Garagistic M30 Swap Guide- Preventative M30 Maintenance

It’s a good idea to perform preventative maintenance on the M30 before putting the engine in the car. This includes obtaining all of your parts, organizing them, salvaging anything you can from your existing M20/M10/M42 engine.

There is no need to replace the Timing chain. It is believed that they last the life of the engine. If you wish, you could purchase a timing chain spring and tensioner. The tensioner located in front of the forward most exhaust manifold and I believe is connected by a 19 or 22mm bolt. Remove the M30 clutch fan. As much as you may need it for supplemental cooling, it won’t fit unless you position the M30 really rearward. By “really rearward”, I mean that it you must bang the firewall back a lot and use a 324td low profile clutch fan. Your best bet is to go with an aftermarket SPAL fan and mount it in front of the radiator and as close to the radiator as possible.

The first time I installed the rear seal, I didn’t knock the seal in the housing enough. So I drove the car around for about a hundred miles and it was leaking at the tranny/engine area, so I’m like, It must be the rear

engine seal. So I removed the engine/tranny again, took it out of the car and inspected it. I had to get a new seal and a new oil pan gasket. After re-installing a new one, I realized that I did install it correctly. The problem was that when I put the grease on the clutch assembly for the throw-out bearing, it liquefied after it got hot from driving and leaked. It wasn’t the engine oil at all. About 3 weeks of work to fix it for nothing!


Here you want to remove and replace the absolutely necessary parts on your M30 and do it while everything is out because if it fails when you’re cruising, you don’t want to have to rip it all open again.

Therefore, I recommend that the imperative parts to replace are the following:

 Water Pump – 10mm Socket. This should come with a new gasket. o Before re-installing new pump/gasket, safely, slowly remove the old gasket by scraping off with a steel knife. Be sure not to gouge the gasket mating face, but you must remove all of the old gasket material or else new leaks will form.

 Clutch/Pressure Plate – Install new pressure plate over the new clutch, slowly by using 1 turn at a time, evenly putting pressure on the plate. Don’t forget to align the clutch with the appropriate clutch tool.

 Throw Out Bearing – No tools Req’d – Simply remove it after you remove the transmission (Various E Torx M8, M10, M12 sockets)

 Belts o Alternator – 17mm & 13mm wrenches. Use the 17mm Wrench on the gear-type screw to tension the belt.

 Be careful not to tension too much or you will strip the gear. o Power Steering - 17mm & 13mm Wrenches. Use the 17mm Wrench on the gear-type screw to tension the belt.

 Be careful not to tension too much or you will strip the gear. o A/C – Install on Air Conditioning compressor and tighten to tension.

 Spark Plugs – 6 spark plugs in all.

6.2.2 TOOLS REQUIRED NA – Various – See Instructions Mig Welder for Reinforcements TIME & $$ NA - Various INSTRUCTIONS

For those of you looking for a more sporty, controlled ride with more predictable behavior would benefit from these products offered by Garagistic. They have connections to hundreds of OEM and aftermarket companies. Parts from OEM BMW, spal, walbro, Mishimoto, Hawk Performance, and much much more. Here is a short list of items that I suggest you purchase if you are interested in going that extra mile for performance on your M30 Engine

The suggested above-and-beyond preventative maintenance includes:

1. Distributor Cap/Rotor ~$70/$33

a. Total of 3 10mm bolts, 6mm Allen in the center.

2. E30 Ignition Coil ~$90

a. 8mm Small, 10mm Large

3. Spark Plug Wire kit ~$180

a. Simple Plug & Play – Don’t forget to plug/unplug your pulse wire

4. Oil Pan Gasket & Timing Cover Gaskets

a. 10mm, 12mm Sockets to remove

b. Just remember that you have a 30mm crankshaft bolt that is reverse thread. You have to remove that in order to remove the lower timing chain cover. It is certainly a bitch as it is over 350ft-lb of torque to remove. Highly recommended NOT to do this by hand. Use an impact gun.

5. Rear Engine Seal w/ Gasket ~$13

a. 10mm socket

6. Exhaust/Intake Gaskets ~$44

a. Exhaust gaskets for M30 come in 2 pairs

b. Intake is individual

7. Timing Chain Tensioner ~$15

a. 19mm Socket

8. Breather, Vacuum & ICV Hoses

a. Intake Bellow – replace your cracked one ~$20

b. Intake Elbow – Air Flow Meter ~$20

c. Valve Cover Breather - ~$7 

d. ICV Hose  ~$7 

Garagistic has all of these parts with a simple inquiry at the following website: They offer very competitive pricing and fast shipping to your door.

You will likely find that the increased torque of the M30 engine will bend your front subframe. To prevent this from occurring, you have the preferred option to increase its strength by virtue of a subframe reinforcement kit offered by Garagistic. If you refer to the in-build pictures of Figure 3, you can see the kit and how it is installed. You need a mig welder to perform the basic duties of installing this kit, but it is well-worth it when you consider the increased torque that you’re subjecting this subframe to. Over time, and it won’t take long, you’ll start to notice a slight bend in your subframe as a result of the increased power + weight of the M30 engine.

An added nuisance in the E30 is the odometer gears. I’ve owned 7 e30’s and have had 2 that did not have working odometer gears. This is a relatively simple and straightforward swap, but most importantly, it ensures that the running mileage you have in your E30 and your M30 so that you know when certain preventative maintenance items must be performed.

Garagistic sells E30 Odometer gear repair for the following models: 316i, 318is, 320i, 323i, 325i, M3

You know you are sick of staring at that broken odometer every time you get in the e30. With their odometer gear kits the job can take less than an hour. No more guessing when your oil change is or how many miles are on your motor swapped e30. They offer MPH odometer gear kits as well as euro KMH odometer gears. Be sure to check if your e30 has a vdo or a motometer cluster before ordering! Be sure to check out Figure 4 for information relative to your model and the products offered by Garagistic!

If your E30 has 160miles or more on its odometer, chances are these gears are worn out to failure in a short time. Replace these gears at your leisure before you are forced to at an inopportune time. You can also get odometer gears for KMH if your odometer reads in kilometers instead of miles.