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1993 BMW E34 525i SE Manual Diamantschwarz Metallic Saloon

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Hey everyone, a quick update here.


I've taken some photos of the car with the Bilstein B12 kit fitted, so you can get an idea of how it looks on original 15's. As you can see, it's pretty much spot on with very little gap between the wheels and the wheel arches. The tyres fitted are factory fitment, i.e. 225/60/15 all around.












Also I managed to find a nice, staggered set of E34 17" Throwing stars (Style 21) with covers in original condition, so very happy about that. And I even got a spare wheel too, but the centre cap is missing. They also have the correct size tyres fitted on them (235/45/17 on the front and 255/40/17 on the rear) with plenty of tread left as well. The fronts are Dunlop with about 5-6mm of tread and the rears are a budget-brand, Barum, but they are like new with 7mm of tread remaining, so I think I'll keep them for now and see how they perform.


Here's the spec of the wheels:


The front wheels are: 8x17 ET20 - BMW part number: 36112226706

The rear wheels are: 9x17 ET22 - BMW part number: 36112226707
















I balanced the wheels last week and they are all 100% straight, which is of course, good news. The paint is slightly bubbling on the covers in some places, but I'm not too bothered about that for now. However, I've ordered a set of 4 new BMW badges (they just stick-on), as the existing ones are in poor condition, and actually one of them came off by itself. They are quite reasonably priced - you can get a set of 4 from BMW for 20 quid.


The part number for the BMW badges for Throwing star covers is: 36136758569 (they are 70mm in size)


Those of you who know these wheels well, will notice that I've got 2 driver's side covers on both front wheels, which is obviously incorrect. Since these covers are directional, originally designed for cooling the brakes on the M5, you are supposed to have a separate set of covers for left and right side.


Fortunately, the spare wheel has a left side cover, which is what I need to make the fronts perfect, but what I noticed is that the bolts that hold these covers to the wheels are quite rusty, so let's hope it won't be an issue taking them off. I've ordered 30 new cover bolts anyway, as I'd like to replace them on all the wheels, so I won't have any problems with them in the future.


The BMW part number for the cover bolts is: 36112227124 (you'll need 5 of these per wheel)


I'm currently waiting to receive all the bits from BMW, so when it's all here, I'll take a few pics while swapping the covers and then will get some photos with the car on Throwing stars as well.


Really pleased with the wheels, so I've got a feeling that the handling/suspension setup will be spot on....Just one thing that gives away the age of the car dynamically, is the play in the steering, which to my liking, is a bit too excessive, so I'll need to look into that after the wheels are sorted and see what's the problem.


That's it for now, I'll be sure to update the thread soon enough.


Thanks for following.

Edited by Blackman

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Simon, I haven't fitted them yet. Still waiting for the cover bolts to come from Germany, so I can put the covers the correct way round with new original bolts, otherwise the existing ones are rusty and as above, I've got 2 offside covers for the wheels on the front.


£250 for a staggered set is a good price, but you would struggle to find the covers for them later on, if you needed them. However, another thing to keep an eye on, is the offset, as these wheels can be from the 8 series, E31. Not a huge difference, but makes sense to get an E34 set, if you can.

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A quick mini-update before the end of the year 2017.


While I was waiting to receive the bolts for the wheel covers, I decided to change the engine oil, eventhough I haven't driven much since the last oil change (4710 miles to be exact).


Last year we used Shell Helix HX7 10w40, so this time I decided to go for Mobil Super 2000 X1 - just for a difference really, as otherwise both are decent oils. Also bought Wynn's engine flush and the oil filter made by Mann. The M50B25 takes about 5.8L, so in the case of Mobil you'll need 5L + 1L. Shell does the same capacities, but for example Castrol does only 4L cans, so then you would need 4L + 2L.




As for BMW parts, I ordered x4 centre cap badges + x30 cover bolts, as I described in my last post. However, also decided to get a new radiator top gasket, because my current one has taken the shape of the old radiator, which was swollen on the top, so it keeps coming off - not good. All the bits are now here.


Radiator top gasket = 17101728768






As you can see, the bolts have spline heads, so let's hope the old ones won't be a pain to come off. The good news is that someone has already replaced these bolts on the rear wheels, but not with original ones. They have put normal hex bolts there with washers, which means they should be easy to take off, since they look quite fresh. You could probably leave them as they are, but it's not OEM, so if I'm doing the fronts, then I'll get the rears replaced as well.


This is all for next year though, so it's the first job for January 2018. 


2017 was a quite productive year since we got a lot of work done, starting with the brakes in January,  then the wiper linkage in March, front suspension in April, got the windscreen replaced in May, rear suspension bushes sorted in June and finally fitted a Bilstein B12 suspension kit in October/November, along with buying a set of staggered Throwing stars - a very busy year indeed.


Plans for 2018? First of all, get the Throwing stars fitted, then sort out the play in the steering, which should bring back the factory standards of handling or possibly make it even better. Then one of the big jobs for 2018 will probably be the clutch change, but I'm also planning to refresh the gear linkage as well as a few other things while I'm there, such as the propshaft guibo, the centre bearing, gearbox mounts and whatever else will be easy to access. Apart from that, I'll see what else needs doing, but the above will be the main focus. 


Have a great Christmas and a happy New Year. I'll see you in 2018.

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Great thread, love the E34 and wonderful to see this being brought back to life with all the work done.


I'm curious about the oil - is 10w-40 semi-synthetic the recommendation now with these engines getting older and higher mileage ?  I had a K reg M50 non-vanos E36 for 13 yrs, eventually scrapped it at 20 yrs old because of rust. But I always used a 5w-40 full synthetic in that (Fuchs mostly) right up to 190k+ miles when it was scrapped.

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2 hours ago, Tuvoc said:

Great thread, love the E34 and wonderful to see this being brought back to life with all the work done.


I'm curious about the oil - is 10w-40 semi-synthetic the recommendation now with these engines getting older and higher mileage ?  I had a K reg M50 non-vanos E36 for 13 yrs, eventually scrapped it at 20 yrs old because of rust. But I always used a 5w-40 full synthetic in that (Fuchs mostly) right up to 190k+ miles when it was scrapped.


For the past 7-8 years, I've always had quite old cars with high mileage (100k+) and got so used to using 10w40 that now I don't even think about it. Indeed, it's the preferable option for older engines, but even if you look up your reg with EuroCarParts or Opie Oils (very knowledgeable guys), the recommendation is still 10w40, so I just stick with it.


Besides, I believe the difference between 5w40 and 10w40 is not huge anyway, so I would say it's more important how often you change the oil/filter, rather than what grade of oil you're using. It's such a simple thing to do and pretty inexpensive as well, but you have people doing 15-20k without an oil change, so in that case the grade hardly matters, despite whatever the vehicle/oil manufacturer tells you. At the end of the day, if your engine packs up, it's only more business for them. Well, that's my opinion anyway.

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Very good. Yes if I look up my old E36 M50 on Opie oils I get 10w-40 semi synthetic recommendation. On an older engine I think it does make sense - less prone to leaks and a slightly quieter engine no doubt. Most important as you say is regular changes. If I still had that car it would be 230k+ miles now and I'd probably be doing the same.  Castrol's website says 5w-40 Edge fully synthetic for the M50 (with fully synthetic 5w-40 Magnatec as an alternative). I guess they just want to sell high-priced oil and are not taking into account the age of these cars now.


Anyway, love that E34, keep the updates coming !

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Finally, the first update of 2018.


Started the year off by putting the covers on the Throwing stars the right way round, also got rid of the old securing bolts and put the new ones it. I previously mentioned that someone fitted incorrect bolts for the covers on the rear wheels and here's what they looked like:




As you can see, they are hex bolts with washers, but originally you're supposed to have spline bolts in there, which fit flush with the wheels and don't stick out. The good thing about these "wrong bolts" was that they came off easily, since they were replaced quite recently. The covers are aluminium and here's what they look like once taken off:




The plastic cap in the centre is separate and you can see the correct spline bolts, which is what BMW uses to secure the covers to the wheels. I cleaned the threads on the covers with some WD40 and also put a bit of copper grease on the new bolts before fitting them. Here's the first wheel finished:



The front 2 wheels and the spare one had very tired-looking bolts on the covers, so I wouldn't be surprised if no one touched them for the last 10 years or possibly even from new. Had to be careful not to round the head on the splines, as otherwise I would end up drilling them, which obviously I wanted to avoid. Here's one wheel with the old bolts:




Surprisingly, all the bolts came out in one piece and there was no drama after all. Here's the collection:




With the covers sorted, I moved to the badges, which was a lot easier to deal with. They are just stuck-on, so all you need is a thin scraper to pry them off and then carefully remove, paying attention not to damage the surface of the cap. Then clean off the remaining glue with a degreaser and you are ready to put on the new badges. My old ones kind of felt apart, as I took them off. They weren't genuine either, as the letters on the genuine BMW badges are engraved, so you can feel a slight groove as you move your finger across them. That's for BMW pedants out there...






Having previously driven on 18" M Parallels, I can definitely say that 17's are a better choice for an E34, both in terms of looks and ride/handling. Of course, looks are subjective, but I think 18's are just a bit too big and the ride was a bit too harsh for my liking as well. That's not to say that 17's are not hard, because compared to original 15" style 5's with 60-profile tyres, they are without a doubt harder, but it's something I can live with, considering the E34 is my daily driver. The car feels much more stable and planted on the road, especially giving more confidence at high speeds, since it doesn't bounce around, like it did on 15's. As for looks, it currently looks just perfect to me - Bilstein B12 kit + Throwing stars is an ideal combo, in my opinion. Here are a few photos:














The next job on the list is probably sort out the exhaust. To be honest, there's nothing specifically wrong with the exhaust itself, but the catalytic converter has fallen into pieces and I'm thinking of getting an OE Klarius, type-approved replacement, so I might as well get a decent exhaust too - however, nothing too loud, as I'm quite happy with the original BMW exhaust anyway. I'm thinking possibly a Jetex cat-back system or maybe get something custom-made by Powerflow? Will need to look into this further and do a bit more research before I decide what I'm going to go for.


Still need to see what's wrong with my rear window regulators and my driver's seat is torn on base, so again, a few things that need to be sorted, but obviously have to prioritise things and get more important stuff done first. Talking about important stuff, planning to replace the clutch this year, along with the gear linkage and other bits, like the clutch slave cylinder, etc. Let me sort out the exhaust first and then I'll probably start looking into getting the parts for the clutch change.


Thanks for the following.

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On 25/02/2018 at 8:50 PM, boiliebasher said:

Wow! That's looking great sat on those throwing stars! Looks gorgeous, definitely a car to be proud of, congrats!!


Thanks, I had 18" M Parallels before getting the Throwing stars and can definitely say that 17's are the way to go for an E34, whatever style you like.


On 09/03/2018 at 7:35 PM, cornershop said:

What an excellent read - I’d love to get an e34 and get the same work accomplished. 


A really nice selection of parts there, must feel factory fresh to drive?


The most noticeable improvement was from the Bilstein B12 kit, as it made the car a lot more stable at speed and sharper on handling. The bigger wheels with low profile tyres have contributed as well, but I think the steering is holding the car back quite a lot.....We've removed the play by adjusting the steering box, but it's still not as responsive as I would like it to be.


Possibly, I'm too used to driving modern cars with instant-response steering racks or maybe I'm just being a bit too picky and it actually handles well for a 1992 car.


On 09/03/2018 at 8:43 PM, GStarrr said:

It look brilliant with those wheels on it. Top work :D


Thanks, in my opinion Throwing stars are probably one of the best wheels for an E34. My other choice would probably be Style 16, but they would have to be 17's and staggered.

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Okay, so I've made some progress and it only took me 2 months to get the rear electric windows sorted...One thing led to another, but it's finally done.


My front windows have always worked fine, but the previous owner told me that he had some problems with the rear windows, so I've never touched them since I bought the car and just kept them closed. There were more important things to worry about, but having done the brakes, suspension, steering, wheels and a few other things, I thought it would be a good time to finally look into this. I had no idea about the work required to get the rear windows back to life, so initially I just wanted to take the door cards off and see what was going on there.


I've done a bit of shopping before doing the job, making sure I had the basic stuff ready. I bought the WD40 specialist high-performance silicone spray for lubricating the window channels, Comma multi-purpose spray grease for lubricating the window mechanism and bonnet/boot/door hinges (I thought I would do them, while I'm there) and some door card clips (BMW part number: 51411973500), as they usually break, when you take the cards off. Also used WD40 to clean off any previous gunk from the hinges before spraying fresh grease.




On a nice, sunny Saturday afternoon, we started taking the rear door cards off and things didn't exactly go to plan. One thing, which I didn't expect, is that they will start falling apart and I would need to re-glue them. I have read that door cards aren't the strongest point in E34s, but then considering that they are over 20 years old, it's not really surprising.








Unfortunately, the top half of the rear door cards split when we were taking them off, but it wasn't the end of it. While the driver's side rear door card was structurally in-tact, but the passenger one was wet and damp on the bottom section of it. Seems like water has leaked into the door card over the years and the accumulation of it caused the bottom 2 mountings to come away from the card.






By this point, it was slowly becoming clear that it wouldn't be a 1-day job, as we would have to properly dry the door card, clean off the dirt, re-attach the mountings and only then it would be ready to go back on the car. Anyway, with the door cards off, we started playing around with the regulators to see what was going on.


So basically a common problem with BMWs from this era is that you have white plastic regulator guides, which hold the regulator arms in place and help them slide smoothly through the channels. Over time, these guides become hard and brittle, simply due to age, and when they break, you end with pretty much non-functional windows. Since the arms are no longer held firmly in place, the windows sometimes get stuck when operating or struggle to go up/down, because the regulator can't travel properly through its channels. This was exactly my problem.




The square-rish piece on the left with a clip that goes in the middle of it is a regulator guide that can be bought separately from BMW (part number: 51321938884). You will need x2 of them per one window regulator. The part is the same for both front and rear. However, my problem was that I also needed the round roller guides on the right, which are actually part of the regulator itself, so you can't buy them alone and you would need to purchase a complete regulator.


I thought it would be a bit silly to buy a complete regulator just because of one broken guide, so I knew that there had to be a better way. In the meantime, since there was nothing else we could do at that point, we took off the front door cards to lubricate the regulator channels and check if the cards were ok.






The overall condition of the front cards was fine. We broke a few clips, which wasn't a big deal, but we noticed that the upholstery was peeling away around the edges and since we had some Evo-Stik handy, I thought we should make use of it.








Evo-stik is just perfect for doing this kind of work and it's pretty much an instant bond. You just apply it with a brush to the area that needs to be bonded, leave it for 5-10 minutes to dry and then firmly press on the upholstery to the door card. Magic!




That was it for the day, as there wasn't much else to do, because I had to sort out the guides for the regulators and repair the passenger rear door card. About a week or two later, we repaired the door card and I've done more shopping.






I bought 4 square window guides from BMW, which were only a few quid each, but I also ended up buying a complete rear window regulator, because despite me doing tons of research into all kinds of window guides and clips, trying to find what else could be done instead of replacing the whole regulator, I couldn't really find a solution. The reason why I bought only 1 regulator, is because I was hoping to re-use one of my original roller guides, as apart from a tiny split on the outer edge of it, the rest was fine.








However, I would be lying if I didn't mention these green Saab window roller guides (Saab part number: 4493433). This was the closest thing I could find that could potentially replace the round roller guides of the regulators. Eventhough, I bought a second-hand regulator just for the sake of one guide and was planning to re-use the other one that was originally on the car, I wasn't 100% sure that we would be able to put them back on.




So I bought 2 of these just in case and it turned out to be a good decision. When the time came to do the job, we managed to remove the roller guide in one piece from the regulator that I purchased, so it was a good start, because I thought putting it on would be simple....And I was wrong.


Doing it by hand is impossible, so you have to use some kind of a tool, like pliers, to clip it onto the regulator arm, but as soon as we applied a bit of pressure on it, it broke into pieces. And the exact same thing happened to the other guide that I wanted to re-use. It seems like when these regulators were made, the plastic guides were slotted into the channels and the regulator arms attached to the guides at the factory. As we have found out, they are not a serviceable item, if they break....Well, there's no official procedure for that, apart from like I said earlier, just replacing the complete regulator.


Instead what we've done is modified the above Saab guides to fit them onto the regulators. They are NOT a direct fit, because they are too big, too wide and too thick, so you will ideally need a belt sander to get them to the right shape and size, because otherwise they won't fit. Also another thing you will need to do is slightly adjust the position of the channel, where this guide travels through. The reason why this is needed, is because no matter how much we tried to modify the guide, it was still popping out from the regulator arm, when the window reached the fully closed position.


Therefore, you need to adjust the channel position, so that the regulator still fully closes the window, but the guide doesn't travel all the way to the end of the channel, so it can't pop out. It might sound complicated, but someone with a bit of knowledge of how window regulators work, will know how to do this. So in short, thanks to these Saab window guides and a bit of adjusting, we managed to get the rear windows working perfectly fine, going up and down smoothly with no problems - just like from factory!


Before putting the rear door cards back on, we replaced these clips (BMW part number: 51411944663) that go in the middle of them. They basically hold the door card onto the window regulator, which is attached to the door, so that's how everything stays in place.




And finally, the last thing to sort out was the minor water leak that caused the dampness of the passenger rear door card. Assuming a door is fitted and lined up correctly, there's really just one point where water can get into the door and that's the window moulding. Whether you have chrome or shadow-line window mouldings on your E34, they are actually re-usable and you can replace the seals inside them separately. I decided to do it once and do it right, so I bought both driver (BMW part number: 51221944348) and passenger side (BMW part number: 51221944347) rear outer window seals.




Taking off these mouldings is pretty easy, as they just slide up from the door - just be careful to pry them off evenly, because otherwise you will bend them. The inner rubber seals also slide in/out from the mouldings, but are a bit of a pain to replace.






Mine were badly corroded and the rubbers were hard as well as cracking, so no wonder they let water in, but for some reason only the NSR door card was damp. Seems like BMW are trying to make the most money out of these parts, because these rubber seals were about £70 per side - not too bad, considering it's a bit of rubber stuck to a piece of metal.






All this hassle for such a trivial thing, like REAR electric windows, but since I started messing around with them, it had to be done. For some reason the catalytic converter has gone quite on my exhaust, so it no longer makes any funny noises, hence the reason why I decided to postpone replacing the cat/exhaust and focus on the clutch replacement instead.


What I want to do is to have a proper look underneath the car and see what else should be done while we are there, so I thought while the car is on the ramp for an inspection, it would be wise to change the gearbox, differential and power steering oil, as who knows when it was last done. I will need to look into the correct oils that should be used and will update the thread once I've purchased everything. After changing the oils and making a list of parts required for the clutch work, some more shopping will need to be done, so as always, I'll keep you updated. Thanks for following.

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Nice update

When i had my 190e, which suffers with lifting material on the rear door cards through absorbing moisture, the recommended action if you had a good set, was to coat the card itself in boat varnish.


This helps stop/reduce moisture ruining the card and also makes them more rigid to prevent further damage.

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12 hours ago, cornershop said:

Nice update

When i had my 190e, which suffers with lifting material on the rear door cards through absorbing moisture, the recommended action if you had a good set, was to coat the card itself in boat varnish.


This helps stop/reduce moisture ruining the card and also makes them more rigid to prevent further damage.


What I realised is that the weatherstrips (rubber seals) are NOT 100% watertight, so a minimal amount of water still goes into the door, but that's what the sound insulation foam is there for - apart from dampening the noise, it's also there to absorb a bit of water, because it's quite thick and spongy. Possibly mine wasn't stuck onto the door properly or has come off over time and that allowed the water to start dripping into the door card, causing the bottom damage.

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As planned, I changed my differential, gearbox and power steering fluids yesterday, so here's a quick update of how it went.


First of all, I had to do a bit of shopping and purchase all the required fluids, but it wasn't all so straightforward.


The easiest part was the fluid for the differential, which should be 75W-90 (for open differentials), and I decided to go with Castrol Syntrax Long Life, because it's BMW approved, so can't go wrong with that. In my case, I needed 1.7L, so had to buy x2 1L bottles and had a bit left after we filled the diff.


Now the gearbox fluid was the tricky part. According to RealOEM, the gearbox fitted on my car is S5D310Z, meaning S = manual transmission, 5 is the number of gears, D = direct gear, 310 is the max input torque in Nm and Z means made by ZF.


To find out what's the correct oil that should be used in this gearbox, I decided to look it up in the ZF's list of lubricants in their catalogue here > https://aftermarket.zf.com/remotemedia/lol-lubricants/lol-en/lol-te-ml-11-en.pdf


It's listed as "S5-31" and there are 2 recommended oils for this gearbox: BMW's oil (part number 23007533513) and Castrol Syntrans B 75W.


Now it would be all well and good, if it wasn't for the red ATF label on the side of my gearbox and also the owner's manual recommending to use ATF for this gearbox. I was a bit confused by the fact that the gearbox manufacturer (ZF) and the vehicle manufacturer (BMW) were recommending different oils for the same gearbox?


After spending a few hours digging around BMW forums, it turns out that initially as per ZF's catalogue, BMW used thicker gear oil (75W-80 or MTF-LT-2) for these gearboxes, but over time a lot of customers complained about hard gear shifts, especially in colder climates, since gear oil needs time to warm up before it can provide smoother shifting.


As a result, BMW later switched to ATF, because it still provides required protection and lubrication for the gearbox, while the gear shifts are easy and smooth, regardless of whether the oil is hot or cold, because ATF oil is thinner compared to gear oil, so it works well in colder temperatures as well.


Long story short, you can use either what ZF says in their catalogue or ATF as per BMW's recommendation, because both will do the job fine. There was an interesting discussion on Bimmer Forums a few years back on this topic, which you can read here > https://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?958283-atf-or-mtf


Myself, I made the choice to go with what the gearbox manufacturer recommends to use, so I went with Castrol Syntrans B 75W, despite the ATF label on my box. In my case, I needed 1.25L, so again had to buy x2 1L bottles. To be honest, I hardly noticed any difference myself after changing to Castrol B 75W, but it's summer now, so the temperatures are quite high - it might be a bit different during winter.


And as for steering, you need to check what it says on your reservoir cap, so for me it was ATF. Essentially, you can go for any Dexron III ATF, but I wanted to find one, which was specifically equivalent to BMW's Dexron III, so the only one that listed BMW's actual part numbers was Fuchs TITAN ATF 5005, so I went with that. Various oil selector catalogues list that you need 1.2L for steering, so I bought x2 1L bottles, but strangely enough just one bottle was enough to fill the system - keep that in mind.


Be sure to buy 2 replacement washers for the diff plugs (07119963355), as your existing ones will most likely fall apart, like mine did, and also get 2 new washers for the power steering hose (32411093597), which you'll have to remove to drain the PAS fluid. I actually bought 4 washers, as I thought we'd have to remove the top smaller hose on the pump as well (it has smaller washers - 32411093596), but undoing the larger bottom hose was enough to drain all the fluid out.


Also bought a new BMW badge with the grommets for the bonnet, as mine was an aftermarket one with no edge to the letters.




I didn't want to waste my time going to BMW for the sake of a few washers and a bonnet badge, so I thought I would treat myself and upgrade my tatty gear knob to a proper "M" one. Now the thing is that regular E34's never had a 5 speed "M" gear knob, because the only "M" gear knobs were for the M5's, but those were illuminated and I wanted just a basic one.


Anyway, the non-illuminated 5 speed "M" gear knobs became a common thing starting from E46 and E39 models, although the very first time they were used on E36 318IS models. The correct part number that you need is: 25117503231. Some may say it's a bit pricy, but I got it for just over 50 quid from BMW.








It has some weight to it and it definitely feels heavier compared to my old one. Wouldn't say it makes a world of difference, but it's a nice touch and it's easy to fit. You simply pull the knob up when in neutral, but be careful not to hit the rear view mirror or anything else for that matter, as they fit quite snug, so can be a bit stubborn to come off. Line up the new knob and just press it down until it clicks into place.


Replacing the bonnet badge was also pretty straightforward, just use a plastic spreader to pop off the old badge, swap over the grommets and before putting the new badge on, apply a bit of grease on the 2 pins to help it fit smoothly. I've read that for the past 10 years, genuine BMW badges have always had black plastic backsides, but mine was chrome-silver, so either it was very old or just a eBay-special, although with a BMW part number on it. Pics below, old one out and the new badge fitted.






Changing the diff fluid was a bit tricky, because the access to the filler/drain plugs is a bit of a pain. We had to remove the small crossmember from the front of the diff, so we could get more access to the filler plug and move the diff slightly to the left to have enough space for the socket/ratchet to fit on the drain plug.




Make sure to change the washers on the plugs and possibly apply some PTFE tape to prevent leaks from the plugs in the future.




Moving to the gearbox, it was all straightforward with loads of space for access, so no issues here. Notice the red ATF label on the side of the gearbox, which matches the gearbox oil recommendation in the owner's handbook that came with the car. As I explained earlier above, you'll be fine with either what ZF says (Castrol Syntrans B 75W) or ATF Dexron III. The drain plug on the gearbox had some sealing tape on it, so we also applied PTFE tape around it before putting it back in. It's so unusual for me to see a dry gearbox, because I remember the box on my E30 325i was pissing oil from everywhere...








And finally the power steering oil. We undid the big banjo bolt on the bottom hose of the PAS pump and let the oil drain out. Then without running the engine, turned the steering wheel left/right a few times to make sure it all came out.


Put the bolt back in, filled up with new generic ATF to flush the system, run the engine turning the wheel left/right, then drained it all out again. Replaced the washers on the banjo bolt, filled up the system with Fuchs TITAN ATF 5005 and repeated the bleeding for the steering, making sure the oil level was correct. Like I said earlier, for some reason just 1L was enough with the level being at maximum.






After all the fluids were replaced, we checked underneath the car to make a list of parts that will be need for the clutch replacement, so apart from the obvious clutch kit, I will also be replacing the clutch fork + spring clip and pressure plate bolts, clutch slave cylinder + hose, the gear linkage with all the bushes, 4 gearbox mounts, propshaft guibo, centre propshaft bearing and the exhaust to gearbox bracket was a bit rusty, so going to change that as well. Will also renew the brake fluid for the clutch hydraulics.


That should be it for now. This will probably be the last major service work required on the car, because I can't really think of anything else that we haven't done, so it will finally all come together. I'll get all the shopping done, making sure to check part numbers, etc, then will update this thread before doing any work.


Any suggestions are more than welcome. Thanks for following.

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Ok, so all the parts shopping for the clutch work has now been done and here's what I've got.




Starting with the most important thing, being the clutch kit, you basically have a choice of going for the Sachs kit or LUK. Both are excellent quality, OEM brands, so without the matter which one you go for, it will be good stuff.


Amazingly, BMW still sell the clutch kit for the E34, at least for the M50B25TU, that's for sure - so if you want to go genuine and don't mind spending 300-400 pounds for the kit, then the BMW part number for the genuine clutch kit is: 21211223546


I decided to go for the Sachs kit myself and it cost me just over £100 from Spare Part Store 24. The correct Sachs clutch kit part number for the 525i is as follows: 3000 133 002. The kit includes the pressure plate, the clutch disc and the release bearing.




Then for the clutch slave cylinder, there's really a big choice of quality brands, anything from Bosch and TRW to Sachs and Brembo. However, since I went with Sachs for the clutch kit, I decided to stick with it and go for the same make for the clutch slave cylinder. Sachs part number for the slave cylinder is: 6283 600 105


If the price from BMW was decent, then I would've gone for genuine, but they wanted something like 120 pounds, when I got Sachs for 40 quid. In case if you need BMW's part number for the slave cylinder, it is: 21526775924




The same goes for the propshaft rubber guibo, behind the gearbox - I checked the price with BMW and it was something in the region of £200 (part number: 26117511454), when I managed to get a Ruville (OEM brand) guibo for less than 40 pounds. Ruville's part number is: 775031.




And the last thing that I bought from Spare Part Store 24 was the centre propshaft bearing, which came complete with the mounting. Unfortunately, no OEM makes were available for this part and I had to go for Febi (part number: 02823), so I'll have to wait and see how good it's going to be. BMW was not an option (genuine part number: 26121226723), since they wanted something ridiculous, like £180 for the part, while I got Febi for just under £20. You might think that you're buying an inferior part, but you'll be surprised to know how much BMW marks up the parts they sell just for the privilege of having their badge on them...




So that was all that I ordered from Germany and the rest of the parts were bought from BMW directly. What I ordered from my local dealer is everything that you can either only get from BMW and nowhere else, or I decided to go with genuine parts, because the prices were very reasonable, such as for the gearbox mountings, which I'll talk about further down below.




Starting with the clutch pressure hose and the pipe, the hose was £55 and the pipe was £22, which comes in exact shape that it has to be, so there's no bending required or any messing around with it. A perfect example of how some stuff is reasonably priced from dealers.


Clutch pressure hose: 32101157375

Clutch slave cylinder pipe: 21521159619

And there are x2 metal clips, which are for each end of the pressure hose, so I would advise getting them, in case yours are rusty or might break. Part number: 34341163565




Then moving onto the clutch area, it's advisable to replace the clutch fork, the spring clip for it and the ball pin. Chances are, it's all probably in decent condition, but you really wouldn't want to take the gearbox out again for the sake replacing something silly like that, if it causes trouble in the future. I also got the x6 bolts for the pressure plate as well, which ideally should be renewed with every clutch change.


Clutch fork: 21511223302

Release spring clip: 21517570284
Ball pin: 21511223328

x6 Pressure plate bolts: 07129903984


The ball pin is a weak-looking, rubbery plastic thing, which I read that often gets replaced by stainless steel, aluminium or bronze units for better reliability and extended life-span, but I'm sure if you are running the normal clutch with no modifications, then the stock item should do the job just fine.




The gearbox mounts, which I mentioned earlier, were unbelievably cheap - the front ones, which are identical to each other were £15 each and the rears, which are left and right sided, were only £12 each. You wouldn't think you were buying BMW parts at those prices...


x2 Front gearbox mountings: 24701138435

Left gearbox mounting: 24701138427

Right gearbox mounting: 24701138428


Bear in mind, the above parts are for the manual 5-speed ZF gearbox, S5D310Z.


Now the gear linkage, which depending on how "enthusiastically" your E34 was driven over the past 20-25 years, it could be completely knackered with your gear lever all over the place, or it could be like mine, which still feels ok, but I would rather get it all renewed, while I'm there.


The best thing to do is to replace whatever bushes, mountings and joints are there, so you'll know that everything is 100%. That being said, here's what you need:


Bush: 25117507695

Mounting bearing: 25111220707

Gear lever: 25111221779

Bearing: 25111220600

x4 Washers: 25111220439

x2 Clips: 25117571899

Joint: 25117503525

Pin: 23411466134

Tension clip: 25111203682




One thing I'd like to mention, if you have a look at the gear linkage diagram here > https://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/showparts?id=HD52-EUR-09-1992-E34-BMW-525i&diagId=25_0025


You'll see that I made a mistake of ordering the item 20 (washer), which actually comes already installed with the joint (item 14), so just a heads up for those who are going to renew their linkage not to bother with that part. The linkage parts overall come up to around £170, so it's not too bad, considering you do it once in 20 years.




And finally, a few exhaust brackets that I bought since mine that support the catalytic converter are quite rusty, so will be replacing them, when we take the exhaust off.


It's a good idea to renew the catalytic converter gaskets (18301716888 - x2) along with 6 copper nuts (18301737774 - x6) to avoid any exhaust gas leaks later down the line.


The rest of the parts below are just various brackets, bolts, washers and nuts for the catalytic converter support on the front, so again, it's better just to renew everything, as the parts are not expensive and will last a long time.


Holder: 18211723375

Exhaust support: 18321728316

Bolt x2: 07119913676

Rubber washer x4: 18207546579

Washer x5: 33311108205

Nut x2: 07119905515

Clamp: 18211176717

Bolt: 07119912535

Bolt x2: 07119904146




That should be everything for now. Just need to remember to buy some Pagid DOT4 fluid to change the clutch fluid, as we haven't done that yet, but apart from that, I think I've got it all covered. The work will probably be done sometime in August, so will make sure to take a few photos during the repair and update the thread with the progress.


Note for myself: need to look into replacing the ignition coils, as the car misfires occasionally and hesitates at lower revs. Check for vacuum leaks, maybe fuel pump, MAF and lambda sensor. The cat still rattles sometimes, so need to get that Klarius unit along with the Jetex cat-back exhaust system.


Thanks for following and any tips appreciated.

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The clutch work has now been officially completed! It all went pretty smoothly, to be honest - nothing unexpected, which was a good thing, but I've purchased whatever parts had to come off, so I was well-prepared for everything.


So the first thing to come off was the exhaust, and this time we had to remove it from the exhaust manifold end, rather than from the cat, as otherwise the front section would be in the way when taking the gearbox out. Make sure that you have the 2 gaskets for the catalytic converter and the 6 copper nuts, because the existing ones simply won't be re-usable.






With the full exhaust out of the way, now you can remove the centre exhaust heatshield that covers the propshaft and see the condition of the propshaft centre bearing.




To replace it, you will need to remove the propshaft, meaning 6 bolts at the gearbox end, where the propshaft flex disc (guibo) is, and 6 nuts at the diff end.


With the propshaft out, we've inspected the centre bearing, and I was amazed to see that it was actually genuine BMW - whether it was the original from factory or was possibly replaced some time ago with a genuine BMW part, but it was in pretty decent condition regardless.




To remove the centre bearing from the propshaft, you will need to undo the bolt in the middle of the propshaft to separate the two halves, and then the bearing slides out, complete with the mounting. The assembly is the reverse of the removal.






Now the gearbox can come out. The top 2 bolts with the nuts that hold the starter motor in place can be a bit of a pain to get to, but with a few extensions, it's a doable job. The starter motor can stay where it is, you just need to slightly push it forward, towards the engine, so it clears the gearbox. And here it was finally on the floor:






Had a look at the propshaft guibo and it looked perfect to me - I felt like I was changing all these bits for no reason..It was genuine BMW as well, made by Jurid. Anyway, it's good to replace all these things when doing major work, such as changing the clutch, so you won't have to go in there again in the future.




With the gearbox out, now we can see the pressure plate/clutch assembly. The pressure plate is held by 6 allen bolts, but the replacements that I bought from BMW were torx - not a big deal, they fit perfectly fine. I would advise getting new bolts, as the existing ones are not always re-usable and you don't want to be stuck at this point of the job by not having a few bolts that don't cost a fortune.




After having inspected the clutch, it was obvious that it was past its best with all kinds of cracks, uneven surface and small chunks missing everywhere. Both the pressure plate and the clutch were genuine BMW, made by LUK, so I'd say this was what the car left the factory with.














One thing that I haven't bought was the dual-mass flywheel, but BMW doesn't necessarily recommend replacing these when doing the clutch, so it really depends on the condition and it's up to you, if you do it or not. It's not exactly cheap, but still reasonable - LUK is just over £300 from ECP (with the discount). Mine looked fine, so we decided to leave it.




Enough chit-chat, back to work. The new clutch and the pressure plate is now in place - make sure to put the clutch disc the correct way round, it should say on it "Gearbox side", so you know which side goes where.




Then we moved onto the gear linkage and the gearbox mountings. All pretty straightforward here - again, I'm sure everything that we've replaced was original BMW from factory, so looks like I was the first one to do such major work on the car. Surprisingly, the linkage bushes and the gear lever was all in good condition - I remember these bits were completely knackered on my E30, when I did the same work on that car.






The complete gear linkage, fully assembled with all new bushes and mountings, ready to be fitted on the car:




Almost forgot about the slave cylinder - nothing special here, really. I couldn't see any markings on the clutch hose that we removed, so not sure what make it was, but the slave cylinder was made by FTE, which is an OEM supplier, so good stuff.






With all the new bits fitted, we began putting everything back into place and here you can see the gearbox already installed with all the mountings and the propshaft connected:




We finished off by putting the exhaust back in and here are the gaskets and the nuts that I mentioned in the beginning of this post, saying that you should replace them. As you can see, I've also bought a few exhaust brackets as well. It's basically the bracket that supports the front section of the exhaust, as it's bolted to the rear of the gearbox.






The difference in how the car pulls away now and how it used to, is definitely noticeable. The biting point is a lot lower, as the car starts moving when you only slightly release the clutch pedal. Also the clutch pedal itself has become very soft, probably due to the fact that I've got a new slave cylinder as well.


It builds up speed with much less effort and obviously there's no more creaking clutch pedal when hot or occasional slipping. Overall, I'm very pleased. Not much left to do on this car to make it mechanically perfect.


My "custom-made roller guides" for the rear window regulators didn't last too long, because just the other day I tried to put down the driver's rear window and it kind wobbled, almost collapsed, but luckily I managed to close it. As a result, I have actually purchased 2 second-hand regulators for the rear and going to fit them soon, hopefully then I'll have these rear windows fixed for good.


Apart from that, I'd like to get the catalytic converter replaced by Klarius, since mine is making all kinds of funny noises, and most likely get a cat-back Jetex exhaust system as well, unless I can find any other decent make - this seems to be the best one, not sure if I would want to do anything custom-made...


Then get a new lambda sensor while I'm there, replace all 6 ignition coils to cure the intermittent idling/hesitation problems, and worst-case scenario, I might need a new AFM as well.....Or I might try cleaning it and see if it helps, instead of having to buy a new one.


All these things are not urgent and I'm not in too much of a hurry to get them done. So depending on funds/time available, I'll be sure to update this thread and let you know how it all goes.


Thanks for following and all the best. 

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I'm just in absolute ore of the time, money and effort you have put into this fantastic project. It's going to be one hell of beautiful car to drive, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't slightly envious!! ;)

Keep up the great work, it's going to be well worth it ^_^

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Had my first ever breakdown in any car that I've owned in the last 10 years and was a bit, erhmm, surprised, to say the least.....Well, it was kind of my fault, so can't really blame anyone else. I mean, how long do you expect a fuel pump to work on a 25 year old car and god knows, if it has ever been changed?


My only excuse is that this just happened out of nowhere, really....If I would've had any kind of obvious symptoms recently, then I would've known what to expect, but it just randomly died. Have to admit, the car sputtered and cut out on me in traffic few months ago, but then it started right back up and has been fine ever since, so I didn't really think much about that incident....Anyway, lesson learned. Here's my taxi below:




Long story short, I'm a bit of an idiot for completely forgetting about the fact that after all the work that I've done on the car, I've missed the fuel pump and should've replaced it loooooong time ago to avoid this silly situation. Luckily, it was a nice sunny afternoon and I was in my local area driving around 20 mph when the car all of a sudden lost power, stopped reacting to the accelerator pedal and gradually came to a halt on a residential road. Tried starting it again, but it would just crank without firing up. I managed to push it away from the road and park it in a bay until a colleague of mine recovered me to a friend's house the next day.


A bit of an inconvenience, but I appreciate that it could've been a lot worse, such as cutting out at 70 mph in the outside lane of a motorway at 3am in the morning, on the way to the airport! Touch wood, I always look after my cars well and such things don't normally happen with me, so this incident definitely took me by surprise.


IMPORTANT: It's recommended to have 1/4 full tank of fuel or even less, if possible, when replacing the fuel pump, as it will make a lot easier removing the pump since you'll have a clear view of how it's fitted in the tank.


The fuel pump on the E34 is located under the carpet, in the boot and there's a black cover held by 5 screws that you have to remove to access the pump.




Once you've removed this cover, you'll see the top of the fuel pump assembly, which has a plug connected to it and 2 fuel hoses, as below:




To remove the plug, you need to slide the metal bracket away from the connector while simultaneously pulling the plug outwards. As for the fuel hoses, unless you have the special tool for removing/locking those fuel hose clamps, it's advisable to have some replacement BMW jubilee clips/hose clamps (part number: 07129952104) before you start undoing those. Also have some cloths/towels ready, as some fuel will spill out and you don't want to make a mess.


Make sure to clean up all the dust and dirt around the assembly, because once you've removed the cap, then it could all go into the fuel tank, which obviously you want to avoid.




You'll have to gently tap the black cap with a flat screwdriver and a hammer in an anti-clockwise direction, because there's no way of undoing it by hand. Once you have unscrewed it, you'll have to move the fuel sender part of the assembly out of the way (the white part) and reach into the fuel tank with your hand to unclip the pump assembly from its bracket located in the tank.


It is a bit fiddly, but this is the reason why you should have a minimum amount of fuel in the tank, because otherwise you won't be able to see how the pump is held in place or how to remove it. There are basically 2 tabs on the assembly that you push inwards and then pull the pump up from the bracket. See the photos below of the whole assembly removed to get a better idea.






Notice those tabs on each side of the fuel pump assembly, which is what you squeeze inwards from the top to release the pump from its bracket in the tank. Also see how all the clips used around on the assembly are special hose clamps. There's no need to replace these, as long as you have the right tool for unlocking/securing them.




Remember how everything is connected, so depending on which replacement fuel pump you get, you'll know how to correctly re-connect it all back together. The thinner/smaller stud on the pump is Positive (+) and the larger one is Negative (-).




You won't have to worry about replacing the fuel pump filter separately, as usually they come together with replacement fuel pumps, so that's one less thing to worry about. However, if you don't have it, then make sure to get a new one, as it wouldn't make sense to go through all this work and re-use an old filthy filter.




Depending on what manufacturer you go for when buying your new fuel pump, you may have to do a bit of extra work and it won't always be a straight swap-over. For example, the pump that was fitted on my car was made by Bosch and in the past, you could simply buy just the pump itself, without any other accessories, and replace it hassle-free. You would have to separate it from the inner housing, but that's about it - see the pics below.








Checking the above part number, you can no longer buy this exact Bosch fuel pump, because it has been superseded by a newer unit, which comes complete with a plug on top and a wiring kit, meaning you'll have to mess around with the existing wiring of the pump assembly to crimp in new pins, so then you can push them into the new connector and plug it into the pump......Not the best scenario, but if I was to go with a Bosch replacement, then it would have to be part number 0580314123, as per the photo below:




As you can see, it is supplied as a complete assembly with the filter and the inner/outer housing, along with 2 pins and a connector. Like I said earlier, the downside to this is that you'll have to modify the wiring, which I didn't want to do, so I decided to go for an alternative make. For your info, you can get an equivalent pump to the original Bosch one that was fitted on my car, i.e. with the studs on the top, but then it would be an inferior quality make and probably wouldn't last long.


Luckily, another OEM alternative to Bosch is a Pierburg pump (part number: 7.21913.50.0) , which actually comes with studs on top, meaning it's just plug and play without any need to modify anything. It was readily available from EuroCarParts, so I got it straightaway and here's how it looks like:








When I opened the box, the part number on the actual pump was different from what was on the label, but after checking the part numbers in the Pierburg's parts catalogue, everything matched fine - for your info,  7.21833.51 is an old number (stamped on the pump) and has been replaced by 7.21913.50.0 (on the box).




After finally doing all the research and purchasing the right fuel pump, it was just a matter of putting everything back together and starting the car. You will have to re-use the outer part of the pump bracket, which fits over the new inner bracket of the replacement pump. There's only one right way of fitting it, so you can't really get it wrong - just pay attention to how it's installed, when you are removing it from the old pump.




Then you'll have to re-connect the wires to their studs (positive/negative) and secure them with washers/nuts. One hose goes on the pump that supplies the fuel into the engine and the other one connects to the outer bracket, which is the return fuel line. Again, pay attention not to confuse them and replace the hose clamps, as required. All done, ready to be fitted:




The installation is the reverse of removal, so make sure that the black part of the pump assembly properly clicks into place in the fuel tank, then carefully put the fuel sender back in as well and install the black cap with a few light taps of a flat screwdriver + hammer. Secure the fuel hoses, re-connect the plug and you are done!




Started the car, it ran perfectly fine and I haven't had any problems since. Still can't believe that this actually happened to me, considering all the things that I've taken care of, but like I mentioned earlier, totally forgot about the fuel pump. Funny enough, I did replace it as a precaution on my previous car, an E30, but for some reason it slipped past me on the E34. Well, what can you do?


Have to say that I've noticed a significant difference of how the car pulls away and gathers speed, so it seems like the old pump did work, but it was definitely weak. It's now a lot more responsive and smoother and there's no hesitation in the lower revs. A happy ending overall.


Apart from this, not much happened lately. Still haven't fitted the replacement second-hand rear window regulators that I bought back in August, so that most likely will be the next job, but otherwise if anything else comes up, you'll be first to know.


Thanks for reading.

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I am getting the fuel lines replaced on my E34 next week, is it worth getting the fuel pump replaced at the same time while it is all apart? I have no idea if it’s been replaced as I can’t find a receipt for it. 

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2 hours ago, KitsonRis said:

I am getting the fuel lines replaced on my E34 next week, is it worth getting the fuel pump replaced at the same time while it is all apart? I have no idea if it’s been replaced as I can’t find a receipt for it. 


I would change the pump if no history of the pump being changed 

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9 hours ago, KitsonRis said:

I am getting the fuel lines replaced on my E34 next week, is it worth getting the fuel pump replaced at the same time while it is all apart? I have no idea if it’s been replaced as I can’t find a receipt for it. 


As Carl said above, better be safe than sorry, so get it done while you're at it. I got my Pierburg pump from EuroCarParts, which was around 230, including the online discount.

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