New Member M535i

Specific conversations and info for the BMW E28 M5 and M535i.
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Posts: 23
Joined: Nov 25, 2021 4:21 AM
Location: Tasmania

New Member M535i

Post by WesfromTas »

Hi Guys,
I'm new to the e28 scene after purchasing a barn find M535i. Just couldn't say no the deal I was offered. I'm a bit of a regular over on the E9 forum for a while as I own a couple and I know a few other members hang out over here. My car has the usual issues from a long lay up but my first order of business is to get the clutch back up so I can actually move the thing around the yard! Have read a few posts on here about how to go about that but I'm wondering if I need to do the brakes at the same time? I'm assuming the process is similar to on the E9 but would love to given a few tips, or even better a PDF manual :)

Wes From Tas.
Posts: 4561
Joined: Jun 20, 2007 2:40 AM
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: New Member M535i

Post by vinceg101 »

Welcome, Wes From Tas! :wave:
If you've not done it already, get yourself a Bentley E28 manual (officially: BMW 5-Series Service Manual: 1982-1988 ... 617&sr=8-3). It's by far the best manual for this car (it may not be specific to your RHD or the M535i since it's written here for the US/CA models, but that doesn't diminish the information). Also find yourself an ETM (Electronic Troubleshooting Manual) for all things electric.

Brakes are pretty straightforward and not a whole lot different than an E9 if I recall (although not sure the E9 has rear discs? The E28 does.) There are varying degrees of levels of maintenance and upgrades to the brakes, but if all you're doing is getting the car back on the road it's a smaller list. Being this is kind of a barn-find, my guess is that the brake fluid has turned to muck and moisture may have gotten into the calipers. Also your rubber lines are likely suspect at this point. So a caliper rebuild, new rubber lines and full system flush is probably in order along with new discs and pads (be prepared for needing new calipers if rust has gotten into the cylinders).
Possible upgrades include (these are all simple bolt-on upgrades):
-E32/E34 Calipers & Rotors (research Big Brake Upgrades, be sure the Rotors are vented and don't waste your money on slotted or drilled. These fit under all 15" and larger wheels.)
-Stainless Steel Brake Lines
-E32 Brake Master Cylinder (not required with E32 Calipers)

Wheels and Tires: Is the car still equipped with the original M-Tech Metric wheels and TRX tires? If so, you might want to consider upgrading these as TRX technology is ancient by tire standards these days not to mention hard to find and expensive. A good set of 15" or 16" stock BMW wheels married to modern rubber is the best way to go.

Otherwise, we look forward to your progress with the car. Please post pictures once you figure out how (there are several instructional threads on the subject). I encourage you to try to research and search the vast information well that is this site to address your questions; guaranteed that whatever you're looking for, it has been asked and answered hundreds of times over the several decades this site and its' predecessor has been up and running. But if you're stuck, don't be afraid to ask but please be civil (response times may not have been what they once were on this site, but hopefully someone will respond with the correct information or a nudge in the right direction in due time). Remember also that this site is run by volunteers and self-policed so there are no Moderators or Referees and as usual with all things internet forum based, try to be thick-skinned.

We all love these cars and really do want new owners to succeed with their endeavors with them (even if we don't 100% agree with your choices). You have landed on the best site for the E28 out there.

Good Luck!
Ken H.
Posts: 1819
Joined: Dec 04, 2006 8:43 PM
Location: Suburban Gomorrah

Re: New Member M535i

Post by Ken H. »

Welcome aboard!
The following outline should be read in conjunction with Vince's suggestions on getting the sled mobile.
In addition to addressing the brakes/tires issues, if the car has been in storage for anything over a year, may I strongly suggest a complete drain and flush of the fuel system. This to include putting in fresh filters and having the injectors professionally cleaned. This set of tasks will deal with any varnish and sediment buildup. Doing so will reduce the possibility if starting/rough running due to fuel system issues.
Check all ground fittings for snugness and absence of corrosion--this for continuity. Probably not a bad idea to install a fresh battery.
My apologies if I am preaching to the choir here, given your expeience on E9s, but what follows may be useful as a checklist mwhen combined with the Bentley and the ETM. :up:

E28 baselining checklist

I prepared this schedule from various threads on plus the M5’s owner’s manual. It was done as a reference document for a friend of mine who asked me what I thought might be needed to set up his 535i for an extended aggressive long distance “scenic tour” to be held after the conclusion of a western-US based 5erFest. More on this below. In an email, I ranted about E28 owners being best served by doing a proper baselining of the car, then investing in themselves via a good driver’s school. This before doing anything to upgrade the car’s capabilities. IMO, a properly baselined E28 has thresholds which exceed the capabilities of probably 95%+ of the drivers out there. This is both sobering and not politically correct. So be it.

The outlined work is not to set the car up for racing, autocross, or HPDE; rather it is conceived as addressing areas on the cars which are known to be subject to considerable wear. In other words, the objectives are Safety and Reliability. Our cars are approaching 40 years-plus in age. Unless you have owned said car from new or have complete service records, you have no way of knowing what has or has not been done to maintain the car in first-line condition. As the cars have aged, their market value has declined. Concurrently, the cost of maintenance has not. Which means that the owner has probably deferred a good deal of upkeep, especially so where the subject task can be expensive.

The “5-5-5” was a proposal for an extended tour over several western US states. At the time, the now more or less moribund “5erfest” was under consideration for being held in Colorado. It got held elsewhere for a number of valid reasons, but that’s another story. But then idea was for the cars (5ers) to cover a LOT of secondary roads and beautiful country in 5 different states over a 5-day period. The route would cover parts of Colorado, Utah, Nevada, California, Arizona and New Mexico. OK then, six states. My Bad. The daily distance covered running about 700-750 miles in around 12 hours or so. Evenings at a designated fairly upscale hotel for dinner, a cocktail and sleep. Starting off around 0600 the following day. Each day’s route given out the night before.
The purpose of this was not a race, but more of a TSD rallye and an opportunity to take one’s E28 out and really enjoy it. To meet the arrival time criterion, you would have to run …smartly… but stay within posted speed limits. Riiiiight. This kind of use is what BMW designed these cars for. Given the distances, it is imperative that there be two drivers to address fatigue. Besides, why do this without a like-minded co-conspirator? I ought to add that I have driven the roads to be included in this exercise, so I can attest to what one might find.

The items in the baselining checklist should have been done by anyone taking good care of their E28. Many of these are simply due to the age and mileage on the vehicle. Others are well-documented to have less-than-lengthy life expectancies. This basically looks at taking care of wear areas or items which, should they fail in the middle of nowhere, should be a cause for serious heartburn.
Where condition of the part is substandard, marginal or broken, good judgment calls for said part’s replacement with a new piece.

1. Run the car thru the BMW “Inspection 2” workup.
This should address proper lubrication and adjustments to the engine and related components. Many of the following items are duplications. Deal with it.

2. With the car on a lift, remove all carpeting and covered areas and perform a detailed search for rust, corrosion or other environmental damage. These areas need to be cleaned and treated with an anti-rust or anti-corrosion compounds. Many areas on the underside of the cars have significant body cancer which may affect the car’s structural integrity. These need to be properly excised and rewelded.

A number of the following subsections reference lines for various liquids, e.g., fuel, coolant, power steering, brakes.
Unless you have personally replaced said lines or have irrefutable documentation when replacements were done—date, mileage—any and all soft lines are due for replacement. There is a very good chance that a goodly number of the lines are original to the vehicle. Obeying Murphy, their replacement may will save a great deal of aggravation or worse.
Time consuming? Yes. Labor intensive? Certainly. But in the process of doing this refresh there is an excellent chance you will find other neglected items which need to be done.

3. Replace all liquids.
A. Oil (filter as well).
B. Coolant. Flush and replace.
C. Power steering fluid.
D. Brake fluid.
E. Trans. Drain and refill. Applies to manual and auto.
F. Diff. Drain and refill.
G. A/C refrigerant. Check system for functioning, level of cooling. Top off as req’d.
A complete baselining of the heater and A/C systems is a horrendous undertaking. Doing this will inevitably call for replacement of a
number of the components—condenser, motors, evaporator, etc. If your present system is functioning, leave well enough alone.

4. Fuel system.
A. Replace in-line fuel filter.
B. Pull in-tank and main pumps. Have checked for electrical draw and flow rates. Clean sock-type in-tank filter. Carry a spare main pump.
C. Drain gas tank. Flush out interior w/ high-pressure solvent. (talk to a good radiator shop about this.) Inspect tank interior w/ borescope for
possible rust, corrosion. Exterior inspection for rust, corrosion, pinholes, especially @ tubing joints, top and bottom seam.
D. Closely inspect all fuel lines for hardening, cracks or leakage. Replace as needed.
Fuel lines - engine compartment
Fuel line to cold start valve
Fuel lines - rear gas tank
E. Pull injectors; have cleaned and flow/pattern tested. Upon reinstallation, replace all O-rings.
F. Evaluate condition of fuel pressure regulator (FPR). Replace of out of spec.

5. Cooling system.
A. Drain, flush w/ block drain removed.
B. Pressure test radiator to eliminate possibility of leaks in radiator (especially end tanks).
Be aware that most of the original E28 radiators develop leaks where the end tanks join the radiator core proper. If you have a tank that has
obvious leakage, or weeps, the line of least resistance is replacement. Cheaper, too.
C. If radiator meets pressure test, boil out to remove any crud, scale, etc.
D. Inspect heater core for potential corrosion, sedimentation, leaks.
E. Inspect condition of heater control valve. Cores are fragile and do not have long life expectancies.
F. Evaluate condition of water pump; if questionable, replace. Test shaft for play or wobble.
G. Evaluate condition of thermostat; if questionable, replace.
H. New hoses, including those to heating system.
I. Replace coolant temperature sensors (CLT).
J. New radiator/ A/C sensor for auxiliary fan.
K. condition of A/C temp control switch, blower speed switch, blower motor.
L. Inspect fan clutch. If substandard, replace.
M. Pressure test/charge level on A/C; check outlet air for temperature.

6. Electrical system. Replace any substandard components with new.
A. Inspect all ground connections and leads. Replace if corrosion present. Retighten fasteners, coat contact points w/ anticorrosion paste
(Vaseline). Battery posts included.
B. Condition of battery—ability to take/hold charge s/b 12.6 to 12.8 v.
C. Condition of alternator—bushings, brushes. Output s/b ~13.7 to 14.8V.
D. Test alternator shaft for wobble.
D. Condition of coil.
E. Condition of starter, solenoid.
F. Clean all fuse contact clamps w/ Deoxit, remove any corrosion; replace fuses w/ new. Confirm circuits have correct amperage fuses in
place—8A, 16A, 25A.
G. Replace all relays w/ new. Carry known good relays as spares. Replace all relays unless last replacement date is known and can be verified.
H. Confirm all lighting circuits, bulbs are functional. Carry known good bulbs as spares.
I. Confirm condition of SI board batteries. These known to potentially leak or not hold charge. Replace if in less-than-perfect condition. Yah, a
lotta work, but good preventive maintenance.
J. Confirm proper functioning of AFM across “wipe” range of gate travel.
K. Confirm condition of ECU for possible cracked solder points. Reflow joints if req’d. Carry a spare known good ECU.
L. Condition of ignition wiring, including spark plug harness and connectors. Replace if damaged, dried out or cracked.
M. All dash instruments and control board lights functioning properly.
N. All light circuits functioning properly—headlights, taillights, brakes, interior.
O. Fresh plugs. Carry a fresh set, properly gapped, as spares.
P. Fresh rotor and distributor cap. Carry 1 of each as spares.
Q. Inspect speed and reference sensors. Need to be clean and snug, with no loose contacts. Carry a known good set of spares.
R. Using Deoxit and/or fine steel wool, clean all light sockets, inside as well as exterior.
Be sure there is solid continuity bulbs to sockets--nothing loose.
If bulbs do not have silver bases, replace with ones which do.
This applies across the board, but pay attention to taillights in particular.
S. Clean spade connectors on headlight bulbs.

7. Front suspension.
A. Upper and lower control arm bushings. Replace, preferably upgrading to heavier-duty type.
B. Control arm ball joint boots—replace of possible, otherwise, new control arms.
C. Inspect sway bar links. The boots are often dried out or cracked. Replace if so indicated.
D. Idler arm: evaluate for play. Possible replacement if loose.
E. Tie rods. Replace if ends are worn.
F. Center link. Replace if ends are worn.
G. Inspect sway bar location bushings; replace if cracked or loose. Inspect sway bar mounts for condition of body attachment welds. Reweld if
so indicated.
Result should be zero slop or shimmy.
H. Wheel bearings. Replace of growl is present or play is excessive.
I. Locating bolt for steering box. Replace w/ upgraded bolt. This was the subject of a Service Bulletin/Recall from BMW at some point several
years ago.
J. Pull front crossmember, evaluate steering box locating fixture for possible cracking at welds. Reweld or install Mwrench dowel.
K. Evaluate struts for possible leaks, overall condition.
L. Evaluate condition of spring perches, bushings.
M. Front end alignment.

8. Rear suspension.
A. Inspect diff mount. Replace w/ M535i unit of worn, rubber torn or broken down.
B. Inspect pitman arms (dogbones). Replace if rubber shows evidence of cracking.
C. Inspect subframe bushings. Replace if cracked, loose or showing play. Replace splined locating bolts at the same time.
D. Inspect trailing arm bushings; replace if showing play.
E. Evaluate shocks for overall condition, possible leakage; replace if not 100%.
F. Inspect sway bar location bushings; replace if cracked or loose. Inspect sway bar mounts for condition of body attachment welds. Reweld if
so indicated.

9. Brakes.
A. Inspect master cylinder and connections for possible leaks.
B. Inspect brake proportioning valve for possible leaks—fittings @ top and sides.
C. Condition of rotors, pads. Replace if close to being worn out.(< 50% of pad left.)
D. Replace brake pad sensors along with pads.
E. Evaluate condition of calipers—boots on puck cylinders. Replace if dried out or damaged.
F. Brake pistons must move smoothly, w/o hesitation or binding. If not, rebuild calipers accordingly.
G. Evaluate condition of brake hoses. If worn, damaged or showing drying out or leakage, replace on both sides of the car.
H. Flush brake and clutch system. Use fresh fluid on refill.
I. Inspect ABS wheels and sensors. Must be clean, free of rust or crud in the rotor teeth.
J. Inspect ABS sensors. If plastic housings are cracked or wires damaged, replace.
K. Inspect parking brake shoes and drums for wear, rust, crud. Adjust p.b. cable as needed.

10. Wheels and tires.
A. Fresh tires if below 50% tread depth remaining, or tire age is unknown. Date is molded into tire sidewall; needs to be verified.
B. With tires dismounted, inspect wheels for possible runout, damage to beads, dents, curb damage. Address any structural damage or replace
C. Mount and force-balance entire assemblies to assure concentricity, accurate balancing.

11. Clutch/auto trans.
A. No leaks from clutch main cylinder or slave cylinder.
B. Inspect main-to-slave hose for condition, absence of leakage @ fittings.
C. Audible check w/ stethoscope on throwout bearing.
D. Flush of auto trans; change filter if applicable.
E. Inspect trans for possible leaks @ seals, shift linkage, condition of trans mounting bushings.
F. Driveshaft U-joints and guibo showing no damage or play.
G. Perform a pressure-wash on the underside of the car to get rid of any dirt, crud, or old fluid leaks. Inspect for signs of leakage or damage.
H. Inspect diff for possible leaks @ front and side seals.
I. Inspect half-shafts for play, damage to boots.

12. Engine per se.
A. Fresh air filter
B. Valve adjustment.
C. Replace gaskets under any components that have been loosened or taken off the car, e.g., T-stat, intake manifold, water pump, you name it.
D. Tightening of valve rocker oiler banjo bolts. May want to consider drilling these and securing with safety wire.
This applies to M20 and M30 engines.
E. Replace valve cover gasket to assure no leaks
F. Inspect timing chain tensioner and guides. If age is unknown, replace. This applies to the M30 as well as the S38.
Replacement of the timing chain guides in the S38 is a major undertaking, both in terms of time and parts cost; parts alone will run over $1100. For this reason, it is an item quite often deferred. Typically the plastic in the guides begins to harden and become prone to fracturing, making the task a “routine” job, but being done somewhere around 100K miles. Prudence would have the owner requiring documented proof of this job having been done if the odo shows much over 100K. Absent this, suck it up and perform the work. The cost is high, but if the guides fail, the result is a trashed engine.
G. Condition of timing belt on cars so equipped. If age is unknown, replace. (M20 motors)
H. Examination of all hoses and tubing related to the engine—fuel, oil, coolant, vacuum, air intake
I. On the S38: condition of the AFM—proper movement of the gate, uniform electrical contact on the contact track. Inspect and clean AFM.
J. Examine condition of the exhaust, from header flange bolts to the tailpipe.
Header attachment nuts snug.
All pipe joints tight, with no leaks at gaskets.
Hangers intact, not dried out, broken or missing.
No rusted-out areas.
O2 sensor functioning properly, wires intact.
K. Vacuum hoses
L. Intake boot and IASV hoses/connections
M. Clean Idle air stabilizer valve

A few more items:

Clean sunroof drains using weedwacker nylon line.
Inspect tail light gaskets for proper sealing into trunk; replace as required.
Clean and lubricate door locking mechanisms. (The grease will have solidified . . . )

Inspect for oil leaks
Inspect PS hoses and switches for leaks

Test TPS switch
Test every sensor on the T-stat housing as applicable:
Coolant Temp Sensor (blue on 535/528, white on 533)
Thermo Time switch (brown plug)
Engine Temp sensor (one or tab brass dep. on E28)
Purge valve (2 small hoses on it)
Inspect all belts for condition and tension/deflection. Usual good practices call for replacing all belts unless installation dates/mileage is documented. If belts are good, retain as a spate set to go w/ the car.

This is outside of inspecting the suspension (UCAs, LCAs, steering linkage, dog bones, sub-frame bushings, brakes and brake lines, rotors, brake bleeding especially if car's been sitting for a while), etc etc.

So that's a couple of weeks, even months, worth of time and some money - but your E28 will, most of the time, run and idle properly after those verifications/replacements/BASELINES have been done.
Depending on PO, many of these cars were abused by uninformed mechanics and POs with one band-aid after another, unless very well documented.

E28 Ground Distribution

Compiled by Rod Paine from the
1983 BMW 528e / 533i Electrical
Troubleshooting Manual Circuit
Diagrams, July 2004

G102, on LH fender behind LH headlights
is ground for:

- Battery
- LH Turn/Park Light
- LH Horn
- LH High Beam
- LH Dual Beam
- RH Horn
- LH Fog Light
- RH Fog Light
- RH Dual Beam
- RH High Beam
- Coolent Level Switch (528e ONLY)
- Washer Fluid Level Switch
- RH Front Turn/Park Light
- LH Front Marker Light
- RH Front Marker Light
- High Beam Relay
- Low Beam Check Relay
- Aux Radiator Fan Motor
- High Speed Motor Relay
- Normal Speed Motor Relay

G103, above starter motor on engine block
or intake manifold stud is ground for:

- Purge Valve
- Throttle Switch
- Main Relay
- Idle Speed Control Unit (533i ONLY)
- Idle Speed Control Unit (528e)
- Motronic Control Unit (7 ground wires)
- Flywheel Sensors cable shield
- Coolant Temperature Switch
- Coolant Temperature Sensor
- Filter Capacitor
- Oil Pressure Switch

G200, under LH side of dash near brake
pedal, is ground for:

- Auto Trans Range Switch
- Instrument Cluster Circuit Board
- Cruise Control Actuator
- Cruise Control Control Unit
- Rear Defogger Switch
- Power Window Relay
- Light Switch
- Ignition Switch
- Wiper Washer Switch
- Flasher Switch and connection to G201 ground point.
- Passenger Mirrior
- Drivers Mirror
- LH Front Door Lock Actuator
- Lock Heater Control Unit
- Mirror Control Switch
- Seatbelt Warning Timer
- Coolant Level Switch (533i ONLY)
- Hydraulic Pressure Switch (533i ONLY)
- Brake Accumulator Switch (5331 ONLY)
- Brake Fluid Level Switch
- LH Front Brake Rotor
- Wiper Motor
- Interior Temp Sensor
- Drivers Window Console Switch
- LH Rear Window Console Switch
- Trunk Lock Actuator
- Central Locking Control Unit
- RH Front Window Console Switch
- RH Rear Window Console Switch
- Glove Box Light
- Evaporator Temp Regulator
- Evaporator Temp Sensor
- Heater Temp Sensor
- Heater Regulator
- On-Board Computer
- Blower Speed Switch
- Evaporator Blower Resistors
- Hazard Switch
- Digital Radio
- Chime
- Cigar Lighter
- Auto Charging Flashlight

G301, under LH side of rear seat
is ground for:

- LH Rear Light Assy.
- LH License Light
- RH License Light
- Rear Lights Check Relay
- RH Rear Light Assy.
- LH Rear Side Marker Light
- RH Rear Side Marker Light
- RH Rear Brake Rotor
- Fuel Tank Sender
- Main Fuel Pump
- Auxiliary Fuel Pump
- Rear Window Defogger Element
- Interior Lights Timer Control

11. Flush coolant system, ensure fan clutch works, replace t-stat, test aux fan sensors, replace water pump.
Mileage? ... sh+coolant
12. Flush power steering fluid, replace filter, check hoses for leaks, replace top low pressure hoses.
13. Replace fuel lines 8mm and 12 mm ID at tank

14. Now read Rod Paine's site about suspension work.
15. Replace suspension brake components as necessary:
>Inspect, clean, replace rebuild brakes, calipers, rotors and lines if cracked or stiff.
>Subframe bushings - Meyle or Lems
>dog bones - Meyle or Lems
>Diff Mount
>sway bar links rear
>S. B. links front
>tie rod ends or complete unit -test and replace
>Idler arm
>Upper control arms - Meyle HD or better, 750 bushings
>Center link
>Lower control arms
>Check shocks/struts/springs - replace with Boge or Billies depending on your flavor
>Check springs - Eibach, H & R, etc.
>Replace strut bearings, spring pads, inspect perches, clean weep holes etc etc.

17: Steering box mount repair: ... sc&start=0
Last edited by Ken H. on Nov 26, 2021 2:33 PM, edited 1 time in total.
Posts: 23
Joined: Nov 25, 2021 4:21 AM
Location: Tasmania

Re: New Member M535i

Post by WesfromTas »

Thanks for the welcome guys.

That's a very comprehensive restart list. Still haven't figured out posting pics here yet but had a bit of a play with the car today. Found a few rust spots, most are just surface but there's a section around the front screen that will need to be cut out and it looks like a bit of the floor near the accelerator pedal needs a look. Also a couple of spots in the boot

Car seems pretty straight and I suspect is original paint (Alpine White) that will clean up ok. Given this car looks pretty original I plan to 'restore' vs 'replace' when it comes to trim, paint etc as I'm an OEM guy.

Connected up a battery today and most of the electrical systems seem to work but headlights are an issue. Also have brakes, which is a surprise. I plan to flush fuel lines, replace filters etc and then have a go at a restart. One issue I've found is no clutch. There's fluid in the bottle but no amount of pumping does anything to harden the pedal. I'm assuming either the master is toast, or there's an air lock. I'll get the ting up on some stands and see if I can get it to work. Read some threads on here that have been a help but would appreciate any tips.

I hope this link works.
This is me and my CS & CSL when BMW came out to see me a couple of years back.
Posts: 9262
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 12:00 PM
Location: Minneapolis

Re: New Member M535i

Post by stuartinmn »

Welcome! Your e9 video is pretty cool. :) Be sure to add yourself to the list of M535i owners.
Posts: 4561
Joined: Jun 20, 2007 2:40 AM
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: New Member M535i

Post by vinceg101 »

Indeed that video was great.
Not knowing Tasmania much (or at all really), what is your availability of used parts there (e.g. wrecking yards, suppliers, etc.)?
Or do you have to go the mainland and Melbourne for everything?
Posts: 5591
Joined: Sep 10, 2006 7:06 AM
Location: Melbourne, Doooown Under

Re: New Member M535i

Post by Das_Prachtstrasse »

Welcome Wes!

Wonderful place, Tasmania. Particularly for classic car ownership. Bravo on a lovely collection.

I'm in Melbourne, reach out if you ever need a hand sourcing things on the mainland. As for the clutch, it's most likely the master cylinder if the system is still holding fluid. You can pop the slave cylinder off the gearbox to be sure there's not something more sinister happening with the slave/clutch fork. It may also pay to crack the bleed nipple on the slave to ensure there's no blockage and simply purge the line with a syringe or similar if the master has indeed failed.

Looking forward to seeing some pictures!
Posts: 23
Joined: Nov 25, 2021 4:21 AM
Location: Tasmania

Re: New Member M535i

Post by WesfromTas »

An Aussies based e28 support buddy would be a real bonus. Haven't looked at how to post pictures yet. Been a bit of movement on the car since my last post, namely:

1. Installed new clutch slave and bled system. Now have the clutch back up. Was also going to instal a new master but that can wait seeing as everything works.
2.Pulled sunroof, the panel is shot, on the hunt for a new one.
3. Pulled front carpet to look for rust. Didn't find any other than some scale around the base of the accelerator pedal but not structural.
4.Carried out 2 x rust repairs in the rear wheel wells.
5. New air filter.
6. Pulled radiator, as car overheats on idle. Top hose gets hot but bottom one is cold. Pulled the thermostat and tested, wasn't that. I'm replacing it, water pump, clutch fan, (this failed the newspaper test) but it wouldn't be warming up. Radiator is going to get a clean as I suspect it's blocked up. I'm in tow minds on digging in further and looking at the timing chain while I'm in there.
7.Hunted all over the car for rust. Seems pretty solid but with a few spots needing attention - base of the front windscreen, front door hinge and a spot in the spare well.
8. Inspected fuel tank, lines. I'm putting a new filter in once the front of the car is off the jack stands.
9. Pulled spoiler kit and sent it off for repair.

I also started the car for the first time. It was bought as a non-runner from a guy that I suspect didn't know what he was doing. I cleaned the battery terminals, re-connected primary coil wire, cleaned the fuel system and off she went. Sounds good but think there's an exhaust leak near the muffler. Will drop the oil this weekend and replace the filter too.

This has kicked up some new issues.

1. Don't seem to have an oil pressure light.
2.Fuel sender unit is reading empty but tank is full.
3. Temp sensor not moving. It jumps when the ignition is turned on so has power. I suspect it's related to the overheating issue as the top hose gets very hot, water comes out the overflow but bottom hose and radiator is cold.

Plan is to work my way through the list earlier in this thread ahead of a roadworthy at some point next year.
Posts: 4561
Joined: Jun 20, 2007 2:40 AM
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: New Member M535i

Post by vinceg101 »

Cooling systems for the M30 (and for all BMW's for that matter) are a system you replace completely on spec if you're not familiar with the car. It is not really worth it to go at problems piece-meal. Especially the radiators, the modern units with their plastic tanks are virtually disposable and not worth trying to fix or clean out. Do some research on the current differences between the South African Behr and the Nissens (the only two manufacturers making OEM replacements, unless you spend big money on custom all aluminum units). Used to be the Behr was the gold-standard but reports are they changed the internal architecture of it and they don't cool as well; seems the Nissens is a better choice at the moment. Make sure you get the correct sensors also (one or two of them are kind of expensive). There are also two temperature versions of thermostats, go with the cooler one.

On top of a complete system replacement (hoses, water pump, thermostat, radiator, sensors, overflow tank, clamps), I would flush the block thoroughly.

On the fuel gauge, check your SI board in the cluster also. It is not uncommon that faulty grounds to cause these issues but it is also not uncommon for the actual fuel gauge to go bad. It would be worthwhile to check both the fuel pumps for function also especially the fuel sender unit (could be as easy as a lose connection at the top under the access panel in the trunk floor).

Looking forward to your progress and pictures (once you figure it out, PM me and I can walk you through it step-by-step if you want).
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