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View Full Version : How to get more power in my E30


blastedM3
09-07-2008, 10:41 PM
I got my 1991 318 ic almost complete....I need to get some more power in there as it feels more like my civic...

I have the exhaust done and the cold air intake is on the way....i was just wondering what else is there i can do to get some more HORSEPOWER...

all suggestions welcome...

E30M42cab
09-07-2008, 10:58 PM
I have a Dinan chip in my cabrio, and it has raised my rev limiter to 7200, but it's still slow. I have no centre silencer, just pipe from the cat to the rear muffler, and a K&N cone filter. My dad has the exact same car in red, but bone stock, and we've "tested" the two together, and mine definately has more "go" to it. UUC short throw shift kit helps pick up some slack too.

andicanada
09-07-2008, 11:02 PM
the best and cheap is #1 m20 b25 #2 a m50 #3 a m52 #4 S50 #5 S62 ok also a m30 but i think that would be not my choise at all

kick the m42 out and make some room

when i remember right the 318 ic is a 1.8 16V in north america you can also upgrade that with some money but you are still better of to change the engine

andicanada
09-07-2008, 11:06 PM
oh by the way a good m42 engine has no problem to keep up with a m20 b25 and i mean the condition of the motor is importend
when the engine was running alredy 220000km then i would take some money and redo the engine

E30M42cab
09-07-2008, 11:09 PM
As far as I could tell, my cabrio kept up just fine with the M20's at the spring E30 cruise, but I was winding the hell out of it. I never felt in the way though. It has 264,000kms on it and it still pull strong. Never had a problem with my M42 in 68,000kms.

andicanada
09-07-2008, 11:20 PM
then what are you complaining you say you want more power ??? droop at least 5 grand in the engine and you will have some more power .
power does not come with a cold air intake at all and a m42 is a m42
every engine has his limits.

you discribe that as winding

spend some time understanding what you have and what you could do!
you could easely make a 2l 16V out of that engine but then you spending 5 grand and up

E30M42cab
09-08-2008, 02:41 PM
then what are you complaining you say you want more power ??? droop at least 5 grand in the engine and you will have some more power.
power does not come with a cold air intake at all and a m42 is a m42
every engine has his limits.

you discribe that as winding

spend some time understanding what you have and what you could do!
you could easely make a 2l 16V out of that engine but then you spending 5 grand and up
Who's complaining? Drop $5K into any engine then and be done with it. Turbo it... there. He wants to know what he can do to an M42, not be told to drop an M50 into it. Compared to a M20B27, yes, 7200rpm's is winding it up.

andicanada
09-08-2008, 03:00 PM
turbo a m42 is not the best way and i'n my thought's i was not thinking about a turbo at all for 5 grand you can get 180-200 ps out of that engine without a turbo, stroke the engine to 2 l do some head modifications and dropp a dbilas intake manifold on the engine on top of that go dyno the engine with a custom chip!

I drove a m42 for 2 years back in germany and when you have a good engine and some work done to it, it is running like crazy better then a M20 b25
when you want more info on redoing the engine google is your friend also look at www.e30.de there are some ppl. with the discribed setup.

oh and second you said M20 b27 most of them are running not even better then a good M20 b25

blastedM3
09-08-2008, 08:20 PM
I'm thinking of getting a chip but waiting for one to show up locally. As for the intake its gonna be a k&n one.

Engine wise i dont really wanna do a swap unless its a old out and new one in..but even that will require some modification....

Whats the easiest engine i can get inhere without it being alot of work as i will be doing this myself.

Money is not an issue,its just that i dont want to run into any kinds of headaches.

What engine is the m20 b25? as i am not really familiar with these terms and this is my first e30,so i'm fairly new to these toys.

sami

Bullet Ride
09-08-2008, 08:32 PM
take it to bimmersport and have the engine in your sig put into it. The only headache you will have from that might be from whiplash due to insane accel.

andicanada
09-08-2008, 09:22 PM
dropp a m20 b25 in that look that you have the engine with all acesories harnes and brain
brakes are the big once alredy vented front and disc in the rear oh and a driveshaft
m20 is good but i would replace timing belt and may get the head redone valve seats and so on when the block is alright
you can also use the rear diff. or change to the stock one from a 325i

blastedM3
09-08-2008, 10:02 PM
What engine is the m20 b25? How much would this cost me around?

everlast
09-09-2008, 01:40 AM
m20b25 is the 2.5 liter 6 from the 325i 87-91. i wouldn't do a swap from the m42 to that. the difference is not enough to warrant the upgrade.

i saw a turbo m42 on the weekend (bearsbmw drove it around even) and it was insane. it was done on the cheap, too, i imagine if you dropped $3k and your car at bimmersport or some place in your area, you could be driving a boosted m42.

NOTORIOUS VR
09-09-2008, 08:00 AM
m20b25 is the 2.5 liter 6 from the 325i 87-91. i wouldn't do a swap from the m42 to that. the difference is not enough to warrant the upgrade.

i saw a turbo m42 on the weekend (bearsbmw drove it around even) and it was insane. it was done on the cheap, too, i imagine if you dropped $3k and your car at bimmersport or some place in your area, you could be driving a boosted m42.

x2

M20 E30's are still too slow to warrant the cost of doing that swap. Either turbo your existing motor or swap in a 24V motor instead.

EMPOWERD
09-09-2008, 09:38 AM
^^^ what he said.

Also, make sure the "cold air intake" you're installing is just that... a true COLD AIR INTAKE. I can't tell you enough how much power you'll loose swapping the OE air box for a K&N cone filter on a MAF adapter. I've seen dyno numbers (10+ wHP) to prove that the best intake setup for the M42 is a K&N drop-in panel filter with the OE airbox. At the very least, make sure your "cold air intake" has the cone filter sitting close to your fog light, well away from under-hood heat.

If you want a nice increase in HP, for relatively low budget... go nitrous route. I'm a believer in nitrous (used it many years flawlessly) and will vouch for a 50HP shot when installed correctly. You can buy a ZEX kit new for $700 (cheaper used).

Striker
09-09-2008, 11:47 AM
Or do the m20 swap.............................. and turbo charge it :D

richie_s999
09-09-2008, 11:57 AM
Lighen the load on the M42, I have switched to manual steering and removed the a/c and it is a noticable improvement, the flywheel is a good place start to loose rotational mass from the M42, stock flywheel is 28lbs, you can get one that weighs under 10 lbs.
Also look into an electric fan. I agree about the chip, and having a true cold air intake, these are things I am planning in the future myself.

http://bmwnut.blogspot.com/2006/04/1991-e30-bmw-318is-performance-mods.html

check this link it gives a good plan for an M42 build on a budget

NOTORIOUS VR
09-09-2008, 12:59 PM
If you want a nice increase in HP, for relatively low budget... go nitrous route. I'm a believer in nitrous (used it many years flawlessly) and will vouch for a 50HP shot when installed correctly. You can buy a ZEX kit new for $700 (cheaper used).


Hah... good ol nitrous... not mentioned much these days anymore, but Randy is right... Nitrous is a good way to give you good power w/o much of an added expense (other then the kit).

Only thing is... Nitrous is addictive and isn't all that cheap if you go through a lot of it *th-up*

blastedM3
09-09-2008, 11:15 PM
I'm not a big nitrous fan but more of a turbo fan. I'm thinking of doing an egine swap as i already have an 88 325i...and just work with that engine for the time being till i get bored and than eventually work my way up to a turbo.

How much am i looking at for a turbo? and is there anything else i need besides the engine,ecu,computer,harness? i have the complete car.

NOTORIOUS VR
09-09-2008, 11:26 PM
I think you have to ask yourself one very important question before all else here.

How much power do you want to make? Make sure you're realistic and keep in mind your budget (if you've set one so far).

After you answer that, it gets a little easier for us to represent some options to you.