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1987 E30 BMW Gets to American Drifting With Nissan RB25DET Engine Swap

There is no denying that certain automotive icons should not be touched. One such case might be the ‘E30’ generation of the BMW 3 Series – but that would be when looking from a single point of view. At times, a shift in perspective is all we need to cherish a new idea. Such as almost entirely rebuilding this 325i from 1987 into an American drift monster, courtesy of Nissan’s RB25DET DNA.
1987 BMW E30 Nissan Swap 11 photos
1987 BMW E30 Engine Swap1987 BMW E30 Engine Swap1987 BMW E30 Engine Swap1987 BMW E30 Engine Swap1987 BMW E30 Engine Swap1987 BMW E30 Engine Swap1987 BMW E30 Engine Swap1987 BMW E30 Engine Swap1987 BMW E30 Engine Swap1987 BMW E30 Engine Swap
Over two and a half decades since it was taken out of commission and the BMW E30 is still a cherished treasure for performance enthusiasts all over the world. Enter the stage the guys over at, a special breed of aficionados that seem hell-bent on letting fellow passionate and like-minded people know everything about the drift stage in the US of A.

The chassis donor is a well-treasured 325i (you might remember the E30 325iX model as the first-ever 3 Series with AWD) and the beating heart is the RB25DET NEO inline-six from Nissan, but there is also so much more going on. First off, the Japanese mill was well spiced with a GTX3076R turbo kit from Borg Warner.

Then it was time for a complete rebuild: a liquid-cooled 50mm waste gate from Forge Motorsport, an electronic boost controller, Mishimoto cooling system, R-Line intercooler, a G4+ GTT Link from Link ECU and more, and these are just some of the modifications of the driveline. There is also a full-custom V-Banded 3-inch exhaust setup and an E85 flex-fuel Nostrum HP setup.

All the painstakingly reworked details might bring back the loving ghost of Paul Walker to approve of the exterior and interior details as well. Exterior modifications include a custom Euro-style wide body kit, 6-inch side skirts, an appropriate DTMFiberWerkz rear lip spoiler, along with a rival-snatched Audi Merlin Purple shade.

The Apex SM-10 wheels, 18-inch in diameter, won’t draw too much attention from the equally customized interior – complete with the FIA-approved NRG Innovations FRP-RS600M Racing bucket seats. Last, but not least, the transmission is a Samsonas dogbox with an ‘H’ pattern and a sturdy SPEC Stage 5 ceramic clutch.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.


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