Vlad: The Zinno '87 535is

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cek
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Vlad: The Zinno '87 535is

Post by cek »

This is the life-thread for Vlad, my Zinno '87 535is Daily Driver. This was my first E28 and since buying it I have tweaked, upgraded, replaced, or modified almost every part of it. It is (for me) just about the perfect E28. Here's a summary of Vlad as of September 2020. See below for the original '1st post', history, and then follow along for progress.

Car details:
  • 1987 BMW 535is - Built September 16, 1986
  • WBADC7401H0964420
  • Zinnoberrot (Cinnabar) on black
  • Delivered to first owner in Orange, CA February 27, 1988
  • Sold to 2nd owner in Santa Barbara, CA October 6, 2000 @ 87,525 miles
  • Sold to 3rd owner (me) in Bellevue, WA April 5, 2013 @ 171,000 miles
  • About 205,000 miles (Summer 2020).
Updates/Tweaks:
  • Personally built M30B35 high-compression (10.5:1) motor with Paul Burke cam
    • B34 block bored to 92.5mm
    • B35 head, rods, springs, crank, manifold
    • Paul Burke B35 10.5:1 "806" M30 B35 CNC Dome piston set
    • Paul Burke "mild" N21 camshaft (282/279)
    • 3-sided valve grind
    • 22lbs injectors
    • 179 ECU, Miller MAF, Miller WAR chip
    • Walbro 255 LPH in-tank fuel pump (inline pump delete)
    • 206 rear-wheel horsepower and 226 rear-wheel ft-lbs torque.
  • Bavarian Auto ceramic coated headers
  • Supersprint exhaust
  • 740iL calipers (painted red), ATE power rotors, 740iL master cylinder, Akebono ceramic pads, stainless hoses
  • 17lbs flywheel
  • Autosolutions Short Shift Kit
  • 3.23 limited slip differential (from a 2003 M Coupe)
  • Summer tires: BBS RZ 418 16X7.5 ET13 wheels - Continental Extreme Contact DW 205/55-R16
  • Winter tires: BBS RX223 16x8" ET15 wheels - Nokian Hakapelittas R2s in 205/55R16
  • Rolled rear fenders
  • E34 Sport seats
  • Euro headlights with upgraded wiring, relays and fuses
  • Upgraded tail-lights (E28+4 light adaptation kit from MisterFixit)
  • Motorsport Series strut brace (custom powder coated)
  • H&R Springs
  • Bilstein Sport shocks
  • K-MAC Stage 1 street front adjustable camber kit
  • Rear subframe modified with Ireland Engineering adjustable toe and camber kits
  • Powerflex rear subframe bushings
  • Custom installed 2-port USB power plugs
  • Custom hard-wired Valentine 1 radar detector install
  • JVC KD-AHD75BT CD/MP3/Bluetooth head unit, big ass amplifier, and subwoofer (PO)
  • Performance throttle pedal
  • Lighted ///M shift knob
  • M-Tech II steering wheel
  • Shadowline conversion
  • Black with red dots Cocomats
  • Euro conversion - done right with all new OE parts
  • Complete repaint using single-stage Glasurit paint
The progression...
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Nov 2013:
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July 2014:
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March 2015 (M30B35):
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As of July 19, 2015:
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As of Nov 29, 2015:
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As of Oct 18, 2018:
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=====================================
Original 1st post:
Let's make one thing clear:

My Vlad has nothing to do with bad Vlad. Bad Vlad might be a bad guy. My Vlad is a car. Definitely a nice car.

I just received a scan of the title of my 'new' E28 from the seller. My money is in his bank account and he's signed the title over to me.

The only problem is the car is in Santa Barbara, CA and I'm in Bellevue, WA. But I like making lemonade.

My 17 year old son wants to be an engineer. He's a junior in high-school right now, and this is 'college visit' season. Turns out Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo is on his list. Also turns out his spring break is the week after next. It also turns out he's barely competent with a manual transmission, which, to me, is not good at all.

You can see where this is heading, can't you? Road trip time!

Meet Vlad (so named by the PO). He's the 1987 535is that you may have seen on Bring a Trailer recently. And he's mine now.

(BTW, the comments on the BaT posting are fairly funny)

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My son & I have one way Alaska Airlines tickets from Seattle to Santa Barbara on April 4. We will pick the car up after we arrive and drive north to Seattle, stopping at a few colleges along the way.

(Pro-tip: If you ever need extra points with the missus with the whole 'buying another car thing', making it an excuse to spend focused dad-son time together works wonders.)

I don't have any of my own pictures of Vlad yet, just the ones the PO took. If you like car p0rn, and you *really* like E28 p0rn, you might want to subscribe to this thread because I take a LOT of pictures and love posting them.

Vlad isn't going to need much work. One of the reasons I was so excited when I saw him for sale is that he perfectly meets my requirements:
  • 1. Must be ready to use as a daily driver "out of the box".
    2. Previous owner(s) must have been obviously anal retentive.
    3. 5-Speed.
    4. Relatively un-molested (original).
    5. Silver, white, black, red exterior.
    6. Black interior (will suffer in the case of an M5).
    7. 525is, M535, M5.
    8. West coast.
Let's run down these requirements and see how Vlad fares:

He has 170,000 miles on him, so he's still relatively young for an E28. The mechanic in SB I paid to do the PPI on said, and I quote "As tight an E28 as you'll find. Car feels wonderful." The compression test showed 175, 150, 175, 175, 175, 175 and the tech thinks the 150 is simply due to carbon buildup. Everything, and he emphasized *everything* functions correctly. There's a slight oil leak where the cylinder cover, timing cover, and block meet. The felt on the left door threshold is worn.

Sounds ready to use to me.

Just so you can calibrate what "anal-retentive" means, here's the front fender of my '88 911 Carerra.

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Here's the engine bay of Vlad. (No, this car has never been rebuilt, and no the engine has never been pulled.)

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For my budget, I never really thought I'd find an E28 this clean. I'm giddy in excitement about the prospect of driving him regularly in the Seattle weather and keeping him this clean. That's what I do.

5-Speed: Check:
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The PO has put some upgrades in. There's typical stuff like the Conforti chip, "stage 5 brake kit", and 840ci wheels. There's also some 'interesting' upgrades such as improved interior lighting and a sub-woofer in the trunk. But the PO assures me, and the tech agreed, that he's been careful to make sure his mods are reversible. I need a BlueTooth capable stereo anyway, so as long as it works with my phone I'll be happy.

So, as far as requirement #4 (unmolested) goes: Check:
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If I really had my choice of color I'd pick a metallic blue, not to dissimilar to my 911 (Venetian Blue). But color's relatively low on my priority list and I've never owned a red car...but wanted to. So there you go. Oh, and that is original paint. The driver's door and surrounding area has been painted, but the rest is as it left the Dingolfing plant in 1987.

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I don't like tan interiors. I just don't. If I bought an M5 I'd end up hating it until I re-did the interior in black. Vlad has the black Sport interior. I bet the seats could be re-dyed...or I could to an E34 Sport seat transplant and get the lumbar support my bad back really desires. Anyway, we're good here.

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(I've already ordered new OEM floor mats; I plan on taking them with us to CA and throwing out the old worn mats the PO, for some strange reason, has not replaced).

I'd love an E28 M5 someday. But right now my priority is a clean daily-driver that fits within a specific budget.

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As a former E34 540 M-Sport aficionado, I have mad respect for the M535. But the chances of finding one of *those* in a condition I'd be happy with, at a price I could handle, is just not in the cards. So the 535is is a perfect balance.

Vlad's a California car, so the whole West Coast thing is obviously nailed.

There you have it. He's perfect. And he's mine.

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Check back often and watch how my relationship with Vlad grows. And thanks for being a place where I can yap about him.
Last edited by cek on Sep 15, 2020 6:36 PM, edited 47 times in total.
bigjay973
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Post by bigjay973 »

Beautiful car, inside and out. Glad you found what you were looking for. Enjoy!
ACHTUNG
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Post by ACHTUNG »

Sickter
wkohler
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Post by wkohler »

That's the 535is I'd want to own. Looks very similar on the outside to my old car when I bought it. Style 8s are one of the best wheels out there. Nice job.
5280 JB
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Post by 5280 JB »

Nice score. I watched the BaT feature with interest and am glad to see this fine specimen go to a forum member. This will sound like BS but I thought of PM'ing you the link to this car after reading your "wanted" post here. The drive from SB to Bellevue should be epic. :alright:

Jim
cddallara
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Post by cddallara »

Beautiful looking car!

I have manual e34 sports available for pickup on the way back up north ;)
Sam 84, 533i
Posts: 773
Joined: Nov 26, 2010 8:23 PM
Location: Seattle Washington

Post by Sam 84, 533i »

Beautiful car! I'm in bellvue a lot. If I ever see a zinno e28 i'll know its you.

Subscribed!
grahamular
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Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
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Post by grahamular »

Congrats on the purchase! Hard to find much to fault with that car, although that didn't keep the BaT crowd from trying :laugh: Nice that the PO fixed the A/C as well...enjoy it!

-Graham
stuartinmn
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Post by stuartinmn »

Yeah, the BaT guys really got hung up on the lights and other accessories for some reason. Looks like a great car.
shagrath
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Post by shagrath »

WOW!! Very nice!
BimmerSultan
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Post by BimmerSultan »

shagrath wrote:WOW!! Very nice!
WORD
Brad D.
Beamter
Beamter
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Post by Brad D. »

Beautiful car!
skip535i
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Post by skip535i »

Ummmm, Yes. Love.
bsegalis
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Post by bsegalis »

Please correct me if I am wrong, but I've been told you can't refer to anything by the name "Vlad." Certainly not a nice, clean looking e28. :argue: :|
fastcrs
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Post by fastcrs »

Immaculate...
skip535i
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Post by skip535i »

bsegalis wrote:Please correct me if I am wrong, but I've been told you can't refer to anything by the name "Vlad." Certainly not a nice, clean looking e28. :argue: :|
That name does have a lot of negative things associated with it....
cek
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Post by cek »

skip535i wrote:
bsegalis wrote:Please correct me if I am wrong, but I've been told you can't refer to anything by the name "Vlad." Certainly not a nice, clean looking e28. :argue: :|
That name does have a lot of negative things associated with it....
What in the world are you talking about.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vlad
skip535i
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Post by skip535i »

There's a well-known E30 guy named Vlad that recently screwed over a bunch of Bimmer enthusiasts. It's been well documented on this forum and many others.

We're not picking on your or your gorgeous car, just acknowledging the coincidence. No harm intended.
cek
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Post by cek »

skip535i wrote:There's a well-known E30 guy named Vlad that recently screwed over a bunch of Bimmer enthusiasts. It's been well documented on this forum and many others.

We're not picking on your or your gorgeous car, just acknowledging the coincidence. No harm intended.
well, *that* Vlad can go suck it. :cool:

I'm sticking with Vlad for this car's name. Maybe over time it will help the community heal. :alright:
ldsbeaker
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Post by ldsbeaker »

I think your car looks terrific. It's amazing how much red "pops" on a black interior when it's in nice shape.

Very well done, sir!
RonW
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Post by RonW »

bsegalis wrote:Please correct me if I am wrong, but I've been told you can't refer to anything by the name "Vlad." Certainly not a nice, clean looking e28. :argue: :|
If I had an Impala I'd call it that.
Pistonbroke
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Post by Pistonbroke »

Wow, what a car, beautiful.

Looking forward to your first journey tales & pics.

GL with her

Subscribed.
cek
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Post by cek »

RonW wrote:
bsegalis wrote:Please correct me if I am wrong, but I've been told you can't refer to anything by the name "Vlad." Certainly not a nice, clean looking e28. :argue: :|
If I had an Impala I'd call it that.
Maybe that's what I'll get for plates "Impala".
bsegalis
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Post by bsegalis »

Also "Vlad" is a Russian name (or Slavic), and is short for Vladimir. I don't think a BMW is Russian, but if you are going to call a BMW "Vladimir," might as well upgrade it to "Putin" :) You could call it "Lenin," who was also a "Vlad." Ok, I am done trolling now. Love the car. With my zinno was so clean. Are you putting Euro conversion on it? A car this nice is owed it.
clongo
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Post by clongo »

Congrats on the purchase! Your E28 is a true beauty! I hope to find a E28 as clean as that one day. Rebuilding a car that was seriously neglected has been quite the journey.

Those comments on BAT are hilarious. So many "experts" posting incorrect info.
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