Alpina B7 Turbo #106

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Kapt
Posts: 184
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM

Alpina B7 Turbo #106

Post by Kapt »

I bought this 1985 B7 a little over four years ago and spent considerable time and effort getting the car where I want it. It’s nearly complete except for some small items that I’m currently crossing off the list, although that list keeps growing.

I kept the car stock except for a few safety related items installed when the car was federalized, like the crash bars in the doors. Luckily none of the Alpina pieces were missing because they are nearly impossible to source. I still have the original Alpina muffler but after 35 years it was not in great shape so I replaced it with a new M5 muffler.

The car was originally Diamantshcwarz metallic and is repainted in the same color. It was also ordered with a black leather interior, manual sport seats and no AC. When I got the car it had a custom AC system (not the Alpina one) that I wasn’t happy with so I removed all traces of it. It currently has 132K miles (213K km on the odometer).

Some other highlights include;

Number matched B7 turbo engine
Getrag 265/5 close ratio dogleg trans
Limited slip big case diff
Alpina progressive rate springs
Extended gas tank (40L) in the trunk
Headlight washer system
Rear headrests
Alpina cosmetic pieces like the dead pedal, steering wheel, shift knob, number plaque, 300km gauge cluster, vent gauge, staggered wheels, spoilers, boost knob, tow hook



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One of his garage mates, 1988 535is, 5-speed.

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Here’s the extra 40L tank with the carpet removed. Total fuel capacity with both tanks is around 29 gallons.

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I debated painting the original undercoat but decided to clean it instead. Ugly color but at least it’s not hiding anything and it does provide a nice contrast to the refreshed suspension.

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Engine removal from below onto my welding table. It’s more stable than it looks.

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The engine numbers were good and running very strong so as a preemptive measure I replaced all the rubber pieces, most gaskets, and the timing components.

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Here are some of those pieces.

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Working in a clean engine bay is very satisfying.

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Fine glass bead media in my blast cabinet gets as close to the correct finish as I’ve found.

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These heat shields are probably my favorite custom Alpina piece. Too bad they aren’t more visible when the hood is open.
Unfortunately half of the bolts snapped off into the manifold so they had to be drilled, tapped and a Heli-Coil inserted.

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I lowered the car very, very slowly onto the engine and managed to avoid scratching the freshly painted engine compartment. I had an old 911 Carrera whose boxer engine was too wide to fit between the ramps so I unbolted one of the ramps and moved it over a few inches. Room to spare with a straight six.

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kojo96
Posts: 300
Joined: Mar 31, 2019 7:39 PM
Location: Pleasanton CA

Re: Alpina B7 Turbo #106

Post by kojo96 »

I can count on one hand the cars that I keep coming back to this sub forum to look for pure joy or inspiration, this just made me add my other hand...

Beautiful car.
cek
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Re: Alpina B7 Turbo #106

Post by cek »

You do fantastic work. What an awesome car. That gas tank is fascinating!
Tiit
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Re: Alpina B7 Turbo #106

Post by Tiit »

Wow. Thanks for sharing your awesome car. Pretty sweet working conditions too.
muleskinner
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Re: Alpina B7 Turbo #106

Post by muleskinner »

Holy guacamole, that's clean!
vinceg101
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Re: Alpina B7 Turbo #106

Post by vinceg101 »

Fantastic job, sir. Well done. :bow:
Nosis
Posts: 305
Joined: Nov 25, 2009 11:38 PM
Location: Denver

Re: Alpina B7 Turbo #106

Post by Nosis »

Wow, just amazing!! Does it run as good as it looks? As satisfying? Thank you for sharing.
Karl Grau
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Re: Alpina B7 Turbo #106

Post by Karl Grau »

Stunning! :up: :up:
Kapt
Posts: 184
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM

Re: Alpina B7 Turbo #106

Post by Kapt »

Nosis wrote: Jul 13, 2020 5:29 PM Wow, just amazing!! Does it run as good as it looks? As satisfying? Thank you for sharing.
Thanks everyone for the positive feedback, I really appreciate it.

It drives like no other e28 I’ve driven. It has a very compliant, comfortable ride yet when pushed it hugs the corners. The steering feels more rack and pinion than recirculating ball, it’s very tight. The car feels much lighter and more responsive than my other e28 because of the extra 100 horsepower. And the boost is very addictive. Sometimes it feels like there is no end to it. It’s not the on/off switch of a Porsche 930, it has a more gradual onset. I hate to say it, but after driving the Alpina my all stock 535is feels very underwhelming.

I’m not convinced the close ratio 265/5 is the right transmission for this car. I have a spare 265/6 that I sometimes swap in since it’s an easy change because of the separate bell housing. It’s a stronger transmission and the longer gears allow the engine to stay in boost a little longer. If I ever sell this thing I’ll probably include the extra trans.

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tschultz
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Re: Alpina B7 Turbo #106

Post by tschultz »

What diff ratio does this car have?

It would seem the overdrive box would be better suited for turbo power curve.

Thanks for sharing such detailed photos-- car and engine bay both look really great!
oldskool
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Re: Alpina B7 Turbo #106

Post by oldskool »

Yaaassss! Someday, . . . someday. . .
88m6
Posts: 49
Joined: Mar 26, 2012 1:19 PM

Re: Alpina B7 Turbo #106

Post by 88m6 »

Great restoration !
Looks like new from pictures!
Where are you located? Don't c it in signature.
Where did you get those red silicone hoses? mine are old n faded n replaced them with alpina colored ones. Look good as they match deco set color but not original of course . Felt big difference when I changed them out along with turbo clamps oh and up octane to 100 unleaded racing fuel :D
N took off cat :lol:
Still have the OE ones in bag.
Kapt
Posts: 184
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM

Re: Alpina B7 Turbo #106

Post by Kapt »

tschultz wrote: Jul 15, 2020 11:28 AM What diff ratio does this car have?

It would seem the overdrive box would be better suited for turbo power curve.

Thanks for sharing such detailed photos-- car and engine bay both look really great!
Its got a pretty tall gear at 2.56. I think the other options for the B7 were 2.79 and 3.07 if it was an automatic.
Kapt
Posts: 184
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM

Re: Alpina B7 Turbo #106

Post by Kapt »

88m6 wrote: Jul 19, 2020 1:15 AM Great restoration !
Looks like new from pictures!
Where are you located? Don't c it in signature.
Where did you get those red silicone hoses? mine are old n faded n replaced them with alpina colored ones. Look good as they match deco set color but not original of course . Felt big difference when I changed them out along with turbo clamps oh and up octane to 100 unleaded racing fuel :D
N took off cat :lol:
Still have the OE ones in bag.
Thanks, I’m located in Maryland.

Off the top of my head I can’t remember where I got those hoses. It’s buried in a stack of receipts a mile thick and I might be tempted to add them up if I go thru them. But I know they are not from Alpina. Luckily I didn’t need many parts from Alpina because they are very expensive. For example, the little expansion joint that connects the two pieces of the exhaust manifolds was almost $600. A lower radiator hose - $175 (or 175 euro?). BTW, you can cut the ends off NAPA hose 9050 and it fits nicely.

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Adam W in MN
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Re: Alpina B7 Turbo #106

Post by Adam W in MN »

Beautiful work, thanks for sharing.
88m6
Posts: 49
Joined: Mar 26, 2012 1:19 PM

Re: Alpina B7 Turbo #106

Post by 88m6 »

Nah
I wouldnt say Alpina parts are expensive id say they are OUTRAGEOUS😡
I dont mind a premium for authenticity but Alpina +KSK are way over the top
I bought a new plaque n HAD to go thru Sussn at KSK so i bent over n bought the bullit😩
Nebraska_e28
Beamter
Beamter
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Re: Alpina B7 Turbo #106

Post by Nebraska_e28 »

Amazing work! Thanks for sharing!

I'm curious on the oil sending unit under the stock filter housing. Is that an Alpina specific location? I've never seen before.
Kapt
Posts: 184
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM

Re: Alpina B7 Turbo #106

Post by Kapt »

Nebraska_e28 wrote: Jul 20, 2020 11:59 AM Amazing work! Thanks for sharing!

I'm curious on the oil sending unit under the stock filter housing. Is that an Alpina specific location? I've never seen before.
Thanks,

I have to assume it is, although I’m not 100% sure. The sender unit is for both the instrument cluster warning light and the digital oil pressure reading on the Alpina vent gauge. When I removed the wiring harness for the vent gauge during engine removal, the harness was an unmolested Alpina harness with a branch routed directly to the oil filter housing. Based on that I would think it is an Alpina specific location.
LeiseyJr
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Re: Alpina B7 Turbo #106

Post by LeiseyJr »

Awesome work and beautiful car!

I can where you are coming from with dogleg. I use one every day and even n/a, I believe the longer overdrive gears suit the m30 much better.

However the dogleg is more fun, so I stick with it.
wkohler
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Re: Alpina B7 Turbo #106

Post by wkohler »

Beautiful work, Tom! Car looks fantastic. It has come a long way since I last saw it in CA!

The oil pressure sender is in that location because the temperature sender is in the stock location in the head. In classic Alpina fashion, the pressure sender is a Porsche part from a 928.

Susan quoted me over $300 for that lower radiator hose, assuming she could even get one.
Hffvdbl
Posts: 403
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Location: DFW TX

Re: Alpina B7 Turbo #106

Post by Hffvdbl »

Thank you for sharing your fantastic car. Nice work!
Kapt
Posts: 184
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM

Re: Alpina B7 Turbo #106

Post by Kapt »

wkohler wrote: Jul 28, 2020 8:52 PM Beautiful work, Tom! Car looks fantastic. It has come a long way since I last saw it in CA!

The oil pressure sender is in that location because the temperature sender is in the stock location in the head. In classic Alpina fashion, the pressure sender is a Porsche part from a 928.

Susan quoted me over $300 for that lower radiator hose, assuming she could even get one.
Thanks Chris, I’d forgotten you saw it in CA when it was up for sale. BTW, your B7 build thread was a great reference for me during my project. As you know, there isn’t a whole lot of technical DIY info floating around about these cars.

And that radiator hose is NLA.
Kapt
Posts: 184
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM

Re: Alpina B7 Turbo #106

Post by Kapt »

Hffvdbl wrote: Jul 29, 2020 11:03 AM Thank you for sharing your fantastic car. Nice work!
Thanks, I appreciate that.
jdb
Posts: 122
Joined: Jan 01, 2007 7:56 PM
Location: Humboldt County, Ca.

Re: Alpina B7 Turbo #106

Post by jdb »

Gorgeous car, Beautiful work
Thanks for sharing

Jeff
BMW Performance
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Re: Alpina B7 Turbo #106

Post by BMW Performance »

Kapt wrote: Jul 19, 2020 11:33 AM Luckily I didn’t need many parts from Alpina because they are very expensive. For example, the little expansion joint that connects the two pieces of the exhaust manifolds was almost $600.
You are paying to much for your Alpina parts. I paid 233.28 euros for the joint that connects the two pieces of the exhaust from Alpina.
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