Minnesota M535i

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irl-mn
Posts: 104
Joined: Mar 05, 2012 9:08 AM
Location: Twin Cities, MN

Minnesota M535i

Post by irl-mn »

I thought I’d share some details and photos of my M535i. I picked the car up locally in the Twin Cities last fall and spent a few months over the winter & spring improving upon what was a very solid base. It is an 11/85 production DC51 car in Diamantschwarz metallic with a black leather interior. Some relatively rare factory options include a glass moon roof and manual sun shades on the rear side and rear windows.

Following is a high level summary of what was done:

- Replaced headlights with all new OEM euro parts including all hardware and adjusters. The car had e-code lights installed when I bought it, but the harness and connectors (modified when the car was originally imported) were in bad shape with corrosion and multiple bad connections resulting in ground issues. This required re-building of the original euro harness with sections of new wiring, new terminals, connector blocks and sealing boots. I’d like to thank local member stuartinmn for allowing me to reference his factory correct euro car in the middle of a cold Minnesota winter! This helped ensure everything was reverted to the original configuration.

- Replaced front turn signals, fog light assemblies and license plate lights.

- Repainted the front bumper cover, replaced loose fitting tow hook covers with new parts.

- Replaced ambient air temp sensor.

- Removed aftermarket air filter and replaced factory original air cleaner assembly.

- Replaced spark plugs and plug leads.

- Replaced all fluids.

- Replaced exhaust hangers.

- Converted air conditioning to R134a.

- Refinished original 16’’ Alpina staggered wheels, including correct black centers. Installed new Alpina center caps and lug bolts.

- Replaced seized OEM manual antenna. It was quite the challenge to source a manual Hirschmann antenna!

- Replaced windshield with new OEM item.

- Replaced faded locking strips around windshield and rear window with new chrome items.

- Repaired door seals (fuzzies had separated from rubber seal) on both rear doors as new OEM items are NLA.

- Replaced stained trunk carpet.

- Resolved non-functional cruise control and OBC with repair of bad connections on back of instrument cluster. Rebuilt the cluster with new SI board and bulbs. Decided to replace the odo gears while I had the cluster out even though the originals were still functional.

- Repaired non-functional oil temp gauge.

- Replaced check control panel with correct German language version.

- Replaced worn power window / sunroof switches with later lighted switches.

- Replaced 90’s era aftermarket head unit with a period correct BMW radio / cassette player.

- Recovered “mushroom” shaped original shift know in new leather as replacement part is NLA. Installed new shift pattern emblem.

- Installed new Alpina steering wheel.

After all of that, the car received some rock chip touch ups on the hood and a thorough interior and exterior detail. There are some minor leaks to be addressed in the near future, but for the most part, the car is pretty much where I want it to be at this point.

My wife and I drove out to Colorado for O’fest last month, racking up about 2.5k miles in the course of the week. The car performed flawlessly and we are looking forward to many more road trips with the car.

Anyway, here are some recent photos, some from Colorado, and some from here in Minnesota. Enjoy!

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m-racer
Posts: 5274
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Tampa Bay Florida

Re: Minnesota M535i

Post by m-racer »

Very nice indeed! The pics in CO are terrific.
cibie
Posts: 57
Joined: Dec 24, 2007 3:38 AM
Location: Sacramento

Re: Minnesota M535i

Post by cibie »

Wow, very, very nice car & pics. Great job!
Das_Prachtstrasse
Posts: 5561
Joined: Sep 10, 2006 7:06 AM
Location: Melbourne, Doooown Under

Re: Minnesota M535i

Post by Das_Prachtstrasse »

That i8 looks like a pancake in comparison. Lovely e28, please share some pics of the side window blinds!
stuartinmn
Posts: 8999
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Minneapolis

Re: Minnesota M535i

Post by stuartinmn »

Glad to hear your lights work again. :) The car looks great!
dsmith
Posts: 2301
Joined: Jan 20, 2012 1:52 AM
Location: Charleston, SC

Re: Minnesota M535i

Post by dsmith »

Wow, I really like an Mtech kit and Alpina wheels!

Very nice!
Ron535i
Posts: 124
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: In the O.C. of SoCal

Re: Minnesota M535i

Post by Ron535i »

The car looks beautiful... More pics of the inside please, especially of what appears to be a center console armrest..?

Thanks,
Adam W in MN
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Re: Minnesota M535i

Post by Adam W in MN »

Nice car and writeup on the fixes you've made.
Chimi-Changa
Posts: 1468
Joined: Nov 09, 2011 12:02 AM
Location: West Bro, MA

Re: Minnesota M535i

Post by Chimi-Changa »

Very cool car! I am partial to mudflaps too, and they look good with the body kit.

Yes, Besides the side window shades, it would also be neat to see more of the armrest...
cddallara
Posts: 3513
Joined: Apr 03, 2010 8:45 AM
Location: Lagunitas, Ca

Re: Minnesota M535i

Post by cddallara »

Very nice car, seems to have found an appropriate steward.

More pics of interior please :)
irl-mn
Posts: 104
Joined: Mar 05, 2012 9:08 AM
Location: Twin Cities, MN

Re: Minnesota M535i

Post by irl-mn »

Thanks for the compliments. I'll get some proper interior pics next time I get the car out of the garage - hopefully for the local Cars & Coffee next weekend.

The center armrest is a Husco item. Slides fore/aft and contains 2 pop out cup holders.
BimmerSog
Posts: 196
Joined: Apr 16, 2011 11:16 AM
Location: Delano, MN

Re: Minnesota M535i

Post by BimmerSog »

Great car! I remember asking if all of your cars were as nice as the e30 and you'd said no... I think someone told me a fib. :laugh: Hope to be out for the "Grand German Adventure" toward the end of September, although we'll have a 1.5-ish month old by then and I'm not sure we'll be rolling in our e12 M535i. The e46 wagon is more likely. Would love to see this there!
irl-mn
Posts: 104
Joined: Mar 05, 2012 9:08 AM
Location: Twin Cities, MN

Re: Minnesota M535i

Post by irl-mn »

lol Matt, I stand by that statement, this car is nice, but not as nice as the E30 :). My wife and I are planning to particpate in all of the remaining 2014 driving tours, so hopefully we will see you in September.

There is also the North Star Chapter car show on September 7th - it would be great to have your E12 there. I'm planning to bring the E28.
Lord Stanley
Posts: 32
Joined: Nov 11, 2008 12:50 PM
Location: MPLS

Re: Minnesota M535i

Post by Lord Stanley »

irl-mn wrote: Image
Black is the only color that makes the Minnesota collector car plates look good.
Adam W in MN
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Contact:

Re: Minnesota M535i

Post by Adam W in MN »

I disagree, I like them on my white car.
96cali
Posts: 102
Joined: Jun 13, 2008 11:12 AM
Location: Woodbury MN

Re: Minnesota M535i

Post by 96cali »

:wave: :wave: :wave:

Greetings from Woodbury. If you guys bring your vintage Bimmers, particularly M535's, I'd be all in. Longtime fan of those beauties. No Bimmer of my own to show off but I could bring refreshments :)

Just reply to this or email me through the site. Thanks!
Chimi-Changa
Posts: 1468
Joined: Nov 09, 2011 12:02 AM
Location: West Bro, MA

Re: Minnesota M535i

Post by Chimi-Changa »

I have these same pinstripes and really look forward to putting them on after seeing them on your car.
tschultz
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Joined: Mar 01, 2009 8:58 PM
Location: Denver, Colorado
Contact:

Re: Minnesota M535i

Post by tschultz »

I wondered whose car this was when I saw the O'fest photos! Unfortunately I didn't make it out that weekend because of some prior commitments...


Looks great!
96cali
Posts: 102
Joined: Jun 13, 2008 11:12 AM
Location: Woodbury MN

Re: Minnesota M535i

Post by 96cali »

96cali wrote::wave: :wave: :wave:

Greetings from Woodbury. If you guys bring your vintage Bimmers, particularly M535's, I'd be all in. Longtime fan of those beauties. No Bimmer of my own to show off but I could bring refreshments :)

Just reply to this or email me through the site. Thanks!
Not all at once now... :|

Any of you drive down Lake Road in Woodbury? I saw a very nice black M535 or M5 earlier this spring when it was warm (unlike now). Could be a local not on this board too.
stuartinmn
Posts: 8999
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Minneapolis

Re: Minnesota M535i

Post by stuartinmn »

There's an informal BMW gathering the first Tuesday of each month on the north side of Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis. It's a motley collection of new and old cars, and we pretty much just hang around the parking lot and BS for a couple hours. I should be there at the next meeting in June with my M535i.

Meeting notices are posted here: http://www.bimmerboard.com/forums/minneapolis/
Adam W in MN
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Re: Minnesota M535i

Post by Adam W in MN »

My brother and sister in law live in Woodbury so we are there from time to time. I live in Mendota Heights.
irl-mn
Posts: 104
Joined: Mar 05, 2012 9:08 AM
Location: Twin Cities, MN

Re: Minnesota M535i

Post by irl-mn »

After 6 years I’m probably overdue for some updates on this car :) Until this year not much had changed. Between work and family commitments, the car unfortunately sat a lot and saw only minimal use for the last 5 summers. That changed this year due to COVID. With working from home and all travel ceasing, I found myself with time to catch up. Anyway, the majority of this work was done this past spring. I did most of it myself, but did have a local BMW specialist shop resolve some leaks, replace all the fuel hoses and replace the driveshaft. Following is a summary of all the work completed, in no particular order. Given that I’m not doing anything too unusual here, I haven’t gone too crazy with the pics. This site has been an invaluable resource throughout my 7 years of E28 ownership… I really appreciate the wealth of knowledge here!


Cleaned up the engine bay:

- Replaced expansion and washer fluid tanks, various hoses
- Replaced fuse box cover with correct German language version
- Replaced under hood insulation
- Still needs a good detail in this pic :)

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Nothing was particularly bad with the car from a mechanical standpoint, but I elected to reset the clock and perform a general mechanical refresh:

- Replaced throttle cable and various pedal springs/bushings
- Replaced drive axles
- Refreshed the suspension including Bilstein B4 shocks.
- Refreshed the brakes with new rotors, pads, calipers and stainless lines all around. Also rebuilt the parking brake
- Replaced front wheel hub assemblies
- Replaced driveshaft and flex coupling to resolve a slight drivetrain vibration at low speed/high load
- Replaced valve cover gasket
- Replaced oil pan gasket
- Replaced transmission selector shaft seal
- Replaced power steering pump and hose
- Replaced all rubber fuel hose and fuel filters

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I also had some items to address with the interior. Over the last few years I had decided to get the interior back to a more original configuration:

- I had the original M Tech I wheel re-covered with new leather
- Installed a NOS “mushroom” shift knob that I luckily came across on eBay
- The rear power windows were quite slow, probably from old lube and lack of use. I cleaned up the linkages and lubricated the mechanisms on all four doors
- With the door panels off I took the opportunity to replace the vapor barriers with new film from BMW
- Replaced all of the gas struts in the front seats. Not the most enjoyable job but well worth it
- Tried to replace some missing pieces in the rear door sunshade assemblies. I have thus far been unsuccessful in sourcing parts :(

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Finally, after a long time searching I sourced a set of original M-Technic wheels for the car. These were from a later M535i with silver center caps, but I was luckily able to still buy the correct black center caps new. After mounting a set of new Michelin TRX tires, the wheels were installed. I love how these wheels look on the M535i and with what I use this car for (summer weekends), to me it’s worth the TRX performance compromise.

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I’ve been enjoying the car a lot this summer. Here’s a pic next to my former 2018 M550i. I found it interesting to compare what’s more or less the same car 35 years apart… how things have changed…

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austin8753
Posts: 1113
Joined: May 16, 2010 1:37 AM
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

Re: Minnesota M535i

Post by austin8753 »

that is a very sharp looking car. i thought it looked excellent on the Alpina wheels, but it gives that total "straight out of the catalogue" look with the M-Technic wheels. thanks for sharing.
cek
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Re: Minnesota M535i

Post by cek »

It appears you are in the running with @vinceg101 for the most clean m535. Well done..
vinceg101
Posts: 4150
Joined: Jun 20, 2007 2:40 AM
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Minnesota M535i

Post by vinceg101 »

cek wrote: Aug 30, 2020 9:54 PM It appears you are in the running with @vinceg101 for the most clean m535. Well done..
Certainly with those M-Tech's his is looking the most authentic.
(I covet those rear window shades)

Very sharp looking M535i you have. Keep up the good work.
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