Archive for the BMW Category

Update on “Bernie” – BMW #2 crashed

Posted in BMW on December 14, 2011 by Ed Pettus

The insurance company settled on the BMW and now I am tearing her down to assess the damage and viability of rebuild. After furthur review: a parts car is born! 








Before and after shots:   



Frame is mangled, but somehow the bumper and valance are unharmed ‘cept for a few dings and one crack. More updates later!


Bernadette “Bernie” vs. the SUV

Posted in BMW on November 8, 2011 by Ed Pettus

We are truly thankful that Sarah was unharmed in her recent accident. She and I are aware that her health is the number one issue here, so you need not remind us to be thankful yet again. But we do want room to grieve the loss of our “Bernie”, the red BMW 535is. As of this writing we are waiting to hear from the insurance folks who will decide her fate. My estimation is that she will be totaled and I will have to buy her back so that I will have lots of parts for #1 BMW, “Elka”. There is some frame damage and as I see it all of the front end would need replacement. I am already planning to transplant her antennae into Elka, the white BMW 535is.  It is only fitting since, about a month ago, Elka gave up a window motor for Bernie, not to mention an alternator until a new one was purchased.

Old BMWs update!

Posted in BMW on October 22, 2011 by Ed Pettus

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, the thing about owning old BMWs is they always need some kind of work, but the great thing about old BMWs is a normal person with a little bit of mechanical know how can work on them.  My latest “work” was to upgrade braking ability.  Speed is fun but stopping is equally important.  I found some cross drilled rotors with close out prices and brake pads also at a great price, so the logical thing to do was to paint the calipers as well for a complete awesome upgrade for Elka (my white ’87 e28).  I have had these parts for several months and when she needed repair for a battery drain somewhere in the electrical system, it was time to put her up on jack stands and spend some quality time!









First step was to paint rotors with POR-15 rust treatment.  Here are the before and after shots.

Cleaned all the calipers with degreaser supplied in the paint kit and a little wire brush help.  The epoxy paint was easy to work with and just enough to cover the calipers.








Next day installed new pads, assembled brakes to get a cool new look and much better performance!









Final look:

The battery drain was probably a ground issue, but we (JB and I) I did so many things to the system with relays, fuses, cleaning grounds, new battery and new alternator, that I could not tell for sure the particular problem.  Could also have been a combination of things.  In the end, no more battery drain!  I also added a front strut brace which took some extra fabrication to make it fit, but that is what you get buying a strut brace on ebay from Hong Kong!

Next thought:  ECU performance chip, maybe for Christmas!  🙂

BMW news

Posted in BMW on July 28, 2011 by Ed Pettus

The e28sThere is a post on one of the BMW forums that asks folks what they have done to their car today. I’ve taken a couple of weeks off from work to do a few things, one of those is getting BMW work done. So far on “Bernie”, the red one, I have tinted the windows, repaired three lighting issues, drained the radiator, fixed the odometer, and my buddy JB replaced the RF door power window motor. On “Elka”, the white one, new rear strut mounts installed and fixed her odometer as well. Next item: I tackle the clutch master cylinder. One thing about older cars, they are easier to work on but you are always working on them!  Still, I’d rather drive something I can pull into the garage and fix myself than pay someone $50-80 an hour to do the same work.

My BMW journey

Posted in BMW on July 5, 2011 by Ed Pettus

My first BMW was an e12, 1977 530i, grey or gray(?), sunroof, 5 speed, lots of fun and a great car.

3 of them I owned at one time…at the same time!

 I did not have a garage when I owned the e12 (from 1989-1995?) or I may have kept it until today.  But, as fate or God would have it, I traded the old bimmer in for another car that has since long gone.

My second BMW came (in 2008) when I saw a white e28 crossing through an intersection and I said to my daughter, “See that white car, that’s the style I really like!”  Two weeks later the same car was sitting at Sonic and I approached the driver and her children to tell her I liked it and that I had been searching the internet for one like it.  “Really?  We are trying to sell this one!”  Gave her my card, got a call, met JB in church parking lot, test drove, fell in love, bought it.  1987 535is 5 speed “Elka”.

One day while talking to a member of our church, he asked if I had seen the black BMW parked at a local tire store.  Went in to the store to ask about the car.  Blown motor, driver left it with instructions to get as much as they could for it.  My new BMW friend JB and I offered $400 and we became the proud co-owners of an e34 which we towed to JB’s house and began to disassemble her…affectionately known as “Blackie” for her color.  Stripped of her parts – JB got the interior for his BMW, I got the wheels for “Elka” and once all the parts were off (thanks to JB’s work) we took the empty shell to the crusher!   This car has since supplied various parts to our bimmers and the rest is being auctioned off on ebay.  JB decided recently to rebuild the blown motor for future use in his car.

Another day (2009) while dropping a friend off at the local foreign car mechanic shop, there parked in the gravel lot was a red 1975 BMW 2002.  I had to ask, “what’s the story on this 02?”  Long story short, found owner, made offer, paid mechanic what owner owed, towed her home, spent the next 2 years working and driving and just recently sold her, “Abby”, to a dude from Virginia.  I hope he takes good care of “Abby”.

One day, my friend JB asked me, “Have you seen that red e28 sitting in the parking lot in Bluefield?”  I had not.  While on my way to Bluefield for something unrelated to this red BMW, I saw it sitting in a driveway.  Stopped in to just take a look.  Three months later (6/2011) I have the 1987 BMW 535is automatic parked in my garage.  Oh yeah, her name is Bernadette, “Bernie” for short.

Thankfully, no one has spotted any more BMWs lately.  I fear it will not be long before someone will approach me with the question, “Have you seen the bimmer over at…?”  Please stop telling me about BMWs that I can purchase for nearly nothing…I really don’t have any more room for them.  😀

>The Vintage BMW Gathering at Old Salem 2011

Posted in BMW on May 30, 2011 by Ed Pettus

We had loads of fun at the vintage event. I had many more comments than last year on the ’75 2fer, but no one wrote me a check on the spot to buy her! Some were interested and we will see if anyone bites. It was fun to get the car on the road for a 300 mile round trip. She ran great!