BMW e28 Engine Swap

When I was a young lad, in the 10-14 year old range, I remember the ability to do small repairs to my mom’s MGs.  She always had a midget or MGB or MGBGT.  MGs always  need repairs.  Since we had a five car garage, there were sports cars at our house constantly, either stored there for friends or getting repaired.  I would go out and just sit in a Triumph or a Formula Vee race car dreaming of racing around a track!  My car tinkering days lasted through college with my Fiat 124 spyder but ended shortly after that when it was sold and I moved on to drive other less interesting cars.


My FIAT, 1971 124 Spyder, as with all first cars, wish I still had it!

I have owned my ’87 BMW since 2008 and I have done all the work (too cheap to pay labor cost) since then.  It did not take long for all that knowledge of my earlier tinkering days to return.   So, now I find myself replacing an engine in my ’87 BMW 535is.  This is more than I could ever do back in the day.  Since the BMW had a timing chain issue in December 2013 and since the process of working my way toward the timing chain got me nearly half way to nothing left on the engine, I decided it would be wise to just replace it with my spare engine.  I have an engine with just over 100k waiting for such an opportunity.  Since the current engine is close to 300k, it seemed like a no brainer.   Just another fun project for springtime!  Got a list of parts together, seals for the “newer” engine, front seal for tranny, hoses, new radiator, etc.





The engine I am using came from a 1987 535is (Bernadette).  Only difference was the automatic transmission.  It was wrecked a few years ago which deeply saddened me and my daughter who was driving it.  But rust issues and lots of opportunity for spare parts gave me reason to part it out.  Thus, I have an engine ready to go in Elka.

Picture 025
Bernie, poor girl, her days were short.





Nice and clean



IN WITH THE NEWER, Bernie’s heart will live again! (Sorry about focus. Your eyes are ok.)


I hope to have the project complete by end of April with time to work out any kinks before the Vintage Gathering late in May.  Will update when all is complete.




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