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#1\2013-06-24 23:48



Posts: 4341

New York
us United States


picked this up in the fall of 2011 i think.

bought it for $300 or $400 bucks. No springs / front spindles or shocks / struts. Everything else was there.

Put suspension in, H&R's and Konis I think.

The interior was GROSS... i hate blue.

Swapped it all over to black. The PO put some knockoff racing seats in it, those looked a lot better than the blue cloth ones tho.

I bought and immediately swapped in a 2.92 LSD. this car had a 3.73 OPEN diff, i couldn't stand it. It was a whole other car without an LSD... in a bad way. no good. the 2.92 is all i could find locally so i took it, 70 bucks whatever. No pics tho

to this

MUCH better.

The airbag wheel was horrible, just horrible. Bought this

Put it in, looked great.

brakes sucked, got new pads and rotors, german stuff of course. no chinese ever.

She was good ! clean and ran well, loved it.

THEN the head gasket blew... found out later it was because some DOPE swapped in a ETA m20 and kept the 2.5 liter motor's ecu... and I was revving it out to redline all the time.. to 6500.. far past the 4750 or whatever the redline was supposed to be for that junk eta motor.

SO I decided, M50 swap... yeahh whooo , here we go.

Bought the M50NV, $500 all acessories / harness / ecu ready to go.

The engine stand was PISSED tho..

The last moments before pulling the beat ass M20 out...

Did everything necessary to pull the engine and out she came !

looked nasty.

Ordered a bunch of parts.

stage 2 clutch

Shaved the flywheel and resurfaced it at napa, was like 100 bucks.

Z3 rack? shit why not !

Brake booster was a piece of shit, so i replaced with a used one from a member on here or e30tech.

moved the booster over and cut the arm and made it work, works mint.

Did the water pump, valve cover gasket, oil pan gasket obviously, rear main seal, thermostat and housing and new plugs.

Tranny cleaned up good. did all new bushings in the shifter linkage , and replaced the rear seals on the tranny too cause they sucked ass.

wired up the harness

this is my cousin you keep seeing in the photos, im not 17 don't worry.

and finally it was in

Didn't take pics but I also put new inner and outter tie rods, replaced control arms up front and also got the solid M3 offset bushings too.

My buddy put together my exhaust for me. I got the mufflers because the guy who has this forum has a thread about his M50NV build (can anyone link me?) and he was right.. this exhaust setup is the best. Borla muffler in the middle with the vibrant out back. Sounds beast, perfect for daily driving and WOT.

During the process of everything above, it didn't go as quickly as it seems when looking at the pictures.

The first harness didn't work out cause the dumby person I am, cut off the wrong connector and wires from the automatic harness... the E30 ecu happens to plug into the transmission ECU socket perfectly on M50 harnesses... go figure. Mixed the E30 ECU's up and never noticed until I couldn't get it started for days...

Bought two more harnesses, one was wrong and the last one finally worked.

Installed the M3 bushings in the wrong pointing direction, had to redo those.

So not everything is as easy, dont feel bad if you're doing a swap and you're shit is all messed up. just relax.

I could so frustrated with my wiring harness issues I let the car sit all last summer until this last winter and had my buddy finish the car for me because I couldn't get back into it,i was drained. I am not a mechanic at all. Just someone who does their own brakes.

He finished it up for me, made the exhaust and here it was, a year later... it ran. and it ran smooth and good.

It was awesome, had my car back... yeah I have 2 other bmw's too but this one is the classic, the raw machine.


IT WAS SLOW AS SHIT. Maybe because of the 2.92 LSD... actually.. definitely because of the LSD.

So I got some more stuff.

My hood was dented, it sucked. found this almost mint.

bought this 3.73 LSD but didn't install it, its actually still sitting there in my office.

then i bought the CCW knockoffs, 16x9 ET15...

Best idea ever.

So everything was cool, also had a 16" SPAL electric fan setup, the thing was beast, blew the small fuses I had until I finally got it to run with 25amp fuse. cycled / cycles perfectly.

Well the second time it blew a fuse is when i was on a cruise, hot day, traffic, bullshit.

Motor got a little hot and i pulled into a gas station. fixed the fuse, put the bigger on in problem solved. started it back up... big noise... sounded like a hardcore knock.

no good... everyone with me thought motor was done, me too.

Anyways drove it for a couple days here and there, knock was getting worse, figured it was done.

Looked around for some motors put some offers in, nothing worked out. Bidded on this S52 in NYC and they declined.

Later that night my buddy looks at it, tells me its probably loose spark plug....


yeah ... it was... wtf.

tightened it up, the engine was mint, ran like normal everything was cool.

A day later the offer for the S52 was somewhat accepted.

long story short i found this OBD1 converted S52, "95k" (ya okay) with a few mods (see my sig not gonna type them again).

So i said waffleswaffleswaffleswaffles it, went down next morning with a bunch of cash and pulled the motor with the guy and put in our truck and headed home.

here it was

SOOOOO out my M50 went, after only driving it for a couple weeks...

This time i was determined to do it myself and get it done in two days. ...lol

and it was out, my cousin couldn't figure out how to get the driveshaft off, dooooof it just slid off but i took his word for it and just pulled it with the tranny because i didn't want to get on the car for a hundredth time.

My friend has pics, but we reinforced the subframe , welded some plates on it for the motor because i've heard bad things if you don't with the M3 motors.

Then swapped the oil pans, i hated life... it was frustrated, hot, no engine stands, engines swining off a skidsteer and a engine hoist.. very annoying, took way too long. but this was all in one day still... so we were all tired.

This pos would just not go in, i hate load levelers, the cheap ones. they are garbage the handles don't turn right EVER LOL

Finally got the motor in and on the mounts. broke the tranny mounts, they sucked anyways. ordered new ones and new shifter ball cup bushing that we trashed because we are idiots.

my lovely girlfriend did the wiring for me

It was 2 1/2 days later and the engine was in but wouldn't start or stay running at least.

Through the most ridiculous stupidest troubleshooting process we realized the FPR was modified, the PO used his own regulator mounted on the car, independently and the one on the fuel rail was straight through, regulating nothing.

insane... so dumb. wasted days. So on day 4 the engine ran, and it ran well... very strong.

Now that she is fast and nimble the M5 can sell now.

anyone have $15,000 bucks for the cleanest M5 you'll get with 98k ?

i deeply apologize for the retarded big photos, and then the super small thumbnails.

You can see all photos and more of the car here...

CPU: Xeon X5690 Hexacore / Mobo: Gigabyte Intel X58 / RAM: 12GB DDR3 1600 Tri Channel config / GPU:nVidia GeForce GTX 770 / HDD: 120GB Corsair SSD - 2TB Western Digital - 500GB Western Digital External USB 3.0 / PSU: 1300W Tagan
#2\2013-06-29 02:49

GOM Team

Posts: 2627

Cordoba, Justiniano Posse
ar Argentina

I'd like to see a video of it running :) Beautiful Car Dave..
#3\2013-06-29 06:17

GOM Team

Posts: 12556

ro Romania

Been following the build (well, partially) on Facebook. I have to say, the E30 is kind of nice, but after the latest engine and transmission swap I'd be concerned about the current weight of the car as well as the stopping power, since I didn't see you mention anything beside that tiny rotor and caliper at the very beginning.

Any plans for a new paintjob?

Also, 15K with 98K miles would be a rip off in Europe for an E39 M5. Is it really so expensive and sought-after in the US?
#4\2013-06-29 14:52

Content Admin

Posts: 1586

us United States

eBay says that's actually a fairly reasonable price for an M5 here. Most E39 M5's are in the $20K range; E60's are generally closer to $30K. There are two on eBay now that are local, but both are at about $18K with more mileage.

The E30 looks great! Like Davidov said, double-check the brake setup, but that's a very nice looking car and a good choice of motor. :-)
#5\2013-06-29 22:24



Posts: 4341

New York
us United States


theres a video.

brake upgrades coming soon, thats the next thing. the car stops fine tho, i need to get some better pads and rotors in the mean time but they got plenty meat, they just arent the best.

Also to be clear, this is the original transmission , I've used it in the original M20 motor, the M50 motor and now on the S52 motor, its one of the strongest trannys and I prefer it over the E36 trannys.

As far as the M5 goes, its a great price for the condition and mileage of the car, over here, these cars are imports and they are much more rare to find than than normal E39 models 525-540 etc. They will be collectibles in my opinion.

It will sell on eBay in a week, and that's where its going very soon.

Added 7 minutes later:

Got the 12mm riser bushings in from condor on monday, installed on tuesday.

heres the install at my buddies garage, the temp was like 90+ and very humid. it was a ROUGH day.

got the car up

Took the differential out, it was a 2.92, I brought my 3.73 along to swap in during the process.

one side down

subframe finally out, it took a long time, don't be fooled by the lack of pictures

then we tried to push them out, no luck, didnt hve a press tool. heated them up with a torch instead

Worked great they pushed out all melted

then got the new ones in

I'll have to get a picture of the rear now and the wheel camber. It appears that most if not all the camber was corrected and also it seems like the rear of the car is raised up slightly too in result of the subframe.

The kit also came with spacers for the diff to hang lower, I took a pic but it was blurry. No big deal.
This post was edited by Singh (2013-06-29 22:42, 5 years ago)
CPU: Xeon X5690 Hexacore / Mobo: Gigabyte Intel X58 / RAM: 12GB DDR3 1600 Tri Channel config / GPU:nVidia GeForce GTX 770 / HDD: 120GB Corsair SSD - 2TB Western Digital - 500GB Western Digital External USB 3.0 / PSU: 1300W Tagan
#6\2013-09-16 23:10



Posts: 4341

New York
us United States


Stainless lines, pads and RX-7 big brake swap?

Yeah most likely doing that, as long as my wheels clear...

I'll have to see what I can do if they don't.... I want to run wider tires so I might do something with fender flares and body work first before i put any spacers on them ... not sure.

Right now I have to replace the master cylinder... again... the car stops fine... but it gets tired quickly on windy roads.

I was going to get to all of that then i had a bigger problem, the head gasket blew. it was probably always blown, since i bought it, but it got worse and became an issue...

i was pretty pissed

So I got

head gasket kit victor reinz

head bolts victor reinz

stewart emp high flow water pump

rebuilt vanos unit , mine was noisey and very loose

head resurfaced, checked for cracks, warps etc vacuum tested and pressure tested.

had my buddy help me, all in all i spent lik 1100-1200 bucks... really really sucked.

ITs back together now but i feel like its slower... the bentely and pelican DIY for cam timing had differences and i feel like that might of been an issue, idk but it does run smoother... snappier... just doesn't seem to yank like before, maybe because im used to the torque from daily driving the M5 last few weeks while working on this car ... maybe.. idk.

The top end was very clean , someone must of been in here before cleaning.


water pump

removed cams, didn't break thank god

What we saw that seemed weird was these marked pistons... I heard S52 pistons are flat top, no dish and unmarked...

These say S52 10.5 b ..... weird ? maybe not idk.

cams back in, head seated

Torquing the bolts down was a huge pain in the ass.... degree torque specs just suck. But we did it and did it right... next time... ARP studs for sure.

timed and everything was set

then i peeled half the car today, dunno why

white w/ pearlizer is my next move and im doing the jams and everything... will keep it there probably for at least a year.
CPU: Xeon X5690 Hexacore / Mobo: Gigabyte Intel X58 / RAM: 12GB DDR3 1600 Tri Channel config / GPU:nVidia GeForce GTX 770 / HDD: 120GB Corsair SSD - 2TB Western Digital - 500GB Western Digital External USB 3.0 / PSU: 1300W Tagan
#7\2013-09-17 04:24


Posts: 4617

LTI Connecticut
us United States

nice E30, looks liek your doing to that car what im doing to my truck, repairing, and upgrading as you go
Bullsh*t. You meant every homo-erotic word you said.
#8\2013-09-17 04:27



Posts: 4341

New York
us United States


Yeah, always want to upgrade but repairing broken shit is more important , its always nice when you can repair something and upgrade it as well at the same time.

Really happy with the car right now, the motor runs a bit better as i've fixed a few new leaking vacum hoses and its idling a bit smoother.

it revs much smoother than before and there is no vanos noise which is very nice.

The tires are completely shot however, so hoping to put something new on soon. Can't really drive much until then, belts hanging out everywhere.
CPU: Xeon X5690 Hexacore / Mobo: Gigabyte Intel X58 / RAM: 12GB DDR3 1600 Tri Channel config / GPU:nVidia GeForce GTX 770 / HDD: 120GB Corsair SSD - 2TB Western Digital - 500GB Western Digital External USB 3.0 / PSU: 1300W Tagan
#9\2013-09-18 05:35


Posts: 4617

LTI Connecticut
us United States

thats not good, i gotta get new tires myself before winter hits
Bullsh*t. You meant every homo-erotic word you said.
#10\2013-09-18 12:21


Posts: 23

au Australia

Nice work, it looks great, this is what I was going to do to my Lexus sc400 from 1991 but stuff came up and my jeep decided its had enough and ditched me, so Im gonna have to make it quick... new front bumper, paint it, panel beating for the front left quarter panel and painting... Im going to have to fix an oil leak in the head gasket and give an oil change and send it on the road for now and keep the rest for later :(
JDM is best served sideways...