1 2
Jumper K. Balls
Jumper K. Balls UberDork
3/22/16 1:08 p.m.

Yes I know calling a 31 year old car modern is laughable, but in my defense my last daily was 53 years old and before that 45.

My good buddy Ransom bought this car a year and a half ago. He brought it to me and I rebuilt the shift linkage, complete suspension refresh, redid the back half of the wiring harness and a few other things. His GF didn't care for it, he had too many other projects and too little space and right at the time when the Falcon decided it needed some in depth work, he made me an offer I couldn't refuse.

I took the train to Portland, we grabbed lunch and a few beers and got to his house where it had been sitting for a month or more

 photo 20160312_135626_zpsfugprscy.jpg

It was sidelined by a broken clutch pedal bracket. A few hours of wrenching and hanging out with one of my favorite people that I rarely get to see I replaced the offending part

 photo 20160312_150541_zpst61u1lie.jpg

And I drove it 120 miles home that night. Despite non functioning heat it was the most comfortable I have been in a car in a while. I really like old BMW's. They just feel "right"

The next day was cleaning it out. Ransom apologized profusely for its state never having tried to clean it. Under the seats was a treasure trove of french fries and bottle rockets. The fireworks were all duds (yes I tried)

 photo 20160313_111105_zpswvodqjno.jpg

The drivers seat was tan, whilst the rest of the interior was black. Some vinyl and leather "dye" fixed that

 photo 20160313_111508_zpsvlybfnav.jpg

Significantly cleaner interior. More than good enough for now

 photo 20160313_124129_zpsopqsdlp2.jpg

The antenna was broken. Normally I wouldn't care but it was the source of a major trunk leak and therefore a major bad odor. I knew I had had a new power antenna in the garage for over a decade. Managed to find it and it is identical to the broken unit. Easy fix!

 photo 20160317_154502_zpsfep1zegk.jpg

The car has the euro headlights and grilles. The reflectors are in pretty bad shape and will need to be sorted. Light output is miserable

 photo 20160313_121651_zpsf0gk7czj.jpg

Sadly the holders are very different from a standard 7" H4. No luck swapping them out for the Hellas I have laying around.

I spent a few hours sorting out the window switched and got all the glass moving up and down. Then the passenger rear made a clunk and stopped. The sash had pulled away from the glass.

 photo 20160319_114050_zpsavojidcx.jpg

Someone had tried to fix it with superglue at some point. There is a proper fix for this. Window setting tape. It is a soft, malleable and tacky rubber strip. It is what they were put together with at the factory.

 photo 20160319_114036_zpsd0xfnsxq.jpg

Comes in different thicknesses.

Cut strips, wrap it around the glass, lightly lube the outside with window cleaner and press the sash back in place. Once the glass cleaner has dried it isn't coming apart without more force than a regulator can exert.

 photo 20160319_121947_zpsy2bpdnpv.jpg

Bought the grimoire

 photo 20160319_104607_zpssqeo1rfd.jpg

In the trunk was a few spares

 photo 20160322_094408_zps0lqoudag.jpg

Holy cow Ransom. That is some stash! Indicative of needed maintenance.

So here it is in daily mode

 photo 20160322_094215_zpsz7enoycz.jpg

 photo 20160322_094230_zpsdtwkdt88.jpg

 photo 20160322_094206_zpsbtdruivp.jpg

The skirts are coming off. I realize they are rare M-tech pieces, but I just don't like them. I will be selling them off to some other E28 enthusiast to fund a euro bumper purchase. I have to deal with that Hapsburg jaw

Other bits have been acquired to deal with the worst of the bodywork

 photo 20160322_101844_zps6jdhbnmu.jpg

So that is that. Looks like I will be doing the oil pan and timing cover gaskets soon. Upgrades will happen in time as well.

RossD UltimaDork
3/22/16 1:12 p.m.

Love it.

Huckleberry MegaDork
3/22/16 1:18 p.m.

I had a 535is 5sp... wonderful car. A real pleasure to travel long distances at high velocities. Great in the snow. Huge glass canopy to see out of - just "right" like you said.

T-Boned to death at 265k miles...

Slippery Dork
3/22/16 1:33 p.m.

Subscribed. I am not a fan of the sideskirts either.

Woody MegaDork
3/22/16 1:36 p.m.

Very nice car!

Try removing the headlights, pour in some 90% isopropyl alcohol and swish it around in there. Then pour it out and let them dry out. It really brightened up the reflectors on my 911.

Slippery Dork
3/22/16 1:38 p.m.

Here is some inspiration.


plus euro bumpers

chandlerGTi UberDork
3/22/16 5:44 p.m.

I've had four e28s, one M5 for about 6 hours (lol) but my favorite was a 450k mile 528e. That thing could not be killed.

oldtin PowerDork
3/22/16 6:43 p.m.

My favorite car I've owned besides the Ac 911

dropstep Dork
3/22/16 7:51 p.m.

Thats modern too me! I think these and the volvos of that era look really good.

Jumper K. Balls
Jumper K. Balls UberDork
3/22/16 8:13 p.m.

 photo 20160322_171111_zpsfphyptjh.jpg

Looks a little less portly now. Although the air dam and bumper are even more out of balance.

Jumper K. Balls
Jumper K. Balls UberDork
3/28/16 10:10 a.m.

 photo 20160328_074922_zpszeg1tko2.jpg

Yesterday went from "I'll put the car on the lift and see where that oil leak is coming from" to "I guess I will pull the radiator and swap out the water pump, hoses, fan clutch and a few other things since I am in here"

I didn't realize it was a holiday so getting oil and coolant became a slight issue since the Napa my shop shares a parking lot with was closed.

That cooling system is the most difficult to bleed thing I have worked with in a while. I wound up having to drill a small hole in the thermostat to get it to function.

The new fan clutch certainly sounds different. I guess the old one was indeed bad.

Acme Lab Rat
Acme Lab Rat Reader
3/28/16 10:38 a.m.

Best car I ever owned was my '87 535i. Smooth as butter engine, wonderfully comfortable car, great road manners. Yours needs more shadowline trim!

stuart in mn
stuart in mn UltimaDork
3/28/16 10:57 a.m.

I assume you know about the mye28.com forum, it's pretty much the epicenter of e28 knowledge.

Your heater problem (if you haven't fixed it already) is most likely the heater control valve on the firewall. There are repair kits available for it that are a lot cheaper than replacing the whole thing but quality is variable, some kits work well and others fail quickly.

The Mtech side skirts are part of the M535i body kit, they are certainly worth some $$. I agree that they don't look that great by themselves, but are good with the entire setup (my summer daily driver is an M535i.)

Jumper K. Balls
Jumper K. Balls UberDork
3/28/16 11:09 a.m.

The PO replaced the heater control mono valve and I did as well. Still no heat above idle. The core has a slight leak (coolant smell in the cabin) so I plan on swapping that out in the next few days.

I have read that the mono valve has to be assembled with the sleeve in a particular orientation to work correctly. That doesn't make a lot of sense to me from my initial inspection of how it works but I will pop it open and double check. I reassembled it the way it came apart.

And I am not shadowlining it. I dig the chrome. I would rather highlight its late 70's/early 80's styling than modernize it.

Sadly all I have been able to find are OE painted and composite reproduction euro bumpers. Chrome would be my preference there too.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn UltimaDork
3/28/16 1:39 p.m.

Euro bumpers show up every so often for sale, but since these cars are 30 years old the pickings have gotten pretty thin and prices have gone up. A front bumper in fair shape just sold for $300 on mye28.

Jumper K. Balls
Jumper K. Balls UberDork
3/28/16 2:49 p.m.

I have been holding out for originals but will probably end up ordering these


Marjorie Suddard
Marjorie Suddard General Manager
3/28/16 3:09 p.m.

Love it. I've been daily driving mine for 8 years. As others have said, it cannot be killed, and no car better walks the knife edge between “modern” and “classic.” Here it is passing Tom's Trooper:

RossD UltimaDork
3/28/16 3:11 p.m.

In reply to Marjorie Suddard:

I see what you did there.

Marjorie Suddard
Marjorie Suddard General Manager
3/28/16 3:16 p.m.

In reply to RossD:

Shhh, you weren't supposed to see that. Only, uh, shot I had handy.

brad131a4 Reader
3/28/16 3:41 p.m.

Wow Marjorie that's looking a little like anger management is in order.

driver109x HalfDork
3/28/16 3:50 p.m.

I have the exact same color '87 535is 5spd...except for the side skirt and euro headlights. But mine has completely peeled out it's clear coat on the hood, half on the roof and rear trunk and has 340xxx miles on it.

Dusterbd13 PowerDork
3/28/16 4:27 p.m.

If you can get the style of bumper you want cheap enough in not chrome, wrap it in Chrome vinyl. Looks pretty good from the few I've seen.

Jumper K. Balls
Jumper K. Balls UberDork
4/16/16 12:36 a.m.

 photo 20160415_132302_zpsuov6fs3m.jpg

Scored some H&R sports off Craigslist today!

Jumper K. Balls
Jumper K. Balls UberDork
4/23/16 10:31 p.m.

Scope creep. I have a real problem with it. Ransom told me that a past inspection had a recommendation of replacing the drivers front caliper. After a few weeks I noticed the car did indeed veer left under hard braking. Cool. Easy fix right?

Not even sure how or if I made the decision but the next thing I know I have a pile of parts on the shelf.

 photo 20160421_095330_zpsi089rrfm.jpg

Got some late 90's 530i calipers and carriers from the junkyard, rebuild kits for them, new rotors and pads for all four corners. These rotors are 20mm larger than stock. Here is the thing. I had zero complaints about the brakes. Actually I thought they were awesome. Why did I eschew the $40 fix and spend $250 on a brake upgrade I didn't even think I needed?

Anyway. It all bolted straight on. Easy as can be. The backing plates even look more correct.

Rear  photo 20160422_150005_zpsycfopq9l.jpg

 photo 20160422_153414_HDR_zpshyvitmnp.jpg


 photo 20160422_145958_HDR_zpsepihdnyg.jpg

 photo 20160422_171138_HDR_zpsqqjy1ktx.jpg

And while I was in there it got the H&R sport springs and new strut bearings

 photo 20160422_161935_zpsctjyqhs6.jpg

Sitting a bit closer to the ground. Ride quality is unaffected. Car feels crisper around the bends but it is still executive class smooth.

 photo 20160423_181038_zpsdykbffbm.jpg

Jumper K. Balls
Jumper K. Balls UberDork
4/24/16 7:33 p.m.

 photo 20160424_160500_zpsze61uebj.jpg

Here it is after 20 miles of suspension settling and with the C pillar sail panels finally installed. Front bumper has been tucked.

I might still get some drop hats to bring the front end down a hair more.

1 2
Our Preferred Partners