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Blackman last won the day on November 25 2018

Blackman had the most liked content!

About Blackman

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    London, UK


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    E34 525i SE Manual

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  1. No updates for a long time, but nothing happened lately, so there wasn't anything to write about. As planned, I decided to get a replacement Bosch 140A alternator and a new Bosch starter motor, just to be on a safe side, and avoid any unnecessary breakdowns in the future. Purchased everything from EuroCarParts, as it was all readily available, so no troubles there. I was quite surprised that my basic E34 had a 140A alternator, since I've got no A/C, no fancy equipment (unless a sunroof is considered fancy), but turns out mine has the so called "Reinforced Power Supply", hence the reason for a 140A alternator. This meant that if dealers wanted to offer any additional extras to customers, such as heated seats or cruise control, they could've added these options at the dealership without having to upgrade the alternator. Interesting stuff to know... The current BMW part number for a E34 140A alternator is: 12311744567 The Bosch exchange alternator that I've bought is: 0986039000 Things weren't so straightforward with the starter motor, because after doing some research I found out that there were 2 types of starter motors fitted to E34s and other BMWs from the same era, such as the E36. So basically you can have a starter with plain bolt holes, meaning that the securing bolts go through the starter and are held with nuts from the engine side....Or you can have a starter with threaded bolt holes, which is slightly shorter and has reinforced "ears", so using the bolts only is sufficient enough and there's no need for any nuts. Due to the length of the starter with plain bolt holes, it also has a supporting bracket, which I believe bolts to the block, and helps to balance the weight of the starter, so it won't crack around the ears where the bolts go. Long story short, it seems like that the starters with plain bolt holes were fitted to earlier models in general, while later ones were upgraded to the newer starter design, which was also subsequently used on E46, E39, etc. If you are interested and would like to read more about this, here are 2 useful links from Bimmer Forums and M3 Forum: https://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?558140-Replacing-your-starter-in-an-E36-Read-this! http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=271146 Having done plenty of digging, I'm confident that these starters are interchangeable, but I will know for sure once fitted, so hopefully I haven't messed up by buying a threaded starter, as I'm pretty sure mine is a plain one, as I can just about see the securing nuts under the bonnet. The current BMW part number for a E34 525i starter is: 12412354709 The Bosch exchange starter motor with threaded holes that I bought is: 0986017110 Also decided to get new starter motor bolts and washers, just in case if the old ones are knackered. You will need x2 torx bolts, BMW part number: 07129904681, and x2 wave washers (BMW part number: 07119904463) Hopefully, will get these fitted by the end of July and will take a few photos in progress as well. Apart from this, there isn't much left that I would like to do on the car - some issues still remain, such as the loose headlining and the rip on the base of the driver's seat, but not sure when I'm going to bring myself to get that done....Similarly, the bodywork is a bit rusty in a few places, but again, I've never really paid much attention to these kind of things, as I've always been concerned about how the car drives, rather than the aesthetics. Anyway, we'll how it goes, but for now I don't have any crazy plans for the future...Or maybe put a new cat and a decent exhaust? Decisions, decisions.
  2. Blackman

    16" tyre choices

    Finally, a result after 4+ years of thinking! What wheels are those?
  3. Blackman

    525i cloth seats

    This should be moved to the "Wanted" section, but on the topic of seats, I'm after 2 front silver grey seats as well
  4. Blackman

    E34 M50B25TU Bosch Alternator

    Regarding the starter motors, turns out both types were used, depending on the manufacturer year - the threaded ones are more modern with reinforced mounting holes, so no need for a support bracket, as the starter motor is shorter, and also easier to install, because it's only held with bolts from the transmission side - no nuts required on the engine side. Here are some useful threads on the subject, they mention E36, but it's the same thing on the E34: https://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?558140-Replacing-your-starter-in-an-E36-Read-this! http://m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=271146
  5. Blackman

    E34 M50B25TU Bosch Alternator

    Anyone changed the starter motor on the M50? Any difference between the one with plain bolt holes and the threaded one? Are they interchangeable or better get both and fit whatever matches with the original on the car?
  6. Blackman

    E34 M50B25TU Bosch Alternator

    It's just making a slight whining noise all the time. I'm sure there are more cost-effective ways of getting this sorted, possibly just replacing the voltage regulator, but it looks to be the original alternator from factory, i.e. 27 years old, so I don't really want to take any chances of doing any repairs - better just put a new one and be done with it.
  7. Blackman

    E34 M50B25TU Bosch Alternator

    Checked the options list from my VIN and yes, you're right, mine has the S571A reinforced power supply....That explains things then. Thanks boiliebasher, 140A alternator on a V8 model would make sense, even on a basic spec one - at the end of the day, it's a V8, so whatever part you look at, it's going to be bigger and stronger vs any straight 6 engine or any smaller engine. Called ECP today to confirm if they had the correct Bosch 140A alternator, and they do, which is good news, so that's sorted. Don't fancy creating a separate thread for the starter motor, but ECP gives me a choice of 2 - essentially, the only difference is that one has plain bolt holes and the other one has threaded holes... I've read somewhere that starter motors with threaded holes were fitted to later models, but you can also fit them even if your original has plain holes? Is this correct? Worst case, I may have to buy both and then just return the wrong one...
  8. Blackman

    E34 M50B25TU Bosch Alternator

    Checked the alternator fitted to my 525i with VANOS and it's rated at 140A, which is a bit strange, considering that I've got a bog-standard 525i with no A/C, OBC or anything fancy like that.....Well, I've got a sunroof if that makes a difference. It's genuine BMW, but it's difficult to say whether it's the original from factory or possibly it was changed in the past.....How would you find out what's the correct alternator rating required for the car? Can it be 140A, despite not having any special equipment? The BMW part number on mine is 12311738351, which RealOEM says was only fitted to E34 520i, 525i and 525ix Tourings for some reason? Makes no sense...Why only Tourings? Putting my VIN into RealOEM brings up a choice of 2 alternators - 80A and 140A. The Bosch parts catalogue also gives me a choice of 2, being 90A and 140A. EuroCarParts has a choice of 3 for Bosch models, including 90A, 140A and 105A. I will probably go with whatever's on the car, but I found it a bit unusual having a high-rated alternator on a low spec model? Any thoughts?
  9. Blackman

    Temperature Sensors and other coolant parts

    A decent water pump should go at least 50k, so 23k is nothing, but for my own piece of mind, I would get it changed anyway, especially since a quality replacement doesn't cost a fortune.
  10. Blackman

    Temperature Sensors and other coolant parts

    I agree on not messing around with temp sensors, if they are working fine, but I wouldn't hesitate changing the water pump, unless you have something to prove that it was done recently. Overhauling the cooling system without changing the water pump is not exactly overhauling, is it? If the pump is crazy money from BMW, then I can see that ECP do one made by Airtex, which is a pretty decent make. Or otherwise, check SparePartStore24, they've got INA (OEM brand) for like 23 pounds, so it's a no-brainer.
  11. Blackman

    Temperature Sensors and other coolant parts

    Unless you've got a problem with your existing temp sensor, I wouldn't bother changing it, as it's not something that should be renewed anyway. As for the thermostat housing, I believe the replacements are made out of some kind of reinforced plastic, while the originals are aluminium? Again, I wouldn't bother changing - just give it a good clean, when you are changing the thermostat and replace any gaskets/o-rings.
  12. Replaced all 4 tyres this Saturday for the staggered Throwing Stars - not exactly ground-breaking progress, but something that I was planning to do for a while lately. My initial thoughts were to get Michelin Pilot Sport 4's all around, which was actually working out quite expensive. The price on the fronts was reasonable, as I could get Michelins on the front for £90 each, but it was the rears that brought the overall cost up, being £140 for each tyre. I didn't really fancy spending £460 in tyres alone, so I started looking into second-hand options on eBay, but my goal was to find tyres with at least 6mm of tread and manufactured no earlier than 2017, because as tyres get older, they lose their original qualities. Long story short, since the front size of 235/45/17 is a quite common one, there is a good choice of used tyres out there, so I managed to source a set of Continental Premium Contact 6 tyres, which is the latest performance road summer tyre from Continental, manufactured in 2018 and with 6-7mm of tread remaining. Obviously, no puncture repairs or sidewall damage. Got the pair for £100. Unfortunately, the rears being 255/40/17 were more problematic to find, because it's an unusual size and most likely not currently used on any modern car, hence the reason for limited choice. In the end, I had to go for brand-new tyres, because I simply couldn't find anything that I would be satisfied with in the used market. As much as I wanted to have a matching set of tyres all around, it wouldn't make sense to buy 2 used front tyres for 100 quid and then go spend £280 on rear tyres, as matching Conti's for the rear were £140 each. I completely ignored the budget stuff, also Taiwanese and Korean makes, like Nankang, Kumho, Nexen and Hankook. Essentially, my choice was between Toyo Proxes Sport at £85 each or if I wanted to spend an extra £20 per tyre, then for around £105 I could get anything from Goodyear Eagle F1's and Bridgestone Potenza's to even Pirelli P Zero Nero GT's. Also had my eye on Falken Azenis FK453 (also Japanese), which were only slightly more expensive than Toyos, but in the end just decided to stick with Toyo's, as they are a well-known, quality Japanese tyre manufacturer, plus since they are priced so competitively, it made total sense to go for them. Although, have to admit @Carl-e34 recommendation of Toyos in one of his posts also helped. By the way, I bought the brand-new Toyos from mytyres.co.uk, who can either just supply to you and you fit the tyres yourself, or they can find a fitting place for you as well. Their choice of tyres is huge and you won't find lower prices anywhere, including Black Circles. Not sure how bothered you are with European tyre ratings, but Toyo Proxes Sport are A-rated for wet grip, C for fuel economy and have road noise of 73 dB. I haven't tested them properly in dry/wet/fast conditions yet, so can't really comment on their performance. One of the main reasons why I wanted to fit new tyres was to see if they would make a noticeable difference to the driving comfort, because up until now I've been driving with MY2007 Dunlops on the front and MY2011 budgets on the rear, which sometimes felt like there was no rubber on the wheels at all. Needless to say, the Dunlops were rock-hard when removed, having completely lost their flexibility, but mind you, they still had plenty of tread and were in overall good condition. The Barum's on the rear were in better state, as they were newer, but for the sake of the experiment, I had to go for new tyres all around. Anyway, the result? Well, I can't say that there's a night and day difference now compared to older tyres, but I immediately felt that the steering got lighter, making it easier turning lock to lock. Also yes, the ride has become a bit softer and the potholes, speed bumps are not so back-breaking like before, but I wouldn't say that the tyres made a huge difference overall in terms of comfort. I think there's no getting away from the fact that I'm running B8 suspension and also having 45 profile front and 40 profile tyres on the rear is not exactly ideal, if you want a softer ride. Having said that, it is something that I can live with, because despite 17's being a bit hard around town, they provide excellent handling in corners and great stability on motorways, so overall it is a good package. If I was to go back to original 15's, then no doubt I'll have Rolls Royce comfort, but then the car will be wobbling all over the place with huge flex in factory 60 profile tyres. I'll stick with it for now and see how it goes in the next few months. Haven't driven the car on the motorway yet to see what it's like at high speeds, so that will be interesting to find out. Future plans? Need to get the alternator replaced before it packs up on me, like the fuel pump did, and possibly the starter motor, as the Bosch starter is only around 100 quid, so might as well just get it out of the way - one less thing to worry about. Thanks for following.
  13. Blackman

    Wheels to fit my E34

    I've already bought newish Continental Premium Contact 6 for the front and I kept looking at Toyo Proxes Sport for my rears, but wasn't 100% decided on the brand, as Toyos are not exactly premium tyres, but I believe they are still pretty decent quality. It's the fact that they are priced very close with budget brands, which doesn't inspire confidence. I was also thinking to go with Bridgestone Potenza or Goodyear Eagle F1 for the rears, but they are roughly £20-25 more for each tyre, so while it seems like a negligible difference, are they really going to be much better vs Toyos? I doubt it.
  14. Blackman

    Wheels to fit my E34

    My suspension is all new, front and rear, so there's nothing to hide, but the ride is a bit crashy on 17's - I'm not sure if it's the shocks/springs which are a bit too harsh for road use or possibly the tyres are a bit knackered and don't have much flex in them? I'm going to put new tyres all around and see if it improves things....If not, I may have to go back to 15's just to see how much of a difference they make.
  15. Blackman

    Wheels to fit my E34

    A bit of a bump, but don't feel there's a need for a new thread for a quick question... I've been running Bilstein B8 suspension setup with 17" staggered Throwing stars on my E34 525i for more than a year now, having 235/45/17 on the front and 255/40/17 on the rear. That's probably a perfect setup for an E34 M5, but I'm not too sure if it's ideal for a 525i with just 190 bhp? The car handles well and it's very stable at high speeds, also looks great on these wheels, but sometimes I feel that even 17s are a bit too big for this engine? I wouldn't say that there's any obvious hesitation in acceleration or top speed, but I remember it was so easy to move along on the original 15's, and not to mention the comfort. They were also incredibly light compared to the 17's, but have to admit that the chunky rubber didn't provide as much confidence on the road as the lower profile tyres on the 17's. Long story short, are the stock 15" BBS alloys really the best choice for a 525i or am I just getting old?