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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Sacramento CA
Posts: 1,122
Engine Swap - 330 for a 325

My 2004 325iT 5sp daily driver has consumed oil since I bought it at 100k miles, but the problem has slowly gotten worse over the past 40k miles. At some point I will have to invest in this engine or replace it.

I can get a 2004 330 engine with 100k miles and a year warranty for $2700. This wagon would be awesome with a few more horses and a taller rear end. The question is - is getting the engine just the beginning of my expenses?

My next step is to go to RealOEM and start comparing part numbers to figure out what stays with the car and what I need to get with the engine (flywheel, clutch, exhaust manifold, etc.). My wife drives a 330 automatic, so I have been looking at it trying to figure out how big a job this will be.

Computer - This is my biggest worry since the 330 will most likely have been on an automatic, or with great luck, on a 6-speed manual. I want to keep my 5 speed. Is the best solution to pay a dealer to reprogram my 325 computer to be a 330 computer? That won't be cheap, and I am sure that they won't guarantee that it will work.

Rear end - I want to go from the current 3.46 to a 2.93. What will be the most cost-effective way to do that? Buy a complete junkyard differential? Where is the speedometer sensor? Will that be a problem?

What am I missing? Anything that will make this a financial no-go?

Thanks for your suggestions!

Last edited by Manolito; 06-12-2012 at 05:36 AM..
Old 06-12-2012, 05:30 AM
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Update: This is more difficult than I thought.

I posted the question to the web page of my local BMW dealer (Niello BMW is great) and they looked into it.

1) The tool they use to reflash computers will not flash a 325 computer to be a 330 computer.
2) The computer from a 330 will not work in a 325 without a lot of work because the computer has to mate up with the EWS and lamps module.

My next thought is to see if I can control a 330 with a stock 325 computer (i.e. are the VANOS and fuel control similar enough to work well?) At some point, trading the 325iT in for a newer 328iT starts to sound more reasonable, but I really prefer the e46.
Old 06-18-2012, 09:26 PM
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:26 PM
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