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'94 540i Touring 6spd - The Money Pit!

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A couple of pointless little fixes in the past weeks.


First, I replaced the intake manifold mounting spacers; I somehow lost the originals while cleaning the manifold at work and only realized it months later when I was slapping it back on the engine. I ended up using regular washers underneath the nuts just to fire the engine up but later on I managed to order a genuine set from Cotswolds at a great price, like half of what it would have costed on eBay, go genuine!




All then properly torqued, happy intake.






I then put my attention to the cam covers, they looked pretty miserable after years of service and oil leaks, time to restore them








I went for a dark grey wrinkle finish. I thought it was going to be way lighter than what it actually is, kinda like the original color, but I'm glad it's darker, unusual but still very subtle imho.


I discovered halfway in the process of sandblasting the cam covers that the f*****g things are magnesium! Pain in the ass to strip down even using an aquablaster (can't imagine how hard could be without one), also weird material to paint on, I had to lay a thick layer of enamel primer to cover all the pitting and little caves on the surface, a real challenge. I'm usually pretty good at painting cam covers in wrinkle but each color has his own reaction times and look. This is a very light wrinkle, usually it's thicker than that, but I'm used to black and red.


After all this the car fired up after two months and runs good. I think I have to have a look at all the exhaust manifolds nuts to make sure they're all right, I can hear a slight blow at idle.


I have a new drive belt tensioner to put in next, then swap the sunroof, still a long way..



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This must have been a looong and "empty year" for the old barge.

After all that work, she was put away in a garage and only came out last week for a cheeky run round the block to make sure nothing was seized. (and she clocked 145k miles a few minutes after that..)

i purchased a little run around to have fun with, and I'm trying my best to get a little more out of each payslip, so that I can finalize the work on this car, and finally drive it.

I'm worried that the engine may have some compression issues, as It still struggled to fire up when warm. if that will be the case, I don't know what my next move could me. i'm not getting rid of her, I said it !


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Hi @Piper the car is still in the same garage pictured above, and I'm still using the Clio that in the meantime has been totally converted to Cup suspension and drove almost 20k miles in a year ! That would be impossible in the BMW, with the money I earn atm.

Funny enough, I'm phoning different insurance companies today to find out how much could cost me to put the BM back on the road.

Still needs the sills welded and outer panel replacing, and I'm halfway through repainting the replacement double sunroof cassette that was white. The exhaust also has to be put right but that's a couple of hours welding and should be done.

I put two continentals at the back to ditch the useless nankangs, and professionally cleaned and balanced the fuel injectors.

She does get started every few weeks, but really she's just been sleeping.

Not to go anywhere though, this is my car, and still my favorite.






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Seeing you are in London, you better put it back on the road sooner rather than later, with ULEZ coming to all London in 2021, we don't have much time left to drive these cars, unfortunately...

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The low emission zone hopefully won't be a problem. I'm looking to buy a house somewhere in surrey and definitely not interested in sharing the road space with the black cabs and ubers of central London.

ive called many insurance providers, best quote was Lancaster in the high 700s, or admiral on a multi cover with my Clio. Still stupid money.

before all this I need to sort the body out. Any body shops you'd recommend..?

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