323i - 2.8 litre conversion project

Rudders666

Torque Master
Points
162
Location
West Yorkshire
Car
Ford Focus ST300+
Dear all,

I have just flogged my crappy little 206 GTI in favour of a BMW 323i which I instantly love. My only problem however is that it seems to take a long time to set off, it starts slow and blippy as it speeds up until it hits about 5k rpm then shoots forward, it seems to have a real problem on the acceleration front which is not in anyway good. I went to my local mechanic and he tells me the viscous fan unit needs replacing and also the oils all crudded up so needs flushing and an oil change, could either of these be detriment to the speed loss at the lower end of the spectrum??

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Cheers guys,

Pete 8)
 

pgarner

TC ModFather
Points
417
Location
Lockerbie, SW Scotland
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Octy smoke machine
DOnt know about the speed loss but double check your oil yourself. Check the dipstick when its cold and look for small black lumps. If there is get the whole engine flushed out and check your pick up pipe in the sump for a blockage of these deposits.

Can you get a diagnostic done on it ? it might show up more than the mechanic can see
 

Rudders666

Torque Master
Points
162
Location
West Yorkshire
Car
Ford Focus ST300+
I'll have to have a better look at it though I have to be honest that I don't really know what i'm looking at, i'm more the driver than the hands-on-under-the-bonnet kinda guy. The mechanic's a friend of mine anyway so i'll get this stuff done and then see what he thinks if my problems aren't solved. At first I thought it may be the cat that had gotten blocked in some way
 

obi_waynne

Administrator
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Deal, Kent UK
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A3 1.4 TFSI 150 COD
Take it easy with the car at first. Get a decent service done before you start thrashing it. Some redex will go some way to cleaning up the injectors, valves. You cant start diagnosing faults until you know the car should be running well after a service. Dirty plugs, HT leads, bad coil can all cause problems.

Has the car been sitting around for a while? If so take it on a long run (after the service) and keep it at a steady 70mph. See what it is like after this.
 

Rudders666

Torque Master
Points
162
Location
West Yorkshire
Car
Ford Focus ST300+
Good advice mate, I've only had it since Friday but I know it's supposed to be running much faster than it is. I drop it in for it's service tonight and pick it back up tomorrow night so i'll see if all's well by then. I just want to be able to feel likle i'm in a 2.5-litre straight six y'know? lol. Looks nice anyway, bonus 8)

I'd actually be quite intrigued to know what you think of it Waynne, being that your "the man" round here.
 

obi_waynne

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They are very nice cars, and generally quite reliable. Sometimes they can be a little wayward in the wet :D

The DOHC 2.5 is the better of the 2.5 engines and puts out around 190bhp. The gearing is usually quite long making them good for motorways, a short ratio box usually helps with acceleration (one option is to get a lower ratio 1,2 and 3rd gear leaving the top as it is for economy.)

The engines are very solid and can take quite a bit more power. Is yours a coupe? Got any pictures of it?
 

Tefal

New member
Points
168
Car
Vauxhall
You will be best to get the codes read for your car, it may have a sensor gone down and I doubt you have a engine management light as few e36's did in the UK, it could be a camshaft sensor or even a intermittant crank sensor problem.

Also you have a m52 engine and even though it's badged as a 323i it's actually a 2.5 litre engine, it's got 170bhp. The m50 325i had 189bhp, if you do a m50 manifold swap and get a remap you will get the power back as the 323i manifold is heavily restricted.(It's off a 320i). Also the exhaust is more restrictive if I recall correctly.
 
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lyndsey

Tuner
Points
67
Location
birmingham
Car
focus st-2
Dear all,

I have just flogged my crappy little 206 GTI in favour of a BMW 323i which I instantly love. My only problem however is that it seems to take a long time to set off, it starts slow and blippy as it speeds up until it hits about 5k rpm then shoots forward, it seems to have a real problem on the acceleration front which is not in anyway good. I went to my local mechanic and he tells me the viscous fan unit needs replacing and also the oils all crudded up so needs flushing and an oil change, could either of these be detriment to the speed loss at the lower end of the spectrum??

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Cheers guys,

Pete 8)
my boyfriend is having the same problem as you his is a 320d tho. its really sluggish in first and second then picks up, could you let us no how yours is after ur service? weve been told it could be an electrical fault which sounds like c..., an oil seperater or the carbon filter which is for the air con so cant see how that makes any diffrence
 

Rudders666

Torque Master
Points
162
Location
West Yorkshire
Car
Ford Focus ST300+
Hi lyndsey, i've replied to you via a private message, the oil flushing did help, i've had another oil change since then in order to get rid of the "black death" mine was suffering from. The way of course (as i have recently discovered) to get the best out of it at low range is to ride the clutch a bit, then it'll pretty much stuff most things. Cracking. Even with this approach i can still attain 100-120 miles out of every £20's worth of petrol. Not bad in a 2.5l engine. Seems to be getting better anyway.
 

steerfromtherear

Wrench Pro
Points
163
Car
BMW 328i sport
You will be best to get the codes read for your car, it may have a sensor gone down and I doubt you have a engine management light as few e36's did in the UK, it could be a camshaft sensor or even a intermittant crank sensor problem.

Also you have a m52 engine and even though it's badged as a 323i it's actually a 2.5 litre engine, it's got 170bhp. The m50 325i had 189bhp, if you do a m50 manifold swap and get a remap you will get the power back as the 323i manifold is heavily restricted.(It's off a 320i). Also the exhaust is more restrictive if I recall correctly.

This man speaketh the truth. Get a service for good measure, get it on a diagnostics computer but bear in mind e36's have a habit of lying with their fault codes. Clear them all run it round the block then check it again. Cam/Crank sensor are common faults and cause bad running/lack of power.
 

Rudders666

Torque Master
Points
162
Location
West Yorkshire
Car
Ford Focus ST300+
I'm in the process of putting this into play. Just awaiting word from people looking around for a manifold for me. If you have any info on the best place to grab one it'd be much appreciated.
Thanks again,
Pete
 

samuraigecko

Full member
Points
71
Location
Aussie
Car
98 BMW 323i
I recently purchased a 1998 323i and am having pretty much the exact same problems.

The car itself is beautiful and also got itself a little makeover at factory with some of the M options (including the suspension YAY).

As above the problem with my car is that it seems a little sluggish when accelerating through the lower gears until it reaches a certain rev range (4 to 5 thou . . just as the above problem).

I am going to do all of the above which has been suggested and have also previously purchased a m50 manifold before I had even read this fortunately (a friend of mine is German and a BMW maniac and said that the m50 manifold upgrade was the most common thing done to 1996+ 323 and 325 models)

I am going to be doing quite extensive performance upgrades to this car and will be starting my own thread in the appropriate section very soon, any help and suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

:)
 

Rudders666

Torque Master
Points
162
Location
West Yorkshire
Car
Ford Focus ST300+
I recently purchased a 1998 323i and am having pretty much the exact same problems.

The car itself is beautiful and also got itself a little makeover at factory with some of the M options (including the suspension YAY).

As above the problem with my car is that it seems a little sluggish when accelerating through the lower gears until it reaches a certain rev range (4 to 5 thou . . just as the above problem).

I am going to do all of the above which has been suggested and have also previously purchased a m50 manifold before I had even read this fortunately (a friend of mine is German and a BMW maniac and said that the m50 manifold upgrade was the most common thing done to 1996+ 323 and 325 models)

I am going to be doing quite extensive performance upgrades to this car and will be starting my own thread in the appropriate section very soon, any help and suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

:)

Let me know how the mods go and what gains you get from each please mate. I need to keep on top of sorting mine out. Unfortunately it seems to have developed some form of squeal when releasing the clutch and depressing the accelerator. I've had a mechanic look at it and he can't find anything wrong with it. Any suggestions appreciated.
 

Sid447

Torque Junkie
Points
272
Location
TRNC
Car
VX-Series 2 V8 M6
I recently purchased a 1998 323i and am having pretty much the exact same problems.

As above the problem with my car is that it seems a little sluggish when accelerating through the lower gears until it reaches a certain rev range (4 to 5 thou . . just as the above problem).
:)


This is typical of these cars.

Even the older E30 model 3-series which only weighed around 1200kgs (kerb weight) fitted with the torquier (at lower rpm) M20 B25 engine felt flat under 4,000rpm.

The later cars were progressively much heavier and although they gained more peak hp, didn't have any useful increase in torque below 4,000 over the older (M20) engine.

This is how it is really. The only way around it is either to change the diff gearing or go for a bigger engined model.
 

Rudders666

Torque Master
Points
162
Location
West Yorkshire
Car
Ford Focus ST300+
I found out that it was the flywheel squealing. Have since replaced flywheel, gearbox and engine for a 2.8. Ridiculously fast now! Love it!! No more waiting for power at the lower end! It pulls in every single gear! Amazing!
 

obi_waynne

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A3 1.4 TFSI 150 COD
So what's next on your mod list? I just know you will get bored with all that power soon and want even more! :lol:

Did you do the engine swap yourself? Did it go in easily and how many other things needed to be changed to make it work?
 

Rudders666

Torque Master
Points
162
Location
West Yorkshire
Car
Ford Focus ST300+
I know mate. I've no idea what's next. Probably better brakes and new suspension. lol.

I didn't do the engine swap myself but i'm told it was fairly straight forward swap. Their difficulty was in removing it from the original car. lol. They had to cut the front end off! So that one's ready for the scrappers now!
 

Rudders666

Torque Master
Points
162
Location
West Yorkshire
Car
Ford Focus ST300+
Re: BMW 323i with 2.8-litre conversion

Hi all. I'm thinking of my next modification. Has anyone got any ideas? Just small things really that make a difference here n there?

Anyone with any suggestions just let me know.

Thanks,

Pete :bigsmile:
 

pgarner

TC ModFather
Points
417
Location
Lockerbie, SW Scotland
Car
Octy smoke machine
was the ratios on the 2.3 lower than the 2.8 ?
if so would it be possible to swap out the gearing from the 2.3 to the 2.8 mybe just 1st and 2nd. for quicker acceleration

that is if you still have the gearbox
 

Rudders666

Torque Master
Points
162
Location
West Yorkshire
Car
Ford Focus ST300+
was the ratios on the 2.3 lower than the 2.8 ?
if so would it be possible to swap out the gearing from the 2.3 to the 2.8 mybe just 1st and 2nd. for quicker acceleration

that is if you still have the gearbox

I've already fitted the 2.8's gearbox mate. Next suggestion? lol :blink:
 

pgarner

TC ModFather
Points
417
Location
Lockerbie, SW Scotland
Car
Octy smoke machine
if they were shorter you could get the speed up quicker. downside would mean the higher running speed when cruising. thats why i suggested just 1st and 2nd and maybe 3rd
 

Rudders666

Torque Master
Points
162
Location
West Yorkshire
Car
Ford Focus ST300+
if they were shorter you could get the speed up quicker. downside would mean the higher running speed when cruising. thats why i suggested just 1st and 2nd and maybe 3rd

Well I don't know enough (i'm sorry to say) to follow you in this, lol! I 'm the driver not the fixer-upper. :confused:

Anyway, any other suggestions? :blink:
 

Rudders666

Torque Master
Points
162
Location
West Yorkshire
Car
Ford Focus ST300+
That looks complicated as hell! lol! Being that i'm no use as a mechanic the easiest way is the best way as far as i'm concerned :D I'll look into the Gruppe thing, cheers.
 
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Rudders666

Torque Master
Points
162
Location
West Yorkshire
Car
Ford Focus ST300+
OK I checked prices on Gruppe M air intakes. So what was that complicated version again? LOL! HOW MUCH?!?! My word! LMAO! No way am i spending that on an air intake!
 
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pgarner

TC ModFather
Points
417
Location
Lockerbie, SW Scotland
Car
Octy smoke machine
ohh thats quite cheap for a gruppe M
found one for the r32 ( which would fit in mine ) and it came out at something like £1090
same money could have that supercharger in there and maybe 25-30bhp extra
 
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