1992 BMW 525iT

Here are some photos of our '92 BMW 525iT (T=Touring, which is German for Station Wagon :-). This car has a 2.5L DOHC inline 6 producing 189hp and 181lb/ft torque and is rear-wheel drive. Plenty of power to get around the block, and fits plenty of stuff, all the while driving like a very nice sports sedan. With a roof rack and a storage box, it's orders of magnitude better for road trips than our ex-minivan could ever hope to be. I've dubbed it the "Bimmer half-ton."

 We've put ~10K miles on the wagon now (from 109k to 119k), and have had the following problems:
bulletsticking left-rear brake caliper, happened on road trip from PDX to SFO, in the vicinity of Weed (or was it Drain, or Boring... :-)... you can imagine how much fun that was. Fried the rotor. Cleaned caliper, new rotors, problem hasn't returned
bulletfront shocks and thrust-arm bushings (very, very common on e34s of this mileage, known when purchased)
bulletreverse stopped working - there's a BMW "kit" for this, no problems since
bulletrear hatch has gone haywire (get it?).  I'll be rewiring it myself, but I'm going to attempt a splice job before I pay BMW $400 for new harnesses
bulletdriver's side door handle cable broke (inside handle). Trivial fix
bulletgetting funny noise from left-rear of car on startup - I think it's one of the accumulators for the rear self-leveling. If so, I'll dispense with the system and put conventional shocks on
bulletwindshield is badly pitted from it's former life in Palm Springs - I need to see if insurance will cover this problem

Not great, but not bad considering the mileage and the lack of maintenance records when we bought the car.

Features which are cool and interesting until they break (tongue-in-cheek comments in parens):
bulletdual sunroofs (sunrooves?) (typically break in the open position; $2000 fix)
bulletself-leveling rear suspension keeps the car level regardless of passenger/cargo payload (then it dies, $1000 for shocks)
bulletrear glass hatch opens separately (for the first 8 years or so, then the wiring splits and your wiper comes on when you lock the car; $200/harnessx2)
bulletwindows/sunroofs close if you hold the key in the "lock" position for a few seconds (this is pretty reliable, if you don't include the "sunroofs" part)

The car now has a Jim C. chip. Look here for my bimmer.org post on the effects of said chip. I've also updated the sound system, which I will detail one day (say, when the kids are in school?).  Note the non-stock wheels... these are 17x8.5" Mille Miglia MM11-2 rims with 235x45x17" Bridgestone Potenza RE71 tires, which provide lots of grip and an aggressive look. I wrote about this upgrade on bimmer.org too...


Finally, a plug for an excellent website for e34 owners, compiled and maintained by Bruno, Canadian contributor to bimmer.org... lots of great information, especially if you like to work on your own car. Finally, the pictures (click for full-size).

One of the nicer angles that shows off the wheels Pickups are for wimps
Driver's side shot displays the "wagon-ness" of the car Projects that you...
Everything but the glass hatch open ...DON'T need a pickup for!
The silly BMW valve-caps (came with the wheels, I swear!) Snow! Sledding at Washington Park
Pre-new wheels

Ready to for a drive

to San Francisco

8.5" wheels - a different view    

Dang that white sidewalk

(dang my photography skills)


Resting in the shade