Jump to content
alisterh

E30 M42 Swap

Recommended Posts

Hi,

A few people have asked my how I did my swap so I thought I should clear some myths and put it in a permanent place.

The reason I chose this swap its cheap, easy and the drive train is already capable. The e30 is my Girlfriends daily so I wanted it off the road as little as possible.

The e30 had a very ticky m40 and was on its last legs, the donor car was a 1995 318ti but any m42 car will be fine but a non ews model would be ideal.

Below is the list of parts from each car used.

e36 318ti m42 e30 m40 e30 m42
Engine Engine arms Exhaust Manifold
DME Engine mounts  
Engine loom (x20) Upper and lower Oil pans  
1994 DME (no ews) Gearbox/clutch/driveshaft etc.  
Power steering pump Fan and fan clutch  
Alternator Throttle cable with part No. 13541288013  
dip stick (needs bending) Brown Temp sensor (swap with black temp sensor on m42)  
Starter motor    

As you can see all the parts except the exhaust manifold are from the E30 or the donor 318ti. I sourced the exhaust manifold from e30zone in the UK and was $250 delivered.

The only custom parts were the coil bracket (soon to be COP), the exhaust manifold to existing exhaust and the c101-x20 adapter.

I treated the c101 to x20 adapter just like an m50 swap, below is my adapter table

Pin No. C101 Colour   Pin No. X20 Colour
1 Charge light Blue   25   Blue
2 Static oil level Green/Yellow   1   Blue/White
3            
4 Temp Guage Brown/Purple   12   Brown/Yellow
5 Oil Pressure Light Brown/Green   23   Brown/Grey
6 Oxygen Sensor relay Green/White   22   Green/White
7 Switched power Green   21   Green/White
8 Fuel rate input White/Black   24   White/Black
9 Engine Speed imput Black   20   Black
10 Dynamic Oil Level Blue   2   Blue/Yellow
11 Reset Service Lights White/Green   19   White/Green
12 Check engine light Grey(brown)   8   Grey
13 Fuel pump relay Green/Purple   13   Green/Purple
14 Speed signal for ecu Black/White   14   Black/White
15 Unloader relay Black/Green   15   Black/Green
16 Diagnostic White/Black   17   White/Purple
17            
18 Start Black/Yellow   18   Black Yellow
19            
20            

Overall it was a very easy swap, this was my first time pulling an engine and was completed by me and a friend in a long weekend.

Hope this helps others in the future.

Cheers

IMG_20161024_170107.jpg

Edited by alisterh
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like a great repower without breaking the bank. When you say cheap, what do you mean.....all up......2....5.....10k.....not including labour of course because it was a diy job.  Curious to see if it might be an option for my car. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, NZ300E said:

Sounds like a great repower without breaking the bank. When you say cheap, what do you mean.....all up......2....5.....10k.....not including labour of course because it was a diy job.  Curious to see if it might be an option for my car. 

Under 2K, donor car was $550, exhaust manifold was $250, custom exhaust work was $280, 1994 ECU was $80, c101 adapter was made from loom cuts from zebra car parts $20. I also spend $500 on preventative maintenance water pump, vacuum lines, oil, filter, coolant etc. 

It looks like your car is 320i though so some of the m40 parts you would need to find  as well. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers for that. Got me thinking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The car is now certified which ended up dragging out a lot longer than I expected mostly due to small issues unrelated to the swap. Also did a coil on plug conversion which really cleans up the engine bay.

Overall the car feels great, way more e30s should of come to NZ with this engine car feels so light and loves to rev.

Next up is a bit of a Hartge tribute (body kit and wheels)

Edit: Also forgot to mention that driveshaft loops weren't required due to unmodified driveshaft and less than 50% power increase. 

IMG_20170313_194457_HHT.jpg

Edited by alisterh
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am very seriously keen on doing this swap.  I take my E30 to the track and love the 4 cylinder weight and feel, but struggle with the bad case of asthma my m40 has.  hmmmmmmmm.  Thanks for posting this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm now looking at doing this swap on my E30, did you swap over the engine loom and ecu aswell? I'm picking up a 1995 ti with everything I'll need. Where abouts are you located? Im keen to find out how it all went. I'm swapping out the old and blown M40

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah you need to use the 318ti engine loom and you will need to find a pre 1995 ecu or buy a ews delete chip. I'm located in Auckland. The swap has gone well, the car is daily driven by my girlfriend and has never let her down. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, alisterh said:

Yeah you need to use the 318ti engine loom and you will need to find a pre 1995 ecu or buy a ews delete chip. I'm located in Auckland. The swap has gone well, the car is daily driven by my girlfriend and has never let her down. 

Sweet so I'm getting a semi complete 1995 318ti body(everything except engine and wiring and ecu gone)  from Christchurch and once I get it back here to Nelson I'll get it all installed into my e30, I'll most likely make an exhaust manifold from the ti one.

Can I just find an earlier ti ecu and it will work? Or is there still more work involved? I'm very keen as I've been trying to research this so much and really glad I've found someone who has put it into writing which is going to help no end! 

Im looking forward to having a little pocket rocket e30 👌🏻

IMG_2945.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They ecu you need is plug and play but it's probably just easier to buy a chip from eBay for less than $40. I have heard from a few people that a m44 manifold bolts on and clears the steering linkage without modification so that may be an easier option. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see those chips on eBay. Once I get the m42 to mine I'll have to collect up the last bits I need for the swap as it doesn't have an alternator and starter motor or even the power steering pump with it but I I can get m44 parts in Nelson fairly easily so should be able to make something work. 

What did you do for radiator hoses? Use the m40 ones? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I ended up using a mix of e30 m40 hoses and the 318ti hoses. I cant remember exactly  but some required trimming. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've now got myself the m42 out of the ti I bought, with everything ready to do the swap. The ti I got everything from is an auto 01-1995 and i don't think it's got ews. The key reader isn't plugged in and key is the older style key. This is my first engine swap, the wiring that you did what are the ones that are crossed out in the table? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From memory the ones crossed out are only required if you have a overhead check panel, usually only found in 6 cylinder cars. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've now got the m42 in the e30 ready to finish up tomorrow/today. How did you send your dipstick tube? I can't see how I can make it work. Using the e36 one also there was two connectors on the ecu end of the m40 loom a black and white one. Are they significant to anything? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is where my dip stick tube ended up, was just a bit of trial and error really. From memory I don't remember worrying about those black and white plugs. 

IMG_20170903_153526.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Black and white plugs are for A/C leave them unconnected unless you have A/C.

EWS is simple to wire in so dont worry if it does have it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I gave my dipstick tube a good bending. Will most likely need some more tweaking. Mine has a/c but not sure if I will bother trying to fit it back up to the m42 as belts are different etc. now I just need to get a top hose sorted and make up an exhaust manifold that'll work. And tidy up th wiring side.

IMG_3270.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stumbled upon this forum looking for more information on ews. I have a 1984 e30 318i and it had an m10 in it as you probably know which blew so I needed a cheap "quick" swap. So doing my research I decided to go with m42 out of an 1995 e36. I got it all installed had a custom wiring harness made and got it all hooked up and it cranks over but wont start. boiled it down to the ews and was just wondering if i could get the dme out of an e30 m42 or should i get a earlier <1995 e36 ecu? any help would be greatly appreciated. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For what it's worth it have a 94 date stamp ecu with EWS 

You can have it removed 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I put in the 1994 ecu into my e30 and still nothing. No fuel no spark. Could this be because I am using an e30 m42 wiring loom instead of a e36 m42 wiring loom? But the motor is out of an e36.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×