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83 528e J-spec

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Conanblau
Posts: 219
Joined: Aug 29, 2007 10:06 PM
Location: BC, Canada

Re: 83 528e J-spec

Post by Conanblau »

The air conditioning was blowing warm in 2002 and by 2010 I had removed the compressor from the system because its heavy and I am (was) a young guy and all, I could roll down the windows. So when the drivetrain came out in 2013, the dryer and lines went into the box with the compressor and was one more thing sitting on the shelf. Until two months ago, when I pulled the box off the shelf and dug out the new o-rings, and dryer that were purchased in the past few years. Threw it all back into the car (like a good completist would) with good intentions and naively hoped for the best. Of course it didn't blow cold. And not being an HVAC guy it was time for the learnings. The system held a good vacuum, and was taking and holding refrigerant, but the low side would dip into a vacuum once the compressor was spinning fast enough to compress (~1200rpm). Blocked expansion valve says the internet. Said valve lives deeply under the dash, and having never dug that deep, was reluctant.

Ordered the expansion valve and tore into the dash hoping to get it done in a day. And could have, but had ordered the 84 and up expansion valve, not the 82-83 valve. The good news was the evaporator box came out in one hour. A fine user Craig(93?) on this board walks through the basics of removal and some tips for reinstall so that really helped. The dash stayed in, the stereo fascia stayed in and the kick panel, glove box and shift console were removed. With the right expansion valve it all went together pretty smooth.

One of the challenges with the evap core is what to replace the disintegrating foam on the sides with. I ended up using strips of sound deadener, it should perform the air blocking task well.
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The original expansion valve on the back side of the evaporator. When you finally get to the valve you realize how small the orifices are that the refrigerant flows through. In my case, I'm pretty sure the valve had rusted itself shut.
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There's insulation applied to the outside of the fan cage from the factory that was coming off, I replaced it with foil backed sound deadener. If done again, I wouldn't run the foil quite so high up the front as its slightly visible from inside the car.
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Evap box was pretty clean for 33+ years old. The blower motor has seen light duty over the years and was lubricated and put back in, it sits in the front here.
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The original insulation on the inlet pipes for the evaporator. Whatever its unique makeup is, it smells bad, and was definitely the source of a rare unpleasant musty smell.
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Replacing the factory insulation with rope caulk. MyE28 provided this tip, and it just so happened that I had a box of rope caulk sitting around. It took me a while to understand the insulation purposes here, (other than keeping the refrigerant cold) and its this, you want to prevent humid air from condensing on the cold inlet pipe. To do this you ideally have a 100% seal on the line.
Also used the foil backed sound deadener to close the openings in the evap box, which worked pretty slick.
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Dum Dum Strip caulk. Once the evap box was back in the car the line including the fitting is completely wrapped as the factory did.Image

Once the car had its new exp valve a vacuum was drawn on it for the second time, which held nicely, then added R12a refrigerant. Yes, the propane/butane refrigerant. It works fine but received damning push back from a few shops. Whatever, the R12A is a superior option imo for original, old school R12 systems. If leaked to atmosphere it breaks down to carbon dioxide and water quickly and it creates less head pressure on the system which is good if you're using the original hoses (I am). And it blows cold, which is subjective, so I picked up a thermometer in Thousand Oaks CA in August and sampled the vent temps under various conditions. The gist, it can blow 32.7F on a 75F day. And will blow ~44-48F at 65mph on a 104F day IF the fresh air vent is closed.

The original compressor was degreased a few years ago and works fine. Kind of? The system operates as intended but at 1500rpm (only 1500rpm) it can growl pretty significantly inside the cabin. Quiet under the hood at 1500rpm, so -maybe- its just the expansion valve doing its thing -dunno. But the a/c growls at 1500rpm, sounds like bad bearings, you don't hear it under the hood, and it blows cold which is great. So we'll chalk that up as a -1 on the NVH and leave it alone.
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I received a good tip from the second HVAC fella who helped me out. Use dielectric grease to lubricate the o-rings. When assembling the system I had wanted to lubricate the o-rings but didn't as the only advice I read was to use mineral oil itself, which I didn't have. I did have dielectric grease though, next time.

And here's my E28 a/c tip that proves I'm not an E28 a/c guy. Close the fresh air flap (the middle slider) to get colder air from the a/c at highway speeds. I was wondering why the a/c was less effective at highway speeds and was filing it under old car, old a/c, maybe a weak compressor. Until after I left the deserts of California and realized that I could drop the vent temps by 10-15F (on a hot day) at highway speeds by closing the fresh air flap. Makes perfect sense, especially if you examine the way the weighted flaps are set up that control which source of air can use the center vents.

The fresh air/air conditioning diverter with the weighted flaps sits on top of the evap box and fell off as the box was being removed. You can see one flap is askew, the pivot setup for these flaps is certainly fragile. It was reassembled in this case and works properly, but is still fragile and I could see having to get creative for a lasting repair next time its out.
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Lastly, my favourite lines on an E28. Highway speeds + rain + distance = these road grime tracks. And they consistently look like this. Neat. Dirty, but neat.
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Conanblau
Posts: 219
Joined: Aug 29, 2007 10:06 PM
Location: BC, Canada

Re: 83 528e J-spec

Post by Conanblau »

So the old girl has been tucked away since late November and I'm starting to build the 2017 to-do list. Its interesting how the passion for these projects ebbs and flows throughout the year. By late fall I'm hard pressed to even wash the thing and by spring I'm genuinely excited to get behind the wheel and experience it all over again. Its not spring yet, but I am building the list and ordering the parts ;)

Anyway, here's four small J-spec details collected over the past while.

These paper tags used to pop out of the strangest places, haven't seen any new ones in years and this is the only one I can find now. Has been in the tool box for years. Image

It took awhile to find this JPN02 detail and believe its related to the fuel economy gauge. My guess is the J-spec cars were the only ones to get this km/L gauge face. Which to be honest, I never liked because I was always trying to convert the results back to L/100km (which I do like). Most of you fellas probably have the MPG gauge face, this J-spec face is the equivalent of that but feels infinitely less informative. -so ya- never made much sense to me and was happy to swap out the tach (in 08 maybe?) for an 84 533i unit and with it came a proper L/100km gauge and a more classic BMW red-line north of 6000rpm.
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The original tach is stored in this spare cluster for I have no idea why. Anyone need an eta tach with a cryptic fuel economy gauge? :D Seriously though, its come time to get rid of some of this.

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It took a decade or so to figure out that this rear license plate holder is probably a JDM type of thing. Their plates are a different size than NA plates and for ten plus years my rear plate was attached with one bolt (and after enough rattling, some double sided tape). When the car was stripped for paint in 2013 I re-drilled and tapped new mounting holes so I could centre the plate and use two bolts. Progress comes slowly 'round these parts!
(apologies for the pic, was trying to take a picture of the new exhaust tips last summer and its the best pic I have of the plate holder)
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I had mentioned the overheat light earlier in this thread and this is what makes it tick:

The thermoschaltgerat relay lives under the rear seat.
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And the 3 feet or so of shielded thermistor was run through a grommet in the floor and back up towards the catalytic. If you read my previous comments on the eta exhaust you'll know I removed the cat this summer and this thermistor was removed at the time. Unplugging the thermistor lit up the Overheat light full time, so I unplugged one of its precious wires and all is now good.

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It was held in place with these four studs. Not much to look at, but you get what you pay for. ;)

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To carry on my old vs. new, here's a old pic from 2005. September 5, 2005 to be exact. (isn't metadata great? 1. It was a surprise to even find this picture 2. that it had a valid date stamp as well and not some 1-1-2001 kind of thing going on was surprising. Do you remember when VCR's flashed 12:00 because you were too lazy to try to figure out how to set the time? Oh the good old days :D)

Anyway, as you can see the exhaust and fuel tank are removed so the fuel tank could be slushed. A few months before this picture me and a buddy were putting a new fuel filter into it and we cut the old one open for kicks. What we found was probably half a cup of rust flakes and crap packed into it. Mostly rust. NOT what you want to see coming from your fuel tank. So the tank was out and getting coated. Which worked fine, but had clogged up a couple of those small return lines, making for some interesting plumbing. By perhaps 2010 a new gas tank was installed.

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Reflecting back, I did the fuel system ass backwards. The first new parts installed (around 2003) were both fuel pumps, then the fuel pressure regulator and cold start injector and -then- went to the fuel filter, then the injectors were serviced -and then!- the tank as you see it above. I'm thinking the new and serviced parts down stream of that crusty tank didn't appreciate the exposure to the crap being fed through them. If it was to be done over again, starting with a clean gas tank first makes a lot of sense! Lessons learned. That said, the fuel pumps that were installed in 03 are still in the car and doing fine, so she's got that going for herself.

More to follow. I owe this thread a proper build sheet and an update on the a/c and 5 speed adventures from 2016. And I just noticed I totally missed adding the pictures for the dual filament front signals and their oddball relay. Soon.

Cheers.
Last edited by Conanblau on Jan 25, 2017 3:25 AM, edited 1 time in total.
wkohler
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Re: 83 528e J-spec

Post by wkohler »

I just love seeing updates to this. So informative. Thanks!
Conanblau
Posts: 219
Joined: Aug 29, 2007 10:06 PM
Location: BC, Canada

Re: 83 528e J-spec

Post by Conanblau »

Happy to oblige friend. Stay tuned, I've got a few more pieces to add soon. Cheers!
leadphut
Posts: 4403
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Portland, OR

Re: 83 528e J-spec

Post by leadphut »

great looking car and enjoy your thread.

look forward to more updates.
Conanblau
Posts: 219
Joined: Aug 29, 2007 10:06 PM
Location: BC, Canada

Re: 83 528e J-spec

Post by Conanblau »

So in that picture above you can see the replica Style 65's that were on this car for 11 years. It was a square set of 225/45R17 and you probably couldn't get a heavier wheel setup if you tried (46.1 lbs). Earlier in this thread I said it was probably the worst thing I did to the car but that's not uhh, accurate. Lots of people run 17"s, and they're fine. I liked em, thought they filled the wheel wells nicely, modernized the look pretty good, and the lower and wider profile rubber really stuck this humble eta to the ground. Hard cornering over 100-120km/h was probably the best part, thing just tracked beautifully at speed.
But the car always struggled with tramlining and I was never able to dial it out. And when that square set of 16"s (36.3lb/corner) went on it was like Forrest Gump shedding his leg braces. Run Eta Run! Most of us have probably read about sprung vs. unsprung weight and here it was in real life. Quicker off the line, better suspension response, no tramlining and the front end felt so much lighter that the first few corners after the swap I thought the steering linkage was somehow broken. Imagine a 10lb sledgehammer tied to each wheel for a decade and then finally taking them off. Noticeable improvement to say the least. The car was running like the wind blows as Gump would say. And that's all I have to say about that.


Regarding the dual filament front turns, heres a few pictures of the relay that operates them. Not sure why they did it this way, but the relay turns off the running light if it is on, and operates the signal circuit on the other filament. When the signal is turned off, it takes about a second and the running light circuit turns on again.

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They live on the fenders behind the plastic covers for the headlights. Of course they're NLA and this one on the right side is sticky and often takes a few minutes to get 12v to the filament in the 1157 bulb. It always lights up eventually, but it's not ideal. When I first noticed the bulb was intermittently not working (a decade ago!) had thought it was the contacts in the turn signal housing or the bulb itself, so I was in and out of there a number of times. Confused that it would work, sometimes for many months, and then not. And then work again. Intermittent electrical can be frustrating.

Took a while to figure out it was this NLA gizmo here. The signal light always works fine... so thats good, but that doesn't quite make up for the times the running light is out. Some of us are picky about burnt out bulbs, some aren't.

So if someone happens to come across a few of these, it would sure be nice to replace this one and have a spare. But considering the build numbers of these cars I won't be holding my breath. Might have to take a crack at rebuilding this one someday, which doesn't sound promising already. (<- edit: I've got to check my negativity! :laugh: Spoke with an electrical engineer friend and its probably low tech enough that we could figure something out. Would be interesting to see what makes it tick)
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Just out of sight on the clear 3 pin connector above is where the 5w daytime running light is tapped in. And for a mildly controversial choice its powering these LED bulbs. The light output isn't too harsh and generally works well. Had noticed that the drivers side bulb was subtly failing this summer after three years of use, it gets hot in there. One of those 5 yellow dots (the leds) was blinking away somewhat randomly, not too noticeable, but an interesting failure that you wouldn't get with a normal bulb.
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Spring '16 I finally replaced the KMAC adjustable camber kit that had been in the car for 5 or so years. Another noticeable difference. The suspension was slightly softer without the urethane and the biggest improvement was silence. I can count on one hand how many times I've left this car at a shop and having these installed was one of those times. They weren't lubricated on install and for the last few years were squeaking away. Mostly not noticeable, but sometimes its a nice summer evening and you've got the windows down and you're just cruising around and the rear suspension would be chatting away over the smallest bumps. Some people don't give a rats ass about stuff like this. I do. Happy they're out.

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The other piece of urethane that was in this car for a few years was this steering coupler. It liked to squeak as well, especially at low speeds, parking lots and such. One of the differences you can see is that the BMW unit on the right is sunken in a mm or so where the urethane constantly contacted the surface. Squeak. The KMAC urethane is similar, a little extra material that contacted the mounts that the BMW unit has recessed. There's no more urethane in this car. And quieting these two pieces was a win.

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Last summer, somewhat out of the blue, a 5 speed swap came my way. Lots to say for another post but heres a picture of one challenge that popped up. I had a mostly complete swap from an '84 Eta and a driveshaft from a Super Eta. The Super Eta uses the 96mm flex disc common to the M30, which is good. And as far as I knew all Eta's used the 78mm on the right. Smart people would have figured this out before they tried to bolt up. And we're short on those kind of people most days. Next time.
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Last edited by Conanblau on Jul 21, 2020 4:39 PM, edited 2 times in total.
Crazy_Canuck
Posts: 309
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Surrey

Re: 83 528e J-spec

Post by Crazy_Canuck »

Lapisblau wrote:Thanks 'buyit, is it you that has that nice Pusstagrun 518i in Vancouver? Great colour. I'd sure like to see that car in person some day.
The pusstagrun 518 is not as nice as you think.

One day it soon I hope to get it back up and running.
Conanblau
Posts: 219
Joined: Aug 29, 2007 10:06 PM
Location: BC, Canada

Re: 83 528e J-spec

Post by Conanblau »

Looks pretty good to me! That it's a rare colour straight from the 70's and on an E28, I like it. No one else is driving a car like this and thats pretty cool. M10 and all. Hope you get it running, would be nice to see it out and about.

Let me know if you need anything.

(got the photo link from your thread http://www.mye28.com/viewtopic.php?t=36779 hope you don't mind)


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Conanblau
Posts: 219
Joined: Aug 29, 2007 10:06 PM
Location: BC, Canada

Re: 83 528e J-spec

Post by Conanblau »

A/C update

So my a/c story is above and all was well for three months. Frosty center vents, beautiful thing. And...(You knew this was coming right?) not so much anymore. The high side line from the compressor to the condensor has shown a small weep where, for maybe six inches, the hose runs closer to the pavement than the front valance. (EDIT: the hose isn't exposed below the valance now that I've actually looked, but its close, and I'm sticking to my road debris hypothesis. Why not.) Right where road debris could easily hit its leading edge there's two pea sized bulges in the hose. And they're coated in mineral oil. This fits perfectly with my theory of having to do most things twice with this resto. Of course I should have replaced all the soft lines last summer. Of course. But really, who wants to get things right the first time? Where the fun in that? :laugh:

RealOEM has a generic hose diagram for this car so its hard to say if its available from BMW. Will likely pull the the soft lines and get them rebuilt.

Will also need more 525 viscosity mineral oil which is not easy to come by up here. The capacity for this car is 5.8oz/170cc, had purchased some last summer from NAPA but it was more for air compressors not R12. A shop was kind enough to talk me through the details and we used most of what was left of their ancient bottle. Chatting with the NAPA guy upon return, he said they had one bottle left in the country and the sku# was obsolete. Will have to special order it.

And at this rate, it would have been more economical (and convenient) to purchase my own vacuum pump. -just might-

The system is still holding pressure, so might get away with reusing the dryer. But since I'm zeroing in on a system that should work for a long time, will likely replace it as well.

Will also need 3 more 6oz cans of R12a, the car requires 2.5 cans to meet the equivalent R12 weight. Here's a link if your interested in R12a properties. http://redtek.com/English/index.asp

Last tidbit, they also sell a line sealant, somewhat like Bars Leak I imagine. Don't do it. If a shop draws this stuff into their a/c service machine, it will clog it up and they will be more than pissed off. Its an expensive repair. If the system is leaking, repairing it properly would be my recommendation.
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To close, here's a picture of those 5w LED's in the running lights. Bit of a bluish tint to them works well with the car.
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And when more time presents itself, I'll be talking about the 5 speed swap and the lightened single mass flywheel. This friendly machinist was able to remove ~4.5lbs from the back side of it in an hour. Leaving the clutch plate side alone, the final weight was around 18.5lbs. We could have hogged out a bit more, but we both agreed that leaving some meat on it in areas was a good idea. The link below is a video, kinda neat.
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https://flic.kr/p/MhEj1j
Last edited by Conanblau on Feb 17, 2017 1:16 AM, edited 2 times in total.
Conanblau
Posts: 219
Joined: Aug 29, 2007 10:06 PM
Location: BC, Canada

Re: 83 528e J-spec

Post by Conanblau »

A few minor details:

I asked reddit to translate this decal and from left to right it reads: Catalyst: Use only Unleaded

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Tips: Heres 3 things that have worked for me on this car that I haven't seen come up on this board.

1. Use double sided tape to hold the windows into the window lift mechanism.
- A few brands make a rubbery double sided tape that is several mm's thick, the tape makes a snug fit and allows a bit of adjustment when you first roll the window up after install. This has worked well for ten+ years. The windows stay put and removing and replacing the glass afterwards is straightforward if it comes to that.

2. Use 'No More Nails' construction adhesive to glue the fabric back down to the rubber edge trim on the inside of the doors.
- I had tried a few adhesives to accomplish this and nothing was working well. A thin layer of 'No More Nails' holds very well and doesn't bleed through the fabric.

3. Dum Dum Strip Caulk
- Worked well on wrapping the a/c inlet to the evaporator.
- Also worked well as a replacement for the euro front turn signal gaskets. These gaskets are NLA now, but I did get new ones a few years ago. Its essentially 2-3mm backer rod cut to length, and the ones BMW shipped were cut short by several inches. (the length was right if you stretched them as you might when pulling them off a roll) Not ideal. The Dum Dum fits the gap, seals the lamp and can be removed cleanly.

- Also worked well to seal a slight gap that formed at the top corner of the windshield where it meets the body. When this car was painted in 2013 new windshield gaskets were ordered from BMW and the original BMW glass was reinstalled. Despite the original glass and the BMW gasket it didn't quite seal properly. The Dum Dum sealed the minor gap and you'd be hard pressed to notice.
- Lastly, the trunk seal. I didn't get glue all the way up into the troublesome corners near the hinges and had a minor opening that could trap water. Dum Dum.

And from the wayback machine, a picture of my old 2002 from Christmas 1999. Great car. Loved it. It was solid enough and looked good with a repsray done in perhaps '95. That said, rot afflicts these cars more than E28's and in this picture I'm patching a hole in the floor pan with aluminum, rivets and undercoating. You gotta do what you gotta do. It's also red(!), at that time and stage of my life, it was exactly my kind of thing.

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Lastly a video. Kohler and I were talking car colours last summer. He said he hadn't seen this old 1991 Top Gear episode on the E28.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3b20648 ... tml5=False

"Colours sell cars and the best for the 5 is Zinnobert red. Go for strong colours like this one and some of the metallics and avoid the Stalingrad greys and the channel crossing greens."
Last edited by Conanblau on Jul 21, 2020 4:53 PM, edited 2 times in total.
cek
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Re: 83 528e J-spec

Post by cek »

Lapisblau wrote: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3b20648 ... tml5=False

"Colours sell cars and the best for the 5 is Zinnobert red. Go for strong colours like this one and some of the metallics and avoid the Stalingrad greys and the channel crossing greens."
I hadn't seen that. Thanks!
Nebraska_e28
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Re: 83 528e J-spec

Post by Nebraska_e28 »

Hi there! Any updates or new pictures with those H&B wheels? :cool:
Conanblau
Posts: 219
Joined: Aug 29, 2007 10:06 PM
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Re: 83 528e J-spec

Post by Conanblau »

Howdy, ya I got a few pictures to spare. These were taken in 2017, the year the almighty and I stared the housing crisis in the face and began a frame off resto of *checks notes* a 1955 2200sf basket case with good bones. All efforts have been on this front, so the car sleeps most days now.

That its taken me hours to get a new photo hosting account set up, and relearned how to attach pics etc. it'll be easier to add more updates now. I've got a number of pics of the WEDS wheels and their rebuild in 2015 as well as other peoples photos of WEDS, can get those up if you're interested. Stay safe all.

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This was a non-judged entry into a car show, so lets look past that dried drip of water marring the photo. Obviously I missed it at the time. Meh.

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wkohler
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Re: 83 528e J-spec

Post by wkohler »

Love this car. Hopefully we will see you again in July. :D
Conanblau
Posts: 219
Joined: Aug 29, 2007 10:06 PM
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Re: 83 528e J-spec

Post by Conanblau »

I've always enjoyed 5erWest and Portland, when the covids are firmly in the rear view, I'll happily come down. Looking forward to it, a bimmer meetup would be great.

So back in 2015, with the big stuff refreshed like the engine and paint, I was moving towards collectors plates and in BC that means meeting a number of criteria including wheels that are no more than +1" in size from stock. So I needed some sixteens to clear the bar.

And that got me talking to a fine fellow down Santa Cruz way who had some open lug Alpina's for sale. We chatted for awhile, and we both laughed and agreed there was no reason for him to take less than his asking price. And we chatted some more, and then he said he also had these WEDS. Weds? I says (never heard of 'em). And he said yessir, they look like the Alpina open lug, they're a multi-piece from Japan and figured I'd like 'em.

And boy was he right. Considering the J-spec thing I'm working with here, this was meant to be.

We hammered out the details, and up they came looking like this, which was perfect, I could finish them to my needs.
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Quite similar to the H&B's.
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They cleaned up really nice and with some trial and error in the colour department and some stainless hardware, they were looking good.

OH!- I'm coming back to say one thing; I prettied them all up as you see here and then checked them for runout. They all needed to be trued but two especially needed it before having tires mounted. This is a ship-it-away kind of deal round these parts, no ones doing it locally. So added costs is one thing but the shop who received them called to say the repair would likely mark up my pretty finishing work, did I still want to proceed? Aargh, yeah do it I said. And was prepared for the worst. They ended up coming back just fine, but the next set of wheels I want tits, I'll start with truing them, then the pretty work.
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First road fitment looked like this; the black lug bolts and the BMW centre cap. Not too shabby but not quite right.
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This beauty 2800CS shows what I believe is the original colour scheme for these wheels; someone feel free to correct me here.
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Black in the middle with that rather tall centre cap. Similar to the Alpina, but I believe the Alpina open lugs use a stainless lug bolt. Again, correct me if I'm wrong.
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So I made a set of these WEDS centre caps, looked pretty good, still wasn't it.
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I was looking more for something like this.
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So some SEM trim black, a splash out on some titanium hardware and back to the perenially classic BMW logo and -folks- we were in business. Perhaps not to everyones tastes, but this was pretty much what I had in mind.
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Before:
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After: (on Hurricane Ridge)
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The refreshed paint and drivetrain finally got some appropriate wheels, the collectors plates were approved, and it only took perhaps eighteen months. Mission accomplished with bonus J-spec cred +1.

She's a keeper fellas, she's a keeper.
cek
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Re: 83 528e J-spec

Post by cek »

I absolutely love the look. Those wheels came out fantastic.
vinceg101
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Re: 83 528e J-spec

Post by vinceg101 »

I missed seeing you and this car the last few years in Portland.
I just looked at the calendar from last year and realized at this moment I was driving down from Sacramento on my last day of epic driving after 5erWest.

I look forward to seeing you and catching up after all these years.

Oh, BTW, those WEDS are very classy and a great improvement. They look great.
cek
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Re: 83 528e J-spec

Post by cek »

I'm curious on the size/offset specs on those wheels. Thanks.
Conanblau
Posts: 219
Joined: Aug 29, 2007 10:06 PM
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Re: 83 528e J-spec

Post by Conanblau »

16" x 7" et11 front and rear. With 205/55 R16's. The staggered setups have an 8" rear, et24 if I recall.

For what I'm doing with this car, suspension wise, they're perfect. Unless you're wringing out your car. When pressed to maximum grip for extended periods the 55 series sidewall feels imprecise when compared to the 225/45R17, especially in the front. Accomodating, but imprecise. Sure you could air them up, (and boy I should have this day) but you've still got a fair bit of give.

Also, they still rub on the left rear. Just near full compression. Figured they wouldn't. But they do. Guess that was just meant to be.

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Last edited by Conanblau on Jul 24, 2020 3:05 PM, edited 1 time in total.
Conanblau
Posts: 219
Joined: Aug 29, 2007 10:06 PM
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Re: 83 528e J-spec

Post by Conanblau »

Here's some Japanese stuff:

Came across this fella in Victoria with an '85 or '86, and his has this authorization tag. Cool.

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These look like emmision standards.
Both of these were in the engine compartment above the battery.

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The wiring for the front running and signal lights. Those red wire taps power the city light in the outer 5" lamp. Hadn't seen that before. Looked factory-ish too. Like a federalization process for Japan perhaps.
The gadget thats giving me electrical gremlins with my running light has been deleted too.
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An '83 Alpina that came from Japan. At 5er West. Super nice. Solid stance. and that air dam looks great. Nicely sorted.
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On its driver side shock tower.
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jayjaya29
Posts: 91
Joined: Jul 30, 2014 12:53 AM
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: 83 528e J-spec

Post by jayjaya29 »

Just read through the entire thread. Picked up a couple good ideas, the Dum Dum caulk tape is a nifty thing to have around. Thanks for documenting the story of this car!
travisj
Posts: 1063
Joined: Nov 05, 2009 11:09 PM
Location: Arvada, CO

Re: 83 528e J-spec

Post by travisj »

jayjaya29 wrote: Jul 24, 2020 10:33 AM Just read through the entire thread. Picked up a couple good ideas, the Dum Dum caulk tape is a nifty thing to have around. Thanks for documenting the story of this car!
Me too!
The J-spec title caught me as my '87 M535 is also from them parts.
Thanks for listing some of the differences from US cars. I will have to check on my car.
I have added a supersprint system and just tucked that thermistor up somewhere under the car. I will have to disconnect it inside and remove it. I didn't get that far into it yet.
I also need to get the AC going.

Beautiful car!
Conanblau
Posts: 219
Joined: Aug 29, 2007 10:06 PM
Location: BC, Canada

Re: 83 528e J-spec

Post by Conanblau »

Yeah, I think its called rope caulk. That its also called Dum Dum, perhaps its just the brand name, but what a weird phrase, I find it impossible to forget and wish I could! :)
jayjaya29 wrote: Jul 24, 2020 10:33 AM The J-spec title caught me as my '87 M535 is also from them parts.
Thanks for listing some of the differences from US cars. I will have to check on my car.
Yeah, happy to share. There isn't too much different really. The thermistor in the cat, and the NA spec headlights that look out of place with the euro bumpers is the majority of it. If I was driving an '87 M535 from Japan, maybe I wouldn't have cared as much about the Japan part. But when its an '83 eta with a 3 speed auto :laugh: well... you need to hold onto any 'special' traits you got. :laugh:
I really do love this car, I think it shows, and it really is turning out nice, but I'll tell ya I spent maybe a dozen years with every 'tech' and 'car guy' looking at the car with its stock ride height and auto trans and lack of 'M' on the back and just dismissing it outright. Fair enough. Its not a beast, never will be, but its coming into its own now and holding onto this car is feeling like a good choice.
travisj wrote: Jul 24, 2020 11:40 AM I also need to get the AC going.
You probably know this, but if you're completely refurb'ing the a/c, changing out the compresser and condenser and going to R134A is well documented on this board and is a good upgrade. I kept mine original for the sake of originality, but if I was living in the southern US it'd likely be long gone.
Conanblau
Posts: 219
Joined: Aug 29, 2007 10:06 PM
Location: BC, Canada

Re: 83 528e J-spec

Post by Conanblau »

Further, if I was living on the humid east coast I'd probably have made the A/C upgrade too. We got it pretty good in the PNW.

Here's that 3HP-22. Just look at it. It never once had a weird moment, just did its job every day like a champ, flawlessly. A flawless 3 speed.
And after the 5-speed swap I tried for a long time to find anybody who might have a use for it. Not one taker. Not surprising, so one sunny day I slipped her into the 'metal bin' and never looked back.

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A close up of its decal. Yessir, its a 3 speed.
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Here's some good looking E28's to cleanse your palate; from 5'er 2015.

This super clean E28 is from WA state, with an S52 under the hood that you'd swear BMW put there itself. Clean install, talented car. Looks great with the spoiler. Charlie's brilliant zinno build is next to it.
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Last one, Vince I belive your car is in the middle there.
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Kenny Blankenship
Posts: 4753
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: NNV

Re: 83 528e J-spec

Post by Kenny Blankenship »

Lapisblau wrote: Jul 24, 2020 1:32 AM 16" x 7" et11 front and rear. With 205/55 R16's. The staggered setups have an 8" rear, et24 if I recall.

For what I'm doing with this car, suspension wise, they're perfect. Unless you're wringing out your car. When pressed to maximum grip for extended periods the 55 series sidewall feels imprecise when compared to the 225/45R17, especially in the front. Accomodating, but imprecise. Sure you could air them up, (and boy I should have this day) but you've still got a fair bit of give.

Also, they still rub on the left rear. Just near full compression. Figured they wouldn't. But they do. Guess that was just meant to be.

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Weds Bavaria wheels. Very popular in the 80s and a nice find when a set are for sale. You're smart to stay with the 205s, though you lose a bit of grip the steering feels better.

I've had several cars with 3hp22s and never had issues with any of them. That and the 4 speed manuals are great transmissions that are unloved.
Last edited by Kenny Blankenship on Jul 25, 2020 1:12 AM, edited 1 time in total.
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