Rod's Automobile Pages...

Maintenance Tips Pg. 3
Maintenance Tips Pg. 1
Maintenance Tips Pg. 2
Maintenance Tips Pg. 3
Maintenance Tips Pg. 4
More Maintenance Tips (rear bushing replacement, the EZcarlift in action, etc.)
Modifications and Resources Pg. 1
Modifications and Resources Pg. 2
Modifications and Resources Pg. 3
Modifications and Resources Pg. 4
Modifications and Resources Pg. 5
Paint Protection
Electrical Problems
Lighting Voltage Drop Tests - Headlight lens polishing
BMW E28 Steering Wheels
Eric's Autos
Shelley's Autos
Other E28 BMW's
Rod's Honda Fit page
About Rod and links to his other web pages.

Maintenance tips, comments and links about
performing various types of maintenance.
This page last revised Aug. 27, 2012
(click this link to go to this update location)

Swap the seats and help minimize wear
Reducing the wear that our drivers seat experiences can be accomplished by swapping the passenger and drivers seats during their lifetime with us. Here is some info on making the swap. This is the third time on my E28 and along with proper cleaning and treatment, it's why my 30 year old (as of Oct. 2012) leather seats still look great.


After removing the seats from your E28, try to put them somewhere that will make it easier for you to work on them. Remove the plastic trim panels, keeping track of which screw goes where, as they are different lengths. Also note the plastic pins on the backside of the panels. They go into the holes provided for them in the metal control brackets. Take a second to look at these and save yourself some trouble when you put it all back together.


You have to remove four items from each side of the seat, to permit the cushions to be swapped. The two #4 Phillips screws are also locked with red thread locking compound, not indicated in my picture. Remove the Phillips screws first and then the seatback, making it easier to disassemble the seat cushion controls.
Remove the 13mm bolt next.


With the 13mm bolt removed, use an old screwdriver or suitable piece of metal to pry off the lever arm and its shaft from its socket. It is not hard to do, it is retained by a simple split ring, as shown below.


Once the shaft is removed, you can access the C ring and remove it from the plastic bushing, allowing the whole control assembly to now be removed.


Update Jan. 1, 2007 -
With everything removed, you can swap the cushions and put everything back together. Take your time, it is easy to make a mistake and get turned around in terms of what control goes on what seat cushion side. The bar with the bent ends used to release the seat back adjustment, must go back in so it is oriented with the bar facing down toward the floor (away from the seat bottom) at about a 30 degree angle toward the seat front, with reference to the seat bottom. Don't forget to reconnect the big rubber band, that holds the bar in the up position and also keeps the bar from rattling.

Update August 5, 2010
Make sure that the bar under the seat is positioned as shown below, looking at it underneath from behind the seat. The bar is tilted down about 30 degrees toward the front of the seat as shown, making sure that its ends are fully engaged. And don't forget to install the rubber band.

With the seats back together, it's a good time to clean and treat them, while they're easy to get to. When remounting them back in the car, if some of the holes in the brackets don't want to match up with the holes in the floor, release the seat track lever to allow the seat track rails to be repositioned over the holes. With all the handling of swapping the seat cushions, it's easy for the tracks to slip a bit and no longer be in parallel with each other.


The drivers seat is now back in original position, moved from the passenger seat location where it was placed in early 1995. The move from one location to another continues to minimize seat cushion wear, as can be seen. Proper cleaning and longterm use of Zymol Treat has played a major role in maintaining the leather condition. I've seen 5 year old BMW leather seats that don't look as good, or are as supple as these 30 year old seats!
Update August 27, 2012
There are many products available for maintaining the leather upholstery in your E28 and there is also no shortage of opinions on which product works best, including my opinion about Zymol products. Since I have been using Zymol for the past 30 years on my 528e since the day I took delivery of it, new, I have a significant amount of experience with the Zymol products performance, to say the least.
Here are opinions from others, including a response from the Zymol Technical department, responding to my question about the use of new technology care products on my 30 year old leather and Zymol Treat use on the new generation leather upholstery in current automobiles.
First, here is the discussion about leather upholstery care and products, at, where I am a member. This discussion represents a lot of opinions and experience, so do take some time to review it.
Second, here is my request for info from Zymol and their response...
Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2012 12:58:30 -0400
From: Rod Paine <xxxx>
Subject: Leather Treatment Information
Cc: Emmons Coachworks <>
Please review the discussion at <> and assist me, as best as you can, to provide correct information about the use of the Zymol Treat product on leather products manufactured 20-30 years ago, versus the use of new technology products to care for leather auto interiors of this age.
Thank you,
Rod Paine
Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2012 15:35:14 -0400
From: Zymol Technical <>
Subject: Re: Leather Treatment Information
To: Rod Paine <xxxx>
Cc: <>
We have experienced almost everything when it comes to leather. From original leather trim on a 1937 12 cylinder Cadillac Limo to BMW Water Buffalo to new vinyl clad on a MB 300c.
The problem is always the same. Most products re-introduce solvents to soften older leather, which ultimately weakens the hide by accelerating leather upholstery and trim drying and aging.
Arresting the aging of leather is the secret!
Our Zymol Treat uses spun coconut oil and amino acid rich beef collagen (connective tissue proteins and fats) to feed nutrients back into the older leathers since the entire process of producing leather is denaturing the hide. Then Lemon seed (a biocide) and cold extracted banana oils soften the leather and aloe vera extract provides a shield against losing moisture and exposure to sunlight.
This feeding takes place through the release of trapped solvents and the restoration of original hide moisture but there is a BIG price to pay....if you don't like the smell of leather DO NOT use Treat.
The resultant leather odor is overt!!
(Andrew David Molera, with assistance from Chuck Bennett)
Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2012 17:04:29 -0400
To: Zymol Technical <>
From: Rod Paine <xxxx>
Subject: Re: Leather Treatment Information
Thank you. I will send a link to your input once I have modified my web page. On a related note, could you give me your opinion as to what is causing the cracking of leather seats dyed with Leatherique, as shown <> here, by a fellow owner of a classic BMW, Todd Kenyon, as shown at the bottom of his web page. Could Zymol Treat help with this problem, or is it too late or perhaps should not be used in such cases? I've had several people ask me about this.
Thanks, Dave
Best regards,
Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2012 14:02:26 -0400
From: Zymol Technical <>
Subject: Re: Leather Treatment Information (4)
To: Rod Paine <xxxx>
Cc: <>
Zymol Treat was created to help leather stay alive.
I don't recommend Treat for Vinyl and Urethane coated leather.
We have a product "Leather Conditioner" for plasticized new leather.

Update Oct. 13, 2009
Gummi Pflege and maintaining rubber weatherstrip and seal components...
I am continually surprized by the number of people who have never heard of "Gummi-Pflege", originally sold by BMW to protect and maintain the rubber weatherstripping. I've been using it on my 528e since new, which has kept all the rubber in like new condition, as shown above. Here's a suggestion for applying Gummi to areas you can't normally get to, because of the container design.
The original BMW Gummi-Pflege on the left which is no longer available and Gummi Pflege from 1Z on the right which is currently available from sources (updated 10/13/09) like DriveWerks.
Carefully pry the sponge applicator cap off the bottle, by prying between the base the sponge is attached to and the top of the bottle neck lip. Don't pry on the sponge!
Once the cap starts to come out, you can remove it with your fingers. There is a flange sort of ridge at the cap base which helps hold the cap in the bottle neck, so if you cock the cap while pulling it out it'll be a bit easier to remove.
Now you can dip Q-Tips into the liquid and apply it to rubber components that are not easy to get to with a capped bottle, such as the rubber boot housing the wires for the door electrics, as shown here. A rubber component that needs to be preserved, but is often totally overlooked.
To reseal the bottle, I use a proper size cork available at most hardware stores.
The sponge applicator can be placed on top of the cork and the cap will fit over it, keeping everything together for later use.

Door doesn't latch without additional force. Rattles.
Check to see if the plastic cap on the door latch is missing or broken. A missing cap usually requires that you have to slam the door to get it to latch properly. The door may also rattle once closed, when going over rough roads. The cap in the picture is an original brown color, current replacements are light gray.


Modified jack pad for lifting the E28 at its side lift points.

PROTECH side lift jack pad

Update March 31, 2011
You can modify a PROTECH (another new link 3/31/11, clear your cache if you don't see it... you also have to click on the picture or the pad model name #1006 or #1007 to see its size!) side lift jack pad, as I show below, to fit our E28 lift points and minimize potential damage and scratches. I simply cut one with a small hack saw, as shown, to fit. Make sure you position the jack head as shown below, so that it clears the metal lip and doesn't come in contact with it and bend it! Keep this jack pad in your trunk, so it can be used if you find yourself in a garage somewhere, getting repairs you didn't expect.



I've since had some aluminum blocks sand cast from a wooden pattern I made, to use these as my lift/jacking point blocks while using the EZcarlift, as shown here.

Update July 13, 2007 -
Looking for a good knee pad, that is bigger than the typical small gardening style? Take a look at this one, which I have been using and appreciate. They are firm and they haven't collapsed over time after a year of use on my concrete garage floor.

- Checking disc rotor and wheel runout
- Replacing the upper and lower control arms with 750i bushings in the upper arms, steering linkage replacement, tie-rod lube and alignment
- A link to a picture by Philo showing his blue polyurethane bushing failure, plus another failure on another E28
- What no or improper suspension preloading does to a control arm bushing!
- Noisy sway bar link joint to link nut connection due to not tightening to the proper torque value!