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I have long been a large proponent of not using forced induction on BMWs, and that their breathing technology could be pushed plenty far.

My little BMW project car, my E30 318i with the M42 makes a fair amount of power, but I feel a need for more. The 1.8 just isn't pumping the torque.

I'm really thinking of putting a downing atlanta supercharger into my 318i. It's the same Eaton unit mercedes uses on C230. That would give me alone over 210hp, coupled with a few other modifications, i could see 230 stable, and should i get angry, i could use nitrous to get myself well over 280.

Power peak with the supercharger is 6,500rpms, and the torque is very flat, though peaking at 4,500rpms.

Those are intoxicating numbers in such a small car.

Does anyone have anything to talk me out of supercharging my little 318i?

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Hallo thepolarfoxqx,


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i've only polished my cylender heads, my headers are old and probably not in A+ shape (need to be cleaned), and i don't have an especially impressive intake on it, but that's about all that is left to do keeping this naturally aspirated except for a set of cams, which despite increasing horsepower, don't seem to make the car any faster.

I wouldn't put a turbo under my hood for a number of reasons (heat and my 10:1 compression just to start), but i'm starting to think a supercharger might not be so awful in a BMW, it would be damn fast.

It is a bit pricey, so i may have to save up a bit (unless I can get "hobby funding" from the family), but i'm thinking i want to do it.

E30 + supercharger + nitrous = You are heading on a one way track to " Ricerville " my friend. If not in body, then in spirit.

Try gutting the interior before you do anything rash. Wait, that is kind of rash also.

Please dont do that.U have a BMW!dont go against all bmw does for their cars and put a sc in it.Forced induction is the worst thing that can happen to a car.I would never buy a FI car.nothing beats a NA engine NOTHING!

i think its a gerat idea fox, i mean i have a problem with bmw making forced induction vehicles, but i dont mind at all having aftermarket forced induction into it. I would do it, and u so should, itl make ur car phat.

to mongrel, the reason the cobra needs forced induction is because it is a ford. Ford should easily get 390hp without the blower from that engine, and it puzzles me why they don't.

Yeah, i know it sounds rice. You just have to understand that the 318 is my day to day car, so when i jump into the porsche every time and a while (the porsche doesn't feel as tight, but it is more relaxed in handling), the power of it just hurts me to get back into the 318. The fact of the matter is that the 4 cylender E30 may just be the best handling (or atleast potentitally) 3 series around, if not, it is very close. The fact of the matter is that the banked 4 cyledner is short and sits far back and low. The car is also supremely light. I don't want to ruin that. The prospect of a blower and torque everywhere was so nice. I'm back to being on the fence as to whether or not.

I may "update" some of my modifications. A number of the performance modifications to my car are old, a good number were done before i got the car, i may get newer ones on there, try for some more weight reduction, and see what I get. I think once I reclean and polish my manifolds, get my new exhaust and better intake, coupled with a more modern performance ECU and the fact last time i timed/dyoned my car, i didn't have P/S and the mechanical fan off, i may just have better numbers than the car feels. I haven't been able to test out any of my recent mods because of snow (we haven't been above freezing in some time now here in minnesota).

So Sergio thinks I need to find some new way to get more naturally aspirated power, or less weight, or a better driveline, or what? It is after all only 1.8L, or maybe 850 likes the idea.

the sad thing. If i did that, i'd be all too tempted to put a set of SLK230 "Kompressor" badges on there, and that would be blashpemy if ever there was such a thing.

I guess my question comes to this, does anyone have some idea of how to push the motor furher without being too extreme?

to mongrel, the reason the cobra needs forced induction is because it is a ford. Ford should easily get 390hp without the blower from that engine, and it puzzles me why they don't.

ever heard of a little car called the 2000 cobra r?

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Hallo thepolarfoxqx,


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2000 Cobra R also had a 5.4 liter engine, not 4.6, 385 hp. out 5.4 liters still isn't very impressive. The standard 911 engine makes good power out of it's 3.6 liters, something like 315 hp. with good torque. So it doesn't need turbocharging to be hot.

About the 318, I would do everything I could with the engine NA. Forced induction would be a last resort, and I do mean last. Perhaps an engine swap. I came across a question by someone from another site, they were wondering if an engine swap to an M42 or M44 would be good for their 1991 318, because they wanted to equip it with a Downing Atlanta supercharger. The advise given was to go with a 1992 M42 motor, because it provides the poly-ribbed belt drive and knock sensors they would need for that supercharger. But without the OBDII hassles and such of an M44.

Other than that, if I were in your power starved position, I would go searching high and low for an S14 engine. Good luck. Just think of forced induction as a last resort for your four-banger blues.

I've searched everywhere, the S14 can't be found for any price half way to reasonable. I've thought of having my heads ported and getting higher compression pistons, but both of those are very expensive. A custom set of manifolds maybe, still expensive, but on the list of possibilities. The difference between the M42 and the M44 is this, the M44 is 90cc's bigger, has a plastic variable intake manifold (vs the aluminum variable intake manifold on the M42), the intake variance on the M44 is tuned for low end torque, vs high end on M42, and the M44 uses cam follows to drive the valve actuators, whereas the M42 used direct acting lifters. The reason M44 was designed was two fold, A: It was less expensive to build, and it had more low end torque. I don't want an M44 for any reason, so far as i'm concerned, M42 is a superior engine. I like having the vee-belts on mine because it made under-driving the water pump/alternator very easy (i didn't have to get any new parts), and it made removing the A/C and Power steering easy for me too!. That is why I liked it.

I'm going to most likely rebuild my airbox/intake tonight, see if i can squeeze a bit more horsepower out of it. Because of the E30 318i's layout, and the type of MAF used, a cone air filter is impractical and offeres little gain. I've already got a K & N in there, i just need to make the box easier breathing. Also, a self varying fuel pressure regulator is on my list, as well as re polishing my intakd and exhaust manifolds. I'm gettin a custom exhaust done in spring, and I can't find a decent set of cams for my car. I put in my order for a new Bavarian Autosport/Jim Conforti performance ECU last night, that one is more modern and offers more power than the one in there now (which predates me owning the car). I know i need to sink some money into my suspension, but in terms of horsepower, i don't know. i can't find anyone who does head porting for my car nor can i find 10.5:1 pistons. I've given some real thought to putting the M30 3.5L (heavily modified - to an estimated 290hp) in my car, but the thought of messing up the handling that bad is hard for me to think of. I guess there is always the 3.0L V8, that is small and would sit far enough back, if i could find one.

Ever thought of a home made Ram Air style setup? Get some big rubber hose, and whatever else, fashion yourself a new highflow airbox, slap it together and connect the end of the hose to the grill. Believe me, you would have major direct air flow to your engine, compared to just having a factory configuration under there.

Plus, you can have pride in the fact that you built your own modification from scratch.

2000 Cobra R also had a 5.4 liter engine, not 4.6, 385 hp. out 5.4 liters still isn't very impressive. The standard 911 engine makes good power out of it's 3.6 liters, something like 315 hp. with good torque. So it doesn't need turbocharging to be hot.

so your saying more than 420 lbs of torque in the cobra isnt good? and the new carrera with 600 hp only has 400 lbs of torque. and the cayenne turbo with 450 hp cant beat the Lightning with 380, it is kinda sad. especially when the cayenne is twin turboed

I didn't say it wasn't good, but with 5.4 liters and eight SVT tuned cylinders, I would hope it has that, it's what I would expect. The Carrera GT is obviously tuned more for horsepower than torque, and although it is a 5.7 V10, it manages 604 hp. More than 100 hp. per liter, and the torque figure is actually 435 lb.ft.

I make no claims for the sanity of the Cayenne, but the thing does weigh 5,200 lbs.

Like I said, I make no claims for the sanity of the Cayenne. I didn't build it, and never would have.

And it makes no sense comparing a Cobra engine with a Carrera GT V10 which is indeed a very expensive and cutting edge piece of combustion engine technology. Like comparing something your Mom cooked up, with something from a four star restaurant. What matters is, they're both damn good, and they both fill your tummy :wink: .

The sad part is that porsche can get 385hp from a 3.6L naturally aspirated flat six in GT3, and Ford SVT can get 385hp from a 5.4L naturally aspirated 5.4L V8. I'm just not impressed. It needs to be better. It should be well over 400hp naturally aspirated. I think the SVT 4.6L should be over 400hp. They shouldn't need a blower for that.

And the cayanne is a disgrace, truly.

Back on track newayz. There's nothing wrong with puttin a SDS in ur 318i.

SC is not cheatin and is in NO way rice unless u had a civic with 80hp and it bumps upto 120hp.

I don't know everything bout ur 318i but i know that extracting hp naturally is not very easy.

Havin ur intake manifolds ported and gettin higher compression pistons won't promise big gains.

I think it would be to much money for as little HP u would be receiving IMO.

A custom exhaust would promise at least 4-6+hp and the chip would be ur best bet for hp gains.

I think SC ur 318i is a gr8 idea jus make sure u get everything necessary to make it smooth of course.

Doing an engine swat would be a gr8 idea but that would be extremely expensive.

My vote is 2 go with the SC idea and see how it goes.

And for Sergio's comment, a NA engine with loads of power is nice but

very seldom perfected, very hard to do, very expensive and very time consuming at that.

I will say this, nothing will beat a FI engine if u have it tuned right.

U can add tons more power jus by adjustin a nozzle and uppin the boost on a SC'd engine.

U can't do that with a NA engine, thats it downfall and the reason y its not better than a FI engine.

And don't tell me, "well NA has power right then and there when u want it and turbo and SC have lag."

He's talking about SC not turbo.

Most SDS don't have lag and most r well thought out, plan 2 work jus as well or better than a NA engine.

Most SDS only kick in when either half the pedal is pressed or when u fully press the pedal.

They're not used 24/7 like the turbo which means it'll save gas and wear/tear on ur internal parts.

My SDS in eclipse sounds jus like it did when its idle NA and its the best thing i've ever done to it.

Since SDS can be sumwat easy to install and sum r alot easier than turbo's to install.

They r also easier to tune and if u tune it right it will be just as strong if not stronger in durability

than it was in NA form.

i don't have a knock sensor on my engine, and i really hate doing electrical work, so I'd really rather not install one - and the new computer that comes with it. This is an issue because I compress 10:1, which is awful high for forced induction. I'd also need a new front accesory dress (one that used a serpentine belt) and i'd have to put the air conditioner compressor back on to get the S/C to fit. Also I could put a strut-tower brace on.

You know there always is the time proven solution.

Just add more fuel. Increase fuel pressure (maybe), get a looser fuel pressure regulator, and maybe even bigger injectors. Not ideal, but it keeps my car breathing on its own, which to me is better. If all else fails, there is that supercharger.

I have to ask, whats keeping you in the 318? If it's a sentimental thing thats' one thing, but otherwise you could upgrade to a 325, or even plop in an M20 straight-six to replace your current engine, and tune that up. If your considering supercharging, it's going to cost a bit of money either way.

Your right though, S14s' cost an arm and a leg, but they're out there. Perhaps you could score one for less than you expect.

no, believe me, i've tried so very hard to find an S14, or a beaten M3, I couldn't justify the price. The 318i is cheap enough to fix i'm not afraid to abuse it. I like the E30 a lot. It's sentimental, my first car I really really remember in life was my dad's E30 325e. I like the way E30 looks, feels, drives, even smells. The way the door handles look, oh - and the way it handles. I drove a 325i, and it was very fast, but it so clearly didn't handle as well as my 318i. It had some understeer, as it stands now, i have NONE. If I put an M20 in there, I'd have understeer, and I don't think i'd be able to handle it, my polar center of gravity and my weight distro with the M42 are just so perfect, the E30 is so light and balanced, it handles like a dream. If I put an I6 under the hood, I wouldn't put an M20, what would be the point, it may be torquier, but it isn't THAT much faster. I'd go straight to M30, and tune it for every last horse, and it would still be hard for me to accept the decreased handling.

It just seems weird to me mixing an older car with parts from a newer generation of cars. Keep some kind of vintage integrity you know? Engines', wheels, etc. I've seen an E30 M3 with 18" M-Parallel wheels before. Weird. Although I've also seen one with 17" M-Contours' which is a little better.


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