Hello From Florida

General conversations about BMW E28s and the people who own them.
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TommyBahama
Posts: 26
Joined: Jul 27, 2020 12:50 AM
Location: South Florida

Hello From Florida

Post by TommyBahama »

Howdy, I'm new to mye28 and I wanted to introduce myself. My name is Tom, I'm currently living in South Florida, and I recently purchased a 1983 528e at a price I couldn't pass up. This is actually the second '83 528e I've owned. My first car when I was 17 was an automatic 528e that my uncle generously passed down to me. It lasted a couple years until the transmission exploded. I had gotten into autocross events with it and generally abused it like the idiot I was.

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Once the automatic died, I sold the car for cheap, and moved on to other platforms. I've owned several Subarus including an STI swapped impreza that I still have sitting around, a couple miatas, an e36 drift car, a fox body mustang, and now 12 years later I decided it was time to return to my roots. :lol:

I found a very clean E28 for sale right down the street from where I live. This time in silver and it's a manual, with 2 piece BBS RC090 wheels.

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Overall, the car is in pretty good shape. There are a few issues I need to sort out before I can take it to an autocross or track day. For starters, the shifter bushings are completely shot. I've ordered a UUC short shifter, and started removing the exhaust and driveshaft. The car also has a misfire when it's started hot. I'm thinking this is likely a fuel issue, so I've replaced the fuel filter and fuel relay. I haven't fired the car back up yet, but if it still isn't fixed, it could also be a leaky injector or fuel pump. The handbrake is also giving me trouble. The internal spring was missing, so I installed a new one, but it still doesn't function 100% correctly. Not sure if I bought the wrong spring, but it doesn't apply enough outward force on the button.

I hope to update my progress here for you guys somewhat regularly. I've always loved this platform, and unlike my miatas or mustang, I'm planning to hold onto this project for a very long time.
garageboy
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Re: Hello From Florida

Post by garageboy »

Welcome to MYE28! Beautiful car!

My first E28 was a 1983 528e I bought in 1988 for $7900. I ran it up to 317,000 miles before I had to make it a parts car due to rust. May you enjoy yours for a very long time!

Regarding fuel, great idea to replace the fuel filter. Most neglect to ever do that. You should possibly look at the fuel pressure regulator (on top of the engine) but I am not convinced either is the case for your misfire.

Regarding the hand brake, it is possible, first, that the assembly has broken free of the weld points and needs to be re-welded. Also, the cables stretch over time and need to be replaced. This is not for the faint of heart. Not only can rust make it difficult to remove the cables' housing from under the car, they attach to the e-brake shoes through a backing plate on the rear wheels. Mine rusted away and replacing them was not trivial. I hope your car does not have the rust a New England car like mine eventually developed (I ice raced this one a lot but it's the salt on NYC and MA roads that killed it).

Hope this helps a bit. Enjoy your new E28!!
Mike W.
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Re: Hello From Florida

Post by Mike W. »

Welcome to the group, looks like a nice one!
TommyBahama
Posts: 26
Joined: Jul 27, 2020 12:50 AM
Location: South Florida

Re: Hello From Florida

Post by TommyBahama »

garageboy wrote: Aug 12, 2020 4:06 PM Welcome to MYE28! Beautiful car!
Thank you!! And I was considering replacing the fuel pressure regulator as well just for good measure. I replaced the thermo-time switch with a known good unit as well, just to be safe. Sorry to hear about the rust you had to deal with. Mine is pretty clean, seems like it's been garaged for most of its life, but it was originally from up north so there is a bit of corrosion. I may try using a few washers or something to get the handbrake working and do a permanent fix down the road. Thank you for all the advice!
Mike W. wrote: Aug 12, 2020 7:23 PM Welcome to the group, looks like a nice one!
Thank you!! Glad to be a part of the community. :beer:
TommyBahama
Posts: 26
Joined: Jul 27, 2020 12:50 AM
Location: South Florida

Re: Hello From Florida

Post by TommyBahama »

So tomorrow is the 6 month anniversary since buying my E28! I decided to snap a few photos yesterday instead of working on it. :cool:

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I've made good progress sorting out a lot of the issues. I've installed new shifter bushings, new fuel filter, new idle sensor, new steering gear, new front lower control arms, and performed all the regular maintenance (plugs, wires, cap/rotor). I also removed the radio antenna that was broken, and installed a rubber plug in it's place.


Final things to wrap up:

1. While the misfiring is mostly gone, it had a slight rough idle yesterday after I hadn't driven it for a couple weeks. I added fresh gas to see if that will help. Is it recommended to avoid gas containing Ethanol?

2. My radiator has a small leak, and a new one from Turner is like $430 :brickwall: So I might hold off on that for a little bit.

3. I discovered a pretty bad vibration over 50mph. I'm not sure if it's a wheel that needs to be balanced, or if I need to adjust the CSB, since I had moved it around to get to my shifter bushings.

4. Lastly, I have some weird electrical issues. I have one headlight and one tail light that are functional, but everything else is out. I tried new bulbs and sockets, but still no brake, reverse, or high beam lights. I'll have to bust out my voltmeter next weekend.
Bonsaibacker
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Location: Savannah GA

Re: Hello From Florida

Post by Bonsaibacker »

Car is looking great and it is obvious you are enjoying it.

Of the issues you listed, I have experience with vibrations- always seems to be the front suspension. And the electrical issues- check your grounds and connections. The rear lights can get finicky due to the funky plate and bulb holders.

Good luck sorting it out. For me that is the joy of the relationship with the car. Perpetual needs and attention.
Dale3783
Posts: 371
Joined: Oct 26, 2016 10:01 PM
Location: Connecticut

Re: Hello From Florida

Post by Dale3783 »

Car looks great. My wife and I just moved to Miami from CT. Keep me posted about any good Cars and Coffee events or BMW meetups!
Foonfer
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Re: Hello From Florida

Post by Foonfer »

am I seeing things or does the odo in your new E28 read under 100K miles? WHOA that is a rare sight these days if it is the true mileage.

Also, I want to hear the story behind the "528is" badge - what's up with that?
TommyBahama
Posts: 26
Joined: Jul 27, 2020 12:50 AM
Location: South Florida

Re: Hello From Florida

Post by TommyBahama »

Bonsaibacker wrote: Jan 11, 2021 7:27 PM Car is looking great and it is obvious you are enjoying it.

Of the issues you listed, I have experience with vibrations- always seems to be the front suspension. And the electrical issues- check your grounds and connections. The rear lights can get finicky due to the funky plate and bulb holders.

Good luck sorting it out. For me that is the joy of the relationship with the car. Perpetual needs and attention.
Thanks for tips, I did notice the rear plate bulb has a weird housing that is screwed up into the trunk. I thought "this can't be original!" :laugh:
And I totally agree, figuring out issues and tinkering is part of the hobby.
Dale3783 wrote: Jan 11, 2021 9:40 PM Car looks great. My wife and I just moved to Miami from CT. Keep me posted about any good Cars and Coffee events or BMW meetups!
Welcome to FL! I recommend joining the Florida Bimmers facebook group if you haven't already. I've attended a couple of their events and they've been great.
Foonfer wrote: Jan 12, 2021 12:19 AM am I seeing things or does the odo in your new E28 read under 100K miles? WHOA that is a rare sight these days if it is the true mileage.

Also, I want to hear the story behind the "528is" badge - what's up with that?
Good eye! Unfortunately, per the previous owner "Odometer broke at 92k, I estimate it to have 130k". As for the 528is badging, he put that on as well. No idea why :dunno: I was actually thinking about removing it and going for a clean look.
tn535i
Posts: 5395
Joined: Jul 14, 2006 1:30 PM
Location: Middle Tennessee

Re: Hello From Florida

Post by tn535i »

Looks like it's a keeper. I think I'm confused about what's fixed and what's still a problem. Sometimes separate posts with individual issues is better than a grocery list of things.

As far as the badge, I think better to d-badge than make up a new one. At least lose the 'is' as you will never convince or fool anyone into thinking you have the one and only ever made.
TommyBahama
Posts: 26
Joined: Jul 27, 2020 12:50 AM
Location: South Florida

Re: Hello From Florida

Post by TommyBahama »

tn535i wrote: Jan 12, 2021 3:45 PM Looks like it's a keeper. I think I'm confused about what's fixed and what's still a problem. Sometimes separate posts with individual issues is better than a grocery list of things.
Thanks for the feedback, maybe I'll do more regular updates as I fix things up. My two highest priorities that still need fixing are no brake lights, and a bad vibration over 50mph.
tn535i wrote: Jan 12, 2021 3:45 PM As far as the badge, I think better to d-badge than make up a new one. At least lose the 'is' as you will never convince or fool anyone into thinking you have the one and only ever made.
And I totally agree here. Not only is it false advertising, it also doesn't look like it belongs. I don't have a heat gun, but my wife's hair drier should do the trick. I'll see if I can heat up the adhesive and remove it this weekend.
tn535i
Posts: 5395
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Location: Middle Tennessee

Re: Hello From Florida

Post by tn535i »

Distinct vibrations above 50 mph are often just wheel balance. I find wheels and tires come and go in and out especially on long sweeping turns if they are syncopating. IF you have not checked you need to see if you have hubcentric adapters on those wheels. The RC090 only came in the larger hub bore and since your mileage is low I doubt the bearings or axles or anything like that is the problem. Shimmies, especially when braking are generally worn bushings and such and the front upper control arm is the worst. It really gets going if your rotors are warped. You need to realize also this car was NOT engineered with those bigger wheels and they exaggerate ANY issues.

When you did the D/S and CSB did you pre-load the CSB about 10-13 mm or whatever it calls out. My experience is D/S wobbles are severe at low speeds <20 then kind of go away but bad u-joints will come back as a slighter vibration but a hi frequency vibration at higher and higher speeds. Axles in the rear when bad do the same slight hi freq vibration at higher speeds.

I would not drive a car without brake lights. Use the ETM at wedophones and figure that one out. The diagrams are easy to follow and you should be able to pinpoint and it could be really simple like a broken brake light switch. I had that happen once. Does your brake check light go out after you start the car and press the brake pedal?
TommyBahama
Posts: 26
Joined: Jul 27, 2020 12:50 AM
Location: South Florida

Re: Hello From Florida

Post by TommyBahama »

tn535i wrote: Jan 14, 2021 3:07 PM Distinct vibrations above 50 mph are often just wheel balance. I find wheels and tires come and go in and out especially on long sweeping turns if they are syncopating. IF you have not checked you need to see if you have hubcentric adapters on those wheels. The RC090 only came in the larger hub bore and since your mileage is low I doubt the bearings or axles or anything like that is the problem. Shimmies, especially when braking are generally worn bushings and such and the front upper control arm is the worst. It really gets going if your rotors are warped. You need to realize also this car was NOT engineered with those bigger wheels and they exaggerate ANY issues.

When you did the D/S and CSB did you pre-load the CSB about 10-13 mm or whatever it calls out. My experience is D/S wobbles are severe at low speeds <20 then kind of go away but bad u-joints will come back as a slighter vibration but a hi frequency vibration at higher and higher speeds. Axles in the rear when bad do the same slight hi freq vibration at higher speeds.

I would not drive a car without brake lights. Use the ETM at wedophones and figure that one out. The diagrams are easy to follow and you should be able to pinpoint and it could be really simple like a broken brake light switch. I had that happen once. Does your brake check light go out after you start the car and press the brake pedal?
This is all awesome info thank you! I did add approx. 10-13mm pre-load to the CSB, and tried to place it exactly where it was originally. My plan is to have the wheels rebalanced and check to see if the wheel spacers/adapters are hubcentric. If this doesn't solve it, I'll have at least narrowed it down to most likely a driveline issue. I have yanked on the wheels and the bearings/tierods seem fine, I've also recently installed new arms and bushings.

And I am definitely not driving the car without the lights.. around here, I'd be rear ended in no time! I only take the car around the block once a week to stretch it's legs. I installed new bulbs and caps, and tested the housings with my voltmeter - they do appear to getting very little power, so it's most likely a fuse or switch. I noticed I have a fog light fuse missing too. I've ordered all new fuses, and if that doesn't work I'll replace the low beam/high beam switches. After that, I'll be taking it to a professional. Electrical stuff is my worst nightmare, and the previous owner seems to have done a hack job installing a stereo (as you can see from the red wiring harness ziptied by the battery in the background here).

Brake check light stays on, even with the car on and foot on the pedal. The check panel stays lit up for fog, low, high, etc.

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garageboy
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Re: Hello From Florida

Post by garageboy »

TommyBahama wrote: Jan 25, 2021 3:57 PM Electrical stuff is my worst nightmare, and the previous owner seems to have done a hack job installing a stereo (as you can see from the red wiring harness ziptied by the battery in the background here).

Brake check light stays on, even with the car on and foot on the pedal. The check panel stays lit up for fog, low, high, etc.
I'm an electrical engineer, and I've been driving these cars since 1988. I can state some things with CERTAINTY:

1. There are times when a loose connection, bad ground, dirty or deteriorating fuse, and a specific relay (there are 2 in particular that can leave you stranded) flaking out that can make you think your car is on its deathbed. The good news is that is NEVER the case.

2. Electrical issues on E28s are often tricky to diagnose, but easy AND cheap to repair. As such, there are some concrete steps to avoid ever having these kinds of issues:
a- replace all your fuses with new ones
b- clean the tabs on each fuse with emery paper or light sandpaper or a pen eraser, remove the debris, and carefully bend the tabs so that they make solid contact with the fuses. And DEFINITELY get a cover for that fuse box!!
c- replace and at least tighten the ground straps. There are 4, as I recall, and they deteriorate and fail. They are cheap and available from the factory. I would never go aftermarket on this part.
d- order four (4) relays -- 2 main relays, and 2 fuel pump relays. Keep a spare pair in the glovebox; do NOT throw out the old ones since they currently work, and replace the main and fuel pump relays.
e- clean connections on the sensors on top of the engine. Don't go nuts. Just clean them up like the fuse holders.
f- examine the wiring in the engine compartment, because 30+ years of heat-cycling in a harsh environment CAN take its toll, particularly if the persons maintaining the car in its history were careless about using the wire-holding mechanisms that came with the car 30+ years ago. I have broken many of those small plastic clips and holders, but I replace them since they really have a function. If you're OCD, this is a fun project. :rofl:
g- Remove and clean the spark plug wire loom. With hope, some knucklehead didn't think they knew what they were doing and ordered new spark plug wires from some craphole aftermarket outlet. Inspect each wire for cracks and deteriorated rubber. I have used the factory looms on each E28 for over 300k miles apiece with no issues. Keep them clean.
h- remove and inspect the spark plugs if the car is new to you. Consider replacing them. Only use Bosch or NGK that is designated for your E28.

3. Get a multimeter and have a friend that knows this stuff teach you how to use it (or learn via youtube). And download the Electronic Troubleshooting Manual (ETM) for the E28. Google it. It is your friend and will make this a LOT easier.

4. Use quality gasoline -- brand name premium -- and you will never need to replace a leaking injector or fuel pressure regulator or anything like that. Shitty gas gums things up, screws up the pressure, and causes problems. Replace any fuel rubber line that you don't know its origin, and yeah, since it's required once every 25 years, I'd suck it up and pay for the factory fuel line. Just going by my experiences...

It is possible that the wiring for the stereo is a problem, but I think if you take care of these items above, you'll get 90% of the way there.

Personally, I would replace all the bulbs with bulbs I know are the correct rating for the socket. Many times people think they're clever and replace bulbs with "brighter" ones, and either melt fixtures or make the sensors the car came with not work properly. Even if you were to pick up a couple traditional sealed-beam 5006 and 5001s in order to test things, I think it would be worth the few bucks to have them in your toolbox.

Hope this helps.
TommyBahama
Posts: 26
Joined: Jul 27, 2020 12:50 AM
Location: South Florida

Re: Hello From Florida

Post by TommyBahama »

garageboy wrote: Jan 25, 2021 6:11 PMHope this helps.
Wow... THANK YOU! This is all excellent info. I'm going to do every single one of these and report back. I'll start this weekend with 2a, 2b, and 2d.
cek
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Re: Hello From Florida

Post by cek »

Garageboy - nice reply!

On gas: If you can get ethanol-free in your area, use it. I've run 91 octane ethanol-free in my high-compresion M30B35 in Utah with no problem, but in Seattle I can get 93 which is even better. It's the ethanol that that causes all the rubber bits to get hard and fail over time...
vinceg101
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Re: Hello From Florida

Post by vinceg101 »

On the leaking radiator, the general consensus right now is use the Nissens and NOT the current S.African Behr unit. The Behr's used to the Gold Standard in radiators but something happened over there on the continent and the quality control as well as design has really dropped off. There is a recent thread on this which I'm being lazy and not linking, but search for it (I think it was in the Tech Talk page).

I personally had three brand new ones leak right out of the box (all ordered from AutohuasAZ). Also after reading that thread I am pretty convinced my current issues with higher and fluctuating engine temps are related to this Behr radiator.
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