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Another daily driver thread: E34 525i


P_Roloff
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17 minutes ago, straight6pwr said:

my wrench always fit those flats on the sway bar arms. but i know that different brands have different thicknesses.

if you need a modified 22mm (7/8") wrench for the bolts on the upper control arms, let me know Ill ship mine to you.

like your modified tool, after modifying it for the e34 i've never used it again

It fit but was tight for the stock ones, but the replacements were tighter and I didn't feel like risking a tear in the boot. Thank you, depending on the way things go I will let you know!

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13 hours ago, P_Roloff said:

From what I’ve read, the seats are identical on e32s and e34s down to the mounting slots and harness, so it should just be as simple as bolting the mechanism into the back of the seat and plugging in the motor and switch. My seats are in pretty good shape so I don’t plan on replacing them unless I come across a screaming deal for a full black, blue or red interior to swap out. 
 

Do you remember off the top of your head what springs/shocks are on the 540i/6 that you brought to the last fall meet?

I had to do some digging but that's the info on E32 seats I have. I never did rewire that seat and it did get scrapped with the car because I couldn't remove it. I still have the passenger seat from the '89 750i if you want to rip that apart or do wiring experiments on. If you break things I have more e34 seats too 🙄

The current 540i has BC Racing coil overs. Ben didn't mention what rates he bought in his thread. I haven't gotten around to raising/adjusting them to my liking because they can be harsher. I think h&r/Billy sports is what I'm gonna get for the 530i.

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2 hours ago, YoungCR said:

I had to do some digging but that's the info on E32 seats I have. I never did rewire that seat and it did get scrapped with the car because I couldn't remove it. I still have the passenger seat from the '89 750i if you want to rip that apart or do wiring experiments on. If you break things I have more e34 seats too 🙄

The current 540i has BC Racing coil overs. Ben didn't mention what rates he bought in his thread. I haven't gotten around to raising/adjusting them to my liking because they can be harsher. I think h&r/Billy sports is what I'm gonna get for the 530i.

Interesting, I didn’t know that. I’ll definitely take you up on that though, I’d be very interested to see the differences and if a little splicing wouldn’t work. There’s probably some other random e34 parts from your stash that you have that I would buy too. 
 

If you end up with that setup, let me know what you think of it!

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  • 3 months later...

89,3xx miles.

Checking thing off the list slowly but surely. The new door brake and door reinforcement plates arrived a few weeks ago and will go on whenever I feel like welding the plate in, both roundels were replaced, driver's front regulator was replaced, general module was replaced, and I put a Z3 shifter in last night. l'm a big fan of the shorter throws and feel, it'll be interesting to see how notchy it feels when it gets cold again though.

Next on the list is rear sway bar links, a few new moulding pieces to replace the ones that are rusting and falling off, and lumbar for the driver's seat. Between all that and a new apartment, I'm going to be busy the next few weeks. 

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4 minutes ago, B C said:

89k, that’s really low! 

It is! When it joined our fleet a few years ago, it had 59k and had been owned by the same family for most of its life. Maintenance history was great, but the aesthetics of the car left (and still leave) a bit to be desired. The nose has been resprayed at some point and it was done poorly and there's chips and scratches all over it, but the bones seem to be pretty solid. Unfortunately, it only took 3 winters to start to get a bit rusty, the door bottoms are already going :(

Forgot to add that the idler pulleys were replaced a few weeks ago as well.

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  • 2 months later...

Finally got around to an oil change and a wash this past weekend, mileage sits at 93,3xx. Changed oil with Mobil 1 15w-50 synthetic. I threw some fresh exhaust hanger rubber mount donut things on at the same time since the last ones I bought shredded themselves in about a year and a half. Fresh rear pitman arms/dog bones and front upper control arms are sitting in the garage waiting to be installed when I get the chance. So, probably October. 

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1 hour ago, P_Roloff said:

Finally got around to an oil change and a wash this past weekend, mileage sits at 93,3xx. Changed oil with Mobil 1 15w-50 synthetic. I threw some fresh exhaust hanger rubber mount donut things on at the same time since the last ones I bought shredded themselves in about a year and a half. Fresh rear pitman arms/dog bones and front upper control arms are sitting in the garage waiting to be installed when I get the chance. So, probably October. 

Sounds about right, I think we all have that shelf full of stuff we bought 6 months ago that we're just mustering up the ambition to install

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  • 2 months later...

Well, got under the car to do the upper control arms, and realized the lower control arm ball joint boots were toasted. I’d also been noticing fromt damping getting worse, to the point that when you combined the worn out arms and shocks, the car was getting to be frustrating to drive. Lots of steering slop, shitty tracking (if you ever needed to find microscopic changes in pavement grading though, hoo boy was this your car), clunking, and turn-in that would be best described as uninspiring.

So, after four FedEx shipments, all of which were late (not sure what’s going in the Menominee Falls FedEx hub, but I’m pretty sure it’s literally nothing, and certainly nothing with any urgency) new strut inserts, dust boots, bump stops, top mounts, 750il upper control arms, and e31 spherical lower control arms arrived and were installed on the car. Sorry, no pics, was too busy trying to not throw my old control arms through the FedEx distribution center’s windows. Did I mention I REALLY hate FedEx?

Anyways, the car handles soooo much better with the new parts. I fell back in love with it a bit again, it’s so comfy and well suited for highway driving but still is tossable enough to be fun. Turn in is much improved as is tracking with steering slop definitely improved but still not great. Might replace the steering links in the spring and see where that gets me. There’s definitely some slop in the box itself though too, and adjusting either made it too tight or left slop. Sure as shit not worth replacing the box, so I’ll leave it for now. Doing the front end also highlighted how loosey-goosey the rear is; shocks, mounts, subframe bushings and sway links will be coming in the spring. Holding off on RTABS until I absolutely have to, I’d rather not disconnect brake lines until I absolutely have to. 
 

Oh, I forgot, mileage sits at 99,xxx or so. Getting real close to the century mark. 
 

I finally got around to replacing the rear trailing arm links (dog bones) last night as well, no word on the difference they made because I installed them, then immediately shut the door and drove home in the e30. Side note, that job is cake on ramps. Most of the DIY’s say to use stands, but the links are in their unstressed position at normal suspension height, so save yourself the hassle. I’ll weigh in on the difference the links make next week probably when my RA plates come (updated registration came in the mail today!).

If you made it this far, you’re probably REALLY bored at work today. Tune in next time for me probably burning subframe bushings out of the car! Or an oil change note. Probably that. Shit, I should really do an oil change.

 

 

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  • 3 months later...
On 10/22/2021 at 1:23 AM, straight6pwr said:

FYI adjusting some of the slop from the steering box is doable in a 6cyl e34. there are how tos online.  you should be able to remove some of the dead-on-center feel. 

I’ve tried once, it improved it slightly but didn’t completely remove the slop, which sounds about par for the course. It’s still on the original steering components, so I’m hoping that replacing those helps it some.

104,870

Oil change with Mobil 10w-40, fresh NGK BKR6EK plugs as well. Noted oil in 4/6 spark plug wells, only one had any real accumulation though. Valve cover was already noted as leaking around the outer edge, so that’ll get replaced soon. I also need to replace the giubo, it’s starting to get some good cracks. Trans has a few leaks, and the diff output seals are also weeping, I plan to take care of all the seals this spring once the e30 is back on the road. Sunroof seal also needs replacement, it’s sealing but allowing movement/rattle and the general consensus online is that the gasket causes that when worn. I’ll also inspect the mechanism for wear when it’s not so damn cold. Door lock actuator in passenger rear door also needs replacing, part is on hand and just needs install.

I realized I haven’t updated this in awhile, I had to replace the alternator again after about a year and a half (oreilly special, thank god for the warranty), bearings were already semi-roached and the brushes were shot. I replaced the battery at the same time, it was pretty old and the peace of mind is nice knowing I’ll be less likely to get stranded this winter. Also had a fiasco with a door not latching in the cold, but some lube seems to have fixed that. Otherwise, pretty uneventful running lately. It definitely doesn’t enjoy sub-zero running/starting though.

Otherwise, I mounted a set of Continental VikingContact 7’s for the winter, really enjoying them. Not loud, great snow traction, and they seem to be wearing pretty well. I got the set for $350 shipped from tire rack (with rebate) so pretty hard to beat if anyone is looking for good budget snows.

I didn’t notice anything really out of the ordinary on the plugs, but I’ll post images here when I get home. If any of you see anything concerning, let me know.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 1/22/2022 at 8:22 PM, P_Roloff said:

Also had a fiasco with a door not latching in the cold, but some lube seems to have fixed that.

more than once I drove the e34 with a bungie from the drivers door pull, across my lap, hooked to the ebrake. these were like freezing rain/car wash in the winter scenarios. 

someone has probably mentioned it, but i wouldnt recommend trying to open the windows in freezing conditions either, unless totally necessary. the door regulator motor is so strong it can rip the regulator right off the bottom of the window

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2 hours ago, straight6pwr said:

more than once I drove the e34 with a bungie from the drivers door pull, across my lap, hooked to the ebrake. these were like freezing rain/car wash in the winter scenarios. 

someone has probably mentioned it, but i wouldnt recommend trying to open the windows in freezing conditions either, unless totally necessary. the door regulator motor is so strong it can rip the regulator right off the bottom of the window

Score one for not really washing it in the winter then.


Yup, pretty much everyone I’ve ever met who’s owned an e34 has said that, but I do appreciate us all looking out for one another haha. My drivers side front window reg and rails are new, so that’s the only one I’ll open from November to April. The rest, you’ll get a swift smack to your wrist if you try to open them. To be fair, the drivers rear doesn’t work anyways. Always gotta put the really drunk ones on the passenger side. 

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  • 2 months later...

110,657

Oil change and filter, just received all the VANOS rebuilt parts, valve cover gasket and a few other odds and ends so I can take care of a few leaks and the VANOS system all at once. I have a full set of coils and rear brake parts also on order to go in as soon as they get here. Planning for a trip to Voyageurs NP at the end of the month and need to make sure everything is all sorted for that.

 

In other news, the M-Systems are in the process of being refinished, they’re at the polishers getting the lips polished out then I’ll paint the centers in the stock black. Already have a set of Michelin Pilot A/S3+’s to go on. Can’t wait!

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On 5/7/2022 at 5:34 PM, P_Roloff said:

In other news, the M-Systems are in the process of being refinished, they’re at the polishers getting the lips polished out then I’ll paint the centers in the stock black. Already have a set of Michelin Pilot A/S3+’s to go on. Can’t wait!

👀

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  • 3 weeks later...

110,657

Oil change and filter, just received all the VANOS rebuilt parts, valve cover gasket and a few other odds and ends so I can take care of a few leaks and the VANOS system all at once. Replaced all 6 coils with Bremi units and solved an idle misfire/stumble when pulling away from lights.

Planned on replacing rear brakes due to the “low brake pad squeal” noise starting and had all the parts necessary in hand, but pulled the rear wheels and had decent pad left. Probably going to take care of them later this summer when I have more time. New giubo is also in hand, the old one is a bit cracked and provides a good excuse to replace the shift shaft and input shaft seals on the transmission as well. Also going to be a “when I get to it” project, probably slated for this fall.

 

112,8xx

Took a ~800 mile round trip to the boundary waters over Memorial Day weekend, not a single hiccup and averaged something like 23-24mpg even with a big ass canoe on the roof the whole way. Had awesome weather, great fishing, and an overall good time. Got to bomb a total of around 40 miles of forest roads to and from the entry point too, which was a riot.

DE0C0CC2-D999-407C-870A-7BB762EF5C22.jpeg484C1246-990D-48BF-8E55-20221B055CE3.jpeg
In other news, I finally picked up the M-Systems! Not overjoyed with how they turned out and I think I’m going to polish them out further myself, but the bulk of the work is done. The shop that did it was unable to get into the sharp corners of the lips to fully polish them out, and also managed to round over the corners of the valve stem openings so probably wouldn’t go back, but after the 2 months that I waited I was just happy to have them back.

Pics:

EF6ADB28-B173-46E3-A40B-B6CDC7CDDAE9.jpeg2D95349A-D52C-40A8-9079-9273AFFCE098.jpegB491A88F-3118-46CA-819C-0C631D84DBA7.jpegC2604AE9-BA03-4E1A-A473-33638BA4CF08.jpeg819DB2C0-BE14-4D4E-9343-FFC3820E801D.jpeg2D4EB8D5-452C-4793-BFFE-A6472E5C5B7C.jpeg

 

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  • 1 month later...

116,4xx: 

Oil change and filter, used the oreilly’s house brand full synthetic because they had nothing else in 10w-40 and I figured that’d be better than running something lighter weight from Castrol or Mobil.

Replaced the two front tires with used takeoffs as a stopgap for when the 17’a go on, I’ve had approximately zero free time in the last month so that project has stalled. The fronts were down to the wear bars, rears are still okay for a little while, so just wanted to buy myself a few weeks before I can hopefully get the true summer set finished up. 
 

In other news, I bought another car! It’s crusty, non-running, and has more damage than I originally thought, but I paid less than $1k for it (and it’s a NC car, so really no rust underneath) so I figured that at worst it’ll get parted, and at best I’ll have a fun beater to use to keep miles off of the e34. 
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Stats: 1988 535is, salmon silver over blue with a 5spd. All of the “is” specific parts are gone with the exception of the LSD. The only remaining seat part is the rear seat bottom, but I have a spare set of e30 sport fronts that I’ll be tossing in once I make some adapters. 
 

It appears to have been set up for track/DE work before it took the hit, it’s rocking bilstein sports all the way around with what I believe are racing dynamics lowering springs. I noted some new suspension bits like dogbones in my inspection of the car as well, so it appears to have been already at least partially gone through. Brake is still firm, and it has braided lines throughout. Interior is partially gutted, with no door cards or carpet and an electrical cutoff in the rear seat bulkhead. Overall, not bad for a car that’s been sitting for at least 5 years. 
 

Current plan is to try to get it running, then evaluate my costs and options from there once I can suss out the rest of the systems in the car. If anyone has e28 fenders, grilles and high beams/headlight assemblies they’d be willing to part with, I’m interested and on the lookout. 
 

I also picked up a set of 17x8.5 MOMO heritage 6’s the other day off their site, they’re holding a buy two-get two sale thru early September and I couldn’t resist. Hoping they show up quickly, at which point they’ll be installed on the e34 with some Pilot Sport A/S 3+’s. 
7AB41DB6-42F8-42F1-BDE2-498C2A510743.jpeg

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8 hours ago, YoungCR said:

Congrats! I got plenty of grills and headlights. condition isn’t great but I have a full blue interior.

Awesome, great to know. Provided it runs, I’ll take a headlight set and grille set. I’ll kill over the interior, I can’t decide if I want to just replace the rear seat so I can put people back there in a pinch, or if I want to go all out and put door cards and some of the other things back in. The old rear seat looks solid but has a few spots of mold at the bottom edges on the side, anyone have tips for removing that to try and save it? I’m thinking I’ll steam clean or just soap and water scrub the rest of the interior, it honestly doesn’t look bad but I want to make sure I get rid of any mold, mildew or mouse turds that are still lurking. 
 

Diagnosis process I’m thinking is something like this: Put a battery in and check if the fuel pumps are running, and then make sure it’ll turn over (disconnect fuel pump relay and just bump the starter), drain fuel tank and put some fresh stuff in there, and replace fuel filter. Drain and refill oil with the cheapest crap I can find just to have fresh stuff again. Crank without fuel pump to circulate oil. 
 

Check CPS to make sure the wire isn’t just cut or something. Make sure all other obvious things are plugged in and appear to be functional. Give er a crank and see what happens. If no start, check for spark and pull plugs. 
 

I’m taking a vacation next week so I probably won’t get to it for another two weekends, but I’m excited t get the old thing revived!

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That's awesome!! Congrats on the pickup!

Also, what site did you order the heritage 6's from, directly from MOMO? I've always really liked the look of those. 

 

Edit: Found it! I'd have some on the way if they did a 16. I'm thinking these might still look good in 17 on the e30... hmmm

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2 hours ago, m42b32 said:

That's awesome!! Congrats on the pickup!

Also, what site did you order the heritage 6's from, directly from MOMO? I've always really liked the look of those. 

 

Edit: Found it! I'd have some on the way if they did a 16. I'm thinking these might still look good in 17 on the e30... hmmm

Thanks! Long term, I’ve always wanted to try to drug that is boost, maybe this’ll be my muse…

Do it! I think they’d look great! A bit heavy if I’m being honest, but they’re going to be pure street wheels for me and I think they’ll do that job quite nicely. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

118,9xx: First time stranded!

Clutch pedal went to the floor leaving my neighborhood this morning, it’ll be on its way to the shop tonight. Luckily, I was close enough to walk home but definitely an inconvenience. Hoping it’s just a slave cylinder and it can be back on the road quickly, I have no time to look at it or fix it (or the e30 or e28 to drive in the meantime, I should really get on those). 
 

Oh well, not bad for ~60k miles of ownership so far to have this be the biggest inconvenience with it so far. VANOS is starting to rattle in addition to torque loss down low, so that along with brakes front and rear are on the docket for this fall once time becomes available. Really need to catch up on maintenance with this one. 

7F57D300-D5BF-4F40-A321-381C7F2BF55E.jpeg

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