Car wizzard e28

General conversations about BMW E28s and the people who own them.
wkohler
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Joined: Oct 05, 2006 11:04 PM
Location: Phönix, Arizona, USA
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Re: Car wizzard e28

Post by wkohler »

When I bought my ‘75, it was still stock down to the reactors, even still had points. The previous (and original) owner had the head done one time in the 180,000 miles he put on it. I took them off but left the 3.0 to see how it would perform. I used a 528i fuel rail, plugged the EGR port in the manifold, put a set of ill-fitting Rocky Mountain Motorworks headers on it, redid all the cooling system with 528i stuff (I couldn’t even get most of the 3.0 stuff, so this helped). Also, did a 5-speed swap. The only thing I didn’t change was the distributor which I left the original retard only version but I put a Pertronix in it. Still had stock springs but the PO put Bilsteins on. Car drove really well.

Then I made the dumbest decision I’ve ever made with cars and sold it, then compounded the dumb decision-making with the cars that came after.
e12euro
Posts: 162
Joined: Jan 11, 2007 5:28 AM
Location: EA

Re: Car wizzard e28

Post by e12euro »

BMWCCA2 wrote: Apr 01, 2021 8:37 PM I obviously struck a nerve!

I did not mention the 6 or 7 series because there were so few relative to the 5er and we were discussing the 530i. Everyone here is intelligent enough to know that same engine in the same year had the same emission controls regardless of platform.

As for 3-series, unless you were in California, you never encountered an E21 with thermal reactors. Likewise the 2002 which had them nationwide only in '75 and only in California for 1976. The fact that BMW used them on other models or that others used them at all doesn't make it a good idea. No one wanted a '75 2002 if there was any other alternative year available. Many shops made a good living getting rid of the convertors, that's how popular they were. I don't know why you defend the Thermal Reactor like it was a good idea, or even successful at what it was designed for. If you want to buy an argument, look elsewhere, or dig out your old Monty Python. https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2hwqn9.

And if there was nothing wrong with the E21 suspension, why the change one-year in?
I never said thermal reactors were a good idea, just that as Mike W. said, it was what was at hand when there weren't many options. I also say that there were a fair number of people that didn't experience head cracking in the first four years. We all know there was a class action lawsuit against BMW due to the reactors, but then again in America you are going to get a class action lawsuit against you if you fart the wrong way. There was also a class action lawsuit when they sold too many S38 M5s in 1988. With the reactors BMW had a policy of replacing heads free, outside warranty, and that policy carried on for affected owners with a valid claim into the mid '80s, and 3.0Si, 320i, 630CSi/633CSi, 733i owners could claim too. As of 1984 BMW NA said just over 8% of 530is cracked heads, and they should know because they had to hand out replacement heads. I mentioned reactors on 320is because I assumed you worked out of a hot area given the problems, and assumed California.

BMW guru Michel Potheau, who moved around BMW CCA circles back in the day, felt that in the mid '80s the 530i with a new head was great value for money. Looking not unlike the latest 533i, and not much slower once you dumped the smog gear. At that time a 530i with a new head was worth the same as a 2002, strange as that may seem today.

Don't forget that outside America the e21 was getting heavier M20 sixes (the 320 and 323i) for 1978 model year. So, the changes may have had as much to do with the heavier new motors, as much as a need to make sure people didn't get caught by oversteer. BMW standardized the changes for four and six cylinder e21s. Motor magazine in the UK tried a 316 in 1976 and again in 1982. First time around they noted it rode very soft, but had no complaints and even said the quick steering was handy in catching the tail. In the 1982 test with the suspension revisions they said the car rode a little harsh, the steering was a little slow and the car was tail happy. It seems two different drivers saw things differently.

Road & Track said when testing the 528i in 1979 that the oversteer wouldn't affect 99% of drivers. In Australia with the 528i the magazine Modern Motor put firmer suspension on the car in 1978, and BMW themselves firmed the car up for 1980 anyway. The journalist spoke to the BMW engineers and told them neutral and understeer was good, but the BMW engineers respectfully disagreed and felt oversteer was good. They said they set the limit high, so most people would never reach it, and enjoy a responsive car most of the time. They felt this was better than setting the limit low, having understeer and a poorly responding car, which most automakers did.

The late Sabine was kind of annoyed she couldn't kick the tail of the 6 series out, even though it had a lot of power, tail wouldn't budge. Same for Fifth Gears' Tiff Needell, he took a small Ford and showed how even with violent provocation, and using the handbrake it wouldn't oversteer. Both Sabine and Tiff were racing drivers. Even Martin Brundle once gave an interview while racing a production Porsche 911 around Silverstone. But for the average person they had to get rid of oversteer.

If you want to see a real difficult handling car, see this Car and Track 1973 film of a VW 412 negotiate a reverse camber turn.

Car and Track 1973 VW 412
PDX5
Posts: 527
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Portland, Oregon - Washington DC

Re: Car wizzard e28

Post by PDX5 »

garageboy wrote: Mar 26, 2021 1:00 AM I've been looking at E28s for a very long time, and something doesn't add up about this car. I love me a low mileage E28, but something is wrong about this car. I suspect it sat for a very long time. That blue cloth interior looks like it has more than 200,000 miles on it, again making me wonder if it sat outside and baked in the South Carolina sun all these years...

I don't know how to drive an automatic, admittedly, but how does a shifter handle crack in a mere 31,000 miles?
The rattle can black intake manifold and perfectly placed trunk badge scream 31k original miles. :confused:
gadget73
Posts: 680
Joined: Nov 22, 2017 11:30 PM
Location: New Jersey

Re: Car wizzard e28

Post by gadget73 »

you'd be surprised how many people are fooled by rattle cans. When I had the intake and cam cover off the diesel in the Conti I cleaned and painted it with the Duplicolor cast coat aluminum paint. I had several people ask me where I found an NOS intake and cover.
Blue Shadow
Posts: 9353
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: SE PA

Re: Car wizzard e28

Post by Blue Shadow »

PDX5 wrote: Apr 07, 2021 1:51 PM

The rattle can black intake manifold and perfectly placed trunk badge scream 31k original miles. :confused:
I agree that car looks beat to hell with fresh paint.
gadget73
Posts: 680
Joined: Nov 22, 2017 11:30 PM
Location: New Jersey

Re: Car wizzard e28

Post by gadget73 »

he's had a couple cars that he bragged about their condition, but I didn't see it. The Grand Marquis he had for a bit had a cracked dashboard and the cloth on the C pillars was shredding but he talked about how nice it was inside.
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