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MadeinWigan

E34 540i/6T again

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After selling my last 540 I’ve been round the houses buying lots of different cars including a 545i touring, 2 x TVR’s plus a Caterham but none of them did the job.

 

i just love how practical the e34 540i tourings are, you get the lovely V8 and know that it will start on the button and feel absolutely solid. I kept an eye on the market, considered an e39 540i/6T but it just didn’t quite do it for me for some strange reason. I then found myself with “The Golden Nugget” but it was way too much work for me so it went into the capable hands of Karl and Stefan.

 

I really thought that was my last chance of owning an e34 540i/6T, there’s not exactly loads of them and all of them are rough these days. I considered seeing if I could buy my old Avus one back but I wouldn’t have had the spare cash as i’m moving house plus had bought a knackered old Lotus Elise for track days.

 

I still kept an eye out though, regularly trawling the usual sites, thinking how rare e34’s are these days and how much even rough examples are. But one day last week I found a 540i touring on Autotrader. I thought it was an auto but clicking on the photos revealed a gearstick. Oh my! I had a think, i’ve got three cars already, don’t need a fourth plus I do less than 5k miles a year.

 

Unfortunately the draw of v8 loveliness drew me in and I bought it unseen as i’m in Wigan and the car was south of London. Two days later a lovely gent transported the car to me and I should see what i’d let myself in for. A very dirty car!

 

 

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I knew that the car is a Cat C but didn’t know what for. All I know is that there’s notes in the history of the previous owner driving through a flood and killing the engine. There’s less than a month between the Cat C marker and a new engine so it looks like that was the issue. 16 years later there’s no sign of any lasting damage so i’m Happy enough.

 

The car came with a large folder of history with some biggish invoices for things replaced such as rad, shocks all round. New brakes and some other suspension works. All is not fantastic though, the car is on 194k miles and there’s a few things that need sorting.

 

Firstly, the car needs a really really good clean, it’s filthy. It’s damp as well, prime suspect is the sunroof but we’ll see. Next is mechanicals, it drives nicely but does need steering idlers, rear subframe bushes, couple of brake lines probably a bit of welding. All in all though i’m glad to be back in an e34 and i’m Not after perfection so will just take my time with it and get it up to a half decent condition. It is grey inside though, that might need to change!

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You lucky barsteward!!!

Not jealous at all...:P

You are a lucky, lucky man. Took me years to find my E34 540i Touring auto, having narrowly missed out on a couple of others, however, in retrospect, they were probably in worse condition than my current 540i. Many congratulations on the new purchase..:wub:

Edited by boiliebasher

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Thanks gents. I do seem to have a knack of finding them, no idea how. 

 

This one is probably the best condition 540i/6T i’ve had but it’s still in need of a lot of tlc. I gave it a quick wash yesterday which confirmed that I have a leaky sunroof, I’m hoping just blocked drains.

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You’d think there’d be the odd one hidden somewhere but i’ve not seen one for a while. Mine was a lovely car but was very very rotten. Unbelievable thirst as well.

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Top work Richard, funny enough I though I owned the only 540iT/6 in London!

 

glad another one is in safe hands, keep the pics coming 

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Sorry Simon, I can’t help myself.

 

I thought yours would have been the only one in London as well. It is now! I’ll get some more photos of the good and bad next week, i’m working every day between now and then unfortunately.

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The weather isn’t helping me make much progress but I got brave and decided to have a look at the sunroof as i’m fairly certain that my water ingress is due to blocked drains. I tentatively pressed the button for the sunroof and there was movement, not smooth movement and I quickly decided that i’d just be happy if I could shut the thing, didn’t even attempt to open it fully. That can wait until next year when I can put it in a garage. A temporary fix of taping in shut should stop any more water getting in.

 

The interior needs a good clean and needs drying out. When left it soon fills with condensation, i’ve removed the boot floor panels and dried then off but the carpet needs removing as well. 

 

I’ve managed a couple of small jobs to make me feel like i’ve got something done. First was to remove the roof bars, chances are i’ll never use them so for now they’ve gone into storage. The second was to make it full ginger, i’m old fashioned and like the look of ginger all round.

 

I’ve started to plan the next few jobs, one of which is the front suspension. I was happy to see that a lot of the suspension had been replaced when I was looking through the history but I soon came back down to earth when I found the invoice for the parts. Pretty much all of the front suspension and steering parts have been replaced by cheap eBay tat. £110 for 12 parts compared to the equivalent kit from Lemforder that costs £550. Oh well, best start doing more overtime as i’ve already committed to a day at the Ring and two at Spa next year. It’s going to get expensive.

 

 

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9 hours ago, MadeinWigan said:

The weather isn’t helping me make much progress but I got brave and decided to have a look at the sunroof as i’m fairly certain that my water ingress is due to blocked drains. I tentatively pressed the button for the sunroof and there was movement, not smooth movement and I quickly decided that i’d just be happy if I could shut the thing, didn’t even attempt to open it fully. That can wait until next year when I can put it in a garage. A temporary fix of taping in shut should stop any more water getting in.

 

The interior needs a good clean and needs drying out. When left it soon fills with condensation, i’ve removed the boot floor panels and dried then off but the carpet needs removing as well. 

 

I’ve managed a couple of small jobs to make me feel like i’ve got something done. First was to remove the roof bars, chances are i’ll never use them so for now they’ve gone into storage. The second was to make it full ginger, i’m old fashioned and like the look of ginger all round.

 

I’ve started to plan the next few jobs, one of which is the front suspension. I was happy to see that a lot of the suspension had been replaced when I was looking through the history but I soon came back down to earth when I found the invoice for the parts. Pretty much all of the front suspension and steering parts have been replaced by cheap eBay tat. £110 for 12 parts compared to the equivalent kit from Lemforder that costs £550. Oh well, best start doing more overtime as i’ve already committed to a day at the Ring and two at Spa next year. It’s going to get expensive.

 

 

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see that’s interesting, as these are my exact plans for next summer.

Buddy up ?

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e34s are ok on the ring if a little heavy, I shall take bi turbo once its in a state to go and European breakdown cover!  

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I’d be happy doing a couple of laps in one but I think all day on a track day would kill it. Plus i’d have to go through it thoroughly to make sure cooling, brakes, steering, suspension etc etc were spot on which would no doubt cost a fortune.

 

It costs enough keeping one track car going let alone two. Good plan with the breakdown cover but fingers crossed it treats you well. 

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On 17/12/2019 at 13:50, MadeinWigan said:

 . Pretty much all of the front suspension and steering parts have been replaced by cheap eBay tat. £110 for 12 parts compared to the equivalent kit from Lemforder that costs £550.

 

My TDS auto has had the German ebay front suspension stuff on for what must be 3 years now without issue but that's not a v8 touring with manual box 

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I may be doing them a disservice, not sure if the steering idler was one of the parts replaced. I’m still using it every day at the moment, can’t help myself.

 

I’ll attach a gratuitous shot of the sunroof taped up, it’s something that I completely forget I’ve done. The seats and carpets have had a clean and it smells much nicer now.

 

 

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I’ve also somehow ended up with another Caterham, that should be the car that we’ll be using for most of the track days. The engine is a bit poorly.

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