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1993 BMW E34 525i SE Manual Diamantschwarz Metallic Saloon

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Hey everyone,


Decided to start a project thread for my E34 525i, as I've learned a lot from this and other forums before I actually bought the car and while working on it, so I thought sharing my ownership experience will help others to know what to expect from this car and make it easier to get the right parts, know what's involved in the jobs, etc.


Having previously owned an E30 325i for over 3 years, one thing I learned about old BMWs is that if you get one with more or less rust-free bodywork, then all the rest of the car, i.e. engine/brakes/suspension can be pretty easily sorted, assuming you haven't bought a completely thrashed example. The reason why I sold my E30 was simply rust - it was everywhere you could imagine - sills, jacking points, front/rear arches, rear panel, front panel and even the roof (it was a sunroof model). To make it 100% right, it would have to be a complete restoration...


As much as I love old BMWs, I didn't really want to go through the same things over again with an E34, so I spent literally 1 year looking for one...It had to be a manual, it had to be a 525i and most importantly it had to be in a reasonable condition bodywork-wise. Based on what I've seen and read, E34s rust very similar to other BMWs from the same era, so watch out for rusty jacking points and generally sills, especially on models that had side skirts fitted, then front and rear arches can be bad too (although the front wings can be replaced easily), then the boot lid is quite common to rust on E34s (around the number plate lights and around the edge that meets the rear panel), the bottoms of the doors, where you've got mouldings fitted, around the fuel flap area, and if you are looking at a sunroof model, then you have to be even more careful as the cassettes can be a bit rusty, although roof rust on E34s doesn't seem as common as on E30s.


Clearly, the list of possible rust spots is quite extensive, so as I mentioned earlier, when you are looking for an E34, you are looking at bodywork first and all the rest of it second. Engine-wise, it had to be at least a 6 cylinder model for me, because anything less in my opinion, is a bit too slow...525i is a great choice for everything, including performance, economy and maintenance. I've seen a few 540i for sale, but I wanted a manual, so knowing how rare they are in the UK, the prices were unrealistic for me and to be honest, the ones I've seen weren't in the best conditions either.


Long story short, just when I was about to give up my search for a decent E34, as I also kept an eye for a more modern E90 330i (no rust, less hassle overall), one unbelievably clean 525i came up for sale and I knew I had to go for it, because otherwise I was simply going to buy an E90, since I was seriously tired of searching.


It's a 1993 saloon, pre-facelift model in diamantschwarz metallic with a M50B25TU engine and a manual gearbox. Yes, it does have a sunroof, but after removing the door seals to check the roof, it looks all clean there, although the sunroof cassette does have a few chips on it, they don't bother me at all. The rear jacking points are clean, the fronts are slightly rusty, the rear arches are bubbling a bit on the lower edges, the boot lid is ok, some rust on the bottom of the driver's door and underneath it's pretty clean as well. Grey cloth interior, no A/C (thank god), a sagging headliner and worn wiper linkage - overall, it's still a museum example compared to the E30 that I had...


The car did come with a lot of original paperwork, previous MOTs and service history, but I'm a big fan of preventative maintenance and doing things myself, because I like when my cars are 100% mechanically perfect. After scouring the BMW forums all over the Internet, I started making up the list of required parts...


Starting with the basic things first, I bought Shell Helix HX7 10W40 engine oil with Mann oil filter, Mann air filter and Valvoline engine flush. Also bought a Gold Plug magnetic sump plug - not sure if they are worth it, but otherwise I would advise getting a new genuine BMW plug and washer.


Then moving onto other things as below:


Bosch fuel filter - part number: 0 450 905 030

Bosch spark plugs (x6) - part number: 0 242 235 668 (25k miles replacement interval)

Bosch Super Plus wiper blades - I initially bought more modern aero wipers, but when it came to fitting them, I didn't realise that E34s had a "reverse hook" wiper on the driver's side. There are various modifications you can do to fit whatever wipers you like, but I decided to stick to OEM and just bought E34-specific regular wipers from ECP with correct fitment.


Dayco fan belt (6PK x 1558) - didn't go for a BMW belt, because it was about 40 quid from a dealer, while Dayco was just a tenner from ECP, and Dayco is a quality OEM parts manufacturer anyway, so no problems here.


Now an important thing to know about M50 engines is that some of them came with a mechanical tensioner and some with hydraulic one. Done a lot of reading on this and the common recommendation is to replace the mechanical tensioner with a hydraulic one. Luckily INA and other parts manufacturers sell ready kits for doing this, so what I've done is bought a hydraulic tensioner kit and also the free-spinning roller for the alternator.


INA hydraulic tensioner kit - part number: 533 0097 10

INA roller - part number: 532 0418 10


Keep in mind, if you have A/C fitted, then you'll also need to buy the A/C belt as well as the tensioner kit for the A/C.


Moving onto the cooling side of things - my radiator was swollen on the top for some reason, so I definitely needed a replacement radiator. BMW advised the radiator and the bottle were sold separately and they quoted around £300 for everything, while I was looking at 100 quid tops for a complete rad/bottle online from various reputable makes.


Make sure you check properly which radiator you have, because A/C and non A/C models have different size rads (520mm) and automatic cars have different rads as well.


After measuring mine, I started looking for the most basic 440mm radiator for manual cars - BMW part number: 17 11 1 712 982


There's a quite large choice of various makes for radiators, but I wanted to stay on the OEM side as much possible, however since the BMW rad was way too pricy, I decided that BEHR/Hella would be a great alternative, since they are a well-known OEM parts manufacturer.


I ordered my radiator from http://www.sparepartstore24.co.uk/ and it came from Germany, as it was not available anywhere in the UK.


Here's the part number for my BEHR/Hella 440mm radiator: 8MK 376 717-461


It was a 100% perfect fit, the only issue we had with it, is that it didn't come with a hole for a coolant level sensor, however you can easily modify it, making a hole where the sensor goes, because otherwise it all fits excellent. I paid just under £100 for it, including delivery, so very happy with it.


Then I also bought the fan clutch made by Borg Warner/BEHR/BERU.


BEHR fan clutch - part number: 8MV 376 732-231

Sachs fan clutch - part number: 2100 012 131


All are OEM makes, so go for whatever you can find. ECP shows BERU on their website, but the box came labelled Borg Warner, so I'm fine with that.


The water pump was about £130 genuine from BMW, which I thought was a bit too much, since I managed to get a HEPU one from ECP for less than £50 and again, HEPU are a decent German brand.


HEPU water pump (comes with a gasket) - part number: P472


For the thermostat, first I went with Circoli, but after reading some horror stories about them online, I decided to go genuine BMW and paid £50 for a thermostat and a gasket from BMW. You can either buy a 88 degrees thermostat or 92 one from BMW and all they advise is to check what you already have fitted before you order, which seems a bit silly to me, because these cars are over 20 years old and you don't know whether the stat fitted in the past was the correct spec or not? To be honest, I doubt there will be any catastrophic difference if you go for either of them.


Anyway, I decided to go for the 92 degrees thermostat, so the BMW part number you'll need is: 11 53 7 511 083. The gasket comes separate (part no: 11 53 1 265 084) and also make sure to get the thermostat housing gasket - part number: 11 53 1 740 437.


I wasn't too fussed about getting specific anti-freeze, so I just went with basic blue 2-year Triple QX anti-freeze that ECP sells and got 5 litres ready mixed for about 8 quid. Also bought some Wynn's white grease to lubricate the door, bonnet and boot lid hinges + locks.


To break up the big pile of text above, here's a picture for you to show what it all looked like:





And here's the difference between a genuine BMW thermostat and a Circoli one. What I didn't know is that the one made by BMW is actually a Wahler thermostat and you could get the exact same thermostat from eBay for about £30, but obviously it won't have no BMW logo or part number on it, although it will be the same part. Goes to show how dealers make their money on parts.




I also bought a few parts from BMW directly, because I thought the price was sensible and also some things are better when they are genuine BMW.


It looked like that my valve cover gasket was leaking a bit of oil, so we decided it would be a good idea to replace it, so here's what I got.


BMW valve cover gasket kit - part number: 11 12 0 034 107 (keep in mind this is for vehicles fitted with VANOS, so if yours is the older engine, then the part number will be different)

BMW valve cover rubber washer seals - part number: 11 12 1 437 395 (you'll need 15 of these)


I also bought a genuine engine oil cap (says BMW recommends Castrol on it) - part number: 11 12 7 509 328


And a BMW cap for the radiator as well - part number: 17 11 7 639 022


A common issue with E34 bonnets is that they don't "shoot out" properly, when you pull the bonnet release handle. The usual cause of this are tired bonnet shocks, so I bought a pair from BMW, which cured this problem.


BMW bonnet struts (not sided and you'll need 2) - part number: 51 23 1 944 119


They do come with the mounting clips for both ends, so there's no need to buy them separately, although I didn't know that and bought them as well. The shocks are about £30 each, so I guess not too bad, considering you change them once in 20 years.


And the finishing touch was the BMW boot lid badge that I bought along with the grommets, as mine was fading away and I wanted to replace it. As far as I know, it applies to the bonnet as well.


BMW boot lid badge - part number: 51 14 8 132 375


There are two types of grommets you can order and I'm not sure what's difference, however I had black rubber type fitted on mine:


Black badge grommets (2 required) - part number: 51 14 1 807 495 

White badge grommets (2 required) - part number: 51 14 1 852 899


And here's a pic of the BMW bits:




And that's it. You can see it's quite a lot of parts that I bought and to be honest you don't necessarily HAVE to go this crazy when servicing your E34, but as I mentioned in the beginning of this thread - I like when everything is 100% perfect with my cars, so I prefer to do it once and do it right.


This post is getting a bit too long, so I'll finish the story here and I'll update the thread a bit later with a few pictures of how we actually replaced all of the above and then my plans for the next service work on my E34. I want to make this car drive, handle and feel exactly the same as it left the factory, so let's see if I can manage to do it. Thanks for following and any tips/advice much appreciated.

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And here are a few photos that I took while we carried out the repairs for all of the above, described in the original post.


First of all, we figured it would be a lot easier to work on the front of the car with the bonnet taken off, so we decided to get rid of it while doing all the work.




Here you can see the new radiator next to the old one. Notice how the old one has a kink on the top of it and you really don't want to know how bad the old anti-freeze smelled - no idea when it was changed last time, but the car wasn't overheating...




See the state of the thermostat housing here...Of course, there's nothing wrong with using a bit of RTV for sealing, but I think someone went a bit crazy with it in this case... The water pump had a bit of play in it, but nothing too serious. Couldn't figure out what make was it, as it was just plain with no stamps or markings. The thermostat was most likely Circoli and it was stamped as 88 degrees, although we replaced it with a genuine BMW 92 degrees one - so far no probs and I'm sure there isn't a huge difference between the temps anyway.




When you take off the water pump and the thermostat housing, it's important to clean up the surfaces on the engine from any old residue before re-attaching the new parts.




After a good cleaning session on the thermostat housing, here's what it looked like. A wire brush and a drill makes this process quick and easy.




It turned out that I had a genuine BMW hydraulic tensioner fitted on my car, but regardless which one you have, it's advisable to get a complete hydraulic tensioner kit, because it comes with a new roller, ready-assembled tensioner and all the hardware with bolts, washers, covers, etc - you can't go wrong with that.




Moving up onto the head, took off the valve cover gasket and it was pretty tidy there. A bit of oil was leaking from one of the spark plug gaskets, but nothing major.




The cover itself wasn't too dirty on the inside, but we cleaned it properly and also got rid off all the existing gasket, which dried up on it.




The spark plugs fitted on the car were made by NGK and they were in pretty reasonable condition. However, if you have just bought the car and have no idea when the plugs were changed last time, then it's well worth replacing them, especially while you are changing the valve cover gaskets.




New water pump in along with the thermostat, replaced the tensioner + the roller and put the new fan belt on.




The fan clutch that was fitted on the car was genuine BMW, but notice the BEHR logo on it as well. I checked the part number on it (11 52 1 706 619) and it came up as discontinued on RealOEM, which means that this could've been the original one fitted on the car from factory...Impressive.




Fitted the new radiator in place, make sure to swap over the top and bottom radiator gaskets and also you've got rubber grommets for the top radiator mounting brackets, so take them off the old radiator and re-fit on the new one. I've read somewhere that only blue anti-freeze should be used on older BMW engines, so that's what I got.




After we finished with the radiator and the other things, we drained the oil and changed the oil filter. Make sure that the oil filter comes with 2 o-rings and 2 washers - the big o-ring is for the oil filter housing cap, the smaller one and one washer is for the bolt that secures it and Mann oil filter also comes with a sump plug washer, but I didn't need it, as the Gold sump plug came with one. The M50B25 takes 5.8 litres of oil, so if you are buying Shell, then you'll need to get a 5 litre can + 1 litre. A dry sump is what I like to see.




Here are the knackered bonnet struts - 23 years old, to be precise. They still worked, but you had to pull the bonnet from the front of the car before raising it, because the shocks wouldn't push it out properly. Also the bonnet wouldn't stay in place sometimes, so it's well worth replacing them. I recommend buying genuine BMW ones, as they are built to last.




And the last photo, the M50 in all its glory. 




The first main service out of the way, I decided to move onto the brakes, because the handbrake shoes are knackered on mine, especially on the driver's side. On top of that, I quite often get a squeaking noise when braking and after checking out the brakes properly, the decision was to go for new discs and pads all around. While I'm there, I also want to get the brake pipes done front + rear, change the brake fluid and also fit new front wheel bearings. Another thing we noticed when the car was on the ramp is that the fuel lines at the back were starting to crack, so going to get a few metres of fuel hose from BMW and get all that done as well.


As usual, will take a few pics when I get all the parts, provide all the numbers and then hopefully start the work in January 2017.


Merry Christmas everyone and Happy New Year 2017! :) 

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Getting ready to do brake disc/pads all around, including front wheel bearings and handbrake shoes + hopefully all brake hoses and want to renew brake fluid as well. Bought some fuel hose from BMW and few other bits and bobs, so let's get started.


Decided to go for Brembo for brake discs/pads, however for some reason EuroCarParts didn't do front discs and I struggled to find any supplier in the UK who did them. In the end ordered Brembo front discs only from Germany using the same company, where I got my radiator from. Highly recommended site >>> http://www.sparepartstore24.co.uk/


The part number for Brembo front discs is: 09.5142.24

The rear discs is: 08.5174.34


They come with the securing bolts, but I didn't know that, so I ordered the bolts from BMW as well.


BMW front brake disc bolt (x2 required) = 34 21 1 161 806

BMW rear brake disc bolt (x2 required) = 34 11 1 123 072


Luckily, ECP had Brembo front and rear pads in stock, so had no trouble getting them:


Brembo front brake padsP 06 012

Brembo rear brake padsP 06 011


You will also need the brake pad sensors - one for the front and one for the rear. I got them from Pagid, part number is the same for both: P8002


Decided to renew the clips that hold the pads against the caliper as well, Pagid again: fronts are K0030 (x2) and the rear K0031 (x2)


For the wheel bearings, I went with FAG, who is an OEM supplier to many manufacturers, so no issues with the quality there.


FAG front wheel bearing part number: 713 6671 80

It also comes with the nut that secures the hub to the knuckle.


This is what it all looked like:





Also bought Pagid brake hoses all around, including inner/outer rear ones, so here's all the info you'll need to make sure you get the right parts.


Pagid front brake hose (x2) - 70306

Pagid rear outer brake hose (x2) - 70017

Pagid rear inner brake hose (x2) - 70018





Went a bit crazy with the BMW order, as I decided to get genuine BMW handbrake shoes, only to realise they were £75, while you could get set of Pagids from ECP for about 25 quid. Also was quite interesting to find out that they are supplied to BMW by a company called Jurid - never heard of them before, but must be a decent brand, if BMW use them.


Handbrake shoes - part number: 34 41 6 761 294





Make sure to get all the springs and pins for the shoes as well, as they are only about £15, so well worth it. Handbrake shoes mounting kit34 41 0 304 724


Few other bits I also bought from BMW were brake caliper valves - part number: 34 11 1 153 197 (x4, same for front/rear), in case if the existing valves snap, as we try to undo them for bleeding the brakes. The new valves comes with dust caps, so that's a good thing.


Not sure if I'm going to need them, but I bought about 6 clips (34 34 1 163 565) that sit between the metal brake pipes and rubber hoses. Thought they may come handy, as the current ones could break, when we start replacing the hoses, etc.


Then I bought the 2x dust shields (31 20 6 777 788) that sit behind the hub and 2x metal caps (31 20 6 777 789) that cover the wheel bearing nuts on the front. These kind of small bits may seem unnecessary, but they always come useful when working on a car that's 20+ years old.




Moving onto the fuel side of things, the bracket that holds the fuel filter in place is quite rusty on mine, so we are going to replace it, when we renew the fuel hoses at the back.


Fuel filter bracket - part number: 16 12 1 178 632


Then you've got a rubber ring (16 12 1 178 643) that sits inside the bracket for sealing the filter against it, a bolt (07 11 9 903 995) that goes through the bracket to squeeze it and a clip (54 31 8 246 804) for securing the bolt on the other side, although I'm sure you could just use a regular hex nut there as well.


Got about x6 fuel hose clamps, as it would be a good idea to replace the existing ones, where needed - part number: 07 12 9 952 104


Finally, the most expensive purchase, 5 meters of genuine BMW fuel hose (8x13) - part number: 16 12 1 180 409


It is priced per meter and at the time of buying it, it was £22.09 + VAT for 1 meter. I thought about alternatives, but didn't want to get some cheapo hose from ECP/GSF or eBay...The best thing I came across was a brand called Cohline, which I think is a well-known, quality manufacturer of various fuel/brake products, but in the end I decided to just go OEM and be done with it. Do it once, do it right.




That's all the shopping for now. Will take a few photos while we do the work and keep you updated as we go along. After this planning to do replace the wiper linkage along with a new wiper motor + various seals, clips, etc, so let's get this finished and then I'll post all the details about the linkage bits next. Thanks for following.

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Hi, welcome to the forum and thanks for the head up about the need to replace mechanical tensioners with hydraulic.  Much appreciated.


Also a great writeup, well done.



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On 22/01/2017 at 5:52 PM, Blackman said:

Went a bit crazy with the BMW order, as I decided to get genuine BMW handbrake shoes, only to realise they were £75, while you could get set of Pagids from ECP for about 25 quid. Also was quite interesting to find out that they are supplied to BMW by a company called Jurid - never heard of them before, but must be a decent brand, if BMW use them.


Handbrake shoes - part number: 34 41 6 761 294


Jurid parts are available from c3bmw and they are £19.20  http://www.c3bmw.co.uk/StockItem.asp?categoryID=355&subcategoryID=0&productID=1864&oRef=-1&section=2&Item=unassign



Have a look at real OEM or BMW fans before you buy parts as sometimes the parts suppliers name is listed in the notes. 

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21 hours ago, stevenc3828 said:


Jurid parts are available from c3bmw and they are £19.20  http://www.c3bmw.co.uk/StockItem.asp?categoryID=355&subcategoryID=0&productID=1864&oRef=-1&section=2&Item=unassign



Have a look at real OEM or BMW fans before you buy parts as sometimes the parts suppliers name is listed in the notes. 


Thanks for the website, haven't heard of c3bmw.


Yes, I use RealOEM to find everything I need before ordering from BMW. I had no idea what make the shoes were, before I actually collected them, so couldn't do much about it. Will keep an eye on that website in the future.

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Making steady progress, all of the above parts have now been fitted and I took a few snaps while we were doing it.


We started with the handbrake shoes, because the ones on the driver's side were somehow rubbing on the brake disc cover plate, making a very unpleasant scraping noise while driving. The rear discs/pads were pretty much dead as well, so was a huge relief to replace them.


This is what it looked like with the rear brakes completely removed:





I was worried that the mounting holes for pins that hold the handbrake shoes in place could be rusty, since this was the case with my E30 and I had to replace the brake disc covers. However the backing plates on the E34 are exceptionally clean and you can see below that it all looks very presentable.






Make sure to properly clean that brake dust shield from any rust and debris before mounting the new shoes on, it makes life a lot easier. Also it takes quite a bit of trial and error to mount them in place correctly, as the rough surface of the old backing plate can scrape on the shoes, so trim/straighten the shield as required. This is where mine scraped on the shoes:




The rear discs had an ugly lip and the pads would squeak badly on braking, although the handbrake shoes weren't too bad. Couldn't figure out what make were the pads fitted by the previous owner - no visible branding on them.






Here you can see everything fitted in place and finally with all the rear braking components back on.







Moving onto the front, the wheel bearing nut is 46mm in size, so make sure you have the right socket before attempting to do this. Also I would definitely recommend getting the wheel bearing dust shields (x2), which I mentioned in my previous update - part number:  31 20 6 777 788. They will be pretty knackered by the time you'll need to replace the front wheel bearings and I really doubt you'll get them out in one piece, so better order new ones. Here's the front knuckle getting ready for the new bearing...




And the new wheel bearing in place...




My driver's side wheel bearing was in decent condition, but you could feel a slight clicking noise on the NS bearing when turning it, so sooner or later it would cause problems. See the old pile below. Both hubs came out with the inner race of the bearings stuck on the knuckle, so we had to cut those to remove.




Then the front discs and pads went on. Have to admit the front brakes had plenty of life left in them, but I thought I would do front + back all at once, so then I'll know it's all brand-new.






With the discs/pads/shoes/bearings out of the way, we moved onto the brake hoses. Starting from the front, we heated up the nipple surrounding areas on the calipers to make sure they don't snap on removal, so luckily everything came out easy.


The front brake hoses and nipples out, then new hoses in.








The inner hoses on the rear are a bit awkward to replace since there's not much room to work in there, but it's all do-able with a bit of patience.


Next, everything out from the rear, including bleeding nipples, then all the new hoses in...








After replacing all the brake hoses, we bled the brakes with Pagid DOT4 brake fluid to finish it all off.


Now moving onto the fueling side of things, we didn't actually replace the fuel filter when we did a major service few months ago, because the fuel hose going into the filter from the fuel pump looked perished with minor cracks on it. A decision was made to purchase a new hose and then replace the filter to avoid any leaking hoses while driving...


Here you can see the mounting area for the fuel filter - there's just one bolt that holds the bracket for the fuel filter:




And the new fuel filter mounted in place with a new bracket, damper ring and in/out fuel hoses replaced, including new fuel hose clamps:





Now onto other matters....Since the cold weather started in the beginning of January, I noticed that it was getting a bit difficult to lock/unlock the car using the driver's door lock. Sometimes it would lock, then immediately unlock itself, so had to lock it twice before it worked. Read about this on forums and seems like it's a quite common problem, mainly due to the door lock actuator failing. The car locked fine using the passenger side door lock and the boot lid lock as well.


Anyway, took the lock actuator out on the driver's side, played around with it, slightly re-greased the inner mechanism and put it back. It seems to be working fine now, but I've got a feeling it will start playing up again in the future. Took a picture of the part numbers for it, just in case if I have to buy a replacement later on...


This is the original part number, which has was later superseded:




And this is the current part number (67 11 8 353 012) for a front door lock actuator (they are NOT sided, the part is the same for NS/OS), which is still valid as of 2017:




I'm not going to buy one at this stage, but after doing a bit of research, I found there are cheap aftermarket actuators available for 25-30 quid, while a genuine BMW actuator is over £100. However, looking at the above pic, you can see the actuator is made by VDO, who is a OEM supplier to BMW, so what you can do is buy a VDO part, which will be exactly the same as a genuine part, except without a BMW logo on it.


VDO front door lock actuator part number: 406-208-002-003V


Found one on eBay for just under £48 or otherwise you can also order one from https://www.sparepartstore24.co.uk for pretty much the same price, although you'll have to pay for delivery as well, so better add a few things on your order to make it worthwhile, as the parts will be coming directly from Germany.


That's it for now.


I managed to source a brand-new genuine BMW/Bosch wiper linkage, so clearly the next job is going to be wiper linkage replacement. Also planning to replace the wiper motor, as well as various clips, washers, seals, etc. Going to get all the necessary bits from BMW and then will post an update as soon as I have everything. Thank you.

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Another step has been completed, being the shopping for all the necessary parts for replacing the wiper linkage along with a few other bits, so here it goes.


Obviously, the main part that was required was the wiper linkage itself. I reckoned finding a good second-hand one would probably be a waste of time, because since a knackered linkage is a very common problem on E34s, the chances are everything that is being sold online is either in dead or half-dead condition. Amazingly, you can still buy a brand-new linkage from BMW, but last time I enquired I was quoted over £600 for it - that's not a typo, 600 quid is the price.


While I was randomly browsing eBay the other day for various bits, I came across a brand-new genuine BMW wiper linkage that someone was selling for considerably less price than what you would pay at BMW, so I quickly bought it without hesitation and that's how I managed to get hold of the most important part for this job. Anyway, here's everything I've got at this stage:




Be careful when purchasing a linkage on eBay, because they are specific to LHD and RHD vehicles. 


The correct BMW part number for RHD wiper linkage is: 61 61 1 391 272. There's also a Bosch specific part number stamped on my linkage, which is: 3 398 009 286, however I can't seem to find any results in Google under the Bosch number, so possibly it has been discontinued, as looking at a date on the linkage, it was made in June, 2011.




Then I also decided since I'm going through the hassle of getting the linkage out and replacing it, it would be a good idea to replace the wiper motor as well, because if it goes bad in the future, I wouldn't want to essentially do the same job twice.


The E34 wiper motor part number is: 61 61 1 378 650. As of today, the cost is approximately £200 from a dealer. Seems like BMW is heavily outsourcing everything nowadays, as there's not even a BMW logo on it and it's made by Valeo in Hungary...See below.




Since you will be taking off those covers at the bottom of the windscreen to get to the linkage, most likely some of those clips holding the covers in place will break, so better get some spare ones just in case - E34 windscreen cover clips part number: 51 71 1 928 946. I bought about 10 myself, as they are not too pricy.


Apart from that, I also bought all kinds of bolts and nuts listed on the diagram for the wiper linkage, but I wouldn't say they are all necessary. I would advise to get the sealing rings (x2), which go in the holes where the linkage splines sit, part number: 61 61 1 374 257, but otherwise you don't need anything else.


Moving onto other things, my driver's side front door lock actuator kept playing up (as I mentioned in my previous post), so I decided to go for a new actuator and ordered a brand-new VDO actuator for the front door lock (part number: 406-208-002-003V) for about 50 quid from eBay - a genuine OEM part for a decent price, compared to £100+ from BMW.


For some reason my screenwash pump decided to die on me, so ordered that from BMW (just over £30) as well - part number: 61 66 1 377 830. And it would be a good idea to get the gasket that goes between the pump and the screenwash reservoir as well - part number: 61 66 1 365 657.


While I was there, I ordered the door seal that goes on the body for the driver's side as well, because the rubber bit on mine is torn in one section - I'll take a picture of that later on. These seals are colour-coded to the interior of your car, so make sure to get the interior code (should be a 4 number code) for your E34 from the VIN before you order anything. If you have silver-grey cloth interior like mine, then the correct front door seal part number is: 51 72 1 946 393. Also I would recommend getting the clips for the sill trim that goes on top of the seal, as those could possibly break when you remove the trim to replace the seal. The part number for the clips is: 51 47 8 234 047.




That's it for now. Will take a few snaps when we replace the linkage and the next job after this will be overhauling the front suspension/steering parts. Thanks for following and all the positive comments -  any tips/advice is appreciated.

Edited by Blackman

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Thanks everyone for following.


The wiper linkage has now been replaced, so now I can finally drive in peace when it's raining - no more wipers banging on the bonnet and the operation is smooth and quite. Took a few photos, as usual, so here they are. Work in progress:



I made a mistake in my last post about the sealing rings for the wiper linkage around the scuttle - they are actually unique, so you've got one which is completely round that goes on the driver's side of the car (part number: 61 61 1 374 257) and the other which goes in the middle has a straight edge on one side (part number: 61 61 1 384 123). Make sure you get both of these seals, because the old ones won't be re-usable. Here's what mine looked like:




As for removing the wiper linkage, here's a great thread with loads of pictures that describes how to do it > http://www.bmwforums.info/5-series-guides/483-replacing-e34-windscreen-wiper-linkage-pic-heavy.html


It is pretty straight-forward, however we had problems with fitting back the housing for the heater blower, as somehow we knocked the cable out from its position for the heating level control knob, so spent a bit of time trying to line that up with the flaps on the outer housing of the blower.


Here's the old wiper linkage next to the new one. Notice how much thicker the original is compared to the replacement - no wonder, it was made at a time when BMW didn't worry too much about cost-savings :)




Looks like it still had the original wiper motor as well with the BMW logo on the sticker along with the part number - again, what a difference compared to the replacement, which has nothing to say that it's a genuine BMW part - no logos, no part numbers (see my previous pics).




Swapped everything over, put it back into place, aligned the wipers and it's all done now! Feels so unusual driving with quite wipers, as if something's not right and there should be some sort of a bang, when they get to the bottom...The bonnet edge and one of the wiper arms still got the markings as a reminder of what they've been through in the past :D 


Then we moved onto changing the screenwash pump, which started working as soon as I ordered the replacement few weeks ago. However, decided to replace it regardless, because sooner or later it would probably go wrong anyway. To get it out, you simply remove the headlight plastic cover on the driver's side, then take off the plastic nut holding the screenwash bottle in place and then you'll be able to see the pump at the bottom of the reservoir. Here's it's already separated from the bottle, it just pulls out:




There's a rubber hose connected to it, which transfers the liquid into the jet washers on the bonnet and there's one plug for power that you'll need to disconnect. This is a good time to drain and properly clean the screenwash bottle before putting it back into place and also replace the rubber gasket (part number: 61 66 1 365 657), if you have bought it.


Here's the old pump, which was probably replaced in the past, because there was no BMW logo on it, so must be an aftermarket replacement:




We also replaced the OSF door lock actuator, as I previously mentioned, I was having problems with central locking on the driver's front door - all sorted now.


And here's the reason what I bought a new door seal for the OSF door shut. It wasn't leaking yet, but leaving it for later is asking for trouble...




That's it for now. All the small bits and pieces are done, the next thing on the plans is the front suspension - both lower arms, complete steering assembly with inner/outer track rods, front anti-roll bar links and bushes, along with new bolts and nuts everywhere. Once I have all the parts, will take a pictures for you with all the part numbers, etc. Back to work.

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Ok, so finally all the front suspension bits are now fitted, so here's a list of parts that were purchased and I took a few photos during the work as well.


Starting with the lower arms, there are 4 of them on the front for the E34, 2 on each side and in my case, since I've got a manual gearbox, according to Lemforder's parts catalogue, 2 arms are made of aluminium and 2 are steel.


Aluminium arms - BMW part number: 31 12 1 139 987 (left) and 31 12 1 139 988 (right)

Lemforder: 10497 01 (left) and 10498 01 (right)


Steel lower arms (these can be bought with or without bushes, so preferably get the ones with bushes pre-installed) - BMW part number: 31 12 1 141 097 (left) and 31 12 1 141 098 (right)

Lemforder: 27020 01 (left) and 27021 01 (right)


I would recommend buying all new hardware, i.e. bolts, nuts and washers for all the arms as well, as it would be a good idea to renew some 20 year old bolts with fresh new ones.


Then moving onto the steering side of things, I bought the steering assembly with complete track rods and the steering idler arm as well.


Steering assembly - BMW part number: 32 21 1 138 865

Lemforder: 10626 02 (this is for RHD vehicles)


Track rod (complete inner + outer) x2, there's no difference between left and right, so BMW part number for both is: 32 21 1 135 668

Lemforder: 10617 01


The steering/idler arm, whatever you want to call it, BMW part number: 32 21 1 136 450

Lemforder: 35745 01 (comes complete with the bush)


Same here, get all the new bolts and nuts, if you want to do the job properly.


And finally the front anti-roll bar links and bushes:


Front ARB links x2 - BMW part number: 31 35 1 130 075

Lemforder: 10576 02


Front ARB bushes x2 (23mm thick for a normal ARB, sport or M bushes are thicker) - BMW part number: 31 35 1 135 805

Lemforder: 13831 01 (these are no longer available from Lemforder, so you'll have to get them from a dealer, but they are reasonably priced anyway)


I also bought the brackets and securing nuts for the ARB bushes as well, since the existing ones were quite rusty.


And that's it really. This is how it all looked like:




And the nuts and bolts, all from BMW - added to about 100 quid alone, but that's including bushes and brackets.





The arms and all the steering parts were bought from various places, including EuroCarParts, SparePartStore24 and MisterAuto. My goal was to buy quality parts, but without having to pay premium just for the sake of having the BMW badge on the parts. Lemforder are an OEM supplier, so as long as you buy genuine Lemforder parts, then they are as good as what dealers would supply, but at a considerably lower price.


When I've put together everything that was needed to get the front suspension sorted, we got to work:


Old rusty, tired bits out (amazingly most of it was genuine BMW with the logos):




And new shiny bits in:









Got the wheel alignment done at the Alignment Centre in Perivale (UB6 7HQ) last week and now the car drives perfectly straight with the steering wheel right in the middle, no pulling and no knocks - nice, smooth driving.


While the car was on the ramp, I took a few photos of the rear bits, which need doing - most importantly, the rear subframe bushes. Looking at the photo, you'll notice that someone replaced them in the past, but they didn't push the bushes all the way in, so because of that I sometimes get a clunk from the rear when going over speed bumps.




So that's the main thing, which needs doing on the rear, but also the rear ARB links are tired, so probably will replace the bushes along with the pitman arms while I'm there as well....




And the centre exhaust mounts are stretching, so not a big a deal, will get them replaced too. Note to myself, NEVER to buy Febi exhaust mounts again.....Genuine BMW only.




Just as I started doing research on where to buy the parts for the rear suspension, etc, when I was going to work the other day, I noticed a small crack at the bottom of my windscreen - totally random, there was no chip there or anything to indicate that it could possibly crack. So I ignored it, thinking it will take a while until it gets worse, but about half an hour later when I got to work, I noticed it expanded and stretched further up towards the centre of the windscreen - it's not obstructing the view of the read, but I'd rather get it done now before it gets too bad.


So looks like windscreen replacement will be the next job before I do any further work on the rear suspension. Just out of interest, called BMW for the price on a genuine front windscreen, was quoted £320 inc. VAT. Those black mouldings around the windscreen are £188 each - the pricing on some BMW bits is just ridiculous. Anyway, at the moment I'm looking for a decent windscreen replacement specialist, as I want to fit a quality windscreen, manufactured by OEM suppliers, such as Pilkington, Saint Gobain or Guardian - only genuine stuff. Will get a pic of the crack some time later and possibly take a few pictures when the windscreen gets replaced as well....Totally unexpected expenditure, but what can you do? It has to be done!

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Hamish, there was no rust around the windscreen, because I'm pretty sure it was still the screen fitted from factory. From my knowledge, unless the windscreen has been poorly replaced in the past, where the fitter damaged the body surrounding the screen, they don't rust around the edges for no reason...


The good news are, I finally got mine replaced last week and the mouldings were ok to be re-used, so that saved me almost 400 quid alone.


Here's what my windscreen looked like:




Made by Sicursiv, stamped with an older BMW logo, telling me that it could very well be the original windscreen fitted from factory.




It also had the original dealer (Coombs of Guildford) supplied tax disc holder, which has obviously deteriorated over the years, but I kept it on the screen, as it was a nice touch.




On the driver's side, there was the supplying dealer info sticker, which had their emergency contact number on the back of it - again, kept it due to originality.




And this is how bad the crack was before we replaced the screen. To be honest, it wasn't in my view at all, and it would've passed MOT with no issues as well, but I just felt it wasn't right driving around with a cracked screen that was getting worse by the day, as it expanded 3 times since the initial crack appeared.




Notice how it cracked right from the bottom of the screen, where the cowling panel is - we did notice a very tiny chip in there, but the crack didn't start from it, so possibly that chip just weakened the screen around that area, especially since it's a 20+ year old screen, and it just got worse from there.


Now replacing the windscreen was a big deal for me, because I've heard way too many stories about poor jobs, where the new screens leaked or caused excessive wind noise or simply were poor quality. So I was more concerned about the person doing the job and the windscreen being fitted, rather than the overall cost. Of course, I had a budget in mind, but I really wanted to find someone with knowledge and experience, especially since not everyone knows the specifics of E34 windscreens.


I phoned around 15+ companies and got quotes anywhere from 150 to 600 pounds, but the main problem was that no one could tell me exactly what brand windscreen I would get (they kept mentioning "OEM") and I would have no idea who would turn up to do the job. By all means, I'm sure there are very bright windscreen fitters out there, but I was looking for someone with a personal approach, someone would come recommended and would be known around car enthusiasts.


The best person for the job? Paul from Glasstec! He's also on Pistonheads (Glassman) and you can check out his website here > http://www.glasstecauto.co.uk/


His blog also has tons of info about the industry and is definitely a great read, if you want to know more about vehicle glazing > http://www.glasstecpaul.com/


Paul gave me a few different options for the windscreen, some being genuine BMW and some aftermarket, and before we agreed the deal, he also found out exactly the brand of the screen I'll be getting, which was Pilkington, and quoted me £295 inc. VAT to supply and fit the aftermarket screen, which was what I went for eventually. The price also included the windscreen clips as well. Needless to say, a top guy and I would highly recommend him, if you are after a quality job.


Now moving on, here you can see the old windscreen removed, and Paul also did a favour by cleaning around the top heater vent area and the speaker covers, which are removed on this pic.




Below is the new screen getting ready to be fitted. Notice the correct way of mounting the rear view mirror. You have to separate the end bit from the mirror housing and attach it to the windscreen, along with a rubber surround, which often goes missing (it prevents mirror vibration). Then after it has dried up, you can mount the mirror on it. Again, this is something that you would have to know from experience of working on older BMWs.




A bit of marketing from Paul and more importantly, proof that he supplied and fitted the screen to avoid any issues with customers down the line.




Almost finished, just need to let it dry for a couple of hours and we are ready to go!




And the final touch from Glasstec....One thing I learned from Paul that day about Pilkington windscreens, is that depending where the "dot" is around their logo, it tells you the country where the screen was manufactured. In my case, you can see the dot is below the second "I" letter, which means it was made in China. Interesting stuff....




Overall, very happy with the result and now I've got a blue tint on top of the windscreen as well - it serves a purpose when it's sunny out there.


With the windscreen sorted, I can now concentrate on what I was planning to do next, which was the rear subframe bushes, the rear ARB links and bushes, pitman arms and the exhaust mounts. Once the shopping is done, I'll post an update and let you know about the progress. Thanks for following.

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That's some fantastic work going into that car. Good effort! I like the fact that you are going out of your way to source and fit quality parts. It will make all the difference in the long run. I saw you mentioned you had problems with the Febi Exhaust mounts... Well I too have recently had problems with Febi parts and the only solution was go directly to BMW instead. Personally, I wont touch them again because I'm pretty sure Febi are just sourcing their products from China these days...


I too had an E30 325i and sold it for mainly the same reasons you outlined- rust...:(Still kinda miss it though as it was one hell of a driving machine. Not particularly quick, more of a low end torque experience but, boy did it handle well....


Anyway, keep up the fantastic work. I'm subscribed as I think its a very interesting project thread. Great stuff! B)

Edited by boiliebasher

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boiliebasher, thanks for following. Yeah, I loved my E30 too, but I gave up on the bodywork - the rust was everywhere, including the roof, rear inner wings and not to mention the floors...Unfortunately, it had to go, otherwise to get it perfect, I would need to do a full resto.


Ok, so I finally replaced the rear subframe bushes, along with a few other things, meaning there's no more thumping/knocking noise from the rear, when going over speed bumps. Here are the parts, which were purchased for this job:


Rear subframe bushes x2 - Lemforder part number: 10640 01 (BMW part number: 33 3 11 128 670)

Rear anti-roll bar links x2 - Lemforder part number: 10671 01 (BMW part number: 33 55 1 131 131)

Rear anti-roll bar bushes x2 - BMW part number: 33 55 1 131 155 (these are the most basic, 15mm in thickness)

Rear pitman arms x2 - Lemforder part number: 10643 02 (BMW part number: 33 32 1 125 665)


Also bought the 2 rubber exhaust mounts for the middle section of the exhaust, as mine were pretty tired, so I thought it would be a good idea to replace them - BMW part number: 18 21 1 728 332. They are reasonable money too, I think something about 3-4 quid each.


Being a bit pedantic, I also bought rear anti-roll bar clamps with nuts and bolts, some rings and gaskets for the exhaust, since we had to take the rear section off, and also new subframe bolts and nuts, eventhough we ended up just re-using the old ones, as they were fine.


This is what it all looked like:










Now initially we thought that replacing the rear bushes won't be a big deal and we were planning to drill the rubbers out and cut the metal bits, bit after fiddling around and struggling with access, we decided that it would be much easier just to take the rear axle completely off and work on the floor. Mind you, this is only the case, if you have a ramp.


So the first step was to remove the rear exhaust section - there are 2 clamps holding the back box, 2 rubber mountings for the centre, and 4 bolts/nuts for the centre piece attached to the cat.




Then the anti-roll bar came off, complete with the bushes and the links:




Then after some swearing and shouting, we ended up with this:




Almost forgot to disconnect the speed sensor from the diff, as we just noticed it when the wire was getting stretched and managed to unplug it before fully lowering the rear axle. Pay attention to this, as it's easy to miss it, since it's kind of hidden on top of the diff and you don't really see it.


With the rear axle on the floor, we started heating up the area where the bushes were, so then we could knock them out. To be honest, it was easier than I thought. Take a minute or two to properly heat all around the bush area and then start hitting it from the top. After a few bangs, one bush was out:






Clean up the bore where the bush sits, getting rid of any debris, old rubber, etc. Then we used some multi-purpose grease on the bushes for smoother installing. Make sure the indents on the bushes line up with the grooves on the subframe, as there's only one way of installing them. We used a generic bush installer tool to press them in:




And the first one is done. Doing the second bush was exactly the same process. On the picture below, you can actually see the indents/grooves I mentioned previously:




The existing bushes weren't exactly worn, but more like installed incorrectly in the past. Couldn't figure what make they were, but even Lemforder ones didn't have any branding on them...Anyway, here are the BBQ'ed bushes:




With the bushes replaced, the main job was done, so we started to put everything back together. Below you've got a few photos of the rear suspension all assembled with the new parts fitted, including the rear ARB bushes + links and the pitman arms.










And the final thing was putting the exhaust back on. Here's the section that I bought new gaskets and bolts/nuts for:




If anyone is interested, here's what goes in there:


Flange x118 11 1 712 070

Gasket o-ring (50mm) x118 11 1 723 532

Gasket o-ring (47mm) x118 11 1 175 311

Hex bolt x407 11 9 902 957

Copper nuts x418 30 7 620 549


Definitely worth getting these bits, especially if your exhaust is not in the best condition and needs to be removed to carry out whatever work. Keep in mind, this is for an M50 2.5 exhaust with a cat.


Also got a few snaps of the old parts. The rubber on the ARB links was cracking, same as on the pitman arms, and one of the exhaust rubber mounts was almost ripped, so it was only a matter of time for it to go....








One last touch was a new set of Bosch front wiper blades (Bosch part number: 3 397 118 302). I'm getting a bit annoyed with these, since as you probably know, the driver's side wiper arm has a "reverse hook", meaning conventional wipers won't fit and you need to get an E34-specific wiper blades, which are quite pricy....These cost me almost £30 and they are bog-standard wiper blades. I'm thinking of replacing the driver's side arm with one from another BMW (maybe E32 or E36?), so then I could fit aero blades, which will do a better job at cleaning the windscreen and won't cost so much.






With all the hard work out of the way, it's time for a bit of fun, so I bought myself a staggered set of 18" M Parallels (style 37) from an E39, so I'll have 8J ET20 on the front and 9J ET24 on the rear. They have some random tyres fitted with incorrect specs for the E34, so I'm going to get a set of 4 new tyres, size 245/40/18, exactly the same what was fitted to all facelifted M5's from 1994, which had these wheels.


At the moment the car is quite soft and comfortable, but pretty wobbly and not too stable around the corners, so I want to make it handle better and be a bit firmer on the suspension. The 18's with correct tyres should improve things, but also planning to fully upgrade the suspension, most likely with a Bilstein B12 kit, so that's the next job after the wheels.


Thanks for following, all the feedback is appreciated.

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Just spotted this and read it all the way through. Fantastic work. Love the E34, the last old school 5 series before the electronics-laden E39 and then E60 came along.


The M50 is an awesome engine. I drove a k reg 320i non-vanos M50 for 13 years.  OK the 2.0 was unloved by most for good reason - not very fast, less power and also less economical than the 2.5, but you could drive it like you stole it without doing insane speeds and enjoy the glorious sound. I never regretted it. Eventually it did not make sense to spend more money on that, mainly rust, so it went to the breaker with 190k+ miles on it, still running sweet and not using any oil. Don't know what sort of chain tensioner it had, but I never had to touch it and there were no issues. 


Look forward to further updates !


EDIT: Oh yes, suspension-wise, at some point I found an Alpina sports handling kit, shocks, springs, bump stops etc at a clearance price, and had that fitted. Tighten things up nicely ;)

Edited by Tuvoc

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Not much of an update, but just a quick post about the experience that I had with the 18" M parallels fitted. So as I previously mentioned, I bought a set of staggered E39 18" M parallels, which are known as style 37, and here are some details about them.


Front wheels: 18x8J ET20 (74mm centre bore), BMW part number: 36 11 2 229 635

Rear wheels: 18x9J ET24 (74mm centre bore), BMW part number: 36 11 2 229 640


I put the size of the centre bore above for a reason, because you will need hub rings if you are planning to fit any E39 wheels to your E34. As you may already know, the hub size of the E34 is 72.5mm, so just a bit smaller than what's on the E39 and that's why you'll need the rings, because the wheels may fit fine, but you'll definitely get vibrations on high speeds, as they won't be perfectly flush with the hub without the centering rings.


Also keep in that mind, that E38 7 Series and the E31 8 Series had these wheels from factory as well, but with different offsets and rear wheels being 9.5J. If you get a set from these models, then you'll have to check the fitment yourself, but the good news are that you won't need hub rings, as both the E38 and the E31 have a 72.5mm hub, same as the E34.








When I bought the wheels they had some random budget tyres on them with the sizes not suitable for an E34, so I bought a set of 245/40/18, two being Bridgestone Potenza (front) and two Pirelli P Zero (rear). There are many different opinions on tyre sizes, but I decided not to experiment and just go with the size that was fitted to all facelifted M5's from factory, which is exactly what I put on. I also fully refurbished the wheels inside/out before putting the tyres on.


See the BMW M Registry for the reference: http://www.bmwmregistry.com/model_faq.php?id=12




The 245's on the front fit so closely to the shock that first I even thought they were rubbing, but after some checks and test drives, it turned out to be just my imagination...These wheels with these tyres fit 100% to an E34 with stock suspension, and it will probably be fine with some minor lowering as well.


Now you would think I'd be over the moon with the wheels and take tons of pictures with them on the car, but to be honest I was quite disappointed with them, because putting 18" wheels after having the original 15's felt like I completely ruined the ride. Yes, they definitely made the car more stable and flat around the corners, but the steering became heavy, the ride was very hard and after driving with them for a few weeks, I decided they are not my cup of tea.....So now I'm going to sell them and will probably go for something smaller next, most likely 17" and ideally M Throwing Stars (style 21), if I manage to find a set.


In the meantime, after doing some research on the driver's side wiper arm, which has the annoying reverse-hook, I found out that the driver's side wiper arm from an E36 is a direct fit to an E34, assuming you don't have the high-pressure wiper rack fitted. So I popped down to my local scrapyard and bought an E36 driver's side wiper arm for 10 quid, which as expected, fitted 100% - just make sure you also get the rubber plug from the E36 to cover the nut that secures the arm to the rack.


Now with both wiper arms being "normal", I upgraded my wipers to Bosch aero blades, which are a MASSIVE improvement compared to regular blades, and I would highly recommend them. They are quieter, clean better and are cheaper as well, because you can easily get a set for 20 quid from eBay, while E34-specific normal blades are at least 30-40 pounds. Aero's will probably last longer too:




And that's it really...Have to admit, E34s look great with M Parallels, but I just couldn't live with that ride. There's a chance that I would possibly get used to it after a while, but I really felt that 18's on an E34 are more about looks, rather than function - that's just my opinion anyway. I guess I'll have to wait until I get 17's to be able to compare, but I'm pretty confident they will be a perfect choice - not too big, not too small and with an acceptable ride/handling.


Apart from that, I'm planning to get a Bilstein B12 Pro Kit soon, along with top mounts all around, as well as bump stops, dust covers and some other bits. Will keep you updated as I go along.


Thanks for following.

Edited by Blackman

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Nice tip on the E36 Wiper arm, I'll be trying that myself in the future :D


Shame the M parallels didn't work out, but throwing stars will be a good look. If you were looking for other alternatives, I may have a set of 17" staggered Flat stars (style 16 from memory) for sale soon..


Also was the windscreen chap just London based? I've got a crack in my screen that I need to get sorted but I've read too many stories of people having trouble with windscreen guys not doing them properly!


Car should look good with the Bilstein stuff on!

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7 minutes ago, adam73bgt said:

Nice tip on the E36 Wiper arm, I'll be trying that myself in the future :D


Shame the M parallels didn't work out, but throwing stars will be a good look. If you were looking for other alternatives, I may have a set of 17" staggered Flat stars (style 16 from memory) for sale soon..


Also was the windscreen chap just London based? I've got a crack in my screen that I need to get sorted but I've read too many stories of people having trouble with windscreen guys not doing them properly!


Car should look good with the Bilstein stuff on!


Hey Adam, as far as I know, Paul from Glasstec is based in North London, but I'm sure he'll work something out for you, if you give him a call >> 07974 216 953


He managed to source a Pilkington windscreen for me, because I was very picky about the brand, but otherwise a genuine BMW screen is the best option, although a bit pricier - but then again, mine still had the original windscreen from factory, so you might have to spend a bit of cash to replace the screen now, but then it will last for many years to come.


As for wheels, check your PMs, I've sent you a message.

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Good news, making progress on the suspension upgrade - finally bought the Bilstein B12 kit, which combines B8 Performance Plus shocks and Eibach springs. I went for the "Pro Kit", which provides only mild lowering (up to 40mm all around), because I'm not a fan of lowered cars and I want an OEM look as well as practicality for every day use. There's also a B12 Sportline kit, which gives you up to 50mm lowering and it's a bit more expensive, but I thought it won't be necessary and the "Pro" kit should do the job fine.


Make sure you check Bilstein's parts catalogue for the right kit for your E34, as they had 3 different options for mine. I believe this is mainly due to the differences in the front top mounts on early/late cars, hence the reason why Bilstein also say that you have to buy their set of front top mounts, if you are going for the complete suspension kit.


My E34 is a 525i Saloon, M50 (September 1992 build), so the correct Bilstein B12 Pro Suspension Kit part number is: 46-190918


With this kit you also have to buy a set of Bilstein front top mounts (part number: 12-248605), so then the front shocks provided in the kit will fit 100%. The mounts also come with new washers and nuts, so that's a good thing. The rear shocks/top mounts were not affected by any changes throughout the production, so you can buy them from your preferred manufacturer.


A few pics before I started unboxing everything:








As I mentioned earlier, the shocks included with this kit are B8 Performance Plus. The part number for the front ones is: 34-030196. They come with blue dust covers included as well as the top nuts for securing the shock.


The rear shocks are part number: 24-014861, strangely enough they don't come with the boots, although the top nuts are included and some additional bits you'll see in the photos below, which will probably come handy when we come to fit the kit.








Now moving onto the Eibach springs - my ones are black, because they are for the B12 Pro kit. If you go for the Sportline, then you'll get red springs, which are stiffer and lower the car a bit more. The front springs are part number: F2014001 and the rear springs are part number: F2013002.










For the rear top mounts, I decided to go with Sachs, which is basically same as Lemforder (OEM), and the part number is: 802 381.


Before I bought the suspension kit, I ordered a Sachs front bump stops and dust covers kit and now I'm thinking that the dust covers won't be needed since the shocks already have them, but I may use the bump stops. The Sachs front dust cover kit is part number: 900 004.


For some reason I couldn't find a kit for the rear that would include both the dust covers and the bump stops, so I had to order Sachs rear bump stops (part number: 900 050) separately and Ruville rear dust covers (part number: 845004) on their own as well. Ruville is a quality, OEM parts manufacturer, although you don't hear about them too often, they are part of Schaeffler Automotive Aftermarket, who owns LUK, FAG and INA - these brands don't need any introduction.














And lastly, also ordered a few bits and pieces from BMW - mainly I was after the spring plates for the front as well as upper/lower spring pads for front and rear. Also ordered the top nuts for all the shocks, but I didn't realise that the suspension kit would come with them. Got the bolts for securing the rear shocks just in case too, but I'm sure the ones on the car could be re-used.




So that's all the parts for the suspension overhaul, now it's just a matter of doing the work. As usual, will take a few photos while we're replacing the parts and then will update the thread. Aiming to get it all done by the end of the month or if not, then early October. Once it's all finished, the next step will be a set of staggered Throwing Stars (style 21) and I'm pretty confident this combination will completely transform how the car drives/handles. We'll have to wait and see. Thanks for following.

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Finally, got the Bilstein B12 kit fully fitted and unfortunately, it wasn't without any issues...


Despite me doing tons of research, checking all the part numbers and being aware of the problem with the front top mounts on E34s, we still ended up doing this job twice, because while everything went nice and smoothly on the rear of the car, we had to leave the front stock until I bought the correct parts.


And to be honest, I can't really blame myself in this case, because I did everything as Bilstein say in their parts catalogue and yet it was a mistake on their side. Basically, if you look up the B12 Pro suspension kit using Bilstein's parts catalogue for my car (E34 525i 24V 09/1992), you get 3 different options there, depending on what month/year your vehicle was made.


So like I mentioned in my previous post, the B12 Pro kit that applies to my car is Bilstein part number: 46-190918.


Now if you read carefully the description of this kit in their parts catalogue, you will notice that they say you have to buy their front top mounts (part number: 12-248605) as well, in order to fit this kit, which is exactly what I've done....So would you think that everything would be good and well.


However, the problem is that the front top mounts they recommend are for NORMAL suspension, but the E34 B12 Pro kit comes with B8 Performance shocks (both front and rear), which are M-Sport, meaning the front top mounts have to be M-Sport as well, so when we came to fit the front shocks, the Bilstein top mounts were leaving no thread on the shock for the securing nut, since the inner diameter of the mounts wasn't large enough to go further down the shock.


At least if I knew what exactly was included in the kit, then possibly I would've been able to look into it further and get the right parts the first time. But again, I simply followed Bilstein's recommendations, bought exactly what they said and the parts still didn't match... Well, you live and learn. The good news is that the rear top mounts were fine and it doesn't matter what shocks you have, the part remains the same.


In order to get the front shocks fitted, I had to order the following parts:


x2 Front M-Sport top mounts - Lemforder part number: 34 990 01 (BMW: 31331139437) - these are one piece with the spring cup holders, unlike the regular mounts, which are separate.

x2 M-Sport specific front upper spring pads: 31331128522

x2 Support washers  - 31321139423 (very important, these go right below the top mounts)

x6 Hex nuts for the top mounts - 07119905374

x2 Washer/stoppers - 31331139334 (these go on top of the mounts, before the final top nut, M-Sport only)

x2 Plastic caps - 31331133729 (M-Sport specific as well)


Also you will need x2 plastic rings (BMW: 31311132625), which are used to keep the dust covers in place. However, one thing note is that the B8 Performance shocks have integrated bump stops and also come with their own dust covers, so we ended up not using the Sachs bump stop kit, which I originally bought for the front.


This is what the above all looked like, ready for fitting:









Everything went pretty smoothly on the rear without much drama - just make sure to check Bilstein's instructions for fitting the rear shocks (funny I say this, after describing their errors above), as there was a metal pin that we couldn't figure out where to put - turned out that it had to be fitted in the bump stop. Otherwise, rear bench and back seats out, also the parcel shelf and you can now get to the rear top mounts.






The shocks/springs on the rear were original BMW, possibly since factory, and to be honest were in quite reasonable condition. Apart from split bump stops and knackered top mounts, they looked fine, so I'll see if I can sell them, because they seemed to good to throw away. As for Bilsteins, they bolted straight up. There are no M-sport differences here, so whatever top mounts you have, they will fit fine.








The only problem we had on the rear is that one of the seat belt covers fell apart, when we removed it, so I ordered one from BMW (it was about 30 quid), specifically for my interior, which is Silver-Grey. The part number for Silver-Grey rear seat belt cover is: 52208143500




Now doing the fronts does require a bit more work, because the struts have to come out completely, so you have to remove the brake calipers and undo the bottom bolts for the struts. There's some wiggling involved to get them out, so having someone helping you out makes things a lot easier.


I noticed that the front top mounts were original BMW (made by Elastmetall), although the rubber was cracked in quite a few places, but surprisingly the bump stops were in great shape. The springs looked quite decent as well with no cracks or broken parts. I couldn't see no BMW logos on the shocks, so can't really say whether they were fitted from factory or replaced afterwards, although they are made by Boge, which is an OEM manufacturer.














Here's the plastic ring, which I mentioned earlier, that goes first on the strut. After you have tightened the large nut that secures the shock to the strut (this is Bilstein specific and comes with the shocks), then you put on the Bilstein dust covers and mount the bottom part onto this ring.




This is what it all should look like when fully assembled. Notice the amount of thread sticking out on the shock and also M-Sport specific dust caps, which are required, because regular top mounts have different covers.










I haven't managed to take any photos of the car fitted with the kit yet, so I'll be sure to update the thread once I have them. Overall, I'm very happy with the way the car sits right now - it's not stupidly low, so still very practical for every day use, but you no longer have a massive arch gap, so it's a good balance. It's basically how stock M-Sport suspension looks like on a lot of modern BMWs, nothing too crazy.


As for the ride, you can feel that it has become firmer and there's a better response from the steering inputs, but personally for me, it's not too harsh and still usable. However, I'm planning to change the wheels to 17" Style 21 Throwing Stars, so I think once I have put lower profile tyres and bigger wheels (currently it's on original 15's with 225/65/15 rubber), then that will further harden the ride, but I prefer cars with slightly harder suspension anyway, as they are more stable and planted on the road.


That's it for now. Don't have any mega plans for the rest of the year really...I'll see if I can source a staggered set of Throwing stars, get some decent tyres for them, but otherwise I doubt I'll do anything else in 2017. Well, maybe just change the engine oil, possibly the gearbox and diff oil as well.


Seems like all the big jobs are out of the way, just one thing remaining is the clutch, which I'm not planning to do this year. I'll need to check what else I'll need apart from the clutch kit, buy all the parts, check everything and only then get it all done. Apart from that, there are some things that don't bother me too much, like a sagging headliner and door cards coming loose, but I'm sure I can live with that for now....


Thanks for following and all your help guys.

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Nice update. Had exactly the same issue on my e34, unwittingly bought front struts with the thicker diameter and had to source correct top mounts. 

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I had the opposite problem, bought used front inserts from a 535i which being an early car were thinner than my late 93 tds, easy to get around though, I made a sleeve to slip over the shank to make the diameter up.

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