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Bmw 320D To 330I


Eurofan
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Ok, this might sound absurd but im serious on doing it as a project car.

I bought a 2001 e46 320d to my wife few weeks ago, which is now hardly used. I was contemplating on converting this in to a 330i (diesel to a petrol). How i plan on going about it is by purchasing a decently well used 330i or even a 325i in UK/Japan and strip down the car and import all parts from the engine to gear box to suspension. The car would cost between $3000 - $4000 dollars plus labour and shipping cost and refitting cost. So i might be looking at about 1.5 mill expenditure.

My question is, is it possible? do any of you know of such conversions? and what sort of problems would i have to face in sourcing and finally operating the car?

P.S: I know i will never be able to regain the expenses. But thats not a concern!

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Well the 320d is more powerful than similar sized petrol engines (e.g. 318i & 320i) and more fuel economical. But i want the power of a 3.0 liter engine. E46 330D engined cars are more expensive than the petrol 330i engine. I need this swap purely to get a much faster 3.0 liter engine!

Edited by Eurofan
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Well the 320d is more powerful than similar sized petrol engines (e.g. 318i & 320i) and more fuel economical. But i want the power of a 3.0 liter engine. E46 330D engined cars are more expensive than the petrol 330i engine. I need this swap purely to get a much faster 3.0 liter engine!

Selling the diesel and buying a petrol version is not an option is it? :rolleyes:

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I know of a few cars that have been converted from smaller displacements to bigger and faster ones in E34's and E36 cars. It would be great if you can find a good decently used specimen for sale. I believe that you are bringing everything down part-by-part except the body, doors and interior trim. Please ensure to bring down the following:

1. Wire harness

2. Rear differential

3. Complete gearbox

4. Radiator

5. Engine

6. Meter board

7. All the suspension parts (including disks)

You will however need the help from an expert or the agents to put everything in order as it is quite a time consuming exercise even for them. But I doubt it that the agents will ever help you with this, not sure, since they mostly do not work out of the box and hate to do modifications to cars.

I know two cars which had undergone engine swaps but which are eternally in the garage due to technical problems. Some of the parts were mated from their previous models and hence led to some configuration issues.

This is a great project if you can pull it through !!!

Good luck !!!

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And I have seen a few 325TDS's around. Not to mention the 525TDS, and a few 530Ds.

Like Rukster said, it will be a difficult road, not impossible, but difficult and you will not get 100% satisfaction, due to many niggles that will stay with the car.

You are better off bringing a 330i.

a friend had a E46 328i, but its bent in two and at Prestige still ... ;)

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if its performance ur after - alternative route: put it on a diet, strip out the interior [seats, sound deadening, interior trim everything], strip out everything in the boot, throw in a couple of race seats, maybe add some CF spice [you can probably get rid of about 100 - 150 kg, maybe even more depending on how drastic you get], there are performance chips that will probably get you 165+ bhp from a 320D, install one of those as well .... and u got a solid performer!....and according to the crazy SL market u might halve the car's value, but hey, expense is not a concern right? :D

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Your best bet would be to buy a 320i and chip it. Since u r anyways willing to doll out 1.5 million on top, why not sell ur car, add 50% off the budgeted 1.5 million to the selling revenue and make an offer to a 320i owner that makes refusing look stupid. Spend a few hundred thousand more, chip the ECU, replace few parts that might need replacing and u got ur self atleast a 325i equivalent with minimal modifications and potential problems!

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Well from an economics point of view, converting from diesel to petrol does not make sense because you would have paid a premium to buy the diesel car in the first place. It makes sense to sell the diesel and buy a cheaper petrol (316i is the cheapest I believe) if your motive is to convert it to run a more powerful petrol engine.

Also you can keep it diesel but upgrade to the much nicer 330D engine :) This to me makes more sense, as this is a really nice engine, you get loads of torque, fairly good bhp figures and the icing on the cake is with all of this impressive MPG as well .....

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Combining the comments made by Tharindra, RR and the Don above:

Option 01: it would be great if you can do some mods to your existing car—that is having a bigger intake and modifying the exhaust and chipping the ECU. You should be able to sort out some stuff from tuning companies. Not sure if they can cater to diesels though.

Option 02: if you can lay your hands on a 330D it will do wonders if you still like the economy of the diesel and the power and torque of the larger displacement. However, note that you may have to bring down a lot of stuff mentioned in my previous posts above to mate it with the engine.

Lastly, speak to the expert in Kelaniya and see what he has to say about it. He has done a few engine swaps for E34's and a couple of E36 cars. He should be able to point out the pros and cons along with an indication of costs. Mind you this will take a lot of time to come together.

Good luck !!!

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Don't forget all the computers (DME), Immobiliser (EWS) and keys from the donor car. Its pretty difficult to try to match up the EWS and DMS from two cars (not possible in SL - need overseas help) so therefore you will also need all the locks (door / boot / cubby / ignition barrel) from the donor car as well. Also as the diesel is a much heavier car all the suspension from the donor / stabilizer bars / diff / prop shaft ...etc .etc .etc - the list goes on. Probably best to get the meter console and light control module as well. In the E46's the mileage of the car is stored in multiple computers - ie the meters / the light control module / the DME .. and if one of these mismatch a red dot appears on the meters to indicate that the mileage of the car has been tampered with.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

MadMMx

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