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Flandy

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  1. Thanks
    Flandy got a reaction from Kit in What have you done on your E34 Today   
    S50's are big money these days. You can build an M50b30 for very little. You need the crank, rods and pistons from an M54b30, it all bolts in, same bore as an M50b25 and M52b28 and everything. You already have the good intake, so bigger injectors,. My friend has one in his E36 with some Schrick cams and M3 exhaust manifolds making 260hp. It drives very nicely indeed!
  2. Thanks
    Flandy got a reaction from Kit in What have you done on your E34 Today   
    S50's are big money these days. You can build an M50b30 for very little. You need the crank, rods and pistons from an M54b30, it all bolts in, same bore as an M50b25 and M52b28 and everything. You already have the good intake, so bigger injectors,. My friend has one in his E36 with some Schrick cams and M3 exhaust manifolds making 260hp. It drives very nicely indeed!
  3. Haha
    Flandy got a reaction from Kit in What have you done on your E34 Today   
    I think my nozzle is blocked. It goes up and down but nothing comes out.    No idea what's wrong with my rear screen wash though.......   
  4. Thanks
    Flandy got a reaction from cornershop in Strut mounts and spring cups   
    OK, I'm going to have to confess that I'm not sure on which type your car should have.  According to this diagram, what you have is correct https://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/showparts?id=HD51-EUR-01_1989_E34_BMW_525i&diagId=31_0236#31331139452   but that lists it as from 09/92 onwards, but the diagram you linked to showed the alternative kind with the integral spring cup which is what I thought you should have, and what is shown in the pic on real oem if you enter in details for a '91 525i.
     
    I guess you need to identify whats on the car now?
  5. Thanks
    Flandy got a reaction from Kit in Roof rack.   
    I found this when I was looking into roof racks. Seems like a pretty good solution.
     
    https://www.r3vlimited.com/board/forum/e34-e28-forums/general-5-series-technical/236532-diy-yakima-roof-rack-for-e34-touring
  6. Like
    Flandy got a reaction from Keliuss in 540i touring. "The Improvening!"   
    Thanks guys! It's been a while since I had any kind of build thread on a forum, but this has been quite fun so far. There's plenty more to come, as I've been far better at purchasing parts over the last 2 years than actually fitting anything, but there's not much more to purchase, so i better pull my finger out.
     
    One job I wasn't looking forward to was re-covering the headlining, but While I was replacing the sunroof seal, sorting out the rear drain, replacing the gas struts for the hatch glass, and stripping and repainting the roof rails, the headlining had to come out, and it was the last thing to go back in, so it kinda had to be done.  What I will say is thank goodness this car has a sunroof, because it means the headlining comes out in 4 manageable chunks (not including the panels on the sunroof which I'll re-cover another time) instead of one giant panel! Then there is a little panel between the visors, and 6 pillar trims. 
     
    Firstly, like the paint, the process pics were lost when my memory card crapped out, so we only have my description, and the finished product, so sorry about that. Finding matching fabric was a bit of a challenge, I couldn't find any of the actual fabric (and no doubt if I could it would have bankrupted me) so i sent off to a few places for some samples to find an acceptable match. I wasn't too bothered about exactly duplicating the original grey, as there are quite a few different shades between the sun visors, the grab handles, light surrounds, door hole seals, and seat belt parts, so as long as it toned well with all those I was fine with it
     
    A company called Martrim proved closest with their Saville grey, so I bought  a few metres of it, seeing as I expected to balls it up a few times.....
     
     
     
    Now the real first part of this, it removing all the old fabric, and for some parts, this is easy, and for others it's a bit of a bitch! Like the new stuff, the old fabric has a thin foam backing, to givie it a soft feel, but it's this foam that degrades, allowing the fabric to peel off, shrink, and hang down, whilst simultaneously showering the inside of the car with orange foam crud. Delightful!
     
    Anyway, the fabric peels off most of the panels ok, but getting the sticky, claggy, foam off is another matter. A scouring pad used harshly enough to remove the foam, but gently enough not to damage the main front and rear panels, which are a low density foam sandwiched between thin layers of fibre glass, and easy to crush and kink. The other panels are hard plastic, which is fine, but the fabric doesn't always have foam on the pillars and is really well stuck on. I forget which pair of pillars it was, but I left the old foamless fabric on.
     
    I started by covering the pillars as they're small, and relatively simple, making sure the thread direction of the fabric was consistent. It's not massively noticeable, but it'll bug me if they don't match. I cut a decent sized rectangle to guarantee coverage, sprayed both surfaces with contact adhesive, and began sticking the two together down the centre of the pillar, first time I got the thread wonky and then had to peel it off again, leaving the new foam behind, and proving a royal pain to get off! Trying to learn from mistakes, I got the rest of them ok, once they're covered on the front, i trimmed about 12mm out from the edge and put a few pie cuts in the corners so it folds over ok.
     


     
    The B-pillars are a pain as they have those little sliding panels for the seat belt height adjust, aand on the front face the hole has a surrounding trim that had to be carefully pried off, and then after the pillar was trimmed, the surround had to be glued back on, by under some pressure to get it flush. I used a block of wood cut to the size of the surround and clamped it, while using some 2 part epoxy to stick it on, then once it had dried trim off the excess on the back so the panel slid up and down easily. Not too tricky, but more faffing around than you'd think.
     


     
    Next I did the rear panel with the speaker holes. This wasn't too bad, but you have to make sure you don't stretch the fabric too much when there are contours, as it only has so much give and when it runs out, it won't form into the bottom of the concave sections. 
     

     
    The finger marks aren't nearly as noticeable in real life, the sun was low and it seems to show up every minor deviation in the pics.
     
    The front panel has some fairly strong contours so it was a little more tricky, and when you have to stretch it a lot, and then go back to flat, you almost have to compress it back again, in this panel I started at the sunroof aperture and went forward toward the windscreen and after forcing the fabric int the sun visor recesses, it was quite a challenge to unstretch it in front of that middle switch panel. 
     


     
    The switch panel hole in the panel has a thin metal surround for the panel to clip to, and that needed to be carefully pried off and refitted after covering. There's a few clips on panels and I put most of them back after covering, but some I forgot where they went, but things seemed to be stuck on ok, so I'm not too fussed. 
     
    Last panels to trim were the two down either side of the roof, and these have some quite harsh contours for the grab handles, and the first one took two goes and a fair bit of swearing. I can only say that applying the glue in sections is the way to go, if you glue it all and get a bit wrong, it all goes to pot and you have work to undo. 
     


     
    Colour wise, the grey fits in very well, and is a surprisingly good match for the grey of the felt seals around the door apertures, sunroof hole, and even for the original grey fabric still on the sunroof panels. As I said earlier, I'll trim the sunroof later, if and when I have to have the panels out. I've kind of had enough of trimming for a while.
     
    Apologies for the blurry pics btw, my camera seemed to be having a hard time with the light contrast between inside and outside the car.
     

  7. Like
    Flandy got a reaction from E39mad in 540i touring. "The Improvening!"   
    So I've owned this car for a couple of years, I bought it to replace my E39 530d touring as it's getting a bit tired and it's value is such that it's not worth spending money  on beyond maintenance. I fancied an older and more simple BMW of similar size with superior performance, but also a touring. E34 540i touring was what I went looking for, I was really after a manual, but only found one, and it was not in particularly great condition. I therefore figured converting an automatic with better bodywork would be a better option. I picked up this Ascot green example up with relatively high miles at 196k, but as i was replacing the transmission, diff, and propshaft, I figured it didn't really matter.


     
    The newly refurbished staggered throwing stars were a definite bonus! Those will most certainly be staying.
     
    I spent most of the last 2 years collecting parts, mostly for the 6 speed conversion, but then for everything else. I certainly needn't have bothered about the mileage because there'll be bugger all original mechanicals when I'm done!
     
    But first I needed to sort a few more pressing issues, like a sunroof leak. I don't believe in taking things apart and fixing just one thing, when you can sort out several things, so i figured if the headlining was coming out to sort what turned out to be a blocked rear drain, I might as well take the roof rails off and sort out the flaky paint on those, recover the headlining that was old and saggy, replace the gas struts on the rear glass hatch, replace the dried and shrunken sunroof perimeter seal, and for an added bonus while significant portions of the rear interior are apart, replace the usual wiring hack job towbar electrics with a genuine BMW kit I picked up brand new for a song, along with rebinding and tidying up all the electrical wiring.
     
    First off, the roof rails
     
    Until i took them off, I didn't realise they were fibre reinforced plastic! I had figured they were cast metal, as what was showing under the paint was a dull grey colour. Live and learn huh! Interesting construction technique, the structural portion of each rail is formed of an incredibly tightly folded piece of stainless steel, with four stainless studs that protrude through the car roof. The moulded plastic rails are then held to these with a multitude of short stainless set screws that thread into brass inserts in the plastic. 
     


     
    I didn't get pics of stripping the paint off the rails, or them bare plastic, suffice  to say it was a messy process and revealed that some of the inserts and surrounding plastic had been pulled out, but were thankfully not missing, so before I painted them, I refixed them, and reinforced all the others with some JB weld (JB weld will feature later, stay tuned!). I gave the rails a sand with some 240 grit until any scrape marks from the stripping were gone, gave them a coat of plastic primer, and then about 3 coats of plasticote satn black. 
     

     
    Came out pretty nice, and I only had to fish one little fly out of the finish, I'll call that a win! Once  they'd dried fully (I left them for a few days out in the sun) I was time to assemble them, and look into the spacers that go between the studs and the roof. 
     
     
     
    The rust staining around the studs is from the spacers. They allow the rails to be clamped down to the roof without squashing the rubber gasket that fits between the rails and the roof panel. The originals were badly corroded, and the rubber o-rings were pretty shot. New ones were expensive for what they are, and didn't seem from research to come with new o-rings. I decided to make new ones from a couple of stainless washers (M8 and M12) and a silicone rubber washer (16mm ID if memory serves). Thickness came out the same, it fits over the shoulder at the base of the studs nicely. To hold these little assemblies together in alignment, I used a layer of double sided tape. 
     


     
    That sorted, I used the double sided tape to hold the gaskets onto the base of the rails and moved onto preparing the roof in readiness. There was a little corrosion around the holes in the roof, so i bare metalled these little areas, treated them with kurust, and epoxy primed them . The epoxy is some stuff I've used on suspension components, and bonds really well to steal, is water proof, and in this application, where it's going to be covered, needs no top coating. I'd already fitted the perimeter seal on the sunroof (pain in the arse job to get the sticky glue remains off, sorry no pics of that job) so it was time to refit the rails.
     

     
    All in all, a very time consuming, but satisfactory job, that I'm glad is done. 
     
    Next, a seemingly unrelated job!
  8. Like
    Flandy got a reaction from Kit in What have you done on your E34 Today   
    The best bit is the options price list! Somebody else paid a butt load for the things that occasionally work on my car!
  9. Like
    Flandy got a reaction from Keliuss in 540i touring. "The Improvening!"   
    Thanks guys! It's been a while since I had any kind of build thread on a forum, but this has been quite fun so far. There's plenty more to come, as I've been far better at purchasing parts over the last 2 years than actually fitting anything, but there's not much more to purchase, so i better pull my finger out.
     
    One job I wasn't looking forward to was re-covering the headlining, but While I was replacing the sunroof seal, sorting out the rear drain, replacing the gas struts for the hatch glass, and stripping and repainting the roof rails, the headlining had to come out, and it was the last thing to go back in, so it kinda had to be done.  What I will say is thank goodness this car has a sunroof, because it means the headlining comes out in 4 manageable chunks (not including the panels on the sunroof which I'll re-cover another time) instead of one giant panel! Then there is a little panel between the visors, and 6 pillar trims. 
     
    Firstly, like the paint, the process pics were lost when my memory card crapped out, so we only have my description, and the finished product, so sorry about that. Finding matching fabric was a bit of a challenge, I couldn't find any of the actual fabric (and no doubt if I could it would have bankrupted me) so i sent off to a few places for some samples to find an acceptable match. I wasn't too bothered about exactly duplicating the original grey, as there are quite a few different shades between the sun visors, the grab handles, light surrounds, door hole seals, and seat belt parts, so as long as it toned well with all those I was fine with it
     
    A company called Martrim proved closest with their Saville grey, so I bought  a few metres of it, seeing as I expected to balls it up a few times.....
     
     
     
    Now the real first part of this, it removing all the old fabric, and for some parts, this is easy, and for others it's a bit of a bitch! Like the new stuff, the old fabric has a thin foam backing, to givie it a soft feel, but it's this foam that degrades, allowing the fabric to peel off, shrink, and hang down, whilst simultaneously showering the inside of the car with orange foam crud. Delightful!
     
    Anyway, the fabric peels off most of the panels ok, but getting the sticky, claggy, foam off is another matter. A scouring pad used harshly enough to remove the foam, but gently enough not to damage the main front and rear panels, which are a low density foam sandwiched between thin layers of fibre glass, and easy to crush and kink. The other panels are hard plastic, which is fine, but the fabric doesn't always have foam on the pillars and is really well stuck on. I forget which pair of pillars it was, but I left the old foamless fabric on.
     
    I started by covering the pillars as they're small, and relatively simple, making sure the thread direction of the fabric was consistent. It's not massively noticeable, but it'll bug me if they don't match. I cut a decent sized rectangle to guarantee coverage, sprayed both surfaces with contact adhesive, and began sticking the two together down the centre of the pillar, first time I got the thread wonky and then had to peel it off again, leaving the new foam behind, and proving a royal pain to get off! Trying to learn from mistakes, I got the rest of them ok, once they're covered on the front, i trimmed about 12mm out from the edge and put a few pie cuts in the corners so it folds over ok.
     


     
    The B-pillars are a pain as they have those little sliding panels for the seat belt height adjust, aand on the front face the hole has a surrounding trim that had to be carefully pried off, and then after the pillar was trimmed, the surround had to be glued back on, by under some pressure to get it flush. I used a block of wood cut to the size of the surround and clamped it, while using some 2 part epoxy to stick it on, then once it had dried trim off the excess on the back so the panel slid up and down easily. Not too tricky, but more faffing around than you'd think.
     


     
    Next I did the rear panel with the speaker holes. This wasn't too bad, but you have to make sure you don't stretch the fabric too much when there are contours, as it only has so much give and when it runs out, it won't form into the bottom of the concave sections. 
     

     
    The finger marks aren't nearly as noticeable in real life, the sun was low and it seems to show up every minor deviation in the pics.
     
    The front panel has some fairly strong contours so it was a little more tricky, and when you have to stretch it a lot, and then go back to flat, you almost have to compress it back again, in this panel I started at the sunroof aperture and went forward toward the windscreen and after forcing the fabric int the sun visor recesses, it was quite a challenge to unstretch it in front of that middle switch panel. 
     


     
    The switch panel hole in the panel has a thin metal surround for the panel to clip to, and that needed to be carefully pried off and refitted after covering. There's a few clips on panels and I put most of them back after covering, but some I forgot where they went, but things seemed to be stuck on ok, so I'm not too fussed. 
     
    Last panels to trim were the two down either side of the roof, and these have some quite harsh contours for the grab handles, and the first one took two goes and a fair bit of swearing. I can only say that applying the glue in sections is the way to go, if you glue it all and get a bit wrong, it all goes to pot and you have work to undo. 
     


     
    Colour wise, the grey fits in very well, and is a surprisingly good match for the grey of the felt seals around the door apertures, sunroof hole, and even for the original grey fabric still on the sunroof panels. As I said earlier, I'll trim the sunroof later, if and when I have to have the panels out. I've kind of had enough of trimming for a while.
     
    Apologies for the blurry pics btw, my camera seemed to be having a hard time with the light contrast between inside and outside the car.
     

  10. Like
    Flandy got a reaction from Keliuss in 540i touring. "The Improvening!"   
    Over the last couple of weeks I've sorted a couple of things that have been bugging me since I got the car, the stone chipped front end, and the saggy headlining.  The grille surround panel had chips all over it, some of which were beginning to rust, and I wanted to try and restore it before any of this rust got too troublesome. Unfortunately, due to a corrupted memory card, I lost all the prep pics for this, but my process was as follows:
     
    -Sand out any stone chips that had got to the base metal and ensure any and all spider legs were followed
    -use rust remover (Kurust brand) re-applying as directed until all trace of corrosion is eradicated
    -Belt and braces by using Kurust rust neutraliser to stabilise any remnants
    -This was repeated on the back of the panel before it was painted with EM121 epoxy rust proofing paint from Rust.co.uk. Used this lots of times for all sorts and it's fantastic stuff
    -Upol etch prime all the bare metal areas on the front
    -Use some stopper (Upol dolphin 1k) to raise all the sanded out areas and the myrid of other little chips. 
    -Sand it all back with a block and Upol filler prime the whole panel
    -More sanding, then a colour coat. My local motor supplies does colour matched Upol aerosols for a tenner, and I like the Upol stuff so stuck with it for everything else.
    -I let the colour bake for a day and then  over the course of a day, put 4 coats of clearcoat on it (Guess what brand!)
    -I let that dry for a week on the windowsill of the spare room that gets all the sun, then flatted it all back with various grades of wet and dry, before carefully machine polishing it.
     
    This post is brought to you by Upol.      Maybe she's born with it, maybe it's Upol !   or something........
     
    Anyway, having removed them,  the process was repeated on the brake vent ducts and the lower lip of the bumper to which they mount. The Top surface of the bumper was fine, just needing a good polish, and  for the vertical surface just below the black moulding, I touched in each little chip, before flatting them back and polishing the surface. It isn't perfect, but you have to get close to see it, and I didn't fancy painting the whole bumper.  
     
    Finishing touches were some clear indicators, new fog lights (Both TYC brand, and I have to say I'm very happy with the quality and fit), re-blacking the bumper mouldings with the hot air gun,  Using some "Black wow" on the grilles as they did not respond to hot air, and I painted and polished the two black panels inboard of the fog lights. 
     
    In the past I've been really bad at patience with paintwork like this, but having the lockdown time, and the amazing weather, made me take my time, and the results bear that out. 
     






     
    I also deleted the headlamp washer pipework, reservoir, pump etc, as frankly, I've never found them even remotely useful for anything other than pissing screenwash away for no appreciable benefit. It can go back if I regret it (not likely) but I kept the nozzles, seeing as I didn't want to have to fill in holes and repaint the whole bumper. 
     
    All in all I'm very happy, the one minor issue is that I keep blowing fog light fuses. With one or the other plugged in, the fuse is fine, but when both are connected up, it blows. it did it with the old lamp units too. It has the correct rated fuse, and while the bumper was off I checked all the wiring and it seems perfect. It's a bit of a mystery, and when I'd blown the fourth (and last) 15 amp fuse I had, I decided to splash out on some of these to aid in diagnostics: 
     

     
    A little set of circuit breakers that fit in place of blade fuses. Really handy tool to be able to cock up a circuit several times without running out of fuses! This set was £30 which seemed reasonable, I'm sure I'll get plenty of use out of these over the years. 
     
    Next update, the headlining....
  11. Like
    Flandy got a reaction from Ordnator in 540i touring. "The Improvening!"   
    That wouldn't surprise me in the slightest! RHD versions of lots of cars have various "foibles", crap brake cross linkages, compromised pedals, wrong way round wipers, offset steering wheels, the list goes on.
     
    In the clearly random order I'm doing jobs on this car, the next least obvious thing bothering me was the ugly tow bar. It's not something I use a lot, but from time to time a trailer comes in handy, especially when you buy some heap on ebay without an MOT. The bar originally looked bloody ugly (both by design and by crust), and posted a clear and present danger to shins. My E39 has a very nice Westfalia detachable tow bar, and since this car will be taking over those duties, I figured I'd see if I can adapt that to the E34.
     

     
     
    So this is the tow bar as was, it's not great, and I have no use for the dual electrics. It had to go. 
     

     
    The electrics was a world of evil blue scotchloks, poorly routed wires, and barely treated holes. Not good (this is where an illustrative picture would be good, but I forgot to take one)
     
    I was lucky enough to find a NOS BMW tow bar electrics kit, albeit for a saloon, but that wasn't a major problem. Looking at the loom, I'm guessing the wiring on a saloon goes along the back of the boot to get from side to side, where on the touring it goes across the front of the boot. It just meant the wiring needed extending, so I found the relevant coloured wiring from my pile of salvaged looms, and extended the part that connects to the drivers side tail light. I took this chance to re wrap as much of the wiring back there as I could, using Tessa fabric tape. It's kinda fuzzy and looks great, unlike the original cloth wrapping which was all sticky to the touch, and coming undone. I made a bracket for the relay/fuse module, and mounted it in what seemed like a sensible place.
     


     
    And the other side
     

     
    Found a few unused connectors, I'm sure they're for things not fitted to my car, but I'd be curious if anyone does know what they might be for:
     

     
    That last one is the same style plug, and the same wiring colours as the one on the parking sensor buzzer, that's right next to it, but there's no continuity between the two. 
     
    Wiring in place, I took the old bar off, cut the original bracket off, and came up with a design, consisting of a large flat plate cut from 8 mm steel that is seam welded to the top of the main cross bar, with two strengthening gussets underneath. The socket for the detachable section then bolts to the main plate with some 10.9 bolts.
     


     
    Then I made up a bracket for the electrical socket, welded that on from behind, flung some paint at it, Cleaned up and spray waxed the back of the car, and bolted the lot up.
     





     
    The best part is that the detachable section fits perfectly in the compartment under the front section of the boot floor, including a place for the key! I couldn't find a pic of an original E34 Westfalia, but given how well this fits, it must be near identical to this.
     

     
    The wiring kit came with a removable panel for the bumper, and there'll be a pic of that and the newly enlarged bumper hole  to follow....
     
     
  12. Like
    Flandy got a reaction from Ordnator in 540i touring. "The Improvening!"   
    That wouldn't surprise me in the slightest! RHD versions of lots of cars have various "foibles", crap brake cross linkages, compromised pedals, wrong way round wipers, offset steering wheels, the list goes on.
     
    In the clearly random order I'm doing jobs on this car, the next least obvious thing bothering me was the ugly tow bar. It's not something I use a lot, but from time to time a trailer comes in handy, especially when you buy some heap on ebay without an MOT. The bar originally looked bloody ugly (both by design and by crust), and posted a clear and present danger to shins. My E39 has a very nice Westfalia detachable tow bar, and since this car will be taking over those duties, I figured I'd see if I can adapt that to the E34.
     

     
     
    So this is the tow bar as was, it's not great, and I have no use for the dual electrics. It had to go. 
     

     
    The electrics was a world of evil blue scotchloks, poorly routed wires, and barely treated holes. Not good (this is where an illustrative picture would be good, but I forgot to take one)
     
    I was lucky enough to find a NOS BMW tow bar electrics kit, albeit for a saloon, but that wasn't a major problem. Looking at the loom, I'm guessing the wiring on a saloon goes along the back of the boot to get from side to side, where on the touring it goes across the front of the boot. It just meant the wiring needed extending, so I found the relevant coloured wiring from my pile of salvaged looms, and extended the part that connects to the drivers side tail light. I took this chance to re wrap as much of the wiring back there as I could, using Tessa fabric tape. It's kinda fuzzy and looks great, unlike the original cloth wrapping which was all sticky to the touch, and coming undone. I made a bracket for the relay/fuse module, and mounted it in what seemed like a sensible place.
     


     
    And the other side
     

     
    Found a few unused connectors, I'm sure they're for things not fitted to my car, but I'd be curious if anyone does know what they might be for:
     

     
    That last one is the same style plug, and the same wiring colours as the one on the parking sensor buzzer, that's right next to it, but there's no continuity between the two. 
     
    Wiring in place, I took the old bar off, cut the original bracket off, and came up with a design, consisting of a large flat plate cut from 8 mm steel that is seam welded to the top of the main cross bar, with two strengthening gussets underneath. The socket for the detachable section then bolts to the main plate with some 10.9 bolts.
     


     
    Then I made up a bracket for the electrical socket, welded that on from behind, flung some paint at it, Cleaned up and spray waxed the back of the car, and bolted the lot up.
     





     
    The best part is that the detachable section fits perfectly in the compartment under the front section of the boot floor, including a place for the key! I couldn't find a pic of an original E34 Westfalia, but given how well this fits, it must be near identical to this.
     

     
    The wiring kit came with a removable panel for the bumper, and there'll be a pic of that and the newly enlarged bumper hole  to follow....
     
     
  13. Like
    Flandy got a reaction from Ordnator in 540i touring. "The Improvening!"   
    That wouldn't surprise me in the slightest! RHD versions of lots of cars have various "foibles", crap brake cross linkages, compromised pedals, wrong way round wipers, offset steering wheels, the list goes on.
     
    In the clearly random order I'm doing jobs on this car, the next least obvious thing bothering me was the ugly tow bar. It's not something I use a lot, but from time to time a trailer comes in handy, especially when you buy some heap on ebay without an MOT. The bar originally looked bloody ugly (both by design and by crust), and posted a clear and present danger to shins. My E39 has a very nice Westfalia detachable tow bar, and since this car will be taking over those duties, I figured I'd see if I can adapt that to the E34.
     

     
     
    So this is the tow bar as was, it's not great, and I have no use for the dual electrics. It had to go. 
     

     
    The electrics was a world of evil blue scotchloks, poorly routed wires, and barely treated holes. Not good (this is where an illustrative picture would be good, but I forgot to take one)
     
    I was lucky enough to find a NOS BMW tow bar electrics kit, albeit for a saloon, but that wasn't a major problem. Looking at the loom, I'm guessing the wiring on a saloon goes along the back of the boot to get from side to side, where on the touring it goes across the front of the boot. It just meant the wiring needed extending, so I found the relevant coloured wiring from my pile of salvaged looms, and extended the part that connects to the drivers side tail light. I took this chance to re wrap as much of the wiring back there as I could, using Tessa fabric tape. It's kinda fuzzy and looks great, unlike the original cloth wrapping which was all sticky to the touch, and coming undone. I made a bracket for the relay/fuse module, and mounted it in what seemed like a sensible place.
     


     
    And the other side
     

     
    Found a few unused connectors, I'm sure they're for things not fitted to my car, but I'd be curious if anyone does know what they might be for:
     

     
    That last one is the same style plug, and the same wiring colours as the one on the parking sensor buzzer, that's right next to it, but there's no continuity between the two. 
     
    Wiring in place, I took the old bar off, cut the original bracket off, and came up with a design, consisting of a large flat plate cut from 8 mm steel that is seam welded to the top of the main cross bar, with two strengthening gussets underneath. The socket for the detachable section then bolts to the main plate with some 10.9 bolts.
     


     
    Then I made up a bracket for the electrical socket, welded that on from behind, flung some paint at it, Cleaned up and spray waxed the back of the car, and bolted the lot up.
     





     
    The best part is that the detachable section fits perfectly in the compartment under the front section of the boot floor, including a place for the key! I couldn't find a pic of an original E34 Westfalia, but given how well this fits, it must be near identical to this.
     

     
    The wiring kit came with a removable panel for the bumper, and there'll be a pic of that and the newly enlarged bumper hole  to follow....
     
     
  14. Like
    Flandy got a reaction from Keliuss in 540i touring. "The Improvening!"   
    Next on the list of pain in the arse E34 foibles is the wipers. My wiper arms had both started to eat the bonnet, the drivers side seemed to be because it had not been shoved onto the splines all the way before the clamp bolt was tightened, but the passenger wiper was on there properly, it was the spindle bush that had worn allowing the spring in the arm to push up the base, grinding it into the back edge of the bonnet. The cause seems to be a design flaw whereby water off the windscreen can get to the top of the wiper spindle, eventually washing out the grease, allowing the spindle to wear. Unimpressed BMW, unimpressed. 
     
    So what to do? I looked at getting a used wiper mechanism, but it would likely have the same issue to some extent, and having a 540 with the weird and funky AKS variable wiper pressure system, it limited the options further. So for the time being I took off the arms, filled the worn parts (the drivers side had a hole!) with JB weld, and sanded, smoothed and painted them. I wanted new caps for the clamping end, but those are way more than I'm willing to pay for some tiny little plastic trims, so they can wait. I had considered taking the mechanism out, reaming out the old bush, and making a new one to replace it, but I never got around to it, and then a NOS wiper mechanism showed up on ebay for £100! Score! Starting with a new one I can make sure it stays healthy and this crap doesn't happen again. 
     

     
    Removing the mechanism is a bit of a ball ache, as the header tank, bulkhead section, DME, and heater fan all have to come out. for access, and the AKS motor and main wiper motor must come off first, to allow the mechanism to shuffle out. The old one didn't look too bad until I took the passenger side spindle out, and you can see that the bush is well buggered, and the spindle plating had worn through, allowing it to rust, and just exacerbate the problem. I'll save it, to see if it can be repaired, and keep it for spare, seeing as new ones are NLA.
     
     
     
    The next issue seemed to be that the pin that the AKS pushes up the centre of the spindle to increase the pressure was missing. but after removing the mechanism and cleaning out the area, i found it in the scuttle. It also turned out the back of the AKS motor had broken, it looks like it was out of adjustment and kind of broken itself and maybe when it was removed to see what was up, the pin had dropped out. Anyway, the JB weld came out again, and I tested and re-greased the AKS, and repaired the back. The mechanism now works fine, but as it's speed sensitive, I'm not sure how you test it, but I suspect the relay was the issue, so I'll look into testing that is as it should be and hopefully it won't eat itself again.
     



     
    I bought new spindle nuts, washers and grommets, as the old ones were past their best. To be honest I was amazed the passenger nut undid at all, as it was pretty rusty, and the pot metal thread looked terrible, but some WD40 and patience paid off.
     

     
    Before it could all go back, I noticed that the pollen filter was completely missing, so I cleaned out the area from above while I could, and looked up the replacement method. The manual was useless for this, but I did find a good youtube video 
     
      
    What I will say is that if that filter didn't split down the middle, this would be a steering column out job on a RHD car! Before I realised it did that, I said some unfavourable things about German engineers!
     
    I cleaned up the scuttle area, and ground back and treated a few bits of surface rust, before repainting it, letting it harden off a few days before refitting all the mechanism. 
     


     
    I did notice that the commutator on the heater motor had a fair bit of wear, but as the motor works fine, is quiet, and I now know how to remove it, I figured I'd wait for it to die before replacing it. I settled for lubricating it as best I could for now.
     

     
    The rest of the job was just reassembly, making sure to get the wiper arms in the right place before turning them on (don't skip that stage!) and then adjusting the drivers arm so that the AKS grub screw is just contacting the top of the pin.  
     

     
    That set, I put on the end caps and hesitantly closed the bonnet. Result! no contact, though given this is now as it should be, it's still way closer to the bonnet than you'd think it should be. no wonder it causes issues when there's a little bit of wear.
     


     
    I still don't know if the AKS is working properly, but it is all there now, and intact, so it has a fighting chance at least. Apparently when the relay dies it can cause the motor to run constantly and drain the battery, so I might replace it just to be on the safe side. 
     
    Another job done, this lockdown is ok if you have some jobs to do and the parts to do them. I'm going to look at the ugly towbar next.....
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
  15. Like
    Flandy got a reaction from Keliuss in 540i touring. "The Improvening!"   
    Next on the list of pain in the arse E34 foibles is the wipers. My wiper arms had both started to eat the bonnet, the drivers side seemed to be because it had not been shoved onto the splines all the way before the clamp bolt was tightened, but the passenger wiper was on there properly, it was the spindle bush that had worn allowing the spring in the arm to push up the base, grinding it into the back edge of the bonnet. The cause seems to be a design flaw whereby water off the windscreen can get to the top of the wiper spindle, eventually washing out the grease, allowing the spindle to wear. Unimpressed BMW, unimpressed. 
     
    So what to do? I looked at getting a used wiper mechanism, but it would likely have the same issue to some extent, and having a 540 with the weird and funky AKS variable wiper pressure system, it limited the options further. So for the time being I took off the arms, filled the worn parts (the drivers side had a hole!) with JB weld, and sanded, smoothed and painted them. I wanted new caps for the clamping end, but those are way more than I'm willing to pay for some tiny little plastic trims, so they can wait. I had considered taking the mechanism out, reaming out the old bush, and making a new one to replace it, but I never got around to it, and then a NOS wiper mechanism showed up on ebay for £100! Score! Starting with a new one I can make sure it stays healthy and this crap doesn't happen again. 
     

     
    Removing the mechanism is a bit of a ball ache, as the header tank, bulkhead section, DME, and heater fan all have to come out. for access, and the AKS motor and main wiper motor must come off first, to allow the mechanism to shuffle out. The old one didn't look too bad until I took the passenger side spindle out, and you can see that the bush is well buggered, and the spindle plating had worn through, allowing it to rust, and just exacerbate the problem. I'll save it, to see if it can be repaired, and keep it for spare, seeing as new ones are NLA.
     
     
     
    The next issue seemed to be that the pin that the AKS pushes up the centre of the spindle to increase the pressure was missing. but after removing the mechanism and cleaning out the area, i found it in the scuttle. It also turned out the back of the AKS motor had broken, it looks like it was out of adjustment and kind of broken itself and maybe when it was removed to see what was up, the pin had dropped out. Anyway, the JB weld came out again, and I tested and re-greased the AKS, and repaired the back. The mechanism now works fine, but as it's speed sensitive, I'm not sure how you test it, but I suspect the relay was the issue, so I'll look into testing that is as it should be and hopefully it won't eat itself again.
     



     
    I bought new spindle nuts, washers and grommets, as the old ones were past their best. To be honest I was amazed the passenger nut undid at all, as it was pretty rusty, and the pot metal thread looked terrible, but some WD40 and patience paid off.
     

     
    Before it could all go back, I noticed that the pollen filter was completely missing, so I cleaned out the area from above while I could, and looked up the replacement method. The manual was useless for this, but I did find a good youtube video 
     
      
    What I will say is that if that filter didn't split down the middle, this would be a steering column out job on a RHD car! Before I realised it did that, I said some unfavourable things about German engineers!
     
    I cleaned up the scuttle area, and ground back and treated a few bits of surface rust, before repainting it, letting it harden off a few days before refitting all the mechanism. 
     


     
    I did notice that the commutator on the heater motor had a fair bit of wear, but as the motor works fine, is quiet, and I now know how to remove it, I figured I'd wait for it to die before replacing it. I settled for lubricating it as best I could for now.
     

     
    The rest of the job was just reassembly, making sure to get the wiper arms in the right place before turning them on (don't skip that stage!) and then adjusting the drivers arm so that the AKS grub screw is just contacting the top of the pin.  
     

     
    That set, I put on the end caps and hesitantly closed the bonnet. Result! no contact, though given this is now as it should be, it's still way closer to the bonnet than you'd think it should be. no wonder it causes issues when there's a little bit of wear.
     


     
    I still don't know if the AKS is working properly, but it is all there now, and intact, so it has a fighting chance at least. Apparently when the relay dies it can cause the motor to run constantly and drain the battery, so I might replace it just to be on the safe side. 
     
    Another job done, this lockdown is ok if you have some jobs to do and the parts to do them. I'm going to look at the ugly towbar next.....
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
  16. Like
    Flandy got a reaction from Keliuss in 540i touring. "The Improvening!"   
    Next on the list of pain in the arse E34 foibles is the wipers. My wiper arms had both started to eat the bonnet, the drivers side seemed to be because it had not been shoved onto the splines all the way before the clamp bolt was tightened, but the passenger wiper was on there properly, it was the spindle bush that had worn allowing the spring in the arm to push up the base, grinding it into the back edge of the bonnet. The cause seems to be a design flaw whereby water off the windscreen can get to the top of the wiper spindle, eventually washing out the grease, allowing the spindle to wear. Unimpressed BMW, unimpressed. 
     
    So what to do? I looked at getting a used wiper mechanism, but it would likely have the same issue to some extent, and having a 540 with the weird and funky AKS variable wiper pressure system, it limited the options further. So for the time being I took off the arms, filled the worn parts (the drivers side had a hole!) with JB weld, and sanded, smoothed and painted them. I wanted new caps for the clamping end, but those are way more than I'm willing to pay for some tiny little plastic trims, so they can wait. I had considered taking the mechanism out, reaming out the old bush, and making a new one to replace it, but I never got around to it, and then a NOS wiper mechanism showed up on ebay for £100! Score! Starting with a new one I can make sure it stays healthy and this crap doesn't happen again. 
     

     
    Removing the mechanism is a bit of a ball ache, as the header tank, bulkhead section, DME, and heater fan all have to come out. for access, and the AKS motor and main wiper motor must come off first, to allow the mechanism to shuffle out. The old one didn't look too bad until I took the passenger side spindle out, and you can see that the bush is well buggered, and the spindle plating had worn through, allowing it to rust, and just exacerbate the problem. I'll save it, to see if it can be repaired, and keep it for spare, seeing as new ones are NLA.
     
     
     
    The next issue seemed to be that the pin that the AKS pushes up the centre of the spindle to increase the pressure was missing. but after removing the mechanism and cleaning out the area, i found it in the scuttle. It also turned out the back of the AKS motor had broken, it looks like it was out of adjustment and kind of broken itself and maybe when it was removed to see what was up, the pin had dropped out. Anyway, the JB weld came out again, and I tested and re-greased the AKS, and repaired the back. The mechanism now works fine, but as it's speed sensitive, I'm not sure how you test it, but I suspect the relay was the issue, so I'll look into testing that is as it should be and hopefully it won't eat itself again.
     



     
    I bought new spindle nuts, washers and grommets, as the old ones were past their best. To be honest I was amazed the passenger nut undid at all, as it was pretty rusty, and the pot metal thread looked terrible, but some WD40 and patience paid off.
     

     
    Before it could all go back, I noticed that the pollen filter was completely missing, so I cleaned out the area from above while I could, and looked up the replacement method. The manual was useless for this, but I did find a good youtube video 
     
      
    What I will say is that if that filter didn't split down the middle, this would be a steering column out job on a RHD car! Before I realised it did that, I said some unfavourable things about German engineers!
     
    I cleaned up the scuttle area, and ground back and treated a few bits of surface rust, before repainting it, letting it harden off a few days before refitting all the mechanism. 
     


     
    I did notice that the commutator on the heater motor had a fair bit of wear, but as the motor works fine, is quiet, and I now know how to remove it, I figured I'd wait for it to die before replacing it. I settled for lubricating it as best I could for now.
     

     
    The rest of the job was just reassembly, making sure to get the wiper arms in the right place before turning them on (don't skip that stage!) and then adjusting the drivers arm so that the AKS grub screw is just contacting the top of the pin.  
     

     
    That set, I put on the end caps and hesitantly closed the bonnet. Result! no contact, though given this is now as it should be, it's still way closer to the bonnet than you'd think it should be. no wonder it causes issues when there's a little bit of wear.
     


     
    I still don't know if the AKS is working properly, but it is all there now, and intact, so it has a fighting chance at least. Apparently when the relay dies it can cause the motor to run constantly and drain the battery, so I might replace it just to be on the safe side. 
     
    Another job done, this lockdown is ok if you have some jobs to do and the parts to do them. I'm going to look at the ugly towbar next.....
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
  17. Like
    Flandy got a reaction from E39mad in 540i touring. "The Improvening!"   
    So I've owned this car for a couple of years, I bought it to replace my E39 530d touring as it's getting a bit tired and it's value is such that it's not worth spending money  on beyond maintenance. I fancied an older and more simple BMW of similar size with superior performance, but also a touring. E34 540i touring was what I went looking for, I was really after a manual, but only found one, and it was not in particularly great condition. I therefore figured converting an automatic with better bodywork would be a better option. I picked up this Ascot green example up with relatively high miles at 196k, but as i was replacing the transmission, diff, and propshaft, I figured it didn't really matter.


     
    The newly refurbished staggered throwing stars were a definite bonus! Those will most certainly be staying.
     
    I spent most of the last 2 years collecting parts, mostly for the 6 speed conversion, but then for everything else. I certainly needn't have bothered about the mileage because there'll be bugger all original mechanicals when I'm done!
     
    But first I needed to sort a few more pressing issues, like a sunroof leak. I don't believe in taking things apart and fixing just one thing, when you can sort out several things, so i figured if the headlining was coming out to sort what turned out to be a blocked rear drain, I might as well take the roof rails off and sort out the flaky paint on those, recover the headlining that was old and saggy, replace the gas struts on the rear glass hatch, replace the dried and shrunken sunroof perimeter seal, and for an added bonus while significant portions of the rear interior are apart, replace the usual wiring hack job towbar electrics with a genuine BMW kit I picked up brand new for a song, along with rebinding and tidying up all the electrical wiring.
     
    First off, the roof rails
     
    Until i took them off, I didn't realise they were fibre reinforced plastic! I had figured they were cast metal, as what was showing under the paint was a dull grey colour. Live and learn huh! Interesting construction technique, the structural portion of each rail is formed of an incredibly tightly folded piece of stainless steel, with four stainless studs that protrude through the car roof. The moulded plastic rails are then held to these with a multitude of short stainless set screws that thread into brass inserts in the plastic. 
     


     
    I didn't get pics of stripping the paint off the rails, or them bare plastic, suffice  to say it was a messy process and revealed that some of the inserts and surrounding plastic had been pulled out, but were thankfully not missing, so before I painted them, I refixed them, and reinforced all the others with some JB weld (JB weld will feature later, stay tuned!). I gave the rails a sand with some 240 grit until any scrape marks from the stripping were gone, gave them a coat of plastic primer, and then about 3 coats of plasticote satn black. 
     

     
    Came out pretty nice, and I only had to fish one little fly out of the finish, I'll call that a win! Once  they'd dried fully (I left them for a few days out in the sun) I was time to assemble them, and look into the spacers that go between the studs and the roof. 
     
     
     
    The rust staining around the studs is from the spacers. They allow the rails to be clamped down to the roof without squashing the rubber gasket that fits between the rails and the roof panel. The originals were badly corroded, and the rubber o-rings were pretty shot. New ones were expensive for what they are, and didn't seem from research to come with new o-rings. I decided to make new ones from a couple of stainless washers (M8 and M12) and a silicone rubber washer (16mm ID if memory serves). Thickness came out the same, it fits over the shoulder at the base of the studs nicely. To hold these little assemblies together in alignment, I used a layer of double sided tape. 
     


     
    That sorted, I used the double sided tape to hold the gaskets onto the base of the rails and moved onto preparing the roof in readiness. There was a little corrosion around the holes in the roof, so i bare metalled these little areas, treated them with kurust, and epoxy primed them . The epoxy is some stuff I've used on suspension components, and bonds really well to steal, is water proof, and in this application, where it's going to be covered, needs no top coating. I'd already fitted the perimeter seal on the sunroof (pain in the arse job to get the sticky glue remains off, sorry no pics of that job) so it was time to refit the rails.
     

     
    All in all, a very time consuming, but satisfactory job, that I'm glad is done. 
     
    Next, a seemingly unrelated job!
  18. Like
    Flandy got a reaction from E39mad in 540i touring. "The Improvening!"   
    So I've owned this car for a couple of years, I bought it to replace my E39 530d touring as it's getting a bit tired and it's value is such that it's not worth spending money  on beyond maintenance. I fancied an older and more simple BMW of similar size with superior performance, but also a touring. E34 540i touring was what I went looking for, I was really after a manual, but only found one, and it was not in particularly great condition. I therefore figured converting an automatic with better bodywork would be a better option. I picked up this Ascot green example up with relatively high miles at 196k, but as i was replacing the transmission, diff, and propshaft, I figured it didn't really matter.


     
    The newly refurbished staggered throwing stars were a definite bonus! Those will most certainly be staying.
     
    I spent most of the last 2 years collecting parts, mostly for the 6 speed conversion, but then for everything else. I certainly needn't have bothered about the mileage because there'll be bugger all original mechanicals when I'm done!
     
    But first I needed to sort a few more pressing issues, like a sunroof leak. I don't believe in taking things apart and fixing just one thing, when you can sort out several things, so i figured if the headlining was coming out to sort what turned out to be a blocked rear drain, I might as well take the roof rails off and sort out the flaky paint on those, recover the headlining that was old and saggy, replace the gas struts on the rear glass hatch, replace the dried and shrunken sunroof perimeter seal, and for an added bonus while significant portions of the rear interior are apart, replace the usual wiring hack job towbar electrics with a genuine BMW kit I picked up brand new for a song, along with rebinding and tidying up all the electrical wiring.
     
    First off, the roof rails
     
    Until i took them off, I didn't realise they were fibre reinforced plastic! I had figured they were cast metal, as what was showing under the paint was a dull grey colour. Live and learn huh! Interesting construction technique, the structural portion of each rail is formed of an incredibly tightly folded piece of stainless steel, with four stainless studs that protrude through the car roof. The moulded plastic rails are then held to these with a multitude of short stainless set screws that thread into brass inserts in the plastic. 
     


     
    I didn't get pics of stripping the paint off the rails, or them bare plastic, suffice  to say it was a messy process and revealed that some of the inserts and surrounding plastic had been pulled out, but were thankfully not missing, so before I painted them, I refixed them, and reinforced all the others with some JB weld (JB weld will feature later, stay tuned!). I gave the rails a sand with some 240 grit until any scrape marks from the stripping were gone, gave them a coat of plastic primer, and then about 3 coats of plasticote satn black. 
     

     
    Came out pretty nice, and I only had to fish one little fly out of the finish, I'll call that a win! Once  they'd dried fully (I left them for a few days out in the sun) I was time to assemble them, and look into the spacers that go between the studs and the roof. 
     
     
     
    The rust staining around the studs is from the spacers. They allow the rails to be clamped down to the roof without squashing the rubber gasket that fits between the rails and the roof panel. The originals were badly corroded, and the rubber o-rings were pretty shot. New ones were expensive for what they are, and didn't seem from research to come with new o-rings. I decided to make new ones from a couple of stainless washers (M8 and M12) and a silicone rubber washer (16mm ID if memory serves). Thickness came out the same, it fits over the shoulder at the base of the studs nicely. To hold these little assemblies together in alignment, I used a layer of double sided tape. 
     


     
    That sorted, I used the double sided tape to hold the gaskets onto the base of the rails and moved onto preparing the roof in readiness. There was a little corrosion around the holes in the roof, so i bare metalled these little areas, treated them with kurust, and epoxy primed them . The epoxy is some stuff I've used on suspension components, and bonds really well to steal, is water proof, and in this application, where it's going to be covered, needs no top coating. I'd already fitted the perimeter seal on the sunroof (pain in the arse job to get the sticky glue remains off, sorry no pics of that job) so it was time to refit the rails.
     

     
    All in all, a very time consuming, but satisfactory job, that I'm glad is done. 
     
    Next, a seemingly unrelated job!
  19. Like
    Flandy got a reaction from E39mad in 540i touring. "The Improvening!"   
    So I've owned this car for a couple of years, I bought it to replace my E39 530d touring as it's getting a bit tired and it's value is such that it's not worth spending money  on beyond maintenance. I fancied an older and more simple BMW of similar size with superior performance, but also a touring. E34 540i touring was what I went looking for, I was really after a manual, but only found one, and it was not in particularly great condition. I therefore figured converting an automatic with better bodywork would be a better option. I picked up this Ascot green example up with relatively high miles at 196k, but as i was replacing the transmission, diff, and propshaft, I figured it didn't really matter.


     
    The newly refurbished staggered throwing stars were a definite bonus! Those will most certainly be staying.
     
    I spent most of the last 2 years collecting parts, mostly for the 6 speed conversion, but then for everything else. I certainly needn't have bothered about the mileage because there'll be bugger all original mechanicals when I'm done!
     
    But first I needed to sort a few more pressing issues, like a sunroof leak. I don't believe in taking things apart and fixing just one thing, when you can sort out several things, so i figured if the headlining was coming out to sort what turned out to be a blocked rear drain, I might as well take the roof rails off and sort out the flaky paint on those, recover the headlining that was old and saggy, replace the gas struts on the rear glass hatch, replace the dried and shrunken sunroof perimeter seal, and for an added bonus while significant portions of the rear interior are apart, replace the usual wiring hack job towbar electrics with a genuine BMW kit I picked up brand new for a song, along with rebinding and tidying up all the electrical wiring.
     
    First off, the roof rails
     
    Until i took them off, I didn't realise they were fibre reinforced plastic! I had figured they were cast metal, as what was showing under the paint was a dull grey colour. Live and learn huh! Interesting construction technique, the structural portion of each rail is formed of an incredibly tightly folded piece of stainless steel, with four stainless studs that protrude through the car roof. The moulded plastic rails are then held to these with a multitude of short stainless set screws that thread into brass inserts in the plastic. 
     


     
    I didn't get pics of stripping the paint off the rails, or them bare plastic, suffice  to say it was a messy process and revealed that some of the inserts and surrounding plastic had been pulled out, but were thankfully not missing, so before I painted them, I refixed them, and reinforced all the others with some JB weld (JB weld will feature later, stay tuned!). I gave the rails a sand with some 240 grit until any scrape marks from the stripping were gone, gave them a coat of plastic primer, and then about 3 coats of plasticote satn black. 
     

     
    Came out pretty nice, and I only had to fish one little fly out of the finish, I'll call that a win! Once  they'd dried fully (I left them for a few days out in the sun) I was time to assemble them, and look into the spacers that go between the studs and the roof. 
     
     
     
    The rust staining around the studs is from the spacers. They allow the rails to be clamped down to the roof without squashing the rubber gasket that fits between the rails and the roof panel. The originals were badly corroded, and the rubber o-rings were pretty shot. New ones were expensive for what they are, and didn't seem from research to come with new o-rings. I decided to make new ones from a couple of stainless washers (M8 and M12) and a silicone rubber washer (16mm ID if memory serves). Thickness came out the same, it fits over the shoulder at the base of the studs nicely. To hold these little assemblies together in alignment, I used a layer of double sided tape. 
     


     
    That sorted, I used the double sided tape to hold the gaskets onto the base of the rails and moved onto preparing the roof in readiness. There was a little corrosion around the holes in the roof, so i bare metalled these little areas, treated them with kurust, and epoxy primed them . The epoxy is some stuff I've used on suspension components, and bonds really well to steal, is water proof, and in this application, where it's going to be covered, needs no top coating. I'd already fitted the perimeter seal on the sunroof (pain in the arse job to get the sticky glue remains off, sorry no pics of that job) so it was time to refit the rails.
     

     
    All in all, a very time consuming, but satisfactory job, that I'm glad is done. 
     
    Next, a seemingly unrelated job!
  20. Like
    Flandy got a reaction from E39mad in 540i touring. "The Improvening!"   
    So I've owned this car for a couple of years, I bought it to replace my E39 530d touring as it's getting a bit tired and it's value is such that it's not worth spending money  on beyond maintenance. I fancied an older and more simple BMW of similar size with superior performance, but also a touring. E34 540i touring was what I went looking for, I was really after a manual, but only found one, and it was not in particularly great condition. I therefore figured converting an automatic with better bodywork would be a better option. I picked up this Ascot green example up with relatively high miles at 196k, but as i was replacing the transmission, diff, and propshaft, I figured it didn't really matter.


     
    The newly refurbished staggered throwing stars were a definite bonus! Those will most certainly be staying.
     
    I spent most of the last 2 years collecting parts, mostly for the 6 speed conversion, but then for everything else. I certainly needn't have bothered about the mileage because there'll be bugger all original mechanicals when I'm done!
     
    But first I needed to sort a few more pressing issues, like a sunroof leak. I don't believe in taking things apart and fixing just one thing, when you can sort out several things, so i figured if the headlining was coming out to sort what turned out to be a blocked rear drain, I might as well take the roof rails off and sort out the flaky paint on those, recover the headlining that was old and saggy, replace the gas struts on the rear glass hatch, replace the dried and shrunken sunroof perimeter seal, and for an added bonus while significant portions of the rear interior are apart, replace the usual wiring hack job towbar electrics with a genuine BMW kit I picked up brand new for a song, along with rebinding and tidying up all the electrical wiring.
     
    First off, the roof rails
     
    Until i took them off, I didn't realise they were fibre reinforced plastic! I had figured they were cast metal, as what was showing under the paint was a dull grey colour. Live and learn huh! Interesting construction technique, the structural portion of each rail is formed of an incredibly tightly folded piece of stainless steel, with four stainless studs that protrude through the car roof. The moulded plastic rails are then held to these with a multitude of short stainless set screws that thread into brass inserts in the plastic. 
     


     
    I didn't get pics of stripping the paint off the rails, or them bare plastic, suffice  to say it was a messy process and revealed that some of the inserts and surrounding plastic had been pulled out, but were thankfully not missing, so before I painted them, I refixed them, and reinforced all the others with some JB weld (JB weld will feature later, stay tuned!). I gave the rails a sand with some 240 grit until any scrape marks from the stripping were gone, gave them a coat of plastic primer, and then about 3 coats of plasticote satn black. 
     

     
    Came out pretty nice, and I only had to fish one little fly out of the finish, I'll call that a win! Once  they'd dried fully (I left them for a few days out in the sun) I was time to assemble them, and look into the spacers that go between the studs and the roof. 
     
     
     
    The rust staining around the studs is from the spacers. They allow the rails to be clamped down to the roof without squashing the rubber gasket that fits between the rails and the roof panel. The originals were badly corroded, and the rubber o-rings were pretty shot. New ones were expensive for what they are, and didn't seem from research to come with new o-rings. I decided to make new ones from a couple of stainless washers (M8 and M12) and a silicone rubber washer (16mm ID if memory serves). Thickness came out the same, it fits over the shoulder at the base of the studs nicely. To hold these little assemblies together in alignment, I used a layer of double sided tape. 
     


     
    That sorted, I used the double sided tape to hold the gaskets onto the base of the rails and moved onto preparing the roof in readiness. There was a little corrosion around the holes in the roof, so i bare metalled these little areas, treated them with kurust, and epoxy primed them . The epoxy is some stuff I've used on suspension components, and bonds really well to steal, is water proof, and in this application, where it's going to be covered, needs no top coating. I'd already fitted the perimeter seal on the sunroof (pain in the arse job to get the sticky glue remains off, sorry no pics of that job) so it was time to refit the rails.
     

     
    All in all, a very time consuming, but satisfactory job, that I'm glad is done. 
     
    Next, a seemingly unrelated job!
  21. Like
    Flandy got a reaction from Piper in Roof bars for tourings, what recommendations?   
    In the end i found some enuine Audi Q5 bars brand new on ebay for £15! I had to reposition the clamps on the bars, and reprofile the rubber blocks that sit on the roof rails, but they fit a treat, and are 4 feet wide so I can take on big stuff!

  22. Like
    Flandy got a reaction from stevenc3828 in 525ix engine swap   
    Looking on real OEM, the oil pan gasket (part number 11131437237) is shared with the following vehicles:
     
    3' E36   (11/1989 — 08/2000) 3' E46   (04/1997 — 12/2018) 5' E34   (01/1989 — 06/1996) 5' E39   (02/1995 — 12/2003) 5' E60   (12/2001 — 02/2005) 5' E61   (10/2002 — 02/2005) 7' E38   (03/1995 — 07/2001) 7' E65   (07/2002 — 02/2005) 7' E66   (09/2002 — 02/2005) X3 E83   (01/2003 — 07/2006) X5 E53   (08/1999 — 09/2006) Z3 E36   (04/1996 — 06/2002) Z4 E85   (01/2002 — 08/2008) Z4 E86   (10/2005 — 08/2008) So any M50, M52, M54 oil pan is interchangeable , subject to swapping the oil pick up to suit.
  23. Like
    Flandy got a reaction from Leo aka Horse-On-Wheels_MS in 525ix engine swap   
    My mate built a 3.0 engine using M54 crank/rods/pistons into the M50 in his E36, with a pair of schrick cams, an M3 exhaust manifold and decent system,  larger injectors, a few other minor mods and a good tune, it makes a solid 250hp at the crank, 60 more than it did originally. Cams aside, you can find the parts pretty cheap and keep the engine looking virtually standard. The Bore on the 2.5, 2.8 and 3.0 are all the same so as long as the bores are good, it's a drop in swap.
  24. Like
    Flandy got a reaction from duncan-uk in Headliner fabric source?   
    Yeah I'm happy to recover rather than purchase new, given the fabric costs peanuts compared to new panels, and a touring with sunroof has a lot of panels! 
     
    I sent off for a few samples, but they were the wrong colour and a more woven look fabric, rather than the brushed nylon that I think the original is.  I did find this place: https://www.martrim.co.uk/car-trimming-supplies/brush-nylon-headlining.php  so I'm waiting for samples from there, and same for this place: http://www.automobiletrim.com/headlining.html#BrushedNylonHeadlining
     
    Will update as and when...
  25. Like
    Flandy got a reaction from duncan-uk in Headliner fabric source?   
    Yeah I'm happy to recover rather than purchase new, given the fabric costs peanuts compared to new panels, and a touring with sunroof has a lot of panels! 
     
    I sent off for a few samples, but they were the wrong colour and a more woven look fabric, rather than the brushed nylon that I think the original is.  I did find this place: https://www.martrim.co.uk/car-trimming-supplies/brush-nylon-headlining.php  so I'm waiting for samples from there, and same for this place: http://www.automobiletrim.com/headlining.html#BrushedNylonHeadlining
     
    Will update as and when...
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