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E34 (1989 - 1995)

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  #1  
Old 04-18-2013, 07:44 PM
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Help on spark plugs!

I've just purchased Bosh +4 Platinum(about $40) at advance auto parts.Good thing i haven't installed them yet! I've just read around some forums and people didn't recommend this product. A few said that it wasn't good for the engine and it affected their 535i for performance, not starting, fuel economy. They recommend getting the original Bosh Copper ones. I honestly didn't know the difference, i just that since its Bosh brand, then it should be original and be perfect fit. But i just found these online for a much cheaper price http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E34-535...ES259414/Cart/ . I will probably return mine tomorrow. Should i get these instead? I just want to have my engine running right, Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 04-18-2013, 08:43 PM
allenbee allenbee is offline
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Bosch plat 4 plugs last close to 100k miles with near optimal performance. And they have plugs for every E34 engine - you can hit it up on their website. Are you going to take the word of a few people on the internet over a company like Bosch which is a known specialist for spark plugs and which is OEM for BMW?

FWIW, I've been using bosch plat4s for close to a year with no issues. Had a problem recently with a bad ects, changed that, checked my plugs, dirty as hell, a few minutes with brakeleen and a hard toothbrush, and the car ran as if it had new plugs again. There were no starting or idle problems or anything, just trashed fuel economy, until I unplugged and eventually changed the sensor.

Bosch/NGK platinum or iridium plugs are all you need. 2-4 claws. No need gapping. Beyond that, you need to look at 'performance' plugs, like Volker and Brisk. There's massive genuine debate over that stuff, and they are not cheap.

The copper plugs will be fine as well, but its just a few dollars cheaper and does not last as long. Technology has evolved, and we are dealing with the world's best companies, so my view is why bother thinking too much about it.

Last edited by allenbee; 04-18-2013 at 08:52 PM.
  #3  
Old 04-19-2013, 05:08 AM
snowsled7 snowsled7 is offline
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Regular old plugs are all you need. While plug technology may have advanced since these cars were built, the cars have not. My old car was designed for the regular plugs and they work well. My opinion of multiple electrode plugs is that they are no more than marketing. I seriously doubt anyone can prove an advantage of running a +4 in your car over the standard plugs, so why spend more?
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  #4  
Old 04-19-2013, 05:58 AM
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Yes that's what I was thinking. I'd rather return them today and get my $32 back and just order the set of six original (copper) ones off the website for almost half the price.
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  #5  
Old 04-19-2013, 07:40 AM
johnniek johnniek is offline
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Copper plugs

Some of the older vehicles and the computers from that era will give you problems using any of the newer style plugs. Stick with the original copper core and you will have no problems. I replaced the plugs on a 1994 525i a few months back, and they work great.
  #6  
Old 04-19-2013, 12:55 PM
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here's the difference and some info.

yes,bosch and some others will make a spark plug or even several plugs that can work(fit) in your car(or whatever car),..but sometimes that's more about the threads,dimensions and actually fitting on your car perfectly but not with the original functionality that the engineers(BMW in this case) had in mine for your particular car.

one of the biggest differences is a built in resistor. did the original have a built in resistor? i haven't looked yours up but i'm guessing for that model and year NO. does the bosch one your looking at have a resistor,..i haven't looked but i'm guessing YES. there's a reason why it calls for a specific plug and it has to do with spark,alternator,cables and plugs working together. you can use another plug but having or not a resistor will make a difference.

multi-prongs. electricity follows the path of least resistence,so multi-prongs don't add anything except maybe another path for when one erodes.

irridium and/or platnum. the only advantage to this is that it will take longer to erode and will maintain gap longer,iridium being better at this than platinum. however,at the core they are still using copper. why? because copper is still one of the best conductors there is,period,..much,MUCH better than irridium or platnum.(most "regular" plugs will have nickel plating at the tips,if it was copper all the way to the tips,it would last about 2 minutes)

spark plugs do not produce or add any power no matter what is advertised. the absolute best(unless you change other components and only if needed because your modding) that it can do is give the amount of spark the engineers intended and after that nothing more. the only other thing it can do is make the gap and tips last longer.

quality of construction and materials are also a BIG factor.

there's a good reason why you keep hearing people tell you to use the original on older cars. study the newer types carefully and you'll see why.(they also tend to be less expensive unless they are getting really hard to get)

there's more to it but that's the basics. heat range is another story.

Last edited by priler; 04-19-2013 at 12:56 PM.
  #7  
Old 04-19-2013, 01:11 PM
allenbee allenbee is offline
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If you're having trouble spending an extra $30 on long life plugs, then BMW is clearly not the car for you. And if you think that resilient plug tips, an end to gapping, extra ground paths through more claws so less chance of fouling, is mere marketing? lol Ok.


Quote:
Originally Posted by priler View Post
here's the difference and some info.

yes,bosch and some others will make a spark plug or even several plugs that can work(fit) in your car(or whatever car),..but sometimes that's more about the threads,dimensions and actually fitting on your car perfectly but not with the original functionality that the engineers(BMW in this case) had in mine for your particular car.

one of the biggest differences is a built in resistor. did the original have a built in resistor? i haven't looked yours up but i'm guessing for that model and year NO. does the bosch one your looking at have a resistor,..i haven't looked but i'm guessing YES. there's a reason why it calls for a specific plug and it has to do with spark,alternator,cables and plugs working together. you can use another plug but having or not a resistor will make a difference.

.

All your points are vitally important. They must be checked out. I did my research on them by looking at the label on my plug's box : Bosch. 'Nuff said.

Last edited by allenbee; 04-19-2013 at 01:15 PM.
  #8  
Old 04-19-2013, 01:25 PM
allenbee allenbee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by priler View Post
here's the difference and some info.

yes,bosch and some others will make a spark plug or even several plugs that can work(fit) in your car(or whatever car),..but sometimes that's more about the threads,dimensions and actually fitting on your car perfectly but not with the original functionality that the engineers(BMW in this case) had in mine for your particular car.
If somebody like bosch, or lemforder, or meyle, makes a more modern product for your car than was originally on it, it will at least work as well, usually work better, and with less associated problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by priler View Post

one of the biggest differences is a built in resistor. did the original have a built in resistor? i haven't looked yours up but i'm guessing for that model and year NO. does the bosch one your looking at have a resistor,..i haven't looked but i'm guessing YES. there's a reason why it calls for a specific plug and it has to do with spark,alternator,cables and plugs working together. you can use another plug but having or not a resistor will make a difference.
Obviously all this would have been researched and better understood by one of the world's leaders on spark plug technology, which happens to be oem for many good cars on the planet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by priler View Post


multi-prongs. electricity follows the path of least resistence,so multi-prongs don't add anything except maybe another path for when one erodes.

irridium and/or platnum. the only advantage to this is that it will take longer to erode and will maintain gap longer,iridium being better at this than platinum. however,at the core they are still using copper. why? because copper is still one of the best conductors there is,period,..much,MUCH better than irridium or platnum.(most "regular" plugs will have nickel plating at the tips,if it was copper all the way to the tips,it would last about 2 minutes)

spark plugs do not produce or add any power no matter what is advertised. the absolute best(unless you change other components and only if needed because your modding) that it can do is give the amount of spark the engineers intended and after that nothing more. the only other thing it can do is make the gap and tips last longer.

quality of construction and materials are also a BIG factor.
You've basically advertised all the reasons why one should buy the newer plugs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by priler View Post

there's a good reason why you keep hearing people tell you to use the original on older cars. study the newer types carefully and you'll see why.(they also tend to be less expensive unless they are getting really hard to get)
I've read about these as well. There's no good reason. Some people prefer one to the other but are hard pressed to give credible reasons when queried. Most people do not have cars that are free of problems either so its not always an apples to apples comparison. They cannot isolate one factor over the other.

As mentioned, you do your research when you look at the label on the box. There's a reason why they are world leaders. And yes, the plugs are more expensive. But in dollar terms its highly affordable. What is an extra $30?.. and you don't need to change them for the next 100k, so its good value for money as well. Just pull it out once a year and kiss it with brakeleen if you like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by priler View Post

there's more to it but that's the basics. heat range is another story.

You don't need to worry about minutiae like heat range for an unboosted daily driver.

I'm not saying the cheap copper plugs are bad. I'm saying the new plat4 etc are better, and provide equally good value for money as they last much longer at optimal performance, compared to the copper plugs. One thing to permanently remove from your mind in terms of maintenance.

Last edited by allenbee; 04-19-2013 at 01:44 PM.
  #9  
Old 04-19-2013, 01:27 PM
priler priler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allenbee View Post
If you're having trouble spending an extra $30 on long life plugs, then BMW is clearly not the car for you. And if you think that resilient plug tips, an end to gapping, extra ground paths through more claws so less chance of fouling, is mere marketing? lol Ok.





All your points are vitally important. They must be checked out. I did my research on them by looking at the label on my plug's box : Bosch. 'Nuff said.


ok,now you made me look. for the 92 535i,bosch makes the platinum + 4. this plug actually has a built in resistor. sorry,but that's not optimum. please don't make me look at their irridiums,i bet they have the resistor too.

it's one thing to have them fit perfectly even if the car works,..optimum is something else.


i don't have an invested interest either way. i'm just trying to help with what i know are facts.
  #10  
Old 04-19-2013, 01:31 PM
allenbee allenbee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by priler View Post
ok,now you made me look. for the 92 535i,bosch makes the platinum + 4. this plug actually has a built in resistor. sorry,but that's not optimum. please don't make me look at their irridiums,i bet they have the resistor too.

it's one thing to have them fit perfectly even if the car works,..optimum is something else.


i don't have an invested interest either way. i'm just trying to help with what i know are facts.
Ok, so why did they build in resistors ? And thank you for your facts, do not mistake a robust response for hostility.
  #11  
Old 04-19-2013, 01:34 PM
allenbee allenbee is offline
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http://www.ngksparkplugs.com/techinf...aqresistor.asp

Q: When should I use a resistor spark plug?

A: NGK "R" or resistor spark plugs use a 5k ohm ceramic resistor in the spark plug to suppress ignition noise generated during sparking.

NGK strongly recommends using resistor spark plugs in any vehicle that uses on-board computer systems to monitor or control engine performance. This is because resistor spark plugs reduce electromagnetic interference with on-board electronics.

They are also recommended on any vehicle that has other on-board electronic systems such as engine-management computers, two-way radios, GPS systems, depth finders or whenever recommended by the manufacturer.

In fact, using a non-resistor plug in certain applications can actually cause the engine to suffer undesirable side effects such as an erratic idle, high-rpm misfire, engine run-on, power drop off at certain rpm levels and abnormal combustion.
  #12  
Old 04-19-2013, 01:40 PM
allenbee allenbee is offline
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http://www.autocorner.ca/pages/sparkplugs.html


A note: All spark ignition engines radiate radio frequency (RF) energy into the atmosphere. The intensity of the RF radiations depends on the quality of the ignition systems and the degree of RF suppression built into them. Engines with defective wiring, solid-wire spark cables, or non-resistor spark plugs give off RF radiation serious enough to interfere with nearby radio, TV, and other electronic reception. The car's own radio is also affected. The Federal Communications Commission requires some type of RF suppression in all auto engines. Modern car engines have carbon track resistance inside the insulation of the wiring. Some cars count on resistor spark plugs to help with the job. If your car manufacturer specifies resistor plugs, replacing with non-resistor plugs will unbalance your ignition system. Resistor plugs also are less likely to foul and misfire. They can be used on any engine.



When combustion deposits have bridged the gap between electrodes so that the voltage is drained away without creating a spark, the plug misfires. A bridged plug usually can be cleaned. A resistor spark plug fights off such misfiring longer than a standard plug. If misfire plagues you, switch to resistors. Each contains a 10,000-ohm resistance inside the plug, which allows firing voltage to be built up before ignition "oomph" has been sapped.
  #13  
Old 04-20-2013, 07:29 AM
snowsled7 snowsled7 is offline
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All modern plugs for cars have resistors in them. As posted it is only to suppress radio interferance, it has no bearing on the performance of the plugs.

Platinum, multi prongs and other fancy metals are just gimmicks to sell products. My Ford came with copper plugs, rated by Ford to last 100k miles, they were still working fine at 170k, worn but running fine. No need for gimmick plugs here. They have NEVER been proven to be any better.
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  #14  
Old 04-20-2013, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowsled7 View Post
All modern plugs for cars have resistors in them. As posted it is only to suppress radio interferance, it has no bearing on the performance of the plugs.

Platinum, multi prongs and other fancy metals are just gimmicks to sell products. My Ford came with copper plugs, rated by Ford to last 100k miles, they were still working fine at 170k, worn but running fine. No need for gimmick plugs here. They have NEVER been proven to be any better.
I agree with you sled. The standard two post copper plugs have served me well. The ones that were in my old E36 had 140K+ miles on them. They too were very worn, but worked.
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  #15  
Old 04-20-2013, 09:14 AM
allenbee allenbee is offline
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Put new copper plugs into your ford and see if the engine feels any different. Bet it will. The metric here is the number of miles before the plugs degrade past optimal performance. You wont notice minute changes over 100k-200k miles of daily driving but over time the deviation will be significant enough to be felt when new plugs are put in..

Last edited by allenbee; 04-20-2013 at 09:15 AM.
  #16  
Old 04-20-2013, 05:24 PM
snowsled7 snowsled7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allenbee View Post
Put new copper plugs into your ford and see if the engine feels any different. Bet it will. The metric here is the number of miles before the plugs degrade past optimal performance. You wont notice minute changes over 100k-200k miles of daily driving but over time the deviation will be significant enough to be felt when new plugs are put in..
Honestly, there wasn't any discernable difference, maybe a slight improvement in idle quality. No power or economy gains. I think people put way to much emphasis on spark plugs. Fuel injected engines just do not wear them out and fouled plugs? In a car? Pretty much unheard of anymore.

It is your money, just do not expect anything extra from the designer plugs. They will certainly work but, so will the cheaper ones.
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  #17  
Old 04-21-2013, 10:12 AM
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i absolutely do believe in high-tech,if this weren't so,i wouldn't bother with BMW,MB or aprilia. in fact,i much prefer and for a long time now,have always looked at irridium replacements whenever i have a new vehicle and it's time for spark plug replacement.

$30 difference is not the issue.

again,i haven't looked at the specifics of a 92 535i but i will say this,many times when an original plug calls for non-resistor,the original plug cables(or caps) have already been designed with built in resistence and all the other components work together as well.

a resistor does exactly what it sounds like,it adds resistence(and a loss of energy). if the cables already have this,you are adding more. depending on the management system,it can try to compensate for the resistor plug you've added,which means more stess on related parts. sometimes,but not always,the affect is not immediate,but 1K or 20K miles down the road it can be,...sometimes it can happen right away with rough idle,poor starts and even slight loss in power. (i'm referring here to 2 things,the possibility of less life for related parts and/or an effect on performance)(it can also affect parts within the combustion chamber and catalytic conveter/s over many miles).

the older gear-heads used to put in non-resistor plugs instead of the resistor type when they were modding or biulding a high performance engine. with a resistor,the voltage can peak higher but the output is lower.

do you know the ohms of both the original and the resistor type plug you want to replace with? even 1 ohms,can make a difference.

don't count on the name on the box(bosch or whatever) for any of this. you might think that because your car is german and so is this company that everything is perfect but this is simply not so. they're in the business of making money and their aftermarket section can and is different from their OEM.

here's are 2 more reasons why resistor type plugs are made(beyond the usual verbage of RFI/EMI): 1) less costly to produce(can be greatly offset by added tech)(they are very common and therefor used in many cars,so eliminating a less sold product,non-resistor plugs,in production lines means more profits) 2) relating to emissions(peak voltage can be higher,making for good combustion in an engine designed with lean mixture).

bottom line: if your car originally comes with non-resistor plugs,unless your modding and know exactly what your doing,stick with the originals. (beyond other specs as well). if one manufacturer doesn't make the right ones,go for another(a brand w/good rep). if no one makes them any more,that's when you have to think of other solutions(including,if they're getting harder to get,then stock up while supplies last).

anyway,what do i know,do as you like. i'm sure there're many others here that know alot more than me on many subjects. if not,i wouldn't even be here.
  #18  
Old 04-21-2013, 07:34 PM
Josh429er Josh429er is offline
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I did feel a difference between 4 post and a conventional plug, although not on my E34. Fuel economy I couldn't prove even if i wanted to, but power oh well yeah there was a difference.
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:55 PM
allenbee allenbee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by priler View Post
i absolutely do believe in high-tech,if this weren't so,i wouldn't bother with BMW,MB or aprilia. in fact,i much prefer and for a long time now,have always looked at irridium replacements whenever i have a new vehicle and it's time for spark plug replacement.

$30 difference is not the issue.

again,i haven't looked at the specifics of a 92 535i but i will say this,many times when an original plug calls for non-resistor,the original plug cables(or caps) have already been designed with built in resistence and all the other components work together as well.

a resistor does exactly what it sounds like,it adds resistence(and a loss of energy). if the cables already have this,you are adding more. depending on the management system,it can try to compensate for the resistor plug you've added,which means more stess on related parts. sometimes,but not always,the affect is not immediate,but 1K or 20K miles down the road it can be,...sometimes it can happen right away with rough idle,poor starts and even slight loss in power. (i'm referring here to 2 things,the possibility of less life for related parts and/or an effect on performance)(it can also affect parts within the combustion chamber and catalytic conveter/s over many miles).

the older gear-heads used to put in non-resistor plugs instead of the resistor type when they were modding or biulding a high performance engine. with a resistor,the voltage can peak higher but the output is lower.

do you know the ohms of both the original and the resistor type plug you want to replace with? even 1 ohms,can make a difference.

don't count on the name on the box(bosch or whatever) for any of this. you might think that because your car is german and so is this company that everything is perfect but this is simply not so. they're in the business of making money and their aftermarket section can and is different from their OEM.

here's are 2 more reasons why resistor type plugs are made(beyond the usual verbage of RFI/EMI): 1) less costly to produce(can be greatly offset by added tech)(they are very common and therefor used in many cars,so eliminating a less sold product,non-resistor plugs,in production lines means more profits) 2) relating to emissions(peak voltage can be higher,making for good combustion in an engine designed with lean mixture).

bottom line: if your car originally comes with non-resistor plugs,unless your modding and know exactly what your doing,stick with the originals. (beyond other specs as well). if one manufacturer doesn't make the right ones,go for another(a brand w/good rep). if no one makes them any more,that's when you have to think of other solutions(including,if they're getting harder to get,then stock up while supplies last).

anyway,what do i know,do as you like. i'm sure there're many others here that know alot more than me on many subjects. if not,i wouldn't even be here.
Ok, now you've made me rethink.

Were these additional resistances you mention that are not needed in spark plugs, typically built in with distributor cap systems ? How about coil on plug systems ? Is there a generalisation here ?

Is your 535 on the M30 or the M60 engine ?

How can you tell if your original plugs did not have built in resistors ?

Can you say that pretty much any engine built before a certain year would not have had such resistor plugs ? If so, any idea on that date ?

Last edited by allenbee; 04-21-2013 at 08:06 PM.
  #20  
Old 04-21-2013, 08:11 PM
allenbee allenbee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh429er View Post
I did feel a difference between 4 post and a conventional plug, although not on my E34. Fuel economy I couldn't prove even if i wanted to, but power oh well yeah there was a difference.
I believe all plugs except those specifically stated, have central electrodes made of copper. So all plugs are copper plugs.

The material of the tips, its shape, the number and arrangement of claws, and of course the heat range of the porcelain insulation and the presence or absence of resistors, are the main differences.
  #21  
Old 04-22-2013, 05:30 AM
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  #22  
Old 04-22-2013, 11:22 AM
MySatinDoll MySatinDoll is offline
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sweet baby jesus... another spark plug vs. thread.

Well at least no one brought up E3 plugs or the proverbial crap would hit the fan.

Get what makes your wallet and car happy. That's all that matters
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  #23  
Old 04-22-2013, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by MySatinDoll View Post
sweet baby jesus... another spark plug vs. thread.

Well at least no one brought up E3 plugs or the proverbial crap would hit the fan.

Get what makes your wallet and car happy. That's all that matters
Amen!
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  #24  
Old 04-22-2013, 08:38 PM
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Mein Auto: 525
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dionte View Post
The 535i is the m30 engine
Hi Dionte, any idea about my other questions ? Thanks...
  #25  
Old 04-22-2013, 08:39 PM
allenbee allenbee is offline
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Location: Texas
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 192
Mein Auto: 525
Quote:
Originally Posted by allenbee View Post
Ok, now you've made me rethink.

Were these additional resistances you mention that are not needed in spark plugs, typically built in with distributor cap systems ? How about coil on plug systems ? Is there a generalisation here ?

Is your 535 on the M30 or the M60 engine ?

How can you tell if your original plugs did not have built in resistors ?

Can you say that pretty much any engine built before a certain year would not have had such resistor plugs ? If so, any idea on that date ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dionte View Post
The 535i is the m30 engine

Hi Dionte, any idea about my other questions ? Thanks...
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