10k: 1990 BMW 325is with E36 M3 Engine Swap

We’ve posted plastic bumper E30 BMWs on the daily turismo in the past – because we love simple combination of rear wheel drive and manual transmissions in a light tossable car.  Today they are fully depreciated and the only thing they lack from the factory is horsepower, unless the car has received an engine transplant.  This brilliantrot red 1990 BMW 325is coupe has an E36 M3 engine and is for sale in La Crescenta, CA for $10,500 via craigslist.

The 1990 E30 has the desirable plastic bumper front and rear (the 88 and earlier models had hideous tugboat derived bumpers) and this example has been tastefully lowered and equipped with a set of nice looking aftermarket 16 inch wheels.

The stock 169 horsepower M20 inline 6 has been replaced with an S50B30US 3.0 liter inline 6 from a 1995 E36 BMW M3.  The iron block DOHC engine puts out 240 horsepower and 225 ft-lbs of torque (about 40 horsepower short of its European cousin the S50B30), perhaps a few more with the bolt-ons listed in the advertisement.  This is mated to the stock E30 transmission and an unspecified rear end – hopefully its not a peg-leg, but lots of E30 limited slip diffs are available used so you can get your drift on properly in this car.

Inside the e30 looks to be in great shape and has a playstation ready Momo steering wheel attached to the rack & pinion steering system (one of the best in on the road today).  We especially love the checkered cloth seats – no old cracked, hot, sticky leather for one lucky owner.  We prefer non-leather interior on used cars because they tend to weather the years better.

Overall, we like this 325is and assume it would be absolutely fun to drive…fast.  Our biggest apprehension is around the engine swap – not all swaps are equal and often unexpected problems occur.  However, like an Arkansas wedding. this swap ‘keeps it in the family’ and looks to be well sorted.  The car needs a catalyst and BAR referee work for it to be legal in California – best to get an entire stock E36 M3 exhaust system and modify it to fit.  Is the price right for a daily turismo in your garage or would you leave it to someone who wants a YO ZO PL personalized plate?

See another BMW for sale?  email us here:  tips@dailyturismo.com