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Old 11-22-2010, 02:53 PM   #1
DR.ZED
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Its alive! Eta to 325i swap.

The timing pin on my 85 325e flywheel flew off. Instead of investing the labour to fix the pin it sped up my engine swap plans. Thanks to Rudi and Marcus they found me a 325i motor with all the accessories required to do the swap. I took their recommendation and they put on a new timing belt, waterpump and rod bearings plus adjusted the valves.

The electrical was the only real unknown as the early 325e uses a "square" C101 connector and the M20B25 engine is a round C101 connector. After pouring through the entire electrical manual of the two cars, I stumbled upon a dude who makes the harness for $150. Close to buying that I found a rogue service manual page from BMW which shows the two connections side by side. Almost like BMW was showing us how to swap it!!!

I made the harness (again thank's Rudi and Marcus for letting me cut a fuse box from another car) a few weeks in advance and crossed my fingers.

The swap actually wasn't that tough and within about 3 hours we had the old motor out. That evening around 10 am we cranked the car (about 8 hours of actual working). Nothing. After 20 minutes my buddy realized that I had put the starter trigger wire on the wrong terminal to my old starter. The car fired right up!

Some notes on the swap:

1) My early eta starter has a spade terminal for trigger. The newer harness has a round terminal, cut the round off and made a spade.
2) Larger DME computer in my older glove box will take a bit of moving around to get the glovebox to close nicely.
3) Reused my old distributor cap and rotor and all the wires (all new) except #6 from the old engine which contained the pulse generator.
4) Reused old transmission. Received installed clutch with new motor. Now my throw out bearing is rattling around. Odd but the old engine combo was very hard to shift. Perhaps input shaft wasn't lubed. New combo is smooth as silk.
4) Installed the old crank and pulse trigger in the old transmission to cover up the holes.
5) Small modification to fuel feed line (its much shorter and comes under the intake, versus up and over). Return line the same.
6) Need 4 wire heated O2 for new computer versus old 3 wire non-heated. Remember you not only need the new O2 sensor, you will also need the harness that connects it. I didn't realize this so we made a 3 ft harness.
7) Oil cooler. Bent up a few brackets and welded them to the bottom of the car. The mounting of this piece and fabrication was probably the most complex part of this swap, and that itself was cake.
8) The new AFM air intake is larger than the eta so the "horn" that connects the airbox to the plastic behind the headlights I will need to find.
9) New harness has a cluster of grounds that bolt to where the battery would be in a convertible, as opposed to the old harness which has a small ground off various parts of the engine and one from the valve cover to the same tray. Looks like a more stable ground supply. Reused the large ground off my old engine to the body side (from near the kick out of the oil pan on driver's side).
10) Upper coolant crossover hose is very close to clutch fan. Don't remember this on old engine but maybe I never paid attention. Its not hitting, but about 1/2" from the fan.
11) Feels good to not have like 10 coolant temp sensors that cost $50 each and a wacky idle system that is overly complex.


Car sounds awesome, even with the more restrictive eta exhaust. With my 2.73 eta gear I can do 110 km/hr in 2nd gear. LOL.... time for a diff swap.

I'll probably add to this post as I remember any tidbits, but aside from making that connector to the two C101 harnesses, the swap literally was plug and play.
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Last edited by DR.ZED; 11-22-2010 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 11-22-2010, 03:18 PM   #2
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Nice job man. I did a 2.7i with my old 'e', all the electronics and wiring was from an '89.

I actually put my 2.73 LSD in my current 325i, on long drives I can cruise and get amazing fuel mileage. When passing on the highway I drop it into 3rd. If the diff you have is an LSD and you do a fair amount of long distance you could just keep it. Off the line the car isn't as fast, but between the gears I just get the revs up and shift late if I need the extra go.

Later.
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Old 11-22-2010, 03:27 PM   #3
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Ya I was thinking of keeping the 2.73 (it is an LSD) but really it is VERY low for my driving taste. If the engine had a bit more low down torque like the eta then ya. It feels like I'm waiting forever for the revs to built... (sorta like a big turbo Supra lol).

Maybe a 3.73 would be a good compromise.
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Old 11-22-2010, 03:35 PM   #4
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Old 11-22-2010, 03:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craz azn View Post
(Rudi knows that it actually didn't "just start right up")....

We won't discuss details though.
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Old 11-23-2010, 06:57 PM   #6
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IMG_0128

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IMG_0131

IMG_0129

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Old 11-23-2010, 07:38 PM   #7
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hells yea, pics for the win! nice!
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:14 PM   #8
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That's no LS(x)!

Good to see it didn't just end up mothballed.
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Old 11-24-2010, 11:29 AM   #9
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2.73? You guys mean 2.79/2.93, right?

Good job on the swap! BTW Zed I saw your car in Ajax a while back, Church/2 area.
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Old 11-24-2010, 01:14 PM   #10
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Exactly... it's one of those things you look up and know... then it all gets blurry a year or two later.
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Old 11-24-2010, 02:03 PM   #11
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2.73? You guys mean 2.79/2.93, right?

Good job on the swap! BTW Zed I saw your car in Ajax a while back, Church/2 area.
It was a while back. It occurred to me that it was 6 months since I had pushed the car onto the trailer, lol!

I believe you are on the E side of Church S south of Rossland? There is a house with yellow E30?
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Old 11-24-2010, 02:04 PM   #12
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That's no LS(x)!

Good to see it didn't just end up mothballed.
Hahaha, I should stop announcing my redonkulous plans before they become reality.
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Old 11-24-2010, 03:33 PM   #13
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No I live in Scarborough, I was visiting family in Ajax and saw the car parked on the street just a few houses down.
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