i have a e30 of unknown model and i did the vin decoder and it came up with this

Chassis number 4321025
Vehicle code 1264
Series E30
Model 325e
Body type coupe
Catalog model USA
Production date 1988 / 01
Engine M20 B25
Transmission Automatic
Steering Left
Catalyzer YES
Production FROM : 1983/12/01 TO : 1988/06/30
Engine M20 B25

so its saying that its a 325e, but it has the m20 2.5 engine

so im confused… is this decoder inacurate? how can i physically tell which engine i have in the car?



The intake manifolds look pretty different. The e motor intake runners are more narrow and I think there is a 7th fuel injector on top of the manifold which richens the fuel during cold wx startups. Find a pic of the intake manifold of either an e or an i motor. They look different enough that you should be able to tell immed.

The heads are different too. For example the e head has smaller intake ports, but it’s hard to see the difference with the intake manifold still bolted on. There is a part number ending in 885 on the i motor head below the intake manifold.

If you go to RealOEM.com you can probably find diagrams of the tops of the two engines that are good enough to distinguish the e intake from the i intake.

Oh, I forgot about electronics. The i motor has a redline of 6200 or so. The e motor is around 4000. In '88 they made a special es that had a redline around 5400 I think. What does your tach show?

Finally, check your DME (computer) under the passenger side of the dashboard. i motor DME’s part #'s end in 153 and 173, so if it’s an i motor you’ll find an i DME.


yup it says 154 last three on the DME also the tach goes up to 5k and the red starts at 4.5k.

looks like an e or es still not sure, but the intake looks like an i intake

im not sure about the head could be a 2.7i conversion…


What is in the car now could be anything. An 88 could have an M20B25 (325i/is/ic engine) or it could have an M20B27 SuperEta engine. Finding a 154 DME points towards the car being a SuperEta.