My scruffy 1985 Euro 535i

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SlickDizzy
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My scruffy 1985 Euro 535i

Post by SlickDizzy »

I realized this morning that I haven't really been documenting the progress with my Euro 535 anywhere, so I figured I would start keeping a log and posting the pictures here.

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E28 BMW 535i (German market), 07/1985 production, code DC11 (G265 5-speed manual, "green" M30 w/oil cooler)
Polaris/Anthracite
Options:
S300 Central locking with anti-theft system
S311 ELEKTRISCHER BEIFAHRERSPIEGEL
S350 Therm.insulat.glass green
S403 Glass roof, electrical
S410 Window lifts, electric, front
S421 FEUERLOESCHER 2 KG HALON
S428 Warning triangle and first aid kit
S472 Armrest, front, driver/passenger
S498 Headrests mechanically adjustable, rear
S530 Air conditioning
S915 Omission of outer-skin preservation
S979 VELOURS-FUSSMATTEN VORN UND HI

Current modifications:
M30B35 from 1990 535i (VIN BF11049)
Dual-chamber oil spray bar mod with safety-wired banjo bolts
Full Supersprint stainless exhaust system (headers, resonators, midpipe, tailpipe)
Volvo 850 Design III injectors
E12 15lb flywheel
Single TRE fuel pump conversion
Bilstein Sports with Eibach springs
E34 540i brakes
E31 spherical & Meyle HD front control arms
MWrench steering box reinforcement
Z3 shifter w/Garagistic DSSR
Pedal box reinforcement w/welded tab
BenGerman clutch pivot spring assembly
M-System forged 17x8" wheels
M-Tech fender flares
Recaro LSB "Helios" seats
Late 80's Momo 4-spoke wheel


My goal with this 535 is to build a fun weekend driver/reliable occasional HPDE car. With an unknown exact mileage (probably 340k or more) and after some neglect at the hands of previous owners, the car is not exactly concours quality but it is clean in the important places. Since I don't have to worry about ruining a gorgeous example, I am just having fun with it and modifying it to my liking. It does have a few rare original options (glass moonroof, driver's seat fire extinguisher, rear headrests) which I am trying to preserve...though the glass moonroof may get swapped out for track events.
Last edited by SlickDizzy on Apr 04, 2021 3:21 PM, edited 15 times in total.
SlickDizzy
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Re: My scruffy 1985 Euro 535i

Post by SlickDizzy »

In 2006 I bought a Polaris/Anthracite Euro 528i that I drove and enjoyed for some years in college, before stupidly trading it to a friend for an Audi. My friend totalled it in an accident with a deer and I always regretted making the trade.

In September 2016, now with a home/real job/disposable income/etc I was looking for a new project car to build for weekend drives and occasional HPDE/lapping events. I checked this forum out of curiosity and found this post: http://www.mye28.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=140844

(Interestingly I later found that this car had been owned by board member fido for quite some time. I reached out asking for information and never got a response so he may no longer be in the E28 community, but this particular car is documented in photos here as early as 2009 in this thread: http://www.mye28.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=68229&p=603247 )

The car looked generally neglected, but clean in the important places in pictures, and the VIN confirmed it as a real Euro car, so I called up the seller, borrowed my friend's F250 and brought it home to Milwaukee from Indianapolis on looooooooong Sunday. It was the exact same color combo as my old 528i and was reasonably close...I felt like it was the right car at the right time.

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When I got it home I began poking at it a bit. The previous owner seemed like a very nice guy but in over his head a bit when it came to maintaining an old German car, and so it sat neglected for almost three years.

I put the BBS wheels on to see how they looked and gave it a more thorough look-over. The interior was in particularly bad shape, but the paint was very dirty, brakes rusty, electrical glitches, etc...overall the car did seem about as solid as advertised though, just needs a whole lot of TLC.

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As I started cleaning the car I noticed there were masses of wire everywhere that didn't seem to go anywhere important or do anything. Following the mess to its source, I found an old Motorola phone power supply! Knowing that it was all useless, I pulled the rat's nest from the car, and found a few other surprises along the way...

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The stock comfort seats were totally trashed (and I never found them very comfortable either), so a set of Recaros from a 1980's VW Jetta were sourced for the car.

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Last edited by SlickDizzy on May 28, 2018 9:37 AM, edited 1 time in total.
SlickDizzy
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Re: My scruffy 1985 Euro 535i

Post by SlickDizzy »

After a much-needed bath, the Recaros were installed using Massive adapaters and the entire shift linkage was rebuilt with a Z3 shifter. The US sealed beams were ditched and a set of correct Euro lights was installed. It appears that the car was in a light front end collision at one time, probably why it had US sealed beams.

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Heading into 2017, a cheap used set of naked forged M-System wheels was sourced for the car and the ghastly, smelly old window tint was removed.

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SlickDizzy
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Re: My scruffy 1985 Euro 535i

Post by SlickDizzy »

While looking a lot better, the car still had a lot of noticeable slop in the suspension and steering. In spring 2017 I tackled a replacement of almost all suspension parts and a lot of the rubber parts underneath the car. Managed to replace the subframe bushings with the sawzall method. Probably the worst-condition part was the rear differential mount, which was completely separated and knocking all over the place. I also installed E34 540i brakes on all four corners since the brakes on the car were in questionable shape anyway.

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With that complete I began to drive the car more regularly and start to make note of other things that will need fixing.

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Last edited by SlickDizzy on Dec 06, 2018 1:34 PM, edited 1 time in total.
cek
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Re: My scruffy 1985 Euro 535i

Post by cek »

SlickDizzy wrote: the ghastly, smelly old window tint was removed.

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I hope you saved that stuff. I hear you can sell it used for big monies.

This is a great thread! Well done!
gaberdee
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Re: My scruffy 1985 Euro 535i

Post by gaberdee »

Nice work! I’m glad to see an update on how this shook out.

FWIW, unless Fido had two Polaris/anthracite euro 535s, this is not the same car. I actually purchased that car in 2013 from a board member who had purchased it from Fido the year before that. Your car is much more solid and you got it at a way better price.

Cheers!
Gabe
SlickDizzy
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Re: My scruffy 1985 Euro 535i

Post by SlickDizzy »

gaberdee wrote:Nice work! I’m glad to see an update on how this shook out.

FWIW, unless Fido had two Polaris/anthracite euro 535s, this is not the same car. I actually purchased that car in 2013 from a board member who had purchased it from Fido the year before that. Your car is much more solid and you got it at a way better price.

Cheers!
Gabe
Interesting! It does look like he had multiple Euro E28s, but I am relatively sure that this was at least one of his. The rear valance is painted the same, tint, wheels, B&B exhaust etc...I even found the old federalization sidemarkers in his pictures in a box of parts I received! In this thread he describes the car and it's 100% the same as mine (aside from him claiming it has the dirty motor)...http://www.mye28.com/viewtopic.php?f=14 ... 42#p647742

2009:
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2016:
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gaberdee
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Re: My scruffy 1985 Euro 535i

Post by gaberdee »

You’re absolutely right, I didn’t take a close enough look at the pictures. Man, you have a great car!
Burnze
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Re: My scruffy 1985 Euro 535i

Post by Burnze »

Congrats! I remember lusting over this car when it went up for sale a couple of years back. Polaris is such a great color. Subscribed for updates.
SlickDizzy
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Re: My scruffy 1985 Euro 535i

Post by SlickDizzy »

Many, many updates incoming...

This summer I sourced a M30B35 out of a 1990 535i (vin BF11049). I was able to hear it run before pulling but unfortunately there was water in the oil. I struck a deal since I suspected a blown head gasket and got the engine with harness, ECU, all accessories, etc for a total song. Then began the process of stripping for re-build...

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And of course out comes the B34.

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SlickDizzy
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Re: My scruffy 1985 Euro 535i

Post by SlickDizzy »

Next up are a bunch of things I was too busy/forgetful to take pictures of...you will just have to imagine.

- Removed all nasty old firewall insulation, re-painted firewall, installed new reflective insulation.
- Replaced heater core and thoroughly cleaned HVAC system.
- Deleted ABS system and ran new hard lines in split-diagonal fashion. ABS did not work anyway and eliminating the absurd quantity of brake lines running across the engine bay frees up a lot of space.
- Replaced all external seals on G265 transmission and replaced back-up switch. Installed Garagistic DSSR with existing Z3 shifter and replaced all bushings. Fresh Amsoil GL4 fluid.
- Installed beefier E34 CSB in place of E28 unit.
- Rebuilt & rebooted both CV axles.

I am probably forgetting a few things because I was busting ass in every spare moment outside of work I had, but this was a busy period to say the least...
SlickDizzy
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Re: My scruffy 1985 Euro 535i

Post by SlickDizzy »

But now we are back to the fun things!

I had the M30B35 head freshened up and resurfaced by Extreme Speed Cylinder Heads in Oak Creek, WI. All new Viton seals, hardware, valve job, rocker locks installed, etc...Brian was excellent to deal with and his workmanship was top-notch. With the head back I could finally start putting the B35 back together!

Every seal and gasket was replaced, new Bosch Design III injectors from a Volvo 850 NA were installed, the Supersprint headers I've had laying around for ~2 years finally found a home, a 15lb E12 flywheel went on the back with a new LUK clutch kit, along with less exciting things like a new water pump, thermostat, rebuilt oil pump, all new timing gear, etc...

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And shortly after, in the car it went for a final valve adjustment, head bolt torque, etc...(jeez, I really need to replace that nasty old washer tank!)

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Last edited by SlickDizzy on Dec 07, 2018 11:43 AM, edited 2 times in total.
SlickDizzy
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Re: My scruffy 1985 Euro 535i

Post by SlickDizzy »

By this point I ran into a few small issues - somehow the clutch master began leaking and needed replacement in the process of the swap, and the B35 alternator that came with the swap ended up being bum and needing replacement - but holy crap, what a difference a B35 with headers and a 15lb E12 flywheel makes! The car was an absolute rocket!

After some thorough cleaning it didn't look too bad either ;)

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SlickDizzy
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Re: My scruffy 1985 Euro 535i

Post by SlickDizzy »

The main reason I was rushing to get the car ready was because we had entered the Lemons Rally Route Sucky-Suck, a ridiculous 7-day adventure down old Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica.

https://24hoursoflemons.com/lemons-rall ... suck-2018/

We wrapped the car with some 3M vinyl and got a magnetic light for the roof, and off we went! The E28 ate a crank sensor (I brought a spare!) and had some strange issues with fuel starvation from the EVAP system overpressurizing (just took the gas cap off and kept going), but was otherwise ran like a champ the whole way and back.

There are far, far too many pictures to post here so here are a few highlights.

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Last edited by SlickDizzy on Dec 07, 2018 12:10 AM, edited 2 times in total.
SlickDizzy
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Re: My scruffy 1985 Euro 535i

Post by SlickDizzy »

After 5000 continuous miles on the road in dust, rain, sleet, snow, etc, unsurprisingly the car was pretty dirty when we got back home!

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I washed it twice and stuck it in the garage as they salted the roads here in anticipation of snow. The decals will come off and work will continue next spring!
Bonsaibacker
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Re: My scruffy 1985 Euro 535i

Post by Bonsaibacker »

Love the wrap and light!

Lucky car to have found such a great home- clearly you are caring for it. Keep 'em coming.
cek
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Re: My scruffy 1985 Euro 535i

Post by cek »

I just don't understand how you get all that work done without taking and posting pictures if every detail. ;)
SlickDizzy
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Re: My scruffy 1985 Euro 535i

Post by SlickDizzy »

cek wrote:I just don't understand how you get all that work done without taking and posting pictures if every detail. ;)
Part of it is that my workspace is super small...the E28 lives in one half of my detached 2-car garage and all of my tools, equipment, etc occupy the other, so I try to keep my workspace as clean as possible but major projects always end up looking like a tornado hit my garage. If I took pictures of how I get things done in that small space everybody would probably think I'm a total hack :rofl:
T_C_D
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Re: My scruffy 1985 Euro 535i

Post by T_C_D »

Inspring. Reminds me of the trips I took in my 535i (turbo and no a/c) in 2003 with my wife and two sons to Toronto and NC and Alabama all from CT. Fat chance that will ever happen again. :cry:
SlickDizzy
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Re: My scruffy 1985 Euro 535i

Post by SlickDizzy »

T_C_D wrote:Inspring. Reminds me of the trips I took in my 535i (turbo and no a/c) in 2003 with my wife and two sons to Toronto and NC and Alabama all from CT. Fat chance that will ever happen again. :cry:
Hell, at 30 with no kids and a willing girlfriend it was still tough to find the time. Blew the majority of my paid time off for the year in one shot on the trip...and we drove approx. 2200 miles in two days (LA -> Rawlins, WY -> MKE) on the trip home to avoid making it a two week trip.

It was an incredible time and a great way to see what’s left of the “old west” but my days of massive road trips are probably over. I can see myself flying out to WA or CA and driving Highway 1 but otherwise my appetite has been sufficiently whetted...
SeattleGuy
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Re: My scruffy 1985 Euro 535i

Post by SeattleGuy »

SlickDizzy wrote:
T_C_D wrote:Inspring. Reminds me of the trips I took in my 535i (turbo and no a/c) in 2003 with my wife and two sons to Toronto and NC and Alabama all from CT. Fat chance that will ever happen again. :cry:
Hell, at 30 with no kids and a willing girlfriend it was still tough to find the time. Blew the majority of my paid time off for the year in one shot on the trip...and we drove approx. 2200 miles in two days (LA -> Rawlins, WY -> MKE) on the trip home to avoid making it a two week trip.

It was an incredible time and a great way to see what’s left of the “old west” but my days of massive road trips are probably over. I can see myself flying out to WA or CA and driving Highway 1 but otherwise my appetite has been sufficiently whetted...
I rode Providence to Seattle 5 years ago. As soon as I saw the signs for the city I said to myself "OMG I gotta do this again."
http://christopher-king.blogspot.com/20 ... -trip.html
Not only have I not done it again I still have not made the mythical drive down the Oregon and California coast. I've been in both of those states but not on a total frolic and detour. I have got to change that this year. Just need to decide if it's car or bike.

Peace man and congrats on LeMons.... that is just a beautiful thing. And so is your car.
SlickDizzy
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Re: My scruffy 1985 Euro 535i

Post by SlickDizzy »

Not a whole lot to report this year. House projects have been keeping me too busy to do much with the E28, but I fixed all the issues we discovered on the rally (new fuel tank evap line, lower temp fan switch mod) and put fresh Bilsteins on all four corners as the existing ones were going south.

Mostly just driving and enjoying, all of the mechanical issues appear to be fully sorted at the moment, so onto the cosmetics...plan next year is to put in a nicer dashboard and either refinish or replace the seats, and move on to some of the exterior cosmetic issues.

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Nebraska_e28
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Re: My scruffy 1985 Euro 535i

Post by Nebraska_e28 »

Hope to see this in person someday!
SlickDizzy
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Re: My scruffy 1985 Euro 535i

Post by SlickDizzy »

Nebraska_e28 wrote:Hope to see this in person someday!
Perhaps you will! I don’t have the vacation time as a younger professional to make it to all the cross-country meetups sadly, but I intend to get out and about a little more this year.

No major updates, just a few photos I took over the summer when someone asked how an E28 looks on Eibach springs/Bilstein Sport shocks.

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SlickDizzy
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Re: My scruffy 1985 Euro 535i

Post by SlickDizzy »

Last year was a weird one so I didn't post any updates here, but did get a few little things done:
  • Sourced an OEM front undertray and installed it, which greatly improved cooling efficiency
  • Started poking at the air conditioning components, discovered that most of it was in bad shape, and just gutted everything
  • Tore out the nasty old dashboard and flocked it, installing a BMP Designs aux gauge hood and VDO gauges while I was in there (as described in this thread)
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Last edited by SlickDizzy on Mar 20, 2021 7:58 PM, edited 2 times in total.
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