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Hello fellow forum members, here I would like to present my BMW 525i AUTO as when I bought it in December 2014. Not a massive fan of the grey interior. And here is the dream. To drive it around Europe. A considerable amount of time has elapsed already, and much more will pass; its a journey. It is also journey in gaining knowledge and experience of mechanics, because at the time of purchasing this car I didn’t have a clue. I was to learn so much within the first few months of working on this car. 2015 jobs completed: Headlight replacement Water pump and belt Driver side door lock actuator and door handle Thermostat and housing Shocks and springs (lowered) 2016 jobs completed: Exhaust brackets and hangers New alloys (temporary) To be done: Head gasket Reverse lights Dent removal Respray Refurb leather and probably many more I originally bought my merky, grey beast as a donor car for a 518i that I wanted to restore and modify. This is the 518i. As you can see, the 525i was a far better car! The 525i was purchased December 2014. On the way home it overheated. The radiator had been recently replaced and we found the overheating problem was caused by an improperly bled coolant system from whoever fitted the new radiator. The car drove badly, the shocks were knackered, headlight was smashed and we were loosing water. Job no.1 - find that leak. Jan 2015 - Firstly we found the water pump was leaking severely so we replaced that. The spindle was wobbling about all over the place and water was pouring out of it. Fun job! During this time I also replaced the smashed headlight with the good one from the 518. Yes, the 518 wasn’t a complete waste. In fact, one of it’s wing mirror plastic covers was resprayed and replaced a very butchered one on the 525i, and various bits of trim and clips were salvaged. I also ripped all the door cards off to oil the window mechanisms and to replace the driver side door lock actuator and handle. Replacing the water pump didn’t seem to fix the entire leak. It was better but wasn’t completely eradicated. With the help of one of my more mechanically minded work colleagues, I discovered the thermostat housing was leaking. There was dry coolant residue around the fixing points, so the housing and the thermostat it itself was replaced. There was still a coolant leak! Much smaller as you could imagine but still enough to be a concern. I kept the car on the road to monitor the leak, to do this I thought it would be a good idea to make it more safer to drive so my next job was to replace the shocks and springs. The 518i was sold on to a car breaker around this time. I got my money back on it via the spares I removed. I also looked at my reversing lights as they weren’t working. The cabling loom that runs into the boot lid had wires with cracked insulation and some had snapped. I cut the bad cabling out and soldered in some fresh cable but it still didn’t fix the problem. The fuse and bulbs were fine which mean’t it had to be the switch on the gearbox, unfortunately located on the top as they are with the autos. Bummer. July 2015 - For the 525i suspension, I purchased Bilstein shocks and Vogtland lowering springs. 40mm lower at the front, and 20mm at the back. This was a massive job for me, having little experience at this point with cars this was fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed spending many hours ripping the interior and the under carriage of this car apart, drinking beer in the sunshine upon the sloped brick patio at the entrance to the garage, listening to ACDC. Life was good. Anyway, with the Bimmer lowered she looked the part. Those wheels started to grow on me. It was a fix/modification that subtly changed the aesthetics, but massively changed the handling. Phooaar she drove nice. That leak was still there though. Looking for this leak, I found no signs at all and from reading some forums online it had to be the headgasket. I enjoyed the car for the summer as the leak got worse and worse and in the end I parked it up for the winter. March/April 2016 - A few of weeks ago I put it on the road with the intention of getting the leak looked at by a pro to confirm that it was definitely the head gasket. The exhaust fell off on the way. Dam. Two brackets had rotted out and the rubber hangers had perished. All fixed and my friend (the mechanic) found no signs of leaks other than dried coolant residue sitting between the head and the block. Hmmm. It had to be the head gasket and to confirm this, I put in some K seal. No more leaks! Which is great so I can drive it round for the summer but bad news as it is definitely the head gasket. Before I start the daunting task of a head gasket replacement, I refurbished some alloys sold to me by a colleague. They look pretty good even though they’re not the wheels I really want, but its a step in the right direction. The car needs some serious bodywork which will come in good time. So this is the point I am at. Much more work to be done. I cannot wait to get on with the head gasket. Some other photos: I shall update on my progress.
Was having the car cleaned yesterday and one of the valeters managed to take a chunk out of the inner door seal (the one that runs around the bodyshell's door frame) :-/. Not happy! I have checked with BMW and they stopped making these back in 2008 - does anyone have a salvaged / removed part they would be willing to part with and has anyone had to replace one of these before?