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January 22nd: 1991 BMW E34

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Since everybody else is posting about cars they have owned I may as well post a little something about my own. Two Decembers ago I made the decision to sell my single turbo Subaru Legacy. The car sold fast to a guy in Omaha, NE and I set forth to find a different kind of car. I decided that I needed a dedicated daily driver, something that I could cruise in, occasionally enjoy twisty roads in, but wouldn’t have people trying to race me in at every stop light. I was in town for a week that I had off school, during which I spent most of my time looking for a few choice vehicles. With no luck and only one evening left in town I thought I would be going back to school with no car. I was at 151st & Metcalf heading home when I saw this pristine E34 sitting in a parking lot with a for sale sign. It was as good as mine.
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Though I’m not a die-hard BMW fan by any means, the E34 body style always had a place in my heart. It’s perhaps the only body style that carries all the classic designs cues BMW has used over the years: four round headlights, narrow double grills, split-level taillights, the hofmeister kink on the side windows, and the list goes on. When I saw this car I knew it was just what I needed. The car was owned by the regional director of Target stores and he would only sell it to somebody who would take care of it as well as he did. The car was for sale for just one day.
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The car wasn’t stock when I bought it. The entire stereo, less the factory head unit, was upgraded to pioneer component speakers and included a 12″ sub woofer. The car also had a set of chrome 18″ wheels which I chose to replace with the stock wheels and sell. Since I’ve owned the car I’ve made a decent amount of changes. The first of which was converting the halogen headlights the HID, followed by deleting the Front & rear side markers with the use of the Euro BMW trim. Soon after came black grills, a set of E31 8-series wheels, and an Alpine head unit with iPod interface to replace the old factory CD changer. In the past few months more major work has been done. A set of staggered 18″ BBS LM replica wheels with stretched Falken ZX tires were fitted to match the custom LowTech Germany suspension I installed shortly after. Aiding to the new look of the car is a Rieger front lip spoiler and an E46 M3 style rear deck spoiler.

Now that I’ve had the LowTech suspension on for some time I realize that I’m not completely satisfied with the results. The ride height is not quite what I had in mind and the spring rates are far too conservative. The car handles much nicer, but it still leaves much to be desired. So with that I now have ordered a set of full coilovers from a Japanese company who specializes in road race suspension systems. These coilover systems feature a fully threaded body, which allows the user to lower the ride height without shortening the allowable travel of the shock/strut. This is key for me because I am seeking a very low ride height. Stainless steel construction, nearly double the LowTech’s spring rate, and billet camber/caster plates make it a more fitting suspension for my needs. Expect to see a comparison between these two suspension systems in future blog spots.

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