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Hogie

Hogie's E34 535I Sport Project

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I have been thinking about starting a project thread for quite awhile. Some people might remember my car from when Maca owned it. 

 

I bought this car in 2011 from Maca. I searched quite a bit to find a decent e34, my criteria being it had to be an original sport model ( as much as Id like one I cant afford a decent M5), either a 525 or 535. 

 

Even back in 2011 it was getting quite difficult to find decent e34s in sport guise. I drove a few dogs and soon decided it was better to pay a little extra for something that had had some money spent on it.

 

Below is as I got the car. Maca kept his ICE as I'm not really into amps and stuff in the boot. Each to their own as they say. 

 

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It had a little rust bubble on one of the back doors and the spoiler needed a respray to match the rest of the car but honestly it was easily the cleanest one Id seen. I thought these would be my first jobs but as is the way sometimes other things come along which distract your attention. 

 

First off randomly when sitting at traffic lights or in traffic the car would start to misfire and completely stall when you engaged drive. The first time it did this I put it down to the fact the car hadn't been used much the year before but when it did it 2 or 3 times more i decided I had to start doing some research/googling. First port of call, a new idle control valve. Didnt solve the problem, bugger, bout 100 quid wasted!! Decided to try a new temp sensor, why not, only 15 quid, did it again!!! How embarrassing. It stranded me in Ealing one night and as luck would have it when I called the AA the chap they sent was very well read with regard to E34s. He restarted the car, it was still spluttering etc, turned it off, turned the ignition back on but with the engine still off, pushed the throttle fully down, released it slowly and then started the car. Ran perfect after that procedure. So what was the problem, the TPS was worn in one spot according to him. That reset the ECU or something like that.  A good second hand TPS later, problem solved, never had this issue since  :smile:

 

As Paul kept the ICE the first thing a bought was a radio. My only reason for picking below was you can pick any colour you like depending on your mood. I wanted it to match the other instruments and I thought it looked quite good and it has some modern features to boot. 

 

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One sunday morning I came out, pressed the button to open the car and all the locks bounced. Ummm...strange, pressed it again and the doors opened. Ah I must have pressed the button twice, silly me I thought.  Couple of weeks later same thing happened but with one difference, when I tried to reopen the car the drivers door stayed locked. A quick google, lock actuator gone, drivers door, typical. I did make an attempt after some googling to get the door card off but really  I knew this was beyond my limited capabilities, Id just break something. I dropped it off to TCS in High Wycombe and they sorted it for me.

 

Next installment, replacement of the heater matrix.

 

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Early into my ownership of this car I noticed the windows would steam up quite easily. What with the smell of coolant inside the cabin it didnt take a genius to figure out the heater matrix must be leaking. I couldn't face the labour bill for having someone pull my dash out so this was definitely a job I was going to tackle myself.

 

Im no Ed China by any stretch of the imagination but luckily I found a set of instructions on the net on how to get to the matrix. One problem, this car had a dealer fit A/C system so I wasnt sure what matrix was fitted to the car. As I took the dash apart and compared the pics from the net instructions to my car I quickly realised what was in my car was quite different. Then again its not the space shuttle.

 

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I eventually got to the matrix, sure enough it was leaking. Took a pic of it, went onto ECP, found the one the looked most like it, result, 30 quid, reserved and collected same day. I put it in the following weekend, I know I should have probably drained the coolant system when doing it but I was careful with a basin, topped up and bleed the system and reassembled the dash. 

 

I could see and breath again :smile:

 

Next fuel flap...............

 

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Edited by Hogie

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When ever I got out of the car the fuel flap was alway partially open. It creaked a lot when opened for filling up too. 

 

New hinge it was... 

 

The old one was scrap so I just decided to butcher it when taking it off, no mercy shown...

 

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New one on

 

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Funny, I think I took more photos of that one small job than most of the other.

 

Next up, the wet dogs nose.....

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I wasn't that keen on the black kidney grill, black roundels or the black 535I badge on the back being honest. When I first saw the car it was one of the things I planned to change straight away.  

 

So I did!! 

 

Before

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After

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Next up, wheels 

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I always thought the alpinas were too big for the car. If you approached the car from a distance they looked like big cart wheels, I had to mind them so much with potholes cause of the low profile and I thought they were probably a bit too modern for the vehicle also. 

 

Cart wheels example below:-

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Its a bloody shame I spent 600 quid on tyres just before I decided I didnt like them anymore. Still, I might buy an e39 sport touring one day and they will look good one that. They can wait in my garage till then.

 

I saw a red e34 540 on ebay with BBS 15s on it. At the time I thought they looked really good so I decided I would buy a set to see what they would be like on my car. I bought them off Daz from this site with winter tyres, nice bloke, very good to deal with. 

 

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The car actually handled a whole lot better on these wheels but really it didnt look right. I started to look for some BBS 17 RC090s. 

 

I eventually picked these up and I think it looks quite smart with these wheel. It handled a whole lot better on the smaller rim too. If anyone is thinking of putting anything bigger than a 17 on an e34 Id say think twice. 

 

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Edited by Hogie

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I put the car in for its MOT. It failed the first time round, two broken springs at the back. Kindly when I had bought the car Maca had donated 2 Hartge rear springs with the sale so I dropped these out and had them fitted . 

 

Advisories, oh dear....... I guess this might be where this project get more interesting and relevant with regard to owning an e34 at this time of its life :sad:

 

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Rust, top of the list, what do they say about the MX5, 2 types, ones that have been welded and ones that need welding. I think at this stage same could be said about the e34. 

 

I was hoping it wouldn't be too bad, it did say slight displacement after all, sill covers off.......

 

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Getting crusty near the rear, don't push too hard now, oh and that bubble of rust I talked about at the beginning, never did get round to it........

 

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I have bigger problems than that though!! 

 

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I decided to take an angle grinder to the bottom of each wing. Plan, 2 pattern wings for 30 quid each from ECP, chop the bottom of them, weld the chopped bottom to the good part of my wings and avoid having to respray the car to get everything to match. If money were no object of course I would do it differently but I need to be practical about it too. If the wife had her way it would be bean cans, "we're buying a house!!"

 

Below is the welded wing and sill today. I had to drop out a spare wing I got from s skoda today to do the other side. The sill it actually quite solid on the passenger side, thank goodness  

 

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Once the sill cover go back on it will look quite presentable again. I think removing the sill cover will be a yearly service item from now on........

 

Just looking forward to getting it back now so I can put it back together again. Its been a bit of a driveway queen the last 3 year, never used in the winter, weekends only etc. At the moment I'm thinking I really need to bring it back into active duty because as you can see from my sills it not going to last forever, time to get some use out of it...........

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looks mint on the 17 style 5s!

 

Thanks

 

whoah what?! heater matrix is 30 quid from ecp?!! i got quoted hundreds from gsf...

 

Yeah, I just put my reg in again a moment ago to find it, they had a few options at the time, not selling them anymore. 

 

I have a pic somewhere of the leaky matrix, Ill find it again and show you which one it was.

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wow, just goes to show you, that although something might be all nice shiny on the outside, underneath it's a different story!!!! :shock:

 

Have to say it looks way better on style 5's, the 'pina's were too big like you say. Also prefer it with the OEM grill and rear badge too. Hopefully you get the dreaded tin worm sorted before its too late.

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Thanks

 

 

Yeah, I just put my reg in again a moment ago to find it, they had a few options at the time, not selling them anymore. 

 

I have a pic somewhere of the leaky matrix, Ill find it again and show you which one it was.

 

One leaking heater matrix. 

 

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 Hopefully you get the dreaded tin worm sorted before its too late.

 

The house we are buying has a driveway so hopefully it will be easier to work on it. As the moment  if I want to do anything on it I need to drive to the parents place about 20 miles away so weekends only. 

 

Once the other wing is welded Ill be able to make more progress with it. 

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Drivers seat. This job is out of sequence with the above. I just remembered I did this when I found the pic of the leaking matrix.

The side bolsters on the driver seat had seen better days.

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I bought a scuff master kit from the traders section on this website. As a first attempt out of 10 Id probably give myself a 4/5. It does need to be done again but I think even as shown it looks better.

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When I recommission the car once the welding is done and leaks are fixed I'm planning a big valet and Ill include getting a better colour match on this seat in that.

Edited by Hogie

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Good read. Lovely car.

Saw this last month at tcs while I was there for an mot.

Yet to take my skirts off, I've been living in denial last 2yrs I've had it.

Edited by rado16v

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Good read. Lovely car.

Saw this last month at tcs while I was there for an mot.

Yet to take my skirts off, I've been living in denial last 2yrs I've had it.

Thanks, I remember seeing you car when it was for sale, before you bought it, it was exactly what I wanted when I was looking, it was just 10 month too late :-) 

 

I wish I had taken my sill covers off earlier. 

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I got the car back last Saturday. I'm quite happy with how welding the bottom of the wings turned out. I spent most of last sat and today putting the thing back together. Im nearly there...

 

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The strips of the bottom of the door are still missing. Ill put them back on next weekend.

 

I have made an attempt at treating the rust on the bottom of one of the rear doors. I used a product my ole man swears by, "trusten".......I dont think they make it any more but he had some in the garage. He reckons he put in on a metal window frame 20 years ago to treat some rust and the frame is still good. Worth a shot then.......

 

Treated it with that stuff last sat ( for a second time), left it for a week, used the correct touch up paint from BMW but it not a great job as you can see. I haven't added the clear coat. I think the hammerite I bought was a closer match. 

 

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Ill have to have a rethink on what to do about it.  

 

Strut brace is back on, small improvement to the driving experience I think. 

 

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My ebay BMW badge is looking a little tired

 

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But all in all it nice to have it back 

 

My trusty old corolla got a bath too :smile:

 

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Refitted to the door bottom strips so the car is back together. I know there is a school of thought that you cant reuse these door bottom strips once you have taken them off, I can kinda see where people might be coming from, they do bend when you remove them but to be honest I think they look fine once I refitted them. The lip on the door bottom holds them straight. 

 

They come off easier than they go on though..............

 

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I took it for a run to Dorset last weekend. It was great to get some use out of it again and it behaved faultlessly. Nice old cruiser.  

 

I decided to clean it up properly this weekend, so wash, de-tar, clay bar and some super resin polish. It the first time I have used a clay bar, it was quite good a removing the tar. 

 

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Im off on holidays next week so in order to protect of my hard work .........

 

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I

 

 

 

 

Edited by Hogie

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So this weekend I got the car back after the following work:-

Diff- Seals in the input and two outputs replaced. That crosses off the the leaking diff.

Gearbox- Selector seal and sump gasket replaced, a new fill of gearbox oil,another one off the list and no more shameful driveway.

Looking at all the talk of steering box adjustment in the e34 forum lately I decided to give that a go.

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I adjusted it too much as it a little stiff around centre now, not bad but not right either, rookie mistake I read. Its was getting dark so I will readjust it during the week ( it very easy) but over all it did make the steering a lot less "wandery". Worth doing.

I also picked up an ECU from ebay, no reason to buy it really but it was only 20 quid so why not.......... put that in to see if it worked okay.

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Original is on top. They looks a little different at the back but it works just fine.

She's got a months tax left, Ill do something with the vent pipe advisory on the MOT when its in hibernation over the winter.

Just a pic I took at citylink on saturday while I waited for them to tell me they couldn't find my package!! This was after they told the women in front of me the same thing.

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Edited by Hogie

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The pictures of rust you show could be my very car...

I could be making wild accusations here, but did I sell you something for this car? Propshaft rings a bell. Good to see it being looked after.

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You did sell me a propshaft, I forgot about putting that in her.

How's you one going now, not seen much of it on here lately?

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I forgot about putting that in her.

B)

Haven't done anything to mine, probably since you collected that propshaft. Over 2 years ago now. I had a week off work to try and contain the rust, pulled the wing / sill away just like yours. Unfortunately that's how it's stayed.

Had to spend those two years finishing my degree, and keeping an ancient fast Peugeot on the road. The time has come to think about reinstating the 5 so I thought I'd start lurking on here again.

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I always fancied a 306 GTI. When I was a teenager that was the car to have. Will you keep the two of them or flog it once the BM is road worthy?

How far are the wings gone? Would you be able to do a similar job as mine, cut the rot off them?

I can't wait to have my own driveway so I can do more of my own work on the BM at the weekend. When ever I need to do something now it a 45 mile round trip to home.

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It's a cracking steer, I love it when it's working. Problem is, I've thrown so much money at it and it still needs major things doing. I don't really want to get rid, but I'm thinking I might in order to fund the works on the 5. Plus my girlfriend won't drive it and she needs a car.

I have a pair of wings waiting to be sprayed up, so that should be easy. Unlike yours though, my bootlid and one of the rear wings has gone too. As well as the door bottoms. I want to go full respray, do a proper job.

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Well not much has happened to the car over the winter. We bought a house late last year and our first child is due on 9/03 so there wasn't any spare to spend playing with the car. Its just sat under its cover waiting, but started up every month or so. Which brings me back to this car project thread.

I popped over to my parents place today, where the car is parked, to start it up. It fired up straight away, moved it round the driveway, I really miss driving it since parking it up.

Its going to be pressed back into active service shortly but this time as the main family transport rather than a driveway queen for the weekend. Reason for this, my corolla only has 3 doors, the BM has 4 and a nice big boot of all my new mans stuff. I tried getting his car seat from the back of the corolla and its a pain even when the seat is empty! And what with the price of fuel it will practically pay me to drive the BM I told her in doors, thank goodness I had the foresight to buy such a practical car all those years ago, no of course we dont need to sell it and buy a golf/civic/astra instead, dont talk crazy women!!

The poor corolla will have to go at some point though,she wants a small automatic as the BMW is to big and "precious" as she puts it. Ill hate selling the corolla as I have had it so long but that's another story for another day.

Just a small update really, I sprayed some cavity wax inside the sill that rusted previously. Hopefully that might help keep the rust at bay for another year or two. Im gonna keep checking it from time to time.

I also picked up 2 x arm rests for my sport seats in the correct color, god bless ebay, £35 posted.

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Ill be fitting these at some point before the summer, I found a guide on the net, I have wanted these since I bought the car, really chuffed as they are in great condition. It was the one option I really wished it had.

Just a pic of it here, its filthy but before I put it away I clayed and waxed it so a good bath should have her looking ship shape again. The repair I did on the back door is still looking okay for now.

I think I need some spacers for the rear you know, give it a better stance.......opinions welcome on this

Im toying with the idea of replacing the clear indicators with orange ones. I have the fronts already from a auction I won for the chrome kidney grill. I only wanted to grill but I got a job lot of other stuff with it.

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I noticed my instrument cluster went thought some kind of test when I turned the ignition on today, all the needles went around, Im not sure why it did this, I hope its nothing.....

Edited by Hogie

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