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Thread: New E23 Owner Introduction and Hopefully Some Guidance

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Sacramento, CA
    My Cars
    e60 535i MSport, 86 735i

    New E23 Owner Introduction and Hopefully Some Guidance

    *I apologize about the long thread but I figured it would be better to ask everything all in one place instead of making a new thread every time*

    About me
    Hello, just wanted to introduce myself a little bit and hopefully get some advice. I'm a huge BMW fan and have owned probably close to 15 of them through the years. I always kind of liked the E23 but never thought that I'd own one until I randomly came up on a really good deal. I mainly had newer BMW's but I did have two e30's and an e34, so I'm a little familiar with older bmw's but it's been a while since I've owned one. I'm located in Northern California btw.

    The Car
    I picked up a pretty clean 1986 735i A/T a few months ago. The car needs a suspension overhaul, bunch of electronics don't work inside(hvac/some windows/sunroof..etc), huge power steering leak somewhere, grinding noise from the back(diff? wheel bearing?) and the motor isn't running as smooth as it should be. The car was probably sitting for a while before I bought it. So far I stripped the interior to clean the carpet and removed the old, wet, stinky sound deadening to install a Dynamat type of product. Also, did some minor maintenance like oil, spark plugs...etc.

    I plan on fixing all the mechanical issues and hopefully most of the electrical ones too, so if my car's faults sound like common problems or if you have a DIY or any info at all I'd like to hear you.
    1)Since the suspension needs to be replaced anyway, I plan on lowering it slightly and getting bigger wheels, what's a common and affordable suspension set up and common wheel size specs for a slightly aggressive stance?
    2)Does anyone make any cheap coilovers or can you upgrade the suspension by using parts from any other models/years?
    3)How much should I expect to spend on a euro bumper swap and where is the best place to buy it? I'm having a lot of trouble finding parts for this car in general, so any advice on that would be great.
    4)A bumper tuck is a pretty common mod on early U.S e30 models that had similar type of metal bumpers but I couldn't find any information about anyone attempting this on an e23 or any idea of what it would look like, has it been done before?
    5)Are any other options to upgrade or change the look of the bumpers?
    Any other info about common things to look out for or common mods that are recommended would be appreciated.

    I can post pics later if anyone is interested in seeing the car and I need some help on ID'ing the rims that are on it. They look pretty old and are 3-piece 16's. I'm almost positive that they are BBS RS but were those ever an option on the 735i?

    Thanks for your help,


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Tangent Oregon
    My Cars
    79' 320i 84' 733i
    Welcome! E23 aftermarket suspension is getting harder to find. There might still be some new sets of H&R springs hiding out in a suppliers warehouse if you search long enough. You can still get Bilstein HD's for the front and rear, but I don't know how well they handle lowering springs. You can use E28 Bilstein sports on the back, but not the front. Euro bumpers seem to come up for sale surprisingly often on here and on eBay if you are interested in going that route. I'm not real sure about the price range for a set. Good luck getting the new project sorted out!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    My Cars
    1983/84/85 745i

    Thumbs up

    Unless something unforseen occurs, I have an Mtech rear coil coming in the I can send them out to be reproduced as I have a set of fronts. I originally planned to have these done in 2017 or so, but a natural disaster hit me and put all those plans back for years.

    86s have all the HVAC updates, so that is a plus. Bigger evap, more efficient condenser, same shit compressor though.

    You may want to look for a complete Euro parts car if you want to do the bumpers and such or just use yours as a parts car and find a better one. Being in CA, most are going to have the 8:1 and 059 engine I would think just to facilitate ease of smog. I have seen a few and owned one even.
    I sell Motronic 013 ECU boost cut delete chips and drop in Tial conversions.
    09/1983 745i (stolen spring '13 around Houston, TX Achatgruen on nutria buffalo. 8481080)
    10/1984 745i
    11/1984 745i (will be for sale!)
    IH, Ford, MB, Volvo, and GM round out the pack.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Tangent Oregon
    My Cars
    79' 320i 84' 733i
    A common popular wheel to use on these older BMW's is the 17x8 2 piece style 5 off of the E39 5 series. Or the smaller 16x8 style 5 off the E38 7 series.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Killingworth, CT
    My Cars
    2001 X5
    I have E38 staggered 18" M parallels on my e23, 18x8 front 18x9.5 rear. They fit w/ no spacers and I am on lowered Dinan springs. I had to trim one rear wheel lip a small amount w/ a cutoff wheel to stop rubbing. 235/40/18 and 265/35/18 tire sizes. I would not recommend this wheel size if you drive on rough roads, even the forged OE M parallel wheels bend pretty easily. See my build thread for more details.
    Steve H.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Valley Village, CA
    My Cars
    1985 745i
    Why donít you keep the BBS RS that are on it? Those are worth more than the car.
    When your enemy is making a mistake, do not interrupt him.

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