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Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/15/18 9:35 a.m.
irish44j said:
docwyte said:

They're doing it because they're not paying nearly the cost that the rest of us would for that motor.  Otherwise, yeah, it makes no sense at all to install a built M42 vs S50/52/54/LSx

This would be my assumption, that they'd get a sweetheart deal in exchange for some MM advertising.....except for they specifically said that's what they'd be paying for it. IDK

You can assume that GRM doesn't put much or any money out on the project cars. Maybe paint jobs, but a very high proportion of the parts are donated in exchange for visibility. That's just how the magazine business works, they're in the business of selling eyeballs to vendors. You find out about good parts or techniques, they get a car that's got some value at the end. They're not farming out most of the labor, though, and there's more thought put into their builds than a lot of magazine/online "projects". So pretty much everyone wins.

irish44j UltimaDork
6/15/18 4:00 p.m.
z31maniac said:
stuart in mn said:
z31maniac said:
maj75 said:

Owned a 318is.  Wasn’t a fan of the motor, having owned several BMW 6 cylinders from a 633csi to E46.  I just don’t get the appeal of the 318.   It’s the entry BMW with the cheap interior.  Unless you are looking for low price and economy, why would anyone have bought those cars.  The ‘is’ body styling is nice, but since you could order a six, I just don’t get it.  To spend that kind on money to try to make more power from the 4 just seems stubborn.  It isn’t even new or fresh.  


I love a restoration story so I’ll follow along, but I’d never spend my own money to duplicate the effort.

Huh? The 318is got the leather interior and sport seats, so what do you mean it got the "cheap interior?"

The 318is got sport seats but I believe they were vinyl.  And to be clear, the 318i was the entry model, the 318is was a little more special than that.

318i was the '84-85 car with the M10 engine. The 318is was the '91 only model, there was no '91 318i.

There was a '91 318i sedan as well here in the US, which also had the M42. Just wasn't very popular so you don't see them much (there's one down the street from me). Most of them had the ugly hubcap wheels. The 318i was also sold in sedan form in other markets in the early 90s, but with the lousy M40 engine....

jstein77 UltraDork
6/28/18 3:55 p.m.

If you didn't care so much about originality or collectability, an N20 out of a wrecked X1 or X3 (I'll bet you could find a rolled one or two) would give you 241 hp and 258 ft-lbs completely stock.  Just sayin'.


dean1484 MegaDork
6/29/18 10:13 a.m.


I bet you never though this was going to stir up the BMW guys this much. 

I don’t know if the 318 is going to become a collectible but I remember looking at 944s2 thinking I could just wait another five years and get them even cheaper.  Ya.....   That plan worked. I would have to agree that now is probably the sweet spot to get one of these. Especially a well sorted rust free one. 

Shaun HalfDork
6/30/18 1:29 p.m.

There is so much to be said for a lightweight (2,600 lbs counts) well sorted 140-150 HP ish manual  coupe with modern tires and a new sorted supple suspension with older car visibility and analogue feel.  I totally get leaving the lightish breathed on M42 in the nose and creating a fun daily sort of car that is even appreciating a little and will continue to do so with this sort of build.  Makes sense to me!


Knurled. MegaDork
6/30/18 1:46 p.m.
irish44j said:

Just throwing it out there that the M42 can hold about 8-10psi boost with all stock everything.....and several people have successfully and reliably turbo'd these engines for under $2k, getting close to 200whp reliably. 

$7k sounds like an awful lot for 40hp (I would hope MM is giving you guys a deal better than that), which gets you about what you'd get with a $300 M2oB25 or M50 from a junkyard.....Plus, for a magazine build, I highly doubt that MM is going to publicly share all their tips and tricks in any amount of detail.....so what's the upside for your readers?

I like the project, but nice-condition 318is's are hardly collectors models anytime soon. I've bought two rust-free 318is's in pretty good shape in the last few years for ~$2000 each. 

I like the project because it is exactly the E30 that I would want.  No heavy six cylinder, no boost, just natural aspirated four cylinder goodness.  Kind of like an M3, without having to deal with having an M3.


Be careful, it isn't "$7k for 40hp".  It's $7k for a rebuilt engine with some upgrades.  Right now, they NEED an engine, and if a rebuilt stock engine is $5k, then the cost/performance increase ratio is respectable.

wheelsmithy SuperDork
6/30/18 7:02 p.m.

In reply to Knurled. :

I agree.

Anybody rebuilt anything other than a 350 Chevy? 15 or so years ago, I easily dropped 3 grand on a 22-RE rebuild. I love a $1000 car with a $5000 engine.


trucke SuperDork
7/2/18 4:06 p.m.
varg New Reader
4/7/19 12:11 p.m.

In reply to z31maniac :

You can cram 18psi of boost into a smog era chevy smallblock with iron heads for some period of time before it fails too, doesn't mean it isn't a complete turd of an engine. The M42 is an underwhelming engine deserving of no praise.

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