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Old 01-11-2007, 12:07 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by JazzM
The e38's have other issues (suspension and mechanical) that have caused them to depreciate very quickly and therefore become redily available at lower prices.

If you're looking for a bigger car, why not look at the e39. Either with a 4.4L or the 2.8 M52 (both regular and TU version).

Those can be turbo'ed, etc.

Yea I saw that too, I was shocked that you could find a nice 96-97 740i for around $10-15,000 which was around $100,000 new...

As for the E39, they are not my favorite, don't get me wrong I do like them, but the interior is a little too small for someone my size, i found when I drove one, that the B pillar dug into my shoulder... and my knees were uncomfortable as well. The seven, I can stretch my legs out when I throw on the cruise, and have lots of room to get comfortable on a long trip.

Since I love to drive so much, this is what is most important, comfort.

07 GTI, Revo Stage II, 3" catless GHL exhaust, OEM R32 rear conversion, 17x9 + 17x11 215/45/17 all around on genuine BBS RS's, B&G RSII coilovers

96 Harliquin Golf
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Old 01-11-2007, 12:20 AM   #32
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I know its a pity. I love the way the e38s look, espeically with the extended wheel base (IL model).

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Old 01-16-2017, 11:42 PM   #33
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I think it's a little hypocritical to propose non-BMW swaps... a solution to the to the problem of getting the S85 electronics to talk to your E32 cluster when you're going to have EXACTLY the same problem with the LSx and other non-BMW engines.

The S85 V10, along with its V8 sibling the S65 (from the E9x M3) doesn't even use throttle bodies. Those engines actually use the valve-timing controls to directly control the engine RPM. The Engine DME talks directly to the drive by wire accelerator potentiometer in the M3, M5, and M6. That's right - the DME directly alters the valve timing depending on the accelerator position, making the throttle body a completely irrelevant part in these engines. Forget about the aftermarket - I very seriously doubt that the aftermarket engine management "industry" has anything on the shelf that would run these extremely sophisticated engines.

If you think for even a second that your original BMW E32 instrument cluster are going to have anything REMOTELY resembling a "conversation" with that non-BMW engine management system, you're either not dealing with reality, or you don't know a thing about what you're talking about.

Your original E32 instrument cluster gets its information primarily from the DME, particularly your speedometer, odometer, and tachometer, vaccuum gauge under the tach as well as your voltmeter. The fuel gauge is probably the only gauge that talks directly to the fuel level sensor in your gas tank.

Even if you went with an S38 engine, you're probably still going to need an e34 M5 instrument cluster for two reasons: 1) that S38 engine is going to have a different rpm redline than the M30 engine, and 2) your original M30 DME may not have the provision to drive that oil temperature gauge on the tach. Yes, the E32/E34 gauge clusters get their signals primarily from the DMEs.

So in order to properly talk to a non-original, non-E32 engine, you're also definitely looking at a cluster swap. Either way, you're probably either going to have to go with custom gauges from aftermarket companies like VDO, Dakota Digital, or other companies. Good luck making them fit in the original hole in the instrument panel without some serious modifications.

Personally, I think your best bet is to try to upgrade your existing engine for more power. The M30 and S38, while different engines, are from the same engine family. At its peak, the S38 was putting out 340 hp in the E34 M5. That's likely to be a far friendlier tech swap than any of the other swaps being batted about.

BTW, the E38 and E39 has a completely different electronics system from the E32 and E34. If you are able to find a wrecked E39 with a V8, you MIGHT be able to get it to work with the S60 V8 in the E39 M5 IF you grab a slew of harnesses as well as the instrument cluster from an E39.

But let me get to the most important point - if you think you have to go with a recent engine to get serious horsepower under the hood, I should point out a very important historical fact: the engine that BMW used to win races in the original E21 3-series was actually sourced from the lowly M10 four cylinder. Through the creation of a custom, one of a kind 16 valve DOHC cylinder head and a monstrous turbocharger, BMW was able to wring 1,300 horsepower out of a two liter M10 four cylinder engine. Did I mention this was all the way back in 1977? BTW, forget about sourcing one of these engines on Ebay or Craigslist. BMW built them to order 40 years ago, and the few surviving examples are worth at least a cool million apiece. Not to mention the fact that the racing version was not street legal and clearly bred for racing. It wouldn't live cooperatively in a street car even if you could get one of these engines. They ran hot and at extremely high RPMs to make their power. Unless you're able to keep the engine at 6,000 to 8,000 rpm while driving it (in a street car?? are you kidding me??) it's definitely not a domesticated animal.

So don't write off your 80's and 90's engine as a powerless lump just because it's 30 years old. BMW was able to wring phenomenal numbers out of a far older and smaller engine, and while it won't come cheap, you don't need the deep pockets of BMW to get serious power out of your car's original engine.

Lastly, those S65 and S85 engines, despite putting out "sexy" horsepower numbers, have their own issues, primarily fuel consumption and VANOS problems. Also, did I fail to mention that those engines use electronic oil pumps, and you will need access to a GT1 computer to do an oil change? A suction hose is NOT going to get all of the oil out of the system, and it's definitely not going to turn on those oil pumps needed to get the last liter of filthy oil out of the system. These engines are also experiencing oil consumption problems as they age. The last time I checked, a new or replacement S85 or S65 engine was listed in at around $30K, Mr. Big Bucks.

IMHO, an S85 V10 swap SOUNDS sexy, but unless you have some seriously deep pockets, fabrication skills, or best of all, access to a wrecked E60 M5 or E63 M6 to grab everything off it, I believe that swap is way more trouble than its worth.

Just my $20.02

Last edited by bcweir; 01-17-2017 at 12:06 AM.
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Old 01-17-2017, 12:35 AM   #34
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that's great but you do realize this thread is 10yrs old, the OP doesn't even drive a BMW anymore

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Old 01-17-2017, 12:43 AM   #35
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No problem. Info may help others

Happy hunting
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