Going to Need a Bigger Magnet: Lake-Find BMW M3 S14 Motor!

Just when you think you’ve seen everything, some guy on Facebook confesses he drags a magnet around local lakes and found a motor. An interesting motor, at that. A random post on Facebook caught my eye when I realized the poster didn’t just drag up any boat anchor – he dredged up an extremely valuable motor known as an S14, which to BMW folks is the holy grail of Motorsports engines. This is same mill used in the now iconic BMW E30 M3, and some commenters already want to see it restored. See the full story here on the Unloved Classic and Retro Cars Facebook page.

Of course, restoring it is the stuff of fantasies, but one can dream, can’t they? Whether this BMW engine ever sees the light of day as anything other than a display piece in someone’s garage is up for debate, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it on eBay as a potential four-figure purchase for someone looking to have the ultimate coffee table.

The throttle bodies were the key giveaways for eagle-eyed posters who knew where the motor once resided, along with the yellow adjusters (below) and throttle linkage. Of course, if any serial numbers are left, this will provide the ultimate confirmation, and I’d love to see if any internet sleuths could determine which E30 M3 is missing its original engine – and whether that car is still on the road.

Given the length of time it has likely been submerged, this motor pre-dates the outrageous price jumps for good (or even trashed) S14 motors, so to see it thrown into a lake begs the question as to what caused its demise. Whether it was theft or an engine failure will likely be determined once the poster (or eventual owner) digs into it, but for now, it’s the stuff of internet folklore when someone discovers a priceless S14 motor with a giant magnet.

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  1. poseur Member

    wait….what am i supposed to do with this after i waste my money on it?

    Like 30
  2. Capriest

    Someone grenaded this in the 90’s and after they got the rebuild quote took the ole’ “boat anchor” saying quite literally is my guess.

    Like 19
    • NotSure

      On second thought, I either smell fish excrement or insurance scam.

      Like 16
      • Brian Scott

        Exactly. My brother, in his first of many scams, had a ’70 Challenger RT 440, bought with proceeds from a burglary, and when that $$ ran out, he lit the car on fire to collect the insurance proceeds. My guess is that the block ended-up looking just like this one. What’s ironic is that he was a bright guy and had he just done things legitimately, he would have ended-up wealthy. He was spiteful of me his whole life because I am his polar opposite. Oh well. Some people call it karma, I take a more Biblical viewpoint.

        Like 13
  3. NotSure

    I need to run out and pick up a pressure washer. Be right back!

    Like 8
    • Oingo

      Goggles too.

      Like 6
  4. Howard A Member

    Of course, drag the lakes with a magnet, why didn’t I think of that? Why would someone dump a BMW motor in a lake. Hide the numbers maybe?

    Like 9
    • Bronco Ben

      I know in some areas people who have a small dinghy or sailboat have old engines as moorings. Attatch a chain and a bouy and dump it where you want to park your boat. Probably was a blown up engine that was picked up by someone who didn’t know what it was. I know of a submerged Desoto Hemi from back in the day when they were “just boat anchors”.

      Like 7
    • Sal

      “Why would someone dump a BMW motor in a lake”?

      What did you want them to do with it, throw it in the forest? That’s at least a half mile further away!

      Like 16
      • LMK Member

        Are those two options the only two you can come up with?

        Both are wrong….

        Like 6
      • leiniedude leiniedude Member

        And your option LMK?

        Like 2
      • schooner

        Bury it in the backyard and save the haul like a buddy did with an auto trans.

        Like 1
  5. Charles

    It is restorable and the motor stampings can be resolved.

    Like 4
  6. BlondeUXB Member

    Is it an iron block ?
    Or is that a “special” magnet ?

    Like 3
    • BlondeUXB Member

      Underwater alloy engines and FI units with a magnet ?
      All starting to sound like “fish tails”…

      Like 2
  7. Rodney - GSM

    ….and the body that was chained to it many years ago dissolved into fish food…

    Like 9
  8. JBP

    Why does i as member first get this ad today, when its from the 22/2-2019. What is it so about early acces???
    So i can stick that membership up in my a..
    I am here for the good deal, and i dont pay, for comming last in line.
    Thats not ok.
    Do i so need that membership???

    Like 3
    • Howard A Member

      If you don’t log in every couple days, you won’t get early access. Just for the record, I’m here for the variety and to learn a thing or 2 from the writers. I’m certainly not here for the good deals,,,

      Like 5
      • JBP

        I love BF. Im here becourse i love classic cars, and everything arround that hobby. I love to read comments, and learn something new everyday. Im also here for the good deal, like that Invicta i purchased here.
        I start my day with morning coffee and BF.
        And when early access is a part of membership, its a bit sad to get 7 days old ads😟
        But that maybe nobody understand…..

        Like 2
      • Michael

        I’m just here for the comments!!!

        Like 2
    • Jack Quantrill

      Bodies, and stolen goods wind up in lakes and oceans. Someone wanted this to disappear.

      Like 2
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      Are you visiting the website or relying on the emails? The emails only show the postings after the early access time has past. You have to be logged in and visit the homepage of the website daily, or hourly, if you are desperate to be the first one to see a post.

      I just use the daily email because I’m not here to buy a vehicle, and doing it my way, I get to see the comments, which is what I really like.

      • JBP

        Thanks for info.
        No just the newest ad daily so its good enough. Just not a week old ads.

  9. Dairyman

    Will it buff out?

    Like 2
    • Mimo Jones

      I can fix it. My Dad’s a TV Repair man, he’s got an awesome set of tools.

      Like 11
      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

        I don’t think even the spraypaint “Lincoln Rules” repair is gonna work here. LOL!

    • JBP

      About good deals. Im a collecter of classic cars, and only as a hobby. Im no millionare, so ofcourse im in for a good deal. Is that tabu or?
      Or do i have to be ashame..
      Im just onerst about it.
      And if somebody dosnt like that, isnt my problem

  10. Gaspumpchas

    Like Luca Brasi, it sleeps with the fishes…


    Like 3
  11. Coventrycat

    If this is the Holy Grail of BMW motors, run away, run away.

    Like 4
  12. Billy1

    How can a magnet stick to an aluminum block/head? And what type of fishing line did he use to haul that junk into the boat? A 5,000 lb Moby Dick strength line?

    Like 2
  13. Chris In Austalia

    Have look on youtube regarding magnet fishing for WW2 stuff. Some great finds.

    Like 3
    • Rodney - GSM

      Yes, like unexploded sea mines…

      Like 4
  14. Chris

    Could it have been powering someone’s speedboat?

    Like 3
  15. Kevin Wheat

    Probably a racer who didn’t his competition to get their hands on it. A local racer from my area had a factory supplied hemi from the 60’s & buried rather than let someone else get it.

    Like 3
  16. Terry Bowman

    Would like to know about the lake. Way back, I knew a company (will not name) that would use the lake behind their building and dump all kinds of stuff (Hi-Po) items so they would not have to pay someone to haul away. Some employees would throw items that they or someone they knew, needed (stole) and later would jump in the lake and retrieve them later. Sometimes they couldn’t find what they threw in. In this case with the “BMW” short block (all the goodies are gone) minus the induction, heads and other attached items, I believe it was a dead block and someone added these items missing to another. Also a good way to rid numbers. There may be more Goodies under them waters!!!!

    Like 2
  17. bing

    I live on a lake in Texas. I was dragging my magnet about six months ago and found a 67 vette fuel injection unit. I cleaned it up, and have it on a shelf in my shop.

    Maybe someone will start another website called.. “lake finds”.

    Like 6
    • moosie moosie Member

      ’67 Vette F.I. unit….? Aluminum Magnet ?

      Like 6
  18. Brian Ach

    Awesome coffee table material

    Like 1
  19. Cidevco

    Put a chain and rope on it with a float and flag throw it back into the lake knowing you have the best German anchor at the lake. Then sit back and enjoy….

    Like 2
  20. John


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