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Magava last won the day on February 24 2019

Magava had the most liked content!

About Magava

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    Nairobi, Kenya


  • Garage
    1986 525i

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  1. Magava

    E28 525i Restoration Project

    COMING UP NEXT INTERIOR: Still need to do a full job inside. All Seats, Doors, floor, dash and rear parcel. BIG JOB 1 WHEELS: 17s with 225/45/17 either all round or maybe stagger with 235/40 at the back. BIG JOB 2 FOG LIGHTS: Why are these so FKN expensive!?? MISC: New engine Oil Sensor, replace larger control arms and all other control bushes, new rear brake discs, rear window winder, new wiper relay, fix startup and cutting out issues (Will post about this in the technical section), buy a digital temp gauge (instrument cluster temp doesn't work), new coolant reservoir, Inconsistent revving when cold (Technical Section), new clutch master cylinder, fix running rich issue, chassis knocking issue when pressing and releasing the clutch, small engine leak at belts and pulley area and a simple sound system.
  2. Magava

    E28 525i Restoration Project

    Hello All! So sometime back in 2019, Ordnator was kind enough to offer me lots of older parts from his project car. While we were still working on the details and easiest way to get them from Canada to Kenya, COVID hit and basically took out 2020. This year started off slow but we were able to finally get things going again. Through a couple of friends and family, I finally got the parts in late October this year and now everything is on the car! The biggest and best change has been the tail lights. Those have really done a lot to improve the overall look of the car. All his parts were in better shape than mine so I replaced everything - tail lights, side markers, front turn signals, window buttons, etc....) I am really happy with it and I cant thank Ordnator enough!!! Have a look: Other things I have worked on in the past two years : Fuel smell: Turns out the three pipes that go into the fuel tank at the fuel tank door were badly worn and were leaking fumes. So had all those replaced. Also the rubber fuel lines at the engine were also done so replaced those. Almost cleared all the fuel smell problems. Its still there but very little, and more when you push the car. Maybe a leak at the injectors or fuel rail? Its not too bad now. Engine smoking: This is almost completely gone. I had the piston rings changed (yeah, big big job) and the smoking stopped. I still get a burning oil smell when you push the car. Nothing under normal driving conditions so that's good. Paint Job: So the other job was a real hack job and started to really peel and bubble. Repainted the car again at a much more professional place and went for 449 Slate Green (Schiefergruen) which is close to the original 188 Platanengrun. This way I don't have to change the log book as they are both considered green. Also had the opportunity to arrest a lot of the rust issues with this 2nd job. I am happy with this job but I still feel one more job may be required when its at a daily driver point, after all this taking things apart and putting them back together is finished....or almost finished since its a BMW Brakes: I switched out the brake bomb for a regular vacuum booster from an E34. Good consistent braking now just needs a little tweaking as the pedal travel is a little much. Rear discs are cracked and need to be replaced. When I am able to get 17inch wheels and tyres I'll take everything out and put in E34 brakes and discs all round. Misc: A lot of other small jobs here and there. Replaced a lot of sensors including coolant level sensor. Only light I still have constant in the overhead panel is the Engine light which has refused to go. I'm told its a sensor inside the sump, and its not cheap. Replaced the smaller control arms, fixed all windows except one of the rear ones, put in a short shifter, new transmission mounts, new vacuum lines to the distributor, new BMW roundel for the boot, and some other minor stuff that I cant remember while typing this. The struggle continues...
  3. Magava

    No Power when Engine is cold - 525i

    Hi John, I already replaced all three sensors that are above the coolant housing so I doubt that could be the problem. From what you said, I took out the thermostat and it seems that it is locked in the open position so I'm guessing that's the issue? I can't check the temperature gauge because mine doesn't work! I just fill up the coolant bottle and drive away! I've been trying to find a working gauge but its proved difficult without having to buy the whole instrument cluster.
  4. Hello all, I have a 1986 525i with an M30 L-Jetronic. My issue is that when the engine is cold the car just wont go. Even if you floor the accelerator it will not get past 40 km/h and revs wont go past 3K. As the engine heats up it keeps improving and once its at operating temperature the car is a rocket. This usually takes about 10 minutes. I've lived with it like that so far as once the car is warm its fine, but its annoying when you first get going and you are backing up traffic so people think its coz you are driving an old pile of junk, not knowing its actually a beast! I have replaced the TPS, bought new spark plug wires, serviced the injectors (I think they need to be replaced all together), refurbished the MAF, still no change. I live in a tropical climate so the problem is not the ambient temperature. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  5. Magava

    E28 525i Restoration Project

    Hey guys more updates The past couple of months have seen a lot of progress. Plus A LOT of pain of having to do and re-do things so many times!! Repairing some of these parts is such a pain that I wish I was somewhere I could just buy new parts from the get go. Would end up being cheaper in the long run. So here's what I've been able to do so far: 1. Paint. Went for Titangrau 892. The green tones didn't really show up but I still really like the color that came out. The workmanship itself wasn't the best as it was a cheap job and there is some bubbling and chipping in some parts. Its evident that I will have to respray somewhere down the line but for now I'm happy. 2. Fuel Tank and Fuel Level sender. One of those things that had to be done 7 times!! The tank kept rusting/leaking each time, one time the drops got big i found a pool of fuel on the ground in the morning. Ended up cutting out the entire base of the tank and welding in a new sheet. The rust also got into the lines and killed 2 injectors so had to replace those plus the fuel filter. Then the seal to the tank wasn't super tight so when the car is washed (there is no rubber on the boot/trunk) water would seem into the tank. We found 5 liters of water in the tank! Fixed that with a silicone gasket. Also got a new in-tank pump and fuel level sender so now I don't have to guess how much fuel I have. 3. Exhaust. So the exhaust manifold cracked Apparently the beginning of the exhaust was leaning on one of the suspension arms so when the car would go over potholes the arm would knock the entire thing upwards and since the block won’t budge, the exhaust manifold is what went. Very hard to find one of those so did some heavy welding on it. To prevent it happening again, had to put in a new exhaust pipe as well which is angled away from the arms. Expensive, but its working so far. I did half the exhaust and will finish the tail pipe/muffler section later. 4. Fixed the tail light cracks by sealing the broken indicators with pieces of lenses from another car. A real hack job but it turned out pretty well. Now I don’t have to worry about Police! Mick and I have been working on getting some tail lights and other parts to Nairobi, but shipping cost have been a nightmare. Still haven’t given up and I have a friend who lives in the UK so we’ll see if we can make something work soon. In the meantime these will hold. 5. Fixed the wipers by replacing the motor with a 2nd hand one but there is something wrong with the relay switch so it only works on the medium speed. I'll take what I can get for now. 6. Some other minor stuff. License plate light, painted the license plates, fixed the door locks, some rattling, etc. Though the driver’s side lock stopped working again NEXT UP: 1. Engine Issues. I cant get the car to Rev past 3500 RPM. Ordered a new fuel pump so we'll see how that goes. What else could cause this? Also, after driving for 20 mins or pushing the car hard, I get a lingering fuel smell in the car. This is both before and after I fixed the fuel tank. The smell sticks to your clothes too so this means I cant carry any ladies in the car! What should I check first? 2. Sensors/ Check light. I know this is largely ignored if the car is running ok but my Engine Oil Check light, Coolant light, low beam light from the Check panel on the roof all stay on. On the dash there are no lights after starting. The yellow warning light comes on but goes off once I press the check button on the Check panel. Which sensor works with the coolant temp sensor? There are three on the thermostat housing. Replaced one and ordered another. There is also another sensor and the back of the engine near the firewall, above the 6th cylinder. Whats that for? 3. Interior. Seats are not bad, I can live with them for now and replace later. What needs to go is the headliner/C panel and the floor. Also the plastic surrounding the gear lever is broken so the gear boot keeps coming off. No glove box as well. 4. I am also thinking of switching up the brakes/brake system to E34 brakes and double diaphragm brake booster instead of the hydro cylinder. I really don't like the brakes on the E28. I don't feel confident when pushing the car. 5. Other half of the exhaust 6. My fan was bolted directly to the engine so bought a fan clutch, new fan and fan switch. All those should be coming in by the end of this week.
  6. Magava

    E28 525i Restoration Project

    Pics during bodywork. Don't mind the "workshop" just trying to be as economical with cash as possible. And it won't be sprayed outside for obvious reasons.
  7. Magava

    E28 525i Restoration Project

    Hi Mick, Everything here is better than what I have! My license plate gaskets are ok though so if you would be so kind I would like to take everything else! We can talk on Private Message to sort out the logistics. Thanks!
  8. Magava

    E28 525i Restoration Project

    Thanks Mick! That is awesome news! Both my tail lights are cracked but the right one is the one in bad shape. Photos would be great. How do you want us to go about sending them? I will definitely check this out though I think the reason my exhaust keeps cracking is because the car was sitting for close to 11 years (not six as I had said at the start) and the metal was weakened. So whenever we work on the underside, any stress in the exhaust cracks it. Like this last time it cracked when we lowered the rear sub-frame which sits above the exhaust. The weight of it coming down on the exhaust is what did the damage. Again this is great advice. I didn't know that the rear windows would only work when the entire circuit is completed. I thought I could get away with operating them from the front for a while. My window lock switch is stuck in the depressed position so that's something else to work on. The window motors are the main problem as they were rusted pretty bad. I already replaced the front ones, just need to do the rear as well.
  9. Magava

    E28 525i Restoration Project

    Thanks. More updates to come soon...
  10. Magava

    E28 525i Restoration Project

    Thanks for all the encouragement guys! The laws are pretty much the same. Most of them came from the UK anyway. Its the Police that are different! So a few new updates: One of the best ones is that I finally got the brakes to work so now the car can be driven around safely! The problem was the brake bomb and the master cylinder. The brake bomb had to spend a whole night in oil and the MC I had (also a replacement) wasn’t really good. I also bought a brake caliper repair kit and new brake hoses. After replacing everything, things are working now though I’d say the E28 brakes aren’t that good in the first place. I still have a busted tail light on the right. Those are super expensive so I’d rather fix mechanical stuff first than fork out all that cash for a new one. Looking for a second hand one at the moment so its cat and mouse with the cops. All my lights are working though so don’t freak out. It’s just the housing on the turn signal that’s broken. Drive shaft was loose so did some re-engineering on those just to improve them. Also put in new boots and grease. Worked on the front suspension. New bushings for the control arms, new tie rods and stabilizer link bars. New front tyres as well. Cheap ones though as I want to go 225/45/17 in future. Still on 15s now. Replaced all the rear sub-frame bushings and the diff mount. This has made the biggest difference in the ride quality. Before there was a loud knocking sound whenever you took off from a low gear. Sounded like you were ripping the rear end of the car off. SOME OTHER MINOR REPLACEMENTS/REPAIRS INCLUDE: 1. Fixed the high beams. 2. Fixed all the brake lights and modified the brake fogs to be brake lights. The single brake light was too little. The added light also helps in dealing with cops. 3. 3. Fixed reverse light as well. 4. Fixed the speedometer and odometer. 5. New drive shaft support bearing 6. Did a full radiator flush. 7. Got a second hand valance for the front and front turn signals. 8. Fixed the holes in the floor board and reinforced the chassis. Did a hack job on it since I intend to smooth everything out once I strip it for paint work. 9. New gear shift lever and rubber shift boot. 10. New seal for the fuel sending unit 11. Fitted new door handles in the front. 12. Fitted new hood roundel 13. Fitted license plate lights THINGS THAT NEED ATTENTION: 1. Still no temperature gauge even after replacing the sensor. Car does not overheat though. 2. No fuel gauge. Guesswork for now or have to top up extra each time I drive it. 3. No coolant level sensor. 4. There is a leak at the power steering pump. 5. Engine warning light will not go off. Tried resetting it, nothing. 6. No wipers. Need a new motor as the other one rusted to failure. Water reservoir also dried up to the point that it cracked. 7. Dirt in the fuel lines causing fuel leaks at the rail. Now that the car is in use, rust is coming off in the tank and in the fuel rail and causing blockages. Have to keep removing and cleaning so as not to destroy the injectors. Also have to put in new fuel filters to save the pump. Im hoping this will subside with time coz even though we clean everything out it keeps coming back and its expensive! 8. Though the car moves well, I feel like there is some power loss (expect more kick out of a 2.5l engine). Might be the dirt in the lines, might be something else so will need a proper tune up to get it to pump out the full 150HP. 9. Also the exhaust has major issues. 1. Its not the right exhaust for the car and 2. It keeps cracking. When we lowered the rear sub-frame to replace the bushings it cracked again so it seems I need to replace the entire thing. NEXT UP: Painting! I was trying to get some Noico sound deadening mat but it’s too expensive to ship out here because of the weight in the required quantity so I have decided to just go ahead and paint. I’ve been looking at Titangrau 892/A36, Callisto Grey B64, and the original Platanengruen Metallic 188. I am leaning towards the Titangrau for now. Windshield wiper motor, rear window motors, Exhaust work, and an engine tune. I think those are the critical items. I also ordered some Polyamide shifter bushings from E28goodies.com supposed to sort out a lot of the slop in the gear. Those are yet to come in.
  11. Magava

    E28 525i Restoration Project

    Hey. So I got all the basic service parts plus a fuel pump and went upcountry on a two day mission to get the car back. It took 2 long days to get it moving, as the engine kept conking out. When we opened up the pipes this is what we found... I dont know what that was, looks like detergent. We suspect that it was some sort of radiator sealant that either didn't do its job or it caked up after being parked for so long. After cleaning it all out though, the engine started running well, no overheating. Bought some second hand tyres, welded the tank, did the regular service, and cleaned out the dead rats. Next we took it for a test drive and to the shock our lives there were completely no brakes! Terrifying stuff. Tried bleeding everything but no luck, only marginal improvement. Now we had to make a decision to drive it to Nairobi or leave it there and make another long ass journey back at some point. I was ready to leave it there as there was no way I was gonna drive that death trap. My mechanic however is more of a daredevil than I am and insisted on driving it using the handbrake! After a long argument on safety vs having to travel back again, we hit the road... I followed behind in another car. It was a long and slow journey. 50 Kph max. The amazing thing was the car was a champ for something that had been sitting close to 10 years the only problems we had were it blew one of the radiator hoses and it developed an exhaust leak. We got stopped a couple of times by cops too since the car looked terrible so as soon as they see it you get stopped. All the windows didn't work so it was a sauna in there. Basically everything except the engine wasn't working. Long story short we made it. Once in Nairobi, the real work could begin. 1. Fixed the exhaust leak. Had to remove and weld several sections of the exhaust but it was a straight forward job. 2. Bought a new (second hand) Brake Master Cylinder to fix the brakes. Despite that the problem persists. We are still struggling with this issue. Now trying to work on the Hydraulic Booster to see if that may be the problem. If you bleed the system well, it works better for about 1-2 hours after which it goes soft again. So it would seem that there is somewhere air is getting into the system. Will update more on this, as we try more stuff. Hope I don't have to change out the entire braking system in order to fix the problem. 3. Fixed the two front windows so at least you can breathe in there. The motors were all rusted to failure so had to buy new ones. Will work on the rear ones soon. Also need to buy a new windshield wiper motor as that one's failed too. 4. Fixed the front door locks so that at least the car can now be locked up. 5. Fixed the instrument panel. The Rev counter now works. Speedo works intermittently, temperature gauge does not work.I have ordered a new temperature sensor so lets hope it starts working. The fuel level sender is being a bitch. It works when it wants. When we take it out to test it in air it works fine, put it back into the tank and nothing. 6. Replaced all the bulbs and bulb holders around the car. The brake lights, parking lights, headlights, and rear indicators are now all working. The reverse light doesn't work so ordered a new reverse switch. I don't have any front turn signals so working on getting those. Also need a new front valance coz mine is trash. I am going to get the side/wing turn signals working this week. 7. There was a clunking sound from under the car when you take off in first or reverse. Concluded that the most likely culprit is the center drive shaft bushing which we will be changing this week. 8. I have also ordered a bunch of small parts that should be here next week. Gear shift knob and boot, license plate light, front brake hoses, coolant temperature sensor, reverse light switch, fuel tank cap, eBay short shifter (reviwers said its pretty good despite the low price), BMW hood emblem, and brake caliper repair kits. 9. Its not all good news, turns out the rust damage was way worse than I had initially thought. It was just well hidden on the underside and floor board of the car. Its so bad under the driver and passenger foot panels that if you lift the carpet you can see straight through to the ground. Even jacking up the car causes the frame to start warping slightly. I told myself that I will fix everything all at once when I take the car for a paint job. If that takes too long then I will just weld the floor. 10. Other problems include the brakes which have refused to work, the computer and overhead systems check are wacky and display whatever they like. I guess all the sensors were taken out or are shot. Will look into those later. A lot of the interior trim is falling apart. I got pissed of with the hanging glove box and ripped it out and threw it into the boot. So I have a gaping hole in the front. The drivers door trim literally had a piece break off...also in the boot. Front seats have rusted in place so you cant adjust them back or front. If you are too tall or too short you are screwed. Rear blind doesn't roll back into place when you pull it. Windshield washer reservoir has a hole from hardening and so cant hold water. But wouldn't need it anyway since the windshield pump doesn't work and the wiper motor is dead too. Did I mention the brakes!!? Took it for a thorough wash too... So yeah exciting times. This are getting fixed while new problems crop up each day. Still a long way to go but much improvement so far. More to come...
  12. Magava

    Build 2

    That is one good looking car. Great job!
  13. Magava

    E28 525i Restoration Project

    Tims, I hear you are the go to guy for parts. How much does the sender go for? I was also thinking along the same lines. I guess I don't need the sender at this point. If I can get it going I could just fill it up and drive it home without knowing how much is left in the tank. Maybe carry some fuel in a jerrycan just in case though 350 Km should not be a problem even if the engine is inefficeint.
  14. Magava

    E28 525i Restoration Project

    So its been a long time, but I have been able to make a little progress. First off, here are the details from the VIN Decoder Type Code 4132 E Series E28 () Series 5 Type LIM Model 525 I (EUR) Steering RL Doors 4 Engine M30 [Yay!] Displacement 2.50 Power 0 [Should be 150 HP] Drive HECK [Just means rear wheel drive] Transmission MECH [Manual - Didn't give details but I'm guessing its a 260] Colour PLATANENGRUEN METALLIC (188) [Don't get why you guys like this colour so much] Upholstery (0133) [More Gruen] Prod. Date 1986-01-14 L812A National version Great Britain S233 PISTENDAEMPFUNG [No Idea what this means] S295A BMW LA wheel, Exclusive styling [Guess mine are aftermarket coz they aren't BMW] S300A Central locking with anti theft system [Dead] S301A Alarm systems [None] S311 ELEKTRISCHER BEIFAHRERSPIEGEL [Electric Side Mirrors - Dead] S350A Therm. insulat. glass green [Gone] S411A Window lifts,electric,front/rear [Dead] S415A Sun-blind, rear [Gone] S498A Headrests, rear, mechanically adjustable S500A Headlight wipe/wash/Intensive cleaning [Gone] S510A Headlight aim control [Not sure but should be dead] S520A Fog lights [Missing] S530A Air conditioning S548A Kilometer-calibrated speedometer S551A On-board computer II with remote control [Dead] S570A Reinforced power supply [Ha!] S823A Hot-climate version [Good news being that we are on the Equator, hopefully this has helped preserve components] S845A Acoustic belt warning S850A Dummy-SALAPA [No Idea what this is] As you can see most of the electronics are dead. I hope its just corrosion in the fuse box so hopefully once we clean that out, put in all new fuses and relays, and spray it with electrical cleaner, things should start to work. Any suggestions on this? We took out the tank, it has a hole in it so there was no fuel. It was also quite dirty so we cleaned that out and welded the hole. Unfortunately, the Fuel sender / Fuel level and the fuel pump seem to be toast. I have already found a place to get the fuel pump but the fuel sender is proving to be difficult. But at least there was some great news..... It STARTED!! We put in the new Coil lead wire, changed the engine oil, put in a bit of oil into the piston chambers, pushed in some fuel directly into the lines and after just a little bit of searching, it roared to life!! So I'm ecstatic about that. At least I know it lives. Only ran it for like 30 seconds though because there was no fuel pump. The gears would not engage and the clutch is just dropping to the floor. On taking a further look, we suspect that the Clutch Slave Cylinder is shot. So from the early assessment, the things that I will be needing are: 1. Fuel Pump and Fuel Sender/ Fuel Level Gauge 2. Clutch Slave Cylinder 3. Fuses and Relays - Possibly some rewiring work 4. Cooling fan Clutch 5. Water Pump Gasket 6. Normal Service Parts (Oil, Air, Fuel Filters, MT Fluid, Spark Plugs) 7. Full Coolant flush and replacement 8. Belts 9. Brake Fluid The whole process is still challenging since we couldn't move the car with no pump and no gears therefore it is still upcountry. That means a 350Km journey every time we need to check/fix something. Once I am able to get it back to Nairobi (hopefully without having to hire a flatbed) things should get better and I can work on something every weekend.
  15. Magava

    E28 525i Restoration Project

    Hi Everyone! As introduced under the I'm New thread, my name is Brian and I am from Nairobi, Kenya. I recently bought back my dads 1986 525i which has been sitting under a tree for the past 6 years. I figured i'd join a UK forum as 525i were only made for the European Market plus it would be easier for me to buy parts from the UK and ship them to Kenya as opposed to any other market. So yeah, happy to be here and I know this will be a long and slow project being that I do not have too much money to blow on the car but I look forward to working on it and all the advice I can get from you guys. The car was parked in an upcountry farm in 2012 due to a faulty ignition system.I think the owner just wasn't keen on fixing it up so it was just left there to gather dust and moss. It's not a terribly humid area so luckily there isn't too much rust on the car. However, nature has done its best to grow around it as so there is grass and leaves everywhere, even the fuel tank has some. There are lots of insects and rodents that have made their homes in there and the seats have a lot of stains on them. I expect there to be a lot of electrical damage as the wiring has most likely been eaten up by said animals or deteriorated due to rain and sun. The tires have good tread on them but since they have been in the sun so long, they will most likely blow once inflated. The fan is rusty, the front bumper is damaged, the interior and center console is in bad shape and the right rear tail light is broken. A lot of little stuff like handles, seams, levers etc are also missing. This is my first restoration job and I am not a grease monkey so I will need all the help/advice I can get. My plan is to restore the car to an Alpina look: Mechanical: Tires - just to get it running Engine fix to get it running first Engine rebuild, clean and polish Shocks and Springs Exhaust Aesthetics: Bumpers and Side Skirts Strip down and repaint to Astoril Blue Redo interior to a cream color (How hard is this given that some of the trimming has the green color to match the car?) Alpina Rims and low profile tires Let me know what you think and I will be updating the progress in the coming weeks/(years? haha).