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I really need to stop browsing Craigslist... especially when I type in something generic (BMW) rather than specific (e30) and sift through all the ads.... because then this happens...

I have an increasing... I dunno.... "thing" for 80s era BMW. The more I am around them the more I realize that in the world of "cars" - they are pretty darn hard to beat. My opinion - built extremely well, great styling, excellent ergonomics and interior design, proven and great performing drivetrains, parts are cheap and they are very easy to work on. Properly maintained - miles don't mean a thing and they perform like new.... which in many cases feels so much better then newer cars.

I have developed a basic guideline when it comes to purchasing an 80s era BMW. First is no major accidents. These cars were built to such percision and quality with a very refined unibody chassis and suspension that a major accident really messes things up. It's not that the car can't be repaired properly, it's that most times it isn't done right. Now that the value on these things is next to nothing, pretty much any collosion is fixed by Bubba and a BFH. This was the major problem of the '92 318iC I had. The car was in a major accident when it was only a few years old - enough that it was totaled. While it continued to live on, I just new things were not right. When I got it aligned, camber (non adjustable on stock suspension) was out of spec and the car didn't sit level. The new owner was informed, but didn't mind.

The other thing is rust/rot - especially underbody. I grew up in NY and delt with this junk. My '89 Oldsmobile 88 was an otherwise excellent car but it's life was cut short because of major rot. To me, trying to fix up a car with cancer rust is like trying to fix up a house with a major case of termites. Especially on older cars which already have their sea of quirks, stuck hardware and things that need to be fixed, I won't mess with rust anymore.

Other then that, I am open. If the car is major accident free and rust free - I can deal with pretty much anything else on it - drivetrain, body, interior etc... I feel like the car still has life to give if just given the chance.

Another problem with the '92 318iC was that it was the same car as Noelle.... so not only was it redundent, but I thought I would use it as a regular driver, and it shared all the same non-restored e30 quirks - most noteably a leaking top. For someone that spends all Summer in a Jeep with no top and doors, one of my major pet peaves in a car is water leaks. Not only is it annoying, but it causes all sorts of problems... plus it's annoying. I would be sitting at a stoplight when it was raining outside and I would be getting rained on inside, with the top up. This isn't the cars' fault - it's an old convertible with worn out seals etc... which is why it didn't make the best "regular car" Noelle is different - at some point her top and all seals will be new and even if it leaks - it dosen't matter.

With that said, every now and then I sorta miss the "regular car" feel... that is, a 4-door, non-convertible car. Best way to explain it was with my Oldsmobile. I liked the car and took care of it, but it was used as a "car" I didn't worry about it or was even overly picky with it. Sometimes I catch myself looking at early 90's Accords - a car that fits the "regular car" bill so well to me. They bring lots of money though and I end up telling myself what makes sense - I don't need more vehicles.

Oh, but to add a little twist to the "regular car" thing... it isn't about just getting a beater to get by, it's about a car that I actually enjoy.... and enjoy driving. For that purpose - it must be a manual transmission. Engine power dosen't matter as it is just a "regular car" as nearly any car worth a darn in the last 20 years is perfectly capable of handling US public roads.

Saw a very basic ad with no picture, sent some txt back and fourth and got a basic cell phone pic. Made arrangements to check out the car.

I rented a car tow dolly from equipment rentals on base. U-haul won't rent any trailer to a Jeep unless it has a hard top - it's dumb and makes no sense but it's their policy. Then they get specific - wanting to know what vehicle you are towing with and what you are going to tow - if the towing capacity weight on their computer dosen't jive then no go.

But the base is different... no questions asked different. The only requirement is a 2" ball, that they don't even check for.... rent a tow dolly with a vehicle not made to tow another vehicle? No problem! How about twice the towing capacity? Sure thing!

Picking up the dolly:



Other things I can rent and tow with the Jeep:



$20 later and filling up at the local dumpy ethanol-free Mobil



The car. Since being into e30's, I admit I've been interested in the 5-series cars as well. Every generation looked great and they offer a nice blend of fun to drive BMWness, but a bit more "regular car" then a 3-series, which has a much more "spirited" feel. The e34 (1988-1995) is nice, and was of the last BMW to have the forward hinged hood (major cool points) but it was also the car that, to me, bridged the 80s era BMW to the 90s era. It retained much of the classic styling inside and out, but grew in size and weight, and through the transition from the old school "basic" BMW to the more modern "fancy" BMW, the car lost a lot of it's million mile, fix with duct tape and bailing wire durability, same goes for the e36 in the 3-series world.

Which leaves the e28. Similar to the e30 being the 2nd generation 3-series, the e28 is the 2nd generation 5-series. The cars are closely related... to the point where the e28 feels and acts like a big e30. There is a decent following (though nothing compared to e30) and parts are still easily carried by the major companies - however due to the lower demand, not all the little specific interior parts are still made - unlike the e30 which you can still buy just about any darn part of the car. Many say the e28 along with the e30 remain of the best chassis BMW made.

To me, the e28 fits what I consider to fit the "regular car" bill perfectly. Also, when I think of the generic word "car" - certain images come to mind... cars that I consider to be timeless "car" designs. Cars that, if you watch a movie and it took place in a particular setting - one could expect to see that car. Of the European cars - the BMW e28 and MB W123 come to mind. This is the car the original M5 was based off of. For those Grand Theft Auto fans... this is also the car the Sentinel was designed after - which interesting I always considered a "regular car" in the game (yes, I grew up with the series) heck they even made the XS (M5) version in the game too!



The car was about 40-miles away, about an hour drive on backroads. Upon arrival I had mixed feelings about the car. It was filthy inside and out and there were some things I didn't like about it. I was ready to pass on it after walking around it... but I figured I am already there I may as well check into it - if anything it'll expand my e28 knowladge.

The bad - filthy... I mean like nasty filthy. It didn't look like the car was washed in the last 10 years and it looks like someone was living inside the car and never cleaned it for 10 years.

The guy selling it was of the stereotype one may think of when "native country Georiga" comes to mind. Though the filth wasn't from him, he said he let his friend who needed a car - use it for a while. This friend didn't do anything to maintain the car, not even that, but to even attempt at keeping it clean. This friend was also a heavy chain smoker. I can't stand the smell of cigerettes - it gets me sick.

He was laid off and needed to sell the car. He said "I don't work on no BMW's..... I work on imports - like Mitsubishis". He did minor work to the car like "replaced all the hoses" - which means 2 out of the 12 or so coolant hoses. I pulled the dipstick and he said "man, that oil is probably so old from when i last changed it - my friend wouldn't do anything to this car except put gas in it and he even complained about that" It looked nasty but I replied "well, atleast there is oil in it"

He bought it from a guy 2-3 years ago who apparently actually took care of the car. He said that guy hit something that broke the oil pan - and by looking at some various cosmetic damage it appears like it jumped a large curb. When he bought it, he replaced the oil pan but said he didn't know there was a sensor insie the oil pan to hook up so now to the low oil pressure light flickers. The car also has 1 mis matched wheel - he said the area where the bead meets was smashed and no shop could put a tire on it. I asked if he still had the wheel but he said someone went onto his property when he was gone and stole it. Also, the previous owner hit a deer, which smashed up the bracing for the grille and the hood - but left the fenders, bumper and everything from the radiator back untouched. He located a hood from a junkyard and swapped it - different color, but not dented. He did some crude....crude work with a BFH to the grille support area. While looking like trash, this was just cosmetic damage - the frame of the car was unaffected and accident free. I asked if he knew when the timing belt was last changed - he said the previous owner replaced the timing belt and water pump. I later found a note inside the drivers door saying "I broke my oil pan at the gate, will pick car up tomorrow" with a phone number - that is the previous owner which I am tempted to call just to ask about the car.

The car had stuff going for it though - it ran well, nearly all power options worked including the sun roof. I asked if it leaked, he said no. I didn't see evidence of it leaking either. Of all things to work on this thing - it actually had cold A/C as well.... so I decided to take it for a drive.

The clutch was mushy, there was a banging sound from the back now and then and there was an alarming knocking sound from the front end that shook the wheel.... and the car...... yet there was something else.... something I wasn't expecting...

.... the car felt solid.... tight even. I ran it to redline in 1st and 2nd and the engine pulled strong. The suspension was tight with no bounce or slop felt. Even the steering which had worn out components (and is no rack and pinion) had that "directly connected" feeling BMW is known for, the brakes grabbed well and the car stopped nicely... I was actually in disbelief that underneath all this mess there was potential.

And that is what did it for me. I decided against getting it but took the car for a drive anyway... as I drove it I could tell that underneath all the filth and neglect, there was a solid car with plenty of life left to give - that with just a little TLC this would be a well-rounded driver. I started to see past the grime, filth and neglect... and started to see the potential.

Then there was the emotional side.... no doubt this car was one step away from the junk yard - in fact most anyone with common sense would have probably walked away.... but then there was me and this e28. I knew that this point was going to determine the fate of the car. It was either going to go to someone who would spend the time to fix it up... not a full resto, but just to fix it.... or somone was going to buy it as a "beater" and drive it into the ground for the next 6-months until it does end up at the junkyard. As I thought more into that I felt that this car deserves a 2nd chance at life and I was the person to do the job.

The color is Bronzitbeige Metallic, unlike the e30 (single stage) this car was base coat/clear coat... which by now the clear is shot. One nice thing about the Bronzit though, is that it hides imperfections very well when neglected. Of course it won't be showroom shiney... but when cleaned up - it appears to just be an "old car" and not a "pos junky beater". Another thing that I really liked was the interior colors.... underneath all the filth the car had a very nice two-tone black/tan interior - colors that age very well and still look great. It also made the interior brighter and less cold.

The seller had a clear title and with that, I was now the owner of a car that most people would be sending to the junkyard... so naturally I was excited to load it up:

 

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The Jeep towed it well, actually I was impressed as it now has the 33's and 3" Rouch Country lift kit. Between the stiffer shocks and progressive rate springs, it handled the extra weight quite well. Brakes, which are already bad on a stock TJ then made worse with 33's were horrible. There was no "stopping" there was "gradually slowing down" Even then, I didn't use brakes much, I kept my speed low, gave myself plenty of room and (double clutch) downshifted to slow up. The AMC 4.0 I6 really is a beast of an engine. It moves ~7,000+lbs around pretty well. Since my Jeep has factory 3.73 gears with the larger tires, the gearing is a bit high which resulted in staying in 4th most the time, downshifting to 3rd for hills and sometimes shifting up to 5th on straight and level stretches, 6th was useless. I kept the speed around 40, except for open stretches of state highway where I was able to do 55 comfortably - there was no need or desire to tow this much weight any faster with the Jeep - but it didn't matter, it was doing the job well and getting me where I needed to go.

Arrived safely at home:



Did I mention the filth?



Really.... I'm lost for words. All I can think of is.... just how long does it take to produce this? and how the heck can someone put gas into a car week after week and not even think twice about this? The seller did say his friend dosen't take care of his own stuff and takes even less car of other peoples stuff.

The filth was caked on



atleast this is installed withing any holes being made



It's not mis-matched... it's carbon fiber for the extra hoarsepowerz



Other than the front end, this is the only damage on the car... from this, the story of one whee being damaged beyond use and some other minor cosmetic damage under the car.... along with the broken oil pan - it sounds like the car hit or ran up on an extra tall curb such as the ones at the gate for base.



So what is it??? 1987 528e with a build date of 7/86 which makes it the 2nd vehicle I've owned older than myself - exactly 1 year older then me and exactly 3 years old then Noelle. The "e" version is specifc to North America, it used the same engine as the 325e. It uses a larger version of the M20 (as in Noelle) at 2.7L but is tuned for low-RPM torque instead of high-rpm HP. The "e" refers to the greek letter "eta" which means efficiency - which is exactly what this engine is tuned for. The head, intake and exhaust manifolds are tuned for low rpm torque, not high flow. It uses a low lift cam with single valve springs as it is not a high RPM engine ("i" version has high flow head/manifolds, hotter cam and dual valve springs.). Pistons are different too. 1988 was the last year of the e28 and was also a unique year for the eta engines (both in e28 and e30) dubbed "super eta" as they were a hybrid between the eta and i with special pistons that gave them more power and a higher redline. Regular eta engines normally redline at 4500rpm and have a 5k tach... my car has the regular eta engine but has the 6k tach and redlines at 5100rpm, like a super eta. I checked the code on the ECU and it is not super eta... cluster dosen't appear to have been changed either.

The engine uses Bosch Motronic 1.0 engine management, which is a digital system - much better than the older L-Jetronic which was analog, but it is still an early system in that there is no self-diagnostic (check engine light) capabilities. 1988 super eta switched to the more advanced 1.1 system which added diagnostics and other things. My e30 uses an updated version of 1.1, which is 1.3

The numbers are interesting. the "i" version of the M20 produces 168hp and 164tq. Both produced in the mid-upper rev band. The engine comes alive above 3500RPM behaving.

The eta however is a low-rpm torque monster (for a BMW). It produces a massive 121hp @ 4250rpm but more torque then the "i" version - 170 @ 3250rpm. Basically the thing pulls well from 1500rpm and produces plenty of power by 3000rpm - which most normal driving is done by. It's the polar opposite of the "i" version - which is pretty interesting being that they are in effect, the same engine.

Now how much fun could a low-rpm engine in a BMW be? Surprisingly - very. BMW matched the gearing so well the the torque curve that it is actually fun and enjoyable to drive.... in a different way. The eta engine dosen't like to hang around redline, but it dosen't need to, the engine is simply fun to row through the gears in the low-mid rev band. It has the same Getrag 260 transmission as the e30 - shifter linkage is totally shot and worn out. The e30 has a limited slip 3.73, the e28 has an open 2.93 diff.

A familer, but different M20.... and a hack job cosmetic repair to the front end that will be getting fixed.







Oh the car has a craptastic 80s alarm system... I'm gonna tear it out but it's wired into so much junk... part of it being the fuel pump, which is rigged up wth this wire that looses connection, which causes the engine to not start or stall... it shut off on me when driving and was fun to play with when trying to get going at midnight.

The rust under the battery tray is the only rust on the car... which dosen't count - it's a corrosive enviornment and a known problem.



The e28 has a rearward hinged hood... tho the e34 (5-series after the e28) went back to the sweet forward hinge. I'm disapointed in the hood design as I really like the forward opening hood.

mmmmm backyard homebrew special



The car has an odd (old?) style exposed fuse box, I don't like that. Also the tail lights "wiring" is exposed too.

Speaking of lights - most all of them except the headlights didn't work... turns out the bulb contacts were corroded... a simply wire brush and they work great... amazing what a little TLC will do.

But the main selling point?

The thing is clean underneath... this car is older then I... it is 24 years old and rust free.



This was a familer site... I don't think it's leaking too bad but we'll see.... but the mounts are split in half - they will be replaced.



The entire shifter linkage is worn out and needs total rebuild - atleast I'm familer with how it goes together now.



The car uses recirculating ball steering and has a center draglink which has 2 ball joints and connects to the pitman arm, idler arm and both tie rods. The ball joint on the idler arm is totally shot, wobbling around badly - making the clanks and shaking the wheel/car... it's pretty much not safe to drive much until it is fixed.

 

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The car will not be getting a full everything-replacement like the e30 is getting. Actually, mechanically speaking (chassis/suspension etc...) this is in much better condition then Noelle when I first got her. This car will be getting preventative maintenace to be safe and reliable and broken things replaced - other than that it is going to be driven and used. The clunking in the back is a bad diff mount. That and the draglink are the only hard parts on the car that are broken.

As for my use with it - a "regular car". Whenever I want to have a roomyish comfortable 4 seater or not deal with a convertible... or just feel like driving it.

exhaust was messed with... thats one of those universal cats... atleast it works though and dosen't sound like crap.



Now we move into the worst area - the inside.

The seats - after a deep cleaning need conditioning badly. However, out of all the vehicles I've owned, these seats actually feel like real life the most.

The car has "BMW Premium Sound" which used the 2-way speakers in the back designed to bounce the sound off the glass and the 2-way components in the front. The back left speaker isn't working - probably faulty wiring. The head unit was replaced with a cheap unit and bypassed the factory amp.... somebody ran speaker wires.



headliner is the european design that really dosen't wear or fall, but needs a deep cleaning like everything else.

oh the car smells of cigerettes horribly.

It is just so nasty. The carpet really needs to be pressure washed like I did in the e30, but I imagine this being much more difficult to remove



Back seat is comfortable and supportive... it's odd.... not like lay-z-boy sink in comfortable... but just... comfortable.



Door panels are upgraded much over e30... with the patch of carpet on the bottom and the center portion is padded.



The amount of filth is sickening



So nasty, but it should clean up well



will be fixed



Count the layers of nasty. Both seats work except the power headrests... motors turn but no longer connected.



odometer is broken and probably has been for some time.



trunk is nasty and smells horrible. Lower driver side dash cover spotted



amazingly, it has a complete tool kit... worth about $100 in itself. The toolkit is shared with the e30



took door panel off to start fixing the handle



dash lights work

 

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The crazy thing is... nearly everything works. Even the cruise control works. All functions on the 13-button OBC works too. The backlight is bad, which will be getting replaced... but when I shined my light on the display - once I changed it to mpg I was surprised to see this:



outside temp works



So I did an oil change on it with Chevron Delo 15w-40, the old stuff looked like mud. I then ran a bottle of seafoam through the intake, shut it down then let it smoke... even at night the smoke was so heavy. Since it was low on gas I went to the gas station and added a full bottle of sea foam to the gas tank then put only 8 gallons of gas in so it'll be a high concentrate.

When I filled up the gauge was on R and it said 45 miles range... 8 gallons - about $20 got it to 3/4 and not 321-mile range!



This is in overdrive 5th.... maintains speed and pulls fine... it really is a low rpm torque engine.... and I was shocked at the avg mpg after crusing around a bit



That mileage was acheived with this as my average speed.... it wasn't constant speed and there were some WOT runs in there too



there is a trick with the 13-button OBC to push 1000 and 1 at the same time and it tells you how much fuel in liters is in the tank



The 3-position switch is lights off/parking/headlights. The wheel to the left is interior dimmer, the 3 position rocker is interior dome lights off/door/on, then fog light control



This is the main window lock out switch. When off it kills power to the switches also turning the lights off on them.

Interesting to note - the small square button near the 2 left window switches is lock-out for rear only. Normally the consol and rear door window switches are lit up and work, but when you push the button, power to the rear windows is cut, making them not work and the lights go out, but they can still be controlled by the console buttons.



The shift boot is leather and looks to be in good condition when cleaned up, I'll sew it back together.



the check button works - it turns off the blinking check light n the dash, but none of the LED's work... I'll figure that out sometime. The cover for the manual sunroof crank fell under the passenger seat



So nasty. The steering wheel cover went right in the trash



That is a small dash vent, some cars had a real full dash vent with it's own on/off control



The climate control has no recirc function. This radio is just a cheap Durabrand unit, but works well. It is wired up to constant power so the faceplate needs to be removed to turn it fully off. It is a cd player and has a front aux input - which is cool. I'll rewire it properly and it'll stay. The factory speakers sound really good.... actually - darn good. The dial is part of the factory premium sound with amp that no longer works, I think it was fader control. Red ight is part of the hi-tek 80s security system that will be gone



Nasty oil that came out of the engine. I forgot to put the drain plug back in and started adding oil... about 2-3 qts drained out before I realized it - heh engine got a "flush"



 

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I am completely surprised by the gas mileage - this thing is getting 25-30mpg in basic driving around so far - no tune up, all hacked up etc... The eta engine fits the car well (for me) because that is exactly what I plan to use it as.... a laid back daily driver. If I can get close to 30mpg under normal driving with a car like this, that is incredible.

So today I degrimed the thing... I also degreased the e30's engine bay and engine but that is for the other thread.

Started with this mess. I don't like working on dirty things. This whole car really needs to be dipped in degreaser and ran through a pressure washer





picked up supplies - gas for the Honda pressure washer (it got good use!) coolant, brake fluid and ATF.

Today I changed the transmission oil (ATF) only about a pint came out but 2qts went in. Also changed the rear diff oil (already had from e30), drained engine block/radiator of coolant (err... water) flushed and refilled properly. It uses the same fuel filter as the e30, which only has about 10k on it so I took it off swapped it. The e30 was getting a new one anyway and the one on the e28 was a factory BMW filter with a 2001 date code. I didn't get around to changing the power steering fluid or flushing/bleeding the entire clutch/brake system - hopefully that'll fix the sometimes spongy clutch. Oh, and 3 large bottles of Awesome degreaser.... this stuff was needed.



degreaser sprayed





ok, so I pressure rinsed and degreased 3 times total... but this was the result







The rear diff mount is bad causing a loud clunk when initially moving forward or reverse as the diff shifts, also a clunk during hard shifts. All 4 CV axle boots are torn, but the axles are good. I'll be getting kits to regrease them and put new boots on. These are a different design then the e30, which had the splined axle shaft on one end. Both of these ends are bolted - should make it much easier to remove



I didn't even wash the car... I couldn't... I had to pressure wash it. I don't mean soaping it up at the car wash either - I mean treating it like a concrete driveway to blast the crap off. It still needs a good washing, but this was just after pressing washing with water. Fender done, door not yet



door done but not quarter panel



I like the factory 14" BBS basketweave wheels. The oddball tire is a bottlecap... but it is a quirky metric size. 390mm, which takes a special tire. The car needs tires bad but I am going to try and locate another basketweave wheel then take the car to the local econo used tire place and see what they can throw on that actually match and has tread.

This was just after the pressure wash - no soap. Wheels were cleaned with degreaser stuff and scrubbed with a brush.... slowly it is starting to look less like a pos waiting for the junkyard and more into an "old car"



With the exception of 2-3 door dings and a small dent near the trunk badge, the body is suprislingly dent/ding free... the sheetmetal panels seem a bit thicker then the e30, though it may just be my imagination



the dark spots seem to be the actual clearcoat... which I could "erase" with the pressure washer.... made it look much more uniform. Much to my surprise after pressure washing the heck outta this thing - nothing leaked into the car... not even the sunroof. I made note not to spray the seal directly, but still. I'm impressed.





That's all for now... I added up the cost and it needs about $250 worth of parts for it to be safe and reliable on the road - then I'll start driving it. Atleast there is plenty of cleaning tasks to keep me busy as it'll be several weeks until I have the funds to put towards this car.

Forgot to mention.... car was $500. Runs, drives, electrical stuff mostly all works, cold A/C, accident and rust free.
 

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Appearace mods (last on the priority) will be basic... matching 4th wheel (not last - car needs tires), hood will get repainted by yours truely - rattle can? dunno - not looking for perfect... looking for sorta mostly blends in. Broken power antenna will get repalced with basic fixed mast. I'll probably get the windows tinted not too dark sometime. I'm not even concerned about the paint and to me it looks "good" - a wash and wax for giggles but I can deal with faded paint on an original 24 year old car - it's still doing it's job anyway (protecting the metal from rusting). I'll replace the fog lights too. I'm not concerned about making this into a show car or anything close to it... just a clean, well kept and well maintained driver - faded paint and all.

About the only thing I would do is dump the ugly diving boards - the US 5mph spec bumpers in place for some euros if the price was right... it just makes the car look so much better





No performance mods either... engine will get tuned up, valves adjusted, timing belt and water pump replaced (both soon) but it'll be left stock. The whole point of this car is a "regular car" and even driving it around about an hour that I have already - I think it'll fit that bill very nice. It's a fun, comfortable and nice ride. I really miss a properly setup sound system in an enclosed car.

This car isn't replacing anything and wasn't bought out of need. It will get its fair share of use, mostly local stuff, unless I was going on a trip in the colder months when I don't want a convertible or if I'm picking someone up from the airport, going out with friends or anything that involves more then 2 people as it actually has a back seat that is worth a darn.
 

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Cool!
 

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I love to see a car brought back from the brink of death! A friend and I are doing something similar with his '88 F150 (typical redneck truck, trying to make it a reliable driver). Can't wait to see how your interior cleans up (I've used Spray-9 on old filthy leather to clean dirt off, works very well)
 

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Son of a bitch. Every used car I buy has AC problems, but your heap from a redneck in the woods still blows ice cold!!! I can already see the potential in this car. That color is beautiful, especially with the beige interior.

It seems like the same irrational "but surely, I can give this car love" mentality that got me an old Saab got you a couple old BMWs. I cant wait to see how your E28 looks in a year.

Just two days ago I was at the junkyard in the import section and stumbled upon an E28. I was actually thinking, "Rick might like this."

If you remember Wes, who used to be a moderator here, he bought an E28 for a few hundred bucks, did the head gasket, and resold it I think for a couple grand. The thread is buried somewhere at NICOclub.com if you want to see pics, or just contact elwesso.

These underrated and underappreciated E28s will be increasing slightly in resale value soon (in good condition), so now is a good time to buy.
 

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I know, of all things I wasn't expecting to work was the A/C. It's not without its faults though - I dred turning the blower fan on as it just pumps that nasty cig smell through the car - literally starts to get me sick.

..... anything worth salvaging on that e28 in the junkyard? They are hard to find around here.... don't exactly fit in with the locals.

I remember Wes! I'll have to check out that thread about him fixing it up.

I am surprised how cheap, overall it'll be total. $500 for the car, so far about $60 in fluids.... but I already have all the parts together in an online shopping car and the total is only around $250, with the most expesnive being the rear diff mount at $75 and center drag link at $63. It isn't going to take much cost wise. Then get a matching wheel and whatever speical I can find at the used tire place.

Perhaps something that really surprised me was the power delivery. I've heard the eta engine isn't as quick as the i, that's a given... but how well it puts that power down - one really wouldn't think it is 121hp.

If it is in 1st and you are rolling through a 90* turn, say in a parking lot or something and floor it - it'll break the back end loose. Especially in 1st and 2nd it pulls rather strong as you can actually feel the car accelerate. Upper gears are not bad either. Definitly not a race car, but for an early 80s era midsize car with what would be considered a small engine - it moves out well. I took some videos that are uploading.
 

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I love to see a car brought back from the brink of death! A friend and I are doing something similar with his '88 F150 (typical redneck truck, trying to make it a reliable driver). Can't wait to see how your interior cleans up (I've used Spray-9 on old filthy leather to clean dirt off, works very well)
I grew up around those trucks (Broncos)and really like them alot - they are darn good trucks. My favorite of them, and of now "older" trucks is the '92-'96 style. If I needed a pickup, I'd get one of those - preferably with the I6.

Some videos. This is when I first got it without doing anything to it. This engine even sounds different then the "i"... almost trucky like.


Later that night I did the oil change and ran seafoam thru the intake as well as in the gas. Then I drove it around for about an hour. This was the ride where I averaged around 27mpg.

Couple things at hand... first the camera is in need of repair, so I need to keep pressure on the battery door otherwise it'll turn off, so it's akward to hold. Also this shifting - it isn't fast, the shifter linkage is totally shot, so this isn't a real 0-60 time, however 1st and 2nd are wide open throttle (once I was straight on the road, not through the turn). Other then the oil change it is as-is, dirty fuel filter (now repalced) nasty air filter and who knows what condition the distrubutor cap and rotor are in. 2nd gear ends around 60mph.


driving in 5th


a short 3rd gear wot pull halfway through. I'm not pushing the car any faster... I don't even want to do 60 in it, the ball joint on the draglink looks like it'll snap out and the tires are bald and totally shot.


This just shows how totally shot the entire shifter linkage is. The e30 was the same way. In fact, the parts are interchangeable. I am going to be upgrading the e30 linkage to an aftermarket double shear selector rod, which means the whole stock linkage I rebuilt will have no use.... all those parts will be getting swapped onto this car. Shifter itself will stay stock as I am not concerned about short throw on this car, but I atlest want it tight.

 

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Pretty cool Rick. I can't blame you for rescuing it for $500. Hope it serves you well.
 

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Always hate to see a car that's been so badly neglected, especially that nasty interior, but you've given it a new lease on life. And for $500, it was worth saving, especially considering the work you've done on the 3-Series.

A fellow car guy at OSU had a mint '85 5-Series that he recently sold; fortunately it went to a real BMW enthusiast who will take good care of it.
 

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2002 Seville STS F55, 2006 Mazda Miata
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The E28 I saw at the yard had a decent interior except for the drivers seat. I remember it being a darker color inside. All the doors, glass, and panels were there. Cant remember if there was any rust. It was also a manual and the shifter felt pretty good. If there's something you specifically need that's shippable let me know.
 

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The one in St Louis:
Pick-n-Pull - St. Louis [More Information]
7557 Hall Street
St. Louis, MO 63147 US

Store Layout Map | Part PricingMake Model Year Row Date On Yard
BMW 535i 87 0036 09/05/2010

http://www.picknpull.com

They also have a yard in Tallahassee but I only saw E39s when I searched.
 

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It will be interesting to see this poor orphan come back to useable like under your knowledgeable and skilled ownership. The eighties were not as harmful to some of the European makes as they were to many of the American ones. In fact the eighties European and Japanese cars really became much more competitive with American cars which suffered inordinately from engine downsizing and other imperfect attempts at improving mileage. The eighties were the decade when all BMW models began to gain acceptance as "prestige" cars for the higher income buyers on both coasts who now equated "lively" handling with luxury. Hence Jaguar, BMW and even the slugs from Mercedes began showing up in large numbers in the supermaket parking lots of the "Tonier" suburbs of major cities.

I agree with you when it comes to the 3 series cars being the most fun and enjoyable to drive and own. With BMWs you loose a lot of the driving spontaneity as you move up thru the models to the 5 series and finally the boring "Fat Burgher Special" the 7 series. The makes continual emphasis on "gadget" luxury and their subsequent weight gains have eroded BMWs unique placed among lury cars today. Even the 3 series has become more "ho hum" as other makes improve and BMW layers on the gadgets and pounds!
 

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I know you don't want to do much about appearance, but please if I may put in a request... for the sake of the BMW Gods fix that grille, and the headlight aiming by proxy. Right now it looks like a pornstar with a bad tit-job!
 

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Isn't there some kind of foaming cleaning product that you put in the HVAC system that gets rid of cigarette smells? I think I read a test somewhere and they said it was pretty effective.
 

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For a couple hundred bucks, you got a really neat diamond in the rough, Rick! Your case of B.A.D. (Bimmer Acquisition Disease) is confirmed.
 

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For a couple hundred bucks, you got a really neat diamond in the rough, Rick! Your case of B.A.D. (Bimmer Acquisition Disease) is confirmed.
He needs a sign out front: "Rick's Home for Wayward Bimmers"
 
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