At Least Four People Will Want to Kill Me if I Buy this Car

BMW 745i Turbo For SaleBMW 745i Turbo For Sale

In case you didn’t catch the updates from last weekend, the Uberbird needs a new motor. Funny thing about the BMW M30, the motors tend to outlast and out-value the cars they’re stuck in. Thus, buying a running but beat-to-Hell 5-, 6-, or 7-series can be cheaper than just buying a used motor. This is doubly true for the 745i. Don’t let the numbers fool you, the 745i gets its extra liter over a 735i in the form of forced induction.

In one corner I’ve got a “race car” with a blown motor, in the other a kinda-sorta good turbocharged version of the same motor making over 50hp more…it’s just stuck in a $600 clapped out full size luxo barge. This is the point where my friends and family usually intervene.

BMW 745i Turbo For Sale

After I sent him this ad, teammate and laser safety officer Graham responded “put me down for very skeptical that putting in a turbo motor will improve our reliability”. Former NASA racer Ryan reflected on the on-track durability of the Mustang SVO (none). My dad’s learned to stop replying to these kinds of ideas. The Missus just gives me The Look and points to the collection of heaps already filling our oversized driveway.
So yeah…someone else needs to buy this heap either as a powerplant donor or as the start of a LeMons team. Please. I’ve already emailed the guy. If someone else doesn’t step in, I may be in grave danger.
745i, $600 – Orange County Craigslist

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  1. Rudy Avatar

    I'm the Auto Instructor at Norco High School (Norco, CA) and we are looking at starting a Lemons team. I'd love to have you come over and talk to my students about Lemons and help me get them excited about getting involved.

    1. Tim Odell Avatar
      Tim Odell

      Just emailed you at the address submitted to the comment system. If there's a better way to contact you, email me at

      1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
        Jeff Glucker

        This is an awesome idea.

      2. Charles_Barrett Avatar

        Speaking to a collection of High School students about LeMons…? That would be so awesome, Rudy should arrange for time in the auditorium or gymnasium because if the public found out about it, it would be so well-attended the High School could charge admission…!

        1. Tim Odell Avatar
          Tim Odell

          I've done high school talks before, but that was to science classes about what I do at my day job.
          At first it's tricky, but after a couple of periods of the same talk, you can do it pretty smoothly.

          1. Charles_Barrett Avatar

            Oh, I have no doubt that you're an excellent public speaker. Some of us are naturally born to it, and it is a characteristic that can make an excellent engineer an INTERESTING and excellent engineer that people WANT to talk to. I have had lunch with Mr. and Mrs. Engineerd last Christmas when they were in SoCal, and I think he fits that same build.
            My point is that many auto enthusiasts (young and old) would love to sit in on any such talk you offer to the Norco High School students. I know I would…!

      3. longrooffan Avatar

        As awkward as Barry Maguiar (sp?) is, he is correct in getting another generation of "Car Guys and Gals" started. Good luck with the kids and I hope to be reading about their exploits soon. Maybe suggest they start a blog documenting their progress and generate interest for their ride. Maybe a decal for their windshield too?

  2. dukeisduke Avatar

    Dude, buy it.

    1. ZomBee Racer Avatar
    2. Tim Odell Avatar
      Tim Odell

      You buy it.
      You people are just trying to get me in trouble.

      1. zaddikim Avatar

        And you expected…?

  3. P161911 Avatar

    Just go with a Chevy engine, no not a small block. But a 4.2L Atlas I-6 with 275-290HP. Here's one on ebay for $350:
    Maybe you can slap a BMW engine cover on it.

    1. Tim Odell Avatar
      Tim Odell

      Not a bad choice…depending on whether it comes with the various electronic control modules required to run it.
      At that price, I kinda doubt it does. Still surprisingly cheap, though.

      1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
        Jeff Glucker

        I was recently thinking we should consider a new project. Fine a decent 6-series body… and put something silly under the hood.

        1. Tomsk Avatar

          I wouldn't mind an Atlas in a Jag. Whenever I pop the hood people would look at me and exclaim, "I thought you said you put a Chevy in this thing!" Then I would say, "I did."

          1. zaddikim Avatar

            Heh, you're one of THOSE guys.

        2. ZomBee Racer Avatar

          HERESY!! To the gallows with ye!

        3. vwminispeedster Avatar

          Dad's got a Renault diesel crate motor that needs a home.

      2. CptSevere Avatar

        The Chevy six isn't a bad idea. How about a plain old Ford 300 straight six out of a rolled F150? Not very glamorous, but torquey and I guarantee it will take a beating. You could weld some kind of meatball intake manifold and run a junkyard Quadrajet for additional yuck factor.

        1. P161911 Avatar

          When I was dumb enough to remove the distributor and reinstall it incorrectly on my Ford 4.9L, I drove it a couple of miles without the oil pump running to no apparent ill affect. That was a few thousand miles ago now. That engine seems to have the redline/revving ability of a diesel.

  4. Tim Odell Avatar
    Tim Odell

    The M30 is literally an M20 with two more cylinders tacked on. The pistons and rod bearings and the like are all the same. They're supposedly bulletproof. We're pretty sure we nuked the 2nd engine by running it hot due to a lean condition due to some uncapped vacuum ports. Stupid ports were on the under-back side of the intake manifold.
    Right now it's a toss-up between putting what's hopefully a good head from our rod-knock motor on an older motor we source from our buddy Jack Vs picking up a tested good motor from Bavarian Recycling.
    A few years ago, the Missus and I realized that people from like 5 different groups of our friends already knew each other. Like, we'd go to introduce people and they already knew each other from ______. Maybe it's a San Diego thing.

  5. LTDScott Avatar

    What'sa matter, Tim? Deleted the post where you called the M30 an 8 cylinder? =)

  6. theeastbaykid Avatar

    Buy. Swap. Race.