Archive for the BMW Category

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.



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