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FIVE-OH last won the day on May 8

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  1. FIVE-OH

    The e34 rear sill thread

    The dummy floor was quite poor in places. This part appears to be still available new from BMW. Not sure on cost, but knowing them.... Anyways, a couple of hours saw this item suitable for reuse. Firstly a simple repair section was let in on the sill side of the panel at the rear corner. Here it's tacked... Then fully welded. To save time the excess was trimmed off after welding. Usually I'd cut to shape first then weld in. This was followed by a slightly more tricky repair to the forward section, again on the sill side. Repair piece made up first.. ...welded and completed. Finally I needed to do something about the floorpan drain hole bungs. Thankfully simple affairs on the e34 platform. Not being sure how to approach the issue, I started to look around the workshop, finding an oil seal installation tool that had a useful depression in the head and appeared to have the correct diameter. After cutting a circular piece of steel and placing it on the tool, a socket was used with the press to form the required shape. Whilst in this position the exposed edges of the disc were tapped flush and level with a small toffee hammer and finished off on the bench grinder. The final result. These were bonded to the shell rather than welded when being manufactured on the production line. In the end though I only needed to make the one. Must admit. I was fairly pleased with the end result. I also wasn't happy with some areas of repairs to the floor so rectified. This area was full of pinholes as was the general repair to the floorpan. Took a fair amount of time going over it again to sort it properly but the area around the drain proved to be thin so cut out and replaced also. Ready to clean off. Next time we'll complete the repair to the outer sill.
  2. FIVE-OH

    The e34 rear sill thread

    A bit more... At this point, I started to sort out various minor issues related to the resto. First up was that nasty patch of rust on the o/s inner wing/rail. After cleaning off the surrounding under seal I was left with this... All corrosion was duly cut out. Turned out to be fairly localised. Then a simple repair piece was shaped....after consulting the other side of the car for guidance... But before welding it in, the inside of the rail was cleaned up as best as possible and then coated with more s80 Then welded... Followed by another piece to cover.. Completed, if a little untidy. ..and sealed. That sorted it was time for the T pedal mount. So starting with a piece of 3mm plate...initially I thought it not entirely suitable due to it having a chunk missing out of it, but it was the only piece I could find. Ultimately it worked out well. After a bout in the press I was left with this... ....and after a bit of cutting and grinding... ...It was tacked... And fully welded... After cleaning off, the left leg was repositioned to corresponded with the step in the floorpan. Experienced welders will spot immediately the minor mistake/oversight to this particular weld. The completed article. More soon
  3. FIVE-OH

    The e34 rear sill thread

    Pressing on. Much more than a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, as they say... With most of the rot gone... ..... I started fabricating pieces... ...firstly the floorpan repair section... ...Then the Inner sill shaped and tacked... ....while outer sill section was also cut to shape. Floor repair tacked into position..... ...Followed by starting to fully weld inner repair... ...followed immediately by fully welding the floor. Inner sill repair completed. Just now to clean it off. My solution for the jacking point was to majorly modify a rear strengthener. Not quite original but let's face it, who sees it once closed up? I did have to add the two little legs to allow full contact with the outer sill section.... ...that was fitted next. More soon.
  4. FIVE-OH

    The e34 rear sill thread

    Time to continue.... Someone asked me if I enjoyed 'all that welding'. Well it can be pain as some of you know, but tbf it made a change from the usual day job. Luckily I was in a position that if it got too much, I could walk away from it and leave it be. I learnt so much from the experience, and gained so much more confidence that other projects I have that I would more than likely have sub'd out, I will now do myself. The only real negative is the time factor. It takes long to do a good job imo. One of the reasons welding and car restorations in general cost so much. Anyways.. It was clear that there was a serious problem when I attempted to remove the throttle pedal and it came off in my hand! After pulling back the carpet all was revealed.. The outside didn't give me cause for any optimism....or an easy job. From the other side Work cut out then..... Firstly the dummy floor was unstitched and removed. The rust patch to the right was also fully exposed at this point. Tbf it had been there for years but it had to go. We'll leave that to later, along with the pedal mount and other small items. With the dummy floor removed the extent of the rot was fully exposed. Not the end of the world but an inconvenience nevertheless. After a few days, with everything dried out and cleaned up to assess the damage and plan the way forward . There is barely any connection between the floorpan and sill. I decided to cut the floor out first then build the inner sill up and then fab and fit a new floor section. Here I've cut out the required areas ready for a repair section. Jeez that sill was rotten... In the meantime I started on the sill repair. Again this section was still fairly sound requiring only a good grinding back to bright and capable of being reused. After some heavy cutting..... Everything was heavily corroded including the lifting point. By far worse then the n/s. The drain tube is clearly visible in the centre of the image. Note the the profile of the jacking point. Couldn't salvage it unfortunately. With the majority of corrosion removed it was time to start fabricating.... More soon.
  5. FIVE-OH

    The e34 rear sill thread

    Well over 10yrs now sir, and for sure they were mint. At the time I hadn't considered a full panel change, but after speaking to you it just made sense. I think in total it cost me £250 all in, including the cost of van hire and fuel, which iirc was approximately £100 of that! I was very surprised when you confirmed the car was lazerblau. It is a rare colour on e34, royal and orient blues being far more popular. I think I've only seen perhaps five or six lazer examples in the flesh, other than my own example. Here's the only shot I have of the car/victim. I'd hate to think what it would be worth today. A lovely motor and a real shame. I believe you reckoned that at least 10-15 e34's benefited from the demise of this one car. And my my own car after the swap. Probably at it's peak condition in my ownership at this point.
  6. FIVE-OH

    Compression. F##k

    Yes. Remove head bolts in reverse sequence to installation. You may be lucky to find one or two loose or snapped bolts. FWIW, I'd go for a light head gasket blow, possibly between adjacent cylinders or worst case scenario, it could be cracked on a exhaust port. Not heard of burnt valves on these but it's a possibility. M90's were the doyen of the early series of m30 motors. But due to the race inspired spec, turned out to be a bit more fragile in service, something rectified with the later productionised 3430 big block. good luck.
  7. FIVE-OH

    GTE Seats

    Hmmm. Interesting... Got a pair of these in my old mini. The poor thing hasn't seen the light of day for at least 15yrs locked up in my old queens garage. Might be time to liberate them.. I should add they came from a shed of a mk1 Astra GTE circa 1994/5.
  8. FIVE-OH

    Battery question

    Fully charged, a 12v automotive battery should show approx 12.6 volts (2.1v per cell) across the terminals and maintain it. 12.3v is at about half charged and anything less than 12.1 is discharged. At 10.1-11.1v, this indicates the battery has become unserviable, probably with a dead cell. Forget about the little light as that only shows the condition of that particular cell. I personally prefer a cheap old style charger, though modern chargers with a conditioning mode can be handy. Always charge any battery at low amps for up to 12hrs. Do not let it overheat or boil. A battery drop test will show performance under a heavy load. As to choosing a battery. All the brands mentioned are decent, but for example the Bosch S4 is a 'wet' type battery which is a technology that's been around since the Roman's left town. The more recent technology is the VRLA/gel type that as indicated by the name use a gel rather that neat sulphuric acid to produce the chemical reaction. Finally buy from a vendor with a high turnover of product. You'd be surprised in some cases how long a battery will sit between being manufactured and eventually being sold.
  9. FIVE-OH

    The e34 rear sill thread

    So, movin on to the n/s/f sill section..... From the outside it was obvious remedial work was necessary..... ...But from the inside it was clear the rot was extensive. Note the 3/8th extension pushed through from the outside, at the top of the image. Also the actual floor itself had been distorted upwards, again due to incorrect use of a trolley jack way back in the distant past. View from underneath. What's left of the three drain exits are visible, but clogged with debris. Here's the view after the first cut. Inner sill gone, dummy floor damaged. However, the cut section first removed was basically sound, only needing a good cleaning off and was suitable for reuse. Here, I've removed the dummy floor..... .....and a portion more of the outer sill, revealing the heavily corroded jacking point strengthener. Another image of the problem area from inside after a little clearing..... ..and after the rot has been cut out.. ..and with a simple right angled repair plate welded into position. The floor itself was reshaped back to it's original shape Here, the first of two inner sill repair sections is tacked into place. Jack strengthener now removed. 2nd section marked and shaped.. ..clamped and tacked.. ..and welded. I was a bit pissed off with the whole job by now and it shows with me being lazy and not shaping the rear section correctly and having to infill that small triangular section at the top. I was using a fairly powerful, but old machine that unfortunately was quite temperamental throughout the job. At times it would run perfectly but at others it could be a real pain. Settings-wise, I tended weld on the minimum setting with a suitable wire speed for the material being welded, i.e. 1.0mm sheet steel, but still had to go slow to avoid blowing through. Now a view from the rear. I actually made a major mistake here and had to modify it later on. I did not allow for enough depth. Not bad welding penetration if I can say so myself. A word on the jacking point strengtheners. They are not the same front to rear, so some improvisation may be need. Over time I had collected a few rear strengtheners so cutting a few up got me a repaired piece I could use. A bit of jiggery pokery.. Eventually got me this. Heres the area after cleaning off, just prior to replacing the jacking point. Note the three cut outs for the water drains. Reusing the outer section, the forward most section of the sill was formed... I had already decided to use the klokkerholm sills (I had previously purchased) for the outer repair, so this was cut to shape...wing refitted to check for fit, etc. A tiny bit of fettling was required to get the wing to sit just right. Repaired jacking point welded into position and cleaned off. Fully primed.... More BH s80 applied..... Outer section welded into place. The bottom of the jacking point must contact the top of the horizontal section of the repair piece. Even more s80 applied liberally. The shape of the klokkerholm section meant I modified my original closing panel. Original outer forward section welded back into position.. Revised fabricated closing piece.... ...goes in here to close off... ..and fully cleaned off and primed. From the rear. My previous mistake rectified. The two cut outs are for the spire clips for the lower wing mountings. I'd advise additional sealant to be added here when completed. Finally a small repair to the dummy floor. Wasn't at all happy with it's condition, so repaired. I believe both sides dummy floors are still available new from your local dealer. And refitted. Job jobbed on this corner. Next time we tackle the o/s and very necessary, extensive floor repairs.
  10. FIVE-OH

    E34 sunroof not quite sitting flush

    The steel sunroof panel can be adjusted if a little finicky. With the roof closed, the inner sliding trim panel needs to be slid back into the roof cavity and then the securing screws for the outer steel panel will be exposed. I believe your supposed to use an Allen key or similar, to 'locate' the rear guides in the correct position. Then adjusting the outer panel as required. I didn't actually bother with that procedure but from memory, the panel should be approximately 1mm lower at the front and 1mm higher at the rear than the actual roof skin. There are 3 screws per side that need to be loosened to allow the adjustment. I would also suggest a new sunroof panel seal, since your there. There can be a fair amount of water that passes via the roof, through the drains down to the sill exits. A new, fresh seal should limit the amount that passes through, which during an even moderate rain shower, can be considerable.
  11. FIVE-OH

    The e34 rear sill thread

    Pressing on.... Firstly an interesting shot. The three panels that join to form the bottom seam of the sills. From L to R, outer sill, inner sill, floor pan. Very strong method of construction. The gap to the right of centre to be filled in later. Anyways... A few weeks later it's time to fit the inner sill. Here's what it looks like (and unfortunately NLA both sides) Firstly all required spot welds drilled.. And inner sill removed. Note stiffener bracket now in place. The two 13mm bolts for the forward suspension braces bolt in here. Plenty of BH S50... With the car on its wheels, the inner sill is tacked into position... ...and fully welded... ..and covered off for the time being in BH electrox. I decided to leave the outer sill fitment to the very last. With the rear sills now 90% complete, I moved on to the N/S front.... Says it all.... I decided to repair the original wing. Original wings always seem to fit better than repro items and they only tend to rot at the lower sill section. I had cleaned up this area some 8yrs previously but as can be seen, it was now heavily corroded. I had a old spare wing hanging about that was a pattern and a bit scruffy, but solid. So got to work. The lower section as usual was completely gone. Only the under seal was holding it together.... Here it's cut, joined and tacked... ...Welded and partially cleaned off. A small skim of filler would be to finish if necessary. However the trim disguises any anomaly. So that was the wing done. Plenty more to do. Next time we get deep into e34 front sills and floor repairs.
  12. FIVE-OH

    The e34 rear sill thread

    So to continue. With all rot now cut out it was time to start reconstructing. All salvaged pieces were fettled and tidied though I did have to make some minor repairs. Rear floor section. Note profile shape. I wasn't happy with the salvaged section of inner wheelarch so repaired that. Luckily, I was able to retain the profile of the section so a fairly straightforward repair. Poor section cut out.... Repaired and partially cleaned off. Also a small repair to the inner sill itself ...and cleaned off. With that done, it was time to start building up Floor section installed..... Then onto..... ...Rear wheelhouse lower repair section. This piece/area is usually damaged due to incorrect jack placement when lifting the car. And welded.. Then the repaired, rear inner wheel arch lower section clamped in place and cut. Tacked.... And welded. Rear suspension bracket fitted in place to double check fitment. All lined up perfectly.
  13. FIVE-OH

    hids are confusing

    That two pin female socket is your power in. Cut it off and join (as to your preference) as normal or obtain 2 Male plugs, though I doubt you'll have enough room inside the headlight for this. You may have the Male plugs already supplied in the kit. You'll also have to modify or cut off the terminals inside the cap for the yellow and brown wires. These are the two wires that will join to the two cut off from the 2 pin socket. Alternatively, cut off the oem yellow loom plug, and join direct to the wires at the 2 pin socket (from the kit). This negates the need for a join inside the cap. This method looses originality and is not as neat. Returning back to standard quickly is awkward also.
  14. FIVE-OH

    hids are confusing

    You won't find any generic HID kit that won't require some form of splicing. What your supposed to do is make a hole in the headlamp rear cap and using the grommet supplied with the kit, connect/splice the wiring in the cap to the the +/- wiring of the kit. These two wires will come back out of the lamp, down to the hid ballast unit and then back to the actual bulb in the headlight through the same grommet. Four wires in total are used and the original yellow loom plug connects in the same manner to the lamp cap as oem. In short the splice/join/connection is done inside the headlight at the cap. You should be able to complete if your handy, within an hour or so and with minimal tools required. No other way to do it I'm afraid unless you go bespoke. I would obtain two additional dipped beam backing caps to modify. Also, the connectors shown in your image are super seal IP67 connectors which are again a generic waterproof loom plug/connector. These may need to be cut off to effect the splice.
  15. FIVE-OH

    The e34 rear sill thread

    Towards the end of 2016 I began to try and source the required panels for the repair. New for all realistically was out of the question. The outer sill/wheel arch, inner sill, lower inner wheel arch, and a section of floor were all required, So after a few weeks looking in various breakers yards and dismantlers with no success, by chance I came across a late model 525 in Hemel Hempstead, just in, complete and fairly clean. It had apparently failed its annual MOT and whoever owned it just couldn't be bothered with it any longer. I unfortunately missed this car by a matter of a few hours. By the time I seen it, it was already doomed, having been bought to be stripped of engine and g'box, all it's running gear, opening panels and wings to be shipped to Eastern Europe. I would have happily smoked around in it had I got to it in time. High mileage but plenty of life in it. A bit of a shame. After a thorough inspection of the rear sills and finding them to be in exceptionally good condition, I arranged with the staff to have them cut out completely. I'll admit. I moaned when quoted £85 for the pair but in the end it was money more than well spent. Also, to be fair to them, with the time and effort it would have taken, plus the gas used, the quoted price was more than fair. I immediately began to unstitch the welds to salvage what was needed. One side was pretty much perfect but the other did have some corrosion that did require repair.... Without these inner sections the job would have become unviable on grounds of cost imo. Also only one side inner sill was available from BMW at the time. Nowadays, both sides are NLA. I had started on the o/s but and I'll come back to that side later .. Now the real work begins First cut. Same story.... Seen clearly here is the drain tube for the sunroof. Too short in length imo. Should go down to the very bottom of the sill to channel water straight out of the drains. Heavy rot on floor section. More cutting.. plenty more of this forthcoming. Rear section of inner sill and rear inner lower wheel arch fully exposed. The 'brown' areas speak for themselves.. Heavily corroded floor section. Completely rotten. Mounting for rear brackets about to give way. This area is behind the inner sill. That little spot of rust... ...Turned out to be much more deep seated... Here, the majority of rot has been cut out, though it still looks awful. It's basically all sound steel. Same location after a thorough cleaning up with a knot wheel. The n/s/r corner was by far the hardest to tackle. All the wiring inside the car in the vicinity of the repair needed to be moved due to the risk of burning and to provide additional access. The external fuel pipes also should be removed, but I got round that by covering them with some aluminium plating and being very careful. I used bilt hambers excellent electrox zinc rich primer to coat. I purchased the superb (imo) OEM BMW rear outer sill/wheelarch sections part# 41 00 8181 707/8. Readily available if a little pricey. So far I'd only been cutting. In the next part I will be preparing the salvaged inner panels and welding them into position. More soon.