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Great update - I'm very pleased for you. I was over at BMR the other week - very impressed with their setup.

Lots going on and I can understand why the buzz is back. Do you see any problems changing the clocks or deleting the ASC button? I thought (and I'm not sure exactly why) the clocks and the Electronic Throttle and ASC function were all linked together on the BT? Reason I ask, I had a faulty capacitor on my instruments PCB and that stopped the electronic throttle body from working properly and the EML was illuminated. Phil Crouch repaired my Instrument Panel and everything was fine again.

Is the ASC so hard to get working in your car? The backend on my BT often steps out in damp/wet conditions and I find the ASC useful in everyday use but having said that I always turned it off at the Nurburgring as it got in the way of smooth cornering at speed as it upset the balance more often than not by cutting the power mid corner.

Good luck with the rest of the MOT prep and do keep the updates going.

Cheers,

Dave.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Thanks Dave, I maybe wrong but the touring shell never had ASC fitted from factory and the donor Bi turbo with the loom fitted is long gone. I'm hoping and maybe wrong that if theres no ASC to look for then there won't be any problem. Engines in bits at minute while I await for some refurbished to arrive, namely injectors and MAF. I think the throttle opens fine as I had the same problem as you on my old bi turbo and again like you Phil repaired my clocks to fix the problem.

I can see your point on traction as in my old one I had the traction light on the dry in the higher gears let alone in the wet!
 

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Discussion Starter #23






So the post man has been this past week delivering my get engine running well kit of bits. Refurbished MAF, new plugs, rotor arm, boost hose, lambda sensor, injectors refurbished, temperature sensors. Its a start









This guys been going years, the MAF on these is shared with the Porsche 928 and the 3.6 M5 and also one of the audi quattros I think 20v ones. Handy to know of, my MAF was ****ed as the engine wouldn't run with it plugged in. So this is done on a service exchange basis









injectors looked horrid from the outside but have come up trumps. Matey who did them said they flow a lot of fuel!









So onto the new boost line, managed to find the exact same pipe is used originally

















This now runs to the inlet manifold









So the ECU can read boost levels, and the guage in the car and see it. Except I've not wired it up yet. One less air leak also. Bloody fiddly getting pipe on as it doesn't want to fit easily!











New Lambda in, always nice grovelling under the car











injectors back in, always fun bit of WD40 and some wiggling











coolant temp sensors. I thought I had bought them all but ive not got a brown one, my guess is that feeds the guage on the clocks?











6 new bosch, I went with the WR6DP0's











this is amazing a new part fitted and not by me! 2015 stamped.









So I've just replaced the rotor arm, as its the original 91 stamped. My "new" one has 96 or 98 stamped on it!











refitting the MAF with a new air temp sensor











so all back together...…………….turned ignition on and bam. Fired straight up and purred away nicely. Result, so ran it up to temp and all seems well or a million times better than before. I can actually move it about now!



With the engine running nicely I can hear new noises namely from the gearbox, maybe clutch release bearing. Anyhow I think the box needs to come off as its very hard to get it into gear any gear and difficult. The clutch bite point is right at the bottom of the pedal travel. Its supposed to have a new clutch but I won't know that until the gearbox if off. But it moves now under its own steam. I've not done a sneaky drive up the road but I wish I could! The red LED light is on on the boost guage indicating that it won't fully boost if you drove it. That can be for another day might be to do with my non EML clocks fitted i'm not sure at the minute











So to prove it I've turned the car around! I had to move it so I could get the E30 back in the garage as that's not allowed to get rained on. I've run out of money so need so sell parts etc raise funds sell my arse again and there still seems millions of jobs to do. Somehow with the engine seeming to run nicely now it all seems a bit easier so i'm happy
 

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Great progress, could I ask where you picked up the black boost line that goes to the throttle body? I was working on my own car today and noticed that mine had broken right at the connection to the inlet manifold, I reconnected it but it looks brittle and will most likely break again so needs to be changed.
 

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I'm loving this project, keep the posts coming please.

Got to say, seeing that box of shiny parts really brightened my day - nothing better than renewing or replacing old tired parts. Even better when the results are instant.

Before you remove the gearbox - check the clutch hose. Mine was old and tired and would bulge like a hernia when the clutch was depressed, giving less movement. Might be a simple fix. A new clutch will bite at the bottom of course. Does it go into gear easily with the engine off?

Re noise - Is it from the Dual Mass flywheel maybe? Mine chatters on idle.

Brown sensor is for the temp gauge.

Red LED - could be clocks - I had lots of issues when my capacitors went down (Phil fixed them).

Could also look at the electric wastegate bleed valve - the round unit under the airbox with the 3 hoses going to it. That's an integral part of the boost sanity control check I think.

The throttle potentiometer needs to be correctly adjusted too.

936862


Keep the posts coming - if I wasn't on lockdown I'd hit you up for a coffee and chat..

Cheers,

Dave.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Hi Dave, thanks for the tips. RE on the gearbox it take some force to get it to select 1st or 2n or reverse. The other side of the gate is a bit better, theres an E60 545i shifter arm which is a known short shift i'm told. Theres a notable bearing whirring noise at idle that goes when the clutch pedal is pressed. If I had just another £1500-2000 spare i'd attack it knowing I could get geabox looked over and buy a clutch

Yes when the corona storm starts to die down we should meet up! I'm beginning to think having non EML clocks fitted may be the cause of the boost LED on. But I keep thinking I've read about a guy in Canada who fitted normal non EML instrument cluster and reset his throttle body or got around the issue to get his bi turbo to run properly outside of limp home mode. I don't think he could find anyone to repair the EML instrument cluster. Part of me thinks i'll ring Phil Crouch who has done a lot of the work before my ownership as he knows more than anyone about these cars
 

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I had my instruments repaired remotely - I boxed up the main unit, posted it to Phil. I got them back just over a week later for a very, very reasonable fee and the car was perfect - actually pulled better because Phil reckoned I was suffering loss of performance over time through various failed components on the circuit board. Lots of aged electronics in play here.

Does your gearbox select gears easily with the engine off? Or do you experience the stiffness at all times?

Cheers, Dave.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
all the time with the gearbox, its a bit horrid. Its probably linked to sitting for 8 plus years with no oil in it is my guess. As the engine transmission etc has only covered about 80,000 miles from the service history I have
 

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Its unlikely there is anything fundamentally wrong with it then, other than it's in needs of a good bathing in oil. Cost nothing to take it out (apart from the ball ache and it's heavy) so maybe fill it to the brim and let it stew a while? I'd love a project like this while I'm stuck at home :)

My old M3 is probably sick of me going into the garage thinking - what's he going to take apart now....
 

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Discussion Starter #32
I've not updated for a while but I've been pretty busy doing a lot or what I can during the current lock down









some real exciting stuff here. These panels are different and the donor cars 525i one is different to the 535/m5/540i panel I needed to mount the header tank properly





















Repairing the headlamp wiring, its all working bar dipped beam. Relay is a crash relay which was missing and stopping the hazards from working. So bar the dipped beam I think the electrics are on point for an MOT which is the current aim before perfecting in other areas




















A trip to CPC to check my clocks are ok. School day here, all e34 clocks have the EML light and wiring fitted regardless. My EML light isn't coming on with the ignition which is like a safety self check part of the system. The PCB board is notorious for having capacitors and dry solder joints affecting this which on a Bi turbo causes havoc with full boost as if the engine ECU doesn't think the system is working properly it will revert to limp home mode and only allow 0.1 bar off boost which is ****. My clocks are ok as checked by Phil and the EML light works on his test bench but doesn't light up when fitted to the car so its in limp home mode. The thought is a difference in wiring which is beyond me and will mean a trip with the car complete to Phils to sort. This won't stop car from running or getting an MOT it just stops full warp drive - just some more patience! The alpine speedo isn't working and the rev counter isn't clever either so this is the current mix

I've wired back in the Alpina vent guage which is all working bar one side isn't lighting up at the minute
 

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Discussion Starter #33






Finally getting the hang of this new photobucket site. I came across a few months back an e32 740i in my local scrappy so I had to have a peak...…it had a full electric comfort trim in black leather which got me excited. The car also had door blinds and a rear blind. So I had the rear electric blind and loom for ebay to pay for my trip. I then stripped the front arm rests and the lumbar support as I love a retro fit! Sport seats apparently never came from factory with arm rests but i'm sure they will come in handy when i'm on the hard shoulder in a broken down bi turbo. It all wasn't too bad to fit, my trim was already heated so I had to splice and play with the looms but its all working nicely. Doesn't really help the car along its MOT quest but hey!






I acquired this really rare morsel some time ago. Some Racing Dynamics anti roll bars. They're adjustable front and rear and a bit thicker than even the M5 touring roll bars which are thickest from factory. Its hard to find any of this stuff now for E34s as they are dinosaurs




I then decided to put the car back together as such and drive it a little on a to see what the crack is before we really take the bull by the horns and strip her down in prep for MOT and getting this thing back into a decent road car. Engine seems fine, no smoke overheating nasty noises. Boost is limited but this is an electrical issue to be sorted out at a later date by someone who knows more than I. Shame as you can feel the beast within it being tamed! Diff quiet, but leaky. Suspension and brakes in need of going through. Gearbox? hmmm. It wouldn't engage any gears back at Barrys workshop and had no oil in it. they managed to get it selecting all gears on the ramp somehow. Well the more I sat on the drive and worked it around the gate the better it started to feel. When driving and the engine was cold it was fine, but as the temps got up it really struggled to get into gear. So I suspected there was a clutch heat issue when warm preventing it. The bite point was right at the bottom of the pedal and the slave cylinder was the original 525i one so not correct for bi turbo. Its also making a bearing type noise on idle when your foot is off the clutch
 

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Discussion Starter #34



So getting stuck in now and into the fun stuff, kind of fun.





The offending item, clean isn't it?...…………..The getrag 290 gearbox. As fitted only to Bi turbos, no other BMW or alpina has ever used this box. Alpina got Getrag to make them a run of these in this fitment for the 507 cars built so a dip in the ocean for Getrags capabilities.
Theres not much on the internet about these mythical beasts and especially in this fitment. Searches just throw up it was also used on some early 90s jags - so many manual jags about aswell! The Aston Martin DB7 used it also. Some GM trucks in the states in 4WD fitment and the corvette Stingray I think. From what I know have read/heard the boxes are very strong and an uprated unit for heavy use or torque outputs. They don't really break on Bi turbos and are well up to the job. My old Bi turbo never had any issues when I had it. The bellhousing is thicker casting compared to say a Getrag 280 that the 5 speed E34 M5 uses in 3.6 and 3.8. I also believe they are beefed up internally. All the gear linkage is unique to Alpina as these boxes use the rear flange and prop guibo from V12 BMWs of the era. Which is massive!





I was told there was a brand new clutch fitted. So I was keen to see it with my own eyes and was very happy to see it fitted. That a £1000 part saved





Heres the colour of the brand new oil I drained out of the box after about a mile of driving...………..same colour as my pooper valve at this point. Seems like its rusty inside?! but how







I took the box to a local transmission place to get it looked at 3D transmissions in Reading. Wasn't too impressed with the service, dropped it off discussed on the phone in person what I've written here. "OK we can strip inspect and see if we can any parts that need replacing. We only charge if we can fix it. If not we strip/put back together and no charge" Fine I thought. Drop box off have same chat as original phone call. Week goes by not heard anything so ring for a check. Not touched it waiting for permission to strip it, I gave that when I dropped it off. the receptionist guy hadn't even heard of a getrag 290 before..... During this call I spoke to the workshop foreman. He explained some prices aswell and what he thought, great some progress. Next day I get a call from the receptionist asking for my permission to strip the box. Yes for the 3rd ****ing time and then he quotes me some higher prices than the day before from the workshop guy. He speaks to the workshop guy and agrees hes quoted me too high. Another week goes by and I get a call last thing on a Friday saying from the receptionist numpty saying my gearbox is scrap and they can't get any parts for it can I collect? won't give me any detail on to what they have found to get to this conclusion. I said yes can come now, he says they need a bit of time to put the box back together. Ok i'll come back Monday Tuesday? They say yes. Tuesday afternoon comes no call, so I ring and gently getting onto the war path footing. They've not put it back together as they can't get parts for it. I just said i'm coming now to get whats left of it don't touch it i'm getting the arse.

When I arrive i'm able to speak to guy who stripped it. The internals are in a big blue box hopefully all the parts! and the casing is split in two. Box is fine but all the gears are rusty, which is the reason for the noise on idle, and the selecting gears not too smoothly issues sometimes. Its true there are no new spare parts available even if I had the cash. Great. He also said when he stripped it he found water inside which came running out!







And here it is.

I've since found another gearbox guy up the north Neil at All gears who I should of contacted first but i'd heard he was should during this covid crisis ( turns out he wasn't!) He seems to specialise in fixing manual boxes like mine. Hes restored some faith after a phone call and hes rebuilt 4-5 of these boxes for bi turbos in the past. He seems a goldmine of info and confirmed he had spares for these from other rebuilds and that some of the parts/gears from the jag/aston martin 290 boxes fit. I had a plan of buying a jag box and swapping the internals over as they are the same layout as bi turbos being engine in the front, then gearbox and RWD. I couldnt' find out if the ratios were the same so seemed a tricky risk and its £1000 if you can find a jag box 2nd hand. Anyhow i'm going to get my box of 290 bits shipped up to All gears and await his view. He seemed half confident from what I told him that it might be able to be salvaged but seeing in person is always whats needed. Fingers crossed


I've since found out the box was steam cleaned when out of the crashed car, hence why its so clean looking and was then fitted back into the touring but no refilled with oil and then sat for 8 years while the project wasn't finished. Clearly water penetrated the seals and my suspicion by the time I've got to it or when it was running on Barrys ramp at BMR it was seized solid from rust.

Theres lots more to come to catch up to where i'm at present
 

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Really interesting catching up on your progress - impressed you just roll up your sleeves and get on with things - and that gearbox is heavy!

Shame about the state of the internals, but you have to hope the hardened steel will polish up with good contact faces remaining. The needle roller bearings can all be replaced I guess and the synchro-hubs must have commonality with other boxes Getrag make including the synchro rings. Hopefully Neil can work his magic.

Most other external fittings like the slave cylinder, guibo and clutch can be stolen from other cars in the E34 range. I think I'm running an M5 3.8 guibo, and I've got an E36 M3 Goodrich steel clutch line as the weight of the BT cover plate is such the std line can't cope and developed a couple of hernias which reduced the movement making it difficult so fully disengage a gear. Think the slave cylinder is standard 535.

Still might not completely rid you of any chatter at idle though as the Dual Mass Flywheel can cause that.

Interesting comments about boost being limited by electronics. If I've got it right(?), the wastegate springs are defeated by about 0.6 BAR at the capsules, and the BT achieves the higher boost by bleeding the air to the wastegate capsules. If I'm correct that points to the valve under the airbox? (Could always stick a BIC biro refill in each pipe and bleed it manually - the old Renault 5 Turbo trick 😁)

Keep going!
 

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Discussion Starter #36


Oi oi, Carrying on with the gearbox theme. This getrag 290 fell onto my lap the other week. It true bit of luck. So 2 bi turbo boxes now!! News on the rust bucket is it will live again. Neil at all gears rang straight away when it arrived up there and said it will be fine. the big input bearing is shagged and that was more likely the noise on idle than the rust on the gears. He thinks they have to be alot worse rust wise to be a problem. He said he may change the 1st gear as thats the worst for a jag one he has spare. I know hes bust but hes had the box a month so i may ring this week see how he gets on and when its back say i've got another one for you to look over!



So while thats all been happening i've also been at the turbos







Just like lego we have the turbos off. They've been rebuilt in the past and i couldn't find notice any real bodge work. Ive done this once before on my old bi turbo its not straight forward! As you can see i'll come to later lots of alpinaness here!







A trip to these guys in Uxbridge. They rebuilt my old turbos. Turbos weren't knackered but when your in for a penny? Had a good chat with the main man on the phone and when i walked in with the turbos he said "you must be the Bi turbo man" i said yes how do you know "i can tell by the turbos!" So we agreed on a strip down and overhaul of anything needed. An upgrade to 360 degree thrust washers from the standard 270 ones. Again had this done on my old car. My understanding is it makes the turbos more reliable and allows higher boost levels to be run. He asked me a couple of times if i was keeping the car. Yes i say as i can't afford now to get into another fast E34 ie an M5 or genuine Bi turbo as the prices are mental now. So he suggested a little "mod"

Fitting a larger compressor wheel, so talked it over and my understanding is if* you wanted to turn up the wick later on this would allow it. Makes the turbo more reliable if boost is kept standard as. So i said yes





Fast forward a couple of weeks and they're ready! This was mid lock down when traffic was non existant. I drove on a friday after work to pick them up and was doing a steady 70mph round the M25 by the M4 on a friday afternoon! Very un normal
Both turbos ok, one wastegate was ****ed so an extra 50 quid for that. A couple of tasty tweeked T25 turbos. ~The new compressor wheels are i think 2-3mm bigger diameter now same impeller design as standard. They gave me the old ones as "spares" for the garage wall of honour. The guys there reckon these are now safe to run upto 1.4 bar from the standard 0.8. So what kind of power increase they could make who knows! I've read the alpina injectors are ok in stock but need replacing if going down the more power route. Same for the fuel pump. Then what can the clutch take? Questions for a much later date! If it ran at about 500bhp that would be interesting in an E34 to say the least



So onto re fitting, This isn't funny on the driveway. Last time i did this i had the engine out on a stand and it was fiddly. Theres nuts and bolts you can barely see let alone get a spanner on, but persevere we must!








I had to clean up the scabs on the chassis leg before i fitted the heatsheild like the original cars have







While there i also bought some heatsheild for the brake line. The original cars have this and a good idea as hot brakes aren't a good idea!






New engine mounts as they were a bit grim, and some bashing to re straighten the heat sheild. Plus the funky custom engine mount this side for space for the front turbo
 

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Discussion Starter #37






All up ready to go, i bought all new high temp K nuts as i'm pretty sure thats original. Again my old car had these fitted. You only need 30 at £3-4 quid each lol. Plus they are alot easier to use on the tricky ones as they're 10mm head instead of the 13mm chunky ones that had been used the last time the turbos where rebuilt




new studs, again the originals were missing to my eyes and i know the OE ones are inconel which is rather expensive but hey ho inconel the new ones are! I did buy from alpina as last time needed 1 stud on 445 and was £27! So there are a few aftermarket suppliers in the correct size for more like £10 a stud





One of the manifolds had bowed so my old man refaced it flat, was about 0.5mm which doesn't sound much but we need gas tight seals plus alot easier to fit. These exhaust manifolds look cast iron but they aren't. They must be some funky high temp alloy as a magnet barely sticks to them. I wonder what they are made off





Rear turbo on, it was a ****ing nightmare to be honest.






One of the turbos wasn't lined up properly after they were rebuilt so i had to reclock it as such so all the oil and coolants lines fitted/lined up. It was about 90 degrees out. I only noticed building them up and after alot of head scratching and looking through pictures worked it out. Which meant bolting it on, loosening the bolts that hold the core together and moving the middle of the turbo where the gubbins go so its fits properly. So on and off a couple of times as i couldn't re tighten everything with the turbo on the car. So off tighten the bits and then refit. Just like Haynes manuals say. Got it done so all is good really






And finally front turbo on, all the sheilds etc. Quite a ****fest. After all that i kind of feel sorting the rest out for MOT isn't so bad, well maybe refitting the gearbox will be horrid as it always is on the driveway.


I feel like i can see the light now on this big jigsaw. My goal in my head is to hopefully be MOT by my birthday in September as that will be a big milestone on this bloody thing and 3 years into owning it!
 

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Great write up - I'm always in awe of how you get this work done on the driveway so full credit to you.

I'm so jealous of how easily your turbos come apart and go back together - nothing seized or sheared.... Aside from it being a horrible pig of a job, the knowledge of having done it before a couple of times must have helped enormously.

Fantastic news on the gearbox by the way - good to know the other is salvageable too.

Cheers, Dave.
 

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Discussion Starter #39
Having done it before even if it was 6-7 years ago defo helped when it came to stripping Dave, and refitting as it turned out first time round i took alot of better pictures when i built it all back up. This cars had 1 re done stud. I can't remember the old car being any worse. The only thing slightly mullered where the small turbo heatsheilds, They were all not perfect ie a bit bent out of shape and a few snapped bolt hole tabs.
 
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