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Old 12-18-2003, 02:13 PM   #1
DORIGTT
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Turbo M20 questions...

I've seen/read about alot of turbo conversions done on the E30 vehicles with the M20 conversion but haven't seen the outputs that I would expect. Why is that?

The M20 is a 6 cylinder 2 valve per cylinder powerplant that it appears when most are force-fed only produce mid 200 horsepower outputs. I've known Audi 5 cylinder 2 valve per cylinder cars producing mid 300 horsepower outputs with 'relative' ease.

I would think that the M20 is capable of performance more along those lines without too much trouble.

What am I not seeing here?

Even in naturally aspirated form, I haven't seen what I would consider high output powerplants. The stroker conversions and such aren't showing me the numbers.

Can anyone explain what's going on, or what the limiting factors are?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-18-2003, 02:23 PM   #2
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With it's ancient head design, engine managmenet, and severely limiting 12-valve design, the M20 can only do so much. The way BMW had it in the "i" cars is just about what can be expected of it. Throwing money into the motor really doesn't make any sense.

Transplant an M50, it has SO much more potential, and you'll spend less over the long run.
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Old 12-18-2003, 03:30 PM   #3
89325i
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I think you only see a lot of mid 200 numbers because most people stay with stock internals, and run lower boost, so as not to have engine problems. I still agree that the m20 is limited, compared to the e36. But if you want power out of it, put some forged bottom end parts, and capable fueling, and other stuff ect...
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Old 12-18-2003, 03:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by 89325i
I think you only see a lot of mid 200 numbers because most people stay with stock internals, and run lower boost, so as not to have engine problems. I still agree that the m20 is limited, compared to the e36. But if you want power out of it, put some forged bottom end parts, and capable fueling, and other stuff ect...
Once you dump that cash, you could have had a more efficient and more reliable M50 at your disposal, with a lot more headroom for mods.
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Old 12-18-2003, 05:52 PM   #5
DORIGTT
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But what does it cost to upgrade to an M50? After the wiring mess and all the necessary mods to this and that and the new trans and driveshaft, bla bla bla. How much power do you have? mid to upper 200hp range? Then modify that and I image things get really expensive...$7000 for a turbo kit? WOW.
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Old 12-18-2003, 09:31 PM   #6
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M50's can be found at the scrapyeards for 1 to 2,000 bucks.
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Old 12-18-2003, 09:34 PM   #7
DORIGTT
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but the trans is needed, OBDI harness and ECU, radiator blah, blah, blah. Is this correct? If so, that increases the cash outlay substantially.

Does anyone know of a site chronicaling the installation of the M50 into the E30 chassis?

Thanks in advance
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Old 12-19-2003, 04:09 AM   #8
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You can use the stock M20 tranny, and the ECU and other related parts all come with the engine.

This is a good site: http://www.e30m50.com/
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Old 12-19-2003, 06:35 AM   #9
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You can get decent HP from the m20..

Just build it properly.. and run a bit more than 10 psi boost... which is what most guys are running.

I'd use a M20 B23 motor and build that up.
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Old 12-20-2003, 02:37 AM   #10
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Just my 1 cent.

Many sites across the WWW report that the M50 bolts up to the E30 325 tranny. However, because of the greater power clutch might slip and soft takeoffs are a must. On Ebay BMW engines are listed frequently. I say go to the telephone book look for junk/salvage yards and ask about BMW parts. Your city/state newspaper website will have many things car related. Or go to a national or global salvage/recycle website something like Bimmersouth and that other one and due a few searches.
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Old 12-20-2003, 08:27 AM   #11
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I wouldn't do a transplant only because the m20 is the heart of an e30 and yes yo can get good power out of one if you know what you're doing...I think its ashame peoples answer to every power question concerning the m20 is "swap it out for a m50" I'd have to really convince myself to do a swap and if I was....it wouldn't be an m50 it'd be a S50....lol
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Old 12-20-2003, 04:00 PM   #12
DORIGTT
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I'm new to the BMW world so what's a M20 B23 engine? Is that the 'IS' motor that I have now?

As I was saying about the Audi (I've had prior experience with them), they are a 2.2L 5 cylinder with the intake and exhaust on the same side of the engine(less efficient than the M20's crossflow setup) and with a CIS-E system which arguably is less sophisticated compared to our Motronic 1.1.

With not alot of mods (stock displacement and such) getting 300 hp with relatively simple bolt on upgrades...free-flow exhaust, mandrel bent induction tubing, intercooler adde etc.))
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Old 12-20-2003, 09:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by BladeRunner
Many sites across the WWW report that the M50 bolts up to the E30 325 tranny. However, because of the greater power clutch might slip and soft takeoffs are a must.
It only has 17 more lb-ft. I don't see how that could seriously do any damage to the stock clutch. Besides, you could just swap a higher performance clutch into the M20 parts anyways.
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Old 12-21-2003, 06:17 AM   #14
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I wasn't refering to the clutch, clutches are very strong. Also, I was just passing on what other people have reported in forums and on website, about the stock e30 325 clutch slipping and tranny not worthstand much power.
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Old 12-28-2003, 06:54 PM   #15
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i rarely post on this forum because i got tired of people tellin me to do an M50 swap. from my experience with my 325, and what i had did with it, which the setup is out to be perfected in my garage now.. a 2.7 bottom end with a 524td crank mated with a 2.5 top end, ported and polished, makes a nice combo when u use it with the 524td exhaust manifold(the mounting holes will have to be slightly modified,) and a T3/T04e, the possibilities r endless, right now my stock motor is back in because i wanna get some all forged internals, and a .030 overbore, and i want to lower the compression a lil more, i currently have hypo pistons, which i am not satisfied with... the only problem is i have a 325 IS ECU with the matchin dinan chip in it, and its not good enough for my set up, but i was jus posting what i had to let it be known u can get power out of a 325e... i cant wait to be able to post dyno results when its all finally done... and this is my daily driver, i took it from washington,DC to the end of georgia with that turbo motor and stopped for gas 2times... thas a 10hour drive...

oh yea i 4got to mention, larger injectors were needed bad, so i got a set of 550cc injectors fro ma friend of mine, i think he said they were from a supra, not sure, he did the install on them and a new rail plus my afpr
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Last edited by boosted325; 12-28-2003 at 06:59 PM.
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