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MTechnically New Reader
3/15/19 7:58 a.m.
rustybuckets said:

Good news is that the PO actually gave me a spare set of these, which I forgot about the first time around.


They appear to be Boge, a good quality part and OEM supplier, so I'll be tossing this in shortly. Trying to decide if I should just do the drivers side to keep them on even mileage.

Even mileage! You're already halfway there so you may as well replace both! Plus it would bother the hell out of me knowing the 2 sides are different lol

Thanks for confirming my gut reaction. It would end up bothering me knowing there are mismatched mounts in there. I'll just hold onto the used mount just in case. These cars can be hard on these mounts.

MTechnically New Reader
3/15/19 8:04 a.m.

In reply to akylekoz :

Sounds like great fun and you're spot on with the E34'S ability to take a beating.

MTechnically New Reader
3/18/19 11:05 p.m.

Back out in the garage tonight and it's more slow going from me. I don't have any air tools, and even if I did I wouldn't use them with my daughter sleeping

This was the "good" drivers side rear mount. Remember how I said these cars are hard on their rear strut mounts? I need to go back and check my records since it's clear that these parts weren't exactly up to the task. Maximum these have is 30,000 miles on them. Unacceptable wear for something like this, imho.

This makes me seriously consider shelling out the $125 for Moosehead Engineering mounts that are essentially indestructible.

Out came the passenger side strut. Looks like I got away with it...barely. A clean up with the wire brush later I was able to get the nuts started with a little difficulty. 


Springs on both sides got bogered up when I had the chains on to get over the pass. Nothing major but I had some grey engine enamel laying around so I cleaned them up.


At this point I've got both strut assemblies back in the car and I'm piecing together the interior. Trying to decide if I want to dig into the emergency brake or order up a new header. I've got a pretty serious exhaust leak at the collector side of the headers, after a couple botched repairs. In the process of removing the exhaust for the transmission swap I snapped off a stud on the manifold side and then I did it again when doing the subframe rebuild. I took it to a local exhaust shop but it seems like their repair just not sealing well. Thinking about picking up some Ebay headers to start fresh, but this brings me to a bit of a conundrum. You can get "Supersprint" style headers for roughly $200, but I can't help but think I'm going to cause myself more headaches with the cheap part over something a little more pricey. 

Thinking about picking something like this up. Thoughts?


adam525i Reader
3/19/19 9:12 a.m.

You should check irish44j's thread, he just put a set of really cheap ebay headers on his M50 swapped E30 rally car and had good luck with them - https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/build-projects-and-project-cars/1985-bmw-318-stage-rally-build-1988-porsche-924s-s/40440/page93/

I'd ask him which ones they were exactly if you decide to go that way.

I have the Moosehead thrust arm bushing/bearings on my E28, if his E34 shock mounts are just as good they'll be worth the money (save on headers, spend on mounts?).


MTechnically New Reader
3/19/19 9:27 a.m.

In reply to adam525i :

Thanks for the heads up. Looks like I should gamble on the El cheapo headers and see how it goes. I've got the new Boge rear mounts in at this point but the Moosehead mounts are definitely going to a future upgrade. 

MTechnically New Reader
3/22/19 10:17 p.m.

Small update today. Decided to pull the trigger on a set of eBay headers after reading about irish44j's luck in that department.

These were waiting on my front step when I got home from lunch with Mrs. MTechnically.

At $88.88 all in I'm pretty happy with the quality of the headers overall.


I was able to pull off the old headers, and 21 out of 24 of the original studs came out with the nuts. Used a stud removal trick I learned from YouTube and was able to get all of the studs out relatively painlessly.

I've got new studs and nuts on order so once those are here I'll be fitting up the new set. Might need to grab some more cutoff wheels for my dremel...

MTechnically New Reader
4/9/19 9:37 a.m.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to make it out to the garage lately. E34 is still waiting to get the new header installed. 

I'm noticing that I may have been too optimistic taking on 2.5 projects at once. Just recently found out that kid 2.0 is on the way, and that is causing me to really question whether or not I am going to have the time to get much done on the project front. Seriously considering letting go of my '76 2002, in order to free up some funds and focus on getting the other two cars fully sorted. 

Just struggling on what I should do at the moment. The 2002 is essentially out of the way and costing me almost nothing, but I don't love the idea of it sitting around for years and they aren't worth nothing these days. What bothers me most is that I haven't had the chance to really dig into the car much at all, and it feels like a missed opportunity. I really wanted to get this car sorted enough for some auto cross and HPDE and eventually build up to some wheel to wheel racing (VARA/SVRA).

If I do let it go, that leaves the M5 and the touring, both of which could tackle an HPDE, but neither seems like the ideal place to learn the fundamentals of performance driving.  WWGRMD?

MTechnically New Reader
4/9/19 5:08 p.m.

To add to my previous post, I'm thinking of cleaning up some other things in the garage/around the house. Thinking about moving my Birel M32 on. Honestly not sure what this is worth.

Clean chassis with probably less than 10 hours. I've got a IAME Leopard that goes with it. Decided to rebuild the motor and never got around to it.

Open to offers. Not sure where I would even post it for sale outside of Craigslist.




Indy-Guy UberDork
4/10/19 9:01 p.m.

In reply to MTechnically :

Congrats on the news of kid 2.0 on the way!  

02Pilot SuperDork
4/10/19 9:15 p.m.

Having owned my 2002 for decades, and having had several 5-series cars in that time as well (an E28 and an E39), I can perhaps offer at least a semi-informed opinion. The two complement each other nicely, as the dynamics are similar but the driving experiences are quite different. The 2002 is the quintessential "driving a slow car fast" experience, especially in stock form. Mine is modified, and I'm seriously considering reverting some aspects to stock or close, just to enhance this characteristic.

If you want to go racing, I think there are better candidates, not because the 2002 is a bad race car, but with values on the rise building a race car ends up costing you money in both the build and in market value. Plus, I'd hate to be limited to driving my 2002 only at the track, and track cars on the street are generally not a lot of fun, at least if you have to deal with pockmarked roads and traffic.

I think either 5-series would be fine on the track. Initially, I would use the M on the road and take the other car to the track - too easy to get way ahead of yourself in the M. When you get comfortable on the track, move to the M5; it should be a fairly natural transition.

MTechnically New Reader
4/10/19 11:28 p.m.

In reply to Indy-Guy :

Thanks! Mrs. MTechnically has been having a bit of a rough go this time around, so I've been doing most of the house/kid duty. Hasn't left me much time or energy to get out into the garage, but I'm sure things will improve soon.

MTechnically New Reader
4/10/19 11:37 p.m.

In reply to 02Pilot :

Totally understand the perspective you are coming from. Guess I'm having a hard time figuring out the right role for the '02. The interior is less than complete and the body leaves a good bit to be desired. So it feels a little too rough to really restore. We don't have much in the way of great driving roads in Chicagoland, so a hot rodded street machine doesn't make tons of sense either. Just figured that I wanted to start doing a little more track work and the '02 seemed like a good starting point.

I think your spot on about the M5. A little too much car for a first, second, or even fifth track day. Especially since it's my daily. The E34 is actually pretty fun to drive, so it probably will be the first car to see an HPDE. I'm a little more precious about it since I envision it as a very long term project, but I guess it wouldn't be the worst thing if I needed to find a replacement engine...

MTechnically New Reader
4/10/19 11:52 p.m.

Very small update.

Driving into work the other day, I suddenly lost speedo, odo, ABS, and DSC. Didn't throw a scanner at it since it was almost certainly a wheel speed sensor.

Ordered them up. Went with VDO at a lovely $79.95 a piece. They showed up today and I figured I could tackle it in a little over an hour. Passenger side went as expected. Jack the car up, remove wheel, partially remove fender liner, disconnect sensor, remove sensor, work backwards.

Drivers side was a different story. I could not get the sensor to budge and the exposed plastic was pretty brittle. Hit it with penetrating fluid, nothing.

Then this happened. berkeley. 

Ended up having to drill out most of the old sensor and chisel out the remaining bits. Took much longer than I had anticipated, but it's reassuring that this was very likely the faulty sensor. Tomorrow will be the real test, but at least I should be able to get to work.




kernymi New Reader
4/11/19 9:46 a.m.

Oh I love your BMW collection! I hope you can still do something for them to be in good condition again unless you simply want to gain from their functioning parts. The repair project might be costly and may not be efficient and practical at all. I would love to hear more updates about it!

MTechnically Reader
5/2/19 12:16 p.m.

Not much progress to report lately. The weather has not been great and the family went through a nice bought of the stomach flu for the last couple of weeks. Ultimately, it's still on me to get out into the garage and make progress on the E34. Until the exhaust is buttoned up, I won't start any other projects on the other cars.  I haven't been completely idle, started breaking down and cleaning up the BBS RC090 (Style 5's), but it's a slow process.

Here's one "complete" wheel done. I know I could probably get a better result with more time, but I would like to have these ready for when the weather finally decides to cooperate. 

The real hassle is cleaning all the wheel bolts. They were absolutely trashed. I ended up wire brushing the threaded ends, wrapping the threads in tape, then putting them in my drill, hitting them with wet 400 sandpaper, then a dab of Mag polish pressed into 0000 steel wool. I think they came out pretty nicely but it takes forever to do one wheel.


Wheel speed sensors did the trick on the M5, but there's a lot more work to be done on that car in the near future. I'm trying to decide if I want to tackle small jobs one at a time or bit the bullet and just hit the car hard with the parts cannon. I'm leaning towards the wallet unfriendly option so I can consider the car "done" for now and not have to worry about things piling up on it.

Indy-Guy UberDork
5/2/19 12:25 p.m.
MTechnically said:
....I'm leaning towards the wallet unfriendly option so I can consider the car "done" for now and not have to worry about things piling up on it.

It hurts the wallet real badly, but keeps the car from feeling like a perpetual project.  I think that's one of the mistakes I made on my E34 Touring.  It kept drip, drip, drip of little things one after another fixing, until I look around and a year has passed with only driving & enjoying the car a couple of months.


Edit: The wheel looks great, but, wow! what a ton of work.

OjaiM5 New Reader
5/2/19 1:39 p.m.

Style 5s - so yummy 

MTechnically Reader
5/2/19 2:31 p.m.

In reply to Indy-Guy :

I'm definitely leaning that way. I will admit that I am a little annoyed with having to do as much as I need to when it comes to the M5. I expected some maintenance and reconditioning, but after receiving a clean PPI I was expecting to have a relatively uneventful first year with the car. I know that a PPI isn't a warranty against old cars needing repairs, but it's become apparent that the inspection missed a lot of obvious things. It's not the end of the world but it is frustrating.

MTechnically Reader
5/2/19 2:36 p.m.

In reply to OjaiM5 :

I do like my Style 5's, I even have a set of the OEM 15" that I picked up as a potential winter wheel set, but they are an absolute pain when it comes to cleaning. I occasionally wish I had M-systems for the simple fact that they would be 10x easier to keep clean. Ultimately, I like them but I don't envision them as the "final" set for when the car will be "done".

OjaiM5 New Reader
5/2/19 3:08 p.m.

I am in the same boat as you. I have put a few thousand dollars into my M and it is still a POS. I can't over think it, it definitely is not rational. 

Every time I fix something I discover something else, never ending 

irish44j MegaDork
5/2/19 6:27 p.m.

Hopefully the headers bolt up well for you. They were a good fit for me overall, though I've heard fit varies from one to the other due to quality control or whatever. I also was surprised by how well-built they are. They look a lot better in person than in the ebay pics. I will say, the shape makes it damn hard to get to a couple of the bolts without all kinds of funky extensions and u-joints!

i assume the pipes at the end will match up to your stock exhaust (they matched up to the small section of e34 exhaust I used on mine in able to reduce it to a custom single exhaust on the rally car. That said, I wasn't terribly happy with the clamps they included. They work ok, but they definitely do leak a bit of exhaust, no matter how tight they're on. I am looking into some other options since I can't weld stainless here at home to just install a flange, which seems preferable.

I think the one downside to them is they supposedly have a much more raspy sound at high revs than the stock iron manifolds. i have no personal experience there, but that's what I've read. My car makes so much noise in various areas, not sure if I'd notice extra rasp, lol. 

MTechnically Reader
5/2/19 7:02 p.m.

In reply to irish44j :

I've heard the same thing about the headers making some more noise, but I'm okay with that considering the rest of the exhaust and intake are completely stock. I don't anticipate it will too noisy and it'll be a damn sight better than the loose connection I was dealing with before. 

I am a little concerned about the coupling being a source of leaks, but I still think it'll be a vast improvement. Any idea if exhaust gasket sealant would hold up in that location? I have some Permatex Ultra Copper RTV that's rated for 700 degrees. 

Definitely not looking forward to tightening down all the header nuts. I expect much grumbling and gnashing of teeth.

MTechnically Reader
5/3/19 6:18 p.m.

Finally had a day off where I was actually able to get out to the garage, success! 

Started off by jacking up the rear of the car and removing the rest of the exhaust. Decided to make sure that these headers actually clear everything, since they are technically advertised for the M50 equipped E36's and not the E34. 

Luckily, my fear over potential clearance issues was unfounded. Plenty of room in there and the header nuts weren't as big of a hassle as I expected.

Then I broke out my new sawzall and got to cutting.

No going back now.

I'm still working tightening down the last few. Had to stop short of finishing to clean up and pick my daughter up from daycare. I really wish I could have started it up with just the open headers, curious what the "equal length" design would sound like wide open.


MTechnically Reader
5/14/19 4:10 p.m.

Seems like I only get the chance to really work on the cars in big bursts lately. Mrs. MTechnically has been out of town on business for the better parts of both this week and last, so there is very little time or energy left at the end of a day of single parent life. Needless to say the E34 is still not fully back together. Most likely I'll get it done on my bi-monthly project day, this upcoming Friday.

I did make the brilliant decision to give myself more future work and ordered up a big steaming pile of parts. And wouldn't you know it they arrived today. 

A pretty sizable order even for me. Going with the Costco mindset and buying parts in bulk with this order. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to save anything at checkout.


Here is the pile o' parts out of the big boxes to show how they come in slightly smaller boxes...

As you can see there is a theme with these parts, suspension. When I bought the M5, I had a PPI done by a dealer local to the seller. It came back with some minor issues, but nothing that seemed like too big of a deal at the time. I had driven the car previously, but it had been cold and rainy, so I didn't exactly push the car during that drive. The car felt good at the time, but it turns out I should have been a little more diligent in my inspection process. It's clear after living with the car for awhile that the suspension is pretty well worn out. Worn enough that any mechanic with eyesight greater than a naked mole rat would have spotted. I've learned a somewhat valuable if not expensive lesson. Don't trust a mechanic that you don't know or hasn't been recommended by someone who's opinion you value. Once I had the car at the independent BMW mechanic that I trust, they confirmed that some obvious things were missed in the inspection, like the driveshaft and usual wear items for the rear suspension. I'd hazard a guess that the struts are original to the car too.

Since I have been a long sufferer of While You're in There Syndrome, I decided not to take chances and cover all the usual bases for these cars. Essentially, I'll be replacing all of the wear items in the rear of the car: swaybar end links, integral links, ball joints, control arms, and struts. And I'll be replacing the struts, strut mounts, sway bar end links, and thrust arm bushings for the front. Just a little work on the daily driver.

Hoping to get the E34 done Friday so I can start tackling this mountain of parts. Most of the repairs are straight forward, but there is a decent amount of work to do. I'll need to have a local shop press the bushings out of the thrust arms and press new ones in, but otherwise I should be able to tackle the rest of the work in the garage.

MTechnically Reader
5/17/19 1:08 p.m.

As planned I was able to get out into the garage and finally finish up the E34. Tightened down the last few manifold nuts and gave the car a quick start just to hear the open headers. I took a video of it, but I'll admit my ignorance when it comes to posting videos. 

Used a transmission jack in tandem with my HF low profile jack to balance the rest of the exhaust in place, get it on the hangers, and realize I hadn't cut enough off the connection between the collector and the cats. I managed to cut the additional section off under the car with little drama. Got everything back together and finally put the car back on it's wheels.

Needed to air up the tires and get the fluids circulated after sitting for a couple of months. Car is running great. Did not miss a beat after sitting since March.  It's in desperate need of a wash and I really need to get cracking on finishing the Style 5's.


I'll be tackling the pile of parts for the M5 next, but there's plenty left to do on the E34.

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