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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys
I have an 89 LHD German import. It's on UK plates and I'm struggling to officially import the Car to Spain - where I'm based. I now have a valid import MoT on the car - has taken nearly 2 years .... car was a bit of a dog... and have spent far too much on it already. Here is a taster of the things I have fixed :
E34 wobbles
No lights
Re-Connolised the leather seats
Crap brakes - New discs, pads, cables and hoses allround
new cats (not OEM and yes unlike the UK they're reqd in Spain if they are fitted as standard)
new Air flow sensor (original had been canabilised by previous monkey owner)
+ host of other smaller things ... lambda sensor etc etc etc

But they have just told me the car is physically too low (thought it looked a bit mean!!) ... I can just squeeze my fingers between the top of the rear wheels (non-standard 17x8.5" ET13) and the rear wheel arch.

I have 4 or more options:
1. Recommended by authorities: Put original suspension back on (expensive & v. unlikely)
2. Get official certificate from UK entity that recognises the bits used as valid for the car and present to Spanish authorities (probably cheapest).
3. Get Spanish authorities to test and certify the work carried out (unknown but currently investigating - looks to be expensive).
4. Sell the car - love the car but the example I have is taking up too much of my time.

Question is arround the 2nd option ... what would be an official UK entity that could recognise alternative suspension parts as being valid. In Spain and Germany non-standard parts are quite tightly controlled. I haven't had a look under the car yet but I am told the springs are red coded. I assume I should be able to see some manufacturer details on the suspension parts??

On a seperate topic I am also thinking of putting A/C on the car (wasn't fitted with a/c as standard and yes I did buy the wrong car .... duh :sad3: ....) .... is this a stupid idea?? Idea is to get used parts and try and convince some local garage to perform the work.

BTW if anyone wants a very cheap 3.6l LHD, deep dish alloys with lowered suspension (so I'm told :hihi: ) in now average tending towards good condition, (dodgy clocks and failed computer are the only big things left to fix) then let me know.

Thanks in advance for your help....
 

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Sorry to say this since you've put so much work in- Sell it on eBay and buy another in mainland europe.
 

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Hi Zackary, it seems that you are having some problems with importing the car to Spain. The original suspension for this car is an adaptative self leveling one at the rear and a conventional suspension at the front. I imagine that previous owner replaced it to a conventional and lower one. I suppose you already know that a standard M5 is 2cm. lower than any other E34, maximum height is 1392mm vs. 1412mm. Your car must be lower than 1392mm. This link tells you how to measure the suspension height as well as how to adjust the SLS height, I think it can be very useful for you.

http://www.bmwe34m5.com/faqs/?theme...58&chapitre_id_select=37&document_id_select=3

If, after having checked this the car is definetly too low you still have the possibility to mount higher springs only wich is much less expensive than going back to an original suspension.

Concerning your question about AC, yours must be one of the rare units that did not have it mounted in origin. You can buy one at a junk yard and have it mounted at a garage but it is a lot of work, ask for the price before ordering it to prevent a bad surprise.

I am located in Spain too so if you think I can be of any more help for you do not doubt to send me a private mail
 

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Discussion Starter #4
AndyE said:
Sorry to say this since you've put so much work in- Sell it on eBay and buy another in mainland europe.
Andy E - thanks I think that is logical sound advice - something I haven't applied to this car as yet :3:
 

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Ramon
Many thanks for the info... I was coming to the conclusion that I may be able to get away with just the springs nice to have this confirmed.

I didn't have the dimensions eaither as the FICHA TECNICA REDUCIDA that I have had to be submitted with the MoT.

Interestig you don't think I'm a wally for trying to put a/c on the car. I think that on the early cars a/c was an option - the car has most of the extras except the BMW 9" wider wheels, bench rear seat (has individual sport seats) and the a/c.

I am in Madrid as well (near the airport) - when I've worked out how, I'll drop you a personal mail

Many thanksfor the help

:byebye:
 

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zachary, I was probably too easy about the longer springs. Some people at the group with more M5 knowledge can probably agree or not depending on the shocks you have presently installed.
 

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The alternative is to keep the car on UK plates. The EU recognises any vehicle from a member state that is legal in the country of origin. This would mean a UK Mot and UK tax. If you wanted to do this, a UK MOT would get you 23 months tax - assuming you didn't want to drive to the UK for an MOT every year... I'm not recommending this but you could always get and ITV based on the ficha technica you already have and display the sticker per normal.

If there are any changes to your car, you might consider finding a Gestor with a German agent to get you a TUV stamp for the 'homologacion' of any changes made. This used to be an option some 7 years back when I was importing my vehicles. Certainly easier to find out than to change the suspension.

I've experience of Spanish importation - of the hoops you need to jump through and the prices of each stage and it's not fun. On the upside, the resale value is generally higher in Spain due to the cost of registration and vehicle tax etc but there has to be a point where you just put your head in your lap and scream with frustration.

A/C is important in Spain but I cannot imagine the amount of work (cost) involved in retro fitting one to an E34 - most of the dash would have to come out and many second hand parts might not come apart easily, so you might have to consider buying lots of new parts to complete the project.

Good luck whatever you end up doing!

Dave.
Bi-Turbo #320
 

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DaveW said:
The alternative is to keep the car on UK plates. The EU recognises any vehicle from a member state that is legal in the country of origin. This would mean a UK Mot and UK tax. If you wanted to do this, a UK MOT would get you 23 months tax - assuming you didn't want to drive to the UK for an MOT every year... I'm not recommending this but you could always get and ITV based on the ficha technica you already have and display the sticker per normal.

Dave.
Bi-Turbo #320
Hi Dave
Many thanks for the info.

23 months tax ... took me a while to twig that - good idea. I can also get a basic ITV (not the import test and associated paper work) on a foreign vehicle so I think that would be legitimate.

The main reason for wanting to change the plates was to get some decent insurance cover. All the UK companies that I have found to date that will give a LHD import cover will only provide 30 days holiday cover. Apparently NU provide upto 3 months but refused me on the basis that it's a LHD car over 10 yrs old!! - ouich

Previously there was a Spanish third party insurance that you could get paying in cash for 1 month cover notes. Theoretically for a max. of 6 months. Unfortunately this was stopped by the government last year.

Any thoughts/experiences you may have had on insurance abroad would be appreciated.

re: the painful import process - the straw that broke the camels back for me was when I got the ITV after 2 yrs and then 3 weeks later got a follow up letter saying I needed to legalise the susension mods (no previous mention) - that I had only suspected existed up to that point. :crying:

Any help to my emotional roller coaster would be appreciated.
 
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