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View Full Version : E36 Motor Swap help???



BavarianTurd
11-10-2011, 04:29 AM
Too lazy to type this up again, so if you think you saw this on BFC, you did.
Alrighty. I've got a 96 318is, and I've grown tired of this powerless 4-cylinder. Was going to turbo it, but BAAAAAHHHHHHHH is getting a little annoying, especially when I know I'm still going slow in a BMW, so I decided it's time for a swap to a M50B25 or an M52B28, but I have a few questions before I decide to attack this. And yes, this will be my first swap, so flame suit on.

1. Will my manual transmission from my M44 work with a M52? I've heard it will work with an M50, but I'd really like to have the M52 work with the trans I have now. If not I'll just get the trans from a 328i, but if it does accept the 318is transmission, what will I need for it to match up properly?

2. Aside from the ECU, wiring harness, motor mounts and the motor itsself, what else should I grab from the donor car?

3. How well will the 318is differential hold up to a stock M50/M52? I plan to switch to an M3 diff eventually, but after the swap. In the mean time I just need it to handle the new motor, and maybe a little horse play :eyebrows

4. What are some common problems with these motors so I know what I should replace before the swap? Not looking to swap 'em and then have to rip it apart a few months later to fix it.

5. Do you think with a few good knowledgable people, this swap could be completed in a weekend? The guys that are helping me aren't BMW-certified, but they know their way around a car (one actually works pulling semi motors out and fixing them, so I'm pretty confident in my "team")

Any constructive help or advice you guys can provide would be helpful. Thanks!

BavarianTurd
11-10-2011, 05:46 PM
Anybody? Nothing? I know how many bmw guys are here, and I know you cant all be just about stance alone lol

da_joint
11-11-2011, 01:23 AM
u can try M52B28 with M50 intake.
1. Will my manual transmission from my M44 work with a M52? -nope...M52B28 got a different gearbox..it is the same from M3 3.0 Zf -gearbox
2.Aside from the ECU, wiring harness, motor mounts and the motor itsself, what else should I grab from the donor car? Gearbox as mentioned above,and differential
3. How well will the 318is differential hold up to a stock M50/M52? it will break v. fast
4. What are some common problems with these motors so I know what I should replace before the swap? Not looking to swap 'em and then have to rip it apart a few months later to fix it.
Beside Vanos...never heard of any problems...just my2cents

5. Do you think with a few good knowledgable people, this swap could be completed in a weekend? The guys that are helping me aren't BMW-certified, but they know their way around a car (one actually works pulling semi motors out and fixing them, so I'm pretty confident in my "team")
Maybe,if they now what theyr doing,oh and try to find 3,91 rear diff ratio.it will run like hell,but the top speed will dicrease around 190kmh/h

Zic
11-11-2011, 02:22 PM
1. the gear box will mate up, tho its weak.
2. gear box, diff and make SURE YOU HAVE ALL OF THE EWS parts, including the key, ews box inside the car etc. if this is not connected up, the car wont start, unless you chip the box with a ews delete kit.
3. it wont, it will break fast if you launch hard, also you will get shit gearing.
4. ticking lifters and vanos both should be looked at. also replace the water pump with one that got a metal impeller the stock ones are known to fail often.
5. the swapping in part is easy the cars are very simple to work on, only problem could be the wiring.

BavarianTurd
11-16-2011, 12:04 AM
Sorry, have been busy with work. So, my trans will work (have only heard from one person that it wont bolt up), I'll need a new diff, and this should be a simple. Now, what was the EWS?

ezzyke
11-17-2011, 09:38 PM
EWS is the electronic imobilizer system. To put it simply there is a chip in the key that that sends a signal to a control unit (EWS) that in turn sends a signal to the engine control unit to start the car. The engine control unit has to be aligned with the EWS or you can get a EWS delete chip for the DME.
Hope that helps.

BMWerke
11-19-2011, 05:18 PM
get a 413 red label copmuter from a 325, they dont have ews. and just get a zf tranny from a e36m3 and call it a day. m44 parts have trouble handling power from the m52 and m54, I have seen trannys and diffs blow in person.

Fazda
11-21-2011, 06:18 PM
get a 413 red label copmuter from a 325, they dont have ews. and just get a zf tranny from a e36m3 and call it a day. m44 parts have trouble handling power from the m52 and m54, I have seen trannys and diffs blow in person.

What he said.

I am using the 4cyl rear in my m50 swapped 318ti due to some temporary laziness, and until I get a better gear ratio the car sucks. It accelerates quickly, but cruising down the highway the engine is screaming. It's only a matter of time until it just goes boom.

I had to snip a wire in the chassis harness to bypass the ews so that the car would start with the non-ews ecu.

If you use an m50, they use a very simlar transmission as the m42/m44. I'm not positive on how similar but they're both getrags with the same bolt setup. The m42/m44 trans is likely weaker internally though

You may also run into driveshaft issues, however with swapping the m50 with getrag in I was able to use the original driveshaft setup. If you use a ZF trans you'll definitely need to do some driveshaft figuring.

Also, make sure you've got shift linkage from a six cylinder or you'll be confused as to why your car isn't going into gear properly.

The axles on the 4cyl cars are a lot smaller than 6cyl axles, and tons smaller than m3 axles.

I did the swap in about two days total in a well equipped shop with a lot of bullshitting with friends. I'm very experienced with these cars though. I'd give yourself at least a week.

Feel free to pm me with any questions.

Okin
11-28-2011, 10:43 AM
And while you're at it.... Brake upgrade.


'Cause going faster is no good if you cant stop... MmmmmKay.

Fazda
12-01-2011, 06:21 PM
Very true.... I did upgrade from non-vented ti brakes to standard 325i brakes up front since I had the parts here to do so, it was a direct bolt on swap.

IGOR989
12-20-2011, 06:48 PM
Find some 2.5, 2.8 diff, cuz your 18is has a small diff case and it has a high ratio, lower the diff ratio number is higher the top speed is. On the other hand it kills the acceleration, but that is all your choice.

Im taking apart my M50TÜ B25 engine for changing all gaskets, head porting, sandblasting and repainting. M50TÜ B25 is the same as M50 B25 but with vanos unit. So you should do that before you put your engine in, I mean changing gaskets.

I think you should find some 6 zyl. transmission also, cuz its safer if nothnig else. :)

The M52B28 has EWS indeed and you will have to deal with it:

buying an EWS delete chip (i tried to find it for M52B28 and for US market, but I couldn't)

or

there are other options to bypass it, but look it up on google, how to do it.


If you are interested in tuning the M52B28 take the M50 intake or ITBs from the euro M3 (but there are some modification needed to fit the M50 or M52 engine), M3 cams, stainless steel exhaust manifold, and high flow exhaust system AND THEN REMAPING but not with chip you get on the ebay, but a proper remaping in a tuning company!? You can do the same with the M50 engine.