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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 This was again superseded (in September 1990) by the blue-back cluster; outwardly almost identical.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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    ELLIOTT STILING
    1988 E32 750iL V12
    2017 F22 230i M SPORT COUPÉ
    1983 ALPINA B9 3.5 (E28)

    Alpina B9 3.5 (E28)
    YEAR: 1983
    TOTAL MILEAGE: 138,520
    MILEAGE THIS MONTH: 0
    TOTAL COST: £25 (relays), £10 (fuel hose), £40 (ignition coil), £20 (distributor)

    E32 750iL #BMW-V12 / / #BMW-E32 / #BMW-750iL / #BMW-750iL-E32 / #BMW-7-series-E32 / #BMW-7-Series / #BMW / #M70 / #BMW-M70
    YEAR: #1988
    TOTAL MILEAGE: 119,572
    MILEAGE THIS MONTH: 12
    MPG THIS MONTH: 18.7
    TOTAL COST: £136.14 (MoT work), £10 (seatbelt buckle), £50 (storage)

    F22 230i Coupé
    YEAR: 2017
    TOTAL MILEAGE: 18,934
    MILEAGE THIS MONTH: 851
    MPG THIS MONTH: 38.7
    TOTAL COST: Still none

    Last month I made a promise to update you on Maggie’s #MoT and the Alpina’s non-start issue, so here goes.

    The annual MoT test can be a nerve-wracking ordeal for any classic car owner, but I had faith that Maggie’s test wouldn’t produce a fail sheet as long as my arm. Thankfully, as it turned out, my hunch was spot-on!
    The fail list consisted of two tyres which were not fitted in accordance with the side wall instructions, a windscreen wiper that doesn’t clear the windscreen effectively, the horn not working, a rear seatbelt buckle that was found to be broken and a ball joint dust cover that was no longer preventing the ingress of dirt. However, all things considered, I didn’t think there was actually terribly much to put right and, to be honest, most of them were things that I was already aware of. What’s more, the bill wasn’t too bad at all, either, at just £136.14, which included the test fee. Sadly, though, that inner glow of well-being wasn’t to last.

    While I was out with the car on the photoshoot for this month’s E32 Buyers Guide, I suddenly became aware of an odd, groaning and grinding sound emanating from somewhere under the bonnet. It lasted for a few miles until the power steering failed followed, shortly after that, by a loss of brake pressure. Thankfully, we managed to get all the photos we needed for the feature, and then limped Maggie home without further incident. She’s now sitting patiently, awaiting a slot at the garage to investigate things further.

    Early research would suggest that the most likely culprits could be either a failed power steering pump, air being drawn into the system, a drive belt failure or a brake bomb failure. However, it shouldn’t be the latter as that part was replaced fairly recently, but I’ll just have to wait and see what the garage can find.

    As you saw last month, I’m also having some challenges with the Alpina. It’s never once failed to start in all the time I’ve owned it, but is definitely showing not the slightest interest in fi ring-up now. In an effort to isolate the problem, I bought myself a multimeter and began testing various parts with that. But, in the end, I think it’s better to just replace the most likely candidates, on the basis that they will all then have another fresh lifespan on them.

    Finding parts hasn’t been overly challenging, although you can’t really buy bigger parts from BMW any more. Thankfully, though, there are plenty of alternative options online. So far, I’ve picked up a new distributor and rotor arm, a DME relay, fuel pump relay and an ignition coil. Hopefully, I will find time in the next week or so to fi t these myself, and see if that does the job. I’ve also noticed a strong smell of petrol coming from under the bonnet, and have traced that back to the fuel pipe that runs to the cold start injector. I don’t think it’s related to the starting issue but, clearly, a weeping fuel line in the engine bay is never a good idea, so I’ll be tackling that, also.

    If there’s one positive thing to come out of the current situation, it’s that I get to spend a bit of time getting hands-on with the Alpina; E28s are always nice cars to work on. Of course, if the problem turns out to be more involved than I’m currently hoping, I might be forced to eat those words! It does mean, though, that the car won’t see the light of day this side of Christmas, because I’m struggling to see a time when I can get the subsequent MoT sorted before we go away to the West Coast of Scotland in the New Year.

    Below: The E28 is a good car to work on which, as it turns out, is a good thing. For the first time since I’ve had the Alpina, it won’t start and I’ve yet to isolate the problem. But among the new electrical components I’ve already sourced online, is a new #distributor .

    The Alpina’s also developed a fuel leak, coming from the pipe that supplies the cold start #injector .

    The annual MoT test can be a nerve-wracking ordeal for any classic car owner, but I had faith that Maggie’s test wouldn’t produce a fail sheet as long as my arm. Despite the MoT test success, Maggie rather blotted her copybook on a recent BMW Car magazine photo shoot, with an as yet unidentified power steering and brake pressure failure.
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    ELLIOTT STILING 1983 E28 ALPINA B9 3.5 / 1988 E32 750iL #V12

    / #BMW / #BMW-E32 / #BMW-750iL / #BMW-V12 / #BMW-750iL-E32 / #BMW-750i-E32 / #BMW-7-series-E32
    YEAR: #1988
    CAR: E28 Alpina B9 3.5
    YEAR: 1983
    TOTAL MILEAGE: Can’t remember
    MILEAGE THIS MONTH: 0
    MPG THIS MONTH: 0
    TOTAL COST: 0

    CAR: E32 750iL V12
    YEAR: 1988
    TOTAL MILEAGE: 118,797
    MILEAGE THIS MONTH: 0
    MPG THIS MONTH: 0
    TOTAL COST: Racking-up!

    This month has been all about the 750iL. I dropped by Hardings Garage to see how Steve and Dale have been getting on, and am happy to report that good progress has been made.

    The guys have fitted the non-electronic suspension and it was a relief to hear that the job went well – partially because that should translate into a slightly more palatable labour bill, although I have no idea what this is all costing, because we haven’t agreed any figures yet!

    Before deciding to have that work done, I researched the modification, and it was clear that the removal of the failed EDC insert from the strut sleeve could be both challenging and frustrating. I was expecting an ‘if we knew it would be this bad, we wouldn’t have agreed to do it’-type conversation, but Steve said the old insert came out really easily, then the new one went in perfectly.

    The next job is to delete the SLS or Self Levelling (rear) Suspension because, as you can see from the photograph, the rear ride height isn’t correct yet. If you look closely, you’ll also see that the system threw all of its fluid out over the ramp when powered-up for the first time. Hopefully, though, this should be as easy to sort as the internet suggests. The other main job needed was to fix the solid brake pedal problem, which has afflicted the car ever since I bought it. Of course, the previous owner didn’t know anything about that... cough.

    Despite replacing another part in the braking system a few months ago, it’s now apparent the actual culprit is the brake accumulator sphere. This device meters out the hydraulic pressure for the brakes and steering, and complete failure of this part means you have neither when you need them most – gulp.
    However, the bad news is that after researching the correct part number, I’ve discovered that it isn’t available anywhere. Internationally, BMW itself scrapped all remaining spheres in 2014, when the newest stock reached its maximum stocking age of five years.

    Despite scouring the (internet) world, I cannot find another matching sphere anywhere, so all V12 E32 owners worldwide could suffer from this challenge. So, with necessity being the mother of all creation, we’ve had to think outside the box to solve this one.

    There’s no way an E32 V12 should be consigned to being a parts car because a single component in the braking system isn’t available. I could fit a second-hand part, maybe, but it’ll be the same age as the part that’s failed. That doesn’t make much sense, so I’ve bought a brand new 735i part instead, and have tasked Hardings with modifying it to fi t, and thus keep my old girl running.

    We have a date with an M760Li coming up soon (keep your eyes peeled for a future issue), and I want to make sure Maggie puts in a good showing. More next month on whether the modification worked because, as we stand right now, I don’t actually have a credible Plan B.

    There’s work still to be done on the 750iL’s suspension. Having removed the EDC units, the ride height needs further adjustment, and then there’s the fluid loss…

    This is a 735i brake accumulator sphere. The correct part for the 750iL is no longer available from BMW, so let’s hope this one can be adapted as necessary.
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    CAR: #BMW / #BMW-E32 / #BMW-750iL / #BMW-V12 / #BMW-750iL-E32 / #BMW-750i-E32 / #BMW-7-series-E32
    YEAR: #1988
    TOTAL MILEAGE: 118,797
    MILEAGE THIS MONTH: 496
    MPG THIS MONTH: 17.9
    TOTAL COST: £286 (dampers)

    I had hoped to have a fully, fighting-fit #BMW-7-Series for inclusion this month but, sadly, only some of the jobs have been ticked-off the ‘to do’ list. The spark plugs and leads have been fitted, and I’m pleased to report that the engine’s turbine-like approach to business has been restored. The hydraulic brake cylinder has been fitted too, together with a full brake service. Sadly, though, this identified broken bleed nipples on the front calipers, so both had to be replaced – an expense I wasn’t predicting and, while it’s probably not the end of the world, I haven’t had the bill for them yet! Unfortunately, this work hasn’t cured the brake pedal pressure problem I’ve mentioned here in the past, so it’s now looking like I’ll need to source a new brake accumulator. BMW don’t have one in stock apparently (and I’d no doubt have heart failure at the price, even if they did!), so I think a bit of a Google/ forum searching session will be required.

    With workshop space at a premium, Hardings asked if I could take the car back, at least until I managed to get the suspension parts the car needs, so I’ve taken the opportunity to use the car pretty much as a daily-driver. It’s done everything this month from B&Q trips, commuting, plus some decent motorway schleps, seriously boosting this month’s mileage. It’s been an interesting exercise actually, and I’ll report on my thoughts and findings soon.

    In the meantime, I’ve finally managed to track down some matching, Monroe non-EDC dampers for the car, for the bargain price of £286. Funnily enough, they came from Eastern Europe, which seems to be a new parts haven for classic BMWs. Now, with MoT day looming, ‘Maggie’ is back at Hardings awaiting her leg transplants, and the completion of the rest of the outstanding jobs. Something tells me that this garage session is going to cost me…

    Bargain-priced #Monroe dampers, hot off the courier van from Eastern Europe!

    My 750iL still isn’t fully fighting fit, but we’re getting closer.
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    LONGTERMERS #BMW-E28 / #BMW-E28-Alpina / #Alpina-B9 and E32 750iL / #Alpina / #Alpina-B9-E28

    I would love to report some serious movement on the B9’s refurbishment but unfortunately the truth is I haven’t really had the chance to chase the body shop this month.

    I have, however, received negative news from my ‘stripes guy’. It doesn’t look like he is able to supply them in the timescale I am likely to need so it’s back to the drawing board. The fall back plan is to just have the car back without any stripes and then have them retro-fitted when I can procure a set. The BMW community is a big one, and an international one at that so if you know where I can have a set made up please do get in touch!

    In the meanwhile, the editor kindly sent me a link to a B9 which has just sold at a CCA car auction. It was a 1986, white Japanese import with a low mileage of 77,000. It was, however, hampered somewhat by being left-hand drive and having an automatic gearbox. The latter for me would be a serious problem as these cars really need the manual gearbox in my opinion. Plus winter isn’t the ideal season to maximise the sale value of your classic car…

    Using CCA’s five-star system it was described as a three-star car – ‘Good: Everyday useable classic car, driven and enjoyed, commensurate with age and mileage, drives and looks as it should, some vehicle history’.

    I suspect it would have benefitted from being sold in Germany where left-hand drive classic Alpinas sell for really strong money. Nevertheless it fetched £16,500 which I thought was a good buy for its new owner, who certainly hasn’t overpaid for what is an exceptionally rare car.

    It looks like I will need to review the guaranteed value I have with my insurer when it comes to renewal time. Good news indeed.

    On the 7 Series front what little time I have had to spare has been spent trying to find bits for it rather than driving it very far.

    In my last report I mentioned not being able to find the required brake booster in the UK, as all of the available parts were in America. After a little bit more research I finally managed to track one down in the UK. The best bit was the price. By not getting stung with the post-Brexit exchange rate and import duty I managed to buy one for £130, nearly half of the £250 it was going to cost to get one from the US. I need to get the part down to my local garage to check it’s all there!

    Given editor Bob’s recent positive results with having his throttle bodies cleaned I might just have a look at how much of a job that is on a 750iL. I suspect the answer will be ‘at least twice as much’ because the V12 seems to have two of everything.

    Given the car’s idle isn’t quite as sewing machine smooth as it should be and it seems to be running a little rich at idle it’s probably a job worth doing. I suspect as much as anything some new spark plugs will clear things up but having researched how to replace spark plug number 12 on a BMW 750 I think that’s a job for the garage.

    In the meanwhile I have tackled an easy job and replaced the car’s two air filters. The originals weren’t all that bad but there is a nice feel-good feeling to knowing your car is breathing through new filters. I am hoping the garage can take the car in sometime in January because I’d like to get things moving along ahead of the spring car show scene as I’d like to start showing the car off a bit.

    In the meanwhile I have seen another 750iL for sale which is located only ten miles from me, in my favourite colour of black. I’m trying desperately to not just jump in the car and have a look. It’s a disease, being into classic BMWs…

    CAR: #BMW-E32 / #BMW-750iL / #BMW-750iL-E32 / #BMW-750i-E32 / #BMW-7-series-E32 / #BMW-7-Series / #BMW / #M70 / #BMW-M70 / #V12 / #BMW-V12

    YEAR: #1988
    MILEAGE THIS MONTH: 23
    TOTAL MILEAGE: 118,235
    MPG THIS MONTH: Not sure
    COST THIS MONTH: no new ones this month
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    Best Germans. A mild evening in late May - the economy is booming and it will soon be storming around Ebbe Carlsson. Then meet West Germany's most advanced cars for a duel in the middle of Stockholm. We follow the board professional.

    The two cars leave the Grand Hotel for an assessment tour of the quiet early summer evening.

    LYXKRIG BMW v MERCEDES

    BMW 730 against MB 300SE The technical specification is similar. But the cars could not be more different.

    Two sedans pass the Royal Dramatic Theatre. Leading car, Mercedes-Benz 300SE V126 SWB, flashing left and steer towards Blasieholmen. BMW 730iA E32 SWB follow. The duo creep run up the little Arsenalsgatan and passes Society, Mr club where leading businessmen and politicians have met and spent time undisturbed for nearly 200 years.

    It lies a kind of exclusive correctness of the Society, not unlike a sand-colored Mercedes 300SE. The model with the internal code W126 presented at the Motor Show in Frankfurt in 1979 but the first pen features were already in autumn 1971. The aim was that the final product would be absolute Mercedes flagship model for ten years, why was the level of ambition of max. To rein in runaway fuel consumption was high on the priority list right from the beginning and became even more important with the oil crisis of 1973. A tricky equation as security, comfort and luxury accessories rather made the car heavier. You had to compensate with extensive aerodynamic work and weight-saving measures alloy steel and body parts in aluminum.

    The first W126-cars, six-cylinder ones, rolled out the brand new factory in Sindelfingen spring 1979 and got a safe and other Puritans of choking. The chrome bumpers were replaced with practical and US-friendly protective polyurethane where the front was also designed to reduce lift trends in high speed. Even the wheels sticking out through a modern aerodynamic design. Although the car was filled with accessories like ABS brakes and airbags stayed wave of below 1600 kg. And wind tunnel work had paid off, the new S-class could boast the lowest drag coefficient of any size sedans at the time (0.36 Cd).

    Nine years later, in spring #1988 Mercedes-Benz 300SE V126 SWB is perceived as much more traditional than the newly launched rival BMW 730iA. It is more than Café Opera Society. Hipper and loaded with exciting technology that electronically adjustable shocks and innovations that reveal what the 90s will accommodate.

    With the ability to choose the V12 engine marks BMW more Mercedes place at the top is threatened. And the equipment list is as long as the stock market pages of Dagens Industri - accessories such as telephone, fax machine and wine cooler in the back seat cauldrons for extra vague sense decade.

    But being innovative is not necessarily a positive trait. The goal of this German luxury car duo is to give Charlie decision making to choose any of them. It is a man of refined taste and high demands on function and quality. He is traditionally Mercedes-owners although he with respect to shareholders drove the Volvo 760 GLE for some years. He has by virtue of his position could command hit two representatives of BMW and Mercedes. The duo is now swinging left and confronted him outside the Grand Hotel, where he set time ladders from a late meeting with a group of investors.

    Charlie, among friends known as Callis, greets short on brand representatives and go one lap around the cars. Goes one. Nodding approvingly at the L-shaped rear lights on the BMW, he remembers the resurrection, when the model was presented. Opens and closes the door once extra, grunts something before he sits down in the bucket BMW seat. He starts up six cylinders, put in the D position and watching in amazement of the modern instrumentation. He provides gas and Mercedes driver following closely behind. The two cars leave the Grand Hotel for an assessment tour of the quiet early summer evening.

    After training at the School of Colleges School in Stockholm Charlie worked more or less around the clock through the sixties and seventies. Thanks to a series of smart investments (and if truth be told, a huge amount of initial capital) he has in the 80s could wind down and today sits just two boards. A form of comfortable and very deliberate risk diversification as one of the companies operating in the telecom and the other belongs to the backbone of Swedish industry, pulp.

    The mission of the latter includes a lot of traveling by car to the north. Yes, and weekend trips to summer pleasure out of Smadalaro. The experience of these two German spearhead locomotives different large letters Callis quickly. BMW charms with unexpected revving in the sixth grade, the 182 horsepower feels downright a nimble. And the footwork is clearly faster than the Mercedes, yes Callis smiles in front of the small three-spoke steering wheel and go almost to the cord in right on the promenade. Mercedes is not visible in the rear-view mirror - and that BMW offers driving pleasure even in the luxury class is obvious.

    Second generation BMW 7 Series with internal code E32 still feels hyper-modern, it was presented after just over two years earlier, in July, 1986.

    Besides amazing modern and sporty model features stack up with the first German V12 engine in fifty years in the 750i. A daring mark to overtake Mercedes - both mental and on the Autobahn. This jaw got knocked BMW to introduce an electronic speed limiter at 250 kmh in response to the German discussion of, woe and horror, speed limits on the Autobahn. BMW 750i was aiming directly at the recently presented Mercedes-Benz 560SEL W126 with a V8. Daimler-Benz is working on a V12 to the next generation W140 S-Class is not known yet.

    The journey continues through the evening quiet town, there will be car outside the castle. Inside the burgundy interior of the Mercedes 300SE are more passengers than drivers materials and aromas are of another kind. The ride quality is world class realizes Callis over the cobblestones in the Old Town, the back end is completely unaffected even if one sits more than in the big chairs with openwork leather. Callis relaxes behind the big steering wheel. The controls, even anger, feels older but also more substantial than in the BMW. The journey continues through the evening quiet town, there will be car outside the castle. Inside the burgundy interior of the Mercedes 300SE are more passengers than drivers materials and aromas are of another kind.

    Callis notes that Mercedes rolls heavily and feels more stable, throttle response is calmer - properties in line with his habitual Mercedes-driving style.

    When it starts to obscure the test run over. Charlie has decided its next car is nothing he reveals the smallest mine, moreover, he would keep the matter for deliberation with his wife before lifting the handset - to the United Car. For although he felt powerful in the back seat of the Mercedes, he experienced a new feeling behind the wheel of the BMW 730iA. On the verge of forbidden excitement - both when he lapped the BMW sixth grade and soon after got looks from two girls in tight stonewashed jeans that almost caressed BMW nose when they crossed a crosswalk. Callis trips with light rose to its soon replaced Mercedes. Throw a glance at his reflection in a shop window. Feel young and fresh. He is, after all, still only fifty-nine ...

    Power windows were standard - trip computer and cruise control some of the many options in the BMW. Reach for the stars is more aim with the star of Mercedes 300SE.

    BMW destabilize the Mercedes before, given first place. Mercedes rims with low profile tires was one of the updates in the revision to the 1986 model.

    Postmodernist Claes Luthe who in 1976 took on the role of chief designer for BMW Paul Bracq is behind the design of the E32 that would characterize BMW for many years to come.
    Total ten different engines were available to choose 7-Series model cycle - four sixes, four V8s and two V12's.
    Mercedes unloads 375-liters, compared to 475 in the entire BMW. BMW has utility in the door, the Mercedes a warning triangle.

    OWNERS VIEW

    / #BMW-730iA-E32 / #BMW-730iA / #BMW-730i-E32 / #BMW-E32 / #1988 / #BMW / #BMW-7-Series / #BMW-7-Series-SWB / #BMW-7-series-E32 /

    1988 OWNER: FABIAN GRANATH

    "When I saw the ad I did not believe it was true. It was only BMW 730iA 1988 1500 mil, broken board computer ... "This was 2014, and Fabian Granath went and bought the car in the crash. It had been shut down since the first owner passed away in 1996. Since the purchase Fabian has provided it with new oils and tires - and fixed the broken board computer. The car is in an almost painful untouched top condition and has now gone over 1,800 mil.

    "The direction is very stable even at high speeds," says Fabian. "It's a really nice touring car, you sense that it was at least ten years ahead of its time.

    Total sold 770 pieces of the BMW 7 Series cars in Sweden in 1988 (of which 267 pieces 750i), while sales were plummeting to 550 the following year. Generation E32 was produced until 1994, a total of 311,015 copies.

    / #Mercedes-Benz-300SE-V126 / #Mercedes-Benz-300SE / #Mercedes-Benz / #Mercedes-Benz-V126 / #Mercedes-Benz-W126 / #Mercedes-Benz-S-Class-126 /

    MERCEDES 300SE 1988 OWNER: JONAS SJOGREEN

    "These cars is aging so damn good, I wanted the feeling of quality and elegance rather than horsepower - 300's the sensible choice economically compared with 500 and 560 versions. This has all the equipment and is well on price - I am convinced that fine specimens are a good investment says Jonas who does not have any plans to sell.

    On the contrary, Jonas had marinated Mercedes dream long and well, and recently bought the car story of a childhood friend who owned it for 15 years.

    Mercedes S-Class was considerably more expensive than the BMW 7 Series but that did not stop 292 Swedes from hitting to 1988. The model was originally launched in three versions, 280SE, 380SE and 500SE - but overall was twenty versions offered for twelve years until 1991 . From plush 280S with four-speed manual transmission to the armored 560SEL W126 - production figure stayed at 818,105 cars.
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    LONGTERMERS E32 750iL

    Despite a work schedule that feels like I’ve taken more flights this month than I have spent nights at home, I have managed to ensure the big Seven has had a little attention. Regular readers know I actually enjoy spending some time cleaning and polishing my cars and the #BMW-7-Series-E32 was ripe for a little attention in a couple of areas. Don’t get me wrong, the car wasn’t presented particularly badly, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t room for improvement, particularly the cleanliness of the leather and the finish on the bright work.

    Over the years I have collected a few cleaning and detailing products and three of my favourites are the Gliptone Leather Conditioner, the Vanish Powerfoam and the 3M Metal Polish as they never fail to impress.

    Whilst the leather in the car looked to be in very good shape I could see faint darker patches both on the doorcards and in the stitching creases of the seats – clear signs of some dirt residue. Whilst the leather conditioner is a great product, for the best finish it does need some assistance, so I used some baby wipes to clean the leather first (it’s surprisingly effective if you’ve never tried it) and then used an Autoglym Magic Sponge to work the conditioner into the leather.

    You need to be careful when using the sponge as despite being silky soft to the touch, they are incredibly abrasive and can soon strip the leather of its top surface if you are too aggressive or careless. With the correct application, though, they are very effective, as can be seen from the pictures.

    Unfortunately for me the amount of leather in an iL version of the 7 Series is staggering so the whole process took about four hours. It’s very easy, for instance, to forget that there is leather tucked down the side and backs of the rear seats which can only be accessed once they are fully reclined. In the end every single square inch of leather received this process and my gosh, it looks and smells better for it, particularly as the Gliptone conditioner imbeds the smell of new leather into your seats. Not only are the seats now better presented but the remoisturising process will undoubtedly ensure the life of the seats has been extended.

    Whilst I was working on the interior I decided to tackle the thin chrome strips that run along the tops of the doorcards next to the side glass. Thankfully the chrome wasn’t pitted or corroded but it had lost much of its lustre so a little attention was likely to reap instant results. After masking it up to avoid horrible white marks on the black plastic it was out with the 3M polish. Half an hour later the trims looked fantastic with a deep lustre evident.

    The last interior job, for this session at least, was to clean the carpets and over mats as the driver’s footwell area really wasn’t up to the mark. I’ve tried lots of different carpet cleaning products over the years but have a soft spot for Powerfoam by Vanish. Whilst it’s marketed for domestic use rather than automotive applications, dirt is dirt. The spray mechanism can be a little frisky so you often need to wipe away errant spots of cleaner that escape on to doorcards and the like when working in tight spots but that’s not really an issue and as I say it works a treat and leaves the carpets looking and smelling fresh.

    The cabin isn’t finished yet as there are still small areas to get around to but it now looks, smells and feels like the executive express it was designed and built to be.

    Staying on the TLC theme I also managed to get the car into the garage for a little investigative work into some of the areas I highlighted last month. Due to my work schedule I could only get the car into the garage for a single day (it’s too big a car to expect someone to store it indoors for a week until I could get around to picking it up otherwise). A day was enough time, though, for the garage to look into the suspension rattle, the brake pressure issue and the unlocking problem on the driver’s door. The other areas will need to wait for another session.

    The suspension rattle has been traced to defective front dampers. Apparently the fluid they should be filled with is notable by its absence. Looking back through the car’s history, there is a comment on a previous MoT certificate relating to oil misting around the front dampers. Clearly things have deteriorated since then to the point there is little to no oil left. I knew when I bought the car that BMW’s Electronic Damper (EDC) system is both unreliable and expensive to fix and ringing around several suspension rebuild experts has only confirmed that view. None of the specialists I spoke to will rebuild these dampers anymore, with one of them even referring to the system as ‘complete junk’ – hardly a glowing testimonial. The service history shows that the dampers have been replaced twice in the car’s past but here we are again.

    Given the unreliability of the system I’ve all but decided not to bother repairing them and am looking for a replacement alternative instead. A bit of internet surfing has suggested that it’s possible to fit non-EDC damper inserts into the original struts. So, at the moment that’s the plan, using Bilstein dampers and the original struts, assuming my local garage is happy it can carry out the work.

    If not, then I will be on the look-out for some comfort-orientated coilovers, if such a thing exists? I am anticipating a total cost of £600 to £850 depending on the route taken which I’m happy with for the benefit of refreshed suspension.

    The garage has reported that the likely suspect causing the brake pressure issue is the hydraulic brake booster. Looking in the engine bay the part looks very different to what you or I might expect. Instead of a large, black circular canister on the bulkhead it’s a gun barrel-shaped part, much smaller than you might imagine. It would appear that it’s a part that’s not shared with other E32 Sevens but is shared with the 850i/Ci, with which the 750iL shares its drivetrain.

    BMW has confirmed that it can supply a new part for about £950 (I bet it can!) but that’s not really a route I want to go down given the garage can’t be 100 percent sure it’s definitely the cause of the fault.

    Having done a little research it appears that it’s entirely possible to buy a fully refurbished booster although they all appear to be located in the US. I suspect that’s a function of their warmer climate and lower fuel prices meaning that the #V12 model variant is more plentiful over there? For £250 including import duty (grumble) it’s a more cost effective option than plumping for a new part from #BMW so I’ll be placing an order very soon and we can see if it works. I wonder what price the booster would have been pre-Brexit vote before the sterling’s slide into oblivion?

    The final area the garage had time to investigate was the driver’s door not unlocking on the key. Thankfully it’s nothing more sinister than the door pin not quite rising high enough to unlock the door. It’s only a few millimetres short but a door is simply either locked or unlocked so it needs tackling. They had hoped a little wiggling and waggling (technical engineering terms I’m told) would exercise the system enough to get it working properly but it hasn’t worked. If it still hasn’t worked by the time the car goes back for the suspension and brake work then it will be a case of removing the doorcard and having a look inside.

    In the meanwhile I’ve started buying some service items in such as air filters, spark plugs, engine oil etc as I want to keep the service history in order. If I can find a little more spare time I might start to fit some of the parts myself as it’s a job I get satisfaction from.

    So that’s it for this month I think. As I sit here writing this I’m in yet another airport lounge waiting to fly home and I’m itching to get behind the wheel again, let’s hope it’s not raining when I get back and I can go for a drive – with clean shoes of course.

    / #BMW-E32 / #BMW-750iL / #BMW-750iL-E32 / #BMW-7-series-E32 / #BMW-7-Series / #BMW / #M70 / #BMW-M70

    YEAR: #1988
    MILEAGE THIS MONTH: 42
    TOTAL MILEAGE: 118,212
    MPG THIS MONTH: I shudder to think!
    COST THIS MONTH: £150 (service parts)… but plenty more to come soon
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    / #BMW-E28 / #Alpina-B9 and #BMW-7-series-E32 750Il / #Alpina / #BMW /

    I’m pleased to report that I had a surprise call from the bodyshop this month. Whilst the B9 isn’t totally finished yet substantial progress has been made, which was great to hear. All the rust has been eradicated from the bodyshell, the rear arch has been repaired and the boot floor is apparently looking much better. As you can see from the pictures it’s not correct to say the car is looking pretty but there is a certain charm to it partially presented in battleship grey primer I think?

    Apparently part of the delay was due to a red herring from BMW. It had claimed that it had a full boot floor in stock (the same boot floor I had drawn a blank on procuring) but when the floor arrived, surprise-surprise, it was only half there – it’s supplied in two sections. To add insult to injury, it was even the wrong half! So, the floor has had to be patch repaired, all be it with some brand-new parts introduced, such as the spare wheel well bracket. I’ve not seen the repaired floor yet so I’m somewhat curious as to how good the finish will be but, as I mentioned in a previous article, other people are entrusting ‘my man’ with some seriously expensive classic Ferraris and Aston Martins so I’m fairly relaxed about it.

    I have to admit to getting butterflies in my stomach when I look at the pictures of the car being prepared for paint. I only wish the car was more local so I could pop down for a peek every now and again and feel a bit more involved with the work that’s going on, but it’s more important that the car is in the right hands than being in local ones.

    This flurry of activity means I need to get my skates on and decide exactly which stripes I want on the car. I’m 100 per cent sure I should get stripes for it even though the car was manufactured from new without them. The question is, which ones?

    Whilst I have pondered fitting thin gold pinstripes, as I had on my previous B9, the current front runner are the thicker bold green and blue stripes as I think they look fantastic set against Alpine white paint. You certainly can’t miss them but on an 1980s performance car I think you can get away with them. I just hope that the chap I know on the Alpina Register Forum who supplies stripe kits has the time (and inclination) to supply me a set of whatever I settle on in time. Hopefully I will be able to share some further progress next month although it’s unrealistic to expect the car to be finished by then.


    In the meanwhile I have my newly purchased #V12 #BMW-7-Series to satisfy my classic car cravings. I have to admit, though, it’s not been a big mileage month for the 750iL due mainly to a house move, although the big boot has come in handy for the odd B&Q run for additional decorating supplies. Thankfully the new house has a double garage (in fact it was a prerequisite) so the car is nicely tucked up dry and warm at night on a bed of underlay and carpet – no I’m not joking!

    Despite not doing much in the way of mileage the car has continued to impress, though, with one particular visitor to the house being almost spellbound by it. Apparently he remembered them from new and was particularly impressed by the car’s condition and preservation. Last month I promised to give you the car’s hit-list of jobs to tackle so here we go:

    - Both electric mirrors don’t work from the door handle control although the passenger mirror dips towards the kerb, as it’s designed to, when selecting reverse so clearly the motor is working. Perhaps it’s a faulty switch?

    - The heater is possessed by something with a wicked sense of humour. Even when switched off the system gently blows hot air from the dash top and rear footwell vents yet any request for cold air is duly ignored. - And while we’re on the inside I should mention that the cassette player emits a laughable level of sound quality and one of the rear seatbelt buckles is broken turning this 16-and-a-half foot leviathan into a three-seater car.

    - Rather more seriously, there’s appears to be a problem with the brakes. Every now and again the brake pedal pressure will shoot through the roof requiring a Herculean amount of pressure to start working. It only happens occasionally but it’s the wrong sort of excitement needed when travelling fast. - The suspension isn’t perfect either as when the damping is set in Comfort mode it’s very floaty and bouncy and there is also a metallic rattle from the front end over bumps, although it’s only audible with the windows or sunroof open. Given the car received brand-new arms for its last MoT it must be something else?

    - Other issues are a very small bubble appearing on the near side front wing, which is best tackled now before anything more substantial develops and I’m also experiencing the same smell of petrol when stationary as Bob reported recently on his M635CSi, so perhaps we have the same issue?

    - In the minor irritations category I’ve got a driver’s side windscreen wiper blade that’s worn and the driver’s door pin doesn’t lift enough when trying to unlock the door. Now anyone sitting there with their newly leased BMW may be concerned at that list but remember this is a big, heavy car closing in on its 30th birthday, so personally I don’t think that’s bad going.

    Either way I will be taking the car to my favourite local garage for a good coat of ‘looking at’ and we will see what’s what. Whilst I’m under no illusions though that these E32s can stack up decent sized bills my allocated war chest remains largely intact, all be it under imminent threat of attack. I’ll let you know how I get on next month.

    CAR: #BMW-E32 / #BMW-750iL / #BMW-750iL-E32 /
    YEAR: #1988
    MILEAGE THIS MONTH: 78
    TOTAL MILEAGE: 118,170
    MPG THIS MONTH: Not a great deal!
    COST THIS MONTH: None… yet

    Bodywork fettling is moving along nicely on Elliott’s Alpina and the boot floor has now been repaired.
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    For the tenth BMW Art Car the company turned to a Spanish artist regarded as a pioneer of abstract art and a trailblazer of surrealism. #BMW-Art-Cars #Cesar-Manrique / #BMW-E32 / #BMW-730i / #BMW-730i-E32 / #BMW-730i-Art-Car / #BMW-730i-Art-Car-E32 / #BMW-7-Series / #BMW-7-Series-E32 / #BMW / #BMW-730i-Cesar-Manrique / #BMW-730i-Cesar-Manrique-E32

    Art Cars The tenth machine in the series: César Manrique’s E32 730i.

    By #1990 BMW had very much got into its stride with the Art Car project and this E32 730i, designed by southern European artist César Manrique, was the second machine to be revealed in this year. Manrique was the second European artist to be tasked with decorating one of BMW’s moving canvases and his use of bright colours and generously sweeping lines integrated into the car’s contours create the impression of effortless gliding and graceful movement.

    Manrique is recognised as a universal talent – architect, sculptor, designer, object artist and painter all in one. Around 40 years were to pass before his paintings were shown publicly for the first time. He achieved his breakthrough at the Biennale in Venice in 1960. The pictures painted by the ardent ecologist and landscape designer dealt mainly with the linked themes of geology and vulcanism. In both bright and subdued colours he rendered light and lava and their visible interplay. The artist, who was born on Lanzarote in 1919, died in 1992 at the age of 72.

    No matter whether he worked as a sculptor, a painter, or creating houses and gardens as an architect, Manrique was always inspired by his home country, Lanzarote. And it is this island that we find expressed on this art car.

    Abstracted elements of lava beaches, the rainforest and the sea can all be seen here yet the work also reveals his innate understanding of cars.

    From Manrique’s point of view, cars, being an essential part of our everyday lives, have an effect on our townscapes, thereby contributing decisively to the way the world around us looks.

    When designing the 730i, Manrique’s major intention was to “unite in one single object the perception of speed and aerodynamics with the concept of aesthetics”. The end result is spectacular, the primary colours bringing an organic warmth to the otherwise cold steel. “When I wonder about the general senses of a car, my first thought is that it’s supposed to serve as quick transportation and when I think of speed I first think of a bird, a butterfly or a dragonfly. That’s why I wanted to design the BMW gliding through space without any resistance,” commented Manrique.
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    Ben Barry
    His appearance in the light of this car is fully obliged to only one man - Dr. Karlheinz Lange and his two highly enthusiastic colleagues - #Adolf-Fischer and #Hans-Peter-Vaysbartu . All of them were very senior and influential members of BMW from the mid 70's and early 90's. Fischer, now retired, was in his face is actually a man-department, to develop the most esoteric projects, some of which went into production, but the majority do not. Vaysbart was a leading project manager of the 8-Series (E31) and 7-Series (E32). Dr. Lange was also the head of the department of engines, which was the situation with enormous responsibility in the BMW. It was he who suggested to Fischer develop engine design M70 V12 and later, V16. #BMW-E32 / #BMW-7-Series / #BMW-7-Series-E32 / #1987 / #BMW / #BMW-E32-V16 / #V16 / #BMW-M70 / #BMW-M70-V16 / #BMW-7-Series-V16 / Fischer / #Karlheinz-Lange / #BMW-767 / #BMW-767-E32

    With the recently released at the time of the 7th edition of E32 body, which was available a magnificent 5-liter the V12, it was natural that the company is so confident in their own ability, as BMW, would push the boundaries of possibility.

    In July 1987, Fischer Lange commissioned the further development of the M70 V12.

    "Unfortunately, this was not the result of confidence in the launch series production," says Fisher, "but I am in any case, it was nice to be able to create the most outstanding engine BMW".

    Fisher was so keen on the idea that the first ready V16 engine was tested on the stand already on Christmas Day, 1987, less than 6 months after the start of work on it. This is not a typo, but the real number of cylinders!

    Inside the company, this engine was given the nickname "goldfish". Many previously thought that it was nothing more than a survey on paper or even a myth. However, it is quite real. That is how he got his nickname, in itself interesting and sheds light on the often everyday thinking these very senior managers. Vaysbart remembers it this way: "The machine is 7-series, which we used was golden brown and while we were discussing some aspects of the project with Dr. Reitzle, he simply called it" Goldfish "and so is the name entered in the folklore of BMW" .

    The next step was quite logical - to take the body of the standard 750iL and adapt it for the new baby, the engine V16, and put him in his place V12. This stage was completed by May #1988 . Tells Vaysbart leader of the project: "It was obvious from the very start, the engine will not fit without a thorough review of the design of the car."

    Fisher's problem was that the addition to the M70 V12, he created specifically for E32 led by Lange, another four cylinder engine is made longer by about 30 centimeters.

    Even with M70 closely under the hood, it was occupied every square centimeter of space. What to do?
    For Fisher and his colleagues, the decision was more or less clear - to rearrange the cooling system in the trunk! In any case, it was to be a prototype, whose purpose was only to prove the feasibility of the idea in principle. In itself, this was not difficult. Instead of one large front radiator unit two smaller been selected and set at an angle in the right and left of the trunk. They in turn were connected to the duct system, which covers them and direct the flow of air over the outboard their cores.

    Intakes with "gills" were handcrafted from fiberglass and mounted on the rear fenders, with auxiliary thermo-electric fans on each radiator in the case of a temperature rise above the norm.

    Air outlet provided through a specially crafted grille on the rear panel in place license plate between the lamps. To do this, lights even have to be reduced in size, depriving them of section reverse and side lights.

    But let's get back to the engine. To say that it was only an extension, it would be to play down the reason for its existence, but in fact, as the case and situation was. The cylinder block was cast silumin with a high content of silicon, the sleeve is not installed, instead, the cylinder walls were etched and honed. This iron-coated pistons are at work on the walls went extremely hard silicon crystals. Similarly, the cylinder head are made of the same material and V12, with a two-row drive circuit for the top two camshafts (one for each direction) and a valve lash, which eliminated the need for periodic adjustments of backlashes. While V12 had forged steel crankshaft having seven main bearings in V16 were installed nine, and for the same camshaft.

    In the case of V12 engine control two computers #Bosch-DME 1.2 and worked as two six-cylinder engine. For the two more powerful V16 #Bosch-DME-3.3 were selected, each managed "their" row "eight" with the electronic throttle.

    The dimensions of the cylinder - 84h 75 mm, diameter and stroke, remained unchanged, respectively, the working volume rose from 4988cc (standard M70 engine) to 6651cc.

    Maximum power increased from 300bhp at 5200rpm to 408 hp at the same speed, a torque of 450 Nm at 4100rpm to 637 Nm at 3900rpm.

    Valve lift and valve timing were the same as the distance between the centers of the cylinders, 91 mm. And, just like the M70 V12, V16 was modestly boosted compared to the smaller engine size. Despite the fact that the V16 was 25% more than the fellow, he weighed only 310 kilograms, only 60 kilograms more than M70.

    The interesting thing is that since this was the only one of its kind experimental car, Fisher and Vaysbart choose to install a six-speed manual transmission from the 8th series, not "automatic" 4HP from ZF. According to Fisher and Vaysbarta this was not any particular reason, other than the cost and availability of the unit in the warehouse at the time of construction of the vehicle.

    "Of course, the six-speed manual gearbox has enabled us (and me in particular) to better understand the characteristics of the engine"
    - Says Fischer, adding that, "I went on with a prototype V16 several times Norisring in Austria, where he was able to experience the various aspects of its dynamic behavior; the sound of the engine above 4500 RPM was fantastic!". It turns out that the car was then set not a standard factory exhaust system, which, however, there is now.

    The dynamic characteristics of a large sedan were excellent, 6.0 seconds needed to accelerate from a standstill to 100 kmh (0-62MPH) and unlimited top speed of over 280 kmh. Although, of course, the car go into production, it would have been reduced to only 250 km h.

    Economy "Golden Fish" was its Achilles heel, with fuel consumption in urban driving more than 20 l / 100 km, drops to 14 liters / 100 km at a cruising speed of 120 kmh and rises to 20-23 liters / 100 km in flight on the autobahn at 200 kmh.

    As stated in unison, and Fisher Vaysbart "He V16 was completely brought to mind and is ready to run. BMW meant the release of 'Super 7' with a V16 engine, but we could not get approval from the board of directors, which, of course, it was a great pity! It would certainly put BMW on top of the podium! ".

    To our chagrin, this very special vehicle is not driven for many years and for the time that was available, the fuel system could not be purged - need injectors have been changed because of the long downtime - and thus, unfortunately, the car is static exhibit. What exactly do you need to get it moving again, it is not known - New injectors, fuel pump, and perhaps a cooling system would require a check - but we hope that this service one day will be held and we will be able to enjoy the sound and drive 767iL really.

    All successful automobile manufacturers have their own experimental laboratory where designers and engineers are assessing and come up with ideas that maybe see the light, but maybe not. Usually, the more successful the company, the greater the activity goes on behind the scenes this activity.

    "Goldfish" V16 only had to demonstrate the capabilities of the enterprise, to show the level of BMW in regards engines.
    Curiously, in the same program it was a small three-cylinder engine unit, use similar technology, which was considered with an eye for a city car, but he also remained at the prototype level.

    For many years, BMW Technik GmbH uses the services, which examines the many new technologies and ideas, some going into production, but many others, after their study and conclusions about their non-applicability of the moment, quietly laid on the shelf.

    Whether BMW will release ever V16 for future Super 7s or even Rolls-Royce? Of course, the use of such engines considered carefully, but the economic and environmental climates, is not likely to give the possibility of such exotic appear in the hands of car enthusiasts.
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