Archive for the BMW Category

The Vintage 2016 BMW

Posted in BMW on October 14, 2016 by Ed Pettus

We have participated in The Vintage gathering for seven years now having moved from North Carolina vineyard locations for a few years, to Old Salem in Winston Salem, and this year, for the first time, in Hot Springs, NC near Asheville.  It was a fun drive to the site and a better location, in my opinion, as there was much more room to display cars and good mountain roads to cruise!  Here are some pics.



We left Princeton early morning and arrived with about half the cars already there.








We were parked in front of the bandstand which later became a problem as people gathered to hear the music and made it difficult for us to escape!







This body style has always been one of my favorites.



































Such a nice backdrop for the gathering!








You don’t even have to be drivable to participate.










Not many motorcycles, but a few made an appearance.








The Vintage @ Old Salem 2015

Posted in BMW on May 30, 2015 by Ed Pettus

Elka was painted and picked up 3 days before The Vintage gathering in NC.  Paint looks great.  Took a total of 50 days to get everything done.  Front end damage repaired including frame straightened.  Rust repaired all around (on my dime).  Insurance paid all accident damage and then I added a few things since she was in the shop anyway.

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Check out more photos from The Vintage at the link below!


Ready for paint!

Posted in BMW on May 14, 2015 by Ed Pettus

Getting closer to having my e28 back on the road.  Today they got the frame back to square and all the body work is complete.  Time for paint.

BodyWorks_169 BodyWorks_185












The frame work was fun to see!


Adventures in Auto Body Repairs

Posted in BMW on April 30, 2015 by Ed Pettus

As of this date 4/30/15, I’ve been 61 days without my e28.  31 Days to get estimate, convince the insurance company to pay up, and wait on parts.  30 days so far in the shop.  The work being done is great, but slow as she gets delayed by other “dealership” cars that need instant attention.  I am patient, but I sure miss driving the ultimate driving machine!  Here are some pics of the progress.

BodyWorks_043 BodyWorks_085









I am glad they will let me come by every day and take pics of the progress.  The guy working on her has been great to ask me about what I want done and he has gone out of his way to do a few things for me to make things just right.  I was very excited the day I saw the cross panel welded in and both fenders back on!  One other problem that will be fixed is the front end was pushed over about a 1/4 inch but they said they could take care of that without a problem.  It is amazing how much damage a Ford Pickup can do in a parking lot.






I will update further when she is finished, hopefully in a couple of weeks!!

Elka’s Day at the Parking Lot

Posted in BMW on April 11, 2015 by Ed Pettus

On March 1, 2015 my ’87, while parked, met a large Ford Pickup slowly but forcefully in reverse gear.  After a long wait for OEM parts she finally made it into the body shop on April 1, 2015.  Progress on repair is slow as of April 11, new hood replaced, fender removed, hoping for more work on her next week!






e28 BMW 1986 & 1987

Posted in BMW on December 1, 2014 by Ed Pettus

I’ve been posting on FB with some guys on the “BMW E28 Group” page and it got me searching through pics on my ’87.  It reminded me that a lot has been done to “Elka” since 2008 when I purchased her from my friend James.  Then James put me on to another e28, 1986, “Gretchen”, that I bought in June 2013.  My wife drives her, yes, her DD.  I drive Elka daily.  We are a full e28 garage!  Just thought I might post a few pics from the archives.


“Elka” just before I owned her. April, 2008.



Elka in May, 2014.








Elka has been through many changes in six years.  Just in these two pics above: painted wheels, bumper tuck, blacked out all chrome, painted valance, windows tinted, and ride just slightly lower with new set of springs and struts.

Tons of work on the inside!  “New” engine, both strut housings replaced in front, transformed all interior to all black, reconditioned leather in back seat, recovered front seats in imitation leather, and the list goes on.  Elka is my non-stock toy, while Getchen (below) I will keep as stock as possible.


Located in warehouse in May 2013. Just needed a battery to get her home.












Cleaned up, windows tinted.











There have been others in the family…


“Bernie” – she was totaled and her engine now resides in “Elka”.










This was my brief encounter with a 2002. Had to sell her 😦 because I had too many BMWs at the time.












Check out my other blog entries under the BMW category!



At the Vintage 2014 – Old Salem

Posted in BMW on May 31, 2014 by Ed Pettus

Yet another great event put on by Scott Sturdy and lots of volunteers.  Over 300 vintage BMWs gathered through the streets of Old Salem on Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.  Friday and Sunday included all who desired to motor through the country roads in NC!  It was great to see cars and folks from previous years and some new ones as well.


Both cars ready for Vintage!

We left early Saturday morning and by the time we arrived in NC most of the cars were already lined up.  We ended up on the upper end of Main St. but had some good spots (every spot is good!).  Here are some of my pics from the event.



So many great cars.  Had a few 5 owners stop by to talk shop about our cars.


Check out all my pics here

Already looking forward to 2015.



A Better Monday Afternoon

Posted in BMW on May 29, 2014 by Ed Pettus


Check Bentley for all torque settings.

Engine check list:

Power steering pump

Ac compressor

Water pump

Wiring to starter

Wiring to oil sensor

Wiring to alternator

Vacuum hose (brown/clear) to intake underneath driver side

Hose from reservoir to T connector                                                                                                                                                                 DSCN9002

Bracket on top of engine holding sensors

Gray sensor to passenger side

Reference and speed sensors

Fuel regulator / and vacuum hose feeds thru hole at intake and connects at front under intake

Sensor to flywheel (front)

Thermostat housing

Hoses under intake to T connector

Cross bracket with reset connectors/module

Throttle housing

Check throttle – frayed cable

Idle control unit, hose to intake, unit bolted to valve cover and to air flow tube

Wire rail (2 nuts)

Oil in lifters and spark plug holes

Air valve, passenger hose to charcoal canister, vent hose, vacuum hose to intake nipple next to block

Valve cover gasket

Radiator and mounts (slide center sleeve out to slide mount on rad)DSCN9010

Air filter housing and AFM – electric connection held on with zip tie


Distributer cap

Fuel lines


Radiator wiring, top sensor (green to firewall side), bottom sensor (green/brown lower)

Fan  (torque bolts on fan clutch)

Fan cowell

Oil in filter and engine!!


Check for leaks on oil, coolant, etc.



****  ****  ****

As you may have gathered, this was my check list for getting my BMW back up and running.  Got the engine and transmission mounted on Monday 5/5 and on Friday 5/16 had first start and test drive.  Only one little oil leak that was quickly fixed!


All buttoned up and ready for the road! Well, except for hood shocks!


This was my first engine swap and it was fun to learn more about my e28.  She is running great.  First road trip was to the Vintage at Old Salem and we had a good time with both e28s.  Will post later about the Vintage.



Ready for At the Vintage

A Good Saturday Afternoon

Posted in BMW on April 14, 2014 by Ed Pettus

After spending a few weeks in the the disassemble stage of getting off all things connected to the engine, we spent a pleasant afternoon putting new seals in one engine and lifting the other out of the e28.  Only had a few snags along the way but no e28s were harmed in these pics.  Have to order a couple of more parts before we complete the engine swap.



Two nuts in a garage!




Out with the older (300k), in with the newer (100k). Putting new seals in and checking banjo bolts and whatever else we can do.



Make go fast!


Just ignore those chains around the intake!





BMW e28 Engine Swap

Posted in BMW on April 8, 2014 by Ed Pettus

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.