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'75 E12 530i Mini-Build Thread

Posted: Nov 20, 2020 8:24 PM
by MrZ
Hi All,

My years-long quest for a pre-facelift (aka, 'power bump') E12 has come to an end with the 11/74 build Canadian Market 530i. The car was purchased by the current seller from the original owner a couple of years ago, and it seems from maintenance records that the original owner kept it roadworthy for the duration. Mileage is 196,000 kilometers.

Transport from Vancouver to the US during COVID was a bit of a challenge, but I ended finding a good import broker and auto transport company that made the process as painless as it could be all things considered.

So, about a month after the purchase the car was safely delivered to me.

Impressions:
Cosmetically, the car in in fair to good shape, having no serious rust that I've come across yet. The Polaris paint has been resprayed at least once, and by the amount of bubbling and overspray not very well. Overall, it's a 10-footer, but (notably) in the condition described by the seller so in line with my expectations.
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As witnessed below, the previously Marineblau velour interior has faded to a nauseating shade of violet. It was actually reupholstered by the original owner back in the late-90s, but did not fare well over the following two decades. I won't even mention the steering wheel...
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From a mechanical standpoint, I'm pretty pleased with the condition. Converted to a G265/6, head replaced with later non-thermal reactor era casting, suspension is okay, upgraded to vented front rotors, etc. It made it through a 500 mile drive down the interstate with really no issues, so I consider that a win. My one gripe... someone decided to rattle can most of the bare aluminum parts in the engine compartment.
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So, all in all the car is as described by the seller and in road worthy condition. But, this wouldn't be a build thread without actual projects, so here's what's on the docket (some of this has already been completed, just need to get pics uploaded):

* Interior: I got a hold of some factory Nylonbraun corduroy material for the seats. I've also sourced a set of E21 Recaros, which (luckily) bolt right up to the early E12s with standard 2002 adapters. I've also sourced matching carpet and door cards. Sorry to the fans of blue interior...

* Suspension/Wheels: H&R springs and Bilstein HD (Front) and Sports (Rear). I've also sourced a set of staggered BBS RS 005 16x7 ET11 and RS 061 16X8 ET20.

* Exterior: Euro bumpers are sourced and assembled. Working on installation now.

*Engine: As mentioned, the motor is in good working order. But, not being able to let well enough alone I've sourced a complete M102 turbo setup from a member here. Yes, there are better/more efficient turbo setups, but that's not really what I'm going for on this car. More along the lines of 'if the M102/M106 was in production in 1975, what would a factory install on an E12 look like'? This will be accompanied by Megasquirt of a variety to be determined.

Anyway, I'll provide updates as the projects progress.

-Keith

Re: '75 E12 530i Mini-Build Thread

Posted: Nov 20, 2020 8:53 PM
by austin8753
very cool. subscribed.

Re: '75 E12 530i Mini-Build Thread

Posted: Nov 20, 2020 10:03 PM
by hunneman
looks like a solid car you can do alot with ..

nice color..

Good luck with it..

Re: '75 E12 530i Mini-Build Thread

Posted: Nov 20, 2020 10:35 PM
by kojo96
Love that early hood! Really nice car.

Re: '75 E12 530i Mini-Build Thread

Posted: Nov 21, 2020 12:54 AM
by Mike W.
10 footer maybe, but it looks sweet in the pics. I swear I'd had my first E12 a couple of years in the early 90s before I saw one with the early power bulge hood, and was just wow! They were rare even then. Early welded plenum intake, don't be so hard on the PO, Al when it gets old and gray can be difficult to make presentable, BTDT. :oops: And the interior. Funny how colors fade, I've seen window tint that was that color that surely didn't start out that way. Still, I'd take it over horsehair and steel springs. (barring your plan, just with a couple of cans of fabric spray)

Re: '75 E12 530i Mini-Build Thread

Posted: Nov 21, 2020 9:25 AM
by Bonsaibacker
Great find. That interior is hard to lookout although the tape deck brings back memories!
Following and looking forward updates.

Re: '75 E12 530i Mini-Build Thread

Posted: Nov 21, 2020 3:51 PM
by Galahad
I know everyone will disagree with me, but I think the seats are great. Looks like the passenger one needs to be restuffed or something.

Re: '75 E12 530i Mini-Build Thread

Posted: Nov 21, 2020 3:57 PM
by MrZ
Galahad wrote: Nov 21, 2020 3:51 PM I know everyone will disagree with me, but I think the seats are great. Looks like the passenger one needs to be restuffed or something.
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Re: '75 E12 530i Mini-Build Thread

Posted: Nov 22, 2020 11:54 AM
by cek
I love it. Way to make it your own.

Re: '75 E12 530i Mini-Build Thread

Posted: Nov 23, 2020 11:40 AM
by muleskinner
Looking forward to seeing the transformation. Terry Sayther turbo'd one of these back in the day. It was wicked fast and a blast to drive.

Re: '75 E12 530i Mini-Build Thread

Posted: Nov 24, 2020 5:49 PM
by maybeillbuyit
Hey congrats on the car. I've actually come close to buying that car 3 times over the years. I new the previous seller a little and know he had done quite a bit of work to it. Looking forward to the build. Lots of good info over on FirstFives if you haven't been there yet, although its pretty quiet on there these days.

Re: '75 E12 530i Mini-Build Thread

Posted: Nov 24, 2020 6:54 PM
by MrZ
maybeillbuyit wrote: Nov 24, 2020 5:49 PM Hey congrats on the car. I've actually come close to buying that car 3 times over the years. I new the previous seller a little and know he had done quite a bit of work to it. Looking forward to the build. Lots of good info over on FirstFives if you haven't been there yet, although its pretty quiet on there these days.
Very cool. I've been on FirstFives over the years since I owned my first E12 about a decade ago. Traffic has definitely slowed down there.

I actually have a request for you since it looks like you own a '77. Since you know my car, you might remember that the original owner had converted to electric '78+ side mirrors. I'm in the process of removing all of that and reinstalling the pre-'78 flag mirrors that bolt directly to the door.

What I need, though, are measurements for where to place the drivers side mounting plate/screws. Could I bother you to provide the measurements for A, B, and C in the picture below from your car? The black dots representing the mounting screws/holes that are in the mounting plate behind the mirror base.

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Thanks,
Keith

Re: '75 E12 530i Mini-Build Thread

Posted: Nov 25, 2020 8:21 PM
by maybeillbuyit
OK , so I removed the mirror and took some pics. Sorry for the shitty old yard stick. Both my good rulers are hiding in the mess of my garage.
When I bought my car it had the larger power mirror on the driver side and the smaller flag mirror on the pass side. I found a power passenger side mirror in a yard so thats whats on now. They both use the same mounting holes so check out the pics. If you need more info PM me

Image56CA448D-F1C9-4938-BD05-AA4895721291 by Dave Grayson, on Flickr
Image4DB39854-8C83-48AE-BC24-918F2AC047AC by Dave Grayson, on Flickr
Image723EAED4-E120-4E9F-90FE-23FC56C0C305 by Dave Grayson, on FlickrImageF739A705-A0F9-44B9-81CA-8890902DED35 by Dave Grayson, on Flickr

My drivers side has a factory stiffening plate that is inside the door and makes the Mirror a lot more stable and firmly mounted. The pass side just has the factory nuts mounted inside the door and the mirror isn't nearly as firm. It shakes around a bit. I need to do something about that someday. Something to consider if you are starting from scratch. I would also say BMW mounted those mirrors about 4-6 inches too far back to really give a good view. That was remedied by the e28 style mirror. Just my opinion.

Re: '75 E12 530i Mini-Build Thread

Posted: Nov 25, 2020 8:26 PM
by maybeillbuyit
Realoem pic of plate. No 17
ImageScreen Shot 2020-11-25 at 4.23.48 PM by Dave Grayson, on Flickr

Re: '75 E12 530i Mini-Build Thread

Posted: Nov 25, 2020 8:37 PM
by MrZ
Thanks, really appreciate it!

Is the mounting position the same for the driver and passenger side? Or is the passenger side set back further to the rear of the car?

Re: '75 E12 530i Mini-Build Thread

Posted: Nov 26, 2020 2:34 AM
by maybeillbuyit
Hey you're welcome. Thats a good question. I'll take a look in the morning, I think it was the same.

Re: '75 E12 530i Mini-Build Thread

Posted: Nov 26, 2020 7:14 AM
by Adam W in MN
Very cool E12 and congrats on the purchase. I do kind of like the purple interior actually.

Are you going to strengthen the diff mount since you are adding a turbo setup? With the power you'll have i would say it's mandatory.

Re: '75 E12 530i Mini-Build Thread

Posted: Nov 28, 2020 1:47 AM
by Crazy_Canuck
MrZ wrote: Nov 20, 2020 8:24 PM
* Interior: I got a hold of some factory Nylonbraun corduroy material for the seats. I've also sourced a set of E21 Recaros, which (luckily) bolt right up to the early E12s with standard 2002 adapters. I've also sourced matching carpet and door cards. Sorry to the fans of blue interior...
When you have the Recaro's re-upholstered, reinforce the lower bolsters wire bar. The bar likes to rip the sheet metal pan.

I would also double check that the drivers seat back is not twisted, it is not uncommon on E21 Recaro's.

Re: '75 E12 530i Mini-Build Thread

Posted: Nov 28, 2020 2:59 AM
by maybeillbuyit
MrZ wrote: Nov 25, 2020 8:37 PM Thanks, really appreciate it!

Is the mounting position the same for the driver and passenger side? Or is the passenger side set back further to the rear of the car?
Just checked and the mirrors are in the same position.

Re: '75 E12 530i Mini-Build Thread

Posted: Nov 28, 2020 1:35 PM
by MrZ
maybeillbuyit wrote: Nov 28, 2020 2:59 AM
MrZ wrote: Nov 25, 2020 8:37 PM Thanks, really appreciate it!

Is the mounting position the same for the driver and passenger side? Or is the passenger side set back further to the rear of the car?
Just checked and the mirrors are in the same position.
Great, thanks for checking.
Adam W in MN wrote: Nov 26, 2020 7:14 AM Are you going to strengthen the diff mount since you are adding a turbo setup? With the power you'll have i would say it's mandatory.
Yeah, this is a good point. Even without additional torque the mount is suspect.
Crazy_Canuck wrote: Nov 28, 2020 1:47 AM When you have the Recaro's re-upholstered, reinforce the lower bolsters wire bar. The bar likes to rip the sheet metal pan.

I would also double check that the drivers seat back is not twisted, it is not uncommon on E21 Recaro's.
Yeah these already went down to Dave Varco at Aardvarc for the necessary repairs along with reupholstering.