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1989 BMW (E30) M20-Swapped 318i Touring

1989 BMW (E30) M20-Swapped 318i Touring

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Details

Price: $12,500

Mileage: 270,500 km (168,130 Miles)

Engine: 2.5-Liter M20 Inline 6-Cylinder Engine

Transmission: G260 5-Speed Manual Transmission

Exterior color: Diamond Schwarz Metallic Exterior (181)

Interior: Anthracite Cloth Interior (0274)

Additional features:

Corbeau Sport Seats on Massive Sliders

Left Hand Drive

Good Repaint in Diamond Schwarz

Shadowline Trim

“i” Lip Spoiler

3-Spoke Sport Steering Wheel

Power Front Windows

Cloth Comfort Seats

Fold Down Rear Seats

Euro Analog Clock

Manual Sunroof

Sony CD Player

Keyless Entry

“Smiley” Projector Headlights w/ City Lights

15-Inch Style 5 Basketweave Wheels

Bridgestone Potenza RE002 Tires

Italian Market Touring

Imported from Bulgaria

25-Year Exempt

Clean Carfax

Colorado Title

Background

1989 BMW (E30) M20-Swapped 318i Touring exterior photo

The 1984-1991 BMW 3 Series, known generationally as the E30, is the one model more than any other that earned BMW the Ultimate Driving Machine reputation. The E30 Touring was the pet project of BMW engineer Max Reisbock. He literally built the first E30 touring out of a wrecked 323i in his garage after work—it was so good that BMW put it into production (with a few minor changes). The E30 Touring started a legacy of sporty BMW wagons that remains to this day. All late-model Tourings were spec’d with the 325 suspension and 4-wheel disc brakes. The extra pillars added rigidity over the Coupe and Sedan and there is slightly more rear weight bias, allowing superb handling. Four-cylinder Tourings take the best advantage of this by having less weight up front. Fold down rear seats, shadowline trim, and Euro headlights make the Touring one of the most exclusive and sporting E30s. The U.S. market never got the Touring, but they are legal now thanks to the 25-year exemption. Left-hand drive and a clean body are the most important factors in finding a touring, as engine swaps are easy compared to body work.

Summary

 exterior photo

This Italian Market Touring came to the US via Bulgaria. I got it from the same contact that I purchased my personal Touring from. It came to us as a 318i with the anemic M40 four-cylinder engine. This was remedied with a 6-cylinder, 2.5-liter M20 engine from a US-Market 325i coupe with 189K miles on it. When the engine was out we went through it front to back, replacing the head gasket, intake manifold gasket, exhaust gaskets, valve cover gasket, cam seal, oil pan gasket, timing belt, water pump, thermostat housing and gasket, miscellaneous houses, drive belts, and fresh oil and coolant. The 325i flywheel was resurfaced with a fresh clutch kit mounted to the 325i’s G260 gearbox. We replaced the fuel level sensor and tank seal, along with the battery. The 325i’s exhaust was also fitted, with US catalytic converters. The 318i Touring had no power steering or air conditioning, which frees up the M20 from the associated parasitic drag, and builds arm strength of its driver in parking lots! We added Corbeau sport seats on Massive E30 brackets and refinished 15-inch basket weaves; two Euro weaves, and two iX weaves. Prior to coming to the US the 318i Touring was professionally repainted in the original Diamond Schwarz (black) color. I have pictures of it stripped for paint. Importantly, it is largely rust-free as E30 Tourings are susceptible to rust in the rear hatch, in addition to the normal spots. Being an Italian market Touring, the hatch, body seams and spot welds are clean, as are the normal E30 areas. There is superficial corrosion on the underbody components like the springs and brake calipers. I had the lower rash-guard areas refinished matching gloss black, along with the fog light blanks and brake ducts. The interior is in good condition with a crack-free dashboard, Corbeau sport seats, and the rear fold-down seats. It comes with a clean Colorado title, two keys, and keyless entry.

Exterior

1989 BMW (E30) M20-Swapped 318i Touring exterior photo

The Diamond Schwarz paint is in very good condition and presents fantastically thanks to its recent re-paint. I have included pictures of it being prepped prior to paint. We had the lower “rash guard” areas refinished to match the rest of the car. There are some flaws in the left rear quarter panel (pictures are on our website if you are reading this elsewhere) along with other small imperfections. Common areas like the front fender seams, lower windshield cowling, and floorboards are largely rust-free. The battery and jack trays, lower doors, and hatch have extremely minor superficial corrosion—nothing like most Tourings, or E30s in the States for that matter. Pictures of these areas are included before and after we refinished the rashguard. The Euro VIN placard and firewall stamp are in place. The body and panel gaps are perfectly straight. All black-work and trim are present and intact, including the “i” lip. The windshield is crack-free, and the glass isn’t pitted. The Euro smiley headlights have good glass, as do the turn signals, marker lights, and tail lights. The fog lights have been deleted with fog light blanks. The roof antenna shared with the E30 M3 is present. The wheels and center caps are excellent thanks to being refinished. The Bridgestone Potenza RE002 tires have 30% tread remaining.

Interior

 interior photo

The interior is in very good condition. There are no odors and it has never been smoked in. The carpet is in good condition, with the exception of some staining on the passenger floor board. The Corbeau seats are in excellent shape. The dashboard is crack-free and the 3-spoke sport steering wheel is in very good condition. The shift knob and boot are in good condition, and we recently replaced the boot. All instrument cluster functions, including the odometer, work correctly. The Euro analog clock is a Euro bling item. The Sony stereo sounds great. The heat blows warm and the blower fan works and is quiet at all speeds. All window and sunroof switches work, as does the central locking system, which has keyless entry and an alarm. The sunroof is a manual and operates, as it should. The hatch cover is present, along with the floor cover and access panels. Underneath are the spare tire and factory jack.

Mechanical

 engine photo

The M20 engine fires on command. It idles smoothly, pulls strongly and sings the glorious song that only an M20 can sing to redline. It does not leak or spot. The normal maintenance clock has been reset on this M20, from the oil change to the timing belt. The clutch take-up is correct (being recently replaced) and the shifter is tight. The transmission and driveline are quiet and free of vibration. The suspension is firm, yet compliant, and the bushings are tight. The brakes are strong with plenty of life left. There is no wheel bearing noise or vibrations. With the US exhaust and catalytic converter it passes emissions. As it sits, it is a turn-key E30 Touring. It will need continued care and maintenance, and we can help with that down the road. We would like to find a new owner who will enjoy it for the next chapter.

VIN Decode

 exterior photo

VIN Decode

  • VIN: WBAAG71000ED69516
  • Type: AG71
  • Model: 318i – EUR
  • Development Code: E30 (5)
  • Chassis: TOUR
  • Steering: LL
  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: M40
  • Displacement: 1.80
  • Power: 111 Horsepower
  • Drivetrain: RWD
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Color: Diamond Schwarz Metallic (181)
  • Upholstery: Anthracite Cloth (Anthrazit Stoff 0274)
  • Production Plant: Dingolfing
  • Production Date: 5-29-1989

Options

  • 199 Without Catalytic Convertor (catalytic convertor added)
  • 300 Central Locking Electric
  • 400 Manual Sunroof
  • 410 Power Front Windows
  • 681 Roof Antenna
  • 814 Italian Market Version
  • 855 Language Version Italian