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Ares: 1995 BMW 540i/6spd

4771 Views 28 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  spongebobspineapple
Hey guys, this is my current project/daily driver. A 1995 BMW E34 540i/6speed manual. Found on craigslists non-running. My first experience with BMW's and admittedly a gamble not knowing what was wrong or why it would crank but not fire.

Made a deal and towed it back home, roughly 90 miles away.

I saw that someone put a water pump on it, but was missing the fan & clutch. Also the fan started digging into the fins of the radiator. I'm beginning to get a clearer picture of what happened. Since the harmonic dampener needs to get removed to put a water pump on this engine, and the dampener has he reluctor teeth for the crank sensor I saw that someone installed the dampener clocked incorrectly thus the engine timing and fuel was way out in no mans land.

Realigned the dampener and it fired right up. But sounded like hell, exhaust leaks, water leaks, oil leaks, valve train clatter and a slight miss at idle.

I pulled the intake; replaced the injectors, replaced plugs & coils. Dropped the oil pan and found loose oil pump bolts in the pan. Torqued the oil pump hardware and set chain tension. Painted the intake. Found missing exhaust collector hardware, installed new hardware. Replaced the radiator and added electric fans.

After a few more appearance mods I took it on it's first test drive....over the nearest mountain.

The test drive revealed a pair of broke engine mounts. Engine and trans mounts replaced with a set of RevShift Poly 95A mounts.

The v8 was really asking for a loud exhaust, so I pieced one together. Dual 2.25", H-pipe, Magnaflow glasspacks as resonators into a Flowmaster Super 10. Dumped before the differential.

I had an old junk BMW come into the shop, purchased by the shop for repair and resale. It had with a set of 16" chrome wheels so I swapped them over. The 18" M wheels that came with the car will need a ton of love (rechrome or powder coat) before they can be run.

Also decided to do something really different, made my own grill for the car. Most people don't like it, but I do..and that's what matters.

Sounds of the exhaust:

For the computer system I am running an Ostrich 2.0 chip emulator into the OE Bosch Motronic 3.3.1, the emulator is loaded with a performance tune.

I have also been working with a piggyback MAFT-Pro in order to get away from the MAF sensor and go over to a Speed Density type set up that also uses wideband AFR tracking for fuel adjustments. This is still a work in progress.

Currently as of this afternoon: After over a year of daily driving the clutch started to slip, ever since I got the car it always grabbed high. So I decided to pull the drive train. Do away with the dual mass flywheel in favor of a lightweight aluminum piece and use a 6 puck sprung disc. I am debating installing headers now too.

I will also degree in the cams and get away from OE specs, barely.

Originally the M60 cams are 246/242 adv duration, 108 lobe center, 109 ICL. Since aftermarket cams cost more the car is worth I decided to play with timing a bit. I'll advance the intake cams 2 degrees and tighten the LSA to 106 degrees.

For being such a small displacement 4.0L, that sure is a large engine assembly. But it's also a lot of fun to drive.

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Be prepared for some rattle with that clutch.
*edit.. nvm - you already mentioned rattle (reading > me)
Trans back on, Headers modded and torqued down. Gotta pull the coolant crossover and pipe to run that battery cable.

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Hey, someone put a stripped and gutted shell of a car in my driveway. Oh wait, I did.

My plan was to change the control arms and steering linkage. While the struts were out of the car I wanted also to remove a coil from each spring.

However I couldn't get the strut to spindle nuts or the control arm bolts to break loose with my breaker bar in the driveway. I plan to try again before this weekend after several days of a penetrating oil soak on all of the hardware before giving in and waiting until I get to the shop and use air tools.

But the new steering linkage is on and awaiting the arrival of the replacement steering gearbox.

Just need to flare and bend a few brake lines. Finish painting the engine compartment and then start to drop the drivetrain back into it's home. It's not going to be perfect, but it'll be good enough for a daily driver.
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The weather took a break long enough for me to finish my brake lines project. Bypassing the ABS module and installing a manual brake proportioning valve.

Just as I finished the rain started coming down again.

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I ended up running with a 525i steering gearbox, which is a slightly different design then the v8 version. I opt'd for this due to cost and availability, the v8 version of the gearbox is tough to come by. The 6cyl steering gear fit beautifully in the frame, the OE pitman arm and steering coupler also fit great.

This steering gear box feels great, way easy to turn, smooth with no gear lash or slop. It's so much easier to turn then the original. For that I want to do what's necessary to run it.

Started setting the drivetrain back in place.

It's going to need some work for a header pipe to clear a banjo fitting on the steering gear. I also ended up needing to move the drivetrain forward roughly 1.5" to get to this point

With the relocated drivetrain the headers fit the body & firewall much better as well as the increased room behind the engine makes it much easier to work on. I still need to see if the driveshaft can/will telescope to compensate for the relocated trans tailshaft and I would also need to lengthen shifter linkage. But, the transmission crossmember fits fine utilizing previously unused threaded holes in the body.
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Damn this car is turning out badass, skilled work!
I had an old junk BMW come into the shop, purchased by the shop for repair and resale. It had with a set of 16" chrome wheels so I swapped them over. The 18" M wheels that came with the car will need a ton of love (rechrome or powder coat) before they can be run.
21 - 29 of 29 Posts