Good times, Bad times.

This was supposed to be it. The weekend I got my car (the E34) ready for safety.  All the parts were ordered and had arrived. As per the pre-safety, I needed new gas tank straps, a left side lower control arm, tires on all four corners and windshield wiper blades. All of these things were sitting in my office ready to be installed.

Plan was to plow through it to get it done. One day, one shot, fineto. And it was a realistic goal too. All the research i did on how the gas tank was mounted made that job look like it’d take an hour or so. The tires being mounted was also an hour long process. The lower control arm, well… Also easy. Four bolts and a nut and it’d be free. I was optimistic to be able to take the car for a spin around the parking lot and shake the rust from the rotors.

So first thing was to put the car on four jack stands and then take the wheels over to the tire shop for mounting. My dad helped me with this. Dropped them off, one hour later they were done! No fuss there. Went back and put them on the car and got to work on the gas tank straps. The left side one went on easy. I didn’t even remove the bumper. Then on the right side i noticed the bolt was very… Crusty. I tried to get it out with some linear force from my breaker bar but all I succeeded in doing was sheering the head of the bolt off. So I removed the bumper and with some vice grips and heat tried to get the bolt out from the top side. It also sheared off. So out with the drill. I drilled out the remnants of the bolt and ran my new fastener through with an m8 bolt on the backside and was done.  But by this time it was about 5:30 PM and it was dark and snowing which made things a lot less pleasant. I decided to give up for the night.

Sunday morning I set out to change the left side lower control arm. It was noted that it was bad in the pre-safety so I had ordered one. Got the car jacked up, wheel off and bam. I notice that the lower control arm is fine. It’s the upper that has a torn boot and borked ball joint. Unfortunately, I did not have this part so that basically ended my weekend of repair. I put the upper control arm back on, cursed the mechanic who did the pre-safety for not knowing the difference between upper and lower and went inside to order some parts.

Hopefully this weekend will go a bit smoother.

A Missing Link

So, one of the few things I want to do with my E34 is add some new stereo components. What’s in there is pretty gnarly so changing everything out seems like a pretty good idea. has some great guides on how to do things but the stereo installation links ( seemed to have vanished. I’ve went to the Wayback Machine and have preserved that information for myself for the future. I’m also posting it here for others to view. Without further adieu, here’s the text from the link:

 I think that just changing the speakers will not improve the sound of your Bmw E34/E32. Changing the 5.25″ speakers with 5.25″ coax will not be an improvement neither because the BMW stereo system sends the right signal to the right speakers through the crossover inside the amp. 
Each speaker works with in a specified frequency range, you cannot do anything you want if you just change the speakers. For a good improvement, you will have to remove the factory amp/crossover and use a new 4 x 60W (or more) RMS to drive a set of component system speakers.

2 way components speakers are a set of 2 tweeters and 2 woofers, used in conjunction with a passive crossover. The passive crossover takes the signal from the amp and direct it to the right speakers: tweeter signal and woofer signal.
Let’s install a set of component speakers. Put the maximum money on the front speakers, the rear speakers are just to “fill in” so you sould use a pair of coax if you want. It is the same procedure for just changing speakers. The bigger speakers you can use without major modification are 6.5″, they need a little bit of modification for the front and rear. I run 5.25″ front and 6.5″ rear component system JBL.

Front speakers:

1. Front kick panels are easy, turn the clips 1/4 of a turn with a hex wrench. There are several small trim clips that you can remove with a screwdriver. Removing these will provide easy access to the speaker.
2. There is two way to connect the new tweeters: in the original location, remove the old one (could be hard to pull out but they will come) then glue the new one in place.
Or use the stock location of the midrange in the dashboard.

Rear speakers:

1. The rear speakers are harder. You need to use a needle noise pliers for some of the screws and a small Philips screwdriver to remove the cover. The rear speakers are into a bowl shaped black plastic. You don’t need to remove the rear shelf, except if you use speakers bigger than 6.5″.

2. Connect the factory wires to the speakers. Stop here if you are just changing the speakers.
For huge speakers: you’ve got to remove the shelf and the C pillar trim pieces too. Start by pulling up on the front of the seat part of the back seat. Then pull up and out to remove the seat back. You should see several trim fasteners holding the rear shelf in place remove those. The rear shelf should slide out. To remove the C pillar trim panels just grab them and gently pull them out. They’re held in by tension fasteners.

WARNING: the C pillar trim pieces area a hell to get back in place.
Passive crossover for new amplifier installation.
If you changed your whole system (bye, bye old oem amp) and installed a new amp, you need to install the passive crossover included with your component speakers.
The best location for the passive crossovers is in the trunk, at the fare back, behind the carpeting, you will find an area that is deeper than the rest of the trunk. This is the ideal spot for the two (if you have coax at the rear) or four passive crossovers. Ideal because the wiring harness of the stereo is right there. Check the wiring to connect the wires to the crossovers.
Just use double sided tape and place them in their new location.

My latest acquisition

So I had to move in November which was a bit unfortunate but at the end of the day was probably for the best. This left me in a bit of a bit of a crappy spot as far as mobility. Nothing was close anymore. The grocery store was a 20 minute walk instead of a 2 minute jaunt, the liquor store is equally far. I’m closer to work but it takes the same amount of time to go 5KM as it does to go 15KM on the bus. This was really starting to take it’s toll.

Those in the know are aware that I have a mid-80’s BMW 3-series that I only drive in the summertime. At my last place of residence this was fine because I genuinely did not need a vehicle in the winter or any time for that matter. I’d go for a drive when I wanted to for fun because every other service I could want was so close to home (which was great, I hate driving in traffic). But with everything becoming much more inconvenient I decided that I needed a second vehicle. This set off a month and a half of scouring Kijijijijijijijijiji.

Being broke as all hell after the move I spent time looking at things I could not afford and trying to figure out what I wanted. Ideally I’d get another BMW, but low dollar BMW’s usually require a boatload of funds to be good cars. I’ve heard it said, there’s no such thing as a cheap BMW. But that said, I was eyeing up E36’s, and E46’s. I’ve wanted a black E34 since I saw my friend Rene’s M5 so there was that too. I was also considering small trucks (S-10, Ranger, etc), Volvo 850/v70 wagons, VW Beetles (so I could VR6 it and make it vulgar) and really anything interesting that was cheap with a manual transmission.

Remember what I said a few lines ago about wanting a black E34? Well, I found an ’89 525i locally really early on. It was listed for a pretty cheap price so I bookmarked the ad and decided I’d go look at it once I got some funds together. There were several other cars I looked at online but by the time I was ready to pull the trigger they were sold but this E34 remained for sale.  I figured there must be something catastrophically wrong with it but went to go look at it anyway.

What I found was a car that was in very good shape and very close to being able to pass a safety. But, it was an M20 powered 525i with an automatic transmission which is probably just about the least desirable combination you could ask for. This is also probably why the car did not sell. I got chatting with the seller and it turns out he had some suspension goodies (Bilstein dampers, Bavauto springs) to throw in as well.  Anyway, I liked what I saw but was hesitant to pull the trigger because of the reasons listed above. I told the seller I needed to think about it and would get back to him. The next week was basically just spent thinking about this car. I got home that night and decided against it because i’d just want to 5-speed swap the car and at that point i could buy a manual 535i which would be a far better car. I decided against it.

As the week wore on though, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. The body is very clean for a nearly 26 year old car. The interior was a bit dirty but no rips or tears in the seats or cracks in the dash.  It ran good (although it needs a timing belt/water pump, etc). There was no reason not to buy this car except for  the automatic.  But after some thought the auto might not be so bad for city/long trips. Also, my girlfriend can drive it without me having to worry about her blowing up the clutch.

So I made the seller an offer, he accepted and I towed the car home. Parts have been ordered so I can get the car safetied, tires are ready to be mounted and soon I won’t have to walk or take the bus to the grocery store.  Now I have two BMW’s made in the 80’s.

Here’s the photos that were from the For Sale ad (and one I took myself). I’ll ad some better photos of the car once I clean it because it’s full of salt from the tow over.

Some changes here..

So I’ve moved to a new host. This is probably a useless post because the only people who come here are here for android files. I’m undecided if I’ll put those files back up because the webspace on this host is fairly limited compared to what I had but I do have those files backed up so if they’re needed I can forward them via email or something.

As for posting content here, I might post stuff as the mood strikes. If anything, it’ll be E30/E34 related material. Howtos, victories, defeats. I may eventually reload Owncloud too, but I wouldn’t count on that. I’ll likely just add a photo gallery and be done with it as that’s all I really used owncloud for anyway.

We’ll see what the future holds.