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crashed my 318


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so i crashed my 318 into the back of a bus.

i am going through a few options of what to do now, and one of them is to pull the m42 (keeping everything i need for the swap along the way), sell the rest of the car, and buy a 2002 to stick the m42 into.

i am just thinking this because i have the m42 and i love 2002's more then anything and really want one again.

i have searched the forum and can't really find any good stuff about m42 swaps into 2002's. can anyone help me out and point me in the right direction?

thanks guys! hope to be joining the 2002 world again soon!



Cheers from the German!!!


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that popping an M20 into an '02 is a much easier task than an M42...primarily due to the modifications necessary to get the M42 tranny into the '02's tranny housing--IIRC there's some fabricating necessary well beyond the panel bashing to fit either an M20 trans or an E21 five speed.

That being said, many things are possible, including the M42 swap, so check out the archives and find someone who has done the conversion.

I would think that the torque of an eta M20 (over 170 ft lbs) or the horsepower of an is M20 (168 stock) would be a definite + over an M42... (138 hp, ca 133 ft lbs)


'69 Nevada sunroof-Wolfgang-bought new
'73 Sahara sunroof-Ludwig-since '78
'91 Brillantrot 318is sunroof-Georg Friederich 
Fiat Topolini (Benito & Luigi), Renault 4CVs (Anatole, Lucky Pierre, Brigette) & Kermit, the Bugeye Sprite

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If you want to salvage your M42 and need some E30 guidance, join this forum http://www.baye30.net/ If the M42 swap into a 02 is beyond your expertise, you can probably find another 91 318i shell to drop your parts into. Good luck but I do remember Carl Nelson from La Jolla Independent BMW saying never again in regards to a M42 swap due to all the fabrication involved. As Mike mentioned, search the archives, several articles have been written on the M42 swap into a 02. Bummer about your accident, time to make lemondade out of lemons in regards to your wreck.


91 318i

74 2002 tii

74 tii (many mods)
91 318i M42

07 4Runner

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The M42 has been installed in 2002s... but it is not recommended.

You end up with a car having about the power of a tii. But most importantly, the swap is difficult. For one, the engine is too tall and ill not clear the hood. You need to fabricate some fancy brackets for the motor mounts to lower the engine and then your oil pan has clearance issues.

The exhaust is also a problem. The M42 comes with headers that won't clear the 2002 frame rails. There are no other alternatives from other motors. Major fabrication is needed to make it work. At the end, you get the power of a tii.

The M20 is the way to go.

If you part your car out, make sure you post it here. Many of us here own an M42 in an E30 and could use parts.

I am glad you were not hurt.



69 2002 (M20), 74 tii, 76 533i, 79 323i, 80 732i, 84 323i (S50) 91 318is, 96 318ti (S52), 97 Z3, 02 330i, 03 525iT, 02 R1150 RTP.
Auxiliary Lamp Brackets  Kamei Reproduction Front Air Dam

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ok. so i guess that an m42 is not the way to go. good thing to know. i might still be able to fix my 318i but if it costs to much it wont be worth it. ill keep all you guys in mind if i part this thing out.

Definitely looks fixable. As-is, you won't get more than $1000.

I drive a 1991 318is and, while it's NOT an '02, it's a far better experience -- power windows, 5-speed, LSD, sport seats, A/C that works, doors that seal when you close them, 2-way sunroof.

I drove it down to Santa Barbara a few weeks ago and arrived home still quite refreshed...can't do that in an '02.


1973 2002tii - gone

Inka (aka "Orange Julius")


1974 2002tii - gone

Polaris (aka "Mae West")


1991 318is (aka) "O'Hara")

Brillantrot - High Visibility Daily Driver

BMW CCA #1974 (one of the 308)


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It's not fair to compare a stock 318is to a hot roded 2002. Hot rod a 318is and you have everything a 2002 has to offer and then some.

I just replaced the bushing in my 318is to urethane (rear control arms and rear subframe mounts) plus the ST springs and Bilstein Sports and the offset M3 front bushings and the offset strut top bearing. I also installed a big case 4.10 LSD, and 25-22 mm ireland hollow sway bars. WOW!!!Compared to my 2002? On a twisty road? Difficult choice. As a daily driver? The E30, hands down. On a long trip? The E30 even more.



69 2002 (M20), 74 tii, 76 533i, 79 323i, 80 732i, 84 323i (S50) 91 318is, 96 318ti (S52), 97 Z3, 02 330i, 03 525iT, 02 R1150 RTP.
Auxiliary Lamp Brackets  Kamei Reproduction Front Air Dam

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So fix it. You need a hood, core support, one or both fenders, the grilles, etc. We just did our 91 318is crashed pretty much the same, with no apparent frame damage as the bumpers aren't moved. Core support is on the order of $300, used parts for the rest. Have a shop pull it straight if it needs it after you disassemble it , have them weld on the new core suport or do it yourself if you can handle it. I found a 91 318 parts car hit in the rear that yielded everything except the core support and put it together. It's not that hard.

73 2002 Tii Sold

71 2002 Ti Vintage racecar

84 BMW 325 E-Prod racecar Sold

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