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Everything posted by FIVE-OH

  1. FIVE-OH

    What have you done on your E34 Today

    Steven. Hi mate, long time... Ideally, you really want to get them to seat all the way in. Luckily for me I had the beam on a press so it was fairly easy to do so. I always use some kind of soap as lube to assist on rubber bodied bushes. However, many years ago, i installed some using the weight of the car and a bottle Jack. I did end up with a gap between the lip of the bush and the frame, perhaps 5mm or so but It didn't cause me an issue going forward. In short if you can, get them all the way in. But if there is a small gap as long as they secure in the beam they'll be ok.
  2. Quite an interesting question.. The phenomenon of popular motors disappearing over time has always been inevitable. There is still loads of ‘barnfind’ stuff laying dormant in lockup’s and garages all over the country. Vehicles of all marques, some viable and others suitable only for scrap, it does depend on the perceived value pre & post resto. Natural wastage such as accident damage and write offs plays a part, as does the previously mentioned issue of cars being plundered for their engines. Also in recent years, plenty of very decent cars were also bought up and shipped to Eastern Europe for further use or parts. General wear and tear, MOT failures, a lack of desirability and downright ‘knackardness’, cull off a few more.. Bear in mind also the U.S. 25yr rule that allows direct importation of eligible vehicles (those that were never officially offered, intended for or sold in the United States) to brought in without any penalty. This doesn’t just apply to high end Porsche, BMW or Benz, but also many even mundane cars. It operates on a rolling date basis so 1996 model year now in scope. However, due to the UK’s RHD status, vehicles from these shores are obviously less desirable in this instance for that particular market. The slightly unjustified war on petrol and diesel vehicles will cause many more once common cars to disappear further and faster than would normally be the case. An XJ6 Jaguar is a thing of beauty, particularly in series1 (deep grill) V12 form, but a nice ser3 4.2 or 5.3 wouldn’t be dismissed either... the ultimate in waftability....
  3. FIVE-OH

    The e34 rear sill thread

    Hmmm... I really should see about closing off this thread.... Indeed, as mentioned previously, saloon and touring sills are identical. I can only advise that you be fully aware of the extent of any corrosion prior to purchasing to establish the suitability of what you intend to fit. If not going for OEM BMW (which is not always necessary) then the klokkerholm replacements are an excellent choice as an alternative but only if the rot is not too advanced. Do your research as to all options available and in requirement of your needs. Not wishing Ill of the task in hand but be prepared to cry if the rot turns out to be extensive.. Good luck.
  4. FIVE-OH

    The e34 rear sill thread

    With the long winter nights well and truly upon us and with a bit of free time, I've decided to finally do a full thread on how I completed a rear full sill repair on my e34. I've had communication with various members looking for advice and I know there are a few forthcoming repair/restorations imminent. The purpose of this thread is to primarily help those about to go through such a task. With even the last e34's now approaching 25yrs old the one issue that dominates longevity is unfortunately corrosion. Although superbly designed, the e34 does still have areas that are vulnerable to rust with the sills, especially the rear, high on the list of common areas. Bearing in mind that the e34 5 series was possibly the last BMW to be built to traditional methods, it's the sills that contribute to the core strength of the chassis. I will say that although I can weld, I'm not a fully fledged 'body man' so to speak. My method of repair may be considered long winded, but it did ensure all traces of corrosion were eradicated. Here's a shot of the car just prior to the repair commencing. Not bad looking you might think.... So here goes... 2015 During the annual MOT the previous year the tester had remarked 'I'll give it to you this time, but next year, no chance!' in regards to the rear sills. So early in the summer I began to assemble what I thought I would require to complete the job, namely a pair of klokkerholm repair sills and some mild sheet steel. By mid summer I started on the car, naively estimating completion within 6-8wks...... As can be seen, the corrosion is obviously well established. Time to start cutting.... The first of well over a hundred spot welds to be drilled out. The real truth...... In the words of my friend on here Geoff (dongiov) when he had a similar experience...Ewww I knew it had rust, but at this level? To cut a long story short I spent the next few weeks attempting to make up a few repair sections but imo I failed. Towards the autumn I parked the car and began to ponder what to do with it. I realised early on that the klokkerholm sill panels whilst excellent in quality were not going to be suitable to complete the repair. Also it was clear the inner sills were rotten as well as the floor pan adjacent to the rear seat heel board. Great. Not only that! After a thorough inspection of the complete car, i finally realised that all four corners had serious corrosion at and around the jacking points, the wing bottoms had also rotted out, as well as a few areas needing attention. Devastated was an understatement. I parked the car up and abandoned it..... 2016 Not a great deal happened during the year. With a major house project and a child off to uni, it didn't leave much time or money for messing about with old BMW's, 2016 was in effect a wash out. It was the closest I came to giving up and scrapping it. But after 14yrs ownership I just couldn't quite bring myself to do that. The real work would began 2017. I don't particularly like the cold so from early November to late Feb it's rare to find me doing my own stuff unless strictly necessary. Although I have a double garage with ample hard standing at home, I wasn't in a position to do the work there. My place of employment was used instead but that meant the car had to be parked outside everytime I worked on it mostly during the evenings. Taking it in and out each time was a royal pita though. Would have been completed much faster otherwise. All comments are welcome. Look out for the next instalment in this mission soon.
  5. FIVE-OH

    What have you done on your E34 Today

    A happy new year to all. Though december was quite busy... A full update soon..
  6. FIVE-OH

    Tyre sidewall damage - safe to drive?

    No problem with that. Seen much worse go through test with similar damage. Although the rubber has come away there appears to be no cord showing so it's not illegal. If you can get hold of some vulcanising solution then I'd be inclined to bond it back into place.
  7. FIVE-OH

    Cat STOLEN

    Sorry to hear of this unfortunate situation. It shouldn't be too difficult to replace if desired. Catalytic converters are never worthless. Even if its donkeys old, the precious metals are still in there. The (catalyst) metals don't absorb the toxic stuff but cause a chemical reaction that reduces or neutralizes them depending on the application. Even if the cat is poisoned, (for example with lead) it still contains the precious metals such as platinum and rhodium. The lead would coat the working surfaces so stopping the chemical reaction. At end of life these metals are extracted hence the value. Diesel DPF units Also have a value but for different reasons.
  8. FIVE-OH

    The e34 rear sill thread

    Thanks to all for the kind words in regards to this thread. It's much appreciated. Yes, I am 'in the trade' but not in the retail sector. More fleet based. The time taken to complete the necessary repairs was high. As mentioned by sten, you've got to know what your getting involved with. If you got a full time job, plus family commitments then it can be challenging. You also need a fair amount of room around the car and if you don't have access to a lift it will be that much more difficult overall. If your paying for a restoration similar to what I have achieved, then prepare to open your wallet.....wide. However, if it's something rare or sought after it may be less of a financial penalty, but I doubt it would add significant value to those examples. @Sten you stated that your car had previously been repaired. Did you find evidence that this was actually the case? Nice save btw.
  9. FIVE-OH

    The e34 rear sill thread

    So, a small update... With the structural welding repairs done, there were a few things to do to complete the job. Firstly, I decided to refit the onboard 'wind up jack' brackets to the repaired area of the front sills. The klokkerholm panels do not have these attached, but the rear OEM BMW sills do have them. It's debatable whether they're really required or not but to keep appearances I went for it. After a clean up they were refitted and plug welded on..... I immediately decided to apply the rubberised external coating...... Firstly to the dummy floor area and the rear of the inner wheel arch... And the full sill after a final tidy..... Here's a close up of the finish, pretty close to OEM. The level of finish is determined by the air pressure and how close the application gun is held to the surface. I also gave both of the lower wing repairs a thorough coating internally. And finally the area directly behind the lower wing. The final task was to inject cavity wax protection into all repaired areas. Copious amounts of dinitrol ML was used. More on this next time. Cavity waxing really should be undertaken at the end of any resto after paint. Next time we'll get back to the subject of drainage and a few other things that may be of interest.
  10. FIVE-OH

    The e34 rear sill thread

    Into the home straight .... With the N/s completed I moved onto the O/s.. Just prior to this point, I had done more digging and was not at all happy with the area directly under the B post, where the hidden section of rear sill is located. It transpired that most of that area was also corroded. More cutting was required.... The o/s Turned out to be much more complex to deal with. The complete area was again cleaned off and tidied. The small area of rust was ground back treated and primed. Again, the outer panel was placed over the edge of the old and marked and cut. Then it was drilled and prepared for fitting Final prep, clean off and sealed with more S50... ...and clamped and tacked into position..... ....though I did make a mistake by not allowing enough expansion gap at the rear outer arch. It did catch me out later on.. Fully welded into place... Structural strength restored enough to be supported by the lifting arm.. Closing off rear wheel arch. And completed....almost Now all that was left..... The required area was cut from the redundant klokkerholm panel... And welded. Another minor overlook here. My horizontal cut was far too close to the lower swage line. 5-10 mm lower would have been much better and easier to deal with. I had to be very careful to avoid more issues during the cleaning off process. And fully completed and primed. And done... So, the major work was completed. Stand by, still a bit more to come folks..
  11. FIVE-OH

    Paint ID Advice Please

    Ok. The 317 is the general colour code, orient blue metallic in your case. The /5 refers to the variation in shade/depth for that or any particular standard colour. There is always a risk there will be a very subtle difference between two different panels from different vehicles with the same colour.
  12. FIVE-OH

    The e34 rear sill thread

    @Keliuss Thanks for your interest. One of my primary objectives was to document the process so that others may benefit. It is my view that your typical Northern European e34 with moderate mileage will more than likely be harbouring some corrosion so it's an issue that will become more prevalent as time passes by. I will do a full rundown of all products that I used throughout the job. Most of it is easily available and not too dear to purchase either. As previously promised, I will give my thoughts and views on the pros & cons on the roof drain situation. I did very similar to what was shown in your link by extending the drain tubes, though I wasn't convinced to have the exit outside of the body panel.
  13. FIVE-OH

    The e34 rear sill thread

    So. Into the final furlong .. With the front end sill repairs done it was time to go back to the rear sills to complete. The inner sill join... Which was tidied up and sealed. A couple of days later, it was time to fit the outer panel. This was the area I most feared for getting it wrong since any major mistake would be visible.. After trimming off the excess, the outer panel was placed into position and marked.. Then clamped firmly into position... ...and then cut through both panels on the overlap with a 1mm cutting disc to leave this.. pretty much the ideal gap for welding. With the general dimensions in place, the panel was taken back off the car and marked for drilling. I tried and tried to get hold of a spot welder to give that professional look. But unfortunately it was not to be. Moving back to the car, the inner sill area was cleaned off and tidied. All excess weld and other detritus was removed. BH S80 liberally applied.... Outer sill drilled for plug welds and zinc primed..... I've said it before but the OEM BMW sill panel really is a quality item. After allowing the zinc coat to dry the panel was tacked into position ....and the door briefly refitted to check alignment and gaps.. ....and welded. Very slow and patient to avoid distortion. And the money shot.... all welds were cleaned off, again slowly. You can still distort with too much heat during the cleaning off process. However, the key difference here is the location of the lifting pad. Structural rigidity now completely restored. A view along the sill. I was happy with the outcome. All completed on this side. Just a skim of filler and paint required to finish the task. Next visit will land us back to where we started, the o/s rear corner, which was as usual turned out much more involved in the end More soon.
  14. FIVE-OH

    The e34 rear sill thread

    A small update. So continuing with the repairs.. Taking an ever so slightly different approach on this side, the original outer section of the outer front section being not seriously corroded was cleaned off ready for reuse. The beginnings of the closing piece was made up and placed in position to check for fit. This is the closing piece tacked.... ....and the whole lot welded. Just starting to clean off here also. Fully cleaned off and primed. Dummy floor refitted and sealed. I used an generic 3m seam sealer on this job. However, unlike a lot of their products, I didn't particularly rate it. Didn't go on that great and went off a little bit too quickly. Throttle pedal mount fitted...... ...Resealed and primed... ...and a thin covering of paint applied. With that completed, all four corners internally were now complete. Next time the rear outer w/arches and associated areas will be fitted to complete what became a long drawn out affair.
  15. FIVE-OH

    The e34 rear sill thread

    Keliuss. The body drain holes were required during the manufacturing process to allow the hot dip solution to drain out after the dip and before the shell went into the first oven. I preferred the oem look and tbh, it would have taken more time to cut, prepare, weld in and grind off a repair section rather then the 20min or so knocking the bung itself, up. And also it wouldn't look near original. In regards to the drain tubes, I purchased a pair from the main dealer, cheap, unlike most of their stuff. They come pre-cut with a pre formed wider end. Measuring from the very bottom of the sill, I marked it off roughly level with the interior lamp and cut. The preformed end of the new tube was placed over the old. These tubes run in a narrow channel down from window level and then between the inner & outer wheel archs. It was quite tricky pushing them through as they did keep getting hung up in places, so I would suggest going oem as anything thicker may not go through. The front drain mod is well documented and straightforward to do, but those at the rear not so. There is nowhere imo, to route the drain pipes outside of the body, safely or neatly without compromising corrosion resistance or looks and the pipes need to be fitted after all welding is completed or they could be damaged by the heat. I will cover this in more detail soon
  16. 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.
  17. 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
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.