I thought I'd show you the build of my M50'd E21 so far...
I got the car a few years ago. I had attempted the M50 swap in my E21 unsuccessfully, but I got this 323i and had another go. Here is the car as I got it. It already had an E30 M20 2.5 12v engine fitted which didn't sound too good and I had the M50 engine waiting to be fitted.
What I didn't count on is how rusty the car was! I got the engine out, stripped the axles off and one of my friends did most of the welding.
It had the inner sills repaired, brand new outer sills, front floor pans both sides repaired, chassis rails repaired, rear arches, boot floor etc etc
I then turned back to the engine bay. M50 bolted onto the 323i subframe with 323i engine mounts
Bolted up to the 323i transmission with no mods, no custom gear linkages/props for me
Clears the servo, and not in shot, the 328i exhaust manifolds (the main reason the swap failed in my 316)
I got the front struts shortened by 2" and fitted E30 Bilstein B6s
Next to a standard E21 strut...
Wilwoods up front, using custom brackets
After a hard winter weekend with Misky and Tom the car had been transformed with the rear axle fully refurbished and fitted, rear boot floor welded up, engine bay finished off, front end finished and bolted back on etc etc Most importantly it fired up!
Shortly it went for a custom exhaust
I then left the car for about a year, now it was about January 2011...
Some rear coilovers were made using custom built rose jointed shock bodies and adapted E21 top mounts
A few months later of hard graft, this happened at the start of March 2011! The first time the car had seen the road or an MOT in about 7 years!
Then a few weeks later in April I was invited to a PPC mag E21 photo shoot (June 2011 issue I believe). Alongside my friend Nas's much cleaner M50'd E21!
My car stood out like a sore thumb since everyone elses was lovely, tidy and polished! Mine has mis-matched paint all over, stripped out and strictly performance biased.
Then whilst at the photo shoot (on a disused runway) I managed to destroy my driveshaft with some gentle manji'ing!
I had the car on the road for less than a month (two weeks of which I was based in the States) and I had destroyed the driveshaft CV with really little effort. E21 axles are known to be weak, but not this weak!! I've pulled the car off the road again and I'm starting to fabricate an E30 axle to fit on directly to the E21 axle mounts.
So that's my 323i's tale so far. I know there has been very little in the way of drift action yet, but once the E30 rear axle is on... try and stop me!
Future plans include a cage by Huxley Motorsport and depending how I get on with the car, perhaps a turbo...