Blasphemy101's E36 (un)Build Thread

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Blasphemy101's E36 (un)Build Thread

Postby blasphemy101 » Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:31 pm

A couple weeks ago, a friend told me about an E36 he had sold to his elderly neighbor. His neighbor was planning to sell the car, and he thought I would be able to get it for cheap.

From the prices he was talking, I was expecting to find an absolute beater. The days of $500 E30s are long-gone around here, and E36 prices have followed (if a bit more slowly).

I was pleasantly surprised to find the car in pretty good shape. The paint was rough, and the interior was dirty, but my buddy has been doing all the maintenance work for the owner, so I have a good idea of the work that has been done on it.

Now for the bad news - it turns out the car is a 1992 model year, not the 1994 I had incorrectly remembered from my conversations about the car. So, it's an M50nv car (sorry Yoshi!). Obviously, this doesn't make it ideal swap material, but converting it to vanos with M52 parts seems like a viable solution.

So....

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The good:
5-speed (no need to source trans for swap)
Low miles (~77k)
2-3 years on clutch
Lowered on bilstein shocks/struts
Leather interior

The bad:
Non-vanos
Front windows off tracks
Sun roof switch broken (some funked-up wiring)
Speed-sensitive vibration/hum (CSB?)
Faded paint on roof and trunk

I think I overpaid a little bit just to use this car as a donor, so I've developed a plan:

A) Clean the car up, fix the minor problems where affordable. Resell it for a small profit and spend profits on E30. Hold for sale until spring break (mid-March).

B) If it doesn't sell by spring break, use time off school to pull engine/trans for E30 swap. Sell remaining chassis to a friend who is looking for a chump car (spoke to him about this before buying the car).

C) If said friend doesn't want to dominate with an E36 chumpcar, try to sell chassis publicly.

D) If chassis does not sell, pull off all useful bits and sell to local pick-and-pull/scrapyard.
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Re: Blasphemy101's E36 (un)Build Thread

Postby Yoshi » Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:13 pm

You can probably make your money back if you parted it out. The non vanos actually makes it better for boost. The top end has more robust parts while the bottom end has beefier con rods and lower compression. You do lose something without the vanos but my first 24v turbo was a NV. Not really that big of a deal honestly.

I don't know what I'd suggest doing with it. if you can fix the paint, selling it sounds feasible. Though, economy and all that jazz.

I'm also not a fan of that trans but I've never actually seen one crack. I just hear they do.
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Re: Blasphemy101's E36 (un)Build Thread

Postby blasphemy101 » Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:16 pm

Yoshi wrote:You can probably make your money back if you parted it out. The non vanos actually makes it better for boost. The top end has more robust parts while the bottom end has beefier con rods and lower compression. You do lose something without the vanos but my first 24v turbo was a NV. Not really that big of a deal honestly.


Yeah, from my reading, the M50nv really is just a 24v M20 with slightly higher compression. For me, the biggest downside is having standalone management as my only option. My turbo M20 project has made me pretty familiar with megasquirt, but only from the tuning side. The wiring seems a little intimidating. The most complicated wiring I've done has been on guitars. I guess with a full-on guide it can't be too difficult, as long as you're careful and methodical.

The M50 definitely has more power down low than the M20. Even in the heavier E36, the car felt faster up to 3500 RPM. Then I got bored lol

Yoshi wrote:I don't know what I'd suggest doing with it. if you can fix the paint, selling it sounds feasible. Though, economy and all that jazz.


Yeah...When I formulated my plan, my wallet was still in pain from the beating it took. After looking through local ads, I'm sure I could sell the car for more than I bought it for. The prospect of making a little money is tempting, especially because I could just put that money into my M20 (head studs, bigger injectors, moar bewst).

On the flipside, my girlfriend made a solid point that since I haven't seen any other E36s near the price I got this one for, it may be a better idea to just keep it and do the swap. It might end up costing me slightly more than I originally planned, but it seems like a really solid donor. I'd be pretty pissed if I sold the car and then turned around and blew up my M20.

Yoshi wrote:I'm also not a fan of that trans but I've never actually seen one crack. I just hear they do.


I've read the same thing. At the same time, it seems like plenty of people are running up to 450whp and drag racing without any issues. The ratios are very close to the ZF.
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Re: Blasphemy101's E36 (un)Build Thread

Postby blasphemy101 » Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:36 pm

Question:

I'm skeptical about how much vanos actually helps with power/spool on a turbo motor. I know everyone talks about how much it's worth it, but I'm not so sure...
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Re: Blasphemy101's E36 (un)Build Thread

Postby M20_fever » Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:09 am

flip it and build the m20. Honestly man, your going to lose months of driving your car and end up with a motor swap that will put out slightly more power than your m20 at any given boost level. Your m20 can make more power than your chassis will put down, so aside from just "wanting to do it" what's the point?
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Re: Blasphemy101's E36 (un)Build Thread

Postby Yoshi » Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:30 pm

blasphemy101 wrote:
Yeah, from my reading, the M50nv really is just a 24v M20 with slightly higher compression. For me, the biggest downside is having standalone management as my only option. My turbo M20 project has made me pretty familiar with megasquirt, but only from the tuning side. The wiring seems a little intimidating. The most complicated wiring I've done has been on guitars. I guess with a full-on guide it can't be too difficult, as long as you're careful and methodical.


The wiring is kind of a bitch. I did put a write up somewhere that made it pretty straight forward. Not really much is different if you keep your current setup. Only diff is, the factory M50 uses sequential fuel/spark. You'd be down grading to batch/wasted. Lost power potentially.

blasphemy101 wrote:I've read the same thing. At the same time, it seems like plenty of people are running up to 450whp and drag racing without any issues. The ratios are very close to the ZF.


Ratios are similar. The innards are very different. I also hate my ZF in the S52 car thanks to the 3.73 diff in it. So short. I can't hit the highway. I'd need a 3.25 to get back to factory wheel speeds. Well that and I have undersized tires in the rear like a moron.

blasphemy101 wrote:Question:

I'm skeptical about how much vanos actually helps with power/spool on a turbo motor. I know everyone talks about how much it's worth it, but I'm not so sure...


I didn't really notice a difference honestly. With boost, everything is an evil torque monster. NA it does seem to make a difference but even that may be anecdotal.

M20_fever wrote:flip it and build the m20. Honestly man, your going to lose months of driving your car and end up with a motor swap that will put out slightly more power than your m20 at any given boost level. Your m20 can make more power than your chassis will put down, so aside from just "wanting to do it" what's the point?


I do and don't agree. Your car will be down for months and there will be things that nickle and dime you. There always is. It's always going to cost more than you think. If you're power hungry, this will help. It's not "slightly" more power. Obviously down low it won't be similar. You could potentially make 50whp if you do a bad job. 100whp if you do it right. Nothing to scoff at. Course, why do you even need that anyway? Not like you're drag racing. Plus you'd need to fit 275s to maybe hold the power. I unno. Second DD?
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Re: Blasphemy101's E36 (un)Build Thread

Postby blasphemy101 » Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:47 pm

Yoshi wrote:The wiring is kind of a bitch. I did put a write up somewhere that made it pretty straight forward. Not really much is different if you keep your current setup. Only diff is, the factory M50 uses sequential fuel/spark. You'd be down grading to batch/wasted. Lost power potentially.


Doesn't MS3 support sequential?


Yoshi wrote:Ratios are similar. The innards are very different. I also hate my ZF in the S52 car thanks to the 3.73 diff in it. So short. I can't hit the highway. I'd need a 3.25 to get back to factory wheel speeds. Well that and I have undersized tires in the rear like a moron.


That's a concern. My car also has a 3.73 LSD. I was pointing to the strength of the transmission, though.

Yoshi wrote:I didn't really notice a difference honestly. With boost, everything is an evil torque monster. NA it does seem to make a difference but even that may be anecdotal.


It's not a huge concern - converting to vanos doesn't look that hard, aside from having to redo the harness, but I could probably go without it. In any case, the M50 will spool a given turbo better than the M20.

Yoshi wrote:
M20_fever wrote:flip it and build the m20. Honestly man, your going to lose months of driving your car and end up with a motor swap that will put out slightly more power than your m20 at any given boost level. Your m20 can make more power than your chassis will put down, so aside from just "wanting to do it" what's the point?


I do and don't agree. Your car will be down for months and there will be things that nickle and dime you. There always is. It's always going to cost more than you think. If you're power hungry, this will help. It's not "slightly" more power. Obviously down low it won't be similar. You could potentially make 50whp if you do a bad job. 100whp if you do it right. Nothing to scoff at. Course, why do you even need that anyway? Not like you're drag racing. Plus you'd need to fit 275s to maybe hold the power. I unno. Second DD?


Selling the car for a profit is still "Plan A." I wasn't exactly looking to do a swap this soon, but this car came up as an affordable opportunity.

I accept a swap may cost more than I anticipate. That said, that's an argument for using this car as a donor. It has all the main components. I don't see any reason the car would be down for months.

I wouldn't say I'm power-hungry, but obviously output is a major motivation for the swap. I'm not so much looking for more peak power as I am a better power band.

It would make a great DD, but I don't need it. I still live with my mom while I'm in school, so I have until the end of march to do SOMETHING with this car lol
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Re: Blasphemy101's E36 (un)Build Thread

Postby Yoshi » Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:00 pm

MS3 supports full sequential. It's so sexy too.
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Re: Blasphemy101's E36 (un)Build Thread

Postby blasphemy101 » Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:40 pm

Yoshi wrote:MS3 supports full sequential. It's so sexy too.


If I end up going with the swap, MS3 would be my choice. My current MS is a whodwho PnP unit, so it wouldn't work with an M50 anyways...
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Re: Blasphemy101's E36 (un)Build Thread

Postby Yoshi » Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:48 pm

It would. you'd just need to adapt a few things over so it plugs in. Most is the same. IIRC it even uses the same VR sensor and tooth count. Different offset on the missing teeth though.
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Re: Blasphemy101's E36 (un)Build Thread

Postby blasphemy101 » Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:00 pm

Yoshi wrote:It would. you'd just need to adapt a few things over so it plugs in. Most is the same. IIRC it even uses the same VR sensor and tooth count. Different offset on the missing teeth though.


Say wat? I mean, I'll only cross that bridge when (if) I come to it, but it would be awesome if I could just keep my old MS unit. Even thought it would mean batch fire, it would be nicer in the beginning to use as much of my previous stuff as possible...
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Re: Blasphemy101's E36 (un)Build Thread

Postby Yoshi » Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:10 pm

well, I mean what's the difference? You could theoretically run it on a single coil if you wanted. Could convert to wasted spark for the M20 (If you haven't already) then just plug it into the M50. What's the difference? Just plugs.
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Re: Blasphemy101's E36 (un)Build Thread

Postby blasphemy101 » Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:00 am

Yoshi wrote:well, I mean what's the difference? You could theoretically run it on a single coil if you wanted. Could convert to wasted spark for the M20 (If you haven't already) then just plug it into the M50. What's the difference? Just plugs.


That makes since. My setup uses the stock bosch connector, so I figured the pinouts must be different or the connectors completely different.

I think I'm getting it mixed up with the M30 swap, though.
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Re: Blasphemy101's E36 (un)Build Thread

Postby M20_fever » Sun Feb 02, 2014 3:14 am

If you do it get the weather pack from DIY, it has every OEM quality plug you could want, and for a little more you can get the right tool to install all the plug ends.
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Re: Blasphemy101's E36 (un)Build Thread

Postby Yoshi » Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:24 pm

The connectors on lots of stuff are different. Like the fuel rail has its own harness cover thing. Just splice into it or repin it. No reason to toss out a whole working harness for that. You might have to mod a bit but wouldn't you rather that than start from scratch?

Though, def go wasted spark minimum if you haven't already. I forget if you are.
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