well - have to go up to long island w/ girlfriend, so maybe not, but maybe.


  5. #5
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    wow great build thread! can't wait to see this thing fire up
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    Damn man, took me 20 minutes to read this article.

    Great build, congrats Click here to enlarge

  7. #7
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    Thanks!


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    Awesome. I like seeing E30 motorswaps like this. Keepin' the classics alive.

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    Great work Jon. I trained you well.
    Click here to enlargeClick here to enlarge

  10. #10
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    Thx all


    I think the last of the E30 parts came in... aside from exhaust stuff later and an electric fan. Two OE bosch knock sensors and oxygen sensor. I bought a belt to bypass power steering for now since I don't have the lines and pump mounted.

    Click here to enlarge


  11. #11
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    Great work Jon on the car, and the pictures. Inspiring stuff!
    Rep Points > Posts since 2010

  12. #12
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    The red cover really adds a nice touch to tie it all together in the engine bay.

    From the first 2 photos, the E30 seems like a very clean example.

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    Ok so... I think I might be onto something. Doh!

    What I did was use an M50TU harness that I had bought of ebay (so not sure of the year) that was listed as an E34 one. Seems to be. Then, I cut off the X20 connector on that harness about 4" after the connector and cut the C101 connector about the same off of the M20 original harness. Hooked it up, no fires, car cranked (when jumped, battery shows 9 - 10v now... totally dead) but no start. My timing light didn't trigger either. Damnit.

    So then I started looking at how the ECU gets power to determine whether or not it was getting power. Pin 56 on the 88-pin DME connector is +12VDC from the ignition switch (terminal 15). So you turn the key, the ignition switch spits out voltage that turns the ECU on. The ECU then controls the main relay via pin 27 and the fuel pump relay via pin 1.

    Well... I put my volt meter on pin 56 and turned the key - nothing. No voltage present. Well, if the ECU doesn't turn on, then it sure as hell isn't going to turn the pump/main relay on. So I traced pin 56 which is a smaller green wire. I remember tapping this wire on my E34 to control my main relay and such with the key on. So I traced this wire and was pretty sure it was supposed to hook to pin 7 on the C101. It seems to - in fact, the coils get power so that means the ignition switch is working and pin 7 is happy... but no ECU power.

    Then I realize...

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    So on the left is the X20 connector I chopped off the harness that is in the car now. On the right is an X20 from a bad harness I have (no, I didn't make it bad, it was delivered to me that way).

    So you can see the small green wire crimped in the large gauge wires coming from Pin 21. One X20 has it, one doesn't. The one that has it, I screwed up and cut behind the crimp. Doh! So, my little green wire is likely laying down in the harness area all taped up/heatshrinked up so not to short... when in fact it should be hooked to this junction. Poopy!


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    Sucks because my suspicions were right - I lopped off the lead going to pin 56 in the X20 connector. So today I woke up, girlfriend left, and I got started. Anticipating a day of frustration I didn't even shower lol. Figured I'd turn the gopro camera on. The big ignition wire that I tied the pin 56 wire to is crimped so thats annoying and I didn't have anything large enough to recrimp the bunch if I cut it, so I did a lash splice around the crimp terminal and soldered - safe and sound!

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    win


  15. #15
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    ^ That was actually a nice little time lapse.

  16. #16
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    yeah it was a total of like ... 10 mins of labor today to go from no running to running. That was literally the first crank of the car - no tricks lol. Pretty badass.


    Heres some driving



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    ^ Less music more motor sounds.

    Go-pro? Or what was used?

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    Its so loud - right now its open headers and sounds like a big block V8

    Yeah gopro HD


  19. #19
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    I'm surprised there is no wind noise.

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    I am using the vented back for the GoPro, no wind noisez


  21. #21
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by 5mall5nail5 Click here to enlarge
    I am using the vented back for the GoPro, no wind noisez
    Ok, so if I pick a few of these up I need to make sure to get a vented back?

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    Came out awesome great build.. BTW can you tell me both song names. Thanks!
    Click here to enlarge

  23. #23
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    Sticky the go pro motorsports kit comes with both backs

    Song is Martin Solveig - Hello other one is Pumped up Kicks by Foster People


  24. #24
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by 5mall5nail5 Click here to enlarge
    Sticky the go pro motorsports kit comes with both backs
    Perfect, great sound quality and no wind noise. Surprised how good those little things are.

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    Nice swap!

    What does the TU mean in M50TU?
    Some people live long, meaningful lives.

    Other people eat shit and die.

    I'm not racist, I hate everybody equally; especially fat people.


    Click here to enlarge

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