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Blackman last won the day on February 25

Blackman had the most liked content!

About Blackman

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    London, UK


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    E34 525i SE Manual

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  1. Blackman

    Calypso's project E34 520i - which is actually blue!

    This looks too clean, almost too clean to drive. Just park it somewhere and look at it all day Reminds me that I need to do something with my driver's seat, as it's got 2 rips on the base (also Silver Grey) and the NSF dipped beam headlight got a chip in it - doesn't bother me too much, but again needs to be done one day.
  2. As planned, I changed my differential, gearbox and power steering fluids yesterday, so here's a quick update of how it went. First of all, I had to do a bit of shopping and purchase all the required fluids, but it wasn't all so straightforward. The easiest part was the fluid for the differential, which should be 75W-90 (for open differentials), and I decided to go with Castrol Syntrax Long Life, because it's BMW approved, so can't go wrong with that. In my case, I needed 1.7L, so had to buy x2 1L bottles and had a bit left after we filled the diff. Now the gearbox fluid was the tricky part. According to RealOEM, the gearbox fitted on my car is S5D310Z, meaning S = manual transmission, 5 is the number of gears, D = direct gear, 310 is the max input torque in Nm and Z means made by ZF. To find out what's the correct oil that should be used in this gearbox, I decided to look it up in the ZF's list of lubricants in their catalogue here > https://aftermarket.zf.com/remotemedia/lol-lubricants/lol-en/lol-te-ml-11-en.pdf It's listed as "S5-31" and there are 2 recommended oils for this gearbox: BMW's oil (part number 23007533513) and Castrol Syntrans B 75W. Now it would be all well and good, if it wasn't for the red ATF label on the side of my gearbox and also the owner's manual recommending to use ATF for this gearbox. I was a bit confused by the fact that the gearbox manufacturer (ZF) and the vehicle manufacturer (BMW) were recommending different oils for the same gearbox? After spending a few hours digging around BMW forums, it turns out that initially as per ZF's catalogue, BMW used thicker gear oil (75W-80 or MTF-LT-2) for these gearboxes, but over time a lot of customers complained about hard gear shifts, especially in colder climates, since gear oil needs time to warm up before it can provide smoother shifting. As a result, BMW later switched to ATF, because it still provides required protection and lubrication for the gearbox, while the gear shifts are easy and smooth, regardless of whether the oil is hot or cold, because ATF oil is thinner compared to gear oil, so it works well in colder temperatures as well. Long story short, you can use either what ZF says in their catalogue or ATF as per BMW's recommendation, because both will do the job fine. There was an interesting discussion on Bimmer Forums a few years back on this topic, which you can read here > https://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?958283-atf-or-mtf Myself, I made the choice to go with what the gearbox manufacturer recommends to use, so I went with Castrol Syntrans B 75W, despite the ATF label on my box. In my case, I needed 1.25L, so again had to buy x2 1L bottles. To be honest, I hardly noticed any difference myself after changing to Castrol B 75W, but it's summer now, so the temperatures are quite high - it might be a bit different during winter. And as for steering, you need to check what it says on your reservoir cap, so for me it was ATF. Essentially, you can go for any Dexron III ATF, but I wanted to find one, which was specifically equivalent to BMW's Dexron III, so the only one that listed BMW's actual part numbers was Fuchs TITAN ATF 5005, so I went with that. Various oil selector catalogues list that you need 1.2L for steering, so I bought x2 1L bottles, but strangely enough just one bottle was enough to fill the system - keep that in mind. Be sure to buy 2 replacement washers for the diff plugs (07119963355), as your existing ones will most likely fall apart, like mine did, and also get 2 new washers for the power steering hose (32411093597), which you'll have to remove to drain the PAS fluid. I actually bought 4 washers, as I thought we'd have to remove the top smaller hose on the pump as well (it has smaller washers - 32411093596), but undoing the larger bottom hose was enough to drain all the fluid out. Also bought a new BMW badge with the grommets for the bonnet, as mine was an aftermarket one with no edge to the letters. I didn't want to waste my time going to BMW for the sake of a few washers and a bonnet badge, so I thought I would treat myself and upgrade my tatty gear knob to a proper "M" one. Now the thing is that regular E34's never had a 5 speed "M" gear knob, because the only "M" gear knobs were for the M5's, but those were illuminated and I wanted just a basic one. Anyway, the non-illuminated 5 speed "M" gear knobs became a common thing starting from E46 and E39 models, although the very first time they were used on E36 318IS models. The correct part number that you need is: 25117503231. Some may say it's a bit pricy, but I got it for just over 50 quid from BMW. It has some weight to it and it definitely feels heavier compared to my old one. Wouldn't say it makes a world of difference, but it's a nice touch and it's easy to fit. You simply pull the knob up when in neutral, but be careful not to hit the rear view mirror or anything else for that matter, as they fit quite snug, so can be a bit stubborn to come off. Line up the new knob and just press it down until it clicks into place. Replacing the bonnet badge was also pretty straightforward, just use a plastic spreader to pop off the old badge, swap over the grommets and before putting the new badge on, apply a bit of grease on the 2 pins to help it fit smoothly. I've read that for the past 10 years, genuine BMW badges have always had black plastic backsides, but mine was chrome-silver, so either it was very old or just a eBay-special, although with a BMW part number on it. Pics below, old one out and the new badge fitted. Changing the diff fluid was a bit tricky, because the access to the filler/drain plugs is a bit of a pain. We had to remove the small crossmember from the front of the diff, so we could get more access to the filler plug and move the diff slightly to the left to have enough space for the socket/ratchet to fit on the drain plug. Make sure to change the washers on the plugs and possibly apply some PTFE tape to prevent leaks from the plugs in the future. Moving to the gearbox, it was all straightforward with loads of space for access, so no issues here. Notice the red ATF label on the side of the gearbox, which matches the gearbox oil recommendation in the owner's handbook that came with the car. As I explained earlier above, you'll be fine with either what ZF says (Castrol Syntrans B 75W) or ATF Dexron III. The drain plug on the gearbox had some sealing tape on it, so we also applied PTFE tape around it before putting it back in. It's so unusual for me to see a dry gearbox, because I remember the box on my E30 325i was pissing oil from everywhere... And finally the power steering oil. We undid the big banjo bolt on the bottom hose of the PAS pump and let the oil drain out. Then without running the engine, turned the steering wheel left/right a few times to make sure it all came out. Put the bolt back in, filled up with new generic ATF to flush the system, run the engine turning the wheel left/right, then drained it all out again. Replaced the washers on the banjo bolt, filled up the system with Fuchs TITAN ATF 5005 and repeated the bleeding for the steering, making sure the oil level was correct. Like I said earlier, for some reason just 1L was enough with the level being at maximum. After all the fluids were replaced, we checked underneath the car to make a list of parts that will be need for the clutch replacement, so apart from the obvious clutch kit, I will also be replacing the clutch fork + spring clip and pressure plate bolts, clutch slave cylinder + hose, the gear linkage with all the bushes, 4 gearbox mounts, propshaft guibo, centre propshaft bearing and the exhaust to gearbox bracket was a bit rusty, so going to change that as well. Will also renew the brake fluid for the clutch hydraulics. That should be it for now. This will probably be the last major service work required on the car, because I can't really think of anything else that we haven't done, so it will finally all come together. I'll get all the shopping done, making sure to check part numbers, etc, then will update this thread before doing any work. Any suggestions are more than welcome. Thanks for following.
  3. Blackman

    ULEZ Expansion Plans for 2021

    Strange, I checked a E90 LCI 320d (2010 model, I believe) the other day and it said it was subject to ULEZ. I would assume it had the N47 engine as well?
  4. Blackman

    ULEZ Expansion Plans for 2021

    I started hearing announcements on the radio about ULEZ starting in Central London from April 2019, but for some reason they are not mentioning the "expansion" from 2021.....It's either too early for that or they are being a bit cautious at the moment. I cannot see this happening, especially with the London Mayor elections in 2020....With this policy, Khan will most likely go and whoever comes will probably scrap the expansion idea. It's just silly, simple as.
  5. Blackman

    ULEZ Expansion Plans for 2021

    Not exactly the smartest idea and when you get caught, it won't be funny...
  6. Blackman

    ULEZ Expansion Plans for 2021

    Yokozuna, all the info about ULEZ is here > https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/ultra-low-emission-zone Essentially, from April next year, if your vehicle doesn't comply with the set emissions standards, then there will be an additional charge of £12.50 per day for driving in the Congestion charging zone aka Central London. This is a pretty small area of London and frankly doesn't affect me at all, whatever happens there. However, the main thing we are discussing are the plans to vastly expand this zone and make it cover pretty much all inner/outer parts of London, which is set to go live from October 2021. If you look at the map and find North Circular Road (A406) and South Circular Road (A205), then those will be the borders of the expanded zone. Still can't believe this is going to happen....
  7. Blackman

    ULEZ Expansion Plans for 2021

    There's nothing wrong with ULEZ, if you look at cars as metal boxes on wheels to get you from A to B, but if you like cars and enjoy driving different cars from different times, regardless of their age, then ULEZ is a disaster.
  8. Blackman

    ULEZ Expansion Plans for 2021

    That would be a bit extreme, moving house because you can no longer keep a car that you want....And that's not the point anyway. Even if I lived outside of the zone, the area that covers it is so large that if I wanted to drive anywhere remotely close to inner parts of London, I'd have to pay. Remember, we are not talking about the current congestion charging zone in Central London, which is pretty small, and it makes sense to have it, as the area is very busy......But the planned expanded zone for 2021 covers a massive area in comparison. If you can still get an oldish petrol car from 2005/2006, which would conform with Euro 4 emissions standards, but you can forget about diesels, because the minimum requirement is Euro 6 (regulation started in Sep 2015). Most of the diesels on the road that comply with that are less than 3 years old as of today. I was out this afternoon and checked a random reg of an LCI E90 320d, which was a 2010 model, and it came up as non-compliant. Can you believe that? A car, only 8 years old, which would a lot of people consider as pretty new, will basically be useless in 3 years time for London....What about all the VAG group cars? Every John and Barry drives a diesel Golf or an A3?
  9. Blackman

    ULEZ Expansion Plans for 2021

    Dennis, the alternative would be, like a suggested, some form of realistic additional annual tax for driving less efficient vehicles. This would gently push a significant amount of people to newer cars, but people like you and me would still get the opportunity to drive whatever we want, but pay slightly more for the privilege. The above example would give us a reasonable choice to "upgrade" or just a pay a bit more. However, asking to pay essentially the congestion charge for driving in the inner/outer parts of London is absurd. No doubt, one day we will all be driving electric vehicles or possibly be driven around in autonomous cars, but I just don't see the ULEZ expanding to North/South Circular roads so rapidly, within just 3 years time. I won't be surprised if next year this expansion date will be postponed, because like I said, we are talking about hundreds of thousands of cars having to go away from London.
  10. Blackman

    ULEZ Expansion Plans for 2021

    Dennis, you absolutely have a point in terms the automotive industry slowly moving towards the electric/hybrid side of things, but these are seriously drastic measures, which will affect millions of Londoners in literally 3 years time. This is basically the government forcing newer cars down our throats without us having much choice of doing anything else.....If there was a realistic "additional tax" for driving less efficient cars, then I would possibly pay an X amount of money per year to keep my old BMW, but 12 quid a day is essentially saying "buy a newer car or take a bus/cycle/walk". Simply look out of your window and tell how many cars do you see that will comply with ULEZ standards from 2021? From where I'm sitting at least 50% of the cars will have to go, because while they might be perfectly usable cars today, but because of these idiotic regulations, people would have to sell/scrap them as paying the daily charge won't be a viable option.
  11. Blackman

    ULEZ Expansion Plans for 2021

    I will need to do a bit more research and dig up some factual numbers, but I've read that most of the transport pollution in London doesn't actually come from light vehicles, but the majority is from HGVs, buses and coaches. TFL can regulate those forms of transport as much as they like, but the fact that I'll have to pay 12 quid every time I want to drive my car even on the outskirts of London is non-sense.
  12. Blackman

    ULEZ Expansion Plans for 2021

    Serious? And even if I did, it's not as simple as sticking an LPG kit on the car and off you go. The TFL's database uses manufacturer supplied data to establish certain vehicle's emissions and then tells you, if you have to pay the charge or not. So even if I was to put an LPG on my E34, which would frankly be a joke to do it anyway, I'm assuming the car would have to go through various checks to determine the CURRENT emission figures and only then be given an exemption. I doubt there are such facilities in place as of today and I don't think this will be a popular option anyway - most people will simply flock to newer cars. And those of you outside of London who think this won't affect you, think again.....Give it a few years and such zones will become a common place in all major cities in the UK.
  13. Full info on ULEZ can be found here > https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/ultra-low-emission-zone I'm not sure why this is not already being discussed here, because essentially if you live in London, then you can forget about driving your E34/5 series or whatever BMW you have from 80/90's and early 2000's, unless you are willing to pay £12.50/day for driving the car in the zone. Surely this absolutely ridiculous and I can't believe these plans are actually going ahead? If this applied just to central London (starting from April 2019), then I wouldn't be bothered, because I never drive there myself due to the silly levels of traffic, so if going to central London, then I normally just use tube, but extending the zone all the way to North/South Circular roads (from October 2021) means I will no longer be able to drive my E34 without having to pay or let alone any other BMW from the same era... All amazing, great cars, which are still perfectly usable today, are going to be subject to this charge, so I'll have no choice but to buy some newish automatic, turbo-crap, because I can't imagine myself paying £12.50/day just to drive around London. There must be a petition going on somewhere against this non-sense? I have to sell my pride and joy, which I had no intention of doing so, and basically there will be no point of buying any pre 2005 car, because very few of them will be Euro 4 (petrol) and Euro 6 (diesel) emission standards compliant? What a load of bollocks...
  14. Blackman

    E34 Gearbox & Diff Oils

    Also there's an interesting post from 2008 (still applicable today) on Bimmer Forums here > https://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?958283-atf-or-mtf The discussion is about MTF vs ATF and further down you'll find an article by Mike Miller, tech editor from Roundel magazine in the US. A good read on this topic.
  15. Blackman

    E34 Gearbox & Diff Oils

    To be honest, I doubt whether you put MTF or ATF in this particular gearbox, it won't make much difference anyway, apart from possible hard shifts when cold, which is probably over-exaggerated as a "problem". I've already ordered Castrol Syntrans B 75W for the gearbox, along with 75W90 for the diff and ATF for the steering, so I'll update this thread once everything is done and report back on any differences...