Archive for the BMW Category

BMW woes

Posted in BMW on January 16, 2014 by Ed Pettus

At first it seemed like a cold start issue.  First cold day of the year and the 1986 535i (Gretchen) would not start.  But after replacing all that could prevent starting on a cold day…still no vroom.  New fuel pump and filter did not get it done either.  Yes, I have fire, but fuel issue persists.

Meanwhile, timing chain breaks on 1987 535is (Elka).  She sits waiting her turn for repairs while I labor to diagnose Gretchen.  Fortunately, we have two other vehicles to keep us on the road, but there is no comparison between the ride of a Jeep and that of a bimmer.  Looking forward to getting both BMWs back on the road soon!!


Gretchen on left 535i 1986


UPDATE 4/1/14:  Reference sensors were the starting issue.  Yet, in the diagnostic phase, I replaced fuel filter, pump, plugs, distributor cap and rotor.  She is running great!





e28 blackout!

Posted in BMW on October 22, 2013 by Ed Pettus

I have completed most of the “blackout” of my e28, bumpers, trim, etc.  I also tucked the front bumper 1/2 distance from its former “diving board” look.

Before and After!



More pics!!





The Vintage 2013

Posted in BMW on September 18, 2013 by Ed Pettus

Looking back over some previous posts and realized I had not posted anything about the Vintage gathering for 2013.  Another good time and lots of cool cars!  The venue was changed from Old Salem to a vineyard near Winston Salem.  It was a bit crowded but I do like when the event is held at a vineyard because we are able to group similar cars together.

IMG_1395 Elka2013Vintage_OWDavispic 110_2229a 110_2363110_2275a110_2237 110_2315 110_2305

Another e28

Posted in BMW with tags , on July 6, 2013 by Ed Pettus

After my 4th vintage BMW, I told myself that was enough, no more projects.  But, I just bought my fifth – a 1986 535i.  An offer I could not refuse.  My mission in life seems to be rescuing old bimmers from the crusher or from sitting idle.  Fortunately, this one needs very little to get back on the road as a daily driver.

She was sitting in a storage building…





Now she is home!






Finished the window tint!  She looks even better! 

6-29-13 020

The Vintage at Old Salem – BMW Gathering 2012

Posted in BMW on June 5, 2012 by Ed Pettus

Lots of fun at The Vintage this year.  I’m not sure how many cars were there but it looks like more than the previous year.  It was fun to talk with fellow enthusiasts and we even got mentioned in the local paper!  (Link below)  This was the first year I had the ’87 535is at the event as the past two years I took the ’75 2002, so this year more 5er owners stopped by to talk.

We normally make this one of our family outings during the year!







Here are some of the other 5ers I enjoyed seeing!












Links:  see more pics at

newspaper blip:

Looking forward to 2013 Vintage!

My first experience with leather re-dye

Posted in BMW on April 17, 2012 by Ed Pettus

After getting a price higher than I was willing to pay for upholstering rear seat, I decided to try the re-dye project on the leather.  The front seats were terribly worn and torn, but the back seat was in fairly good condition only the wrong color for my plans to transform all the interior to black.  Ordered kit from Leatherique (highly recommend) and started a few weeks ago on the reconditioning of seat before dye.  After sanding, cleaning, dying, here it is looking like new!!

I found a before pic, the only one I have…

revse28 update

Posted in BMW on March 30, 2012 by Ed Pettus

Elka’s new look (the wheels look great)!

Last winter (2011) I spent lots of my spare time on the 1975 ’02 and this past winter I spent lots of my spare time dismantling the red ’87 535is.

This spring I am giving time to my white ’87 535is from which this blog gets its name.  “Elka” has had a complete interior make over – new upholstered seats in the front, dyed carpet, newly coated trim pieces all transformed from blue to black.  Painted the wheels gun metal gray and my next project is dying the rear leather seat black and finishing off the rear seat area.  Today I began sanding down the front valance from “Bernie” as I plan to paint it Alpine White for Elka since her valance has an unpleasant crack across the front.





Before and after!

Getting her ready for The Vintage Gathering at Old Salem!

Red Bimmer “Bernie” Final Post

Posted in BMW on March 13, 2012 by Ed Pettus

My winter project is now complete and the red 1987 BMW 535is has gone on to its final resting place.
















Bernie only has two more blog posts…

Posted in BMW on March 7, 2012 by Ed Pettus

I have finished my first experience of stripping a BMW of all its parts.  Pulled the engine and transmission and finished off the steering box and motor for sunroof – all done!  The last post on Bernie will be her final resting place when she meets “the claw” and takes the journey of recycling.  I learned a lot about everything on the car, so I feel more confident I can work on Elka, my e28!



















That engine is a monster!

Bernie vs. Ed

Posted in BMW on March 1, 2012 by Ed Pettus

If you have read the previous BMW blogs you know the fate of Bernie, the red BMW,  Here are some updated pics.  The engine and transmission still left and I hope to have that out soon.  Everything else has been stripped – I don’t know how those chop shops do this so fast!

She looked so good such a short time ago…