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E34 Touring 550i

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It was on the road and driving for wee bit. I did bunch of maintenance items to get the car up and running, namely a wheel hub that was gone and some lights.

Engine was my biggest problem as it had all sorts of developing issues that were a pain in the bum to resolve. The misfire and vacuum leaks being the first. I went through and replaced the entire ignition system - including the spark plugs which I replaced with ones that the M70 community recommends rather than the superseded OEM part - to remove the misfire. The vacuum leaks came from the damned intake to head rubber gaskets that had all cracked because the intake supports on the outside of the engine had completely failed and were straining the gaskets, so I replaced them with some custom solid mounts out of coupling nuts and sealed the rubber gaskets with a wee bit of Royal Blue.

It got taken for a nice long road trip from Chch to Picton where it performed amazingly. So effortless on the open road. Exactly what I wanted. I even towed another E34 (parts car) up from down south with and it basically used no extra fuel despite the doubled weight. Actually awesome.

But then I had strange over fueling issues (fuel avg. consumption would go from ~10-12l/100km straight up to 39.5l /100kms, which I'm pretty sure is just as high as the display goes rather than the true value), gearbox problems (massive lurch after shifting into reverse that shudders the whole car and other reluctant gear changes), and the odd bit of overheating. Then the smoke came. So I checked, cleaned and set the throttles, fixed exhaust leaks, traced oil leaks, found more developing vacuum leaks, replaced crankcase vent pieces, dropped and checked fuel tank/lines, tried some different oils, swapped ECUs, swapped part like FPRs and throttles from bank to bank. But nothing worked: the oil smoke under acceleration only got worse and overheating became more common. Current theory stands at minor head gasket failure that has developed into major failure on 7-12 cylinder bank. About 250hrs of work on my part only to be beaten again, though I can now take the intake manifolds off in my sleep.

The straw that broke the camel's back through was the tandem pump - that supplies hydraulic power steering and power brakes - got a major leak and requires a rebuild. Car simply can't be driven without brakes or steering.

To be honest it doesn't really surprise me, the more I looked through the car the more evidence I found of the car having been flogged for 'skidz' between the time you (Andy) owned it and I got it. It's clearly been through some unsavoury hands. Sigh.

At this point the issues practically require an engine and gearbox replacement as parts (even just a set of head gaskets) far exceed the value of a 'new' engine and gearbox. Sadly I've yet to get to that point as I've had to return to my other ongoing project car (MR2 AW11 getting a built 7AGE) and it will have to sit until I return from Europe later this year.

I'm sorry for the lack of updates guys, but it will return to the road. Hopefully better than ever.

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amazing that you are not deterred after all that you have mentioned. Most would have given up already but maybe you expected the worst and was prepared for it.

Looks like it has finally got a deserving owner though so all the best in your rebuild plans for the future!

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Not sure how cheap\easy it is to rebuild or obtain another gearbox and\or engine but personally if i found a cheap V8 touring id be turning this into parts car and building up a M60\M62. I respect the M70 but its has too many disadvantages compared to the V8.  

Either way i admire the dedication (this from someone who owned double digits worth of E34's and a few M70\M73's).




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