Considering adding turbo


Asked by Dec 17, 2008 at 06:38 PM about the 1985 BMW 3 Series 325e

Question type: Car Customization

I know I'm going to run into nickel and dime problems but i am considering adding a turbo to my 1985 325e.  I'm guessing my car would smoke any stock M3 on the road.  I know, I know, why mess with a nice car...

I'm guessing that it would produce around 600 hp.  Any thoughts?  Does it sound realistic?  Why or why wouldn't you do it?  Any other ideas?

14 Answers


didn't they only have like 160 hp at that time? So simple answer is NO, NO, NO 600 hp makes no sense. You'd need to major modifications to get to those numbers. Considering it's over 20 yrs old, springs and retainers should be replace/upgraded before any boost is added. And if you doubled the air pressure (14-15psi boost)(the higher end of what you could do with stock internals) you'd at most get 300hp... Simply said the car is old, turbos are hard on engines, if you're going to put the two together it's going to take alot of money and realistically should include at least a partial rebuild. If you're seriously thinking about it, goto a BMW site and find someone who's done this and ask them about the pitfalls.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

It would have to be a pretty major rebuild to handle the turbo.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

yea like they said ^^ the block is probably not even strong enough for that much boost to produce 600hp. you would probably be better off buying a newer engine or totally rebuilding the whole thing and drop it in there

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Turbos for these type of cars are really hard to do mainly for the reason the cars motor was never intended to be turboed. You would first have to rebuild the motor in order to get a lower compression as needed. Not to mention what a kit alone would cost you in order to do this. You would need alot of money and time without your car. As for the nickel and dime stuff, turbo cars are not reliable and can cause serious problems if not taken care of. As for you 600hp goal it can be done but to realistically do it more work and money then you might think.


On stock internals with about 8-10 LBS you will push around 300-340HP 600HP is way out of the realm of possiblility without a complete rebuild and some major boost but 300-340 is perfectly reasonable.


I have 3 turbo charged BMWs .... your 1987 engine will never make 600 with out a MAJOR rework. I say this because the stock 325 head from that era were rubbish ....that includes the IS head that was fitted to the special edition EVO2. If you are after the power and have a few dollars to spend your best 6 cylinder motor is a combination of E36 325i Block (because its cast iron) and a 328 multivalve head also from E36. You'll need to bore out the block to a 2.9 and fit forged pistons. The standard rods are good for about 2 bar(yes, they are almost unbreakable....almost) a proper conversion like that will cost you in the region of around 15 thousand dollars. What that buys you though is a ferrari, lambo killer a straight line

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Fred you are out of your mind if you think you'll make 300hp on stock stuff on a motor that old ..... you'll make it on the Flywheel for about 5 seconds and than you'll here the sounds of metal tearing shit up.


the cast iron block will handle anything ...its all the other stuff that will fail. like the head and gasket and valves and pistons and bearing and and and and and


It's been done before, 8-10PSI with other odds and ends and people have gotten 300HP consistenly out of the motors, unless they where BSin


My appologies ..... I seem to be hitting a brick wall all the time cos I quote horse power at the wheels and guys in america use flywheel. 300 Wheel horses would be around 400-450 on the fly


$15k? I think not, unless the whole thing is done by a high-end shop. Personally, I'd throw an E36 328 engine in there which you can get for ~$1000, rebuild it to accept boost a bit better and then throw a turbo on there. Even with a good engine management system, this setup wouldn't even cost you $15k. Plus with the M52 engine you'll basically be doing an update on the car - better reliability (as long as the install is done well) and smoother running will make it feel much better. I suggest some reading before making any decisions about the turbo. Check out the "Forced Induction" section on Bimmerforums, It's probably the biggest collection of BMW turbo information on the 'net. My $.02


Get an "i" head and a performance chip if you want more power. I know, eta cars are slow. I would recommend upgrading your suspension and brakes before venturing into the world of forced induction. There are a few turbo E30's in my area and most of them require frequent rebuilds so maintenance is gonna be costly. 600HP at the wheels is not realistic but ~300HP is within reach. I would actually be quite content with 200HP naturally aspirated.


check out youtube just enter 325e turbo in the search engine,there are also stroker kits available along with plenty of other performance the way the car was 180 horse and there are kits all over e-bay.MLS head gaskets or o ringing the block would be good also.The M-20 engine was made into A deisel so it is more than strong just add the sroker and get cubes and A bullit proof rotating assembly!!!!!!!! its so easy to say it cant be done,the one on youtube makes 1100 horse fore $8000

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Please shoot me a note and let m know some more details. I checked out youtube and made up my mind. I have the time so I'm doing it. Is there somewhere that will list all parts I will need? Thanks!

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

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