535is identification?

General conversations about BMW E28s and the people who own them.
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danc
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535is identification?

Post by danc »

Hello, and Happy Easter!

My question today is... How can I tell if a 535is is truly on "is"? The car has all of the cues; sport seats, badge, rear spoiler, front air dam.

It seems that anyone could take a 535i and make it into a 535is by adding the above options. Is there any way to tell if the car was actually born as a 535is?

Thanks.
Motronic
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Post by Motronic »

Post your VIN

I think a VIN decoder would tell you.

http://bmwvin.com/my/protect/new-rewrit ... om&ssl=off
RonW
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Post by RonW »

Given the serial number, BMW may be able to tell you.

According to RealOEM, the trunk springs are different (and cheaper, oddly) for a car with a rear spoiler than for one without. I have no idea what the difference in the springs is, or how to visually tell the difference. I suspect it has to do with the additional torque required to lift the spoiler.

TORSION SPRING LEFT: 41621809647 (no rear spoiler)
TORSION SPRING LEFT: 51241919481 (with rear spoiler)

TORSION SPRING RIGHT: 41621809648 (no rear spoiler)
TORSION SPRING RIGHT: 51241919482 (with rear spoiler)

RealOEM: E28 535i TRUNK LID/CLOSING SYSTEM
danc
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Post by danc »

I checked the VIN on RealOEM, comes up the same as my other 88 535i. Doesn't specify "is".
I'll check further.

Paint is Royal Blau Metallic (it looks purple in the sun!).
Found another post where someone thought the mirrors were also painted the body color on an "is" and these are, though the paint is all chipped and crappy looking.
wkohler
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Post by wkohler »

Here's the deal.

The 535is was available in the following colors for 1987 and 1988:

Alpinweiß/pearl beige
Alpinweiß/llama
Alpinweiß/Schwarz
Alpinweiß/pacific
Alpinweiß/cardinal
Zinnoberrot/pearl beige
Zinnoberrot/Schwarz
Royalblau-metallic/pearl beige
Royalblau-metallic/llama
Royalblau-metallic/pacific
Lachssilber-metallic/Schwarz
Lachssilber-metallic/cardinal
Lachssilber-metallic/pacific
Diamantschwarz-metallic/pearl beige
Diamantschwarz-metallic/Schwarz
Diamantschwarz-metallic/cardinal

For 1987-1988, zinnoberrot was exclusive to the 535 is. Lachssilber and Royalblau metallics only on the 535is and the 528e.

The 535is was available in manual or automatic. The package included the sport seats, front and rear spoilers and Bilsteins with the stock springs.

Hope that helps.

For the 1988 model year only, the side mirrors were painted body color.
Mike W.
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Post by Mike W. »

RonW wrote: I have no idea what the difference in the springs is, or how to visually tell the difference. I suspect it has to do with the additional torque required to lift the spoiler.

TORSION SPRING LEFT: 41621809647 (no rear spoiler)
TORSION SPRING LEFT: 51241919481 (with rear spoiler)

TORSION SPRING RIGHT: 41621809648 (no rear spoiler)
TORSION SPRING RIGHT: 51241919482 (with rear spoiler)

RealOEM: E28 535i TRUNK LID/CLOSING SYSTEM
They're thicker, .5MM thicker IIRC.
wkohler
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Post by wkohler »

I've got a set out of the car so I will measure them.
stuartinmn
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Post by stuartinmn »

RonW wrote:I suspect it has to do with the additional torque required to lift the spoiler.
It does. I replaced the torsion springs in my car with some springs from a car that didn't have a spoiler, and they don't hold it up as well - it will stay in place when fully opened, but any lower than that and the trunk will slam shut.
wkohler
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Post by wkohler »

One of the other reasons for it is for one-handed operation. A trunklid that originally came with the spoiler and the thicker springs will pop up to clear the latch when the button is pushed, just as it does on a car with the standard springs and no spoiler. With the standard springs and a spoiler, it will just sit there, so whatever you're holding will have to be set down and two hands will be necessary to open the trunk.

Best,
wkohler
danc
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Post by danc »

You guts are unbelievable sometimes. In a good way. Veritable founts of knowledge.

And its an auto trans, painted mirrors.

Royalblau-metallic/pearl beige
Royalblau-metallic/llama
Royalblau-metallic/pacific

Is llama the darker brown interior? That's what its got. Actually the same color interior as my Schwarz 535i.

Putting all of this together, I would say that yes, it was born as a 535is.
Not in too shabby condition either. Some TLC and probably a few hundred $$$ in parts, and she'll be good. Except for that paint color...

Thanks Guys.
cek
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Post by cek »

By the way, the best BMW VIN decoder I've found is at

http://www.rubmw.ru/vincode/eng/

For my '87 535is it reported the following options:

Code Description (interface) Description (EPC)
S226A SPORTLICHE FAHRWERKSABSTIMMUNG Sports suspension settings
S458A SITZVERSTELLUNG ELEKTR.FAHRER / BEIF. Electr. front seat adjustment
S481A SPORTSITZE FUER FAHRER / BEIFAHRER Sports seat
S551A BORDCOMPUTER II MIT FERNBEDIENUNG On-board computer II with remote control
S716 M-TECHNIC HECKSPOILER
S841A AUSSENSP.IN WAG.FA.U.325IS SCH Optional extra pack, pseudo code no.
danc
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Post by danc »

Motronic wrote:Post your VIN

I think a VIN decoder would tell you.

http://bmwvin.com/my/protect/new-rewrit ... om&ssl=off
Thanks Motronic. :D I never new about that site. Sweet!
Looks like it is an "is".

S209A SPERRDIFFERENTIAL 25% Differential lock 25%
S226A SPORTLICHE FAHRWERKSABSTIMMUNG Sports suspension settings
S458A SITZVERSTELLUNG ELEKTR.FAHRER/BEIF. Electr. front seat adjustment
S481A SPORTSITZE FUER FAHRER/BEIFAHRER Sports seat
S551A BORDCOMPUTER II MIT FERNBEDIENUNG On-board computer II with remote control (what remote control?)
S716 M-TECHNIC HECKSPOILER
841A AUSSENSP.IN WAG.FA.U.325IS SCH Optional extra pack, pseudo code no.

And the Upholstery code is 0209. I will find out what that means, but it's the same as my 535i.

Any idea what 841A AUSSENSP.IN WAG.FA.U.325IS SCH Optional extra pack, pseudo code no means?
Chimi-Changa
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Post by Chimi-Changa »

My iS also shows as a 535i on Real OEM, not sure about the VIN decoder site ref above. A dealer can also run the VIN report and confirm for you.
Dont forget the telltale of the "sport" three spoke steering wheel ( which most people swap out for others like Mtech 1 or 2)
Also-There were not many options on an iS, but a locking diff was one of them. ( mine, and some others on this board came from the factory without one )
wkohler
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Post by wkohler »

A 535is is exactly what I said it was. The 3-spoke wheel is the same as all 535s and a limited slip diff was optional on all E28s except the M5. There's a rumor of some cars having a 21-mm front sway bar but no one that I know has ever seen one.

Running the options and seeing sport seats and the trunk spoiler on the list should tell you it was originally an is.
Brian in TN
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Post by Brian in TN »

Used to be the ultimate VIN decoder here. :rockon:
Jeremy
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Post by Jeremy »

wkohler wrote:There's a rumor of some cars having a 21-mm front sway bar but no one that I know has ever seen one.
That wasn't 535is specific. Some 535i cars got the 21mm bar, most did not. I think BMW had some left over and just decided to use them up. That's not terribly BMW of them, but it's common with automakers in general at the end of a production run. The 21mm bar was originally found on the early euro M5, I'm unsure when BMW went to the 25/18 setup off the top of my head.
danc
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Joined: Oct 08, 2010 10:39 AM
Location: Long Island, New York

Post by danc »

wkohler wrote:One of the other reasons for it is for one-handed operation. A trunklid that originally came with the spoiler and the thicker springs will pop up to clear the latch when the button is pushed, just as it does on a car with the standard springs and no spoiler. With the standard springs and a spoiler, it will just sit there, so whatever you're holding will have to be set down and two hands will be necessary to open the trunk.

Best,
wkohler
That is correct.
My 535i also has the spoiler, but the trunk lid just kinda sits there when you push the release button, while the 535is lid pops up a bit.

Guess the spoiler on the 535i was added by the dealer, but they didn't bother to change the springs.

I'll measure the front sway bars on each and report back, just for shits & giggles.
RoyW
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Post by RoyW »

Mike W. wrote:
RonW wrote: I have no idea what the difference in the springs is, or how to visually tell the difference. I suspect it has to do with the additional torque required to lift the spoiler.

TORSION SPRING LEFT: 41621809647 (no rear spoiler)
TORSION SPRING LEFT: 51241919481 (with rear spoiler)

TORSION SPRING RIGHT: 41621809648 (no rear spoiler)
TORSION SPRING RIGHT: 51241919482 (with rear spoiler)

RealOEM: E28 535i TRUNK LID/CLOSING SYSTEM
They're thicker, .5MM thicker IIRC.
Thank you... that explains why my 535i Project Car's trunk (with an added trunk spoiler) slams shut when you let it go from any position other than fully open.... while my M5 and B7 will hold in a partially open position. I was wondering why that was the case... learn something new about these cars all the time on this great Forum :D

-RoyW
Mike W.
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Post by Mike W. »

You can always get the trunk to pop open by just unscrewing the trunk bump stops at the rear corners just a little bit. It won't eliminate the slamming from halfway, but it will restore one handed operation.
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