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E34 520i Touring Daily Project

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A little update, put some HIDs in as the headlight performance wasn't great




Then took it to Retro Rides Gathering and saw quite a few E34's dotted around










Front sport bumper is still being painted/sorted (theres a lot of filler in it..) and today I managed to pick up a rear sport bumper to go with it. Alongside those jobs, the roof rails need taking off and painting, while the rear suspension could do with a 15-20mm drop and some more wheel offset all round :)


Also starting to get a little bored with the lack of speed from the 2.0... Could a 2.5 or maybe even a 2.8 M52 be in this cars future?..

Edited by adam73bgt

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Car looks great. ;)


I have a m50b25tu complete with all ancillaries sat on a pallet waiting to be advertised. PM me anytime if it's of interest...? I also have a BBTB to compliment it too.



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I've got a set of eibach pro springs available which give a sport type drop of 25 mm on the rear iirc. 


Still attached to shocks at the moment, Monroe on the rear and not sure about the front - pm if interested

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22 hours ago, cableguy said:

Car looks great. ;)


I have a m50b25tu complete with all ancillaries sat on a pallet waiting to be advertised. PM me anytime if it's of interest...? I also have a BBTB to compliment it too.




Thanks :) Hmmm interesting... Though I shall have to wait at least until I move to a house with a driveway before I can contemplate any engine swaps!


Is it fairly involved going from 520i to m50b25? I've been reading gearboxes and wiring/ecus are different..


9 hours ago, stevenc3828 said:

I've got a set of eibach pro springs available which give a sport type drop of 25 mm on the rear iirc. 


Still attached to shocks at the moment, Monroe on the rear and not sure about the front - pm if interested


Hmm interesting, though ideally I'm just looking for a rear pair at the moment, I might give you a shout if I can't find much though thanks :)

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Little update, seen a photo of the front bumper in primer finally so should be back with me soon




Also borrowed the use of a pressure washer to clean up the rear one a bit as it was pretty mucky! Just need to get a towing eye cover then I can get it painted






Trying to do the mods one thing at a time, but failing :P Seen a breaking 525i on ebay which I'm tempted to go and strip the AC system out of to try and retrofit in mine, if I can get the bits cheap though which is the key..

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Quick update, last time I was eyeing up a 525i which was up for breaking with a view to nicking its AC system. After checking the engine bay of my car and seeing that there were unused plugs in the appropriate locations for AC, I took a trip down to Bicester to nab the AC bits


Some of it was a bit of a struggle (the compressor bracket being held onto the block with 6 bolts was interesting, particularly the 2 bolts which hide behind the trigger wheel...) but I got most of what I needed




At some point in the future I'll take the car off the road for a couple days and do the swap, I'll also renew the rubber hoses going to the heater. It will also be a good time to take the opportunity to change out the wiper mech for a re-bushed unit and to look into replacing the dash with a black one


That last point is because I want to eventually change the whole interior to black as I'm not a fan of light grey as it is currently. To this end, I may have made a bit of an impulse ebay purchase this evening...




Jumping the gun a little bit but these Black Sport seats are in great condition and came up for a very reasonable price indeed, coupled with the fact they were only down the road in Birmingham and I had to make them mine :D


Been spending a bit on the car lately so hopefully should be seeing some cool things happening soon..

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Been a bit awkward to use the forum lately with the speed issues but I'll try and get a quick update up :)


So I bought some staggered flat stars off @540v8 as the 8's on the rear of my car were looking a bit weak!




I then got these refurbed and powdercoated to match the ones on my car




And got some tyres on the 9's





Haven't been fitted just yet due to me being partway through moving house! (Where the touring is doing the vast majority of load lugging of course ;)


Took a trip up to Newcastle this weekend just gone to watch the football with some mates and took the opportunity to drop in on @cableguy and get a black leather touring rear seat




Which I was worried was going to take me a while to find! So glad to have this one :) Just got the 1001 other black interior bits to get now but at least I've got the seating sorted


Yesterday I picked up my rear bumper from the bodyshop




Which I'll be fitting once the dust has settled a bit from the house move, just realised that I may need to modify it a bit if I'm going to keep the parking sensors on my car at the moment


Hopefully my next update should see some bits actually getting fitted to the car :D


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Time for a bit of an update..


I changed the 8" rears for the 9" Style 16's I'd had refurbed






Which is a bit improvement in the looks department in my eyes :)


I did also make some other purchases.. Firstly a 525i Auto Touring rear end which will go in storage for if/when I decide I need something a bit quicker than the 2.0 ;)




While I was there, I also bought a set of BBS RT's or Style 19's as they were up for a good price and as much as I like the simplicity of the Style 16's, I am a sucker for dish and split rims :D




I then swapped the Sport bumpers onto the car. This took a bit of work on the front bumper as I had to dremel off the bumper supports and transfer them to the new bumper. Luckily the rear bumper was complete so I didn't have to faff around with this








I also got the rear sport bumper on as it got dark, so heres a pic from the work car park




I'm really happy with the look overall, got a few bits to tweak but it'll be all good soon. Black interior and AC swap are the next big jobs looming on the horizon.


Its also ticked over 130k miles, so I may treat it to an oil service :P

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After thinking my wallet would get a brief respite after the sport bumpers swap, it was suddenly thrust into action again as I found an ideal way to complete my black interior swap :P


I had the Front and Rear seats sorted but it had dawned on me that there were so many other little bits of trim to get that it was going to take a looong time to complete the swap


Then of course while doing a little Gumtree browsing, a solution appeared in the form of a 525tds with a full black leather interior, it was a bit rough but cheap enough to make financial sense (to me at least!)


So I hopped on a train and went to get it






It very nearly left me stranded on the way back as it has the common issue with the O ring on the lift pump but thankfully it started to have issues near a fuel station, so a full tank of diesel saw it running fine again. On taking the interior out, I did spot a replacement O ring in an envelope, so I'll have a go at sorting that


I've made a start on getting the interior out of it




Plan is to take the black interior out of it, clean it up. Take the grey interior out of the 520i, clean it up. Then put the grey interior in the diesel and sell it on, put the black interior in the 520i with the Sports seats and sell the extra rear black bench I'll have as well as the black comfort seats.


Fair bit of effort required and theres a couple of black interior bits I still need to source but I should end up with the spec of car I've always wanted :P I had hoped to do the AC heater matrix swap at this point as well.. but with needing to use the car to get to work, I'm not sure its going to be possible just yet


More updates to come soon!

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Must keep this up to date!


Since last time, I made more progress with the interior swap, getting all the bits out of the diesel while keeping the 520i usable as its currently my only driveable car!


I had a slight setback involving a screw and my front left tyre..




Which thankfully was reapairable :D


I soon had the front carpet and the dash out of the diesel, I've cut the front carpet into two halves to make it easier to handle, theres not aesthetic impact as its all hidden under the centre console/dashboard






Then over the last week I've been building the black interior up in the 520i








Before I fitted the door cards, I had to make a couple of slight repairs to the drivers side rear door card as the top rail covering was starting to come away. It looked as though it had been glued before so I cut the old glue out and used a hot glue gun to hold it all together










So that was the rear half of the interior in place. Then I had a bit of a headache with wiring and in particular airbags!


The 520i was a dual airbag car where the diesel was a single airbag. Removing the single airbag wiring loom and module from the diesel car was easy enough




And I've put this in place on the 520i (though its not plugged in yet). Removing the dual airbag wiring from the 520i has proved a bit more of a challenge, I've pulled the wires for the airbags themselves back through to under the rear seat which was easy enough. The difference is though that the dual airbag loom doesn't seem to have a plug under the rear seat for connecting to the power and, I guess, sensors. The wires run off into the main loom where I'm scared of cutting anything...


So I think the diesel will be getting sold as having inoperable airbags (the car isn't worth much so the effort wouldn't really be paid back) and the 520i currently doesn't have a working airbag either.


I might look to hook it up properly in the future but for now I'm not too bothered, it would be a bit 50/50 in any case to expect a 21 year old airbag to go off in a crash anyway.


The next headache after that was dashboards and the associated looms. The diesel car is an auto and the 520i manual, so there were some differences in the loom which meant they had to be swapped.


After realising how you get the screen ducting off the dash itself, it was a fairly straightforward job to swap the looms, made slightly more tricky by the sheer amount of NVH padding BMW stuck under there! :P












With the dash sorted and ready to go, I cracked on with fitting the black interior to the 520i over a weekend. Started with carpets and lower trims, then put the dash top on, lower dash and centre console finishing with the steering wheel and front seats










(Comfort seats are in there temporarily until I can get the sports seats 'unmodified' back to E34 fitment in the new year)


Gaiters are arriving this week for me to swap, and I do need to do the tailgate trim still with tool kit (I'd been putting it off as the one in the diesel is a bit damaged!)


Overall I'm really pleased with how its come out, I much prefer the black interior over the grey so I'm really happy. I just need to fit the grey interior to the diesel now and I can get that sold and reclaim the space on my driveway :P



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Just read the whole of this. Top work ! I personally approve the period correct dealer number plates, it's something I've always wanted to do. Apart from the lights choice everything else is spot on, keep it going ;)

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On 12/18/2016 at 10:54 PM, Mazz said:

Just read the whole of this. Top work ! I personally approve the period correct dealer number plates, it's something I've always wanted to do. Apart from the lights choice everything else is spot on, keep it going ;)


Thanks! I've just been driving it mostly lately but there is still a small list of jobs that need doing..


Been gathering up bits for a cruise control retrofit as well as the AC :D


The most pressing issues are I need to get the ICV off to clean it out and I need to diagnose the shaking from the front axle around 60mph, I've done the thrust arms but its still there!

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21 hours ago, welshpug said:

done the other arms?


These ones? http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/191083673609?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT


I haven't yet as I've been in a few different minds over how to tackle the issue, either I take the car to the garage for them to have a look and see whats loose and replace as necessary (in axle pairs), or I just go and change everything. From the idler arm, centre link and track rods, to those suspension arms and drop links



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thats the ones yeah, I had a wobble that went away when I did the RH tca, came back a few months later and it was both left arms!


recently had a bit of play but not a wobble, in the nearside track rod, still got a bit somewhere!  but no wobble.


its easy enough to figure out which one, its just a faff that there's 12 balljoints on the front!

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Update time


Gone for the carpet bomb approach with the front suspension/steering and am hoping this little lot will cure my shimmy issues for good!




I've also sold the TDS finally!


I did a couple of little jobs to tidy up the black interior swap such as remounting the head unit, refixing down the wood trim around the gearstick and fitting the little net pocket on the passenger side of the trans tunnel


Then I made a start on my cruise control retrofit as all the bits arrived




Made a quick start on getting the stalk mounted and wired in, thankfully my car was pre-wired for CC despite being a lowly 520i!




The bit I've been having trouble with is fitting the actuator under the bonnet, the one I've got came with a bracket on it for an M30 application where my car is an M50 so I've had to make up a bit of plate to make it work


This was my first attempt




Looked good until I tried to close the bonnet haha


I've made a start on a Mk2 bracket, which goes right up close to the airbox and will copy the layout of the proper M50 mount




Also I got the Sports seats fitted in the front :D




Which I am currently loving!


Next jobs are: Book it in at the garage to have the front suspension bits sorted, finish the cruise retrofit, do an oil and filter change, and 'persuade' the BBS RT's to split :P

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Quick update from last time, I've now mounted the cruise control actuator




cable all hooked up, plugged in, took it for a test drive and... no cruise. I think I need to revisit the clutch switch again, I've not put one in as I couldn't see where it would go but it seems as though the system may need it.


I also bought a K&N filter and put a couple holes in the airbox lid, purely in the name of having some more induction noise and totally reversible by buying a new airbox lid if I ever want to put it back.


Last and certainly not least, I got the other front suspension arms fitted along with all the steering linkages. Got the car tracked, went for a drive and while its certainly improved, the damn shimmy is still there! Not entirely sure what else to look for at this stage now :/

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Been a while since I updated this so whats been going on?


Cruise control now works! the clutch switch is temporarily bypassed by means of a jumper wire in the plug. The switch bracket I currently have doesn't work with the holes in the pedal box, however after looking on realoem again I saw a different part number for the bracket switch so I've taken a punt on there being different versions and hopefully this will sort my issue


I got a load cover..




Had to fix the handle on it though as the lower half was broken


While I was in the boot I also fitted a slightly less knackered interior trim, the bonus being that the replacement one doesn't have all the toolkit hinges broken :)


I also had the backbox removed recently and replaced with a pipe. There were a few reasons for doing this; firstly the back box was touching the rear wheel (turned out to be a destroyed rubber hanger), secondly I wanted a bit more of that classic BMW 6 cylinder noise, and thirdly, the big cutout in the sport bumper looked silly with the little single exit so now I have this




Looks and sounds good, and doesn't boom at speed which is nice


Aside from that I've been using it really, just clicked over 139k miles today and when I get a free weekend I will do the oil service on it!


My main gripe at the moment is still with the steering, its just not right. Still shimmys at 65ish, and now has a loud squeak/creak at low speeds :/ May start a separate technical thread on that though as its doing my nut in!


Oh also, BBS wheels are still being worked on occasionally, the 2 piece splits don't feel much like splitting!

Edited by adam73bgt

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Quite overdue an update on this!


Mostly not much has changed, I've been using it daily and did an oil and filter change the other week as it was overdue.


The shimmy is back at 55-60mph, some days worse than others, need to find a good local garage that know BMWs to diagnose and sort it properly as its becoming very tiresome


I've decided I'm going to farm out the BBS wheel work as I just won't get the time to do it myself, so I'm in the process of getting quotes for that, it won't be cheap but hopefully the end result will be worth it!


The biggest purchase/news I've had recently though is this..






A 525i Sport with manual box!


I'd been having on and off thoughts about engine swaps as I try to consolidate my sporty daily (the RX7) and practical daily (the touring) into one car for the sake of getting more work done on my MGB


The Sport came up for sale at a cheap price, I chucked in a couple of cheeky offers and ended up getting a train to go pick it up yesterday


I know it may seem a little religious to some to break a Sport to modify a 520i touring, but the Sport would need more money spending on it than its worth as the bodywork is shot. I may still sell the rolling chassis once I'm done with it so theres a slim chance someone may still have a use for it once I've had the bits I need.


But anyway, engine and driveline will be coming out and getting a freshen up before going in the touring. I'm currently musing over whether to stroke it to 2.8 or 3.0 while I'm at it. Maybe even with a view to some boost in the future...


There's also a load of other little Sport bits that I'll nab for mine, stuff like the wood trim etc.


I still need to get my RX7 off the drive so I can move the Sport on but I'm excited to get started! :D

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Nice! If the shell is rotten on the sport, break it. All least you'll have a nice tourer out of it!.

As regards to the stroker idea, sounds great but it all depends on how much time, space, money and effort you want to put into it. Dropping the engine into tourer shouldn't be too difficult and could potential be done in less than a weekend. If you want a stroker build and a full overhaul, the car is obviously going to be off the road for far longer.......

I would say if you don't mind having the car off the road for a little while, then go for it!! A m50b28 or m50b30 powered E34 Touring would make an amazing machine! :D

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Yeah thats true, while I've got the engine out I'll likely clean it up a bit anyway and I'll have the use of another car, so it almost feels like a kind of 'might as well' job to get that little extra capacity while I'm at it aha


The other thing I'm still not 100% clear on is how the wiring is going to work, I think there'll be a lot of going back and forth between the two cars to see where they differ and where they're the same so I'm not spending hours splicing and cutting wires!

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Any remaining guilt about breaking the sport is gone now that I've taken the skirts off, its rotten on both sides!




I've been taking bits off, mostly stuff to sell so far so I can start to recoup some funds, but these are the first bits I'll be earmarking to go in the touring




Full set of sports wood trim, the gearshift surround needs a bit of work though as it looks like someone has sanded it in the past, and its got a phone holder stuck to it currently :/

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I am terrible at keeping this up to date!


Right whats been happening with the 520i?


Well the Sports wood trim has mostly been fitted now, just got the gear stick surround and the little square that goes on the centre console then its all swapped over. I've also put some of the black interior bits like the sunvisors and overhead handles in as it means I can get rid of the grey stuff and get some space back in the house!


I will eventually be recovering the headlining in black material (maybe alcantara?) so it will be like a Sport Touring. I've also got to cut out the holes for the sunvisor lights and nick the loom for them from the 525i. The auto dim rear view mirror wiring is also part of this loom, although I'm still not 100% sure mine is an auto dim but the wiring plugs match up so I guess I'll see what happens when I plug it in :P


Aside from the interior, I gave the roof bars a quick test fitting




The ends need painting but they fit nicely, just need to get a roof box or try out the bike carriers I've got and it will be super practical!


I got my BBS RT/Style 19's refurbed, this was a right old saga with the refurb place not being able to get the plastic centre caps painted satisfactorily and having issues with paint matching.. In the end they've worked out ok but it was more stressful than I would have liked! But the outcome was pretty good
















They'll not be on for long as the winter salt will be out soon. I'm currently trying to source some donor wheels to go on the 525i shell I have so I can take the 15" BBS off that to paint up as winter wheels.. Should be sorted soon


I also noticed this on the front wing while cleaning..






I've been dragging my heels badly on the 525i, got preoccupied with getting my RX7 back on the road and attempting to sell it to raise funds for BMW mods :D


But I've sort of got a plan of action now, I'm going to push to get the remaining bits I need out of the 525i, and get rid of the shell. I'll then be able to get the 520i on the driveway and can start removing bits that need replacing (rear subframe, driveline, HVAC system etc.)


In parallel, I'm planning to give the M50b25 a bit of a refresh, including M54b30 internals, M54 intake cam and a Non Vanos b25 intake cam for the exhaust. I've also been reading around this site https://hydemotorworks.com/supercharger-setups/ and getting ideas about Eaton M90's....


I'm also going to drag my spare 525i rear subframe out of the garage and begin rebuilding it with the LSD and new bushes and a bit of paint etc.


I'm also in two minds about brake upgrades, 540i brakes seem to be thin on the ground these days so I might just stick with good pads and discs and the standard calipers.. not sure yet


Anyway, lots of plans, just need to put them into action!


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