Tuesday, October 22, 2013

What is and what will be (mods)

I love my car, I really do, so when i start talking about modifying it you would think that i´m not happy with it. 

Car guys (or gals) enjoy a love affair with their vehicles. They lavish attention on them, bathe them and baby them, treat them to expensive baubles. Their vehicle is more than just a box (or phallus) on wheels, it´s an extension of them...a way in which they demonstrate their personality, their individuality. 
No true car guy wants their car to be a carbon copy of the thousands or millions of similar cars on the road. This is why we change things.

When i bought the car it came with almost everything i wanted, this is why i bought it in the first place, but in my efforts to stand out from the rest i need to do a few things to make it truly mine.

As you can see from the following list I´ve already started along the primrose path, but there´s still got a ways to go before the car is finished.

-Hella Black Headlamps
-M5 Licence Plate Surround
-Wide Hood (V8) Conversion

Already  most of important work from an esthetic point of view is done, though the icing on the cake will be to lower the ride height with some Sportline Springs and bring the package together.

-Eibach Sportline Springs (-5cm)
-Bilstein B8 Shocks
-dsylva-tech EAT chip
-M5 Shift Tray/Surround
-Eisenmann Sport Exhaust
-Smoked Turn Signals

The future list is longer than the current mods list and it´s only what i can get away with, taking into consideration that this needs to be a useable daily driver or else there would have been coil-overs instead of springs. 

That being said i have a lot of pokers in the fire and few pictures and updates to show for it. Hopefully in the next few weeks i will have some of the previously posted mods in progress wrapped up and i can share them with you.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Follow the blog

I´ve been a little tardy in adding this feature, but you can now follow the blog via email.
Just add your email address in the field over to the right and receive notifications every time a new post is published.

Go wide or go home

Narrow or wide, it´s a love hate thing with the E34 crowd. Some guys prefer the classic look of the narrow kidneys and some guys like the later wide look.
Me? I couldn´t have cared less, until browsing the web for E34 pictures i came across a picture one of my favorite E34´s...  

Low and wide, black and looking like it wants to run you down. I loved how the later kidneys looked on this car and wanted to do something similar to mine.

My car currently sports the narrow grille as it came from the factory, but time and careless drivers have not been kind to both hood and grill surround, but decided that they were too far gone to be worth repairing. 

I spent some time trying to track down a wide hood/grill with no luck. The ones i did find were too far away and that made shipping them an expensive proposition, so i let things be.

When my SO mentioned to me that her co-worker had an old BMW that he needed gone fast I jumped into action.

Much to my delight the "old" BMW ended up being a ´95 525 tds  sporting the wide grill which i had pined for.  It had recently been brought over from Germany and the owner needed to be rid of it asap, as in it was going to the scrapper. I offered to take the hood off his hands and any other little bits I might need.

The donor

With the wide hood conversion found and the recently added blacked out headlamps my car is finally on it´s way to being just how i imagined it. So stay tuned for more updates and pictures!


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Out with the old

You´ve probably already read the un-boxing and know what i am up to (if you haven´t, you can read it here )

My E34 is already 19 years young and i love the car, but i´m a tinkerer and I can´t leave things alone.
It´s a car that looks good from almost any angle, but i needed to make it mine.  It needed to say "hey man look at me, i´m not just another E34"   What better way to do that, than with a small update.

I decided that the best update both esthetically and from a functional point of view would be new headlamps. The old ones were very pitted and cracked and the quality of the lighting had diminished as a result.

Frosted 19 year old headlights

Now i could have simply bought stock replacements and called it a day, but that just wouldn´t do.  I  wanted anyone who looked in their rear view mirror to see something more menacing coming up from behind.  While i really wanted to airbrush Satan´s face on the hood i thought it might attract too much attention. So i went with Hella´s Smoked Headlamps instead.

I´d like to say that the install was easy, pain free and a joyous event...it wasn´t.  Also, i didn´t take any pictures of the procedure as i was so pissed off, but you can see how it´s done here http://home.comcast.net/~winstonfong/repairpagessite2/frontgrillremoval.htm

Step 1. First you need to get the metal grill surround off. This is probably one of the more painful steps.
You´ll need a very long screw driver with which pop the grill tabs free.  This requires you to spend 20 minutes cursing while probing for the tabs in a small dark hole (endoscopy anyone?)  Once you think you have found them, press downward (some force is required) and the bottom of the grill surround should pop forward. You need to do this on each side.
There are also some tabs directly under the kidneys which need to be pried upwards with a shorter screw driver (much easier) So you can pull the surround forward.
The last part is the easiest. Open the hood and prise up the small tabs on top of the kidneys and push forward. You might also need to remove a screw as well but mine wasn´t there.  You can then close the hood, and pull gently on the metal grill and it should come free.

This took me 20 minutes and i was bruised, bloodied and really pissed off. It´s funny though, it´s not the first time i´ve taken off the grill but i don´t ever remember it being that hard to do.

Step 2. Remove the plastic grills. Easy peasy, use screw driver to remove 5 screws per side and enjoy the fruits of your labors.

 Step 3. Headlamp removal. This was a pain in the ass as well and took me the better part of the afternoon cursing in a dark underground garage.

Remove 3 visible screws located in the front. There are a few more located in the engine bay behind the headlamps. If you want to remove the headlamps with the turn signals attached then you only need to remove the 1 screw that attaches the turn signal to the side fender. You´ll need to feel about to find it.
This is where things got complicated. Every online tutorial i´ve read says that you only need to remove these 4 screws to get the headlamp/turn signal unit out, not so in my case. 
After cursing some more and trying to figure out why the headlamps would not come free i discovered a 5th screw.  This little bugger needs to be accessed from inside the engine bay as well and attaches the headlamp from behind to a small metal bracket.  It is located near the turn signal screws. 
The passenger side is easier to remove, but on the drivers side you´ll need to remove the air box cover to be able to get at the bracket.

Here you can see where the 4 screws for the headlamp unit go.

Step 4. Take a break.  After all of this i looked like Doc Brown from Back to the Future, only in black-face, not a pretty sight. I decided to take a break and continue the next day.

Stay tuned for a much shorter blog entry in which i still don´t document anything but curse a lot.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Hella Teaser ; )

So as some of you may have noticed it´s been a few days since i´ve posted anything new, but rest assured I have been busy. 

Since my last post i´ve had a chance to take the car out for a long drive with the new tires and alignment. I´ve also had a chance to install the new headlamps

Here´s a Hella Teaser until i post more on the install.

Not bad at all...

It´s  now been 15 days since i got off my backside and decided to start a blog about my favorite daily driver, the BMW E34 525i Sport Limousine. 

And how´s that working out you ask?  Let´s see, so far the blog has had 296 views, 1 comment and 10 published posts!  Alot better than i thought.

So who exactly is checking us out?  Here are the stats by region

United States
United Kingdom

So far the U.S. and the Swedes take the lead. Not surprising considering that both countries contain a large number of petrol heads.

Regardless of who you are and where you are from, let me take the time to thank you for stopping by to check out the latest news.


Friday, October 4, 2013

Here she is...

Yesterday the blog had it´s first reply from a reader, Flaffy from Sweden, who also happens to own one of these Special 525i Sport Limousines.
He had asked to see some pictures of the car, for comparison reasons ; )   Flaffy you don´t have to twist my arm.
Here are some of the pictures that the previous owner sent me before i decided to go up and see it in person.

Looking good.
Please, do come in.
Alcantara Sport Interior.
Just as nice in the back.

As i mentioned, these are old pictures and really don´t do the car justice. I´ll be taking better quality photos as the project continues.