2000 BMW 323iT Wagon 2JZ Swap

Post By: Kirk Elmquist

Date: 06/06/2023

The Story

Ever since Fast and the Furious came out, I, like many others wanted a Supra and “overnight parts from Japan”. As I grew older and Supras became less obtainable by my finances, I grew to love wagons. After having some bad luck with Subaru’s, I fell in love with BMW’s. Unfortunately BMW never gave us a high performance version of the 3 series wagon in the States. I had a 2000 328i sedan with a clean enough body worthwhile of an engine swap. After sourcing a 2JZ-GE out of a Lexus, I started sourcing other swap parts from Drift HQ, Wiring Specialties and many others. As I was sourcing the parts for the build, I knew I wouldn’t be completely happy building a sedan 2JZ. So I found this 2000 323iT Sahara Beige automatic rwd with a most clean body with 180k ish miles. I wasn’t overly excited about the color cause I’m usually a fan of blue, black or grey as I like to have sleeper cars. After purchasing the car from Chicago, I quickly fell in love with the uniqueness of the “rare” color. Plus, gold is kind of a grandma color and will fit my sleeper vibe. I quickly put some Fortune Auto 500 coilovers on it and as the 2022 winter came, I pulled the factory M52b25 engine. The 2JZ-GE received a refreshed block with GTE pistons and rods, King race main and rod bearings, arp rod bolts, and new Mahle piston rings. The head received a valve job, new valve stem seals, oem Toyota GTE head gasket, and ARP head studs. A drift motion cnc machined GTE oil pump and new water pump fitted during rebuild. I’m using a ZF 320D 5 speed transmission out of a E46 330i that will receive a detent repair kit. Mating the 2JZ and BMW trans is a PMC adapter kit with their race clutch. Freed engineering engine mounts will attached the 2JZ to the factory BMW front subframe. I sourced a front and rear subframe from a 2002 BMW E46 M3. The main reason for the subframe swaps was to get the 3.62 LSD diff and the upgraded M3 brakes were just a plus. I also have a 712 steering rack for quicker ratio steering to attached along with the thicker M3 swaybars.

Current Setup

  • Wheels: Apex FL-5 18x8.5” Silver
  • Suspension: Fortune Auto 500 Coilovers
  • Suspension: M3 front and rear swaybars
  • Performance: 2JZ-GE Engine
  • Performance:


Kirk Elmquist