Resurrection of my green BMW

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CanadianMiniFan
Posts: 130
Joined: Oct 16, 2011 6:31 PM

Re: Resurrection of my green BMW

Post by CanadianMiniFan »

Not much progress today, as I was doing some service and repair work on my dads 528e. He is neither a BMW fan or a car person, when his 1990 nissan micra finally rusted into the earth back around 2012, I had two 528es, and didnt need both, so I sold him one for $1000 to get him back on the road. I have been tasked with its maintenance since, and theres often surprises that he has either not noticed or ignored. This time wasnt bad, adjust the belts, one lower control arm, and a weird clutch pedal issues that turned out to be the slave cylinder, though I did replace the master as well. I managed to unbox my new bits from valcas garage though!

ImageIMG_6887 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

Left quarter repair

ImageIMG_6890 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

Right quarter repair

ImageIMG_6891 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

Floor repair, fender repair and throttle pedal bracket

ImageIMG_6892 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

Excited to get these welded in! would be nice to get the right side floor welded in, have the car in one piece again.
Nebraska_e28
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Re: Resurrection of my green BMW

Post by Nebraska_e28 »

Subscribed for how to weld in quarters. I have an e23 that needs 1 rear fender arch welded in. This may give me the inspiration to tackle!
CanadianMiniFan
Posts: 130
Joined: Oct 16, 2011 6:31 PM

Re: Resurrection of my green BMW

Post by CanadianMiniFan »

It will be a learning process here as well, so you can watch my mistakes first! Summer has brought more cars into the shop, so the e28 has been rolled into the back for a few months, as customer work fills the bays. When we slow down in fall I will get back into it! I can still finish up the floor pans and some other pieces while the car is stored.
CanadianMiniFan
Posts: 130
Joined: Oct 16, 2011 6:31 PM

Re: Resurrection of my green BMW

Post by CanadianMiniFan »

Well it's been a little while! As expected, the car sat in the storage area of the shop all summer as the main shop was full of customer cars. It still languishes, but I'll have the opportunity to pull it out soon, so I thought I should get back into the groove. I left off with some metal bits arriving from Valcas garage, and I set to the passenger floor pan today. I had previously fixed some rust in the main layer of floor, so i just had to weld in the reinforcement plate.

ImageIMG_8256 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

ImageIMG_8257 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

clamped in place. I'm not sure the curve going up to meet the toeboard is going to be correct, but it gives me something to work with. I'd rather have this welded on, whilst its on the bench, rather than upside down under the car. I'll have enough of that.

ImageIMG_8258 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

I think I'll POR-15 underneath the reinforcement while it can be upside down as well. Do my best to prevent future corrosion.

ImageIMG_8260 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

All ground down.

A month or so ago an 88 535 popped up in a local junkyard. I havent been impressed with junkyard prices lately, but figured i couldnt pass up a spare Getrag 260/6 for $300 CDN, so i pulled that out. Took longer than i wanted as i missed a bellhousing bolt at the top, convinced my self maybe the starter was threaded into the bellhousing, then finally came to my senses and got it removed.

ImageIMG_8065 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

Couldnt put it on the shelf looking like that though!

ImageIMG_8066 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

ImageIMG_8067 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

Do I need it? No, but they're getting harder to find and more expensive so I thought, Id better save it from being crushed. Should I have taken the driveshaft, pedal box etc? Maybe, but I'm trying to walk the line between having spare parts and hoarding. Next week I'll get the drivers floorpan to the same point, and then I'll have to get the car out to go farther. The plan is, passenger floor, then drivers front floor and sill, then rear floors, which need smaller sections than the front, and then a deep breath and drop the rear subframe, to tackle rust lurking above it. The quarters will probably be one of the last things tackled, sorry Nebraska! I also have two used fenders to fit, and I think i have 4 doors that are far less rusty than whats on the car. Between all the doors I should have a decent example of every part I need. Hah!
CanadianMiniFan
Posts: 130
Joined: Oct 16, 2011 6:31 PM

Re: Resurrection of my green BMW

Post by CanadianMiniFan »

Merry Christmas to all, hope everybody has enjoyed celebrating the holidays in whatever way they see fit. I'm off work this week, so hauled myself down to the shop to try to make some progress on the BMW. Last friday I rolled it out of the back storage area. Looks a bit sad.

ImageIMG_8302 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

The passenger floor seems to still need fixing

ImageIMG_8312 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

Had the passenger side floorpan ready to go, so spent the day trimming and fitting and futzing, got it mostly welded in by the end of the day, still a few spots, as well as the section of toeboard that I need to make. Also need to get the grinder out, today wasn't a particularly pretty welding day.

ImageIMG_8313 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

ImageIMG_8314 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

ImageIMG_8315 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

ImageIMG_8316 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

I'll get this finished up tomorrow, then perhaps the small section of rear floor that needs doing, and then either drop the subframe to removed the fuel/brake lines to do the drivers floor, or mess around with the holes in the firewall. Leaning towards dropping the subframe and doing the drivers side, will feel good to have the floors and sills solid all around.
CanadianMiniFan
Posts: 130
Joined: Oct 16, 2011 6:31 PM

Re: Resurrection of my green BMW

Post by CanadianMiniFan »

I've been plugging away on the car, discovering more rust every hour I work on it. Nothing about that surprises me, but I try to focus on an area at a time, and not get overwhelmed. Picking up from where I left off, I made a small extension of the floorpan where it meets the toeboard, finishing up the passenger floor repair.

ImageIMG_8317 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

ImageIMG_8318 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

Forgot to take any photos of it ground down, but I promise you I did, and in general, I'm happy with the repairs.

I moved on to the fussy area around the firewall. The inner fender flanges to the toeboard/firewall, and it had rusted between the layers, leaving a bit of a mess.

Image235BEA24-8A76-4EA6-8A68-F5CF12B3DD9A by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

Chopped out the rot

ImageIMG_8319 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

ImageIMG_8320 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

Nice flat piece to work with

ImageIMG_8321 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

The step to form that recessed area was somewhat annoying but got there in the end.

ImageIMG_8324 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

Leaving me with the inner fender flange to deal with

ImageIMG_8325 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

Bent up a 90 degree piece

ImageIMG_8329 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

ImageIMG_8331 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

Getting the curve profile

ImageIMG_8332 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

Start shrinking

ImageIMG_8333 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

ImageIMG_8335 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

Made it in one piece, but since the toe board has that depression, it would be rather tricky to get the the curved piece to also step in that direction. Somebody with more talent probably could. I chose to cut it into two piece.

ImageIMG_8338 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

ImageIMG_8339 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

Pleased with the result. Next job was remove the rear subframe

ImageIMG_8340 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

I had to remove the fuel and brake lines so I could cut out the driver's floor. The corroded lines were the main reason I stopped driving the car. The fuel pressure line rusted through, I patched it up, but seeing how rusty the brake lines were I thought, nah, this cant continue.

ImageIMG_8347 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

Then I cut off the driver's sill

ImageIMG_8352 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr


I blasted the door seal seam and some other crusty areas inside the sill box section. I didnt do this on the other side, and I'm unsure if its because it was cleaner or cause I was lazier, but either way i'm not cutting the other side back apart. Put some POR15 on the blasted areas.

ImageIMG_8353 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

Got the driver's floor pan removed

ImageIMG_8354 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

ImageIMG_8355 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

Went back in today but didnt have a lot of motivation. organized some parts, swept. Got the jacking points removed from the door step, pulled a dent in the donor sill. So the plan will be to do the sill, driver's floorpan, and then attack the rear floors, some little patches here and there underneath, and then the rear subframe mounts are rather crusty, so i'll have some work there. Once i've removed the rust underneath, I'll probably track down some SEM undercoat, I seem to remember somebody here found a product close to the right colour. Not going for concours but just black undercoat in spots would look a bit off.
Commonlyused
Posts: 12
Joined: Sep 16, 2023 11:18 AM
Location: KCMO

Re: Resurrection of my green BMW

Post by Commonlyused »

CanadianMiniFan wrote: May 28, 2023 3:29 PM Was going to do some work on the car yesterday before a wedding we were going to, but a junkyard notification changed that plan. An 82 733i showed up in a yard in town, so i figured id go grab the chrome power mirrors. Not 100% sure I'll use them but I like the idea of more chrome on green. Definitely not a shadowline fan.

ImageIMG_6823 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

The car wasnt really that bad, some rust spots here and there, but it was sad to see it being scrapped. Interior was in decent shape, and the black over cardinal is a nice combination

ImageIMG_6824 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

ImageIMG_6825 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

There was also an e38 750il there, sad to see the fate it met, the m73 was still there, but i wasnt about the rip that out "cause it's neat"

ImageIMG_6826 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

ImageIMG_6827 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

When i was looking at the car for anything i might want for my car, i saw it had an lsd in it. I had thought it could be a large case diff, but it's just a medium case 3.25, but still, LSDs are worth decent money for these cars, and I may want to go back to a 3.25, the car has a 3.46 and a few less rpm on the highway would be okay

ImageIMG_6830 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

I was in a rush so the mirrors arent cleaned or anything, but heres the haul. I also took the seatbelt clips from the e23, i had installed some in my car previously, but one had been broken.

ImageIMG_6835 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

Hey, way to go on the restoration! You keep saying you get junkyard notifications. How does one acquire the technology to do so? Do you have an app for that?
CanadianMiniFan
Posts: 130
Joined: Oct 16, 2011 6:31 PM

Re: Resurrection of my green BMW

Post by CanadianMiniFan »

The emails I get are from the site “Row52”. In my town it only works for one yard, that is in the Pick n Pull chain. I’m pretty sure you put in a zip code and radius, I just have a notification for any bmw, any year any model, they don’t get that many so it isn’t annoying. Hope this helps ya.
CanadianMiniFan
Posts: 130
Joined: Oct 16, 2011 6:31 PM

Re: Resurrection of my green BMW

Post by CanadianMiniFan »

Bringing this thread back up to speed, I did get the sill weld ground down, and I'm overall quite pleased with the result. I'm glad I challenged myself to do the sill with a butt weld, rather than a flanged lap weld like the passenger side. The only downside is I couldnt get to the backside of the weld with a dolly to planish the welds, so as the welds shrunk the metal, I had to trim a bit of the edge to keep things flush. Was a good learning experience so I can be more confident when it comes to the quarters, where I dont want to have warpage etc. I'll make sure ot make my weld in a place I can hammer at. The other technique I tried out was making my tack weld and immediately blasting it with compressed air. I dont know if it reduced warpage, but it certainly didnt make things any worse.

ImageIMG_8421 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

ImageIMG_8422 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

I also got the drivers front floorpan repaired, had to make a patch, and then added the reinforcement pieces after. so that is ready to be trimmed, fitted and welded into the car. It will feel good to have front floors and sills that are solid. I'll move to the rear floor sections, the subframe mounts etc.

ImageIMG_8423 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

ImageIMG_8424 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

ImageIMG_8425 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

In other news I saw an ad on Facebook Marketplace that I couldnt pass on. An m30b35 pulled from an e34 with 250k km. The guy is doing an engine swap, it was running and driving when removed, and it was only $350 CDN including the uncut harness and ecu. A damn good deal by any measure. I dont have immediate plans for it, but I'll get it cleaned up somewhat, do a leak down test and maybe hook up a battery and do a compression test. after that I'll spray some fogging oil into the cylinders and let it sit on a stand at home. I figure at some point my b34 will give up, or i'll get bored, and a b35 is a nice place to start. There would be temptation to do a cam and some head work, but I realize the ceiling is pretty low on an NA m30. I dont think I'd want to go the turbo route, simplicity and reliability are a large part of my love for my e28. Even if I never use it, theres lots of parts on this engine worth more than I paid.

ImageIMG_8418 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

ImageIMG_8419 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

ImageIMG_8420 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr
CanadianMiniFan
Posts: 130
Joined: Oct 16, 2011 6:31 PM

Re: Resurrection of my green BMW

Post by CanadianMiniFan »

As a follow up, I got the engine onto a stand, did a quick compression test which was initially promising
1 161psi
2 150 psi
3 152 psi
4 150 psi
5 154 psi
6 152 psi

Which is overall completely acceptable for a used engine. But being the stickler I am I wanted to do a cylinder leakage check which I have always considered more accurate. It tells you how much leakage you have as well as where it’s going.

1 64% leakage intake valve/minor exhaust valve
2 60% leakage exhaust valve
3 10% crankcase and minor exhaust valve
4 10% crankcase
5 44% crankcase
6 10% crankcase

I’ve generally considered 20% and under acceptable through the rings on a used engine, 10% and under is excellent. Any amount through the valves is not great, but the real kicker here is #5. 44% leakage through the crankcase indicates some sort of ring issue on that cylinder. Could be as minor as a coked up stuck ring, or as bad as a broken ring/piston land. If it was just valve leakage, pulling the head and doing a valve job, maybe a mild cam would have been an acceptable plan of action. Now I would at minimum pull that one piston and see what’s up, and proceed from there. None of this matters immediately, the car isn’t getting any engine work until it’s painted and back on the road, but now I know what I’ve got for an engine here, so can plan accordingly. Won’t just drop it in as is.

If anybody is actually reading this, i have heard m30 rebuild parts are getting harder to find. Are there any reliable sources of bearings/rings/pistons, or is it a treasure hunt?
CanadianMiniFan
Posts: 130
Joined: Oct 16, 2011 6:31 PM

Re: Resurrection of my green BMW

Post by CanadianMiniFan »

Shop was slow this past week so i took some time thursday and friday and worked on my own car. Last weekend I was helping a friend with his e46, and this weekend was helping somebody move, so I didnt have any saturday welding time. Thursday I got the drivers floor welded in.

ImageIMG_8455 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

finished up the front edge where the wheel well overlaps the floorpan on Friday morning

ImageIMG_8456 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

Turned my attention to the throttle pedal holding bracket. Not only was the bracket rusty as hell, but the floor underneath was poorly as well.

ImageIMG_8457 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

The pedal was well stuck in the bracket, had to pry and bend the metal quite a bit

ImageIMG_8458 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

Having the pedal stuck in place made carpet removal additionally difficult, so it should go in easier with no pedal. If anybody else gets the Valcas garage pedal detail, a word of warning, i tested it on the pedal before welding it in, and it was too wide, the pedal wouldnt be clipped in well enough. Since it was in my hand, it was easy to squish it in the vice. I may have squished it a little much, but it should clip in firmly and i'm hoping its not an item i'm often removing.

ImageIMG_8459 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

Square of floor fixed, pedal bracket welded in place. rear floors will be next, just welding in sections around the large plugs in the floor, then I think i will move to the rear of the inner sills, now that the subframe is out they have decent access. from there I will move to the subframe mounts on the floor, the first layer at least is rotten, second layer might be too. Just got to keep looking small and not get down looking at how much there is left to do.
CanadianMiniFan
Posts: 130
Joined: Oct 16, 2011 6:31 PM

Re: Resurrection of my green BMW

Post by CanadianMiniFan »

Back at the shop today, got about 4 or 5 hours in on the car. Not much I know, but made a little progress. I attacked the rear of the inner sills, and the rear subframe mounts. cut out the rotten bits, thankfully just the outer layer was the only layer that was perforated, and boy was it ever. The second layer around the mount pin was still intact, some pitting but overall not worth cutting into.

This is what I was left with after cutting

ImageIMG_8517 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

Inner sill shrapnel

ImageIMG_8518 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

CAD designed template

ImageIMG_8519 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

In the metal

ImageIMG_8520 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

Welded into the car, the inner layer around the subframe mount got a layer of POR15, before I plate over it next session

ImageIMG_8522 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

End of the sill finished off and a strip of the wheelarch

ImageIMG_8521 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

Right side ready to be fixed

ImageIMG_8523 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

Thats about it for today! Might go in tomorrow, gotta keep chipping away at it.
Das_Prachtstrasse
Posts: 5613
Joined: Sep 10, 2006 7:06 AM
Location: Melbourne, Doooown Under

Re: Resurrection of my green BMW

Post by Das_Prachtstrasse »

I'm very much enjoying this journey. Keep chipping away, you're doing a great service to this car and your skill bank.
CanadianMiniFan
Posts: 130
Joined: Oct 16, 2011 6:31 PM

Re: Resurrection of my green BMW

Post by CanadianMiniFan »

Thanks for the kind words. Even from one sill to the next I feel I’m improving and that feels good. I can’t say metalwork is my new favourite thing, but as you say, expanding my skill set. Lots of inspiration on this forum, I’m often daydreaming of having my e28 back, with some euro improvements and fresh paint.
CanadianMiniFan
Posts: 130
Joined: Oct 16, 2011 6:31 PM

Re: Resurrection of my green BMW

Post by CanadianMiniFan »

Back in the shop this weekend. About 5 hours yesterday, another 3 today. Didnt get as far as I wanted but I got somewhere!

Right side plated up

ImageIMG_8568 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

Wheel arch repaired

ImageIMG_8567 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

And this mornings work. got the tricky subframe mount layer made. Cardboard design beforehand for sure.

ImageIMG_8575 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

welded and ground down.

ImageIMG_8576 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

doesnt really look like 8 hours of work, but this stuff isnt so easy. Takes a lot of fitting, trimming, etc. the upside is, i'm just cutting pieces of steel plate, so theres not really a parts cost. The abrasives, welder and welding gas is where theres more expense, I'm lucky to be able to use the shops.

Will try to get the left side done this week, and then move on to something else. Maybe the mounting barrels for the brake and fuel lines, and then work towards painting the bare metal, undercoating, and getting the new lines in. Drop the fuel tank, do any rust that will be covered by it or the subframe, and maybe switch gears and detail/rebuild the rear suspension.
CanadianMiniFan
Posts: 130
Joined: Oct 16, 2011 6:31 PM

Re: Resurrection of my green BMW

Post by CanadianMiniFan »

Been a little while since I've posted an update, last two weekends I've been under the weather so didn't go in to do any extra work. Today I tackled the right rear floor pan. The only real rust in it was around the large plug, but I had cut out the whole depressed part of the rear floors, and decided it would be easier to have a nice weld on a seam there, rather than cutting a smaller square around the hole. This ended up working fairly well so I will do the same on the left side. Obviously it took much longer than I'd hoped, at least the result was decent. I also replaced one of the heat shield studs near the floor seam.

ImageIMG_8628 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

It will be nice when theres no longer massive holes being cut into the car

ImageIMG_8634 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

the offending piece. As I say, not as bad as the front floors, but I'm not gonna leave something like this.

ImageIMG_8630 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

Used floorpan trimmed and tacked into place. there was some pitting in the same area on these, but its much better. Anywhere thats bare metal will et a coat of POR15 and undercoat on the bottom side. I'll likely seam seal the plug back into the pan like it was from factory.

ImageIMG_8633 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

welded in and ground down

ImageIMG_8632 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

From below.

That was all for today. metalwork is a slow process for me, but I dont want to rush and regret the results.
CanadianMiniFan
Posts: 130
Joined: Oct 16, 2011 6:31 PM

Re: Resurrection of my green BMW

Post by CanadianMiniFan »

A glacial progress update, last weekend I got the LR floor replaced, unsurprisingly quite similar to the RR so I forgot to even take photos

I treated myself, these came up at an affordable price, need the adjusters unseized so are currently soaking up penetrating oil, I'll then heat them gently and try to get everything moving. They also came with a euro harness section, so I will decide if I want to just use that, or add relays with heavy gauge wiring for optimal performance. I can kick that decision down the road, I've got a lot more rust to deal with first!

ImageIMG_8693 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

Thanks to Gary, cathealer, for being a responsive seller with an accurate description and exceptional packing.
CanadianMiniFan
Posts: 130
Joined: Oct 16, 2011 6:31 PM

Re: Resurrection of my green BMW

Post by CanadianMiniFan »

Had to wait around after work for a cousin today, so I decided to pick away at some annoying little jobs today. First up was the glovebox hinge mounting stud that had rusted off the firewall. The underlying metal had been repaired some time ago, but I had yet to get to the stud. There was still a faint outline of the angle the hinge had sat, so i just had to screw it to the other stud, mark the hole, and I drilled it, tapped it to M6, and threaded a stud in. welded it from the wheel well and ground it down.

ImageIMG_8702 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

Next up was a little patch that had bubbled and rusted through on the fender brace.

ImageIMG_8703 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

ImageIMG_8704 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

I then revisted the euro lights and tried to get the adjusters unseized. The low beam and high beam adjusters are opposite, in that the low beam adjusters have the adjusting threads fixed in a plastic nut in the bucket, and the square toggle and metal threads turn, and on the high beam the adjuster and plastic nut turn, and the metal threads are fixed on the headlight end. Who knows, that information could help somebody some day.

Anyway lots of deep creep, Vise-Grips and patience got all the adjusters moving

ImageIMG_8706 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

Another look at the highbeam plastic nut, that turns with the square adjuster

ImageIMG_8707 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

Another hot tip, once you get the adjusters moving, but want to run the threads in and out a few times, a 3/8" extension fits snugly in the adjuster head, and using a drill, not an impact, one can make quick work of moving them. Just dont get too torquey with it. I cracked on adjuster so it got some JB weld love

ImageIMG_8705 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

ImageIMG_8708 by Warren Tomlinson, on Flickr

Glad I got a couple hours in on a weekday, knocked out some jobs that have been put off because they were small
Nebraska_e28
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Location: Council Bluffs, IA
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Re: Resurrection of my green BMW

Post by Nebraska_e28 »

Looking good! Any progress is good progress & it looks like you're chugging right along! :up:
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