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      08-25-2016, 11:47 AM   #23
STooK
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Non-US cars came with smaller size engines because I believe they get taxed per liter or something.

OP, it definitely can be done but is it worth it? That's a different question. IMO, you would MUCH better off swapping in a N54 or something instead of trying to convert it to a M3. It'll be much more cost effective.
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      08-25-2016, 12:06 PM   #24
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OP I think this would be an excellent project. Like everyone said, this will be extremely expensive, and somewhat ludicrous, but damn it will be fun and interesting. You are going to need to buy an M3 anyways. Plus you'll have to have an incredibly extensive knowledge of both the M3 and the 316i, plus an incredibly skilled shop at your disposal.
Expect it to be cheaper to buy a new M3 (The S65 engine alone in good condition is like 15grand at least, companies like Dinan charge 20k plus for one, plus labor, the transmission, and other parts... You're looking at like 60k total) but if you are really attached to this 316i and have the cash to blow then go for it. A friend of mine converted a US spec E36 M3 to the full blow Euro Spec, she changed the drive-train, and all of the other bits in which the Euro and US Specs differed. I'll ask her tonight about this project and see if it's feasible.

All in all, it may be a silly project, but incredibly fun and worthwhile at the same time. You may destroy the car you love, or you may make it incredibly special. It's a risk you're going to have to take. Or for the same price, buy a new M3

Edit: Someone please correct me if I am a bit off on my estimation for the cost of this project. I am also factoring in the ludicrous labor costs that we deal with in California, thanks all
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      08-25-2016, 01:51 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E46M3forRay View Post
what makes it a 16i ? Missing cam lobes ? lol sounds pleb spec
Haha
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      08-25-2016, 02:06 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E46M3forRay View Post
what makes it a 16i ? Missing cam lobes ? lol sounds pleb spec
guessing you haven't traveled outside of the US before...either that or trollpost
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      08-25-2016, 02:12 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E46M3forRay View Post
what makes it a 16i ? Missing cam lobes ? lol sounds pleb spec
Model numbers used to actually mean something with BMW. Under the old system a 316i would mean a 3 series body and chassis with a 1.6 litre injected engine. Of course now the numbers mean nothing, with a 335i having a 3.0 litre engine, and both the 328i and 320i having a 2.0 litre engine. They have even screwed up the exhaust distinction. Four cylinder BMWs typically had a single exhaust, while twin exhausts were provided to 6 cylinder cars and up, but the 328i has twin pipes now.
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      08-25-2016, 06:11 PM   #28
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Buy an m3. Swap the steering wheels and tell yourself you've swapped everything except the wheel.

More seriously +1 to 335i + m3 suspension bits + LSD which is very achievable. You have option with rear suspension to either just buy the control arms and wishbones and after market LSD. I had a quaife on myv335.
Alternatively you can get rear subframe from an wrecked m3 that perhaps encounter a tree at the front, you want the whole subframe inclusive of arms, and LSD and side and drive prop shafts, hubs, disks, the lot...and bolt up to your car like they did with the 1m.

Go to 335 thread as there's some complexities with the latter to ensure you get the correct drive ratio and prop shaft lengths and the drive shaft will need length adjusting.

Will get you into the feeling of an m3..... And with the right tune may even be faster in a straight line

.. But then you'll still be wanting an m3 for the hooked up, almost mind reading, incisiveness to the steering when you get that corner right!!!

I got as far as buying all the bits to go with my birds setup and then stopped myself before it got silly.
I do suggest you think again but good luck either way.
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      08-25-2016, 08:19 PM   #29
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The E9x M3 shares only ~20% of its components with the regular 3-series.

Just curious - anyone know the percentages for the other generations?
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      08-26-2016, 07:03 AM   #30
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      08-26-2016, 08:44 AM   #31
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You could probably buy a few M3's for the cost of this conversion.
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      08-26-2016, 07:34 PM   #32
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Wouldn't it just be a chassis at that point? If you've swapped everything else out from an M3? I get sentiment but...
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