Tag: e28

BMWotD — 1984 Albina B9 3.5

It’s been a while since I posted a BMW of the Day, and this one caught my fancy. Price; stratospherically out of reach at $39,990. But for this particular example, it’s probably worth it. An extremely well done restoration, and it doesn’t look like it’s been driven much at all since then. Cars are not made for sitting in garages looking pretty, but I’d be afraid to drive this one. Part of me would totally do the Ferris Beuller thing with it, but Cameron would be there holding me back, big time.

Enough of my blabbing; I don’t need to extol the virtues of the e28 platform any more than I already have, and Alpina has already been discussed as well (although this one doesn’t have the super-go-fast turbo option), so let’s just jump to the gallery, shamelessly borrowed from the dealer, Enthusiast Auto Group. I don’t think they’ll mind me spreading the word around a little more.
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BMWotD — 1986 535i

It’s been a while since I put up a BMWotD, and when a car comes up for sale that I would love to own, it’s time to break that silence. This car just came up for sale in Oregon; a black over black ’86 535i with Euro headlights & bumpers and the M30B35 swap already done. And it even has a set of Style 32 — one of my favorite wheels on the e28.

The front airdam on this car looks a little goofy, but that’s something easily remedied, or probably something I could live with. I just can’t help but think of how much fun an e28 would be with about twice the horsepower of the M20B27 in my car. Would love to see some photos of the interior on this car; for the asking price, it had better be next to perfect. But with this car, I could live with a little imperfection there!

BMW 535i ’86 rebuilt engine, euro bumpers – $8500 (N Portland)

Date: 2012-04-12, 11:53AM PDT
Reply to: c44fv-2954594276 @ sale.craigslist.org

For sale is a very nice 1986 BMW E28 535i, 227K on the chassis. I am the third owner and have a folder of receipts dating back to the day it was purchased. I have owned it for about six years, and struggled with the decision to finally put it up for sale. The car is Schwartz black, repainted professionally before I bought it, and the interior is also black, which is a hard to find combination. The following upgrades have been done by professionals since I have owned it:

-b35 rebuilt engine swap done last August, rebuild had approx. 40,000 miles on it when I bought it.
-euro bumpers, front and rear, painted to match
-Paul Ladue fiberglass airdam
-Paul Ladue headers connected to a custom-made stainless exhaust system
-euro grill and headlights
-Bilstein Sports all around
-Bavarian Auto lowering springs installed properly
-BMW M-tech 2 steering wheel
-Alpine stereo and power amp in trunk
-LSD installed previously, just not sure which one

Parts replaced since I have owned it: clutch master cylinder, brake master cylinder, trunk gasket.

This car’s cornering abilities are amazing, and with the engine swap it gets much better gas mileage and highway-speed power than the stock motor. The previous owner installed BMW style-32 wheels from a 2001 540i, which look really sharp, as well as a front stabilizer bar. This BMW frequently receives compliments everywhere I go. Please call Jon xxx-xxx-xxx with any further questions. Serious inquiries only, must have cash or other proof of funds on hand to drive it, otherwise you may be a passenger.

BMWotD — e28 M5

This car came up for sale a couple weeks ago and was one of those things that might have got me in trouble. I would absolutely love to own an e28 M5, and this one sounded like a good solid car with a decent history of maintenance; it did have a few warts though which pushed the price down below the norm for these cars, but none of the disclosed warts would be difficult to overcome.

Unfortunately, or fortunately for me, the ad placed on MyE28.com lured in a buyer in what ought to be a record time of a little over 16 hours. But as the now disappointed buyer found out, things in an ad are not always as they seem, and diligence is always due especially when buying a car from afar.

First, here’s the copy & pics from the MyE28.com ad:

In the past several months I picked up an E60 M5 as a daily driver and an older SL600 as a project car. Consequently, my beloved E28 M5 hasn’t been getting any attention. As it sits, the car really isn’t a garage queen and was built to be driven. With this in mind, I’ve decided to let her go. My father purchased the car in the mid 90’s, and then sold it to me in 2009 (although we haven’t actually transferred the title yet so it’s still in his name). The car hasn’t been in any accidents and includes pretty extensive records both from me and from the previous owner who had the car maintained at Black Forrest Werkshop in Austin, Tx. Being a Tx car, there is absolutely no structural rust on the car or in the body panels. There is, however, a small bubble under the paint on the sunroof. At 180,XXX miles the car underwent an extensive rebuild during which almost every mechanical part prone to wear or failure was replaced. The result was an extremely mechanically sound, tight and fun to drive daily driver. I had intended to keep this car forever (hence the in depth rebuild), but at the moment both my garage and driveway are completely full and it just seems unfair to leave a car like this sitting out in the elements. The car has had regular oil changes with Valvoline VR1 20W-50 racing oil and valve adjustments performed @roughly 15k mile intervals. A full set of valve shims will be included in the sale of the car. Currently, the car has 193,XXX miles on it. A couple major points of the rebuild:
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BMWotD — ’88 M5 Race Car!

Here’s something you don’t see every day:


One of the Fastest M5’s in the country

1988 E28 M5 VIN# WBSDC9305J2791570 prod date 6/87

Just in time for the racing season. This Race Car needs nothing to be raced next weekend.

Top Speed Over 170 Mph

3.9 6 Cylinder w/ over 370 rear wheel horsepower

  • Weighs Just under 2500 LBs
  • All Receipt’s and Complete Build Sheets Fresh S38 Motorsports Engine only 1 Race
  • Comes With lots Spares
  • Comes AMB transponder and lap timer
  • 2 Rear Ends 3:91/3:73 Precision Engineering Built
  • 8 Fiske and 4 BBS Lightweight Wheels
  • Wolf 3D+4 Fully Programmable Engine Management
  • Ground Control Double Adjustable Shocks & Struts
  • Fully Adjustable Suspension Front And Rear
  • AP 6 Piston Calipers Front and AP Rear Calipers
  • Carbon Fiber Hood
  • Carbon Fiber Air Intake
  • Carbon Fiber Air Damn

This is A Completely Sorted Race Car, Campaigned in Scca and BMWCCA. Will pass all tech inspections. Holds Many Lap records and Many Overall Wins.

S38 b38 BMW Engine, Balanced and Blueprinted, Head match ported and polished. Stillen Crankshaft, ARP Bolts and Studs Throughout. Over 370 RWHP.

Has New FIA 6 Point Schroth Belts, Current Window Net, Momo Seat and Steering Wheel. Comes with Spares. Spare Carbon Fiber Air Damn, Spare Rotors w/Hats for Front and Rear. Back-up Master Cylinder, Hydroboost, Brake lines, Various Rate Coil Springs

Comes w/2 Sets Full wets and 1 Set Intermediate wets, 3 sets of slicks; 24 tires total.

The car is (was?) owned by David Daniels, and is pretty well known to people in the E28 community. For a non-turbo engine, it’s HP output is as high as I’ve ever seen in an E28. And stripped down to 2,500 pounds? Wow. The E28 is notoriously heavy and difficult to strip down for racing, but Daniels used a lot of carbon fiber & fiberglass to help keep the weight down. Here is a video of it going up against an E36 M3 (owned & driven by Brian Watts.) In the video, the M3 can outrun the M5 in the straights, but the M5 walks right on by in the corners. Tells a lot about the work that Daniels put into the chassis and suspension! And about the driver!

The car was up for sale on eBay, but the auction ended with the final bid at $21,100, and the reserve not met.

BMWotD — 1986 Dinan M5

This car is awesome. Flat out awesome.

1986 BMW M5.

European specification model. Only 24,000 original miles!

This superb example features flawless “Diamond black” paint with gorgeous brown water buffalo leather. With only one owner from new, this Dinan-prepared M5 features an inter-cooled turbocharger and Borla stainless exhaust system, the combination of which produces an impressive 462 horsepower! A stage III suspension package and Brembo F-40 braking system with drilled rotors makes this a true “Ultimate Driving Machine” experience.

In addition, thermostatically controlled transmission and differential coolers have been fitted to the car.

The usual 5-series amenities of air conditioning, power windows, door locks and factory sunroof add to the comfort and convenience of this ultra-high performance sedan – a true sports car with four doors.

All EPA and DOT certification papers are available. Our M5 was imported by its one and only owner and all certification paperwork comes with the car. Even the original German ownership document is available! All upgrades were completed in California by Dinan, the preeminent company for BMW performance enhancements. The turbocharger brings the horsepower up to 462!

The differential has been converted to a 3:91 from the original 3:73. New clutch in 2005 and the turbo was rebuilt in 2006. Split Second control for air/fuel mixture has been installed in lieu of the air flow meter.

Surely this is among the finest, lowest mileage early M5’s anywhere and could certainly be unique with its upgrades. Lastly, the car has been thoroughly inspected and completely detailed by the TLD staff.

The first BMW M5, based on the E28 5 series, made its debut at the Amsterdam Motor Show in February 1985. It was born from the demand for an automobile with the carrying capacity of a sedan but the overall performance of a sports car. It utilized the 535i chassis and an evolution of the engine from the BMW M1. At the time of its launch, the E28 M5 was the fastest production sedan in the world. The European-specification examples featured 10.5:1 compression, a 0-60 time of 6.2 seconds and 286 horsepower. All M5’s were hand built. In addition, the E28 M5 remains the rarest of all regular production derived M cars. Only the purpose-built M1 has a lower production run.

This came up under the For Sale – Wanted forum at mye28.com, with a link to the seller’s eBay auction. It sounds like this isn’t the first time the car has been on eBay; previous attempts to sell it had the Buy-It-Now price even higher than today’s $31,900. Amazing that a 23 year-old car could be worth that much, even one with only 25,000 miles on it, prepped by Dinan, and kicking out 462 turbocharged intercooled horsepower. But I guess time will tell; like one of my college prof’s said, nothing is worth any more than someone is willing to pay for it.

I took the liberty of commandeering the photos from the eBay auction; feel free to flip through them after the jump. Continue reading

Making Progress…

Well, it’s been almost three weeks with the BMW, and I’ve learned a lot about the car, and have made some progress straightening out a few of its issues.

I made a list of those issues last week, and using that as a springboard, here’s what I’ve done so far, and what’s coming up next…

The driver’s seat is shot (check out the damage it did to my jeans!) but I found a set of electric seats from a 1988 e28 for $150 and bought them. I haven’t installed them yet; the leather on the driver’s seat is a bit worn and has a mechanical issue, as does the passenger’s seat… Plus there’s the whole wiring thing that needs to be tackled. I was hoping to get around to starting on the seat swap last Saturday, but there was no time for that this week. I did get some work and testing done on the seat electrics… What I might end up doing is take some of the working pieces from the driver’s seat to get everything working on the passenger’s seat, mount that on the driver’s side, and keep the existing passenger’s seat in place, at least for now. After that I could maybe put the sport seat pads and all on the manual mechanicals, then get it re-covered or just buy a cover for them both. Not sure about that though. We’ll see how it progresses. The important thing is to get the new seat in place to prevent another attack on my jeans.

The shifter is still floppy, but I’ve researched the cure for that and tracked down & ordered a slew of parts to replace the wear items in the shift linkage. It only worked up to be about $50, and doesn’t look like too big a job, so I’m excited about getting that done; it’ll be great having it shift more like it should! While researching the fix for the shifter, someone suggested that I also replace the guibo; I had to look that up, and it’s the rubber flex-disk that makes the connection between the transmission and the driveshaft. I looked under my car, and sure enough it’s pretty badly cracked; I’m told that replacing it is a fairly simple process, and will lead to smoother shifts. The $40 price wasn’t too bad, so it’s on order too.

I figured out that the problem with the left turn signal was simply to clean up the contacts on the blinker lamp. It works now whether the running lights are on or off. But now there’s a new problem; the left turn signal blinks at about twice the rate of the right. I’m reasonably sure it’s a contact issue again, as it isn’t always there, but just haven’t had the time to noodle it out.

The exhaust pipe is deteriorating further, making it sound like a demolition derby car. I’ve ordered a muffler — $123 from Autohaus, AZ — and will likely put that on the evening it shows up. It should be a fairly simple matter of cutting the old bolts out, removing the remnants of the pipe, bolting up the new and fitting it to the hangers. At least that’s the way it’s playing out in my head. Pray for no surprises.

I bought replacement knobs for the heater controls, only to discover that the metal parts the knobs attach to are also broken. I’ll have to plan another trip out to Nordstroms to get the rest of the heater controls.

I bought & installed a new antenna, splicing the cable into the existing cable, so now I can listen to more than just ancient cassette tapes in the car. I was kinda getting used to the radio-free drive-time though. I suppose I could still do that… The buttons on the radio are a little on the unresponsive side, but I plan on replacing it with the stereo from the Suzuki.

Bought an armrest to replace the broken one on the driver’s door, along with the whole door panel, but haven’t put them on yet.

I vacuumed some of the carpet, and it cleans up pretty well; doesn’t seem as worn as I thought. There are some edges around the driver’s footwell that are hanging loose, but I should be able to tuck them away without too much trouble. I really need to either track down or fabricate some new floor mats to replace the ratty-looking originals.

I got a replacement cover for the access hole for the sunroof motor between the windshield and the sunroof from the same guy the seats came from, but I found the original wedged between the driver’s seat and driveshaft tunnel. Now I have a spare!

Got door lock knobs from the same guy, so now all the doors have lock knobs that you can actually pull up easily.

The odometer still isn’t working (no elves have shown up to fix it). I did find a source for the information and parts to fix it, but the parts — three tiny nylon gears — cost $60. Yikes.

I already mentioned the dead-easy parking/emergency brake handle fix. Almost too easy. If only the odometer was like that.

There were several electrical things that weren’t working; the interior and trunk lights, the central locking system, the hazard warning lights, etc… I found that most of that was due to a missing fuse in the fusebox, so I bought an assortment box of fuses and replaced it and found that fixed most of it! Cool! But the hazard warning lights still wouldn’t work because the previous owner had jammed a couple of pieces of paper in to hold the switch in place because it was broken. So I thought I’d just yank it out…

That was just too easy to be a real fix though; pulling that switch out also disabled the turn signals. Drat. And of course, since I didn’t pull the switch out very gracefully I couldn’t get it back in place, nor would it likely stay in place if it would go back in. So I made a run to the local self-serve junkyard, Nordstrom’s Ewe Pullet (yeah, kinda corny…), since they have an ’84 528e parts car, and the hazard warning switch was there and intact! I grabbed that and a few other interior pieces, before their 5pm closing time, and replaced the switch in the parking lot; it all worked!

A few days after I bought the car Caleb was riding with me and complained that he was smelling gasoline. I didn’t smell it so didn’t give it much thought. In the following days I started to smell it, and it was getting progressively worse, so I started hunting for the leak. I had just filled the tank the Saturday before the first complaint, so that was the first suspect, but it was dry as a bone underneath. I tried following the fuel supply line, and lost track of it somewhere, but everything I saw was dry. Under the hood I didn’t see anything, and there really wasn’t much for a petrol smell either. It wasn’t getting any better inside the cabin, so the next night I kept poking around, and just happened to catch out of the corner of my eye a glimpse of a drop falling from a tube to the valve cover; there it was! I flexed that tube a bit and a little spray of fuel came out. I had seen a post on the mye28.com board about fuel leaks, and that replacing the hose requires the use of high-pressure tubing, so I high-tailed it to O’Reiley’s for some. It was kinda spendy at $7 a foot, but cheap insurance. Half hour later, the leaky piece was replaced. Done and done.

The central locking system is kinda neat; turn the key in the driver’s side door lock or the trunk lock to lock or unlock all the doors, the trunk and the fuel door. Of course, it’s not much of a trick considering the gee-wiz remotes and automatic doors and all on newer vehicles, but that was cool stuff for 1984.

I’ve realized that having a slightly ratty paint job on the car is somewhat freeing. While I’m not overly anal about keeping my cars clean, it’s nice being able to put my toolbag or whatever on the hood or trunklid without worrying about a scratch. I do plan to break out a buffer and rubbing compound when it’s warmer out, just to see if I can get the old girl to shine a little, but for now the dull gray is just fine.

Wow; that’s quite a book there. I may have missed a detail or two, but if so I’ll pick it up later. Actually, I’d be surprised if anybody has read through this far. If you have, you win! (no actual prizes or anything; you just win.)


Well, I took the plunge today (yesterday actually, since it’s now past midnight…) and bought my first BMW. It’s a 1984 528e 5-speed I spotted on CraigsList late last month. I emailed the owner just before New Years Day, and was hoping to take a drive to see it (Slayton, MN) that weekend, but a snowstorm changed my plans. Then last night, on a whim, I emailed the guy again to see if it was still available, and it was! He had just about given up on selling it, and was planning to update the registration and get it insured, but now that’s my problem!

It’s not perfect by any means, but the basics are solid; a rust-free body, solid running engine, decent transmission, fairly new tires, good glass all around… It’s definitely a driver project car though, as the issues are many; shifter flops around badly and has trouble finding 2nd when downshifting, odometer doesn’t work, parking brake needs some help, carpets are filthy, driver’s seat is shot, seat belt buckle on driver’s seat doesn’t buckle, radio aerial is broken, missing some tools from the toolkit, doors need adjusting, weatherstripping is in rough shape, front bumper is bent… there’s more, but you get the picture. Definitely not perfect, but everything is definitely fixable. And what do you expect for $800?

I know I’ll get some funny looks from friends & relatives, but I think this thing is going to be great. I also know that it was a good deal; I could fix a few things on it and resell it and get another $1,000 out of it. But I’m not going to do that. This one’s sticking around for a while. Here’s hoping it doesn’t turn into my own Project Car Hell.

I’ll be sure to post some photos of the ‘chine as I get them, and updates on the progress.