mdshaw
mdshaw GRM+ Memberand New Reader
11/21/20 11:14 a.m.

I know there have been more than a few e30 K swaps done and I've seen a couple internet e36 & e46 K swaps. With the great e36 & e46 chassis - many with bad auto transmissions & others with bad motors, then add to it wrecked manual parts cars; it seems like a great opportunity to combine a great K24 with a little boost and a manual to make a great car.

I've had an e30 318is in the past which was a great car, although way underpowered. I've had way more Honda's and done many H to H swaps. I helped my son do a couple K swaps into Honda's & he is just starting his e30 318is K24 swap.  I told him an e36/e46 would be a great candidate also but he thinks only the e30 would be worth it. I think it's because of the e30 K parts available from Kswap, TF Works & Kmiata. E36/e46 are heavier but have so much better chassis and better interiors that my wife would enjoy/tolerate.  I just enjoy reading & thinking about the possibilities. I didn't realize the transmission & engine coolant issues until I started doing this research.

svxsti
svxsti Reader
11/21/20 11:34 a.m.

Considering you can only clear 235/40/17s on an E36 a 4 banger would make sense, but keep it in the family with JCW 1.6 Turbo 4 or go AWD with a Turbo I6.

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
11/21/20 11:53 a.m.

I have nothing to add, although in the fact that I now want a K24 swapped 318ti

BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter)
BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/21/20 12:00 p.m.

I don’t think it would be a terrible idea, although it does sound like making it work in an E30 would make more sense because you wouldn’t be starting from scratch.

Well, there’s also the fact that putting an LS in an E36/46 is pretty well figured out. It’s hard to argue  with that from a performance standpoint.

svxsti
svxsti Reader
11/21/20 12:18 p.m.

Honestly the best place for a K20 is in an MR-S stripped down to 211 status. 

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
11/21/20 12:36 p.m.

The way I see it is this.  Cross-platform motor swaps are a PITA, lots of custom parts required and you'll forever be chasing annoying little details.  To make that worth it this kind of swap needs to deliver a huge benefit, usually in performance.

K motors are, what, low-200s rwhp for moderate NA builds?  That's comparable to what you can do with an M52 and even if you're starting with a 4-cylinder 318 it's going to be a lot easier to make that M52 work than a K24.  And if you want LOTS more power, there's always the S54 waiting.

On the other hand, LS swaps open up a whole different performance level.

 

svxsti
svxsti Reader
11/21/20 12:41 p.m.
codrus (Forum Supporter) said:

The way I see it is this.  Cross-platform motor swaps are a PITA, lots of custom parts required and you'll forever be chasing annoying little details.  To make that worth it this kind of swap needs to deliver a huge benefit, usually in performance.

K motors are, what, low-200s rwhp for moderate NA builds?  That's comparable to what you can do with an M52 and even if you're starting with a 4-cylinder 318 it's going to be a lot easier to make that M52 work than a K24.  And if you want LOTS more power, there's always the S54 waiting.

On the other hand, LS swaps open up a whole different performance level.

 

Could an LS swap be done in an AWD E46?

Byrneon27
Byrneon27 Reader
11/21/20 12:43 p.m.

It's THE 4cyl engine we should all care about there just simply aren't other 4cyl engines that make this level of power this easily and for this little investment. A coughed on K24A2 makes S52 power and I gave like $600 for the engine in/sitting beside my E30. 

I began my E30 swap before K Miata/power came out with their kit so I'm using an S2000 gearbox and still you can get the engine low and far back easily.  The BMW transmissions that will allow you to actually make some power before turning back into their component parts make this a much easier swap to get behind. The oil pan is touchy to make and have fit and work well (probably something to just buy but I'm stubborn/cheap) motor mounts/header/intake/transmission cross-member (s2000 trans only) are all pretty straight forward for an average fabricator. As radical engine swaps go it's not all that hard. Getting the K engine to work well in a longitudinal configuration does seem to pose some issues time will tell what is involved in sorting them. 

 

The J swap into the E36, however, has presented annoying challenges so far. 

mdshaw
mdshaw GRM+ Memberand New Reader
11/21/20 1:22 p.m.

Byrneon27, how close is your e30K from completion? My son's K24 just arrived, he will be using a 5 speed Getrag.  He's going for @400hp to start. It's still surprising to find people that don't know how reliable they are also, even with a little boost.

Slippery (Forum Supporter)
Slippery (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
11/21/20 1:31 p.m.
svxsti said:

Considering you can only clear 235/40/17s on an E36

LOL

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
11/21/20 1:50 p.m.
svxsti said:
codrus (Forum Supporter) said:

The way I see it is this.  Cross-platform motor swaps are a PITA, lots of custom parts required and you'll forever be chasing annoying little details.  To make that worth it this kind of swap needs to deliver a huge benefit, usually in performance.

K motors are, what, low-200s rwhp for moderate NA builds?  That's comparable to what you can do with an M52 and even if you're starting with a 4-cylinder 318 it's going to be a lot easier to make that M52 work than a K24.  And if you want LOTS more power, there's always the S54 waiting.

On the other hand, LS swaps open up a whole different performance level.

 

Could an LS swap be done in an AWD E46?

I think the AWD E46 looks kinda like a 4x4 truck -- transmission, transfer case/center diff, with an offset driveshaft going forwards and a standalone front diff.  Whether or not you can get all of that to fit around and stand up to LS levels of torque I have no idea.

 

buzzboy
buzzboy Dork
11/21/20 3:44 p.m.

K20/K24 oil pumps land right where the engine crossmemeber is on an E36/E46. I've spent hours lying under mine with a sketch pad and a tape measure. It just doesn't work.

Considering you can only clear 235/40/17s on an E36

HAHAHA, sure... With correct offset and fender rolling I've seen 295s on the rear and 255s up front.

 

I have nothing to add, although in the fact that I now want a K24 swapped 318ti

If somebody figures out the oil pump issue I'll be in line for that. The S52 in my 318ti has developed a water leak(drink?) and has overheated a few times. 

G_Body_Man (Forum Supporter)
G_Body_Man (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/21/20 4:11 p.m.

The main issue is that M52s with eBay turbos make proper power for far less than what a K-swap would cost. Unless you goal is a high-revving NA screamer, forced induction is incredibly attractive on E36s and E46s.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
11/21/20 4:20 p.m.
G_Body_Man (Forum Supporter) said:

The main issue is that M52s with eBay turbos make proper power for far less than what a K-swap would cost. Unless you goal is a high-revving NA screamer, forced induction is incredibly attractive on E36s and E46s.

And if you do want a high-rev NA screamer, an S54 is much easier and will make more power than a K-anything, admittedly at a higher price point.

maj75 (Forum Supporter)
maj75 (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
11/21/20 4:56 p.m.

Given that the BMW motors are canted, can the K24 be mounted canted?

mdshaw
mdshaw GRM+ Memberand Reader
11/21/20 8:46 p.m.

Would be risky boosting a high mileage m52/m54. There are a few for sale with blown motors due to adding boost. But it's easy to blow up an na intended motor by boosting it.

There are some e36 boosted K swaps so I would say that the oil pan/pickup is not impossible to overcome. Even to do custom, it's metal, cut, tig, fab.

I wish I had an empty e36 engine bay to see how it compares to my son's e30 with the K24 & modified oil pan & pickup he's getting.  

The K sits slightly canted to the exhaust side. Which is to the right on rwd.

 

 

 

rslifkin
rslifkin UltraDork
11/22/20 8:15 a.m.
mdshaw said:

Would be risky boosting a high mileage m52/m54. There are a few for sale with blown motors due to adding boost. But it's easy to blow up an na intended motor by boosting it.

Depends on how hard you push it, what the motor's weak points are and how well its limits are known.  FWIW, I've seen someone pull a little better than 500whp out of an S52 with 200k on it just by shoving a bunch of boost and E85 into it without any internal mods.  It out-lived the car it was installed in. 

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