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Re: Been thinking about a KILLER e28 setup. . . (archive)

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Posted by Brad Couvillon on January 13, 2001 at 12:50:31:

In Reply to: Re: Been thinking about a KILLER e28 setup. . . posted by JamesM on January 13, 2001 at 09:56:47:

Stick to rear wheel drive, and save yourself about $15,000 and years worth of headaches.

Point well-taken, but I'll still do a little more research into other options.

Turbocharge a standard 535i engine. Blacky has a 4.0L M1 engine--good luck finding an M1 engine block (M88, right?) for less than $5000. If you find a garage/tuner that has a dyno and extensive knowledge of turbos, you can build a 400hp turbo M30 engine easily. Then you can tinker with it to get 500hp. If you want naturally aspirated power in the 500hp range, you'll need a big-block or a $20,000 racing E34 M5 engine. The parts required to make a US 3.5L S38 into a Euro 3.8L are about $12k. Good luck.

I think my options are still open as far as engines go. I might do a bit more research on this topic. I'll post the results in a few months when I've made my decision.

The car would be classed as an A Mod car for BMW CCA Club Racing.


The E28 is too heavy, too high, too old, and unaerodynamic.

Ha ha, stock, of course it is.

The E36 has a much better weight distribution, the engine sits farther back in relation to the front wheels, the rear suspension is a multilink, the aerodynamics are far superior, the rack-and-pinion steering is more precise,

As far as weight distribution, we can fix that, but for the rest, it'll take a bit of work.

and you can fit ungodly huge wheels and tires. Most run 17x8F and 17x9R with slicks.

That's where the AWD would come in. With all-wheel-drive, I don't have to worry about fitting wider wheels/tires, b/c I'll have 4 wheels driving me.

It's a losing battle. I know how much you love the E28, but it's just a waste of time to try to make such an old concept competetive.

Now, time I've got. Trust me.

Just think about Russ C. Even though his E28 is one of the most highly tuned E28's in the country (Dinan treament--Turbo and Stave IV suspension) the STOCK E39 M5 blew him away. Just think about a tuned E39 M5. You could even try it with an E39 540i.

That's why I've been thinking a lot about a NA engine. The only way to get even remote low-end power out of a turbo is to go with small twins, I would presume.

Sorry to burst your bubble. If you want to be competetive, then get an E36 325/328 and make yourself a track car. For under $30,000, you could have a class-winning car.

Aww hell, if I'm gonna spend $30k, I'll stick with my $2,000 e28 and have $28k to spend on mods instead of only about $5k - $10k

It would be much more satisfying to blow $30k that way than to hassle with a 20+ year old design that's not aerodynamic and isn't the best racing platform to begin with.

Would it?

The E36 would give you a 300hp naturally aspirated engine in a 2500lb (or lighter) package that handles like nobody's business.

Looking through my current R&T (this thing's BIG!!), I see the weight for the e46 M3 is about 3400lbs. Given the fact that all my other magazines are back at home, I don't know how much the stock e36 M3 weighs, but I would assume that, even in LTW form, it's just under 3000.

Either way, I had planned on achieving a target weight with the e28 of 2500lbs, and I actually think that's a quite conservative figure, considering it'll basically be stripped out. Add in the 450 - 500hp and -- if I can get it to work -- AWD, and the M3 doesn't have a chance.

Think of it this way--how long have you been into E28's--10 years?

14 years

That means that the E28 was 8 years old at the time. The E36 is now 8 years old, too. Maybe it's time to switch. I don't think you need to abandon the E28--I have two. But for racing and track purposes, the E28 is at best and instructional car.

As I said before, I've just been playing with this in my head. Why not do something different? EVERYONE drives an M3 (e30 or e36) or some other little e30 on the track. Why not fool w/ a two-decade-old design and make it whip their asses?

As far as me abandoning the e28. Oh, I haven't planned on it. Trust me :-) I think I can make it more than an instructional car. You've got full rights to say "I told you so" when I fail, but, if I succeed, I'll let everyone know what the secret is. :-)

Have a good one.

Brad Couvillon

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