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Engine Dilemma


turbophil
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I know I have to do a FULL build on my engine.  Its a numbers matching engine w/121 cylinder head.   Thing is that there is no way I would be happy with a stock rebuild.  I would build it with performance in mind which can get some serious cost overrun.   The plan for the majority of the car is somewhat resto-mod.

 

I have the opportunity to pick up a fully built motor but am not sure of internals. The owner told me it is a block from a 69' with 2.0l euro mahle pistons and 9.8:1 comp using a 76' cylinder head.  I've searched and had a hard time finding 'euro' pistons.    The cylinder head has a bunch of good parts that I would be doing anyways. 

 

Would these pistons be heavy cast pistons?

 

I guess the dilemma is that I dont know how  compatible the pistons are with the E12 head. Is it possible that its a good match?  Or should I just spend the massive $$ and build my motor slightly strung out possibly devaluing the numbers matching engine?

 

What are your opinions/thoughts?  

Edited by turbophil
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Seems sketchy. A 76 head is usually an E21 head which requires different pistons than an E12. Worth a try! I did the full build of my motor route and I'm going to be in probably $2500+ range. Also to be noted, I have done all the assembly, disassembly, etc. That saved me a few bucks. And I learned some good stuff from others doing it that way :)

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I asked and the seller told me it says E12 on the head and it has a block off plate for the fuel pump so I can only assume its a 2002 head and not E21.  I am newer to the BMW stuff so of course I could be missing something here. 

 

I've built many performance engines so thats not the issue, this is just very appealing as I could use the saved money towards the bodywork :)

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this is just very appealing as I could use the saved money towards the bodywork :)

 

 

Your question boils down to "do I want to spend more money on an engine that I know is done right, or take the gamble and get a little extra moolah for bodywork?" ..... Well it seems the "answer" is pretty subjective to the individual.  I tread with EXTREME caution when it comes to someone else's engine work.

 

In the case of the M10, Mahle didn't make a 9.8:1 piston.  It's much more likely to be of the 9.5:1 variety, which in itself isn't an issue.  It just begs the question if previous guy shaved the head/block with the intent of raising the compression a tad (not really a great way to go obviously).  The pistons will be cast, yes they're hefty, but they're pretty dang durable and fairly sought after.

 

As mentioned, when going with a higher compression piston the piston should match the head.  REALLY not trying to sell you anything but if you wanted a quick visual, the piston listings here also show the pop-up design and how it relates to the head.

http://www.iemotorsport.com/bmw/2002-engine.html

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E21 casting heads also had fuel pumps. It was a 76 thing...

 

Personally, I would build your motor. Reason I say this is because if your luck is ANYTHING like mine it's less hassle and saves money and time in the long run. I bought a motor for my truck from a technical college that was "rebuilt" and it turned into a year long headache... It's finally all sorted out. It was missing parts, mains put in backwards, pistons in backwards, and the heads were assembled wrong. My luck with 02 parts is the same. My "rebuilt" cylinder head had a VISUAL crack between valves. Machine shop passed it... I've had two of these now!

 

But either way good luck mate!

Edited by roadhog0
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Your question boils down to "do I want to spend more money on an engine that I know is done right, or take the gamble and get a little extra moolah for bodywork?" ..... Well it seems the "answer" is pretty subjective to the individual.  I tread with EXTREME caution when it comes to someone else's engine work.

 

In the case of the M10, Mahle didn't make a 9.8:1 piston.  It's much more likely to be of the 9.5:1 variety, which in itself isn't an issue.  It just begs the question if previous guy shaved the head/block with the intent of raising the compression a tad (not really a great way to go obviously).  The pistons will be cast, yes they're hefty, but they're pretty dang durable and fairly sought after.

 

As mentioned, when going with a higher compression piston the piston should match the head.  REALLY not trying to sell you anything but if you wanted a quick visual, the piston listings here also show the pop-up design and how it relates to the head.

http://www.iemotorsport.com/bmw/2002-engine.html

 

The Mahle info is great, kinda what I was looking for!   Thanks for the info.  

I agree with knowing it was done right if I do it myself,  that is definitely what plays with my mind as well as the satisfaction of building my own. I am a built, not bought type of guy and this is out of my norm.  I figure if lasts two seasons until I finish the rest of the car then its worth it.  

 

I would be provided with all receipts for the engine, I also asked a friend of mine who knows of and has dealt with the machine shop that did the engine work.  They have built some very capable engines including machine work for my friend.  I would actually be purchasing a complete vehicle and driving it home. I figure theres enough aftermarket parts that I could easily recoup my money or use the parts to build my motor :)   Many of the parts actually came from IE and Top End. 

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