This BMW E36 318is Has a Wacky Nissan SR20 Engine Swap

·2 min read
Photo credit: RMC Miami/eBay Motors
Photo credit: RMC Miami/eBay Motors

From Road & Track

The 1994 BMW 318is didn't have a lot of power from the factory. Its 1.8-liter engine was only good for 138 horsepower, so it's not surprising that so many people swap in more powerful engines, especially considering that M3 motors bolt right up. What is surprising, though, is when someone foregoes the M3 swap and instead builds an SR20-powered E36.

Welcome to You Must Buy, our daily look at the cars you really should be buying instead of that boring commuter sedan.

How that idea came to be isn't well documented in the eBay ad here, but the wacky build was clearly done by someone competent. The engine was plucked from an S15 Silvia Spec R, good for 247 hp from the factory. This one was bored out from 2.0 liters to 2.1, though, with a larger turbine, upgraded injectors, better cooling, and a new ECU to help increase output further.

But the builder didn't stop at engine mods. The E36 also has upgraded sway bars and reinforced lower control arms, while the coil-over suspension matches the more aggressive Euro-spec E36's ride height. New brakes and a stronger brake booster improve stopping performance, too. A limited-slip differential and six-speed manual from the Spec R also ensure that it'll fun to romp on.

The interior and exterior have also been modified, with a large bumper inlet to feed the M3 intercooler and new red bucket seats. An alcantara headliner and aftermarket wheels round out the build. RMC Miami has the E36 listed for $32,500.

You Might Also Like