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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Folks,

In my past car history I've tried e36 M3 Evos, all of them in superb condition (Munich Legends, Old Colonel Cars etc.) but not liked them - they just didn't light my fire. I then purchased an early cherished e36 M3 3.0 in mint condition but although I really really liked it (far better than the later EVOs imo - sorry) I never fell in love with it so after a year I sold it.

After a gap away from any BMW, last year I purchased an Avus Blue 1998 e36 318is saloon for £2.5k and it's the most enjoyable car I've ever owned by a country mile, and I'm old enough to have had the pleasure of owning a few nice cars. It's since cost me a small fortune in repairs, far more than the car's worth - the ad had said "would suit enthusiast" and they were right, you'd need to be - but then I am and I keep forgiving it.

When my current classic project completes (a non-BMW story, I like to spread the love) I want to build an e36 Touring with 318is running gear, with a manual 'box. I just like the way the 318is feels, much sweeter to hustle than having a big lump of a 6-pot up front and they make a lovely sound, period, not just for a 4-pot. So I'm looking for a high mileage e36 Touring model with excellent bodywork, at the moment I'm also being picky about the colour but may compromise as time and scarcity of candidates goes by.

Anyway, to the point - can anybody tell me which e36 specification would be easiest to do this engine swap to a 318is engine? Would a stock 316/318 be the best starting point or does it make no difference whether a 6-pot or 4-pot? How different are the manual gearboxes across the range in terms of fitting to a 318is engine - will I need to source a 318is engine and gearbox combined?

There's a potential LHD contender in Germany that's the right colour (Techno Violet) and looks straight - e36 318i Touring with a manual 'box - but I really don't know if buying a 4-pot manual would be easier to convert than a 6-pot.

This will also be a road car, no slammed track/drift intentions.

In advance, all advice gratefully received just please don't say bin the 318is and run a 2.8 - that misses the point.

Thanks,

Rob.
 
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