David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/11/08 10:32 a.m.

Big engine, small car: It's been a recipe for performance since our ancestors realized that two horses hitched to the cart were better than one. Fast-forward a couple of years, and man is still looking at ways to make his chariot faster by replacing the original powerplant with something bigger.


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1/6/10 4:43 p.m.

The 24 valve M50 engine conversion into the E30 chassis was first completed by Peter McHenry in 1992. He used a 2.5 M50 from a wrecked E36 325i and mated it to the dog-leg, close ratio gearbox. This car was used as a daily driver and served for track use as well throughout the 1990's. The McHenry family has since logged over 250,000 miles on M50 swapped E30's. They are a sheer delight to own and drive. Several variants of the swap were pioneered by Pete and his company, Precision Performance, sold over 50 conversion kits. Pete's last swap utilized an aluminum block M50 into an E30 M3 - the result is a 7600 rpm, 2.9 liter straight six that weighs 4 pounds less than the factory S14 and still has air conditioning.

jddeadfuelpumps New Reader
6/28/11 5:28 p.m.

This is my goal by 2015. Don't know if I'll be able to go whole-hog wit a US-spec 240HP version, or 24v 5-series engine. I a excellent, unmolested M20 will be worth something by then. This arcticle is truly about making my dream car.THUMBS UP!

dennisg New Reader
6/8/12 12:41 a.m.

Seems like a good idea but the two cars look alike. Would it work in a much older bmw , say a 1800 from the sixties?

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