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'94 E34 Touring slicktop, daily driven slow mover. 3L turbo M50 in progress

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    '94 E34 Touring slicktop, daily driven slow mover. 3L turbo M50 in progress

    Finding this car was a journey of its own. I wound up having to search nationwide and buying a car with only an inspection from a family friend to go on. It was pretty cheap, and checked enough of the boxes for me to pull the trigger, and here it is.

    1994 E34 525i
    264,000mi
    automatic
    black interior (swapped by a PO)
    stock aside from the uncapped style 35s. They look better in person.

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    It's a decent 15' car that runs well with no infernal double sunroof, and most importantly, minimal surface rust in chipped areas. I'm going to prioritize getting it to the point where I'm happy to DD it; then manual swap it and add copious boost. By the time I'm done, the plan is to have a nice looking, practical, comfortable and fast daily driver which will eat up the highway miles of my commute and haul my RC planes. And the mail.
    Last edited by varg; 04-03-2022, 04:18 PM.

    IG @turbovarg
    '91 318is, M20 turbo
    [CoTM: 4-18]
    '94 525iT slicktop, 3L M50 + BW S366 project

    #2
    Reserved for future use

    IG @turbovarg
    '91 318is, M20 turbo
    [CoTM: 4-18]
    '94 525iT slicktop, 3L M50 + BW S366 project

    Comment


      #3
      You probably got lucky there, decent paint, no roof leaks, and much maligned, but actually quite nice looking (on E36s at least, didn't know they fit E34s) style 35s. Do you not like style 20s, or are they just unnecessarily expensive? Two piece 42s would also be a neat look IMO.

      Comment


        #4
        What does it need to be DD ready?
        Simon
        Current Car:
        -2017 i3 REx, 21st Century E30
        -1975 Alfa Romeo Giulia Nuova Super 1300, the never-ending name & project



        Make R3V Great Again -2020

        Comment


          #5
          Good find! I’ve had two manual E34 Tourings, one of which I daily’d for a while. One had Style 37s, the other Style 67s.
          1990 Brilliantrot 325iS Build Thread
          1989 Zinnoberrot M3 Build Thread

          Comment


            #6
            Both swapped or were they actually available from the factory with a 5 speed in the US?

            Originally posted by roguetoaster View Post
            You probably got lucky there, decent paint, no roof leaks, and much maligned, but actually quite nice looking (on E36s at least, didn't know they fit E34s) style 35s. Do you not like style 20s, or are they just unnecessarily expensive? Two piece 42s would also be a neat look IMO.
            It will need paint eventually, I built that into the budget. The clear coat has failed on part of the D pillar and quarter panel, it also has some scratches, chips, and dents. Being white, it doesn't stick out but it's there. I've never seen style 20s for sale, let alone 9" width style 20s, so I'm not even sure if they're expensive. As for style 42s, I prefer one piece wheels.

            Originally posted by 2mAn View Post
            What does it need to be DD ready?
            AC repair, a windshield washer tank grommet, a spare wheel and tire, detailing, tint, a stereo.


            IG @turbovarg
            '91 318is, M20 turbo
            [CoTM: 4-18]
            '94 525iT slicktop, 3L M50 + BW S366 project

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by varg View Post
              It will need paint eventually, I built that into the budget. The clear coat has failed on part of the D pillar and quarter panel, it also has some scratches, chips, and dents. Being white, it doesn't stick out but it's there. I've never seen style 20s for sale, let alone 9" width style 20s, so I'm not even sure if they're expensive. As for style 42s, I prefer one piece wheels.
              Well, 20s were probably a Euro only thing and I also think that 42s could be found in one piece, maybe on some 7 series.

              Comment


                #8
                Big plans are in motion. I bought a bunch of parts on black friday sales and once I have my pistons and crank, the block will be going off to the machine shop and the engine build will start upon its return to my garage. This car is going to be getting a forged 3.0 stroker M50 equipped with an S366SX-E. 600whp or bust, stretch goal of 700whp on an E85 tune. I went with the strapped clutchmasters 850 twin disc clutch; it's the single most expensive car part I've ever purchased. Buy once, cry once. I don't have the shoestring budget I had for my E30 project anymore, so I am not doing cheap-o clutches ever again. BTDT.

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                Those who follow my instagram will know I've been doing some work on it. I replaced the shocks, springs and dogbones. Bilstein B4s and Bavauto springs, it's about 3/4" lower in the rear and 5/8" lower in the front. I also ordered spacers for the new wheels and now the wheels that came with the car are 15mm further out which looks a lot better than the sunken fit that was going on.

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                Last edited by varg; 01-15-2022, 07:50 AM.

                IG @turbovarg
                '91 318is, M20 turbo
                [CoTM: 4-18]
                '94 525iT slicktop, 3L M50 + BW S366 project

                Comment


                  #9
                  The struts were a fight. The nuts were seized so they required grinding and lots of heat. I still wound up bending a pipe wrench using a pipe extension with my buddy's car parked on the wheel. I borrowed a monster 3' long pipe wrench to finish the job. The struts were also rusted in so I had soak them in liquid wrench, then re-compress the springs, heat the top of the tube with a torch and whack the spring with a mini sledge until the strut popped out. The new ones have oil and anti-seize applied so whoever has to do this in the future will have an easy time at it. The rear shock mounting bosses were seized pretty well too so anti-seize went on the new hardware there too.​

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                  IG @turbovarg
                  '91 318is, M20 turbo
                  [CoTM: 4-18]
                  '94 525iT slicktop, 3L M50 + BW S366 project

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Struts can be oh so fun....I must say those wheels are going to look mighty fine on this car.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      those wheels are pure sex....
                      as far as penetrating oils go, Kroil is king, Liquid wrench, meh... glad it worked out though

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Yeah this thing's going to be cool
                        sigpic

                        (clicky on piccy to get to thread)

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Thanks guys. They're as heavy as they look, the fronts are 18x8.5 and 25.4lb and the rears 18x9.5, 26lb. This is a sleek 3,700lb station wagon with soft suspension, it's going to be a daily cruiser with power in reserve not a corner devouring machine like my E30, so the weight doesn't matter much. They're also a headache, when I received them there were partially attached chips in the hubs that were just coated over, finish flaws on the rims, and what looked like tool crash damage on the inside face of the disc. In the end, my recommendation for anyone who reads this thread in the future is don't buy them unless you can put your hands on them and inspect them first.

                          I've been encountering a lot of supply chain difficulties on this build so far, so the engine is still a bare block in my garage. It'll be headed to the machine shop for checking, boring and balancing as soon as I find an M54/S52 crank and get my rods. I was hoping to have the engine done by the end of January but that obviously didn't work out.


                          IG @turbovarg
                          '91 318is, M20 turbo
                          [CoTM: 4-18]
                          '94 525iT slicktop, 3L M50 + BW S366 project

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Good news first. I finally got tires on the new wheels and mounted them. I was not sure about them, it was a toss-up between too busy for a simple car and really different and cool, and I'm pretty happy with the result and my offset math was dead on. The fit is close to perfect, I used the 20mm spacers the car came with, maybe if they were 18mm it would have been a little better up front but so far there is no rubbing.

                            18x8.5 ET35 front with 20mm spacer, 245/40R18 Extremecontact Sport
                            18.9.5 ET40 rear with 15mm spacer, 275/35R18 NT01

                            I couldn't decide what tires I wanted, A052s or ZIIIs, availability for both was spotty. My tire guy recommended going with NT01s as a suitable tire for trying to put my power goal to the ground, with a solid streetable tire in the front which will handle rain better. I went with it. I realize that putting a 100 treadwear tire on this car right now is putting the cart before the horse, but the old tires were shot, dangerously shot, so it was time for new rubber and to get these wheels. More motivation to get the engine together and in as soon as possible.

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                            On the other hand, the rods I wanted (Molnar) were out of stock so I had to go with IE, who didn't have the hardware. So I had to find the hardware elsewhere and wound up paying more than the Molnar rods would have been in total. Then the crank I bought which was in "good condition" apparently had pictures taken from angles that did not show scoring on the mains, it's at the machine shop right now and I am hoping a not much has to come off to remove the scoring because it was unduly hard to find an M54B30 crank. Of course the machine shop is backed up so I couldn't drop the rods, block and pistons off for boring, pin bushing sizing, and block modification for an oil pump chain tensioner.

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                            Calculated compression ratio with this 9:1 M54B30 piston and a 2mm head gasket is 9.1:1. My research indicates the M50TU head has a smaller combustion chamber than an M54 head.

                            IG @turbovarg
                            '91 318is, M20 turbo
                            [CoTM: 4-18]
                            '94 525iT slicktop, 3L M50 + BW S366 project

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Im digging this progress. No M42 jokes
                              Simon
                              Current Car:
                              -2017 i3 REx, 21st Century E30
                              -1975 Alfa Romeo Giulia Nuova Super 1300, the never-ending name & project



                              Make R3V Great Again -2020

                              Comment

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