I’ve had this car for a while now so figured it’s time for a thread to show I actually worked on a car this winter! Picked this car up on a whim almost 2 years ago with no real plans but I’ve decided it’s a keeper now mainly because I’m parting my winter beater 530i and I’ve done enough maintenance now that it’s not worth selling it. These 530i’s are nice drivers but worthless for resale and I’m way past the $1500 I paid for the car now.
Back story. It’s a California car brought over 2.5ish years ago. Body is still very solid, just some minor surface rust on the pinch rails and some bubbles starting on the doors from outdoor storage. The car had been sitting for 6+ months over winter when I bought it from a guy who inherited it from his brother. Older guy so he was just over driving manuals and bought a newer car. It had roughly 140k on it when I picked it in July 2016.
The E34 Oreo! Ben had recently acquired his 2nd 540i/6 and my two 530i/5's
The worst rust on the body is the peeling paint on the gas door and the odd scrap on the bumper will get fixed too.
Sometime in the spring of 2017 the clutch went out. Had the symptoms of a bad slave cylinder but for the life of me we couldn't get it to bleed. Ended up replacing the master too with no luck and then warrantying them again. Took it to a service shop and they blew out the slave. Replaced the slave, took it to another service shop and they blew out the master. Thank goodness for FCP Euro's lifetime warranty! Anyways after chasing that for a few months on and off I just took some time away from working on it as I didn't "need" the car and was sick of dumping money into it and getting nowhere. I finally found motivation when my shop mate bought a lift this past fall.
I decided to pull the trans to see what the issue was thinking maybe the throwout bearing was shot. To my surprise the clutch disc had zero friction surface left! This is no burnout machine and the car had driven perfectly fine before it went out. There wasn't any chunks or excessive dust in the bell housing either :/
Of course the dual mass flywheel was fucked too but luckily a BMWCCA member had one NIB along with a clutch kit and other NIB e34 goodies he sold me for a heck of a deal. So now every component of the clutch system has been replaced and it drives just like it did before haha.
Being a BMW though, they perpetually break. Drove the car for 1 night and then the starter went out. Amazon came through with a brand new Bosch starter for $90, no core! The started job isn't too bad for how nestled up it is underneath the exhaust mani and above the steering idler.
I think I got week of driving out of it before coolant started disappearing. Common symptom of the valley pan gasket. The radiator had a weird sag too it too, I assume it froze at some point and expanded. Also had some lightly used cooling system parts from my other 530i so I just decided to overhaul everything at once.
Had the same issue redoing the intake manifold gaskets too while I had that off the motor. The torx head bolts just strip so I ended up swapping the late M60B40 intake on that had recently refreshed gaskets. I've put almost 2,000 miles on since the cooling system was wrapped up in November 2017 and now the suspension is giving in. The passenger rear strut is blown out. Not sure if I'm going to go the coilover route or just standard strut/spring combo yet. I won't be commuting anymore for work so the car will be a garage queen until Summer and I'll take care of the suspension then.