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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/24/20 2:20 p.m.


Time to play armchair project car manager. The BimmerWorld crew just picked up a BMW 318ti, and now they’re asking what to do with it: V8 power? S50/S52 inline-six? Did someone really suggest a diesel? 

You know how this works: Comment away. 

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Cactus HalfDork
6/24/20 2:26 p.m.

Don't bother with a diesel, too much work to get real power (I say as a huge fan of BMW diesels). N54 is probably the easy way to get big numbers. It'll fit without much trouble.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/24/20 2:27 p.m.

By the way, we did a 318ti project back when the car was new. 

OG Forgelines for the win. 

z31maniac MegaDork
6/24/20 2:28 p.m.

Bored and stroked M44 + EFR churbo and E85.

enginehelp New Reader
6/24/20 3:06 p.m.

m60/m62 is probably pretty sensible, S85 would be my favorite and absolutely laughably awesome, M70 would be super cool but extremely heavy, n54 would be brilliant for some big hp numbers


I'm wondering if you could rear transaxle it for weight distro.......


I really am mentally ill when it comes to car project ideas

Olemiss540 Reader
6/24/20 3:34 p.m.

Since it has an e30 rear end, I am going to go with a high STRUNG 300hp s14 based race motor. S52 is played out, s54 is the sensible option, ls swap messes with the aura of bimmerworld, s85 is my second vote.

m4ff3w UberDork
6/24/20 3:42 p.m.

Picture 1 of 12


MadScientistMatt PowerDork
6/24/20 3:59 p.m.

Easy option: Mix and match M50 through M54 parts with M3 cams to have a low budget, easy swap.

Crazy option: S85.

Why be blasphemous halfway? option: Honda K24 boosted to the moon.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) UberDork
6/24/20 4:01 p.m.

Bah, all of this is too pedestrian.

Peripheral-port 20B.  :)


OjaiM5 Reader
6/24/20 7:05 p.m.

I think the answer is painfully clear

Cactus HalfDork
6/24/20 9:20 p.m.

In reply to OjaiM5 :

Well, I didn't need to sleep tonight anyway. Now I'm scared franken-ti will sneak up on me I'm the dark.

classicJackets (FS)
classicJackets (FS) Dork
6/24/20 9:30 p.m.

Lfx swap it. That's my dream for mine, with a rebuilt E28 LSD you could get 3.25 rear end And be wonderfully close to factory crammit gearing with a huge weight reduction. Why take the easy route??

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/24/20 9:31 p.m.

Ti should be built for its natural habitat: rally.


ProDarwin UltimaDork
6/24/20 9:43 p.m.

SM build with a K24 and the better rear suspension geometry.  Run at min weight, which if I just read correctly would be 2080lbs on 275s all the way around.

buzzboy Dork
6/24/20 9:47 p.m.

Mine goes pretty good with an S52. There are turbo S52s making 1000hp. Therefore the correct answer is 6.0L iron block LS based truck engine.


MadScientistMatt said:

Why be blasphemous halfway? option: Honda K24 boosted to the moon.

I've dreamt of it for mine, but the K24 is tall and puts its oil pump right where the e36 crossmember lives.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/24/20 9:55 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

Fully OT, but my $2002 challenge Corvair rocked OG Forgelines in 13x7 because Jim Schardt made them for his Yenko Stinger. 

Turbine Reader
6/25/20 5:35 a.m.

If I had one, I'd probably end up s5x swapping it, but I'm boring, and the guys at Bimmerworld have way more skill and resources than I could ever dream of. 

So maybe make a baby Bergsteiger? A little redundant, but the 318ti has always screamed rally to me, and I could see it ending up somewhere in the vein of the old Suzuki Escudo Pikes Peak car

BarryNorman New Reader
6/25/20 7:32 a.m.

R32 mid. mounted. Think Love Fab Civic with drivetrain behind the driver. And long travel suspension because mountain roads have bumps and camber!

Rallygorgo New Reader
6/25/20 7:42 a.m.

I'd like to see an e36 compact rally car built in gravel spec, something that could be run in ARA or NASA rally and rallycross events.  Full FIA-legal cage, body kit, skid plates, suspension, the works.


pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
6/25/20 7:49 a.m.

M44 + 4-71 blower through the hood. 

shagles Reader
6/25/20 9:23 a.m.

2.0 ecoboost, bigger turbo, antilag, tuned to the moon, sequential trans, rally spec everything else. 

DirtyBird222 UberDork
6/25/20 10:35 a.m.

I don't see James Clay deviating from a BMW based powerplant for this project. He should build a reliable version of that V10 from the M5 if he wants to do something truly unique. 


KyAllroad (Jeremy) (Forum Supporter)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
6/25/20 10:51 a.m.

Dammit, now y'all got me wanting to pull my beat-to-death Ti out of the field and start trying to swap something entertaining into it.

I have other projects to finish however.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/25/20 11:30 a.m.

Oh yeah, I saw a 318ti yesterday--and pics because it did happen. 

MadScientistMatt PowerDork
6/25/20 12:27 p.m.

More ideas, by category:

Even more offensive than a Honda motor: Mercedes 2.3 16 valve.

Least expected BMW motor that could still make sense: The engine from the S1000RR.

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