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Danhazza

Potentially my 1st E28 - quick bits of advice required

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Good evening 

 

I'm on the verge of buying my 1st e28, a 1986 520, 68k on the clock. My mate is selling it and he bought it from the original owner, a lady who had it from new until 2016.  It looks like a real beaut.

 

I just have 3 things to ask about at this point....

 

Please can you direct me to a good buyers guide? Things to check for and advice on living with them.

 

The dashboard clock is faulty and so the only dial currently working is the fuel gauge. I assume if I replace the clock everything else should come back into action? Any idea on a clock price and source to buy one? 

 

A mechanic has recommended a new egr valve in the near future - any idea on a price for one including fitting?

 

THANK YOU 

 

Dan

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Good morning.

 

Welcome to the site.

 

Judging from your spec and usage of English (mate, beaut), you are not based in the UK. Australia perhaps? It would be very helpful if we knew your vin, because from that, we can tell your exact model. For example, there were three distinct fuel injection systems used on the 520i. You mention an egr valve and from that I can surmise that you are running LE2-Jetronic or Motronic 1.1.

 

When you say "clock" do you mean timepiece or speedometer or something else. The timepiece "clock" came in two varieties, one one in a separate unit to the side of the instrument cluster and the other as part of the instrument cluster, replacing the rev counter/tachometer. Neither would have any affect on other instruments.

 

There are two English language workshop manuals . Haynes (#1560 for 520i & 525e) and the US Bentley.  Both have their place. The Haynes will cost you £5 off ebay.co.uk and the Bentley US$50-100 off ebay.com or directly from Bentley publishing.

 

You can find parts diagrams at http://www.realoem.com/bmw/ or http://bmwfans.info/ 

 

Wiring diagrams (aka ETMs) can be found at  http://wedophones.com/Manuals/BMW/ You won't find your exact model,  because these are US models as they never had the 520i. All E28s, worldwide have very similar electrical systems.

 

The official BMW service manuals can be found here https://www.bmwtechinfo.com/repair/main/index.htm You are interested in 524td-535i Repar Manual No.4 and also Nominal Values etc at the top.

 

You can buy many parts from BMW Dealers but they are becoming very expensive. Your best bet for parts initially is ebay/co.uk/com/de. There are independent specialist sellers as well.

 

Regards

 

John.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, JohnH said:

 

John.

 

Hi John!

 

Thanks for your reply.

 

I can confirm that I am very English and live in England haha! Do English folk not say mate or beaut? :-)

 

The clock is the digital timepiece to the side yes. Why might the other dials not be working then? As I say, only the fuel gauge currently works. 

 

Any idea on an egr replacement cost? I'll have to find the vin number from my mate, no idea on the injection system.

 

Thanks again for all the links etc 

 

Dan

 

 

 

 

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Dan,

Pleased to hear you're English! My bad!

 

Your use of the term "egr" fooled me. I assumed that you meant Exhaust Gas Re-circulation valve which may have been fitted to an Australian car. They have some very strange anti pollution stuff. I have some good news for you. You dont have one! Perhaps you mean something else.

 

As for the instrument cluster, they have ni-cad batteries that power the service indicator. Its possible that they have leaked and damaged the printed circuit board. You will need to remove the cluster and take a look. There are several plugs and connectors on the back of the cluster. Some of those may be disconnected. 

 

Take a look at an ETM and see what fuses do what with the instrument cluster. Be aware the clusters differ by date and if you were to look for a replacement, you need to make sure its not one for a 525e.

 

John.

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Hiya Dan and welcome.

 

Sounds like a very worthwhile purchase to me. 

 

In a nutshell, check for rust. Whilst not as bad as some cars of the era, E28s are notorious for corroding from the inside out. Starter for ten is sills (especially around the jacking points), Rear floorpan at the subframe mounts, screen surrounds (extremely difficult to repair), wheel arches, front wings, and sunroof panel if you have one.  If all that is good then you're doing well. Bodywork is vital, as a general rule everything else can be fixed. 

 

The instrument clusters are notorious for going wrong on these cars, it is generally caused by failure of a couple of NiCad batteries on an internal circuit board, which in extreme cases can leak and damage it. Serviceable replacements do crop up, Try "Tims" on here or eBay. 

 

Your 520i will have the 2 litre M20 engine. The cambelt should be done every 60k, check for evidence of this else budget to do it. Its do-able at home if you're a competent mechanic and requires no special tools. 

 

These cars do not have EGR valves. They pre-date the technology by a very long way. Find a new mechanic.  

 

Good luck with it, keep us posted :D have you any pictures?

 

Cheers

D

Edited by hippie dave

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hi all

 

thanks for the replies, you seem like a decent bunch!

 

I did wonder about the egr, as I thought the car was too old for that!  apparently, the mechanic was saying the egr needs replacing as the car wasn't breathing properly when idling, and the revs were a bit erratic - nothing major but something worthwhile in sorting for the long term.  sooooo any ideas what it might actually need??  I'm really not very knowledgeable with cars, I just love the look of the e28!

 

any ideas on the worst case scenario for sorting the dash instruments and the digital clock?  i.e. the money and hassle that might be involved?

 

I've attached some photos and would be interested in getting your assessment on the car's value.  Pretty much totally standard and original, 68k miles, 2 owners, original bill of sale and concise service history, loads of paperwork, bodywork in fair/good condition, engine in good condition visually and mechanically, interior in very good condition, period alarm fitted with key fob, no rust that I know of, engine bay is all very clean and sills, floor pans etc all look good. 

 

Bad points:

- slight dint to the rear driver-side chrome bumper

- front and rear window fittings look tired, chrome faded (what can I do to sort this??)

- BMW badges need replacing

- paint chipping on the front left of bonnet

- rear right arch scuffed. 

 

All input gratefully received to aid me in my decision of whether to make the purchase :-)

 

All the best, Dan

 

 

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Price depending that looks great - if its been garaged and not grotty it would be a very good buy.

 

Reckon a good service and a bit of use is what it needs to cure the idle.

 

Worst case on clocks is a good used set - getting dearer but £100-£150 would sort it.

 

You can disassemble and swap over the speedo to keep the mileage,

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1 hour ago, duncan-uk said:

Price depending that looks great - if its been garaged and not grotty it would be a very good buy.

 

 

any idea on a value? I'm struggling to find anything comparable online

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Its a desirable colour, and I would say that the low mileage backed up by a full service history and paperwork sets yours apart from the rest. It appears to be in generally above-average nick. £6k is very strong money for a 2-litre car though.  If its rust free and has a long MOT, I'd place it at around £3 -3.5k. I very much doubt you'll lose money on it if you keep it nice.  

 

The idle issue is likely to be a vacuum leak somewhere in the engine bay. These cars are fitted with a number of rubber pipes that disintegrate over time.

Worst case scenario for the clocks, as Duncan says, is a good used replacement instrument cluster at ~£100.   

Repalcement inserts for the window trims are available- Try classic car upholstery and trimming firms. 

 

Those are all fairly common E28 faults. 

 

A good local bodyshop ought to be able to do the rear arch and bonnet for not too much money- take it around a few and ask. 

BMW badges are ten a penny on eBay (you can use one off of almost anything for the bonnet but the boot fitting is more specific) or alternatively I think they're not too dear from BMW. Something for the Christmas list maybe. 

Edited by hippie dave

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I have nothing really helpful to contribute to this thread at all - I just wanted to say that this car looks like a peach.  Really - it looks great mate.

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32 minutes ago, Calypso-E34 said:

I have nothing really helpful to contribute to this thread at all - I just wanted to say that this car looks like a peach.  Really - it looks great mate.

this made me chuckle :-)

 

 

6 hours ago, hippie dave said:

 

Worst case scenario for the clocks, as Duncan says, is a good used replacement instrument cluster at ~£100.   

Repalcement inserts for the window trims are available- Try classic car upholstery and trimming firms. 

 

 

so I could get a new cluster but keep the milometer?

 

any idea on a rough price for window trims?

 

cheers all!!!!  much appreciated

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I also recently bought a 1987 525e and sorting out a few niggles with it.  The clock on mine did not work, but turned out that the bulb had blown, and was a very easy fix.

 

I ordered new window trims yesterday from Amazon.com.  I bought two front sets, as I understand you can simply cut down a front to suit the back and is a cheaper way of doing it.  I think both of them including delivery was about £90.

E554 COO Front.jpg

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