BMWotD x 2

No, there’s no such thing as a BMW X2; today’s my birthday, so I picked two BMWs that would make perfect birthday gifts. For me. Not to be greedy or anything, but…

Both cars just happen to be for sale on right now; first up is a 1984 European 520i. Not a lot of photos, which is always a bit of a worry with a car for sale online, but it sounds nice…

I’m selling my ’84 520i. It’s a basic, no-frills European spec car with its original bumpers, headlights, manual windows and locks. I imported it from Canada 14 months ago, and it’s never missed a beat in about 10,000 entertaining miles, including daily commuting and a fun romp through the mountains of British Columbia in the Spring Thaw Classic Car Tour.

Some of you may have seen this car at 5er fest west 2010 in Portland.

$2950 or best offer. Located in Seattle. Contact me at 646 257 3820 or e28 at g93 dot net

It’s powered by a two liter M20 six-cylinder. Not the fastest car I’ve owned, but with a 4.10 diff and weight roughly equivalent to a us-spec 3-series (E30) of the same vintage, it acquits itself nicely on the road.

White exterior, and a pine green interior. Better than it sounds. As far as I can tell, the only options are the sunroof and a factory tow hitch. Not sure how much one can tow with two liters and 129 horsepower.

Everything is manual. Seats, sunroof, locks and windows. If you’ve ever owned a German car of this vintage, you’ll understand the upside: much less to go wrong.

Lots of neat little euro features like bumpers, city lights, a factory fire extinguisher mounted under the driver’s seat, a rear fog light and a tow hitch.

Never federalized — it was imported under the NHTSA’s exemption for cars 25 years old, which requires no changes from original spec. Have title and all importation paperwork.

Recent work, all in April of this year (not including regular oil changes):
1. Refreshed front brake calipers, discs and pads. New brake fluid.
2. All new fuel lines.

Straight, but cosmetically imperfect. A touch of northwest top-down rust at the base of the rear window and under the sunroof panel, and a few dings here and there. There’s also a minor crease just ahead of the rear taillight on the passenger side.

Gauge cluster is largely inoperative. The temp sensor works; everything else is either inaccurate or inoperative, including the odometer and speedometer. The tachometer looks like it isn’t original, and must have come from an eta car. Odometer reads 166,000km.

Original Bavaria stereo doesn’t work, and the antenna is missing.

Cracked dash.

One tiny tear in the driver’s seat.

I love my 528e, but of course, the want for more horsepower is always there. With this 520i there isn’t a big step up in HP (129hp from the 2.0L M20 in Euro trim vs. ~120 with the US 2.7L M20) but this car weighs several hundred pounds less than a bone-stock US 528e like mine. No air conditioning (mine doesn’t work anyway) manually operated windows, door locks, seats, sunroof all means less weight, and much less to go wrong. Less is definitely more.

There are lots of things going for this car, but there are a few things I would change. It’s currently equipped with drum brakes on the rear wheels, so I would probably upgrade them to disks. And as appealingly different the cloth seats might be, nothing beats a set of nice leather seats. In black. Hold the power, please. The 14″ steel wheels with dog dish hubcaps are different (for the US e28 world), and I’m sure they are nice, but even nicer still would be a set of Style 5 alloy wheels, and a slightly lower ride height. And some wider tires while we’re at it. Both changes would be easily reversed, which satisfies the latent purist in me.

But then there’s the gearhead in me that wants to take this lightweight machine and stuff as much HP under the hood as possible; a TCD Stage 2 kit would likely bolt in with no problem, and nearly triple the output with a few tweaks. Or drop an M30B35 motor from an e32/e34 into it for a quick 210hp… This car thing would absolutely fly. What a great birthday idea! And the tire guys would absolutely love me; I’d be their best customer.

Next up is a car that is as bold and brash as the above 520i is understated; a 1987 Zinnoberrot 535is with a Euro M-Tech body kit.

Again, the seller doesn’t provide much in the way of photos, but the car is well known among the brethren and is spoken highly of by many, as is the seller. And the seller’s written description… Wow:

So.. it’s with much regret I have to sell my 5er as I’m moving back to Australia, and.. well.. it can’t come with me. Bawl

I purchased this as a stock 87 535is back in late 2004 to replace an 86 535i that had been wrecked earlier the same year.

The Mtech front and rear were the look I always wanted on a 5er, so I set about sourcing a used set, reconditioning them, getting them painted and installing!

I have receipts for all this, the MTech kit alone was $1500 used, and it was silver when I purchased it. Those who’ve done a euro conversion know there are issues with this. The holes along the front under the grille for the US bumper top skirt had to be welded shut and painted over. I had to fabricate mounts in the front for the euro bumpers, the studs inside the MTech were all broken and needed work, it was basically a bare MTech kit, the additional parts & brackets probably ran me at least another $800-900 just to get it on the car. (There’s a set of euro bumpers underneath I had to buy, the tow hook covers alone were over $100 for the pair).

In addition, I purchased all the hardware under the MTech including the Euro MTech fiberglass front air deflector ($150 as I recall), mounts for the lights, the reinforcement bars for the rear, tow hook covers, fog light covers etc etc.. all brand new – basically every metal and plastic piece a factory MTech has underneath it, this car has (brake ducts included). And it’s all only 6-7yrs old. I’d seen the bumpers under MTech kits rust before, so my metal bumpers were stripped and painted to try to prevent this.

At the same time, I had the kevlar authentic Hartge wing I purchased new, installed and painted. The antenna position on the US cars is farther back than the Euro cars, so you’ll notice there’s no antenna either, a patch was welded in place to close the hole, then entire panel was resprayed.

I had about 40% of the car repainted at this time as it had some room for improvement, it’s a PERFECT paint match to the point that no one has ever been able to tell me which panels are resprayed without me telling them. I had the work done at a body shop that does a lot of BMW insurance work and they didn’t disappoint.

There’s also some custom paint on this car, you might notice red painted drip rails, red painted door handles, and custom red painted tail-light trim.

The door 3/4 trim and the trim around the front and rear windows are the actual M5 parts, not just the silver stuff painted black.

Maybe I’m biased, but this is a frickin amazing car. I just went to pick up lunch earlier today and ended up driving 20miles just because it was so much fun.

I’ve driven this car to 5erFest 05, 06, 07 (it’s in the front row centre of the group photo all 3 years), Vintage 08, and 5erFest 11 (which is where all the photos posted are from).

1987 535is 191,000 miles.
Zinnoberrot (Cinnabar Red) exterior
Perlbeige Interior
Factory 3.25 LSD
Car has never been in an accident, all original panels intact (the US bumpers still had matching VIN stickers in them when they were removed).

Aftermarket stuff:
Suspension Techniques Springs
Suspension Techniques 25/19 sway bars
Bilstein Sport Shocks
Racing Dynamics Front Strut Brace
Tenzo Rally Sport seats (they’re cloth, have great side support and they’re comfy on long road trips, they’re bolted to a power seat base so they retain their power fwd-back, and tilt features).
Alpine Stereo w/ 5CD changer (circa 1991, it lights up amber which matches the interior)
750iL bushings
MM Short shift
JimC chip (provided with the car, not installed)
Full Euro 535i non-cat exhaust system factory 50mm stainless downpipes -> resonator -> muffler.

Stuff I’ve replaced:
New AC Expansion Valve (Aug 11)
New In-Tank Fuel Pump (Jul 11)
New Fuel Filter (Jul 11)
New AC Compressor (Jul 11)
New AC Condenser (Jul 11)
[At this point the car became a garage queen]
New Fuel Filler line (Aug 09)
New Thermostat (Jul 09)
New Water Pump (Jul 09)
New Heater Valve (Jul 09)
New Centre Support Bearing (Jul 09)
New AC Evaporator (Jul 09)
New AC Expansion Valve (Jul 09)
New Rt Rear Strut Bushing (Apr 09)
New Subframe Bushings again (Mar 09)
New Toyo Proxes 4 225/45/ZR17, roadforce balanced (Mar 09)
New Subframe Bushings (Apr 08)
New Upper and Lower Control Arms w/ 750iL bushings (Mar 08)
Rebuilt Beyer Driveshaft (Oct 08)
New Flex Disc (Oct 08)
New Drivers Door Window Guide/Seal (Jun 08)
New Drivers Side Pass. Door Window Guide/Seal (Jun 08)
New Fuse Box Relays (all of them) (Jun 08)
Used AFM (Jun 08)
Used Idle Control Valve (Jun 08)
New Exhaust Hangers (all of them) (Apr 08)
New Euro Muffler (Apr 08)
New Euro Resonator (Apr 08)
New Euro Stainless Downpipes (Apr 08)
New Distributor Cap (Apr 08)
New Ignition Rotor (Apr 08)
New Coolant Hoses (all of them) (Apr 08)
New Coolant Expansion Tank (Apr 08)
New Motor Mounts (Nov 07)
New Transmission Mounts (Nov 07)
New Coolant Temp Sensor (Oct 07)
New Coolant Temp Sender (Oct 07)
New Diff Mount (Oct 07)
New Fuses – (all of them) (Oct 07)
New Evaporator Temp Sensor (May 07)
New Evaporator Temp Regulator (May 07)
New Fuel Filter (May 07)
New Sway Links Front and Rear (Apr 07)
New Suspension Techniques 25/19 Sway Bars (Apr 07)
New Trailing Arm Mount Bushings (Dogbones) (Apr 07)
New Rear Pass. Door Window Guide/Seal (Apr 07)
New Coolant Level Sensor (Feb 07)
New Interior AC Switch (Jan 07)
New Trunk Seal (Jan 07)
New Odometer Gears (Nov 06) – And I wrote the mye28 guide ;D
New Centre Support Bearing (Oct 06)
New O2 Sensor (Oct 06)
New Alternator (Aug 06)
New Battery Cables (Jul 06)
New ST Springs (Jun 06)
New Bilstein Sport Shocks (Jun 06)
New OEM Foglights (Jun 06)
Window Tint (May 06)
New Front Roundel (May 06)
New Fuse Box Cover (May 06)
New Interior Console Bulbs (All of them) (May 06)
Dealer Inspection II @ 153,222 (Apr 06)
New Toyo Proxes 4 225/45/ZR17s (Feb 06)
BBS RK Wheels (Feb 06)
New Shadowline Front Windscreen Moulding (Dec 05)
New Shadowline Rear Windscreen Moulding (Dec 05)
New Fuel Lines (All of them) (Oct 05)
New Tie Rods (May 05)
New Tail Light Gaskets (May 05)
New Door Side 3/4 Moulding Shadowline (Apr 05)
New Paint (About 40% of vehicle) (Apr 05)
New MTech Brake Ducts Installed (Apr 05)
Used Window Regulators (Pass Side both) (Feb 05)
New Shifter Linkages (Nov/Dec 04)
New Entire Air Intake Filter Housing/Air Box (Oct 04) [Wow, I really bought that?]
New Air Intake Filter Housing Bracket (Oct 04)
14th October 2004 Purchased Vehicle.
These are just what I’ve done during my ownership. I have rather comprehensive records to at least 1990.

Problem areas:
Slight clearcoat peel in one place on the corner of the C pillar (I’d probably have to show you to notice).
The brake light warning on the check control is almost always lit up. The lights work, I just never bothered to fix it.
There’s a knock sound in the rear right when you drive hard over a bump, the wise folks say it’s probably an upper strut mount.
Slight creak from the steering sometimes near full lock – the hydraulic system leaks the tiniest amount, I’ve topped it up maybe 4 times the entire time I’ve owned it.
Slight oil drip.
There’s a crack in the dash, however there’s also a dash mat installed so you won’t see it smile
Honestly, I think that’s about it.

Free Parts Included:
New Trunk Seal
New Valve Cover Gasket
4 Replacement Exhaust Gaskets (fit between the two exhaust sections on the Euro setup, they’re not always reusable when you put it back together)
MTech side skirts, already painted red (at the same time I had the other paint done), complete with brand new installation hardware – I just fell in love with the look without so much I never installed them.
(more as I catalog them)

I love this car, and I really want it to go home with someone that’ll take good care of her.

I do have one disclaimer – the 17″ BBS RK wheels I plan to keep for my next 5er in Australia, the buyer and I will discuss wheel options but I do have a set of 15″ style 5s to put back on the car.

PS: Thanks for posing Tim and Randy!

There’s not much more to be done with this car, and although it looks good with the wheels shown in the photos, the Style 5 would look great too. There are no photos, but one of the photos in the gallery shows an open door, which reveals the run-of-the-mill tan interior. Black would suit this car better, but it still wouldn’t make me turn it out of the garage.

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