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Hello all, I’m new to the forums here, but I was looking for some information on e12’s as I can’t seem to find much of anything. Was wondering if parts are easy to find and if they’re pricey, how long the motors last, what common issues do the cars have, any info at all would be greatly appreciated, tell me what you know! And it’s good to be here!

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Welcome! don't have many E12s around but there are a few.

 

I don't think they aren't too far off the E28, but someone else with more specific knowledge and experience should be along soon

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Engines are much as the e28 being M10 and M30 units.

 

Obviously the newest cars are 40 yrs old now so parts i think can be tricky but available.

 

I think finding a solid and complete one is key.

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1 hour ago, duncan-uk said:

Engines are much as the e28 being M10 and M30 units.

 

Obviously the newest cars are 40 yrs old now so parts i think can be tricky but available.

 

I think finding a solid and complete one is key.

I’m glad to hear the engines are more common, if not aged and aging faster. I’ve had some concerns about the fuel injection system also as I’ve heard those Bosch L-Jetronic units are pricey to service if not worthy of full fuel system replacement. I believe I’ve found a pristine model, a ‘79 528i. I don’t know whether it’s okay to post listings in the forums, but the interior is in great shape, car has 200,000 miles, the listing says it’s got no leaks and runs fine, I haven’t gone to see it yet as I want to learn a bit more about them before I jump on this one. Maybe I’ll read through the forum rules and whatnot so as to avoid any problems, but thank you for the info duncan it’s much appreciated!

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1 hour ago, Sandip said:

Welcome! don't have many E12s around but there are a few.

 

I don't think they aren't too far off the E28, but someone else with more specific knowledge and experience should be along soon

So if they’re similar to the e28 do you know if parts are relatively easy to swap at least between e12 and e28? I realize that it would likely be down to specific parts and applications, but I am curious and lacking knowledge. Thank you for your input sandip, glad to know the forums are still kicking!

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They're similar but a different car though with some parts cross over mainly around the engine

 

I would be concerned about finding a good shell and less about the mechanicals as service parts can be had ok i believe.

 

BMW will carry some parts but lots will be NLA i assume but BMW's support is pretty good for older cars.

 

L - tronic is common on other cars so not too bad i don't think.

 

Buy on condition and history rather than miles really is my best advice.

 

 

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I do know that E28 doors can be used on a E12, but that's just from memory through the forum. 

 

There are a couple of projects threads, is start there if you haven't already. 

 

Rules around posting listings, you can if you want to reference something you've seen. But you can't sell unless you're at least a gold member ;)

 

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9 hours ago, duncan-uk said:

They're similar but a different car though with some parts cross over mainly around the engine

 

I would be concerned about finding a good shell and less about the mechanicals as service parts can be had ok i believe.

 

BMW will carry some parts but lots will be NLA i assume but BMW's support is pretty good for older cars.

 

L - tronic is common on other cars so not too bad i don't think.

 

Buy on condition and history rather than miles really is my best advice.

 

 

Thank you again Duncan! I’ll be going to see the car sometime this week, checking for rust, accidents, frame damage and just overall feel of the car, if I find I like it and it’s in adequate shape (no frame damage, light/no rust). Alright, I might do some reading on that L-tronic but thank you! I’ll keep the thread up to date on what I find and what I do, and I’ll keep up with questions if I come up with anymore, thank for all the help!

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7 hours ago, Sandip said:

I do know that E28 doors can be used on a E12, but that's just from memory through the forum. 

 

There are a couple of projects threads, is start there if you haven't already. 

 

Rules around posting listings, you can if you want to reference something you've seen. But you can't sell unless you're at least a gold member ;)

 

On bit, but I’ll keep that in mind! I am having some trouble finding project threads could you point me in the right direction? Thank you for the forum info, and everything else. I appreciate all the help being pretty green with bmw and forums, so thank you a bunch! And I might post a few pics of the 528i just so those here can see how pretty this car is!

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Tell me if you spot any red flags with the body, motor, interior with the provided pictures. I really think this is looking clean without getting a closer look so any criticism is welcome and encouraged!9BA18370-AD3E-4EC1-BD32-2A8B92E9B783.jpeg.d3aeef182f9e0c50b2e669f0a2d7bd60.jpeg00D215DF-C039-49AB-BED8-A95F4EDE5961.jpeg.cc2f03eaf670a96380812ad62b28f2b5.jpeg4D5F9D7D-4C77-4E46-8390-C3A52C67D658.jpeg.c6e65dd86367efd00194e32edde41e2b.jpeg67E61CEE-A9AE-4508-AA4B-EFEFF2BDFEBB.jpeg.4e44ca2b59cab83d3d5a900dbc06c448.jpeg5A57360C-B845-4538-88FD-6ED033DAE0AB.jpeg.870c2e6480feb0f20194cf07a061c2df.jpeg

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Well it looks quite smart  - whats the deal with the door and wing? rust? I think you have get in front of it and have a good poke around.

 

What we really need is one of the e12 owners to chip in like @JAM172

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Hi Capnophobe

First impression of your car is a nice looking car but the bumpers ruin the look of the car. I forget that the American models got the Federal bumpers. Have a look at some pictures of European models. Some owners changed to "Euro bumpers" as they preferred the look of them.

 

With regard to the car it is now over 40 years old. If the car is pre sept 79 it is slightly different than sept 79 on models. There were some changes and the last of the cars were more compatible with e28. Seats from an e28 fit straight into later models but not the earlier ones.

The glass from an e28 will fit. Front and rear screens and side glass fit, but there are two colours of glass, green and bronze and clear.

 

With regard to the doors. E28 will fit, but if you do fit an e28 door the door trims around the window are different and cannot be swapped. So unless you change all your doors the door window trim will not match and will look odd.

 

Suspension front and back are different as are differentials. Different steering box.

The engines are similar up to the e34 model. So it is possible to put an e34 535i engine in but it needs some work to fit. Engine mounts and wiring main items. An e28 engine is an easier swap.

If you do go for a car like that then you have to be prepared for the fact that parts may be harder to get than an e28 and do you do the work or get someone to work on it.  That car may have a distributor with "points" in it. A lot of mechanics may not know what points are as they have not ever worked on cars that old.

The thing with a car like that is it will probably turn more heads than a brand new BMW 5 series and you will notice people taking pictures of it.

Walloth&Nesch in Germany and BMW Classic are probably the best source of parts.

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I’ve been doing a ( painfully slow) undercarriage refresh on an E12 and have found that parts have been available from either BMW themselves or W&N. 
I haven’t needed to replace body panels thankfully but they would be your potential challenge over mechanical bits. Having said that there are several specialists out there who do have panels , NOS or secondhand so all is not lost! BMW still have some panels left which is more than can be said for some marques. A pal of mine has a UR Quattro and Audi carry virtually zero parts for such an iconic car. 

 

looking at the pictures the only things that jump out are the blebs on the bottom of the wing and doors. I wouldn’t let this put me off. I would really want to check in all the usual rot spots to see what else you may have to deal with, E12’s do like to rust if not checked.

 

Apologies for the late response but I would echo the posters above, E12’s are very cool cars and deserve to be preserved.

 

Good luck and let us know how you get on. 

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