Search Results for: s52

1992 BMW 525iT with S52 Swap

The touring version of the E34 5-series maintains the restrained and boxy good looks of the sedan while adding the cargo-carrying versatility of a longroof. The result is a cool and understated hauler that flies under the radar. Unfortunately, these cars were let down by the rather uninspired engine choices that BMW gave US customers. Only two versions of the touring were available here: the 525i and the 530i. The 525i was a little slow (although the 2.5 liter inline six is otherwise a gem of an engine) while the 3.0 liter V8 that came in the 530i was a bit of a dud. It had all the thirst of V8 but with fairly meagre power output (around 215 hp). The far more desirable versions of the touring – the 540i and M5 – were never sold in the US. This means that if you want one with something special underneath the hood, you have to get creative. Which is exactly what this seller has done, transplanting the engine from a ’96 M3 and adding some M5 external styling accessories.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 BMW 525iT with S52 Swap on Bimmerforums

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1997 BMW 318ti M-Sport S52

Nate has been on a run of covering some great classic Alpina models, and it’s very easy to see the appeal of the brand. Their tried and true recipe of taking the motor out of a higher-end model and swapping it into the smaller chassis might have seemed a simple task, but the execution of Alpina was always top notch and the results were undeniable. Coupled with upgraded wheels and suspension and full of lovely details, they always managed to feel like a premium product and today that appreciation is shown in high asking prices. In the same vein as the legendary Alpinas, many enthusiasts have tried to take the motor out of M models and fit them to lesser 3-series and 5-series models with varying success. But if done right, the result can be a very tidy looking and appealing package on a more friendly budget:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 BMW 318ti S52 on eBay

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1991 BMW 318is S52

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The 318is usually receives praise for being the entertaining baby of the E30 family, underpowered but a handling master. This Wee30 has received the popular S52 swap from an E36 M3 automatic, thankfully mated here to 5-speed from a 328i. The modifications don’t stop there as the seller went OEM+++ with items like E36 M3 front control arms, E30 M3 rear suspension and brakes, and a tight Z3 steering rack. The list continues with great non-OEM upgrades like Ground Control coilovers and a custom intake on the cold side with new headers and a straight pipe on the hot. The slicktop body is straight despite a rear-end collision in its history, and the whole thing received a decently-done fresh coat of Brilliantrot two years ago.

With a reserve auction and Buy It Now of $10,500, this extremely well-done E30 will likely go for less than $10k.

Click for details: 1991 BMW 318is on eBay

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1991 BMW 325i S52 Supercharged

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As the supply dwindles, I’ve been spending time looking at various clean, mostly original E30s. Today, however, we have a 1991 325i that has received the business under the hood, namely an S52 swap from an E36 M3 plus an Active Autowerk supercharger. That heady combination puts out 357 horsepower at the wheels and 411bhp at the crank, plenty to make this 2800-pound coupe punch well above its weight class. The mechanical build is too plentiful and thorough to fully recount here, but it has Raceland coilovers, Stoptech brakes, and just about all the bushings, mounts, and miscellaneous performance parts you can stuff under an E30 to help handle 250% of its original power. The interior looks ready to rumble too with black suede Recaros and NRG wheel and some other subtle racy bits, but this car is about go, not show. The exterior has a little clear coat peel and dents but the deeper front lip and M3-esque Zender spoiler should distract any passerby. It all adds up to a package that looks pretty standard-modded-E30 good but will smoke just about any non-exotic on the road.

Click for details: 1991 BMW 325i on eBay

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1997 BMW 318ti with S52 swap

I never understood why, but hatchback seems to be a dirty word in the US. So many of my friends eschew these vehicles, whether in three or five door form. Curiously, SUVs are popular here in the Land of the Free. So it seems Americans might not be all that averse to practicality, just as long as it is jacked up and classified as something more butch than your average passenger car. BMW dabbled with the idea of a hatchback 3 series for a number of years across two generations, however, only the E36 318ti, or Compact as it was known as, was sold stateside. While there were a number of different options you could spec a 318ti with, you had one choice of engine, the 1.9 liter inline-4. Customers in other markets, however, had access to the 2.5 liter inline-6 in the form of the 323ti. Enthusiasts took note of this and we’ve seen a number of six-cylinder ti swaps appear over time. This example for sale in Miami has an S52 from a 1999 M3 under the bonnet. It looks to be a rather tidy swap, with its look enhanced by the BBS RK alloys.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 BMW 318ti on eBay

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1991 BMW 318is S52

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I’ve been daydreaming about the lightweight tossable treat known as the 318is a lot recently, fueled by a couple of nice examples that didn’t end up selling on eBay. While those were higher-mileage, driver-quality baby E30s that retained their M42 four-cylinder, this beautiful Brilliantrot example has the swap most E30 owners dream about with an E36 M3’s silky S52 3.2-liter inline-6 shoehorned into the earlier chassis. This one’s running gear has been tweaked all around to supplement the extra 110bhp with coilovers, 3.25 LSD, brakes from both the E36 and E30 M3s, etc. We don’t get any pictures of the inside, but it sounds nice with aggressive Recaros and other racy touches. Small OEM+ touches spice up the rare slicktop exterior, most notably some almost-too-big but always sexy 17″ Style 5s. The main flag is previous collision damage, but all panels were professionally replaced with OEM parts. All in all, it sounds like a well-sorted little rocket.

Click for details: 1991 BMW 318is on craigslist Boston

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1990 BMW 325i w/ S52 Swap

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As the decent E30s still out there reach for ever higher miles or higher prices, engine swaps make even more sense. No longer just a tuner’s choice, this can be a great way to keep a high-mileage car on the road while simultaneously boosting performance. This clean 325i received the M-built S52 from a Z3M a few years back and was given a new lease on life. With 240hp on tap out of the same silky inline-6 that many fell in love with in the E36 M3, this car should haul some serious butt while looking fairly subdued other than the lightweight but pleasantly right-sized wheels. The interior is in nice shape given the age and mileage with a few cracks but impressively tear-free bolsters. The seller sounds knowledgeable and thorough despite the brief description, the real question is if a 230k mile E30 chassis can command $11k.

Click for details: 1990 BMW 325i S52 on eBay

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1990 BMW 325is S52 Swap

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The S52-E30 swap makes a lot of sense to me, and I hope to some day try one out – if not own one. We’ve seen examples that range from Eastern Europe-y to So-Cal slacker, but today’s silver 325is takes a decidedly more subtle approach. Yes, it’s modified, but the E36 DS2s look good, as do the Alcantara centers on the seats. Overall it’s a pretty great package that, if the seller’s claims of no issues at all hold true, make this an exceptional E30. My biggest issue with this sale is that the motor came from an M Coupe, which makes me sad. Maybe that M Coupe got was totaled… but let’s just pretend it got an S62 swap. Either way, this seller took an opportunity and did an E30 swap right.

Click for details: 1990 BMW 325is on eBay

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S52’d 1989 BMW 325i

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We (along with every BMW enthusiast site) go through so many iterations of E30s, but if you could finally go out and get one, how would you want yours? The answers are as diverse as coffee preferences. Sure, the starting point is energetic and standard, but there are a million ways to take it.

Personally, with the E30 M3 boat sailed, I think I’d want to get a little crazy with an engine-swapped example. While the E28 M5’s S38 is a dream, the E36’s S52 is among the most popular choices and readily available (as well as significantly cheaper to maintain). Today’s 325i has some issues that will make it continue to be a project, but the heavy lifting has been done to make it a true hoonmobile. A PPI has been done, which is more than many of the passed-on projects we see here can offer. Once the to-dos get sorted, it’s a good-looking E30 that is ready to be made great.

Click for details: 1989 BMW 325i on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1988 BMW M3 S52

I’d like to try a social experiment if you’ll allow me; I’d take an E30 M3 listing and say absolutely nothing about it. My hypothesis is that it wouldn’t matter; the car would still generate lots of comments both positive and negative, outlining both the strengths of the E30 and the rapid appreciation of the market. The convergence of factors that has resulted in the M3 market as we see it today is the evolution of not only a naturally occurring timeline coupled with a increase of personal wealth vis-a-vis the ownership group juxtaposed with those who actually ponder ownership. This, in turn, can be viewed as in part the skeuomorphic racing details of the M3 coupled with the natural analogue interface of the E30 chassis. Immersion in the marketplace has resulted in datafication as we try to quantify the various appeals of the models and even sub-models, while the scalability of the marketplace seems to utilize fuzzy logic – models constantly morphing in and out of vogue as the relative price of ownership fluctuates. Modularity in the E30 platform has not helped but convoluted the matter. Coupled with the emergence of internet fora the M3 is the first truly viral car. The rapid influx of various examples in order to take advantage of these previously stated confluence of factors has resulted in, ironically, crowdsourcing in an effort to elicit an explanation:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 BMW M3 on eBay

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