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E28 (1982 - 1988)

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Old 12-13-2007, 10:28 PM
biocoug biocoug is offline
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Location: Seattle, WA
Join Date: Sep 2007
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Mein Auto: 2004 MKIV Golf TDI
Looking at a 1986 535i, need some advice

I was looking for some input on things to look for and problems experienced with this car in the past. This would be my first purchase of an e28 and I want to know what to look for as I kick the tires. Any help would be appreciated.

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Old 12-14-2007, 06:21 AM
jimoreno jimoreno is offline
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Location: Parsippany, NJ
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 488
Mein Auto: 2006 X3
I bought my '86 in August and I can tell you a couple of items that I knew about and some others that I didn't. previous owner had already replaced the lower arms with upgraded ones with 7 series bushoings. This is the cure to the dreaded "braking shimmy" as it will go away with new stock bushings but it will come back much quicker. make sure that all the gauges work since if it has dead batteries in the board thwy will start acting up, specially the tachometer and fuel economy will die and possibly fuel gauge and engine water temp can also be touchy. After I replaced the SI (service Interval) board in mine I had to replace the fan clutch, thermostat and water pump since the PO didn't knew what was really happening with it. Make sure the heater fan is operational and not screaming, watch for rust in the license plate lights, cracked rear bumper and if the clucth stick to the floor (if manual). This tends to be a cracked pedal bracket that kills the clutch master cylinder with it, not pricey but a little bit difficult to change since you have to drop the steering column.

Good Luck with your buy!
Jimmy Moreno
1995 530i
1986 535i
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Old 12-14-2007, 08:52 AM
biocoug biocoug is offline
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Location: Seattle, WA
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Mein Auto: 2004 MKIV Golf TDI
Thanks Jimmy!
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:50 AM
smokey+ smokey+ is offline
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Location: portland
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 28
Mein Auto: 1986 bmw 535i
i bought 85 535i last october for $850 that needed some work. this forum has been terrific for identifying stuff. i love the car.

i had steering shimmy at 40mph. replaced upper control arms. shimmy gone.

thumping sound when downshifting under load. center bearing shot. replace flex disc too. most mechanics will replace the driveline with center bearing for about $500.

heater motor chirping. remove firewall piece and plastic covers on heater motor and spray area where bearings are with wd40.

i had the clutch stick to the floor thing. welded pedal bracket together. replaced master and slave cylinder. kinda fun getting in there.

previous owner had gauges board worked on.

replaced turn signal relay in steering column. $5 part.

the biggest thing i'd say is lookout for leaking brake boosters. it's about a $400-500 part. mine leaks a little and i will probably have to replace it at some point. i tried replacing the seals inside it and that didn't work.

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Old 02-17-2008, 12:32 AM
99Bimmer528i 99Bimmer528i is offline
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Location: Idaho
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 70
Mein Auto: 99 bmw 528i
I had a nice 85 535i that i bought for 500 and i need a carrier bearing, idle control valve and a air mass flow sensor over the coarse of 5 yrs.
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