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1993 BMW E34 525i SE Manual Diamantschwarz Metallic Saloon

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Hey everyone, a quick update here.


I've taken some photos of the car with the Bilstein B12 kit fitted, so you can get an idea of how it looks on original 15's. As you can see, it's pretty much spot on with very little gap between the wheels and the wheel arches. The tyres fitted are factory fitment, i.e. 225/60/15 all around.












Also I managed to find a nice, staggered set of E34 17" Throwing stars (Style 21) with covers in original condition, so very happy about that. And I even got a spare wheel too, but the centre cap is missing. They also have the correct size tyres fitted on them (235/45/17 on the front and 255/40/17 on the rear) with plenty of tread left as well. The fronts are Dunlop with about 5-6mm of tread and the rears are a budget-brand, Barum, but they are like new with 7mm of tread remaining, so I think I'll keep them for now and see how they perform.


Here's the spec of the wheels:


The front wheels are: 8x17 ET20 - BMW part number: 36112226706

The rear wheels are: 9x17 ET22 - BMW part number: 36112226707
















I balanced the wheels last week and they are all 100% straight, which is of course, good news. The paint is slightly bubbling on the covers in some places, but I'm not too bothered about that for now. However, I've ordered a set of 4 new BMW badges (they just stick-on), as the existing ones are in poor condition, and actually one of them came off by itself. They are quite reasonably priced - you can get a set of 4 from BMW for 20 quid.


The part number for the BMW badges for Throwing star covers is: 36136758569 (they are 70mm in size)


Those of you who know these wheels well, will notice that I've got 2 driver's side covers on both front wheels, which is obviously incorrect. Since these covers are directional, originally designed for cooling the brakes on the M5, you are supposed to have a separate set of covers for left and right side.


Fortunately, the spare wheel has a left side cover, which is what I need to make the fronts perfect, but what I noticed is that the bolts that hold these covers to the wheels are quite rusty, so let's hope it won't be an issue taking them off. I've ordered 30 new cover bolts anyway, as I'd like to replace them on all the wheels, so I won't have any problems with them in the future.


The BMW part number for the cover bolts is: 36112227124 (you'll need 5 of these per wheel)


I'm currently waiting to receive all the bits from BMW, so when it's all here, I'll take a few pics while swapping the covers and then will get some photos with the car on Throwing stars as well.


Really pleased with the wheels, so I've got a feeling that the handling/suspension setup will be spot on....Just one thing that gives away the age of the car dynamically, is the play in the steering, which to my liking, is a bit too excessive, so I'll need to look into that after the wheels are sorted and see what's the problem.


That's it for now, I'll be sure to update the thread soon enough.


Thanks for following.

Edited by Blackman

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Simon, I haven't fitted them yet. Still waiting for the cover bolts to come from Germany, so I can put the covers the correct way round with new original bolts, otherwise the existing ones are rusty and as above, I've got 2 offside covers for the wheels on the front.


£250 for a staggered set is a good price, but you would struggle to find the covers for them later on, if you needed them. However, another thing to keep an eye on, is the offset, as these wheels can be from the 8 series, E31. Not a huge difference, but makes sense to get an E34 set, if you can.

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A quick mini-update before the end of the year 2017.


While I was waiting to receive the bolts for the wheel covers, I decided to change the engine oil, eventhough I haven't driven much since the last oil change (4710 miles to be exact).


Last year we used Shell Helix HX7 10w40, so this time I decided to go for Mobil Super 2000 X1 - just for a difference really, as otherwise both are decent oils. Also bought Wynn's engine flush and the oil filter made by Mann. The M50B25 takes about 5.8L, so in the case of Mobil you'll need 5L + 1L. Shell does the same capacities, but for example Castrol does only 4L cans, so then you would need 4L + 2L.




As for BMW parts, I ordered x4 centre cap badges + x30 cover bolts, as I described in my last post. However, also decided to get a new radiator top gasket, because my current one has taken the shape of the old radiator, which was swollen on the top, so it keeps coming off - not good. All the bits are now here.


Radiator top gasket = 17101728768






As you can see, the bolts have spline heads, so let's hope the old ones won't be a pain to come off. The good news is that someone has already replaced these bolts on the rear wheels, but not with original ones. They have put normal hex bolts there with washers, which means they should be easy to take off, since they look quite fresh. You could probably leave them as they are, but it's not OEM, so if I'm doing the fronts, then I'll get the rears replaced as well.


This is all for next year though, so it's the first job for January 2018. 


2017 was a quite productive year since we got a lot of work done, starting with the brakes in January,  then the wiper linkage in March, front suspension in April, got the windscreen replaced in May, rear suspension bushes sorted in June and finally fitted a Bilstein B12 suspension kit in October/November, along with buying a set of staggered Throwing stars - a very busy year indeed.


Plans for 2018? First of all, get the Throwing stars fitted, then sort out the play in the steering, which should bring back the factory standards of handling or possibly make it even better. Then one of the big jobs for 2018 will probably be the clutch change, but I'm also planning to refresh the gear linkage as well as a few other things while I'm there, such as the propshaft guibo, the centre bearing, gearbox mounts and whatever else will be easy to access. Apart from that, I'll see what else needs doing, but the above will be the main focus. 


Have a great Christmas and a happy New Year. I'll see you in 2018.

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Great thread, love the E34 and wonderful to see this being brought back to life with all the work done.


I'm curious about the oil - is 10w-40 semi-synthetic the recommendation now with these engines getting older and higher mileage ?  I had a K reg M50 non-vanos E36 for 13 yrs, eventually scrapped it at 20 yrs old because of rust. But I always used a 5w-40 full synthetic in that (Fuchs mostly) right up to 190k+ miles when it was scrapped.

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2 hours ago, Tuvoc said:

Great thread, love the E34 and wonderful to see this being brought back to life with all the work done.


I'm curious about the oil - is 10w-40 semi-synthetic the recommendation now with these engines getting older and higher mileage ?  I had a K reg M50 non-vanos E36 for 13 yrs, eventually scrapped it at 20 yrs old because of rust. But I always used a 5w-40 full synthetic in that (Fuchs mostly) right up to 190k+ miles when it was scrapped.


For the past 7-8 years, I've always had quite old cars with high mileage (100k+) and got so used to using 10w40 that now I don't even think about it. Indeed, it's the preferable option for older engines, but even if you look up your reg with EuroCarParts or Opie Oils (very knowledgeable guys), the recommendation is still 10w40, so I just stick with it.


Besides, I believe the difference between 5w40 and 10w40 is not huge anyway, so I would say it's more important how often you change the oil/filter, rather than what grade of oil you're using. It's such a simple thing to do and pretty inexpensive as well, but you have people doing 15-20k without an oil change, so in that case the grade hardly matters, despite whatever the vehicle/oil manufacturer tells you. At the end of the day, if your engine packs up, it's only more business for them. Well, that's my opinion anyway.

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Very good. Yes if I look up my old E36 M50 on Opie oils I get 10w-40 semi synthetic recommendation. On an older engine I think it does make sense - less prone to leaks and a slightly quieter engine no doubt. Most important as you say is regular changes. If I still had that car it would be 230k+ miles now and I'd probably be doing the same.  Castrol's website says 5w-40 Edge fully synthetic for the M50 (with fully synthetic 5w-40 Magnatec as an alternative). I guess they just want to sell high-priced oil and are not taking into account the age of these cars now.


Anyway, love that E34, keep the updates coming !

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Finally, the first update of 2018.


Started the year off by putting the covers on the Throwing stars the right way round, also got rid of the old securing bolts and put the new ones it. I previously mentioned that someone fitted incorrect bolts for the covers on the rear wheels and here's what they looked like:




As you can see, they are hex bolts with washers, but originally you're supposed to have spline bolts in there, which fit flush with the wheels and don't stick out. The good thing about these "wrong bolts" was that they came off easily, since they were replaced quite recently. The covers are aluminium and here's what they look like once taken off:




The plastic cap in the centre is separate and you can see the correct spline bolts, which is what BMW uses to secure the covers to the wheels. I cleaned the threads on the covers with some WD40 and also put a bit of copper grease on the new bolts before fitting them. Here's the first wheel finished:



The front 2 wheels and the spare one had very tired-looking bolts on the covers, so I wouldn't be surprised if no one touched them for the last 10 years or possibly even from new. Had to be careful not to round the head on the splines, as otherwise I would end up drilling them, which obviously I wanted to avoid. Here's one wheel with the old bolts:




Surprisingly, all the bolts came out in one piece and there was no drama after all. Here's the collection:




With the covers sorted, I moved to the badges, which was a lot easier to deal with. They are just stuck-on, so all you need is a thin scraper to pry them off and then carefully remove, paying attention not to damage the surface of the cap. Then clean off the remaining glue with a degreaser and you are ready to put on the new badges. My old ones kind of felt apart, as I took them off. They weren't genuine either, as the letters on the genuine BMW badges are engraved, so you can feel a slight groove as you move your finger across them. That's for BMW pedants out there...






Having previously driven on 18" M Parallels, I can definitely say that 17's are a better choice for an E34, both in terms of looks and ride/handling. Of course, looks are subjective, but I think 18's are just a bit too big and the ride was a bit too harsh for my liking as well. That's not to say that 17's are not hard, because compared to original 15" style 5's with 60-profile tyres, they are without a doubt harder, but it's something I can live with, considering the E34 is my daily driver. The car feels much more stable and planted on the road, especially giving more confidence at high speeds, since it doesn't bounce around, like it did on 15's. As for looks, it currently looks just perfect to me - Bilstein B12 kit + Throwing stars is an ideal combo, in my opinion. Here are a few photos:














The next job on the list is probably sort out the exhaust. To be honest, there's nothing specifically wrong with the exhaust itself, but the catalytic converter has fallen into pieces and I'm thinking of getting an OE Klarius, type-approved replacement, so I might as well get a decent exhaust too - however, nothing too loud, as I'm quite happy with the original BMW exhaust anyway. I'm thinking possibly a Jetex cat-back system or maybe get something custom-made by Powerflow? Will need to look into this further and do a bit more research before I decide what I'm going to go for.


Still need to see what's wrong with my rear window regulators and my driver's seat is torn on base, so again, a few things that need to be sorted, but obviously have to prioritise things and get more important stuff done first. Talking about important stuff, planning to replace the clutch this year, along with the gear linkage and other bits, like the clutch slave cylinder, etc. Let me sort out the exhaust first and then I'll probably start looking into getting the parts for the clutch change.


Thanks for the following.

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On 25/02/2018 at 8:50 PM, boiliebasher said:

Wow! That's looking great sat on those throwing stars! Looks gorgeous, definitely a car to be proud of, congrats!!


Thanks, I had 18" M Parallels before getting the Throwing stars and can definitely say that 17's are the way to go for an E34, whatever style you like.


On 09/03/2018 at 7:35 PM, cornershop said:

What an excellent read - I’d love to get an e34 and get the same work accomplished. 


A really nice selection of parts there, must feel factory fresh to drive?


The most noticeable improvement was from the Bilstein B12 kit, as it made the car a lot more stable at speed and sharper on handling. The bigger wheels with low profile tyres have contributed as well, but I think the steering is holding the car back quite a lot.....We've removed the play by adjusting the steering box, but it's still not as responsive as I would like it to be.


Possibly, I'm too used to driving modern cars with instant-response steering racks or maybe I'm just being a bit too picky and it actually handles well for a 1992 car.


On 09/03/2018 at 8:43 PM, GStarrr said:

It look brilliant with those wheels on it. Top work :D


Thanks, in my opinion Throwing stars are probably one of the best wheels for an E34. My other choice would probably be Style 16, but they would have to be 17's and staggered.

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Such a good project this :)


Love the wheels too and had no idea that's how they were designed ;) 

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