Monday, 25 May 2020

E34 5 Series 'Countryman' Touring X-Over Lifestyle utility concept... with pop-out tent...what?!

Well, I really have now seen it all. This is something I never expected to see from BMW, given their sporty, driver-focused image, but here it is... The E34 5 Series Touring utility camping wagon! Not only is it lifted with bigger tyres and sports obligatory 4x4 style two-tone paint, but it even sports a 'pop-out' camper roof and folding tent! This idea was only ever adopted in one vehicle I know of and that was the truly ill-received Pontiac Aztec some 10 years later, with the tent thing actually being one of its saving graces! You heard it from Bavaria first.

The concept is of the early 1990's, which means it also pre-dates Audi's 'Allroad' Quattro and Volvo's V70 XC / Cross Country, both of which were released and saw quite a bit of niche popularity, not to mention Subaru's ever popular Forester that seem to still be seen all over. The Audi and Subaru of course had 4-wheel drive as standard and the Volvo has it as an option, whereas the BMW would have still only been rear-wheel drive.. Can't imagine this would have been too good on a muddy camp-site field! It certainly wouldn't appeal stylistically to the same sort of younger BMW driver's who drift round ploughing up fields for fun anyway and perhaps doesn't quite fit with the BMW ethos overall, so I can see why it was overlooked and never made it into production. X-Drive all-wheel drive only became a feature in this millennium, which would have suited this thing to a tee and may have even brought it into production, but with such a limited market maybe the world has moved on.

Personally, I love it! Maybe I will recreate one from my E46 Touring! I challenge someone to beat me to it!

This reminds me, I really must get on a 'camping' trip in the 318i wagon when the epidemic is over and camp in the car, which I've been planning to do for a while now. I thought I was the only one eccentric enough to have such an idea... but no, some design team at BMW had the same notion, only over 35 years ago!

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Elon Musk had a '79 E21 3 Series!

Of course he did! He's a genius, why wouldn't he?

And he was the same age as me when I had my Henna Red one. Mine was well better... why aren't I a billionaire?!

OK, enough celebrity with Beemer posts now I promise...

Other celebrity BMWs:
Easy-E 850i
Will Smith E28 5er
Britney Spears E36 M3
Bob Marley Bavaria New Six

Friday, 22 May 2020

Bob Marley had a BMW Bavaria New-Six!

Of course he did!

I don't really need to make a wise crack here... Bob clearly knew what he was doing, avoiding the 'Yardie' image with his truly tasteful BMW Bavaria. I wonder if that thing still exists now? Imagine how much it would be worth!

Other celebrity BMWs:
Easy-E 850i
Will Smith E28 5er
Britney Spears E36 M3
Elon Musk E21 320

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Britney Spears had a white E36 M3!

Of course she did!

Who knew she had good taste?! I suppose she was at the top of her game when this thing was new, so why wouldn't she have a BMW. Imagine her booting this 326bhp monster up the road at that tender age. Oops... I lost it again!

Other celebrity BMWs:
Easy-E 850i
Will Smith E28 5er
Elon Musk E21 320
Bob Marley Bavaria New Six

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

E46 318i Touring: Oil leak fixed! Rubber rocker-cover gasket was the culprit!

It's about time I got back to wrenching on some Beemers after a busy hiatus, so where better to start than with the massive oil-leak on my E46 318i Touring. The car hasn't seen much use over the winter months, but as I start to need it again for its cavernous load-lugging functions, I figured it was time to spend a bit more time getting it right.

I was going through about a cupful of oil every 100 miles or so (I think that is a pretty favourable estimate to be honest, more like half a litre!) and worse than the cost of all the topping-up, smoke continued to billow from not only the sides of the bonnet (hood) while stopped at traffic-lights, but also straight into the cabin with the blowers turned on. This meant for the last 12 months I have had the climate-control set to full recirculation mode and on low, making de-misting the windscreen a nightmare on colder days.

I could see the oil-leak was coming from the rear left side of the engine, as it so often the case with N42 engines and assumed it to be the vacuum-pump (like with my E46 318ci in this this post), but after removing the rocker-cover (cam-cover) I found it was actually the rubber gasket itself. The thick rubber gaskets tend to harden and go brittle over time and almost completely down the left side of the cam-cover there was noticeable leakage, primarily at the back corner, next to the vac-pump of course. The gap at the rear-left corner was so pronounced I feel you could have slipped a credit-card through with a little force and touched the back of the cam-shaft! This was allowing a constant drip of oil out onto the heat-shield and down onto the exhaust-manifold, as shown by the arrows in the picture and causing most, if not all of the smoke.

Luckily, I suppose, I have been working through the Covid epidemic, so I am classed as a 'key worker' and had a day off, so I managed to blag Euro Car Parts that it was essential work and instantly collect the new Elring gasket (£22, but eBay alternatives are as cheap as £9.50 if you can wait!) and some Corteco White instant gasket-sealant (£7), though they still had me waiting for an hour outside!

Knowing how prone the top-end seals of the N42 are to leaks and not wanting to take any chances of removing the rocker-cover again anytime soon, I slapped on a liberal bead of the Corteco sealant over the vacuum-pump ring and along the entire left-side (lower) surface of the cylinder-head top edge along with the new rubber-gasket. The job does not take long at all (I will post a guide soon), with removal and refitting of the cam-cover only taking around 30 minutes each and that's taking your time...

Needless to say, this has stopped the major part of my oil-leak in this area! Not only has the oily steam stopped from the sides of the bonnet while stationary, the smell/smoke from the climate vents has now ceased and the car is no longer consuming oil at a silly rate, so I would say job done! There is still a tiny weep of fresh oil coming from around this area, but nowhere near like before and, after a run where the engine is warm, there is no dripping pool on the under-tray! For the money I spent, the difference in convenience is worth vastly more! I would have spent the ~£30 I did in oil in a couple of weeks using the car daily, so if you have this problem, it's safe to say this is the culprit and get it sorted!

Monday, 11 May 2020

Amazing custom BMW 1600 Ute / Pickup Truck!

Well, I have seen some custom BMWs in my time, but this one has to be one of, if not THE best yet... a 1600 chopped into a 'Ute' or pickup-truck to the layman. Whoever built this deserves a trophy of some sort, though I am in no doubt it has won at a won at a show or two so it probably already has.

Not only is the job seamless, which you don't often see with cut-up open-back car conversions, but it also features colour-coded rollover / grab bars (to re-stiffen the shell up I would imagine) and wooden-strip work around the deck like an Italian slipper-launch boat! Absolutely stunning... is all I can say.

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Easy-E had an 8 Series! Get in!

Of course he did!

"Drivin' down tha street in my 840... checking the error codes... slappin' my forehead!" - as he probably sang a few times in his career! (Actually he had an 850, but it didn't suit the lyric. Let's hope he knew where to check for holes in the fuel-lines and had a loud stereo to cover up the valve-chatter. I jest; his was new when he had it.) R.I.P Easy-E!

Other celebrity BMWs:
Will Smith E28 5er
Elon Musk E21 320
Britney Spears E36 M3
Bob Marley Bavaria New Six

Will Smith had an E28 5 Series!

Of course he did! "The Men in Schwarz II!" He actually has a BMW Club USA enamel badge on his grille! They still exist... check them out here - BMW Car Club of America.

Perhaps he is picking up fares while dressed as a New York taxi cab??

"I'm the MC, he's the DJ and this is tha WHIP!" Big ups, Smith.

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

BimmerCode Tutorial - Quick & Easy Guide

BimmerCode is becoming quite a popular and effective application for coding / programming your BMW on the fly using your phone or tablet, which may prove easier than setting up a working DIS laptop. You can get the app here on their website -

It's not just injector-codes we are talking here, BimmerCode can be used to adjust almost every parameter of your F and G series BMW, even down to atmospheric-light colour combinations.

Here is a great video tutorial by Arnold Chang from Youtube, demonstrating the software on his new F30 M3 he bought. Nice.

Sunday, 3 May 2020

Photo of E34 5er Production Line, Munich, circa 1990

Check out this BMW Munich factory photograph of the E34 5-Series in production during the quality-control process. It would have been taken around 1990. I wonder if the workers in the foreground by the Henna Red car are smiling just for the camera, or if they are actually just that happy to be doing what they are doing. I choose to believe it is the latter, but either way just look at the full compliment of moustaches...
As for the guy stood to the rear of the blue model behind - check out those grey slip-on shoes! I think he took these from pop-star Falco's personal collection. Der Kommissar ist on der floor! The shop floor that is... Clearly these were the days before 'Health & Safety' madness and mandatory steel-toe boots and hi-vis.
What a great photo and man, do I feel like getting an E34 sometime soon. Shame they are shooting up in value here in the UK.

Sunday, 22 March 2020

BMW Bosch L-Jetronic Fuel Injection - Strip-Down / Maintenance Guide + Diagrams [E30, E21, E28]

Throttle Housing:
1. Disconnect the cables (1, 2 or 3) as applicable - Fig. 1.
2. Pull off the vacuum hoses, the coolant hoses (1 and 2) - allowing the coolant to drain - and the air hoses (3 and 4) from the throttle housing - Fig. 2.
3.Remove the vacuum hoses (1 and 2), and the air hose (3) and pull off the multi-pin plug (4) - Fig. 3.
4. Remove the fixing nuts and take off the throttle housing. Do not separate the throttle switch from the housing, as a special gauge will be required to adjust it when refitting.
5. Refitting is a reversal of removal. Use a new gasket and bleed the cooling system.

Throttle Vacuum Control:
1. Pull off the hose (1), release the nut (2) and remove the vacuum control (3) - Fig. 4.
2. When refitting, adjust dimension (B) to between 32.8mm and 33.2mm (1.291" and 1.307") using screw (4).
3. Adjust dimension (A) to between 2.6mm and 3.0mm (0.102" and 0.118") using screw (2) - Fig. 5.

Control Unit:
1. Open the glove compartment and pull the pins from the retaining straps.
2. Remove the screws and place the glovebox cover to one side.
3. Depress the retainer (1) and pull out the multi-pin plug (2) - Fig. 6. Remove the control unit.

Air-flow Sensor:
1. Release the clamp and pull the duct from the air-flow sensor.
2. Disconnect the multi-pin plug, unscrew the fixing nuts and withdraw the sensor.
3. Refitting is a reversal of removal. Renew the seal if necessary.

Temperature Time Switch:
1. Pull off the plug, then unscrew and remove the switch.
2. Refit the switch using a new sealing washer.

Coolant Temperature Sensor:
1. Pull off the plug and unscrew the sensor. Refit using a new sealing washer.

Cold Start Valve:
1. Pull off the plug (1) and disconnect the fuel line (2) - Fig. 7.
2. Unscrew the mounting bolts (3 and 4) and withdraw the valve.
3. Use new seal when refitting.

Fuel Injectors:
1. Unscrew the four injection tube bolts and push the tube upwards until the fuel injectors have cleared the guide in the intake manifold.
2. Pull off the plug (1) and take out the circlip (2) - Fig. 8.
3. Take off the fuel injector.
4. Refitting is a reversal of removal; use new O-ring seals.

Throttle Shaft Return Springs:
1. Disconnect the throttle, kick-down and cruise-control cables. (The latter two where applicable.)
2. Remove the retainer (1), washer (2) and disconnect the linkage (3) on the lever (4).
3. Raise the lever and turn it to relieve the spring tension.
4. Remove the lever.
5. Remove the spring.
6. Disconnect the spring (1) and unscrew the nut (2) - Fig. 9.
7. Remove the washer (1) and lever (2) - Fig. 10.
8. Remove the sleeve (1) and spring (2) - Fig. 11. - also the wave washer.
9. Reassemble in the reverse order to dismantling and adjust in the following way - Pull off the tamperproof lock (1) and loosen the screw (2) until the lever (3) no longer rests on the screw - Fig. 12.
10. Place a finger on the lever and tighten the screw until the lever just begins to move. Turn the screw a quarter-turn more and refit the tamperproof lock.
11. Adjust the throttle, kick-down and cruise-control cables (where applicable).

Thursday, 12 March 2020

E30 Stance - Steel wheels or modern wheels??

E30 wheels is a magnificent topic of discussion, so lets have a couple of different takes on wheels for the old 3er...

By far the most common wheels to bestride the E30 are cross-wire / BBS styles. and beyond that owners tend to stick to solid period styled alloy wheels like Azev-A five-spokes or Borbet C. Personally I think the old-school BMs look best with steel-wheels such as the almighty Weller competition wheels, as in the pic above, especially with a lowered car. These are built for heavy-duty dirt-track racing and off-road and I think give a lowered E30 the best squat / rat look.

At the other end of the spectrum, here are some ultra-modern Japanese-style alloys on a 325is. I am not 100% on who makes these, but they look very much like RAYS Volk or Rota wheels. You don't see many wearing rims like these, certainly not done well anyway, but why not? Sharp lines suit sharp lines and the 3-box shape combined with large modern alloys gives the E30 a very purposeful look and go-kart stance.

Sunday, 8 March 2020

BMW UK Advertising Poster / Placard 1980 - M1, E21 320/6 + 6-cylinder engines

Nice 1980 placard from BMW UK advertising their family of 6-cylinder engines, from the later E21 320 to the M1's M88 and explaining the benefits of the. "Six cylinders where you'd expect to find four." in the compact 3-Series and "Six cylinders where you'd expect to find twelve." in the case of the supercar M1.

   BMW's dedication the six cylinder engine is not a recent phenomenon.
   It goes right back to BMW's original as a specialist engine-maker, rather than a car manufacturer.
   In fact, the first engines we ever built were six cylinder aircraft engines.
   Later, in the 1950's when conspicuous consumption was almost a status symbol, BMW preferred to stay with efficiency rather than extravagance and launched a six cylinder luxury car.
   Today, in the BMW 320, a car that's scarcely more than 14ft long, theres a sophisticated six cylinder power unit.
   And the BMW M1 on the right also needs no more than six cylinders. Even though in its most developed form, the engine can actually produce 800 bhp.
   It's not a blind dedication to six that makes us refuse the false economy of a four in the case of the 320. Or the wanton extravagence of a 12 in the case of the M1.
   Rather, we take our guidance from the laws of physics.
   According to those laws, it is not possible to build an engine that's perfectly balanced with less than six cylinders arranged in-line.
   Anything else, is a compromise that may help a car manufacturer balance its books. But won't help it balance its engines.
   Which is why every engine BMW make that's two litres or larger, is an in-line sic cylinder engine.
   Fortunately, there's no need for you to understand the laws of physics to discover the difference this makes.
   There's not a trace of roughness as you cruise. Or rawness as you accelerate.
   There's a smooth immediacy which motoring journalists normally describe as "turbine-like".
   And there's a flexibility which makes driving in traffic almost a pleasure. For with 85% of maximum torque at a mere 1900rpm you get a responsiveness in fourth gear that you might normally expect only in second gear.
   The BMW 320 costs £6,790.
   Which is scarcely more than cars whose manufacturers have chosen to compromise on their engines.
   And if they're prepared to compromise on the most important part of a car, where will those compromises stop?

Sunday, 1 March 2020

BMW M54 Engine Wiring Harness Diagram Illustration

Illustrated diagram showing the engine wiring-harness configuration on BMWs with the M54 6-cylinder petrol/gasoline engine family, showing connections to the Vanos, GCV, DISA Valve, etc.

“TIP: Ensure your CCV system is properly connected to the underside of the intake-manifold (and it is not damaged) before connecting all of these harnesses. It’s a huge pain trying to reach through all the wires to adjust or properly connect it.”

A different take on a wiring-harness diagram done in a hand-drawn artwork style, but useful none-the-less, so it had to get catalogued. Originally posted by u/feedthedonkey on the r/BMW Tech subReddit, who claims credit for the artwork.

Monday, 24 February 2020

BMW Front Outline / Silhouette Gallery - All Models

Another great chart of BMW front-end outlines detailing almost every model, or at least every major model release, right from the word go... which one is yours??

1936 3281952 5011955 ISETTA 2501956 507 ROADSTER
1962 15001965 3200CS1968 2002 Tii1973 3.0CSL E9
1975 316 E211978 M1 E261978 M535i E121986 M3 E30
1988 M5 E281989 8 SERIES E311992 M3 E361996 Z2 E36/7
1998 M5 E391999 Z8 ROADSTER2000 M3 E462002 Z4
2004 6 SERIES E63/642007 M3 E902007 X5 E702011 1 SERIES M COUPE
2011 M5 F102014 i32014 M4 COUPE F822015 i8

Sunday, 23 February 2020

BMW M10 Engine Family Tree

Interesting press release from BMW showing some derivatives of the much-loved 4-cylinder M10 engine, which I have covered in much detail before.

"With half the cylinders and half the power of todays V8 M3, the original 1986 car remains one of our all-time favourites. Its seemingly indestructible four-cylinder iron block, however, goes back to 1962 and the BMW 1500. This was also the block that formed the basis of the 1.5-litre turbo F1 engines that powered Brabham to many a race victory. That's not just the block type -- BMW Motorsport used actual 1500 blocks sourced from scrapyards, because the older the block, the fewer stresses remaining in it. Never has a production engine family been more versatile."

Sunday, 26 January 2020

E28 5er - Interesting unknown rear wing/spoiler... Hartge maybe?

A lovely barn-find shot of an E28 528e in the USA, but on closer inspection it sports a striking rear-wing/spoiler that I have never seen before. Who makes this piece? On first impression I would say one of the period Euro-tuner firms like Zender or Hartge, but after a bit of research I can't find an identical one. The chrome-trim makes it look as if the spoiler was fitted later on though and the car is not a tuner model. Perhaps someone can shed light on this spoiler's origin?

Hartge lay claim to a few E28 aero-parts and a I can find a couple of similar rear-wings, pictured below. The upper one is a rounded type and I am not sure is definitely made by Hartge though the badge suggests it is, and the second pic shows a Hartge developed E28 with their own rear-wing fitted, very similar to the one at the top but not quite as tall and curved on the top-edge not flat. It could well be that it is a similar version of this same spoiler and still made by Hartge, but I cannot find it.

Sunday, 19 January 2020

BMW 507 stunning replica... based on an MG MGA!

Saw this amazing BMW 507 replica on the Reddit /BMW sub. It is based on a 1955-onwards MG MGA Roadster and is pretty convincing to the untrained eye. However, as I own a 1959 MGA MK1 1500, I can see that those front wings and that bonnet shape are unmistakable. Still, with the price of 507s now topping the million mark and your average MGA not commanding even a fraction of that, I can see why this piece of classic British sports-car sacrilege is acceptable! Funny though, that someone has combined one of my toys with one of my Dad's toys...

Sunday, 5 January 2020

All the best for 2020 from!

Wishing everyone all the best for a nice and productive new year... heres some pleasant 2002s for 2020...