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Thread: 1972-1981 (E12) knowledge base

  1. #76
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Golden, Colorado
    Posts
    213
    My Cars
    DD: 1986 535i; 1972 2002

    Lighting help offered

    Quote Originally Posted by jtk86 View Post
    Just picked up a 1980 M535 looking for a good vendor for parts any suggestions???
    Hey all,
    I am not an E12 owner, but have worked with several of these fine old fivers - largely to exterior lighting. Headlights, side markers, rear lights - the later style (shown) that's like the early E23 seven series.
    E12 late left side.jpg

    I am happy to help with lighting - safely, of course. I have been working with an Euro 1980 M535i, up in MN. It's got working rear fogs. and I have been improving it to add second tail and brake lights each side, plus keeping the working rear fog lights. Very much better than stock -- bigger, brighter, and more reliable, plus the nice rear fog light feature is preserved.

    Headlights too, naturally you want to see where you're going. I can suggest some nice options up there too, uning US sealed beam replacements that make fantasstic amounts of light, no threat to wiring or fuses or relays or switches, just make a better use of the power with new reflectrors, new lamps, and BOY do they light up the night!

    Anyway, get in touch with me by PM or email, I'll be glad to send pictures, talk about things I've done, see if any of this is something you'd like to discuss at greater length.

    I firmly believe you should "Be Seen, and Not Hurt" - and in seeing where you're going. Let's keep these cars on the road, and out of collisions. I salute my elders, and love the 'first five.'

    Hey, Sherman! Glad to be among your company here.
    Last edited by MisterFixit; 07-24-2015 at 05:10 PM.
    "Be Seen, and Not Hurt"!
    Lighting Upgrades for 2002, E3, E9, E12, E21, E23, E24, E28, E30, E32, E36, E39
    Tail Light restoration and upgrades keep them off your tail
    Headlight protection film keeps lights intact and forward view clear

  2. #77
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Newark, NJ, USA
    Posts
    17
    My Cars
    1974 Bavaria, 1978 530i
    Guys another issue that just came up.
    She was not starting after driving it for about 10min then I would let it cool down and it would start so I thought is was the starter so I replaced it but after I installed the new starter it is running really bad and making a loud noise. Check out the video I took on how is acting now. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ms3P...ature=youtu.be
    Any idea on what I mess up?
    By the way the issue with starting was not the starter I think it is the switch, I can jump the car by bypassing all the internal switches going direct to starter solenoid. That is something else I am trying to figure out how to take out the ignition switch. : (

    Help please..

  3. #78
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    54,870
    My Cars
    11/88 E32 750iL+98 E36M3
    Here is a German language repair manual for the E12, for the older models the publisher now put them online free of charge, printed they are still available too
    Reparaturhandbuch von Etzold, So wird's gemacht Band 68,
    Reparaturanleitung für BMW 5er | So wird´s gemacht
    Last edited by shogun; 10-21-2019 at 09:41 AM.
    Shogun tricks and tips for the E32 series are HERE!

  4. #79
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    chattanooga
    Posts
    2
    My Cars
    74 2800
    I've got a question for you. I've recently inherited a e3 74 Autotrans and was curious about using a 5 speed and M30 engine with fuel injection from a 5 series .My engine is pretty fresh. Which prompted me to consider swapping over the carbs for a "modern" fuel injection from an 86model 535i as well as the trans. Any suggestions?

  5. #80
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    1
    My Cars
    1980 BMW 528
    I've got a question. So I just got a 1980 528, super clean, 114K total miles. It runs and drives, but it's got a horrible throttle jolt. You start in first and accelerate, jolts a bunch until you let off the throttle, same thing in 2nd. It's also got a lot of feedback and what feels like lack of power when driving too. No dummy lights, etc.

    Any ideas as to what could be causing this?

    I recently bought a super clean E12 528. It runs fine, temps are fine, has no dummy lights, has 114K on the clock, etc.

    There's a pretty brutal throttle jolt however. For example, if you put the car in first and start driving, the throttle starts jolting and the car itself starts jolting back and fourth, back and fourth until you ease off the throttle. Typically does the same thing if you go into 2nd gear at lower speeds.

    Any ideas what could be causing this? It's not the typical jerkiness you see with manuals, it's like the opposite, it gets less jerky when you let off the throttle.

    The car also has a lot of vibration and feedback when you start to hit speeds 35+.
    Last edited by shogun; 11-15-2015 at 05:38 PM.

  6. #81
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    60
    My Cars
    1975 530i 4 speed
    M90 powered e12, nice pics

    MSM 528 3.5

  7. #82
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    clovis, NM
    Posts
    1
    My Cars
    2011 E90 335i
    How's it going everyone. I recently picked up a 1978 530i that wasn't running. after some spark plugs, new battery and new gas she has been running great. as of now I am working on overhauling all the rusted brake lines and getting the coolant system overhauled as its been sitting for 2+ years. the issue I'm having now is I believe I have an exhaust leak somewhere. I am looking to replace the entire exhaust system from exhaust manifold back. I would like to go with an aftermarket setup but cant really find much. anyone have any suggestions? the car will be on bags within the next 2 to 3 months so I imagine the exhaust will have to have some custom work done to it anyway. should I just take it to an exhaust shop and let them run some new pipes and find a muffler I like? my biggest issue right now is figuring out what to do about the OEM exhaust manifold. thanks for any and all help in advance!

  8. #83
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    60
    My Cars
    1975 530i 4 speed
    Quote Originally Posted by mybmer View Post
    How's it going everyone. I recently picked up a 1978 530i that wasn't running. after some spark plugs, new battery and new gas she has been running great. as of now I am working on overhauling all the rusted brake lines and getting the coolant system overhauled as its been sitting for 2+ years. the issue I'm having now is I believe I have an exhaust leak somewhere. I am looking to replace the entire exhaust system from exhaust manifold back. I would like to go with an aftermarket setup but cant really find much. anyone have any suggestions? the car will be on bags within the next 2 to 3 months so I imagine the exhaust will have to have some custom work done to it anyway. should I just take it to an exhaust shop and let them run some new pipes and find a muffler I like? my biggest issue right now is figuring out what to do about the OEM exhaust manifold. thanks for any and all help in advance!
    This person here had a thread on the 1975 530i he was restoring. He put a tubular exhaust manifold and dumped the thermal reactors / pollution controls, shown on page 2, so a custom system done by an exhaust shop seems a good idea. I don't think the aftermarket has a compete kit for e12 530i.

    e12 restoration thread

  9. #84
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Vanderbijlpark, ZA
    Posts
    246
    My Cars
    '99 Z3 2.8 Roadster
    New member here.

    I bought an E12/8 518i in January, and a while ago stumbled upon pictures of that very car on this thread (it used to be FoRmAtEEr's car). I don't have any new pictures that I can post right now, but basically it's the same as before but without the plastic around the rear number plate, the cover on the rear window (I keep forgetting what it's called), and injection (it's now a 32/34 Weber with a Simota cone filter). The radio was also gone, but I replaced it with a scrapyard Pioneer KEH-4020.

    I do have a question though, in case someone here can help. I noticed that after driving on an open road for about 30 minutes the car loses a significant part of its power, and so far I couldn't find the cause. The car still runs very well, it just loses power (think 3rd gear and floored on a slight hill at 100km/h before I swapped the small pancake filter for a cone). It does burn a bit of oil as shown in the attached video, but that doesn't seem too bad for such an old car.


  10. #85
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Redding California
    Posts
    4
    My Cars
    e30,e12,e9

    1980 528i

    So I recently picked up a e12 and I was getting ready to pull the valve cover to adjust the valves and I need up needing to move the car before I did the job so I put the afm and air box back on and now I'm at a no start situation I just sits and cranks ... SOS I need help I've gone though everything I've known to check

  11. #86
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Vanderbijlpark, ZA
    Posts
    246
    My Cars
    '99 Z3 2.8 Roadster
    Welcome. It's good to see some activity here.

    I assume it's K-Jet? I'm not familiar with injection, but I know someone in a local club with a '82 323i Baur, so he might be able to give his opinion if I see him the weekend.

    On another note, I recently took my car for a dyno tune. It's now just under factory power if they adjusted for altitude, or significanlty above if they didn't. I'll have to wait and see if the car still loses power after driving for a while.

    EDIT: Also, be sure to post in the 5-series registry.
    Last edited by JKuhn; 09-28-2016 at 02:56 PM.

  12. #87
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Vanderbijlpark, ZA
    Posts
    246
    My Cars
    '99 Z3 2.8 Roadster
    Quote Originally Posted by Colbyycate View Post
    So I recently picked up a e12 and I was getting ready to pull the valve cover to adjust the valves and I need up needing to move the car before I did the job so I put the afm and air box back on and now I'm at a no start situation I just sits and cranks ... SOS I need help I've gone though everything I've known to check
    Did you manage to get the car running again? I was at the club event I mentioned, but the person I would've asked wasn't there.

  13. #88
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Redding California
    Posts
    4
    My Cars
    e30,e12,e9
    Quote Originally Posted by JKuhn View Post
    Did you manage to get the car running again? I was at the club event I mentioned, but the person I would've asked wasn't there.
    Nope I think I'm just gonna take it to my mechanic here in Redding the reason I haven't taken it yet is because it's to low to get on our car trailer but at this point I've gone over it for a week now and still can't figure it out so I'm gonna try and get it fixed this week

  14. #89
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Vanderbijlpark, ZA
    Posts
    246
    My Cars
    '99 Z3 2.8 Roadster
    Good luck then, I hope you get it back soon.

    It would also be nice to see some pictures, while you still have it. Speaking of which, my car is still almost the same as when FoRmAtEEr had it, but I'll also try to post some new pictures soon.

    - - - Updated - - -

    By the way, in case someone with the relevant knowledge sees this, my car's been acting up a bit lately:

    As I (partially) said earlier, I took it for a dyno tune, and after that I had some issues, that seemingly were caused by oil fouled plugs. Now the car seems to have developed nasty deadspots, the RPM is overall slow to drop since the tune, and for some reason the engine cuts out every now and then (the car jerks as if I'm slamming the brakes, and then the engine is dead until I start it a couple seconds later). I also get the idea that it's not pulling like it did directly after the tune, but I can't say for sure. The things I've been told to replace, but haven't done yet, are the plugs (they were just cleaned), rotor and distributor cap. Any ideas?

  15. #90
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Vanderbijlpark, ZA
    Posts
    246
    My Cars
    '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.

  16. #91
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    3
    My Cars
    1977 BMW 530i
    Hi I was wonderering if you happen to know the location for the crank sensor on a 1977 BMW 530i (e12)?

  17. #92
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Vanderbijlpark, ZA
    Posts
    246
    My Cars
    '99 Z3 2.8 Roadster
    Welcome.

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

  18. #93
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    California
    Posts
    282
    My Cars
    BMW 325i

    1972 To 1981 1st Generation E12 BMW 5 Series History

    1972 To 1981 1st Generation E12 BMW 5 Series History



  19. #94
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    newcastle nsw australia 2
    Posts
    2
    My Cars
    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

  20. #95
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Vanderbijlpark, ZA
    Posts
    246
    My Cars
    '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

  21. #96
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    60
    My Cars
    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

  22. #97
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    60
    My Cars
    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
    Last edited by e12Euro; 03-22-2019 at 03:48 PM.

  23. #98
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Pitsburgh, PA
    Posts
    2
    My Cars
    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

  24. #99
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Brazil
    Posts
    44
    My Cars
    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!

  25. #100
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Vanderbijlpark, ZA
    Posts
    246
    My Cars
    '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

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