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Thread: 1972-1981 (E12) knowledge base

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Australia
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    19
    My Cars
    E39 525i

    1972-1981 (E12) knowledge base

    Hi guys, my first posts yay!

    Over the last year i've been reading these forums as a visitor, and read invaluable information posted by such knowledgeable members - particularly on the E39s and E46s

    so now is my time to give some info back, seeing as there is no E12 sub forum, i thought id dedicate this thread for anyone with any questions regarding E12 5 series. I'm very savy with E12 and am currently working on 2 of them

    1) 1976 E12 525 (carby) - needs piston rings changed and braking system overhauled (very weak brakes, but the cylinder seems to be functioning)

    2) 1977 E12 520i (injecty) - engine [M20B20] has a bent main shaft - dicing up whether to repair or throw in an M10B18 for the sakes of getting it running again

    **

    IF you have any questions on E12, whether it be Engine, problem diagnostics, wiring and electrical, to even things such as general maintenance, how to get the shiniest chrome bumpers, how to restore the front plastic, please please post here and id be more than happy to help

    BmBoy91

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    West Michigan
    Posts
    14,381
    My Cars
    98 540iA (Prd 11/97)
    BmBoy91,

    Thanks for posting and offering your assistance. I'm going to park your thread at the top of the main 5 series forum for more visibility and we'll see how it goes from there.

    jamesdc4

    Edit: Post up some pics of the E12s you're working on and own.
    Last edited by jamesdc4; 11-28-2010 at 04:03 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    In the Darkness, where fear and knowing are one
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    671
    My Cars
    1987 Fiero GT
    How much do E12's weigh?

    Will they accept a BMW V8 without much modification?

    I found this, but I'd rather use a BMW engine:
    http://autoclerks.com/2008/07/malais...7-engine-swap/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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    My Cars
    2012 Raptor, 2004 rx8
    this is awesome, I may be going to you for a lot of help.

    me and my buddies are thinking of picking up a 1977 530i going to take a look at the car this weekend. the car has a rebuilt engine, and no aparent rust

    the plan for the car is to join the double 7 chump car race. (2 days of 7 hours against other cars that aren't worth more than $500)

    since you do know quite a bit about e12, what should I be looking at, or what should I be upgrading. I guess the big thing is how do I keep itrunning for 7 straight heavy hours.

    Thanks

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta
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    One too many....
    Long live the E12!

    I've had my E12 since 1988 and in 2006 I did a full stripped down body restoration plus a few upgrades like the 5 speed swap and a 7 series interior swap. The car is awesome and I've never yet been in a vehicle that drives and handles the same.
    In the near future I'll be doing a M30B35 swap with Motronic 1.3, a TMS chip and IE exhaust headers. Maybe a few other goodies too.
    Don't get me wrong, the M30B28 is a fun high revving engine but I'm looking for a bit more grunt.

    Here's some pics of the car nearing the completion of the restoration.

    Mine: 1988 635CSi Euro in Diamantschwarz Metallic, 1989 ALPINA B10 3.5 in Alpineweiss II, 1981 528i in Kastanienrot-Metallic, 1958 Isetta 300 currently in rust repair
    In the family: 1958 Isetta 300 in Federweiss/Pastellblau, 1987 635CSi, 2000 M5
    My YouTube Channel

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    West Michigan
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    14,381
    My Cars
    98 540iA (Prd 11/97)
    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor M View Post
    Long live the E12!

    I've had my E12 since 1988 and in 2006 I did a full stripped down body restoration plus a few upgrades like the 5 speed swap and a 7 series interior swap. The car is awesome and I've never yet been in a vehicle that drives and handles the same.
    In the near future I'll be doing a M30B35 swap with Motronic 1.3, a TMS chip and IE exhaust headers. Maybe a few other goodies too.
    Don't get me wrong, the M30B28 is a fun high revving engine but I'm looking for a bit more grunt.

    Here's some pics of the car nearing the completion of the restoration.

    Beautiful! One of the models that contributed to my falling for BMWs.
    Did you just have it painted (No roundels)?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    One too many....
    Thanks. Yeah, the car had just been painted. If you look carefully you can see the windshield was set in temporary and the wipers not yet installed.
    Mine: 1988 635CSi Euro in Diamantschwarz Metallic, 1989 ALPINA B10 3.5 in Alpineweiss II, 1981 528i in Kastanienrot-Metallic, 1958 Isetta 300 currently in rust repair
    In the family: 1958 Isetta 300 in Federweiss/Pastellblau, 1987 635CSi, 2000 M5
    My YouTube Channel

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Allen, TX
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    5
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    1978 BMW 530i
    To Trevor M

    You said that you did a 7 series interior swap??
    From which year, and how did it go, how much retro-fitting??

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    London
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    797
    My Cars
    '79 528i, '93 525i
    I should put some of my pictures in here, when I get home tonight. I'm putting a m30b34 in my '79.

    Edit: I made a new thread instead. http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1585360
    Last edited by garethashenden; 01-09-2011 at 03:24 PM.
    '93 E34 525i
    '79 E12 528i

    E12 Restoration Thread


  10. #10
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    Jan 2011
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    bimmer city ! (IRAN)
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    BMW 520i (1975) polaris

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    New Providence, IA.
    Posts
    1
    My Cars
    '80 528i
    I've an '80 528i that over heated and now runs poorly. Where do I want to start in repairs? Is the head likely cracked?? The engine wasn't in great condition initially. Do I want to rebuild this one or look at switching engines?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Australia
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    19
    My Cars
    E39 525i
    here are the photos of the 520 - sorry for low resolution, i lost the original photos so i dragged them off facebook





    Uploaded with ImageShack.us



    Uploaded with ImageShack.us



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    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    and a bargain too at just $200 Australian dollars! (bout $220 US dollars)
    Last edited by BmBoy91; 03-05-2011 at 09:53 AM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    23
    My Cars
    1978 BMW 530i
    Thanks for giving the e12 some love on here! I have a '78 530i which I purchased a year and a half ago. Since then it has mainly been sitting but I'm now taking an auto mechanics class and getting serious about making sure it doesn't rust away. It's a beautiful car and a blast to drive.

    First things first, I need to change the oil but I don't have an owners manual and have not found much info out there. Should I use 20W50? All I know is that the previous owner changed it with Mobil 1, that was about 1500 miles ago but it has probably been a couple years.
    1978 BMW 530i e12, 2010 MINI JCW Clubman,
    1987 Volvo 245

  14. #14
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    Mar 2010
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    Atlanta
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    18
    My Cars
    85 318i 96 318ti
    Any interior shots from any of you e12 guys???

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Boise, Idaho
    Posts
    1,238
    My Cars
    E12 M535, 528
    Just picked up a 1980 M535 looking for a good vendor for parts any suggestions???


    "The greatest gifts in life are the ones we cause ourselves"

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Jo'burg, South Africa
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    2
    My Cars
    1982 BMW 518i (E12/8)
    Hi Guys,

    About a year ago, I purchased a 1982 518i (E12/8).

    For those of you who don't know, in South Africa, BMW's were assembled as CKD's (completely knocked down).

    Now what is all this talk of E12/8? Around the world, production of the E12 ended in 1981. In South Africa, production of the E12 continued until 1985. But the E12's after 1981 were fitted with the suspension and interior components of the E28. This is where the model designation E12/8 comes from.

    My E12/8 has a M10B18 engine with Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection. It also has a 5-speed gearbox. Currently, I am doing work on the K-Jetronic system because the car runs poorly.

    Here are some pictures of my E12/8:


















  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta
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    One too many....
    Wow, never seen that paint color before on a BMW....mountain mist blue

    Looks like some interesting stuff came out of the Rosslyn plant

    Nice car!
    Mine: 1988 635CSi Euro in Diamantschwarz Metallic, 1989 ALPINA B10 3.5 in Alpineweiss II, 1981 528i in Kastanienrot-Metallic, 1958 Isetta 300 currently in rust repair
    In the family: 1958 Isetta 300 in Federweiss/Pastellblau, 1987 635CSi, 2000 M5
    My YouTube Channel

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    bimmer city ! (IRAN)
    Posts
    2
    My Cars
    BMW 520i (1975) polaris
    Hi Guys
    I am looking for 520 (1975) grills with these part numers
    left : 51131826151
    right : 51131817570

    I know that In sout africa there is but how can I have it in Canada or Germany ?

    thank you
    Farhad
    www.e12.de

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    st. george, utah, USA
    Posts
    1
    My Cars
    1976 BMW 530i
    Hey guys I have a 1976 530i and love it. However, my clutch went out and I was contemplating an attempt to fix it myself. (in part to save money and in part to really learn the car and mechanics) I have some mechanical experience but nothing with trans or clutch. I was hoping I could get some advice on if this a good idea or a terrible idea. Any thoughts? Any manuals or step by instructions floating around?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    YUBA CITY, CA
    Posts
    5
    My Cars
    1979 528i

    Advice?

    Hi, i have a e12 1979 528i. it ran when i got it, but then it stopped
    i just replaced the starter but nothing, then i moved too ignition, an we tested everything, an we tracked it back to ignition switch, so hopefully its that. im replacing it myself so any advice?

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Upstate, NY
    Posts
    1
    My Cars
    1977 BMW 530i

    Sunroof leaking/drips a bit

    Hi BmBoy91. Maybe I could use your assistance on my '77 530i. My manual sunroof leaks a bit on the rear side. Nothing major just a couple of drips. I figured because of the age, the gasket/weatherstrip might need replacement.
    Now that the part is here (it's actually 2 pcs front and rear rubber gasket around the sliding piece), I don't know how to replace them or where can I bring it. My local BMW mechanic wont touch it as well as the local upholstery guy.

    I have no experience doing it so I have no clue how to proceed.

    Appreciate any inputs from this group! Thanks!

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    ireland
    Posts
    5
    My Cars
    1978 bmw e12 2.0 6cyl
    Hi I have a1978 bmw 520, e12 baby6cyl , my problem is that a webber carb has been fitted , it seems to be useing to much petrol is this junk.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Posts
    80
    My Cars
    2002/E24/E12
    If anyone's looking for a great E12 as a project... look no further!

    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...php?p=24763247

    Trevor_M .... I love your car man. Hope it's still doing well!

  24. #24
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta
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    One too many....
    Quote Originally Posted by Canadian144 View Post
    If anyone's looking for a great E12 as a project... look no further!

    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...php?p=24763247

    Trevor_M .... I love your car man. Hope it's still doing well!
    Hey thanks! It spends too much time in the garage. I wish I could drive it more!

    I'm currently building a M30B35 engine with Motronic 1.3 to drop in. That should really wake the car up....lol
    Mine: 1988 635CSi Euro in Diamantschwarz Metallic, 1989 ALPINA B10 3.5 in Alpineweiss II, 1981 528i in Kastanienrot-Metallic, 1958 Isetta 300 currently in rust repair
    In the family: 1958 Isetta 300 in Federweiss/Pastellblau, 1987 635CSi, 2000 M5
    My YouTube Channel

  25. #25
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Weston, CT USA
    Posts
    55
    My Cars
    '77 530i, '08 328i Coupe
    Not sure if this is the right place to post seeing as there's no E12 forum.

    I just acquired a 1977 530i. My dad had a 1980 528i when I was a kid, and when a similar car practically fell into my hands, I figured it was a good opportunity. It's in good shape for a car from the northeast- very little rust (a bit on the rear fender, front pass. door, and one rust hole on the front pass. side wheel well. The shock towers seem solid and same with the rear window corners.

    It runs, has a new exhaust, new front end parts (tie rods, control arms, bushings, etc), new tires, brakes, and it seems to have decent power. The glaring issue is the power steering doesn't work- it steers like an old truck. I'm assuming it's either the pump or the steering rack, but I have no idea what to check or who to take a car this old to. My expertise is the brakes/spark plugs/changing oil variety. I might be able to change the pump but the rack would be way beyond anything I could handle.

    Should I attempt to put more power steering fluid in it and see how it behaves? I honestly haven't even checked it yet- just got the car last night...

    Actually just went out to see if I could find the power steering fluid reservoir. Can't find it anywhere- only brake fluid, and coolant! Is it hidden? My previous E36 and E30's had it clearly accessible on the driver's side in a large dark plastic container...


    Quote Originally Posted by altdude85 View Post
    Not sure if this is the right place to post seeing as there's no E12 forum.

    I just acquired a 1977 530i. My dad had a 1980 528i when I was a kid, and when a similar car practically fell into my hands, I figured it was a good opportunity. It's in good shape for a car from the northeast- very little rust (a bit on the rear fender, front pass. door, and one rust hole on the front pass. side wheel well. The shock towers seem solid and same with the rear window corners.

    It runs, has a new exhaust, new front end parts (tie rods, control arms, bushings, etc), new tires, brakes, and it seems to have decent power. The glaring issue is the power steering doesn't work- it steers like an old truck. I'm assuming it's either the pump or the steering rack, but I have no idea what to check or who to take a car this old to. My expertise is the brakes/spark plugs/changing oil variety. I might be able to change the pump but the rack would be way beyond anything I could handle.

    Should I attempt to put more power steering fluid in it and see how it behaves? I honestly haven't even checked it yet- just got the car last night...
    Last edited by altdude85; 09-16-2012 at 08:33 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

    2008 328i coupe

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