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Thread: 1972-1981 (E12) knowledge base

  1. #101
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    Jul 2016
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    Secunda, ZA
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    '99 Z3 2.8 Roadster
    My 518i got stolen on Thursday, so unless I get it back in a salvageable condition I won't be able to do much in the thread anymore. I'll still lurk and help where possible though.

  2. #102
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    Nov 2016
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    Texas
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    1977 BMW 530i
    Hi I was wonderering if you happen to know the location for the crank sensor on a 1977 BMW 530i (e12)?

  3. #103
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    Welcome.

    Unfortunately I don't know those engines. The only BMW engine I have experience with is the M10.

  4. #104
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    Feb 2014
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    California
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    BMW 325i

    1972 To 1981 1st Generation E12 BMW 5 Series History

    1972 To 1981 1st Generation E12 BMW 5 Series History



  5. #105
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    May 2017
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    newcastle nsw australia 2
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    1981 e12 528i 1996 m528i
    glad someone can help me i have been posesed with bmw and have a e12 1981 and two 1995 e28 528s so will be needing help soon

  6. #106
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    Secunda, ZA
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    '99 Z3 2.8 Roadster
    Welcome, feel free to ask away.

    I'm not sure how many people are still here in 2017, but I'll always try to help where possible.
    Last edited by JKuhn; 05-28-2017 at 11:15 AM.
    1999 BMW Z3 2.8 Roadster - show project
    1970 VW 411L Auto - show/restoration project (sold)
    1982 BMW 518i E12/8 - stolen
    1987 Mazda 323 1.5 SL - daily driver, backup show car

  7. #107
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    WA
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    36
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    1975 530i 4 speed
    Quote Originally Posted by Ialcantare12 View Post
    Hi I was wonderering if you happen to know the location for the crank sensor on a 1977 BMW 530i (e12)?
    Here are some pages from the Haynes manual, p42 is for doing valve clearances.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #108
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    Jan 2004
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    WA
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    1975 530i 4 speed
    The video above shows e12 crash testing, and I have some real life pictures of a 1977 530i that got hit by a pickup I believe. A real life offset crash test.

    Also, the Folksam insurance company of Sweden gave the e12 5 series a top safety rating, one of the few classic cars to get this. Their data was based on 700,000 car accidents and 34,000 deaths. The Mercedes W123 and Volvo 244 got the same rating.





    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #109
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    Pitsburgh, PA
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    1976 e12 530i
    Quote Originally Posted by JKuhn View Post
    Welcome, feel free to ask away.

    I'm not sure how many people are still here in 2017, but I'll always try to help where possible.
    Great to hear someone is active & knowlegable on the e12 chassis

    I have a project that I will most likely need some pointers on so thank you in advance !

    76
    530i
    4sp

  10. #110
    Join Date
    May 2017
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    Brazil
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    520 e12 '74
    Hello people, how are you?

    I've been searching around here for some intel around the diff from e12s and upgrades, but couldnt find what I was looking for.

    I've aquired a 1974 e12 (520) and Im swaping the engine for a M52tu25, which is going "ok" so far.

    My problem is that I was thinking on swaping my diff as well, that would give me a more modern structure, and probably help me with the rear brakes (mine are drums - and i want to put disks asap).

    Some people said that you could only do it with e28 rear axles, but here in Brazil we started the regular imports at tue e34/e36 gen.

    Do you believe its 'doable', and also prudent, to make a swap with and e36/e46 diff/rear axle?

    Sorry if this was already answered, but i trully looked and couldn't find anything

    Long live the e12!

  11. #111
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    '99 Z3 2.8 Roadster
    M52TU powered E12? I'm not normally one for such drastic conversions, but I'm sure it'll be a very nice car when you're done (power, economy and that classic E12 look and feel all in one package).

    I'm not sure what can be done without much modification, but here in ZA we did have the E12/8, which had the E28 suspension (I don't know about the rear drivetrain though). But would you really need the newer diff to get disc brakes? The way I see it you'll probably just need a custom propshaft, and maybe custom half shafts.

    Anyway, be sure to keep us posted!

    EDIT: Thinking about it, I'm not sure how easy it will be to convert to the newer E36/E46 rear suspension. The E36 has multilink (unsure about E46), while the E12 has ancient semi trailing arm. I suspect it's going to be quite involving. Looking up, it looks like the E12 was not IRS, is that why you want to change?
    Last edited by JKuhn; 01-23-2018 at 10:10 AM.
    1999 BMW Z3 2.8 Roadster - show project
    1970 VW 411L Auto - show/restoration project (sold)
    1982 BMW 518i E12/8 - stolen
    1987 Mazda 323 1.5 SL - daily driver, backup show car

  12. #112
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    Brazil
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    520 e12 '74
    Thanks for the answer, and yes, the idea was to get a real smooth, nice going daily drive - not keeping the fun aside

    The brakes arent the problem, i believe we can just replace the drum system with discs, the e12 had models with it,but my concerne is around safety and suspensions upgrades.

    My idea is to have this car all "modernized" in the mechanical sense, but keeping the classic interior and exterior (i will just make classic upgrades, very close to the looks of an M535 e12).

    Soon enough i will post some pics of the process )

    Do you believe its not necessary this upgrade/adaptation?

    Thank you very much!

  13. #113
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    I suppose it depends how you're going to drive. If you just want modern grunt, I wouldn't bother. But if you're planning to say "because racecar!" then it makes sense. The E12/8 I had wasn't a problem, but of course I didn't drive it hard.
    1999 BMW Z3 2.8 Roadster - show project
    1970 VW 411L Auto - show/restoration project (sold)
    1982 BMW 518i E12/8 - stolen
    1987 Mazda 323 1.5 SL - daily driver, backup show car

  14. #114
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    May 2017
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    Brazil
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    520 e12 '74
    I dont plan to go to track with it, but its not impossible.

    My main objective is to grab a nice saturday and get on a good highway and drive it, not raaace, but hear some "exhaust" hahaha

    In the city, it will be very daily drive, we cant actually run a lot due to speedbumps, radars, and all that stuff.

    So i think it wouldnt be really necessary.

    In this line, there would be upgrades to make on the suspension? Like grabing something from an aftermarket company? Or an later model? Just the suspension, not the whole back.

  15. #115
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    I'm honestly not 100% sure. Stiffer suspension should give more control, but you'll lose that soft 5er ride.

    I do know the true E12 was known for snap oversteer, and as I understand that was due to the stock suspension (and it was aparrantly adressed in the E28, so maybe that will help?).
    1999 BMW Z3 2.8 Roadster - show project
    1970 VW 411L Auto - show/restoration project (sold)
    1982 BMW 518i E12/8 - stolen
    1987 Mazda 323 1.5 SL - daily driver, backup show car

  16. #116
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    Jan 2004
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    WA
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    1975 530i 4 speed
    My e12 has the 3.5 liter 218 hp engine, and the standard suspension is fine. I would keep the normal e12 suspension. It is very good and many have raced with the standard front MacPherson struts and rear semi trailing arms, including the 3.0 CSL Batmobile. Heck, the Chevy Camaro still had a live axle, no independent rear suspension, as late as 2002!!

    Certainly you could put rear discs from an e12 525/528i. I wouldn't bother upgrading to e28 rear suspension, although I know others have.

  17. #117
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    Brazil
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    520 e12 '74
    Thata good intel, thank you both

    As soon as i get some pictures, i will share the progress

  18. #118
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    Jan 2017
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    Birmingham Al
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    1980 528i
    Hello people! I've got a good old 1980 528i. Ive been refurbishing all of the wear components on the suspension and installed h&r 40mm drop sport springs and bilstein b8 dampers as well as ST upsized sway bars. Now what I've got to get done is the engine.. I've pulled the stock 500k mile m30b28 L-Jet lump. Would like to put an m30b35 engine in. Is there a way to modify my current bell housing to accept the motronic 1.3 crank position sensor? (I have the stock 5 speed from 1980) The donor b35 is from an 89 735i auto running and driving. Or should I try and find an L-Jet M90?
    i also have a motoronic b35 in pieces available. Would there be a possibility of creating my own hybrid engine retaining my L-Jet system? I'm a young guy who's interested in these old dinosaur e12 in much need of some elder wisdom. Thanks fellas

  19. #119
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    WA
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    1975 530i 4 speed
    The conversion is described in detail at the following link: 3.5 conversion for e12 5 series

    Sadly, the website is derelict and the pictures are missing, but the info is still there. If you want to use Motronic you need the later style bell housing. You can use L-jet with the 3.5. I have a M90 in my car, which makes things easier, but you can use L jet on a later 3.5, or even carbs.

    M90 is nice, because that gives a Euro 218 hp with a 9.3:1 compression ratio. Later 3.5 liter 218 hp motors used Motronic and 10:1 CR. Both 218 hp motors were never officially sold in America, they came in fitted to gray market imports.
    Last edited by e12Euro; 03-18-2018 at 12:27 PM. Reason: Added info

  20. #120
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    Birmingham Al
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    1980 528i
    Thank you E12euro. If I were to use L jet with the newer 3.5 does that mean use my intake manifold and switch my camshaft and distributor/ timing cover over? And will the performance suffer compared to the motronic given the L jet system is tuned adequately? Thank you for that link btw I'll read that now, sorry if the answer to my question is in there.

  21. #121
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    WA
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    1975 530i 4 speed
    Yes, I would switch them over. Normally people swapping to a 3.5 get a complete donor car and do the whole Motronic thing, but you don't need to. L-jet and your old hardware won't hurt performance. The key determinant of performance is which compression ratio 3.5 you have, speaking in SAE hp:

    Euro 3.5 (M90) 9.3 CR 215 hp
    Euro 3.4 10 CR 215 hp
    US 3.4 (e28 & e23) 8 CR 182 hp
    US 3.4 (late e24, e32, e34) 9 CR 208 hp

    As a side note that First Fives website also has a good FAQ on budget a/c repair budget e12 a/c repair if you have no leaks, and the condenser & evap core are free of exterior dirt, then the stock system works fine on R12 gas, or R134a if you get a $120 Vintage Air parallel flow condenser which Summit Racing stock online.

  22. #122
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    Jan 2017
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    Birmingham Al
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    1980 528i
    Quote Originally Posted by e12Euro View Post
    Yes, I would switch them over. Normally people swapping to a 3.5 get a complete donor car and do the whole Motronic thing, but you don't need to. L-jet and your old hardware won't hurt performance. The key determinant of performance is which compression ratio 3.5 you have, speaking in SAE hp:

    Euro 3.5 (M90) 9.3 CR 215 hp
    Euro 3.4 10 CR 215 hp
    US 3.4 (e28 & e23) 8 CR 182 hp
    US 3.4 (late e24, e32, e34) 9 CR 208 hp

    As a side note that First Fives website also has a good FAQ on budget a/c repair budget e12 a/c repair if you have no leaks, and the condenser & evap core are free of exterior dirt, then the stock system works fine on R12 gas, or R134a if you get a $120 Vintage Air parallel flow condenser which Summit Racing stock online.
    Thank you so much EuroE12. Well the car I'm getting for the swap is an 89 735i auto from my friend Bobby at Strictly German. He says just put the entire unit in there, wiring harness, ecu, all the accessories etc. now I understand there might be certain things here and there that I'll retain from my car, but is there any reason not to swap everything from the 735i? I understand in most cases it would be more expensive but I'm buying a running and driving car to do the swap so everything is included. That being said is the l jetronic route still easier for some reason? Or does that only apply if I am purchasing a b35 that doesn't come with a harness, ecu, accessories? I'm told that this car does not have the rear crank position sensor. And that's great info on the condenser.. My AC was actually working fine until the blower motor started making bad noises at me. Well.. The AC worked fine if you had the luxury or starting your trip in the shade or garage. Which I don't have a garage and shady parking spots in Alabama summer are highly sought after

  23. #123
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    Jun 2016
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    Sydney, NSW, Australia
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    1974 BMW 525
    Hi everyone, I have a RHD 74 525. The guy that salvaged it before me did a fair bit of work and i am also doing a number of things hoping to get to the point where i can do cosmetic rather than only mechanicals. I recently finished (i hope that is) reconditioning the electrical sunroof. In the process a number of issues always come up, unfortunately i dont have the time to invest and do things myself and i send it off to a mechanic. I have had mixed feelings about the knowledge and the result but now hes left me with a more serious issue that i want/have to resolve myself. following the final work on the sunroof and a recon on the brake cylinders and boosters, he announced the alternator light is on-he cant find the fault. Long story short, i have the car now and i have noticed that: with battery connected, switch off, the alternator light is on, the handbreak light is on (but dim) and also my fuel gauge works. once you switch the key to position before starting the engine, alternator light turns off. My mechanic also claimed that the alternator was not charging and to that purpose he replaced the regulator. the battery is now charging with engine on but has a drain of ~1mah/sec. Any help-ideas will be greatly appreciated, thanks!

  24. #124
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    roswell ga
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    1
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    1981 bmw 528i
    HELP removing sliding/tilting sun roof lid on 81 528i. I need to replace a broken gate as my lid does not lift up in the back when I close it. I cant seem to figure out how to remove the lid to be able to get to the plastic gate that is broken. Any ideas are most welcome. I have the shop manual but it is hardly helpful. this stuff is delicate in here and it is easy to mess it all up. I just want to avoid that and go about it correctly. Please chime in if you can help me. thanks a lot!!

  25. #125
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    Secunda, ZA
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    '99 Z3 2.8 Roadster
    Quote Originally Posted by thePan View Post
    Hi everyone, I have a RHD 74 525. The guy that salvaged it before me did a fair bit of work and i am also doing a number of things hoping to get to the point where i can do cosmetic rather than only mechanicals. I recently finished (i hope that is) reconditioning the electrical sunroof. In the process a number of issues always come up, unfortunately i dont have the time to invest and do things myself and i send it off to a mechanic. I have had mixed feelings about the knowledge and the result but now hes left me with a more serious issue that i want/have to resolve myself. following the final work on the sunroof and a recon on the brake cylinders and boosters, he announced the alternator light is on-he cant find the fault. Long story short, i have the car now and i have noticed that: with battery connected, switch off, the alternator light is on, the handbreak light is on (but dim) and also my fuel gauge works. once you switch the key to position before starting the engine, alternator light turns off. My mechanic also claimed that the alternator was not charging and to that purpose he replaced the regulator. the battery is now charging with engine on but has a drain of ~1mah/sec. Any help-ideas will be greatly appreciated, thanks!
    Sorry for only replying now, I was a bit busy lately. Anyway, that's definitely an electrical issue, I'd say take it to an experienced auto-electrician. Mechanics know the mechanical stuff, usually not electrical. If you're feeling up to it you could try to find the issue yourself, but it's not something I'd do.

    jhpcat: Sorry, but my E12/8 didn't have such luxuries. Anyway, good luck. Maybe someone else (maybe thePan?) can chime in?


    Also, welcome to both of you.
    1999 BMW Z3 2.8 Roadster - show project
    1970 VW 411L Auto - show/restoration project (sold)
    1982 BMW 518i E12/8 - stolen
    1987 Mazda 323 1.5 SL - daily driver, backup show car

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