Jump to content

E10 2002 with S14 Conversion | M2 Project?


Recommended Posts

I am new to this forum and indeed new to the E10 chassis 2002 vehicles overall. Having owned several new BMW's in the past (E30 325, E46 M3, E90 335), I had never considered ownership of an earlier generation BMW. It seems that time has tempered my need for all things new, as I now have appreciation for automobiles from the past.

My search began originally for a clean, low mileage E30 M3. Prices range from 10k-35k depending on mileage, condition, etc. I found a clean, silver 1991 M3 at a good price, but was a day late in pulling the trigger...someone from out of town beat me to it. Then as I searched, I came across a 2002 Turbo in Polaris Silver. Immediately, the body lines (fender flares, front bumper) of this car just grabbed me.

For the past week, I have spent countless hours on this forum and on Google educating myself on the E10 2002 vehicles. I have even found a few 1974 Turbos for sale, ranging from 30k-60k. Definitely a keeper, but would not make sense to modify given its rarity and heritage.

As I researched, I came across the term "M2" and discovered its meaning as a E10 2002 transplanted with the S14 from the E30 M3. On this forum alone, there are several members that have M2's; Lee from Massive, Paul from Denver, Steve from Blunttech, Ray from Tianjin, etc. These incredible builds have inspired me to possibly consider this route and have the best of everything I want...The power of a S14, infused in the body of a standard 2002 with Turbo flares and front bumper.

It seems members here have either tackled the project on their own or have commissioned workshops to undertake the conversion. For those that have converted privately, it seems the kit from Dave @ Aardvarc Racing does the trick. Any feedback from those with first hand experience with the M2 conversion kit offered from Dave would be appreciated.

On the other hand, 2 workshops seem to stand out for their M2 conversions; Matt from Sportscar Restoration LLC, in CT and JP from A1 Imports, in CA. Any other workshops??? Approximately, how much should I expect the S14 conversion to cost in parts and labor? I realize there will be additional costs involved to improve the suspension and brakes.

I am searching for a well sorted and cared for, one owner 2002, as the basis for this project. Are any years better than others for the conversion? Anything else to look for specifically?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Turbos don't have front bumpers ;-)

Welcome to the forum, and that's quite a nice introductory post.

Old cars are different from newer ones. Welcome to the world of wind noise, rattling heater fan motors and a/c that works if you throw enough dollars and time into it. Almost ;-)

You might want to drive an M2 to see if you find it tolerable before jumping in with both feet.

Or not. ;-)

I assume you are in the PNW. There may be a well-sorted specimen nearby. Otherwise... where are you?

... I did not go with Dave's kit (is he offering a kit or an instruction manual these days?) but you'll be hard-pressed to find anything but accolades for whatever Dave offers. Email him or give him a call.

Carl Nelson's shop did the mechanicals on mine. He is still the '02 guru.


Mario Lansten's shop did Roy Wicklund's. The craftsmanship speaks for itself. http://www.m2bmw.com/roy-wicklund.htm


... How much would you spend? Just for the conversion? Well, you're not doing just the conversion are you? You're doing the brakes, suspension, driveline, and probably interior, paint, etc. It won't be cheap; I'll say that much.

S14 motors are expensive initially. Personally I think they're pretty bulletproof when maintained but others may opine otherwise.

Cheaper may be an M20 turbo. That's a six cylinder, so a bit of a different animal. Maybe something to consider, though.

As far as which year is the best foundation, the squarelights may be just slightly more stout, but I like the pre '74's. You'd probably want to get rid of the DOT mandated energy absorbing rear bumper on a U.S. squarelight model, for aesthetics.

Other than that, the autos have a wider transmission tunnel, so less banging out would be required if fitting a Getrag 245. For the 265, cutting would likely still be required.

Personally I think you may be better off starting with a rust free shell and going from there.

Also, if you haven't, look thru the project blogs. Especially Blunt's.


(Blunt's is buried there somewhere)

That should keep you busy for a while!

My $0.02.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know someone here who has a beautiful '76 sunroof 2002 parts car (rolling shell) with lots of brand new BMW body parts in primer (doors, fenders, etc).

I took this picture when we first picked the car up from it's former owner in May of this year.


This shell would be a perfect start to a project car. Marshall Lytle (mlytle) is the owner.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a 73 2002 with an s14 that I hired out but was very involved in planning the conversion. There was an engine and tranny for sale in the parts section that seemed like it might be a fair deal:


My restoration blog is on the board as well:


How much the conversion costs is completely dependent on how well you want it done. Dave's manual is very helpful and is most of what you need to know if you want to put a stock s14 in a 2002 with an 320i transmission. If you want to get more persnickety and are thinking about more power and want a 2.5 liter engine with a Getrag 265 from an M3 it gets more and more expensive. Whatever you think it costs to hire people to do work always ends up being much less than the actual cost. If you are going to put in a 265 tranny you will have to fab a new transmission tunnel. If you want to make engine mounts that are more outboard than stock 02 mounts it takes more work, but the car runs smoother and it is stronger. Obviously, this adds to the cost of the project.

I think you could put an s14 in a 2002 for 10K depending on if you can find a cheap motor and an interested mechanic. If you want to do something like Blunt's, Roy's, or my car plan on at least doubling or possibly quadrupling that. I would pick someone in your region of the country to do the work. Where are you located?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks to everyone for the replies and the links that ultimately lead to further education. Cars for me are like my passion for watches. Once something in particular grabs me, I almost become entranced and must find all information available about it. Such is the case with the 2002 now.

I am located in Seattle but travel often to SF/LA/NYC. In terms of budget, I suppose the same rule of thumb applies to starting a business or starting a project car...sort out what you think you need initially but be prepared to double that figure. With that said, i would be comfortable up to the 25k range. Is this figure feasible starting out with a clean shell or is it better to start with a clean, well sorted one owner vehicle for 2-5k range?

Anything more and I start to think about the ownership of a 2002 Turbo. There is one for sale currently in SF area in Polaris Silver for 35K. Does anyone here know the particulars on this car? Pictures present this vehicle well, but are there any stories?

For those that own an M2 now, with 20/20 hindsight...any regrets? Anything you would have done differently?

Ray...I meant the front valence of the 2002 Turbo, or the absence of the front bumper (hahaha).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the 2002 turbo is an amazing car and a piece of history that will likely appreciate. An M2 when done properly is a much better driving car that will never be worth what you put into it, but will be a treasure to have. If you are in Portland and would like to take a ride in mine sometime, let me know.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep, that's it. Note that Blunt did not follow his own advice ;-)

And I forget to mention Ian's site. He's another very worthy... enabler!



p.s. btw you'll notice most folks here have a name ;-) Feel free to introduce yourself!

Eric - Thanks for the generosity! Will you be showing your M2 at the BMWCCA event next Saturday in Portland?

Ray, I believe this is the link to Steve's M2 conversion you referenced:


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eric - I can not make the BMWCCA event this Saturday. I'm leaving on an international business trip that evening. Perhaps we can meet another time. It would be great to see your M2 in person.

Ray - Jim here. Thanks again for all the info. Hopefully this thread proves useful to those seeking to build or own an M2 in the future.

As for myself, I am in no particular rush. However, the decision will probably come down to purchasing a 2002 Turbo or finding a well sorted M2 (based on the suggestions here).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.
With your permission we and our partners may use precise geolocation data and identification through device scanning. You may click to consent to our and our partners’ processing as described above. Alternatively you may access more detailed information and change your preferences before consenting or to refuse consenting. Please note that some processing of your personal data may not require your consent, but you have a right to object to such processing. Your preferences will apply to this website only. You can change your preferences at any time by returning to this site or visit our privacy policy.