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My Collection of Mostly Broken BMW's - '92 E34 525iT, '00 E39 M5, '76 2002

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  • #16
    With the weather and other things going on I hadn't uncovered the 2002 since winter. Finally got around to it, hooked up the battery, gave it a few pumps and it started right up!

    Definitely renewed my passion for the car a little bit, since I had been considering selling it. I need to get the registration done and it's in desperate need of new tires. Hopefully, I can get enough done to sign up for some track/ auto-x time this year

    Then I decided that if I don't make progress with the 2002 soon, I won't have much chance to drive it this year. Bit the bullet and bought the parts it desperately needed.

    The most glaring issue are the tires...they're old enough to have their own license!

    I've decided to go with the BFG Sport Comp-2's, since I've heard good things and anything more aggressive would be major overkill for the car at the moment.

    Less than 24 hours later an the tires showed up on my doorstep. One of the perks of living within 150 miles of TireRack.

    Some new strut bushings for the front were also necessary, since they are completely perished. Last time I drove the car there was an annoying squeak from the alternator at idle, so I've ordered some poly bushings and a Tii style bracket from Ireland Engineering.

    Click image for larger version

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    Another thing I need to address is the leaky fuel tank. It's made contact with something hard at some point and was repaired with some kind of appoxy. I actually bought a tank last year, but it turned out to be the wrong one, for an earlier car. I'm thinking I'll drain the tank and see if I can't have the local radiator shop patch it up. Otherwise I might remove the previous repair and give it a shot with some JB tank weld, as a temporary solution.
    1992 BMW 525iT • 1976 BMW 2002 • 2017 GTI SE


    • #17
      Another free Friday, but I wasn't exactly as productive as I was hopi​​​​​​ng. Dropped off the 2002 wheels with the new Sport Comp 2's at the local tire shop. Ran some errands while they mounted and balanced them.

      Got the wheels back on and the car on the ground, but other to-do's needed to be done so I moved on. Next on the list will be replacing the destroyed strut mounts and mounting the alternator up with the new hardware. I'm also planning on pulling the front bumper and addressing the dent in the nose panel in the near future.

      Yardwork is a Sisyphean task at this time of year, but the bare minimum must be attended to, so after I got that out of the way I moved on to the M5.

      HOLY SHIT, the passenger side front wheel was torqued more than lugs I've ever dealt with before. Had to use a breaker bar with a three foot cheater for the three of the five lugs on that side. Since I'm tackling the front and rear suspension I loosened all the other wheels with comparatively little drama.

      M5 assuming the position.

      I'll need to raise the rear another notch on the jack stands to level the car out for the transmission and diff fluid change.

      Decided to take a look at the wheel that was giving me so much grief.

      Everything looks normal here, if a bit dirty. Rotors and pads seem to be in good shape with plenty of life on them. Got the tie rod loose and the front control arm disconnected before losing all energy and will power to continue. A few hours later I found the cause as I was hit with a lovely bought of the stomach flu. My daughter and wife had just gotten over it, so naturally it was my turn. Obviously ended progress for the weekend.

      I'm planning on tackling as much as I can during the week, since weekends have been such a failure lately. Luckily, I have the E34 as a backup and I could take the 2002 if I was really desperate. Hopefully more productive progress to come!
      1992 BMW 525iT • 1976 BMW 2002 • 2017 GTI SE


      • #18
        So as usual plans were delayed a bit. Ended up taking the E34 into a shop to have real flanges welded onto the new headers, since the slip connectors were not doing the job. There was enough exhaust gas escaping to cause the idle to bounce between 500 and 1500 RPM's, and it was LOUD. Not in a good way either. Not sure if it was due to the lack of back pressure or the pre-cat O2, but with the new repairs it's running right and not noticeably louder than the original cast setup. Until that was sorted I didn't want to crack into the M5 too much in case I needed to slap it back together in a pinch.

        But I did start getting into the suspension a bit and immediately ran into an issue. The rear upper control arms are a ball joint style at the knuckle and they were fucking stuck.

        I ordered this lovely tool and it made very quick work of the offending joints tonight.

        Suspicions about the state of the rear suspension were confirmed immediately after taking the wheel off. This is the control arm to the rear of the car. TOASTY

        And here is the other one.

        Fair to say they had given up the ghost. It's very likely these are the original components from the factory. I'm definitely glad I decided to really load up on parts because it's looking like everything I've bought is absolutely ready for replacement.

        I also managed to get the sway bar end link off on this side, but in the process managed to smash the ever living hell out of my thumb. Multiple times. There is just not much clearance to remove the nut on the axle side of the K-member. That was also toast. This kind of just happened with out much effort.

        I'll be moving to the other side of the car to do it all over again before I tackle the lower ball joints and the integral links. I'll need to rent a tool to get those ball joints out, so those will probably wait until Friday. The front suspension is similarly full of ball joints, so the splitter will be a welcome addition in getting all of that apart. I want to get the thrust arms out before Friday, so I can have the old bushings pressed out and the new ones pressed in.

        On another note, I couldn't resist the temptation to drive the 2002 last weekend. I really need to rebuild the shifter mechanism, but I think I have officially decided not to make it into a full on track car. As a friend put it, "you'll ruin it for the street and it'll be a shit race car". I'd rather have the car be fun street car at this point in my life, and I really don't foresee having the time to do any racing for at least 3 years at this point. It's just nice to have a car that is fun to drive even below the speed limit and really gives you the sensation of lightness. It does mean I need to start considering putting together some semblance of an interior for the car. Dash is cracked, there are no door cards, and the center consul is erm, spartan, to say the least.

        I'm not the biggest fan of the Sparco wheel. It's a little too small for my taste. But the seats, cloth Recaro LS, are great for a street car. Need to think more on what exactly I want to do, but I think I'll be happier overall with that direction for the car.
        1992 BMW 525iT • 1976 BMW 2002 • 2017 GTI SE


        • #19
          Back out in the garage tonight. I was actually out there last night, but didn't end up making too much progress after getting the new control arms and end links. Decided to try and tackle the front end and immediately hit a brick wall. I can't seem to get the old strut out of the knuckle even with multiple blasts with penetrating fluid. Going to need to find the biggest pry bar available to get it apart.

          I decided to try and be a little more productive with the limited time I had tonight. In order to replace the rear struts on an E39, you need to disassemble a good amount of the rear interior. You need to remove the lower seat, seat back, child seat anchors, c-pillar trim, parcel tray, and rear speakers. After all that is removed you end up with something like this.

          Taking apart this car really does illuminate why the E39 has such a reputation for refinement. Most of what you see in the picture above is sound deadening, the c-pillar trim is backed with some what dense foam, and the same goes for the parcel shelf. It's really no surprise that the M5 is dangerously close to 4000 wet with a svelt-ish driver.

          In order to get the strut out you also need to remove the inner fender cover. This is also made of, a heavier duty, pliable rubber.

          These have almost certainly never been out of the car and are filthy. I'll be scrubbing them down with some soapy water.

          It's recommended that you move the fuel filler neck out of the way of the strut during replacement. It does seem precariously close once you get under that fender cover. You can also see how BMW made use of the space once it's covered up an out of sight.

          I'll probably manage to get the drivers side rear to the same spot as the passenger tomorrow. If I move quickly enough, I'll probably try to get the new rear Bilstiens installed since they are pretty straight forward. That will leave the integral links and rear ball joints to do on that end. The front has me a little worried ,since every nut and bolt has been fighting me so far. There's actually much less work to do on the front, but it seems like the effort has been exponentially higher. I'll be able to devote a solid amount of hours this Friday so hopefully I'll get the vast majority of the work done.

          That still leaves the transmission and diff fluid changes, which I should probably start on Friday as well. If I got all of that done in a day I'd be pretty psyched with myself.
          1992 BMW 525iT • 1976 BMW 2002 • 2017 GTI SE


          • #20
            Man, that rear suspension was ROACHED. I'm glad you're replacing everything!

            With the 2002, maybe a semi-stripped, race-inspired interior might still be a lot of fun on the street - just adding a little bit of polish to what's already there. After all, it's never going to be a model of ergonomics, refinement, and luxury due to its age. Just a thought.
            Originally posted by Dan
            My name is Edward