BaT Auction: S52-Swapped 1991 BMW 318is

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This 1991 BMW 318is is a modified example equipped with a 3.2L S52 inline-six, a 5-speed manual transmission, and a 3.23 limited-slip differential. The car was sold new in South Carolina and spent time in Tennessee, Texas, and Alabama before it was brought to California by the seller earlier this year. The previous owner was an aerospace engineer who performed the powertrain conversion along with a glass-out repaint in 2010, both of which are documented with photographs. Additional modifications include a C3 Motorsports coilover suspension kit, Wilwood brakes, 17” Compomotive wheels, Recaro seats, and much more. Approximately 5k miles have been added under current ownership, and a fluid service was performed this year. This E30 is now being offered for sale in California with service records, build photos, an accident-free Carfax, and a clear Pennyslvania title in the seller’s father’s name.

A glass-out repaint in the factory shade of Alpine White II was carried out in 2010, and the work reportedly included repairing a dent in the rear valance. No accidents are shown on the provided Carfax, and the seller notes some minor chips in the finish. Side markers have been removed, and OEM side skirts, black kidney grilles, an aftermarket trunk lid spoiler, and Euro license plate filler have been fitted, along with Euro “smiley” headlamps, HID foglights, and red taillights.

BaT Auction: S52-Swapped 1991 BMW 318is

Compomotive TH 17×8” wheels are wrapped in Falken Azenis tires and mounted on Vorshlag 75mm wheel studs. The rear brake calipers have been rebuilt, and larger Wilwood four-piston front calipers, new pads, stainless steel lines, and fresh parking brake shoes were added.

BaT Auction: S52-Swapped 1991 BMW 318is

The interior features adjustable black Recaro seats with red E30 M3 EVO seat belts, a reupholstered rear seat, replacement carpets, and an Alcantara headliner. Door panels are trimmed in carbon fiber and Alcantara, and the factory panels accompany the sale. Window switches have been relocated, and an AKG Delrin shift knob was added. According to the seller, the A/C system requires two new pressure lines to be complete.

BaT Auction: S52-Swapped 1991 BMW 318is

An Alcantara-wrapped Nardi 3-spoke steering wheel fronts a set of refreshed gauges with orange needles and brushed aluminum trim rings. The odometer was replaced earlier this year at approximately 145k miles, and the indicated 94k miles is inaccurate. A Speedhut 3-gauge pod was added to the center stack, while a custom stereo without a head unit utilizes a Kenwood USB music system, Clarion Equalizer, MB Quart speakers and amplifier, and a 10″ subwoofer.

BaT Auction: S52-Swapped 1991 BMW 318is

The 3.2L S52 inline-six, ZF 5-speed manual transmission, and 3.23 limited-slip differential were sourced from a 2000 M Roadster which was said to have approximately 39k miles. An additional 5k miles have been driven since the swap. An M5 clutch, UUC lightweight flywheel, EVO 3 shifter, and dual selector rod have been installed, and engine management has been converted to OBD1. Additional components include:

  • 24 lb/hr injectors (pink tops)
  • OBD1 intake manifold
  • 540i 3.5” HFM
  • TRM chip
  • 5 series engine mounts (trapezoid)
  • Mishimoto aluminum radiator
  • Modified engine harness
  • E30 M3 harness covers
  • Canton Racing aluminum catch/overflow tank
  • JVT Headers with DEI exhaust wrap
  • Magnaflow high flow catalytic converter
  • Borla XR1 intermediate muffler
  • Vibrant twin exit muffler
  • Custom carbon fiber injector and coil covers.
  • Bimmerworld silicone 3.5” HFM adapter elbow
  • AEM conical air filter
  • Mechanical fan delete
  • Treehouse Racing E21 brake booster
  • Aluminum power steering reservoir
  • E30 M3 rebuilt drive shaft
  • New OEM E30 half shafts
  • New flex disc
  • New intermediate driveshaft bearing

BaT Auction: S52-Swapped 1991 BMW 318is

A C3 Motorsports coilover suspension kit was added, with parts including Koni dampers, Eibach springs and adjusters, and shortened front strut housings. A Z3 steering rack and E30 M3 aluminum control arms were also fitted, along with Turner Motorsports adjustable sway bar links.

BaT Auction: S52-Swapped 1991 BMW 318is

Several photos documenting the build are provided in the gallery.

BaT Auction: S52-Swapped 1991 BMW 318is

The Carfax report lists history in South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Alabama, and shows a mileage inconsistency that was reportedly caused by the installation of a replacement odometer earlier this year.

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