The story of a long forgotten 528i and I.

kirk Apr 20, 2017

  1. kirk

    kirk Crotch Gusset Supporting Member

    Messages:
    12,411
    Location:
    Allen, Texas
    Hello there. This is where my tale begins. Care to join me? I don't bite. A friend of mine, whom I do most of my automotive tomfoolery called me one day and asked if I savvy'd a hunt in a pasture or three for a few Isettas and some random nonsense. I told him I savvy'd just fine and away we went. I just so happened it was a fairly dreary day, but when we arrived, all that changed. In his pasture, two football fields from the road was a field full of cars and the making of a home made castle/barn, but that's a story for another day. He had plenty of cool stuff however, and I enjoyed looking at it all.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I think you get the point. The gentleman has a lot of cool project cars floating around, but none he really wanted to get rid of. He mentions off handledly that he has a "new" BMW that needs a new home, as he can no longer work the clutch comfortably. Im of course interested, and he walks us around the side of his barn, and out back. There I find her. Looking lost and forelorn.

    [​IMG]


    Well hello there pretty. How are you? The gentleman explained that he had the car for quite sometime, but quit driving it years ago when his advanced age and bad hips made it no longer comfortable. Being a sucker for cheap random cars that catch my fancy, and being an admitted fan of BMWs for years, I inquired further, and he let me take a look.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    In all fairness he admitted that while it was "running when parked" he had been unable to start it last time he tried and observed several chewed wires. Fairly disheartening but I'm kinda handy and this aint my first "old car in a pasture" rodeo. So we make a deal, with him offering it to me very very cheaply, and offering me to use his barn to fiddle with the wiring first, and if I couldn't get it to start, offering a full refund. What do I have to lose? So I made arrangements to return on the weekend when the weather was nicer to work on it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  2. kirk

    kirk Crotch Gusset Supporting Member

    Messages:
    12,411
    Location:
    Allen, Texas
    Welcome back! When we last left our intrepid explorer, he was purchasing a (possibly) money pit of a BMW on a whim, and for no reason! Lets catch back up to him now, working in the daylight.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Pretty quickly I notice a buncho wiring chewed. So out comes the handy soldering iron and away I go.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    I think you get the point. At the end of a couple hours of chasing wires, soldering, and repeating, I finally ran out of wires to fix. During this time the elderly man told me a story about every single one of his cars, and It was a grand time. I hope im as awesome as this guy when im in my mid 70's. So with no more wires to fix, it was time to test her out. I anxiously put the key in and when i turned it the dash lit right up! Pushed in the clutch, and BOOM she fired right off! She idled rough at first and smoothed out quickly, considering the gas is probably still old. Im honestly not sure who was more happy, me or the man. He laughed and clapped like a kid a Christmas.
     
    lizardking likes this.
  3. kirk

    kirk Crotch Gusset Supporting Member

    Messages:
    12,411
    Location:
    Allen, Texas
    VIN
    WBADD532XVBV51643

    Type code
    DD53

    Type
    528I (USA)

    E series
    E39

    Series
    5

    Type
    LIM

    Steering
    LL

    Doors
    4

    Engine
    M52

    Displacement
    2.80

    Power
    142

    Drive
    HECK

    Transmission
    MECH

    Colour
    CANYONROT METALLIC (343)

    Upholstery
    STANDARDLEDER/BEIGE E36 SANDBEIGE E (N6SN)

    Prod.date
    1996-11-25



    Vehicle options​

    S248 Steering wheel heater

    S292 BMW light alloy wheel, cross spoke 29

    S403 Glass roof, electrical

    S459 Seat adjuster, electric, with memory

    S465 Through-loading system

    S494 Seat heating driver/passenger

    S640 Preparation f tel.installation universal

    S677 HiFi System Professional DSP

    S694 Provisions for BMW 6 CD changer

    S773 Fine wood trim

    S818 Battery master switch

    S925 Dummy-SALAPA




    Vehicle options​

    S26 Side airbag for driver/passenger

    S302 Alarm system

    S354 Green windscreen, green shade band

    S411 Window lifts,electric,front/rear

    S423 Floor mats, velours

    S441 Smoker package

    S473 Armrest front

    S520 Fog lights

    S534 Automatic air conditioning

    S540 Cruise control

    S550 On-board computer

    S645 BMW US Radio

    S850 Dummy-SALAPA

    S853Language version English

    S961 SPECIAL MOTOR


    Vehicle options​
    S992 Control of number-plate attachment
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
  4. kirk

    kirk Crotch Gusset Supporting Member

    Messages:
    12,411
    Location:
    Allen, Texas
    So with the car running, the display lights up and i can see how many miles she has for the first time. Seems like a whole lot, but I dont know much about these cars. Should I be concerned?

    [​IMG]


    Its still much too marshy for me to get my truck and trailer into his pasture to get the car out completely, so I backed it back into the sun, letting the car move under its own power for the first time in several years. I think I heard a family of pissed off displaced mice run away, but I care not for them!

    [​IMG]

    While running, I noticed the check engine light didnt go off, so I got my bluetooth code reader from the truck and plugged it in. This is what I got. Im not sure what might be more chewed wires and what might be real issues. Feel free to weigh in on anything you like, with suggestions, kudos or comments. I literally have never owned a BMW and anything I know Ill be reading and researching trying to get up to speed. I already love this thing and i have driven three feet.

    [​IMG]


    Ill be taking actual possession of the car Tomorrow, and I have honestly learned a ton already. I see that people worry about these being reliable, but this doesnt have to be my daily driver so I can go through it as slow as i want. Well until next time Constant Reader, I'm off to the belly of the internet to do some research.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  5. Muadeeb

    Muadeeb Bastard Admin from Hell Admin

    Messages:
    14,817
    Location:
    Dallas
    Nice find!

    I'd dig deeper into the wiring of those codes first before trying anything else.

    Sent from the 5th circle via directionally confused otters
     
  6. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

    Messages:
    30,040
    Location:
    Suffolk, VA
    Wow. Killer find. I wouldn't be opposed to a bimmer for a daily. Especially a 5 or 7 series.
     
  7. kirk

    kirk Crotch Gusset Supporting Member

    Messages:
    12,411
    Location:
    Allen, Texas
    You noticed the man pedal, yeah? I know nothing about these but I like them a lot.
     
  8. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

    Messages:
    30,040
    Location:
    Suffolk, VA
    Oh for sure.
     
  9. Fromfrontier2Xterra

    Fromfrontier2Xterra Titan Swapped / SAS'd Super Moderator

    Messages:
    24,312
    Location:
    Altoona, PA
    Awesome find.
     
  10. kirk

    kirk Crotch Gusset Supporting Member

    Messages:
    12,411
    Location:
    Allen, Texas
    Went to pick up the BMW today. Remember how I told you the elderly gentleman was building a castle? Yeah. He may never get it done, but damn if he isnt more motivated than I would be. Several hours a day he plugs away at it. So for no reason, I climbed up in one tower for a pic. Of course I ended up having to help him carry some plywood up top, but when else can you say you participated in making a plywood castle? Never. Thats when.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    So since I didnt have to go far, I decided to drive. What better way to test out an old pasture car than drive 16 miles to your stop, with a stop for wash and tacos? Oh, and on bad tires to boot.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. kirk

    kirk Crotch Gusset Supporting Member

    Messages:
    12,411
    Location:
    Allen, Texas
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    This thing is literally FULL of old half eaten pecans and rat crap. So gross.

    [​IMG]


    But this color is gorgeous IMO.


    [​IMG]



    Leaving the car wash, she ran fine at first, then started bucking and stalling at stop lights. I cant find anything other than this broken hose I havent yet identified.

    [​IMG]



    But after a short jaunt down the access road, it stopped doing that. Dunno yet. But I got it cleaner and I got it inside so I can start working on it!

    (Its still crazy filthy tho)
     
  12. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

    Messages:
    30,040
    Location:
    Suffolk, VA
    How cheap was it?
     
  13. kirk

    kirk Crotch Gusset Supporting Member

    Messages:
    12,411
    Location:
    Allen, Texas
    $1200. I thought it was more than fair
     
  14. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

    Messages:
    30,040
    Location:
    Suffolk, VA
    Absolutely. That's a deal.
     
  15. mantree

    mantree First Fill-Up (of many)

    Messages:
    355
    Location:
    Fort Collins
    Thay hose is conected to vacume somewhere so I'd say you suck water in, not enough to damage anything but enough to make it run rough for a bit.

    Edit if I had to guess I'd say emitions or evap.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  16. ElPincheGuero4

    ElPincheGuero4 Need Bigger Tires Supporting Member

    Messages:
    796
    Location:
    Cohoes
    Spraying water under the hood can cause any number of shorts when the wiring is in its current shape, brave move lol
     
  17. dixie1865

    dixie1865 Bought an X Supporting Member

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Lockport, IL
    Regarding the mileage...
    I have a relative who was a BMW Master Mechanic (youngest in the company history at the time -Good ol' boy from Georgia and they sent him to Germany and then they would randomly send him all over to work with the company race teams). He always told me the high end German cars are far more durable than anything on the road. The issue is the tolerances the engineers use are so tight the cars get out of spec easily and have to be brought in for service which can get costly. He stated American and Japanese manufacturers will spec hundredths or thousandths, German cars are thousandths or ten thousandths respectively.

    Sounds like you got a great deal on a beautiful car. Good luck and have fun with it.
     
  18. kirk

    kirk Crotch Gusset Supporting Member

    Messages:
    12,411
    Location:
    Allen, Texas

    Yeah, I totally get that, and I did have some issues at first, but I couldnt put it in the shop with that amount of rat sh*t and pecans in it. It was a gamble I had to take. Hahahaha
     
  19. ElPincheGuero4

    ElPincheGuero4 Need Bigger Tires Supporting Member

    Messages:
    796
    Location:
    Cohoes
    Lmao
     
  20. kirk

    kirk Crotch Gusset Supporting Member

    Messages:
    12,411
    Location:
    Allen, Texas
    I guess thats good and bad. Hahaha Funny thing is, even with all these miles, the fit and finish of the car is still far better than lower mileage american cars of my friends. The leather isnt even as destroyed as I thought it would be. And thanks! I think its gorgeous too!
     
  21. mantree

    mantree First Fill-Up (of many)

    Messages:
    355
    Location:
    Fort Collins
    My wife just gave up her VW with almost 300k becaus she has to be at work before the plows are out so she bought a suv. That said other than dome minor issues it runs fantastic

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
     
  22. kirk

    kirk Crotch Gusset Supporting Member

    Messages:
    12,411
    Location:
    Allen, Texas
    Okay, I have four codes (p0355, p0116, p1189 and p1188) that I am working on. Part of my immediate problem was the Air Pump Hose had a huge hole in it and i was missing the vacuum line from the electric air valve that goes from the air check valve and to the intake. I replaced the air pump hose and the vacuum line/check valve and changed the oil. Thats it so far.

    I replaced the check valve just like i found the one on the car, white side towards the electric valve (if that makes sense). I did find the line/valve laying underneath, dangling. Guess the mice chewed it off, dunno.

    [​IMG]

    Literally all I did. Went for a very short drive. Idled much better. But as soon as I got back and stopped moving, I noticed:

    [​IMG]


    Which is weird because I didn't have the AC on or anything and I previously drove it here with no issue. I hit the AC button (while sitting still) and the car shuddered hard and started to boil white smoke from near where the AC compressor is (also the air pump is down there I guess?) and I shut the car off.


    Surely nothing I did, including possibly installing the check valve the wrong way would have caused me to over heat and/or have some other issues, would it?

    Gratuitous pic of my car. I love this thing, but I am very BMW stupid. Ive googled and searched everywhere but I'm having no luck at all. Apparently BMW people are not nearly as hands on as I like to be. Frustrating, so back to the jackstands it goes. I have managed to learn pretty quickly that if you lock your keys in this trunk, there is no way to get them out. None. EXCEPT, if your car was ordered with a ski hole. Thats what its called. After googling (my trunk struts failed and closed my keys inside. Interior trunk release didnt work.) i found that a ski hole is a hole behind the center arm rest in the back seat. So l lower the arm rest, pull away the fabric, and sure enough, there is a collapsible bag behind a plate. I remove the plastic plate, extend the bag (reaches up between the driver and passenger to allow you to haul wet skis) unzip the bag and reach in the trunk for my keys. So weird. So I replaced the rear trunk struts as well.

    [​IMG]
     
  23. kirk

    kirk Crotch Gusset Supporting Member

    Messages:
    12,411
    Location:
    Allen, Texas
    So since we last visited our intrepid explorer and his BMW, it was on jackstands and barely running. Since that point, I replaced all the vacuum lines, air pump lines and some last minute wiring. Needing it to be closer than my shop is from my house, I decide to roll dirty for about 30 miles to get home and see how she does. Out of the shop and on the road.
    1.jpg

    3.jpg



    Once home, I decide to wash the filth and shop grossness off.


    6.jpg



    I also just like washing my cars. Sue me. So the tires are bad, all the way around. I dont want to spent the $950 for the Z rated ones I need right now, just in case I cant bring this all the way back alive. So I watched craigslist, and in Dallas at a tire shop that spoke no english, scored a set in the right size, brand new for $300. 245/40/18 front and 275/35/18 rear.


    8.jpg
     
  24. kirk

    kirk Crotch Gusset Supporting Member

    Messages:
    12,411
    Location:
    Allen, Texas
    So the next morning, I run over and have them mounted up! I run the codes again, and rebuilding the vacuum system has cleared all but one. Ill deal with that later. AC isnt working however, and I dont like that at all.


    15.jpg

    16.jpg

    Apparently, took all three to mount those really wide rears.

    19.jpg


    But she looks good, even on jacks at a shady tire dealership. Although these really are my favorite tire shops. Working for cash and friendly as hell.

    20.jpg


    Backs were BAD AF.

    17.jpg


    Looks like an alignment is in my near near future.
     
  25. kirk

    kirk Crotch Gusset Supporting Member

    Messages:
    12,411
    Location:
    Allen, Texas
    So I have been driving it around town, slowly repairing little things that fail. Took a drive friday before last. Windows down and it felt great! Superflous picture for no reason. 13.jpg


    I love the interior of this thing at night time.


    10.jpg



    And when I got home, neither rear window would roll up. Apparently both regulators failed at the exact same time with a big loud CRUNCH. Yay.
     
  26. kirk

    kirk Crotch Gusset Supporting Member

    Messages:
    12,411
    Location:
    Allen, Texas
    Just in case you were curious, if you have to replace the rear regulators on one of these you have to completely gut the doors. These were a big ass pain in the big ass. Apparently these are a crazy weak point and they fail all the time. Good thing im a pro.

    21.jpg


    Guess thats bad.


    14.jpg

    22.jpg

    23.jpg

    24.jpg


    Two $80 regulators (without motors) later, im in business. Now for suspension repairs.


    25.jpg


    Still think this color is gorgeous.
     
    lizardking likes this.
  27. harryron

    harryron Suspension Lift Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,535
    Location:
    ohio
    This is looking good, I always liked BMWs.
     
  28. kirk

    kirk Crotch Gusset Supporting Member

    Messages:
    12,411
    Location:
    Allen, Texas
    Im at a crossroads with it and would like some advice. Needs front end work (tie rods) and an alignment. Not a big deal. Needs a clutch. Thats pretty far out of my ability (have to drop the whole exhaust and some cross members, etc. Bimmer shop wants $1560 for the clutch (includes a new flywheel) as apparently this car has 198k on the OG clutch. So all in it needs up to $2400 in work. The value of the car isnt that, or not much more than that. (2400 = clutch, front end work, alignment) I can probably do the tie rods, but its only a small part of it, and I would have to go get the car, bring it home, fix it then take it back for the alignment and clutch anyway.

    So trying to decide if I dump that kinda money into a project I dont know much else about. Thoughts?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  29. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

    Messages:
    30,040
    Location:
    Suffolk, VA
    You have other vehicles and while this was a fun adventure, I recommend you cut your losses, get what you can for it and move on. Putting more money than it's worth just to keep driving it doesn't make sense as it's just a toy.
     
  30. kirk

    kirk Crotch Gusset Supporting Member

    Messages:
    12,411
    Location:
    Allen, Texas
    Thats exactly what my thoughts are at this point. I have one other guy to get a quote on for the clutch (Uncle of a friend) and if its still not an affordable thing, I'm going to let it go.


    Thanks for replying.
     
  31. kirk

    kirk Crotch Gusset Supporting Member

    Messages:
    12,411
    Location:
    Allen, Texas
    Bimmer shop did say the motor and trans were very solid, just that I ended up with the wear items that need replacing as part of routine maintenance. Im still in it pretty cheaply at this point.
     

Share This Page