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9 hours ago, Sir Anthony Regents-Park said:

You may well find that the brake problems are due to knackered flexy hoses that haves 'healed up' inside. Just about every E12 will need a new set now along with the clutch hose. 


You're 100% correct, once the caliper came off, the hose on the caliper side was as dry as a bone so the new hoses went on and everything was put back together and bead. Caliper works perfectly so the rebuild kit will wait for another day.


I swapped the wheels out with a set of 16" Voxx 5 spoke wheels that were on my 535is parts car. Not my favorite design but they come with a set of brand new Michelin tires so hard to justify buying new 14" tires.

Also replaced the drier, pulled a vac and charged up the a/c which is blowing seriously cold. 39 degrees (about 4 degrees C) out of the vents is not too shabby.


I'd like to get the other brake hoses this weekend and do a valve adjustment. If I can get through those, I will bring it home.



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I'd do the whole lot. Use a power bleeder for the brakes though and not pedal pumping. The reason is that the master cyl is iron and after 30-40 years there will be a rusty section in the bore just past the regular operating range of the master cyl seals. At least you don't have the hateful twin servos of RHD cars!


On the valve clearances, it's well worth buying new oil bar banjos from BMW. These work loose causing cam wear and new cams are now BMW only and serious $$$$$. The new ones are pre thread locked and the pitch of the threads is slightly different meaning they are tighter to wind in and will never work loose. Probably 30 dollars the pair with new copper washers. Some owners have used thread lock on the originals - bad, bad move. It congeals in the oil hole!


Nice work on the a/c. Did US E12's have an uprated system?

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Thanks, I did the valve adjustment on the car but later found out about the Banjo so I need to go back in and put some threadlock on the bolts.

Valve adjustment is super easy on these cars which is nice. The internals look super clean. I think the car must have had some head work.


I also went around and changed the hoses on all brakes. I have a Motive power bleeder which got me 90% there. The rear brake hoses were a little hard to break free and I was worried that I may round off the nuts on the steel line so I hit the ends with an air chisel to free up any crud build up. I ended up wearing a bunch of brake fluid during process so I hope that it cures balding.


The the bleeder ends on the top of the front calipers had a blockage that required foot pressure to get going. The fluid looked like a thick honey at first but cleared up and the brakes are now well balanced.


As far as A/C, I had read that the earlier 530i's had inadequate A/C systems (something about having BMW execs from Germany driving around Texas in the back of a 530i to prove a point). This system works really well. It's not gotten too hot here in Texas yet (high 20's) but sitting with your hands on the wheel actually painful if the a/c is on full blast).


Today I got the car registered so it's now legal.









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7 minutes ago, Sir Anthony Regents-Park said:

I would avoid thread locking the old bolts. It can (and does) get into the oil hole on tightening and congeal into a hard blob. The new ones from BMW are cheap enough and will never come loose.



Thanks, I read your complete post after responding. I'll get new bolts at the dealer.

We had some significant weather with hail recently so I stashed my car in my storage building along with all the others and have yet to drive it. Oddly enough, I tornado touched down yesterday less then a mile from my building but luckily, nothing was hit. I will go there this evening, assess the damage and maybe swap my 80 280TE with a 4 speed and drive the E12 home. It's getting warm here and the wagon has no A/C.

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I drove the car home from the shop (about 65 miles one way). The car behaved well. It needs an alignment and I need to either replace the voltage regulator or clean the grounds as my a/c fan varies in speed between engine idle and at speeds which indicates bad grounds.

Can anyone tell me where the ground points are on these cars? I cleaned the grounds by the battery and on the block but could  not find others.




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