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    Bob Harper

    1989 BMW 525i SE Automatic E34

    Posted in Cars on Thursday, 04 July 2019

    1989 BMW 525i SE Automatic Bryan Werbinski ‘It rides like you're flying along on a carpet made of marshmallows’

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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 This was again superseded (in September 1990) by the blue-back cluster; outwardly almost identical.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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    Offering some incredibly exclusive alternatives to the hottest BMWs out there for several decades now, Alpina still acts as an extremely worthy distraction for anyone in the market for a sporty German cruiser.

    GILES RAMSDEN’S ALPINA B10 3.5 / #BMW-E34 / #BMW / #BMW-5-Series-E34 / #BMW-5-Series / #Alpina-B10-3.5 / #Alpina-B10-3.5-E34 / #Alpina-B10-E34 / #Alpina-E34 / #Alpina-B10 / #Alpina / #BMW-535i-Alpina-E34

    Giles here was kind enough to share his slice of Alpina perfection with us: this stunning #Island-Green B10 3.5 that took on BMW’s E34 5-Series back in the early ‘90s. “I bought it as a shell on a trolley, along with a couple of boxes of bits, after the previous owner lost interest in it.” Giles explains how he took on this huge, yet clearly extremely rewarding project, just a few short years ago.

    Now back to its former glory, practically every part has been bought fresh from either Alpina or BMW. There’s no denying that luxury charm is present by the bucketload too. This one contains touches like signature gold stripes and a sumptuous leather interior. Of course, there's also the re-worked version of the #BMW-M30 #straight-six engine that Alpina took out of #BMW-535i-E34 .

    Only 572 of these super-saloons were ever produced worldwide, so it’s great to see another example brought back from the brink. Top work for saving another modern classic icon from the scrapper!

    TOP MODS: Full nut-and-bolt bare-shell restoration in original Island Green colour, genuine Alpina badging and stripes, original Silver Grey leather interior, #Bilstein shocks and #Eibach springs.
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    The Substitute ‘if you think your M drives well, then try an Alpina’

    Posted in Cars on Friday, 16 November 2018

    Keith’s away this month, so Nathan’s here to explain why an Alpina makes more sense than an M.

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    Chris Randall
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    ilia.ermakov
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    ilia.ermakov
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    ilia.ermakov
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