1985 535i, My first E28

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Mtriple
Posts: 23
Joined: Dec 27, 2018 5:54 PM
Location: Twin Cities

1985 535i, My first E28

Post by Mtriple »

I've been lurking here a lot longer than what shows but I finally have an E28. I've been into E30's for the last 15 years or so and was beginning to get bored and wanted to try something new. Some of you probably know this car better than I do which is one of the reasons I decided to create a thread. The car belonged to a member here and at some point, Ron Perry had it and it was then sold to a gentleman in Chicago. I picked it up from him this past May.

The car started life as a 525i and was brought over to the US and federalized in 1986. It had a couple different owners that lived primarily on the west coast. It had a bit of a restoration a few years ago that included a respray and a 3.5 swapped in among other things. I have been working on it slowly going through it and replacing and repairing small issues over the summer. Here's what I've done so far...

I believe these photos are 3 to 4 years old after the mild restoration was done.

Image8E429CAE-4268-4756-96B6-7C96BC5327E7 by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

Image8AAC3791-E836-48D4-A405-6B3DF29910F0 by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

ImageA3006CAA-7356-49EB-A541-66B59329BE5B by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

How it appeared when I took ownership last May.

ImageD5EE3827-EFA6-40FF-999C-7F86C8F0BCED by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

At some point, the rear drivers side door was resprayed, not sure why. This is at the top of my list of things to do before the snow flies here. I'm going to have this taken care of as well as the front valance resprayed.

ImageB8288287-988E-402B-85FD-A3AC97F6D263 by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

The car is rust free except for two areas, mainly the trunk due to a poor trunk gasket install at some point and the from hood cowls. Contact cement was used and sparingly leading to water being able to get into the trunk. Everything is surface rust only except for the from hood cowling where there are some small areas that have rotted away. Everything was prepped and POR15 applied. I know it seems like I went overboard and I kind of did...lol, but this stuff works great and is good piece of mind to stop the cancer.

Image4A265F1E-D297-400C-80D2-55B249E62F63 by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

ImageD29AEF5E-490D-45A8-BBFB-C57B076B3D01 by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

Image19413B24-2A28-4793-9353-445ED4E564B0 by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

Image46E6F5B6-E039-4E3D-A2DA-5CA6C3331218 by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

ImageBE220104-EEC8-463F-B3BC-C289DB755FB5 by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

Image1B5E2350-E180-4B8F-9FE3-001B70721452 by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

The car had some small electrical issues such as the front and rear fogs not working and the headlights and rear license lights intermittently working. All fixed now.

Image8539C3A0-786F-46D3-84BA-7AED6E4D0645 by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

Headlight wiring was pretty rough...

ImageDD6EC724-7351-421D-A3A3-D0B5835758B6 by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

Image3D400505-3F4A-43E8-BB37-C18FD79BE5EF by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

No solder...

Image81532475-3B8D-41CF-89B5-69BF9D07DD22 by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

Image37C5F962-98A3-4FA0-8983-9BFD63B1B9B8 by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

Corrected and the entire harness wrapped in Tesa tape.

Image5C5213C8-5533-4A24-B762-B67290F5C613 by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

ImageB749C377-07C0-4CD2-971C-4D10B343A45F by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

My assistant.

Image527DD00D-601C-4E14-B55C-28362533AD8A by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

Details. :D

ImageF76B649B-7F38-4166-A0E0-A7553F2D6FE0 by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

The car had a full Mtech suspension package purchased from Blunt back in 2015. Unfortunately, one of the rear struts is blown. Bilstein won't warranty it or repair it on my dime. I'm researching options to get them fixed.

Image2705346F-6B9E-487C-AF0B-B35B3F18E084 by Bob Cooper, on Flickr


Billy sports and Spax installed.

Image7587DAAC-9B89-47AB-8925-8EF3118A0D72 by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

ImageED9129E5-4383-4F18-9759-769AF9B00BBB by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

Proper alignment.

Image6BAB6134-4336-498B-921F-F17D45AF7769 by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

I was saving these wheels for my E30 but look great on the E28, glad I hung on to them. Weds Bavaria's 16x8/16x9

Image1FB46716-16BD-4116-A053-00E4DCBC3C06 by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

Suspension done. Rides great! Probably a little soft in most peoples opinion but I really like it.

Image80D378FA-B8E9-4584-82E3-384C143A8DF6 by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

ImageD799FFE8-D43D-46D8-A186-4C92DF5A78FD by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

I was planning on going to TexFest this weekend but that fell apart last week with work. Hopefully, I can make it next year. In the meantime, I have a lot planned for it over the winter. I just ripped the aftermarket stereo system out and have plans to install a period correct aftermarket system in the car that will be very subtle and low key. I hope to have the bumpers re-chromed over the winter and go through the engine compartment. I'll post my progress...
Last edited by Mtriple on Oct 10, 2019 10:54 PM, edited 1 time in total.
AdamCosmos
Posts: 37
Joined: May 23, 2018 6:25 PM
Location: Jersey City

Re: 1985 535i, My first E28

Post by AdamCosmos »

This sounds like a really cool car and a great story, but unfortunately I can’t see any of the pics. Would love to see your progress!
Mtriple
Posts: 23
Joined: Dec 27, 2018 5:54 PM
Location: Twin Cities

Re: 1985 535i, My first E28

Post by Mtriple »

AdamCosmos wrote:This sounds like a really cool car and a great story, but unfortunately I can’t see any of the pics. Would love to see your progress!
Sorry, should be fixed now.
AdamCosmos
Posts: 37
Joined: May 23, 2018 6:25 PM
Location: Jersey City

Re: 1985 535i, My first E28

Post by AdamCosmos »

Beautiful car! Love alpine white on an e28. Looks like you’ve done a lotta work; nice job
Adam W in MN
Posts: 4903
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
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Re: 1985 535i, My first E28

Post by Adam W in MN »

Gorgeous
stuartinmn
Posts: 9001
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Minneapolis

Re: 1985 535i, My first E28

Post by stuartinmn »

Good looking car! Nice to see another e28 in town. :)
sail_or_drive
Posts: 381
Joined: Sep 17, 2013 9:51 PM
Location: Vancouver, WA

Re: 1985 535i, My first E28

Post by sail_or_drive »

Beautiful Car!

I am curious, did you brush or spray your POR15? And did you give it a cover coat of something else in the trunk? I tend to be lazy and leave the original coat "as is" given all of the rust spots I have fixed rarely see the light of day. I would not worry about whether or not you went overboard, nice work.
stuartinmn
Posts: 9001
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Minneapolis

Re: 1985 535i, My first E28

Post by stuartinmn »

Judging by the brush marks on the spare wheel well, my guess is he used a brush. :)
sail_or_drive
Posts: 381
Joined: Sep 17, 2013 9:51 PM
Location: Vancouver, WA

Re: 1985 535i, My first E28

Post by sail_or_drive »

Judging by my missing that I either need new glasses or a firming up of my grasp of the obvious. :oops:
Bonsaibacker
Posts: 679
Joined: Oct 26, 2017 3:36 PM
Location: Savannah GA

Re: 1985 535i, My first E28

Post by Bonsaibacker »

Wow! Welcome- you just barged right through the door with that post! Great foundation and judging from your diligent refinements, I'd say that car will enjoy a nice stewardship. Thanks for posting and keep updating.
Adam W in MN
Posts: 4903
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Don't waste my motherf***in' time!
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Re: 1985 535i, My first E28

Post by Adam W in MN »

Wish we had more time to chat Saturday when you stopped by to get the clutch spring. Would really have been nice to get a nice fall day and park our E28's in the sun, especially to see yours in person!
Mtriple
Posts: 23
Joined: Dec 27, 2018 5:54 PM
Location: Twin Cities

Re: 1985 535i, My first E28

Post by Mtriple »

Well, I was hoping to do more to the car over the past winter but it just didn't happen. I did pull out all of the interior and removed all of the stereo wiring and replaced it with newer, higher quality power wire, speaker wire, and interconnects. Everything that I do will be somewhat period correct with almost all of the aftermarket gear (Alpine and a/d/s) being from the late 80's to early 90's. With that, I installed a brand new Alpine 8070L alarm system, an alarm that was very popular in the early 90's and I'm very familiar with as I used to install a ton of them from my days as an installer. You can see the glass break microphone and status led just to the right of the ash tray. I also installed an Alpine 7618r pullout tape deck which has red/orange illumination to match the factory dash lighting.

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

I also sent out my instrument cluster, AFM, and euro clock to Bavarian Restoration for a full refurbish. My SI lights now work and while they were in there, I had them paint the needles "Alpina orange". The bezel was cracked/chipped but I was able to order a new one through Bluntech. I couldn't be happier with the results. This is my second time using Bavarian and I can't recommend them enough.

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

And Wednesday she goes in to the body shop to have all of the issues that bother me addressed. I hope to have her back in a few weeks. Meanwhile, here are a few pictures from last week. I'll post an update when I get her back.

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr
TYMHM
Posts: 21
Joined: Jun 17, 2019 7:32 AM
Location: Canada

Re: 1985 535i, My first E28

Post by TYMHM »

Lookin really nice!

What exhaust tips are on there?
mosportgreen66
Posts: 1076
Joined: Jul 26, 2006 4:26 PM

Re: 1985 535i, My first E28

Post by mosportgreen66 »

Beautiful example and kuddos for taking it to the next level!

Dan
austin8753
Posts: 1116
Joined: May 16, 2010 1:37 AM
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

Re: 1985 535i, My first E28

Post by austin8753 »

sharp looking little car - thanks for sharing.
cek
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Re: 1985 535i, My first E28

Post by cek »

Loverly.
Mtriple
Posts: 23
Joined: Dec 27, 2018 5:54 PM
Location: Twin Cities

Re: 1985 535i, My first E28

Post by Mtriple »

I spent the earlier part of the week saving the body guys some time and myself some cash. This turned out to be a good thing because I caught a few more small issues that I would like them to address. I dropped the car off yesterday and should have it back in a few weeks.

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

The car was federalized back in 86/87 and it's interesting to see some of the shenanigans that took place to make the car compliant. This bar weighs at least 40 to 50 pounds and with some plates welded on, completely eliminated the factory mounting brackets for the rear bumper. I've ordered the new brackets from BMW and will remove the bar. No need to have that added weight hanging that far back from the rear axle.

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr
Mtriple
Posts: 23
Joined: Dec 27, 2018 5:54 PM
Location: Twin Cities

Re: 1985 535i, My first E28

Post by Mtriple »

TYMHM wrote:Lookin really nice!

What exhaust tips are on there?
Thanks! The car has a SuperSprint cat-back system.
irl-mn
Posts: 104
Joined: Mar 05, 2012 9:08 AM
Location: Twin Cities, MN

Re: 1985 535i, My first E28

Post by irl-mn »

Very nice looking E28! Great to see another euro car in the Twin Cities.

Curious who is doing the paintwork? My E30 needs some paintwork and I've started researching bodyshops...
Mtriple
Posts: 23
Joined: Dec 27, 2018 5:54 PM
Location: Twin Cities

Re: 1985 535i, My first E28

Post by Mtriple »

irl-mn wrote:Very nice looking E28! Great to see another euro car in the Twin Cities.

Curious who is doing the paintwork? My E30 needs some paintwork and I've started researching bodyshops...
Thanks, I’m new to E28’s after 17 years of E30 ownership. Go see Brandon at LaMettry’s in Minnetonka. I’ve been very impressed to this point in the process.
Mtriple
Posts: 23
Joined: Dec 27, 2018 5:54 PM
Location: Twin Cities

Re: 1985 535i, My first E28

Post by Mtriple »

Uneventful update but progress is being made. They found some rust from the previous work to eliminate the DOT mandated side markers in both front quarter panels, rears appear to be okay. Good news is no rust in the windshield or rear glass channels. The paint guy verified that the rear drivers side door was shot in Alpine 3 explaining the difference in color. :roll:

I decided to have them spray the hood and the Mtech wheel arches as well to take car of rock chips. They are going to wrap the lower valance in clear guard when its done.

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr
cek
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Re: 1985 535i, My first E28

Post by cek »

Are you going to leave it with mis-matched color?
Mtriple
Posts: 23
Joined: Dec 27, 2018 5:54 PM
Location: Twin Cities

Re: 1985 535i, My first E28

Post by Mtriple »

cek wrote: Jun 02, 2020 11:41 AM Are you going to leave it with mis-matched color?
No sir, all paint issues, including the door, are being corrected in the correct color of Alpine white.

- Drivers side passenger door
- Hood
- Lower front valance
- Front quarter panels
- Driver and passenger side mirrors
- Mtech wheel arches
- trunk gasket channel
- Rear lower valance

- Install new OEM windshield and rear glass with all new gaskets and trim, minus what's NLA.
Mtriple
Posts: 23
Joined: Dec 27, 2018 5:54 PM
Location: Twin Cities

Re: 1985 535i, My first E28

Post by Mtriple »

The car came back from the bodyshop mid-August and overall, I'm impressed with the work that was done. The scope of the bodywork increased and they ended up doing more to the car than I originally planned which meant that there was more disassembly than I had performed initially. Specifically all door latch, door handle, and key cylinder assemblies were removed from the car in order to properly paint the car. This has meant a bit of a learning curve for me in putting everything back together. Not a big deal as I would rather it be done right and its given me a chance to replace a lot of little items that needed to be addressed. Its just taking a lot longer than I would have liked.

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

They ended up having to grind out the trunk gasket channel to remove all of the old adhesive.

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

M-Tech wheel arches.

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

All new hardware for the windshield wiper assembly.

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

New OEM windshield.

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

New rear glass.

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

So with all of the door latch and handle assemblies out of the car I made an effort to clean, degrease, lube and replace some of the parts that I could. Things like the black trim and gaskets around the lock cylinder, door pull pads, grommets for pull rods, lock cylinder linkage grommets, as well as removing the old rattletrap from the inner door skins, cleaning everything, painting the USDOT reinforcement bars inside the doors with Por15, and putting everything back together. This included properly applying Dynamite on both the exterior and interior skins of all four door's and applying a vapor barrier to keep moisture off the back side of the door panels.

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

Passenger front door was the first to be finished and its amazing how nicely the door opens and shuts now. All new lower belt line trim installed also.

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

Anyone know what this is in the front drivers door? My car doesn't have central locking, no power locks, no power windows, and only the driver side mirror is power. Looking at RealOEM there is a lock cylinder heater for the drivers door but I would be surprised if my car had it with the lack of amenities. This looks like a contact for something, just not sure what.

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr

Also, does anyone have a part number for this front rubber boot/grommet?

ImageUntitled by Bob Cooper, on Flickr
Mdreamer
Posts: 241
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Re: 1985 535i, My first E28

Post by Mdreamer »

Great looking car! I have always loved the wheels you have. :)
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