Reader ride: 318ti with M3 S50 swap

Reader Paul sent us his well-modified BMW E36/5 sporting the popular engine swap of an E36 M3 3.0L inline 6 for the original 1.9L four. If the potential of this swap weren’t clear enough, it’s worth it to note the S50’s 240hp is a stunning 75 percent increase. Logically followed up with a LSD, springs, etc., this little compact is a serious contender. While the hatchback might scare some away, less weight and shorter overhangs with the same wheelbase makes a lot of sense and must be a ton of fun. The murdered-out OEM+ look suits it well, and Paul seems ready to sell it to whomever makes a decent offer.

1995 BMW 318ti w/ S50 swap for sale on e46fanatics


A list of goodies:

– Shell was bought here last year, swap manual used from J!M and also had him come over and help in person. 140k on the shell.
– Complete and running swap, I have put just under 10K miles on it in about 15 months.
Matching Cluster DME and Motor, with 58xxx on the dash, car still has the original Ignition coils.
– Brand new; Clutch TOB Fork OEM(Done at Final Touch Motor Sports which rodney will vouch for also have receipt.), rear main seal,Starter, alternator, motor mounts OE, Trans mounts OE, Guibo OE, Fresh Plugs and Belts, valve cover gasket, O2 sensor AND MUCH MUCH MORE.
– Full Front end rebuild Control arms/ball joints, Tie rods and OEM FCAB’s less than 1k miles now
– All new Vacuum hoses and fitting as well as a Clean ICV, and manifold/ TB gaskets. New plugs/
Belts as of 3400 ish miles ago.
– No A/C Compressor and mounts condenser and lines have all been removed only the coil in the dash remains.
– Brand new Pioneer Deh 6300-ub headunit, with all NEW OEM speakers. Inifnity Basslink Subwoofer.
– This car also has No-sunroof. It was going to be my dedicated track car. Needs small amount of body work Car has never been in an accident. small dents and scratches which would be expected car looks awesome none the less.
///M Front Bumper, ///M Moldings,///M Mirrors. Oem fogs with 6k HID.
– Depo Headlights with Angel eyes and 6k HIDS
– Comes with AC Schnitzer Replica Spoiler.
– Car is Stock Minus OBD2 Headers and Conforti Chip and Exhasut.
– 3.73 E30 LSD with E30 half shafts.
– DS2 Wheels with tires Staggered OEM Sizes. Painted Gunmetal
– Car is currently on Rokkor Coils In front and the spring in the back with NEW OEM M coupe Struts and new RSM’s . Has an Ebay strut bar.
– Water pump<1k thermostat ALL hoses and radiator have all been replaced just under 7-10 k ago. - - Aluminum T stat Housing. - Valve Retainers are done. Still needs the oil pump nut to be welded. No problems with this car turn key, and go! Solid idle no missing no check engine! Air bag light is ON! Pulls Strong smooth and quiet. NO VANOS NOISE! Active autowerke Replica track pipe. Ebay SSK. B&M rep. Also have all the booklets that came with the car in the leather case. 2 keys. You would be VERY hard pressed to find a better example of a 318ti as well as an S50 from a 1995 M3.

Originally priced at $10,500, Paul is heading out to sea with the Merchant Marine Academy and has reiterated several times that he is “quite flexible” on the price. The Vader-and-Angel-Eyes is not for everyone, but if it’s your style, this appears as well-sorted as a modded-and-swapped car could be and is poised to be a great deal.

-NR

1989 Volkswagen Vanagon with Subaru 3.3 flat six

It seems to be a growing trend to take a run of the mill, underpowered Volkswagen Vanagon and swap a Subaru engine in it. We featured a Volkswagen T2 Transporter with a Subaru 2.5 RS motor last month, however, here is a different beast. A Vanagon with the Subaru 3.3 liter flat six motor. While the body has high mileage on it, the owner has clearly invested the time and money to make this a special van.

The seller states:

1989 Volk Wolfsburg 3.3 liter Subaro 6 cyl 235 hp. Over $35,000 invested to build this one of a kind van!

70,000 miles on Subaru motor, approx 15,000 on all new suspension brakes and transmission

Interior upgrades:

Speaker upgrades
New carpet
Newly upholstered front seats
Absolutely no rust, an original california car!

Exterior:

Tinted windows
Keyless entry with alarm

Mechanical:

All upgrades done by EuroTech San Diego, The Vanagon Subaru Engine Conversion Specialist.
Big brake upgrade: Cross drilled front rotors with audi 200 turbo quattro front break calipers and Mercedes ML 320 brake rotors. Rear disk brake conversion using Audi 200 turbo quattro break calipers and rotors. Both front and rear brakes have akebono ceramic brake pads for improved braking and low dusting.
Stage 2 heavydut clutch
Short shifter kit, Go westy
White face gauges
Taller 3rd and 4th gear ratios
HID headlight conversion
17′ Audi wheels. Custom machined center caps
Tires, 5,000 miles

I’m not a van guy, but I like off beat vehicles and this one fits the bill. While Porsche made a version of the Vanagon called the B32 with a flat six, the Subaru engine would no doubt last a good while longer and quite possibly could deliver better gas mileage. If I had a family to haul around, SUVs be damned. This refridgerator-esque van is just what the doctor ordered.

-Paul

In Support of my recent Quattro Criticism

I recently wrote up a dubious Ur-Quattro with a 20v turbo swap but some significant cosmetic work needed for a shocking 17 grand. I didn’t feel great criticizing the seller so harshly, it’s not my nature, but the ad gave me all the wrong signals, supported by an overconfident asking price. I looked a little deeper over on eBay and found two reasonably-priced Audis that, with a little legwork, could provide the basis for a cheaper, less sketchy project than the $17k UrQ with more blemishes than a non-showering teenager.

First up, the base car. A 1985 Ur Quattro in impressively clean condition after a strong 205,000 miles sitting around $7.5k on eBay. It still runs well, but that can’t last too long with that amount of miles.

So once those 200k miles catch up with the UrQ, you’ve got this 1990 Quattro with only 84k miles but a bunk transmission/differential to be the donor. The seller just wants to get rid of it and has it on sale locally for $2,400. Besides the mechanical gremlins the car is in beautiful condition, and could be parted out to the owner of a less-pretty Quattro for at least the initial cost.

Throw the 20v from the ’90 into the UrQ and you’ve created one great, low-mileage Quattro swap from two that are struggling, AND with a beautiful Coupe Quattro roller to sell. You’ll have to find a good Audi guy to do that swap for you, but hopefully it will live up to the old adage about VWAG swaps being akin to playing with legos. All told you’re about $10k invested in the cars, which gives plenty of room to get the swap done before you get anywhere close to the $20k investment needed for the sketchy one posted earlier.

It’ll take some legwork, space, and time, but so would getting the red one in good shape, and you’ll have the confidence of having overseen the swap yourself.

-NR

Clean, heavily modified E30 M3

When I first saw this listing, I thought “here we go again,” yet another over-done, over the top M3. While the performance mods are certainly on the wilder end of the spectrum, further inspection showed an M3 that has tasteful aesthetics hiding a monster of an engine build. The builder seems to know his Bimmers with some previous features in Performance BMW magazine, so this engine-swap and turbo scares me a lot less than most.

document.write(”);1988 BMW M3 with turbo’d M52 for sale on eBay

The rundown:

The car is an 88 E30 M3 Alpine/Black with 139k on it. I got the car last year and since then have done some extensive modifications to the car.
Engine:
M52 with Arp’s and .140MLS, the head has been ported/polished with a 3 angle valve job S52 cams. Precision Billet PT76GTS turbo, custom top-mount tubular manifold, Precision wastegate, 3″ intercooler, Walbro 255 in-tank feeding a Bosch 044, 3″ Downpipe to 4″exhaust. The car is running on Megasquirt 2V3 and gets 20+MPG on the highway and made 450WHP on a mustang dyno.

Trans:
1996 ZF with Clutchmasters FX800 twin disc clutch with UUC Red mounts.

Suspension/Brakes:
The whole suspension has been redone with new aluminum control arms, poly trailing arm/subframe bushings, Suspension Techniques swaybars, Ground Control coilovers with Bilstein shocks- spring rates are 650F 550R. Brakes are cross drilled with Hawk pads and stainless lines.

Wheels:
Fikse FM10 17×8 front and 17×9.5 rear with 265’s in back and wheel studs.

Interior:
Sport Evo suede steering wheel, UUC weighted shift knob, Pioneer cd player that controls and charges your Iphone.

Body:
The car has a respray with minor chipping on the wheel wells from rolling the fenders, I would rate the paint 7/10. When the engine swap was done the engine bay was slightly shaved and repainted. The car has smoked ellipsoids with candy red tail-lights.

Overall it is a turnkey 450hp turn-key car that i would not hesitate to daily drive. If I decided to keep the car a new paint job would make the car 100%.

This is one of many BMW’s I have built, with my last being featured in Performance BMW magazine. That car was an E30 M3 with turbo E34 M5 engine that made 600WHP and was daily driven.

I love 80s BMWs in white on black wheels, and these Fikses look great. The buy-it-now of $25k seems about right for a premium, well-sorted E30 conversion, getting in it around $20k would be a great deal. Any engine swap in an E30 M3 is sacrilege to many, but at least it’s been done right and the beautiful lines have been left to do their thing without garish colors, giant wheels, or an overzealous wing. I dig it.

-NR

1991 GTI VR6 Swap For Sale

The MkII GTI has always been in an odd no-man’s land for me.  I respect the styling and the large tuning community of it, but any time I consider one myself, I wonder why I wouldn’t just get a MkI.  When I see an example like this, however, I start to covet them a little more.  They may not be as pure and old-school as the original, but they’ve got some serious style, a bit more “grown-up” cred, and can obviously more readily accept modern parts.  Case in point, this fast 1991 with a healthy dose of modification that stops short of going overboard.

1991 VW GTI VR6 for sale on Craigslist SF

Despite a misunderstanding of quotation marks’ function, the seller provides a good rundown:

HI I have a 1991 gti white with about 70K on the engine. This car is faster then my 2004 vw r32. I have about $6500+ into this car not including labor or the car itself. Most if not all the parts on this car have under 500 miles on it including wheels and tires. This car can be a show car the way it sits.
ENGINE “less then 500 miles on engine parts”
The engine has 268 cams, lifters and springs to go with the cams. The intake manifold is shaved and painted black and the spark plug wires run under it ” for a cleaner look”.
The engine mounts have BFI inserts. ” they are stiff”
Corrado radiator and fans with there own relay set up
Samco hose kit
Neuspeed P-flow intake
Brand new cats
New magnaflow muffler and resonator the car is quiet but still sounds like a VR6 and you can hear the cams lope.
Fairly new clutch
SUSPENSION/wheels
H&R ultra low coilovers from a mk3 vr6 jetta “stiffer springs” “less then 500 miles on them” the car is stanced out and can be more to your liking
BBS RM’s fresh powder-coating 15×8.5 REAR, FRONT 15×8 flat black faces with gloss black lips…… both front and rear have good size lips. brand new bbs bolts.. these wheels are worth about $2,000
ALSO has BRAND NEW disc breaks all the way around.
INTERIOR
Is in good shape has recaros out of another mk2 gti
MK3 guage cluster.
everything on the inside works.
BODY
Also has keyless entry
Has the dual-round headlights with badgless grill, also have quad-rounds that come with the car.
led tail lights ” doesn’t look as cheap as you think”
16v fender flair all the way around
The paint is about a 7 out of 10 stock alpine white paint and the body itself has some dents ” its a 19-20 year old car”
The powder-coated BBS RMs look about as perfect as you could get. I love older German cars in white, and the VR6 must make this the right kind of handful.  $8500 is a bit steep for a MkII Volkswagen, but this appears to be a well put-together total package.  Sure, there’ll probably be several similar GTIs if you go to a local VW show, but maybe that’s just a testament to how well this package works.
-NR

1982 VW Rabbit Truck for sale

This Rabbitamino is just about exactly what I would have liked to have done with my first car, a white 1981 VW Rabbit Truck.  The light pickup body and communicative steering made me first enjoy “driving slow cars fast,” as I once heard it aptly put.  And slow they usually are, fitted with anemic but efficient gas and diesel engines.  This seller solved that with plenty of go-quick bits from GTIs and Sciroccos that conveniently follow the VW tradition of LEGO-like parts interchangeability.

1982 VW GTI Truck for sale on Madison, WI Craiglist

A detailed but concise description from the seller:

Up for sale is my 1982 VW Rabbit Sport Truck. This is a super rare truck that is in awesome shape. The original 1.7 motor has been replaced with a single ohc 1.8 gti motor with a g-grind cam. Also has the gti trans, scirocco brakes with stainless steel brake lines, corrado recaro seats. The interior of the truck is in really nice shape with the exception of the headliner which I removed because it was falling down. The paint, as typical with this gen vw, is fading but there is hardly any body rust, no bed rust, no strut tower rust. Almost new winter tires on 15″ wheels to fit the scirocco brakes. I just had brand new 2 inch exhaust installed from the header pipe back. I have a matching tailgate but the handles does not work, I also have a bumper with hitch ball mounts. I love this truck I just need something with more seats so the kids can cruise with me.

Despite Wisconsin roots, notorious for devouring all things metal, this GTIchero has minimal rust and none in the most common problem areas.  The pictures show a pretty beat tailgate because the original has a broken latch, but that’s an easy fix.  For $3600 this would a fun, efficient, and useful little truck.  I love the style, the big steelies, the great interior, the OEM+ upgrades.  Well done to the seller, and cheers to whoever buys and appreciates this funky take on the GTI.

-NR

914 3.0 conversion for sale in Seattle

1974 914-6 Conversion for sale in Seattle

I tried to buy a 914 when I was 15 years old as a project car.  Great plan, until my parents found out.  Still, the dream of a street legal go-kart persists.  Usually my dreams focus around cheap non-Porsche engine swaps, as most 914s leave a bit to be desired in the power department.  Going the high class route would be doing a sweet swap with a more fortified Porsche engine, which is what we’ve found today.  The list of enhancements is exhaustive; I’ll leave it to the seller’s words:

Body-
Body completing stripped, fenders reworked, acid etch primed and painted DuPont Chroma Black. The job included both front and rear trunks, engine bay with engine removed and door jams. The cost for this work was over $10,000 in 1993.

Suspension and Drive train-
Frame strengthened through welding, 88 Carrera front suspension, Carrera torsion bars, new front struts, 911S front calipers, 19mm master cylinder, turbo tie rods, 16’ 911 hubs, Automotion front and rear bushings, Otto’s rear hub kit with 911 rear hubs and 914-6 stub axles, Ted Hulse rear shocks, 165lb progressive rear springs, GPR through frame rear sway bar, 16×6 front and 16×7 rear refinished Fuchs alloys.

Motor-
1981 911SC 3.0 liter motor, Dillavar head studs, heads reworked, 46 IDA PMO carburetors’, GPR Oil tank in right rear fender, DC Automotive 911 engine sheet metal, GT performance flywheel, Patrick Motorsports engine mounts, Permatune ignition, B&B stainless headers (no heat exchangers)

The car had 70,200 miles on it at the start of restoration and currently has 81,700, so it has travelled approximately 11,500 miles since the rebuild.

Exterior: Overall 8.5/10
Paint- DuPont Chroma Black- The paint on this is gorgeous. It has a deep and consistent shine with none of the orange peel they would have come with from new. There are no significant scratches or nicks but it is black so it will show even the slightest of imperfection.
Body- The body is very straight with not a single ding to be noted. There is no evidence that the car has been involved in any type of collision and overall panel fit and gap is very good.
Body Parts- All of the glass is good, the targa top and side sail panels are like new. All of the seals and gaskets and lights are likewise clean and correct. The only items that I think need some attention are the front and rear bumpers and trim. The 1974 914 featured the bumper overiders and the owner removed the overriders but left the holes in the bumpers. To really look great a set of 1973 bumpers should be installed. The top rubber bumper trim is likewise “rippled” and should be replaced as well, which would happen with a bumper swap.
Wheels- The car is sitting on a genuine original set of 16×6 and 16×7 Fuchs Wheels that are perfect, no peeling, no pitting, no curb damage. The tires are mismatched front to rear and while they have plenty of tread are older due to the cars low miles. Since this car offers such extraordinary performance a new set of tires should be fitted.

Rust- As any enthusiast knows rust is the bane of all 914’s. This particular car was completely stripped and treated during the restoration. The only notable rust I have found in on the driver’s side rear quarter panel just above the taillight is starting to bubble. The front and rear trunks looks pristine. The floor pans and jacking points are solid and the “hell hole” appears to be clean. I would welcome any prospective customer to put the car up on the rack because any 914 will have rust if you look hard enough, but this one looks real solid.

Interior-
Overall the interior I would categorize as a 9.0/10. It is really amazing original condition

Seats: The seats are very well preserved. There is just one flaw I could find on the seats, and that is a slight cut on the passenger side bolster now more than 1” in length that hasn’t even split.
Carpet: The carpet is also darn close to perfect, I could find only one slight wear mark on the driver’s side floor close to the e-brake handle.
Dash: The dash pad is like new, no cracks.
Door panels and Headliner: They are all in excellent shape, no wear or sagging.
Electronics and gauges: EVERYTHING on this car works. Including all gauges, climate control fan, stereo, map light, etc. The only item worth noting is that with the B&B exhaust the heat exchangers were bypassed so there is no heat.
Trunk and accessories: Both the front and rear trunks were refinished when the car was restored so they are very clean. An OEM Porsche 993 inflatable spare has been fitted as the original 914 spare would not have worked with the 911 hubs.


$25k is a lot of money for a 914, but, as the seller states, it would probably take twice that to recreate.  I really like the thoroughness, as this is not just some engine swap but really an exploration of how awesome the 914 can be.  It looks great and has the juice to be a 911-beating handful.  Sure, budgeting may keep my 914 swap dreams cheap, but if I had the means, this would be high on my must-have Porsche list.

-NR