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Thread: Turbo e30 build

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    Turbo e30 build

    Starting a thread to document my progress of my e30 build.

    Started out with a stock 318i with the M40 engine that i picked up for $900. Has 230+ kms on it, however this is likely more as when i purchased it, the odometer wasnt working. Fixed that up by disassembling and replacing broken cog gears with suitable replacements from an RC car kit.

    The body is mostly straight, however the paint is wrecked and will be getting a full respray as part of the project.

    Click here to enlarge

    Next up i picked up an M52b28, complete with G250 gbox and M50 intake manifold. As i'm in Australia, we got the aluminium block, not the iron block the folks in the US got so there was the risk of the block softening and causing issues with head bolts stripping the threads. All tests so far indicate that i've got a good block Click here to enlarge

    The plan is to run single turbo on stock internals. To support this so far i have purchased the below:
    - CES copper spacer and cutring gasket
    - Raceware head stud conversion (ARP dont make any for the M52 aluminium)
    - PTE 6262 turbo .82 A/R
    - Tial 44mm Wastegate
    - Good n Tight manifold
    - 80 deg thermostat + cast t/stat housing
    - e28 M5 (green) engine mounts
    - metal blade water pump
    - Renault Clio brake booster - the standard e30 booster will hit the intake manifold so a smaller option has been sourced
    - e46 steering rack

    Haven't yet pulled the head, waiting on cam alignment tools to arrive. Hopefully everything is still in decent condition. Test fitted the manifold however.

    Click here to enlarge

    I will be self-tuning the setup on the stock ECU. Plenty of development work is happening on the MS41 series ECUs over on the romraider forums. Going to be a steep learning curve compared to my current experience with the MSD81 on my 135i however.

    Still have plenty of additional parts to acquire/sort out before getting to the point of swapping the engine in such as:
    - Radiator and coolant tank
    - Fuel pump
    - Injectors
    - Relocate battery to boot
    - SMFW and clutch


    As i've been driving it around in its current form for several months, i also decided it was time to freshen up the interior a bit.

    I managed to source an Mtech2 steering wheel for a decent price and had it re-covered and thickened up slightly. These are becoming incredibly hard to find.

    Click here to enlarge

    Following that i also picked up a complete set of electric seats (front and rear) from an e46 coupe. Fabricated custom mounts for the front seats to use the factory mounting holes - none of this dodgy drilling through the floor which is apparently pretty common.

    Rear seats required cutting the mounts out for the stock seats and relocating to suit the new. Also had to trim some of the foam on the lower half and re-trim the leather in order to fit within the width of the e30 chassis.

    All in all took me about a day to do and i'm really happy with the end product:

    Click here to enlarge

    As it stands, funds for the project have run a bit dry. The AUD is so weak at the moment and conversion + shipping rates from the US are absolutely killing me. Hopefully in the next month or two i'll have the head pulled and prepped to install the spacer and HG.
    Last edited by ba114; 01-12-2016 at 08:27 PM.
    Australian 2008 135i 6MT | JB4 G5 ISO | Fuel-It Stage 1 TB Injection | BMR kittyless DPs | RPi GT Race Quad Exhaust | 7" HPF FMIC | DCI | ER Charge Pipe | Tial BOV | Custom backend flash | 2-Step & NLS

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    Cleaned up the gearbox over the weekend
    Click here to enlarge

    ZHP shorty weighted knob with new leather gaiter
    Click here to enlarge

    Fibreglassed in a sub enclosure
    Click here to enlarge
    Australian 2008 135i 6MT | JB4 G5 ISO | Fuel-It Stage 1 TB Injection | BMR kittyless DPs | RPi GT Race Quad Exhaust | 7" HPF FMIC | DCI | ER Charge Pipe | Tial BOV | Custom backend flash | 2-Step & NLS

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    e46 rear seat fitted. Required cutting out the lower mounts for the original e30 seat and re-welding them 75mm closer towards the centre of the car.

    Also had to undo the leather and remove approx 15mm of the foam from each end of the seat and then re-fit leather in order to fit the width of the car.

    Still have to source the plastic covers that go over the side trim where the seatbelts are.

    Click here to enlarge
    Australian 2008 135i 6MT | JB4 G5 ISO | Fuel-It Stage 1 TB Injection | BMR kittyless DPs | RPi GT Race Quad Exhaust | 7" HPF FMIC | DCI | ER Charge Pipe | Tial BOV | Custom backend flash | 2-Step & NLS

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    Cam locking/timing tools arrived so set about pulling the head. All went pretty smoothly, was pretty tricky keeping the timing chain secured at the same time as pulling the head but some tricky work with a coat hanger sorted that out thankfully.


    i've only performed a limited inspection but so far things are looking pretty good. no immediately visible cracks in the head, but will wait until its properly cleaned up for final analysis.

    Click here to enlarge

    The pistons are in pretty good shape and took very little effort to clean up although i'm not going to bother trying to get them completely clean. There was very little carbon build-up on them and while prepping the block, the rings held the brake cleaner and wd40 over-spray without leaking down so i'm fairly confident the rings are in good condition too.

    Click here to enlargeClick here to enlargeClick here to enlarge


    So far have worked through 200, 400, 600 & 800 grit with some passes at 1200 to go which should get the RA to a reasonable level for the copper spacer.


    The head, well i cleaned as much of it as i could with degreaser and high pressure washer. I'll pull the cams in the coming days. I've been given the name of someone in canberra to skim and test the head for me so we'll see how it turns out.
    Click here to enlarge
    Australian 2008 135i 6MT | JB4 G5 ISO | Fuel-It Stage 1 TB Injection | BMR kittyless DPs | RPi GT Race Quad Exhaust | 7" HPF FMIC | DCI | ER Charge Pipe | Tial BOV | Custom backend flash | 2-Step & NLS

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    Cross hatching still evident in the cylinders

    Click here to enlarge
    Australian 2008 135i 6MT | JB4 G5 ISO | Fuel-It Stage 1 TB Injection | BMR kittyless DPs | RPi GT Race Quad Exhaust | 7" HPF FMIC | DCI | ER Charge Pipe | Tial BOV | Custom backend flash | 2-Step & NLS

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    cams removed
    Click here to enlargeClick here to enlarge

    cam ledges removed
    Click here to enlarge
    Australian 2008 135i 6MT | JB4 G5 ISO | Fuel-It Stage 1 TB Injection | BMR kittyless DPs | RPi GT Race Quad Exhaust | 7" HPF FMIC | DCI | ER Charge Pipe | Tial BOV | Custom backend flash | 2-Step & NLS

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    Looking good mate.
    Do you know if that manifold will fit a non vanos M50b25 in a e30?
    Right hand drive as well.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Nugs Click here to enlarge
    Looking good mate.
    Do you know if that manifold will fit a non vanos M50b25 in a e30?
    Right hand drive as well.
    The manifold will physically bolt up and fit in the e30 and allow you to retain A/C too (if wanted). M50/M52 same same. The guys at good n tight said the wastegate piping needs to modified in order to get get the DP past the steering shaft though. I'll find out in a few months when i actually get round to trying to mount the engine.

    I've seen some interesting options to make the steering shaft as thin as possible with some union joints, which i might look into however is pretty $$$
    Australian 2008 135i 6MT | JB4 G5 ISO | Fuel-It Stage 1 TB Injection | BMR kittyless DPs | RPi GT Race Quad Exhaust | 7" HPF FMIC | DCI | ER Charge Pipe | Tial BOV | Custom backend flash | 2-Step & NLS

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    It's for my mate, he already has AC out and has modified the steering shaft modified for clearance.
    Sounds like a good option so will pass it along.

    Very keen to see how you go with yours.

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    would be interesting in seeing how he went with the steering shaft.
    I've got a new linkage to adapt the e30 to e46 steering rack however its a solid aluminum plate the same thickness as the guibo for the full length so consumes too much space.
    Australian 2008 135i 6MT | JB4 G5 ISO | Fuel-It Stage 1 TB Injection | BMR kittyless DPs | RPi GT Race Quad Exhaust | 7" HPF FMIC | DCI | ER Charge Pipe | Tial BOV | Custom backend flash | 2-Step & NLS

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ba114 Click here to enlarge
    would be interesting in seeing how he went with the steering shaft.
    I've got a new linkage to adapt the e30 to e46 steering rack however its a solid aluminum plate the same thickness as the guibo for the full length so consumes too much space.
    I'll grab the details and some photos off him.

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    http://ns1.e30zone.net/e30zonewiki/i...eering_Linkage
    This is what he did with his steering linkage.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Nugs Click here to enlarge
    http://ns1.e30zone.net/e30zonewiki/i...eering_Linkage
    This is what he did with his steering linkage.
    much better than what i have. will give probably 2" more clearance than i would have if i use what i have now
    Australian 2008 135i 6MT | JB4 G5 ISO | Fuel-It Stage 1 TB Injection | BMR kittyless DPs | RPi GT Race Quad Exhaust | 7" HPF FMIC | DCI | ER Charge Pipe | Tial BOV | Custom backend flash | 2-Step & NLS

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    Started stripping the engine bay last sunday in preparation for pulling the old 4cyl out.
    Took the bonnet and lights etc off first, then got to work on the accessories.
    Click here to enlargeClick here to enlarge


    Then i spend what seemed like an eternity on my back, under the car disconnecting the driveshaft and removing the transmission mounts. Eventually i got there and ended the night with the engine resting on its mounts and the gearbox on the jack. It had to sit like this for a couple of days till i could get the engine load leveller from my brother in law.

    Click here to enlarge

    On Wednesday i collected the load leveller and the crane and got to work!

    Click here to enlargeClick here to enlarge

    Without the leveller it would have really been a struggle. i managed to get there in the end after a few adjustments. An extra set of hands would have been handy, but managed on my own.

    Click here to enlarge

    Old engine is now completely removed!
    Next up i'll strip out the old e30 steering rack and replace with the e46 rack i have. Will be much easier to do this now. All the bushes, control arms, tie rods etc will also be replaced with new components ive collected over the months.

    The engine is still a couple of months off from being ready to drop in so while im finishing that i'll also get the wiring done in preparation.
    Australian 2008 135i 6MT | JB4 G5 ISO | Fuel-It Stage 1 TB Injection | BMR kittyless DPs | RPi GT Race Quad Exhaust | 7" HPF FMIC | DCI | ER Charge Pipe | Tial BOV | Custom backend flash | 2-Step & NLS

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    Sweet start, I can't wait to start my story... Still acquiring parts for the build lol

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    will be collecting a 325e next weekend as i need the 3.15 ratio diff from it.
    these things are getting really hard to come by and most people are asking $400+ just for the diff.

    i got the whole car for $500 Click here to enlarge
    Australian 2008 135i 6MT | JB4 G5 ISO | Fuel-It Stage 1 TB Injection | BMR kittyless DPs | RPi GT Race Quad Exhaust | 7" HPF FMIC | DCI | ER Charge Pipe | Tial BOV | Custom backend flash | 2-Step & NLS

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    I got a 1985 325e with 2.97 open diff for $600. Not as lucky as you lol
    2003 325xi - DD
    1985 325e - Project

    "Go find me some blinker fluid, private" - One Pissed DS

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    I'm in Australia, so remember US$600 is like AU$10,000... haha
    Australian 2008 135i 6MT | JB4 G5 ISO | Fuel-It Stage 1 TB Injection | BMR kittyless DPs | RPi GT Race Quad Exhaust | 7" HPF FMIC | DCI | ER Charge Pipe | Tial BOV | Custom backend flash | 2-Step & NLS

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    Fair enough lol, but a bit curious... I'm wondering if you have the the early C101. If so, what pin do you have going from pin 6 body side to the X20 connector??
    2003 325xi - DD
    1985 325e - Project

    "Go find me some blinker fluid, private" - One Pissed DS

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by kidnplay Click here to enlarge
    Fair enough lol, but a bit curious... I'm wondering if you have the the early C101. If so, what pin do you have going from pin 6 body side to the X20 connector??
    Will try dig that out for you tonight. From memory it was connected to the O2 heater wire
    Australian 2008 135i 6MT | JB4 G5 ISO | Fuel-It Stage 1 TB Injection | BMR kittyless DPs | RPi GT Race Quad Exhaust | 7" HPF FMIC | DCI | ER Charge Pipe | Tial BOV | Custom backend flash | 2-Step & NLS

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    on Wednesday i started with the wiring. Stripped out the old engine harness and commenced sorting it.

    Click here to enlarge

    Started with the e36 harness for the new engine as well, and unfortunately found it had been rather butchered at the DME end. At some point a very old Unichip has been fitted. i thought it would be as simple as just removing it and matching up the wires that had been intercepted and rejoining to the main harness.....not quite. There were multiple cuts, different wire colours used in various place for the same sensor etc.Had to bust out the multimeter and do some tracing with the pinouts for the dme connector but eventually had a restored to stock harness.

    Then i commenced laying it out in the engine bay, trying to figure out where all the relevant wires need to be placed, i.e passenger side, drivers side etc. This took a little time and the e36 harness places certain wire bundles together that do not make sense/work work in the e30 such as the diagnostic port and the coil power connector are bundled together, however the diagnostic port needs to go where the original e30 port was next to the fuse box, but the coil connector needs to be over on the drivers side in order to be able to reach the coils.

    After getting it all sorted i trial fitted under the stock e30 wiring covers and was pleased to see it all fitted relatively well.

    Click here to enlarge

    Last night i started matching up the wires from the e30 c101 plug for the body, with the x20 engine harness plug from the e36. I was originally going to make a harness adapter, but have now decided im going to remove the x20 from the engine harness and replace it with the c101. This will make for a neater fit under the wiring covers.
    Australian 2008 135i 6MT | JB4 G5 ISO | Fuel-It Stage 1 TB Injection | BMR kittyless DPs | RPi GT Race Quad Exhaust | 7" HPF FMIC | DCI | ER Charge Pipe | Tial BOV | Custom backend flash | 2-Step & NLS

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    Do you have the square C101 (early C101) or the circular C101? I've been so desperately trying to figure out what this pin 6 controls for going on 3 months. As many times as I ask, I never get an answer. I shall patiently await your answer(s) lol
    2003 325xi - DD
    1985 325e - Project

    "Go find me some blinker fluid, private" - One Pissed DS

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    Mine is circular.

    From the ETM on the below site (pg 26 & 35) it appears that pin 6 provides fused power to a number of sensors/controllers: oxygen sensor heater, temp switch, idle speed control

    http://www.armchair.mb.ca/~dave/BMW/e30/
    Australian 2008 135i 6MT | JB4 G5 ISO | Fuel-It Stage 1 TB Injection | BMR kittyless DPs | RPi GT Race Quad Exhaust | 7" HPF FMIC | DCI | ER Charge Pipe | Tial BOV | Custom backend flash | 2-Step & NLS

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    Trying to figure the schematics is a pain to me. But from someone who did understand, I would have to splice it to a 12V that's hot all the time. Again, new things are a pain to me lol
    2003 325xi - DD
    1985 325e - Project

    "Go find me some blinker fluid, private" - One Pissed DS

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    This is the schematic i made for my 318i c101-x20 harness.

    Click here to enlarge
    Australian 2008 135i 6MT | JB4 G5 ISO | Fuel-It Stage 1 TB Injection | BMR kittyless DPs | RPi GT Race Quad Exhaust | 7" HPF FMIC | DCI | ER Charge Pipe | Tial BOV | Custom backend flash | 2-Step & NLS

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