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E34 540i V 2.0, The Clean Edition


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Well good news and bad news

bad news is the car got backed into friday ūü§¨ Took it out of storage earlier last week to get a few miles on before heading up to Door County. Got a phone call from the guy who backed his flatbed into it around 11. What sucks is its not even the guy that parks next to me, but two spots over and he "thought he was backing into his spot". I even parked the car as close to the opposite side to allow more room. Working with a body shop and the insurance, we'll see what happens. Haven't gotten the full qoute yet but the door and fender are toast Luckily there is a black door/fender off another 95 540i in Cali I'm working on sourcing as well. That might be all that gets "repaired" since the whole car needs paint anyways.



That kinda killed the buzz on cleaning the car up for the Badger Bimmers Door County Rally. Finally threw the good bumper on and called it a day since I just wasn't happy. Saturday was a blast though. Put about 300 miles on the car which doubled what I've driven so far this year basically. Besides the few little maintenance items on the list the car performed great as always. Great day driving with the windows down, beautiful scenery and good company!





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6 hours ago, wasnt m3 said:

Bummer! Sadly, insurance will probably write that one off as a total loss.

Here's a same spec car for $11k with 30k more miles. 


Brand new door and fender are $1200 from ECS, was gonna a be about the same shipped from cali¬†for used.¬†The pair I was looking into got scrapped though.¬†There is a couple options on co-part as well ūü§∑‚Äć‚ôāÔłŹ

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  • 1 month later...

Good news! Insurance payout came late last week, Not Totaled! They didn't even put up a fight after I denied their initial value and took my word on the current values, so glad this didn't turn into a nightmare battle like I've read about for others. The current auction price insanity on anything old and manual sure helps.

All the parts new were available from BMW to repair this, the fender was the only part that needed to come over from Germany but I still hunted around for used parts. It didnt make too much sense to just paint a new door/fender when the whole car needs paint. Car-Part was a joke and prices were premium as well. LKQ pick and pull has a great CURRENT website for listing inventory so I scoured that around the country. There were at least 2 black E34's and several other colors as well among the Los Angeles area yards so I took the gamble on the parts I wanted being there.

Luckily a side job gave me the opportunity to drive a 2020 F350 out west. I ended up going to 3 different LA LKQ yards and pulled the front doors off one and a fender off another, all perfectly rust free in Schwartz II. The fender does have a good dent towards the nose but paint isn't cracked and should be PDR'd easily. Bought a driver's door too since the door stay was ripped out when the car was bought. $150 total for all the parts was crazy cheap.


Gonna wait to install these come spring as it's cold and I still have remodeling projects to tend too. I also want to rust proof each fender while off and clean things up.

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  • 9 months later...


Finally pulled this out of storage last thursday as I wanted to get some miles on it for the year and the A/C is out on the 530i which I wanted for a weekend trip to Madison. Swapped on the 16" Style 5's as I'm gonna take the 17" wheels down to the Alloy Wheel Repair Specialist in Sun Prairie to get the barrels straightened back out on at least 2 of them. I didn't see anybody local up in the fox valley if anybody happens to have suggestions. 

Car ran great down to Madison but while I was down there sometime after sitting in belt line construction traffic for minute I went to go again and it wouldn't rev past 3100 rpm. Check engine light would flash along with a few other lights only when hitting that "limit". It was pinging bad as well. Changed the spark plugs as last time I had similar detonation on one of the M60's new plugs solved it. It ran better but ignition timing is still off and still can't rev. I was able to limp the car home though as it ran fine between 2500-3krpm's so just kept it in 5th till home. My best guess is the crank position sensor is faulty with a quick read through the Bentley but I haven't had time to diagnose yet. 

@P_Roloff and I have also been playing a game of forget the parts. He ordered door stay reinforcement plates for each of us and once I have those I'll start the door and fender swap project. The car needs to be sorted before winter so I'll update the to-do list as well. 

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  • 2 years later...

Started working on things a month ago and have slowly been plugging away. Working on chasing the not revving past 3k issue along with coolant and oil leaks. Digging into the motor has shown its Texas roots though as I'm finding lots of dry rotted stuff. Water pump had a small leak at the bottom so that lasted 30-40k. Valley pan has never been done though so going through that whole ordeal. Also found the water pump pulley was missing a chunk 

Just like every other M60 intake though I've managed to strip 2 of those shallow T30's, even on my "bench vise". There is enough clearance around the throttle body to get an angle grinder in there to square off the head just a little bit to give the vise grips a place to hold onto. All will be replaced with standard hex heads like I've done in past. Got the intake completely disassembled and power washed and I've been working on the fuel rail today. Replaced the FPR and found all the injector O-Rings are dry rotted so pulling those and working on a jerry-rigged injector cleaner/tester as I saw at least a couple nozzles looked clogged.




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  • 3 weeks later...

Had a productive weekend despite the heat. Water Pump and Valley Pan done, new knock, crank and cam position sensors, billet throttle cable bushings, Intake w/ new PCV installed. I was going to do both the valve cover gaskets even though they didn't really need to be done but doing the right side turned out to be a bit of a nightmare. I think 4 of the studs backed out and 2 of them stripped going back in. The fun part is the studs are threaded into the CAM BEARING CAPS¬†ūü§ĒūüôĄ¬†Not happy about that and haven't had this issue before on other M60's. I cleaned up the threads with a tap & die and hand tightened things as tight as I felt comfortable, the spec is only 10Nm and thankfully the lower back corner held tight. The center stud is barely hanging on though, Hopefully no leaks otherwise it'll be quite the job to properly fix that. Gonna leave the other side until it absolutely needs it.¬†


Engine bay is all back together besides the fan and intake. Just need to replace the battery and battery negative cable before startup. If all goes well and running issues solved it'll be onto swapping out the front doors and fender. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Pulled an all nighter last weekend but I got the car back on the road for the trip to Milwaukee. It was very nice to surprise Ben as he hadn't seen his car in 6 years. Deja vu for me driving a BMW to the Saint Kate hotel too to pick him up as I used to get customers there frequently working at the dealership.

The battery negative clamp had been cracked on this car for a while and I finally broke it taking the old dead battery out. Replaced with just a standard slightly longer cable as I never liked how tight the stock ones are. The chassis ground is the footwell side of the back seat. Also tired of traditional batteries failing even with trickle charging so I upgraded to Costco Item Number 1355853 Group Size H8 (49) Interstate AGM Battery. It won't show up in their system as a match though. 


I set myself back a little bit trying to start the car as I flooded the engine, which is super easy to do on M60's. There's a few posts on other forums form the same guy stating that he can get one started by just pulling the plugs on one bank and adding a little oil to seal the rings. I gave that a shot as it had been 7ish years probably since the last time I had done it. After not having success with that though I ended up pulling the plugs on both sides and airing it out for a couple hours while I recharged the battery and worked on the passenger door and fender. 

Door and fender swap was pretty straight forward but I did it in a hurry just to get it done. The side skirt doesn't fit right as the pinch rail must've been pulled out a little bit at the fender mounts when it was hit. I forgot to replace the door hinge sleeves too so both will come back off but I'm super happy with how these used parts matched up. Door stay reinforcement plates are a must, super simple install. I still have to replaced the drivers door as well as that one is actually ripped out. 



Very happy with how the car ran and drove though. Pulling the intake I destroyed the throttle cable bushings but glad I finally bought a pair of Billet Throttle Cable Bushings as it improved the drivability a lot getting rid of the throttle delay from the slack. 


Getting some big things off the checklist felt great and glad to be driving on of the cars again. Got a few items left on the punch list but this car will be pretty well sorted before winter storage and ready to rock next spring. 

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