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Unread 04-10-2013, 09:45 AM
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Default Re: Vorshlag E38 740iL - Amy's G-ride

Project Update for 4/10/2013: We have finally made time to do an inspection on the car and listed all of the worn bushings, ball joints and leaks that were found. No surprises, as all of the usual suspects were... suspect. We also made time to explore the options for exhaust routing and aftermarket wheel sizing. Yes yes, it is a travesty that we would ever alter a BMW 7 series, but we pull M3 motors and replace them with domestic V8s, so nothing is sacred around here.

Originally Posted by Redwood
If you do exhaust, it definitely needs to be on the subdued side of sporty. The 540's was a bit too much for the character of a 740iL.
No worries - the E38's exhaust will be much tamer than the E39 we had. It was a bit... too spirited. I've also aged a bit since then, and my tolerance for BS has gone way down.

We have been making some nice mandrel bent, 304 stainless, custom BMW exhausts lately and just built this one for an E36 328is STX autocross car (above and below) that came out better than any we had done before. I tried a new routing and two different styles of mufflers, and Ryan made a very nice merge and built everything perfectly. The way I used to build exhausts on inline-6 BMW's would always be too loud - popping off at 93-97 dB for a lightweight race exhaust. This system shown had a peak of 84 dB (both in our sound tests and at an SCCA National Tour a week later), dropped 40 pounds, and woke up the power.

So while the E38 was up in the air, I took some pictures of its current exhaust routing. This car has a somewhat nice front section and fairly large diameter pipes before the cats, then it pinches down after the cats. So it gives us a nice place to pick up from and replace.

There is also room for full dual exhaust routing, unlike my E39 540i, which we had to build with a single exhaust. So this should be pretty nice. The rear bumper had no provisions for exhaust tips so either we will cut for that, find a new rear bumper cover that is made that way, or run turn down tips.

I bought this car knowing it had a small oil leak - they all do at this age. The top of the engine had been detailed but the evidence was there, if you knew where to look. It was also leaving a quarter-sized oil spot every night, so it was still leaking, but not badly. So while it was in the air I had Olof drop the undertrays and took these pictures.

There was a leak on both the left and right sides, but the fluids were different. It's been going for a while so it was hard to tell where it was coming from, but Ryan noticed the power steering fluid was lower than the oil level, so much of it is from the steering system lines. He also noticed a valve cover gasket leak, which also happened in my E39's nearly identical M62 engine way back when.

With the undertrays still removed, Olof pulled the car outside and power washed the underside of the engine bay and cleaned up the trays.

That looks more like it. Now we can drive the car for a few days and put it back on the lift and better see where the leaks are occurring. We're 95% sure that it is one of the fittings on the power steering cooler line and the valve cover, but this "clean then inspect again" approach will give us a better idea. Plus, I would always rather work on a clean engine than a filthy, oily, nasty one. This is a pet peeve of mine - the engine bays on my vehicles are NEVER dirty if I can help it. - E39 fan swap DIY, circa 2004.

That reminds me of a "DIY" I did back in 2004 when I had the 540i, before we started Vorshlag. I changed an auxiliary cooling fan after the motor burned up and while I had the front of that car apart, it all got detailed. I'm not a car show person or a hard parker, just a bit of a clean freak.

The last part I want to show is the wheels and tires. There was some funny wear on one of the front tires, which have positive camber right now ("that ain't right"), and it has finally worn through a patch of the outer shoulder (see image here). Not to mention the tires are dry rotted and old, so they need to be replaced. The car has the factory M-parallel wheels, 18x8" ET13 front and 18x9.5" ET25 rear. We have some ideas of what we're going to replace the rolling stock with, but I will share that at a later time.

Before we do anything we have to repair all of the worn pieces on the suspension. The front control arms/ball joints will be replaced, as they had a bit of wear - and the front tires are trashed. The rear suspension also had a bad ball joint on both sides, which we will replace. Lots of bushings and parts will be replaced "just because we are in there" and we will install fresh rotors and pads at all four corners as well. Struts and shocks and top mounts will be dealt with, but I will go into more detail about that later.

Lots to do... check back next time. If you want to see when this thread is updated, first create an account on our forum (go to "Announcements" to see how to activate it), then click "thread tools" in this thread and "subscribe".


Last edited by Faerus; 04-10-2013 at 02:34 PM.