My Questionable '86 528e Daily Driver

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danespann
Posts: 12
Joined: Feb 01, 2021 6:38 PM
Location: Phoenix, AZ

My Questionable '86 528e Daily Driver

Post by danespann »

I usually try to create a thread to keep track of cars over the years, so I figure I will do that here with this one.

This 528e popped up on facebook marketplace in Tucson. 2 photos. I could tell it was white and had a decent black interior with manual transmission. So, I sent the seller a message and within 20 minutes was heading to Tucson from Phoenix with my friend Danny in his e34. The seller said, “sure it will make the drive, I drive it every day”.

ImageIMG_8178 by Dane Spannaus, on Flickr

Image996fd0b5-5d10-42ae-97c9-e49c2c0c2336 by Dane Spannaus, on Flickr

After driving it around the block and confirming it drove horribly and the odometer did not work and hadn’t since 2009(344,179), I exchanged money for title and off we went. Stopped at a gas station to check oil and top off the low coolant.

Despite looking new, no thrust arm bushings seemed to be present. I went 80 the entire drive to minimize shaking.

ImageIMG_8199 by Dane Spannaus, on Flickr

ImageIMG_8198 by Dane Spannaus, on Flickr

Immediately ordered new thrust arms from SSF and had Danny install them at his shop the next day. Previous owner didn’t torque the new ones at ride height so they failed quick. Between new arms and a wheel balance, we were now only left shake from subframe bushings.

ImageIMG_8422 by Dane Spannaus, on Flickr

Discovered the car had an aftermarket AC system installed at an AC shop in 2016, so a quick recharge after fixing a leaky Schrader valve had excellent working AC (for an e28) before the summer months hit.

ImageIMG_8239 by Dane Spannaus, on Flickr

Image1615415424760_filtered by Dane Spannaus, on Flickr

Threw in an orange-backlit headunit because I can’t stand bright blue lights.

Imagea0753dfb-7a6b-45e8-987e-c6a4146e10ff by Dane Spannaus, on Flickr

Replaced sport wheel with a nicer one I’ve had around and ordered a new shift knob that looks proper. Also Fixed cruise control:

ImageIMG_8732 by Dane Spannaus, on Flickr

Image2021-02-20 BMW Drive_3 by Dane Spannaus, on Flickr

Image2021-02-20 BMW Drive_5 by Dane Spannaus, on Flickr

Took care of timing belt/water pump/cam seals/VCG/valve adjust as well.

Image887f5d29-43af-4829-946e-c3dbdc91d516 by Dane Spannaus, on Flickr

ImageIMG_0847 by Dane Spannaus, on Flickr

Not bad for a half million miles:

ImageIMG_0673 by Dane Spannaus, on Flickr

Drove the car to California to pick up a proper E28 M-Tech spoiler. It came with an E30 M-Tech spoiler that was installed poorly, which I sold:

Image2021-03-14 Cali Trip_19 by Dane Spannaus, on Flickr

Image2021-03-14 Cali Trip_104 by Dane Spannaus, on Flickr

Proper spoiler:
ImageIMG_0370 by Dane Spannaus, on Flickr

That’s where I’ll leave it for now. I have a 45-mile each way commute and this car takes that every day in comfort. Surprisingly, the m20 seems pretty healthy at 500kish besides bad piston slap when cold. Minimal oil usage (1qt in 4 months) and no coolant usage. If/when the m20 goes, the car will become a project and receive a m30b28 that’s laying around with b35 manifold and motronic 1.3. Until then, maybe I'll change the wheels or something.
cek
Posts: 9051
Joined: Mar 18, 2013 6:25 PM
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Re: My Questionable '86 528e Daily Driver

Post by cek »

I went 80 the entire drive to minimize shaking.
One of the best 1st posts ever.

Welcome aboard and nice save! That car's got a ton left in her!
danespann
Posts: 12
Joined: Feb 01, 2021 6:38 PM
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: My Questionable '86 528e Daily Driver

Post by danespann »

Well, I decided to "change the wheels or something".

Finally received these 16x8+0 GTA wheels back from having the hub bores enlarged to 72.56. They were originally purchased for my Bronzit e34 535i, but they look excellent on this car, so I think they’ll stay.

Slight rub in the rear occasionally but only on one side or the other, not both. If the rub doesn’t go away with new subframe bushings, I’ll just roll the inner lip of the rear arches.

Image1618769994944_filtered by Dane Spannaus, on Flickr
danespann
Posts: 12
Joined: Feb 01, 2021 6:38 PM
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: My Questionable '86 528e Daily Driver

Post by danespann »

cek wrote: Apr 18, 2021 2:14 PM
One of the best 1st posts ever.

Welcome aboard and nice save! That car's got a ton left in her!
Thanks, happy to be here. Not my first car thread but my first e28.
This car has been through a lot but I'll keep it around as long as I can. It doesn't seem intent on dying anytime soon.
muleskinner
Posts: 1266
Joined: Sep 08, 2007 11:17 AM
Location: John Graham ATL

Re: My Questionable '86 528e Daily Driver

Post by muleskinner »

Nice rescue. Look forward to seeing the evolution of this project. You've already brought it a long way. Those are cool wheels, and the gold centers are period correct, but I think they'd be even cooler with the centers painted silver.
danespann
Posts: 12
Joined: Feb 01, 2021 6:38 PM
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: My Questionable '86 528e Daily Driver

Post by danespann »

Dropped the car off with wkohler for some subframe bushings.

Image1619542936285_filtered by Dane Spannaus, on Flickr

The good powerflex yellows:

ImageIMG_2256 by Dane Spannaus, on Flickr

All installed:

ImageIMG_2091 by Dane Spannaus, on Flickr

Seeing the old ones is always the fun part. The subframe on this car would smash into the floor when taking off from a stop.

The “good” one:
ImageIMG_2257 by Dane Spannaus, on Flickr

The other one:
ImageIMG_2259 by Dane Spannaus, on Flickr

The metal insert was nicely polished:
ImageIMG_2261 by Dane Spannaus, on Flickr

No visual change here, but the car is fairly sorted suspension-wise now. Time to change the oil and keep commuting.
danespann
Posts: 12
Joined: Feb 01, 2021 6:38 PM
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: My Questionable '86 528e Daily Driver

Post by danespann »

Small update only.

Threw on some style 9’s with new 225/50r16’s because I didn’t really want to roll the quarter panel lips for the other wheels and it is hot out in Arizona now.

Image2021-06-06 scans cropped_15 by Dane Spannaus, on Flickr

Went “off-roading” a bit to take my Mother hiking for Mother’s Day. No pics of the off-roading but it wasn’t too serious.

Image2021-06-06 Roll 2 cropped_1 by Dane Spannaus, on Flickr

Image2021-06-06 Roll 2 cropped_23 by Dane Spannaus, on Flickr

I estimate I’ve put around 10k miles on the car since purchase and it’s surprisingly great. I’ll likely throw a cover on it and park it for a while soon since it’s too hot out to be enjoyed, even with the fancy A/C things that have been done to it.
Foonfer
Posts: 543
Joined: Mar 18, 2015 11:33 PM
Location: New York, NY

Re: My Questionable '86 528e Daily Driver

Post by Foonfer »

Nice save, someone must have been either very lucky or very diligent with timing belt replacements over so many miles.

Car looks beautiful with the 16" Style 29s... why change them? :shock:
danespann
Posts: 12
Joined: Feb 01, 2021 6:38 PM
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: My Questionable '86 528e Daily Driver

Post by danespann »

Foonfer wrote: Jun 07, 2021 11:05 AM Nice save, someone must have been either very lucky or very diligent with timing belt replacements over so many miles.

Car looks beautiful with the 16" Style 29s... why change them? :shock:
Definitely some combination of luck and the occasional long interval timing belt replacement. Car has a San Francisco SCCA Sticker in the rear window from many years ago so it probably received maintenance under that owner.

On the style 29's, they're higher offset than I would like on this car, but fit great on my e36 that had a very bent set of bottle caps.
danespann
Posts: 12
Joined: Feb 01, 2021 6:38 PM
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: My Questionable '86 528e Daily Driver

Post by danespann »

It’s been a while since I updated this. I do still have this car and drive it frequently. I put a lot of miles on it daily driving it through July. However, it became too hot for the amount of A/C and lack of tint so I started driving my e36 more, only to shortly thereafter leave that job and commute.

Image2021-06-12 films scans contrast curve_10 by Dane Spannaus, on Flickr

Image2021-06-12 films scans roll 2_16 by Dane Spannaus, on Flickr

Without a commute, I haven’t been putting many miles on anything other than some road trips which I generally take my E34 on. I did take this e28 to an autocross in Tucson, which ended up being cancelled due to flooding. No autocross, but I learned that the E28 does well in torrential downpours and driving through floodwaters.

ImageScreen Shot 2021-09-18 at 8.29.28 PM by Dane Spannaus, on Flickr

Imagea61d011d-d9c4-4520-b2d0-73c7c5a5b226 by Dane Spannaus, on Flickr

With cooler weather upon us, this is my main car again. I rewarded it with some nice lightweight wheels I’ve had around and sticky tires. 16x8 forgeline RS wheels with 225/50r16 Firestone Firehawks. Should be useful for trips to the grocery store.

Image1631907971157_filtered by Dane Spannaus, on Flickr

ImageIMG_9832 by Dane Spannaus, on Flickr
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