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    I heard the other day about an early #BMW-X1 that had been recovered into a main dealership with a non-start condition following a breakdown. The labour for diagnostics came to under 100 quid, but the associated repair bill resulted in a final cost that was significant enough to effectively write-off the car.

    / #High-Pressure-Fuel-Pumps / #BMW

    How does £6,000 grab you for a new, high-pressure fuel pump, four injectors, fuel system clean-out and labour? A fuel pump costs £1,250, four injectors add up to over £2,200, then add £150 for the non-re-useable fuel lines and, if needed, a fuel rail for an additional £420. Then there was a couple of days in the workshop to get it all done at whatever they charge (plus VAT), and you can see how it adds up and runs away.

    What happened in this case – and others – is that the finely-machined surfaces in the fuel pump somehow become damaged. Bits whizzed around inside the pump causing more aggro, and then the fi ne mix of metal swarf and diesel found its way into the injectors, ruining them.

    The car went to a BMW independent specialist who quoted £1,200 to supply and fit good used parts, and clean the system out. That’s after the workshop there had completed the same repair on three other #BMW-N47 cars before…

    But I do wonder what causes this problem? It’s not really that common a fault. It could be poor quality diesel from a supermarket station, water in the fuel or even the fact that, after the filter in the fuel pump, there isn’t one in the fuel line. I’d be very tempted to cut a section of the fuel supply pipe out and splice-in an external fuel filter, just as a second line of defence.

    A new, high-pressure fuel pump from BMW will cost a hefty £1,250, but this can be just the start of the expense if using a dealership for repairs.
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    PRE-PAINTED WINGS / #BMW-E46 / #BMW / #BMW-E46-Wings

    The E46 has always suffered from rusted front arches and to have a pair of wings put on your average example by a bodyshop and painted, is going to be prohibitively expensive. The accepted method to do this on a car is to paint the wing shuts, bolt it to the car, paint both the wing and into the door to blend the colour and then lacquer both panels. That’s into 500 quid, at the very least plus.

    But, these days, few E46s warrant that sort of expense unless it’s a 330Ci Clubsport, or a nice, late-model Convertible. But look on eBay and there are companies selling pre-painted front wings. There isn’t much variance in BMW colours, so the usual suspects – Titan silver, Black Sapphire, Topaz blue, etc, are pretty easy to match.

    The better pattern wings also fit pretty well so, if you can fit the wings yourself (not hard), then this is the answer. Prices are around 100 quid each for saloon and Touring wings, and £115 for Coupé and Convertible panels.
    Clayton Auto Salvage Ltd is a good example of a number of suppliers selling on eBay and, when you can have a new, painted wing delivered free for 100 quid, it’s rarely worth trying to find a rust-free original. Fitting isn’t too bad, although the top Torx bolts can be a real bitch. The rear, A-post bolts are easy with the arch liner pulled back, and plenty of masking tape around the door, sill and bonnet edges.
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    E34 AND E32 INSTRUMENT CLUSTERS / #BMW-E32 / #BMWE34 / #BMW / #BMW-5-Series-E34 / #Instrument-Clusters / #BMW-Instrument-Clusters

    This is going back in time a bit, well, to 1986 in the case of the #BMW-7-Series-E32 , and 1988 for the BMW-E34 5 Series. Models with the bigger engines (all E32s) and the 525i, 530i and 535i as well as the V8s, had what’s called the ‘high’ instrument cluster. It has digital mileage and the ability to transmit #OBC readings via pixels in the dash.

    Overall, these were superbly reliable compared to what BL and Jaguar were trying to do, but that didn’t stop BMW improving them periodically. Upon launch, the E32 had a cluster with a battleshipgrey backing plate containing the circuit boards. There was a mileage chip that also held car information such as fuel tank capacity, and whether it was an auto or a manual, and this chip was built into a coding plug in the wiring into the cluster. In February 1989, the dash was changed – the backing plate was now white and the coding plug with mileage chip was brown. It plugged into the back of the cluster, secured by a breakable plastic cage, and had a silver sticker on the back with the car’s VIN. This was again superseded (in September 1990) by the blue-back cluster; outwardly almost identical.

    The coding plug was in the same place, but was now a blue colour and not interchangeable with the brown plug on the older cluster. The circuit board is an insane price new – a frankly ridiculous £1,255 (plus VAT) and, at one time, it was even more than that. White-backed and blue-backed clusters can be swapped and interchanged complete, and should your car have the original grey-backed unit, a later cluster will plug in and work, but it will probably display the original mileage. Don’t confuse these early, grey-backed units with the one from the later 518i, diesels and 520i; these are completely different, so don’t plug in and they have a gunmetal-grey metallic back.

    Larger-engined E34 5 Series models were fitted with the so-called ‘high’ instrument cluster, with digital mileage and OBC functionality. A new circuit board will cost a frankly ridiculous £1,255 (plus VAT).
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    Andy Everett
    Andy Everett joined the group Jensen Interceptor and FF Club
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    Year of manufacture #1975-Saab-99EMS / #1975 / #Saab-99EMS / #Saab / #Saab-99

    Recorded mileage 53,318km

    Vendor Coopers Cars, near Edenbridge, Kent; tel: 01342 850613/ 07770 333636;

    Price £4548 (99, 1977)
    Max power 118bhp
    Max torque 123lb ft
    0-60mph 11.5 secs
    Top speed 106mph
    Mpg 26

    This EMS – forerunner of the Turbo – is best described as a timewarp car. The structure is perfect, with no rot; all the welds and brackets are sharply defined and there’s not even any jacking damage underneath. It was in a dealer showroom for about 15 years until the previous owner found and recommissioned it – around 2013, judging by the change date noted on the brake-fluid reservoir – including having the injectors tested. Later it received a full Dinitrol treatment. He drove it to the UK from The Netherlands on sale to Coopers, which has had it serviced again.

    At some point it’s been repainted in its original colour, but the factory paint remains in the boot and engine bay. The bumper-rubber faces are good, with a spare in the boot, and the distinctive ‘soccer ball’ alloys have recently been refinished. The tyres are Vredesteins dating from 2015 and practically unworn, though the spare is unshod. The exhaust looks fairly fresh. If you want to find a glitch, it’s that the aerial lacks its end and is a bit bent.

    Inside, it’s near perfect, with only a few stitches evident in a small repair to the driver’s seat base; the seat retains its quick-detach mechanism for those weekend rally drivers. The headlining is new, the dash plastics are all good, with one tiny chunk out of the ‘timber’ veneer, and there are overmats in the boot. The previous owner slightly modified the roof light, presumably for map reading, but it’s easily reversible.

    The motor is tidy, with clean oil just over ‘max’ and sufficient coolant. Tape on the temperature sender wiring is evidence of a recent repair. It starts easily, with a typically tinny rasp from the tailpipe, and drives like a much more modern car. Only the relatively low gearing and the four-speed gearbox give away its age, though the change is perfect. The ride is firm but comfortable, the steering is fluid and the brakes are solid and smooth. The temperature gauge sits a third of the way up the scale. Even the radio still works perfectly. It will be sold with a new MoT if desired, though it no longer requires one.

    Straight, older repaint. No rot, all welds and brackets intact
    Almost perfect; one small repair
    to driver’s seat
    MECHANICALS Drives well; mileage could be original
    VALUE 8/10
    For Fantastic original condition
    Against Clock doesn’t work

    If you want a near minter, it must be one of the best left in the world and could be used as a daily driver.
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