More interesting e36 swap is installing s54 (3,2l ) engine from more modern BMW cars. And crazy e36 swap is using legendary LS engine (for example: LS1 V8 5.7). But this is another story.
It is necessary to assess the scope of work and costs before undertaking this kind of work. Even the most minor tuning of the car can cost a lot of money. Swap implies a very large amount of work. Besides the engine will have to change the drivetrain, brakes, exhaust system, the engine control program.
the Swap and tuning BMW 3 E36 is not the same thing. When people talk about the swap, there is need to prepare for a serious comprehensive work on the processing of whole chassis of the car. Tuning is the improvement of the current system of the car.
To buy separately would be very expensive. That's why for this work first bought the donor car. Usually it's damaged BMW E36 with a whole engine or just a cheap used BMW 3 series. You can easily find such a car worth up to $1 000 - $2 000. Most likely, you will also need to buy some of the parts, but it will be a small cost. Additionally you will need hardware for hanging the engine and the tools for the job. All this costs money. And of course, there should be a place to work.
As you can see, the cost of e36 engine swap: $1 500 - $2 500. But you can sell your car to pay $2 000 for example and buy a BMW e36 328i. So why spend so much time on rework your car?
But, of course, there are situations where the swap is justified. For example, you have access to cheap sets, has everything you need in the garage. Or, for example, your car has died and you still have to change the engine. Here too it is necessary to conduct a simple financial calculation. And of course, there are some countries where the cost of customs clearance of cars is very high. Easier to repair your car than to replace it with another one in this case.
It is worth noting that a great tuning for a small engine in this car is not justified. BMW 3 tuning is only relevant if you have a decent amount (2.5 liter) engine. The cost of installing a normal turbine with all of the improvements of the engine and car overall is too high.
But it is impossible to keep silent about what tuning BMW e36 will be much easier and cheaper than for any other car. The reason for this lies in the popularity of the car and its age.
Well, in the end is cause for reflection to those who are willing to invest much money into a deep refinement of a BMW e36. The cost of some new cars can be less than the sum that would be required for serious tuning an old car.