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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well lately ive been noticing a valve ticking noise in my m52 and when i reach about 3k rpms while accelerating i hear a metallic high pitched buzzing that kind of sounds like vvviiirrrnt coming from the engine which has me worried, with that plus the miles on it (160,000) and i really dont feel like dumping anymore money into this engine as i see its not really worth it anymore. im stuck with the car as i just scheduled an appointment to have the subframe bushings and turnermotorsport subframe reinforcements put in which has brought the ammount of money i have into this car up past 8 grand :facepalm: yeah my 323i has been nothing but problems during my entire ownership :banghead::censor: but a joy to drive nonetheless...

Ive tried to sell the car for a while now but have been getting offers of only 3-4 grand on it which makes me sick after all the money i put into it but as i see it, i have too much money into this car just to get rid of it and i might as well just keep going with it, (still needs rtab's and control arms and bushings and i think HOPEFULLY everything will be finally fixed on it) and i have come to the decision i want to swap in a low mileage m54 3 liter into my 323i so i can get more miles out of my car and not have to worry about the engine going on me, im not looking to go overboard here and put an m3 motor in here as it will cost way too much, but as i see it i can swap over my headers and intake from my current motor and be happy with the performance of it, but heres a few questions i have about this swap..

will the m54 bolt up to my current 5 speed transmission?

if i get a complete engine with everything from the oil pan to the intake manifold, what other parts would i need to complete this swap?

how difficult would this be to DIY? or should i just have a shop deal with it?

and if anyone has done this swap how much did it cost you total from a shop if i went that direction?
 

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Dump in about $5 more into your car.

Sounds like you might need to add a little bit of oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Dump in about $5 more into your car.

Sounds like you might need to add a little bit of oil.
checked the oil, thats not the problem...its been doing this for about 10k miles now...


but im serious on doing the swap. im not the average noob asking if i can put an m3 motor in here, i just want a lower mileage engine that is in better condition that i dont have to worry about blowing the motor on a track day and if im going to swap a motor why not spend a little more on the engine and get the 3 liter as ill be kicking myself in the ass for not doing so if i go with a 2.5
 

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Discussion Starter #5
don't listen to this guy, definitely just swap the motor. Go with an E9x M motor, though. That V8 will be siiiiiiiiiiiiiick in your 323. Then swap the badge to say 340i.
no...thats dumb as hell, why badge it at all? its dumb as hell how people try to make a non ///M an ///M. all im trying to do is get more life out of my car without having to purchase another vehicle as ill be loosing too much money, a new engine is cheaper than a new car.
 

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actually, for your car, it would probably be cheaper to just buy a new car rather than swap over to a new engine. Looking at parts, labor, and downtime for the vehicle.

If you can pick up a used 323/325 for 4-5 grand, you'll come out ahead selling yours and putting it towards a replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
actually, for your car, it would probably be cheaper to just buy a new car rather than swap over to a new engine. Looking at parts, labor, and downtime for the vehicle.

If you can pick up a used 323/325 for 4-5 grand, you'll come out ahead selling yours and putting it towards a replacement.
if im going to buy another car id be getting a much newer car, but it seems like id save more money keeping what i have since pretty much everything but the motor and transmission has been replaced, at least i know whats wrong with this car, if i get another used bmw ill be back to where i started with this one...not a wise choice IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
OP use the search. There was a thread about this like a week ago
every thread i searched everyone said buy a 330i or it wont work because they didnt know. or someone did the swap but gave vague details on how it was completed...
 

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I have been curious about doing the same swap as well for my 323, but havent really researched it well enough, first off is the electronics such as needing to swap harness or if they are not the same, asking the shop manager at ur local BMW or a member on this forum (forgot what his user name is) which is a BMW electronics tech could answer those questions, but ecu, ews etc might be needed from an m54. prices from what i have found on an m54 are around 3k about half of what an m3 engine swap or sc kit would run if u do the swap ur self.
 

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ok. You would need the DME from the new car. I imagine the EWS would have to be programed by the dealer. the 323 and 330 should bolt up to the trans just fine. Get new 330 engine mounts. The rest should be plug and play.

The only thing is i wonder if the pins on the engine harness (where it connects) to the body are the same? May have to splice those, maybe not. I honestly dont know. But it cant be any harder than putting a M50 into an e30, so its very doable. whether or not its worth it?

-Do you have at least 7 days of 8 hr/day to do an engine swap ?
-Can you get a good motor for good money?
-spend time and money to rebuild motor first?
-place to do all this?
 

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A car like this with a bad motor is never cost effective to swap the motor. You either take care of the motor and let it dies with the car or you get another car. Only way out of this is to fix the engine. One way or another.
 

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Ironman
01 330iT 6MT, 98 M Roadster
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Ever heard the expression "throwing good money after bad?" Your thinking is really warped on this. Cut your losses. The only reason to do a swap to a different engine is for personal reasons as any swap will NOT make financial sense. You will always be farther ahead by selling your car (even at a loss) and buying something else.

Considering the cost of a swap any additional cost of a S54, V8, or whatever will be minimal compared with the overall cost.
 

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You should postively identify the source of the noise before making such an expensive decision. Who knows, it could be an idler pulley or the altenator or water pump, or some other relatively simple fix. If it's not using oil and not blowing smoke out the tailpipe, it is likely that the most cost effective thing you can do is fix the source of the noise.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Ever heard the expression "throwing good money after bad?" Your thinking is really warped on this. Cut your losses. The only reason to do a swap to a different engine is for personal reasons as any swap will NOT make financial sense. You will always be farther ahead by selling your car (even at a loss) and buying something else.

Considering the cost of a swap any additional cost of a S54, V8, or whatever will be minimal compared with the overall cost.
well i am looking for more power as well, and id like to keep it N/A and i also track the car, of course its for personal reasons as well as getting more use out of everything else thats been replaced on the car.
 

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Ironman
01 330iT 6MT, 98 M Roadster
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well i am looking for more power as well, and id like to keep it N/A and i also track the car, of course its for personal reasons as well as getting more use out of everything else thats been replaced on the car.
Yeah? So? My advice and the advice of others still sticks. Cut your losses. Engine swaps never make financial sense. If you want the power of a 330i, buy a 330i. It will still be cheaper in the long run (compared with a swap done right).

Not trying to be harsh, but you aren't really listening. It seems you think there may be some way around the truth that everyone else is telling you.

Hell, I'll give you a great example of what poor investment a swap is. There was a 323iT that someone here converted to M3 specs (engine, drivetrain, suspension). It was done right and that means lots of $$$$. It sold on eBay for $17,100. I guarantee you he had at least double that into his car, even valuing the 323i at current market rather than sticker.

Cut your losses and get what you want. It will be cheaper and less painful in the end.
 

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Ironman
01 330iT 6MT, 98 M Roadster
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If you find a good 330 engine for a very good price, why not undertake the project, just know it is more than the motor that much be swapped.
Yep. All the right electrical parts will need to be swapped and then there will be custom programming to keep from having idiot lights or worse, a tamper light. And in the end it will only be worth what a 323i is worth at best. At worse it will be worth less because people won't know if they can trust the swap was done right. That 323iT with the M3 conversion is a good example. I VERY seriously considered going after it as I want a T. I was concerned about the ultimate quality of the swap and was concerned about possible issues down the road.
 
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