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1988 BMW 325i M50

Here’s a delicious little E30 package. It looks perfectly stock right down to the 14-inch basketweaves, and the engine swap even shares the original displacement. Yet instead of the M20B25 it came with, it’s now the M50B25TU – the first update for the 2.5-liter inline-6s available in the E34 525i and E36 325i in the mid-90s. The addition of VANOS improved low-end torque, and even without a power bump it’s still producing E30 M3 levels of power. It may not be the racy swap we’re used to seeing in E30s, but in some ways that’s what makes it perfect. The car will maintain its standard composure, driving dynamics, and low-key appearance while providing plenty of power to keep up with modern cars and breed smiles like rabbits in the hills.

Click for details: 1988 BMW 325i on eBay

Year: 1988
Model: 325i
Engine: M50B25TU 2.5 liter inline-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: Unknown
Price: Reserve Auction


For sale is a meticulously maintained 1988 BMW 325i 5-Speed with True Miles Unknown “TMU”. Conversion of motor and transmission have been professionally swapped with the more reliable and fuel efficient M50B25TU motor. Donor engine and matching transmission off a 1994 325IS. This engine brings the advantage of the more reliable timing chain setup (vs timing belt), individual coil packs, more horsepower, and overall reliability. Comes with clean and clear title and Carfax report. Excellent example of this year and model. Always cared for and properly maintained and serviced. Never abused, always garaged. Runs and drives excellent. Drives as good as it looks. All services are up to date. Conversion and major service performed within last 200 miles. It is in near pristine shape for a 27 year old car. Tool kit included (as seen in photos). All work professionally performed by Legendary Autoworks in Chula Vista, CA. Buyer will receive a list all parts used on car for future reference. Please contact me with any questions prior to bidding. Serious bidders only please! Bid with confidence.



2.5 liter m50 6 cylinder (M50B25TU), swap done using all new BMW hard parts (aside from aftermarket air filter), runs excellent, all service and maintenance up to date, conversion and Major Service done within last few 200 miles includes:

all new drive belts
fuel, air and oil filters
new spark plugs
coolant flushed
new fluids: oil, coolant, transmission, and differential
differential service
new engine mounts
new water pump

5 speed manual transmission from the same donor car as the engine, recently serviced, new transmission mounts


Black interior, excellent condition, no rips or tears, carpets clean and not soiled, original dash covered nicely by new dash cap (as seen in photos), upgraded IS sport seats, upgraded M-TECH 1 steering wheel


Body is in excellent shape with Cirrusblau Metallic paint, it is in near pristine condition, upgraded BMW extended front spoiler


Factory BMW 14″ BBS Basketweave wheels, brand new tires all around


Factory A/C system (recent service) that works great and blows cold, power windows and locks function correctly, Kenwood AM/FM/CD player with AUX input and IPod input


Original factory exhaust system in great shape


New brakes all around including new emergency brake shoes, new tie rods, new rear shock mounts, rest of suspension in excellent condition

Lots of good information available, though I’d like to figure out what the mileage on both chassis and engine are. If not that, I’d at least want to know why the seller doesn’t know this info. The reserve auction is starting in the meat of decent E30 money at $6,500. Considering the appearance inside and out, provided the engine gets a good grade in a PPI it could well be worth twice that for a great OEM+ E30 that looks showroom stock but can shake its boots too.



  1. Devin
    Devin December 9, 2015

    you linked to yesterdays golf rallye..

  2. graham
    graham December 10, 2015

    The engine swap is going to hurt the bidding here…no argument that it will make it a bit more fun to drive, but most people looking at paying up for an “original” E30 are going to want the M20B25. If paying $7k+ for a swapped E30, it should have at least an S50 and be set up for more spirited driving.

  3. Carter
    Carter December 10, 2015

    Links corrected, thanks Devin!

  4. Scott Saylor
    Scott Saylor December 10, 2015

    I’m familiar with this seller’s work on eBay. He typically assembles a desirable looking E30 from parts & pieces. In some of his other auctions, If you read the fine print, you’l l see he typically swaps an automatic for a MT5, etc. This is probably a good business model – buying a more undesirable E30 automatic, converting it to a manual, installing sport seats & a couple “is” spoilers. He does disclose the modifications, but potential buyers need to know most of the cars have been cobbled together. IMO. if you’re looking for an original example, best to look elsewhere.

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