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Thread: M50 swap-101

  1. #1
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    M50 swap-101

    Hi there gents, i am going to do a thread documenting my m50 swap into my e21. My sig shows a pic of an m10 and a turbo well im abandoning the turbo for the 6 cylinder. I hope to create a thread that can be used by others as reference in the future, and i will try to include many pics. Im sure i will have tons of questions so this can be a swap performed by the e21 community (with me doing all the work LOL!).

    These are pics of what i got so far...

    this is the turbo i was going to use

    this is what my car looks like now, engine only has about 6k miles on it since rebuild. The engine/car has only 90k miles. (i need to clean my car)



    this is the donor a 92 525i

    and the engine a non-vanos engine ready for some real driving


    I will be using megasquirt to run the engine since my current set up is running on MS.
    Stuff i need:
    5 speed tranny (which one?)
    clutch and flywheel
    bigger radiator
    full custom exhaust

    Stuff i dont need but would be cool to have:
    headers
    fuel cell

    Like i said i will be keeping a nice update with pics so that everyone can see what im doing to my little e21.
    PS. this is what a burnout with the m10 looked like [ame]http://youtube.com/watch?v=mZVX9pcxc-w[/ame] i will make another after im done with the swap for comparison

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    I'll buy that driver's seat center armrest from the donor car. Maybe some other bits too.

  4. #4
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    what will you be ding with your turbo stuff?

  5. #5
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    The turbo is on ebay right now and the rest of the pieces im going to keep.

    Layne PM me about the parts you want, i want to get rid of this thing ASAP!

  6. #6
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    This is something i would eventually like to do i think! so good luck and i cant wait to see progress.

  7. #7
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    Awesome! It's about time someone did this here. I'm very curious to know how it turns out. Keep us posted and good luck!

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the encouragement guys! Im gonna start to pull the drivetrain out of my e21 within the next few days so ill start to post some pics.

  9. #9
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    [QUOTE=hdriven;13388954]Hi there gents, i am going to do a thread documenting my m50 swap into my e21.
    These are pics of what i got so far...

    this is what my car looks like now, engine only has about 6k miles on it since rebuild. The engine/car has only 90k miles. (i need to clean my car)


    what kind of air dam is taht? Alpina? I got one from ebay but the ends look different, mine are lower. Can you post closer pics of the way you mounted it please? thanks
    e30 325i, the mighty 4 door granma mobile....Gone
    e39 528i, 4 door sports tank

  10. #10
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    i wasnt sure if i wanted too paint my bonnet black but after seening that yours is i may of changed my mind just didnt know how it would go beacuse it kind of comes qtr of the way down the gaurd aswel.

  11. #11
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    The air dam is, i believe, the alpina. I'm not sure because actually found it at the junk yard I will post some more pics so you can see how it mounts... it's a little broken though

  12. #12
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    The reason i painted my hood black is because the original one got dented up, so i picked up another one at the junk yard... long story short i was all out of blue but i had plenty of black, so its been black ever since. I'm starting to like the black even my GF says to not paint it blue LOL!

  13. #13
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    The Alpina spoilers for early and late models are different, something about the ends if I recall. CJ will know.

  14. #14
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    Very cool. Good luck with the swap...once I started getting into E21's and reading the forums, I was surprised to see that this swap is not more popular. I guess there are several reasons why which I have yet to find out about.

    OP: Are you using the stock diff? What driveshaft will you use?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jszy25 View Post
    Very cool. Good luck with the swap...once I started getting into E21's and reading the forums, I was surprised to see that this swap is not more popular. I guess there are several reasons why which I have yet to find out about.

    OP: Are you using the stock diff? What driveshaft will you use?
    While I appreciate the work in this thread to swap the m50 I can explain why:

    Thats because most m50s require work to get them to fit fabrication and otherwise, and high mileage ones need to be rebuilt, where as a turboed M10 or M20 will produce more power, and can readily be done.

    I am swaping in a later model 1990 e30 built NA 2.9 m20 stroker, but in the end what you swap is up to you, its dealer's choice. 2.7 strokers using the eta bottom end on the stock 323i head and fuel system have built, very inexpensively and produce as much as most 2.5 m50s.
    "..Horsepower is a measure of work done over time, or the rate at which work is done."




    http://www.cardomain.com/ride/579694/1


  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjgbmw323 View Post
    While I appreciate the work in this thread to swap the m50 I can explain why:

    Thats because most m50s require work to get them to fit fabrication and otherwise, and high mileage ones need to be rebuilt, where as a turboed M10 or M20 will produce more power, and can readily be done.

    I am swaping in a later model 1990 e30 built NA 2.9 m20 stroker, but in the end what you swap is up to you, its dealer's choice. 2.7 strokers using the eta bottom end on the stock 323i head and fuel system have built, very inexpensively and produce as much as most 2.5 m50s.
    Thank you for the clarification. What is considered a common swap in the E21's? I recently read about the M42...is that more common place?

  17. #17
    uberpanzer's Avatar
    uberpanzer is offline 4 banger's RULE!!! BMW CCA Member
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    3cars-36v. Math FTW!
    'Common' seems to be either M20 or S14, since they are both blocks that bolt up, assuming you can find the 323i front stuff for a M20 swap. The S14 block is almost identical to the M10.

    BTW hdriven, lemm know if you need to unload the M10.
    Metal Bumpers Are For BEEETCHES!!!!! "King of Lean" - Retired

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by uberpanzer View Post
    'Common' seems to be either M20 or S14, since they are both blocks that bolt up, assuming you can find the 323i front stuff for a M20 swap. The S14 block is almost identical to the M10.

    BTW hdriven, lemm know if you need to unload the M10.
    Ahh ok I see. Too bad the S14's go for so much $$.

  19. #19
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    Ok here are the pics of my front piece and the way i bolted it up, well i actually rivited it on. I know its all messed up and broken... i was drifting and .... well yeah LOL!


    Any who the reason i am doing this swap is because i want the torque, sound, pride of having a 24 valve I6 under the hood...plus it was really inexpensive

    As far as the differential and driveshaft goes, im going to be using the e21 diff i have and ill be using the stock driveshaft. Once i have this thing running well i wanted to upgrade to an aluminum driveshaft.

  20. #20
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    Oh and yeah i think im going to have my 2.0L m10 for sale...kinda makes me sad to see it go, but its time to move on to bigger better things.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jszy25 View Post
    Ahh ok I see. Too bad the S14's go for so much $$.
    Yep, thats why the m42 can be had for cheap and can be rebuilt and turboed to fly...where as the S14 costs 5-10k for a rebuild.
    "..Horsepower is a measure of work done over time, or the rate at which work is done."




    http://www.cardomain.com/ride/579694/1


  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by hdriven View Post

    Layne PM me about the parts you want, i want to get rid of this thing ASAP!
    Are you ever going to answer?

  23. #23
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    Ok here are some pics guys. I was able to make some progress today...I pulled out the engine and trans, and dropped in the m50.

    The M50 fit in like a charm It fits so well that even the radiator fits!

    OMG look one jack gets the whole front end up!

    After i put the engine in I started measuring and i was able to position the engine in the right spot, I also made a mount for the passenger side....tomorrow i will make the one on the driver.

    For the passenger side mount all i did was unbolt the stock e34 motor mount and rotate 180 degrees after that it just needed a small adapter. I'll post pics of the mounts in the following days.

    One last thing this is actually a lot easier that i first expected

    Till tomorrow gents
    Last edited by hdriven; 06-27-2008 at 01:08 AM.

  24. #24
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    sweet man, thats gonna be a beast when your done!! and that suspension rocks !

    Be a part of racing history - http://www.gofundme.com/TorMcIlroyRacing2013 and help me race in 2013.

  25. #25
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    Yeah my suspension is rock hard...LOL! No but seriously yeah i cant wait to drive it, i hope that all this work is worth it. To be honest I absolutely loved my M10, it pulled great for being a four banger.

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