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Thread: 312K Mile M106 Alaskan 1985 745i Executive Resurrection

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2020
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    Phoenix, Arizona
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    1990 BMW 535i/5

    312K Mile M106 Alaskan 1985 745i Executive Resurrection

    I've watched this 745i bounce through a few sales in the past couple years around Phoenix, but never had the space for it.
    The stars aligned and I was able to pick it up today.



    It has been sitting outdoors in Arizona neglected for about 9 years, with none of the recent owners having intentions of fixing the car.
    The guy I bought it from wanted to put the m106 in his e30 but crashed the e30 before being able to go through with that (thank goodness)

    Drug the car out and it started right up with a sketchy ignition switch bypass. Misfired terribly, was rich at idle, and the coolant was a bit low, but we drove it to the gas station to put some fresh gas in(it was almost empty).
    Lowballed the owner, who obviously wanted it out of his life and accepted my offer. Then, drove it the 6 or so miles back to my friends shop.
    Minus the rich smoky idle, it actually ran pretty well and it seems that it isn't burning oil, which is good.



    Later we threw it on the lift:


    First thing was swapping out the 16" e38 style 5's with dry-rotted horrible tires for 15" e34 style 5's with new quality tires.

    A general looking-over revealed zero rust except a quarter-sized hole in the bottom of the drivers fender. Surprising considering the car spent most of its miles driving back and forth between AZ and Alaska.

    -The car still has functional SLS with the rear SLS bits being replaced at some point in the 2000's.
    -Only oil leaks are valve cover gasket and turbo oil feed line
    -Steering idler arm and drag link are bad
    -Car has a rebuilt turbo I think??
    -S 2.93 Large Case LSD.
    -Vacuum climate control leaves air only blowing out of the defrost vents, but the Air Conditioning is cold-ish (has been r134a converted)

    I'll leave some more photos below. Every window works, the glass sunroof works, and it even has an aftermarket radio with AUX in and a working power antenna. I'm excited for this one, even if it takes me a while.





  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    Tempe, AZ
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    1995 525i/5
    Heck yeah! I'm stoked to get this car running 100%, should be a blast when it's back to full power. And then the turbo shenanigans will begin

    In my opinion one of the coolest things about this car is just how Euro-spec everything is... aside from the gauge cluster that was converted to MPH, literally every other control is in German. I guess we'll be brushing up on our German these coming weeks!
    1994 525i/5 - Thread

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Tangent Oregon
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    373
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    79' 320i 84' 733i
    Very cool, I'm interested to see the progress you make!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    las vegas
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    85 745
    Looks like a great start. Is the car mostly stock? I use to know a guy who had two of these and one had a Dinan big turbo kit on it. I use to live in Mesa, most of my family lives in Scottsdale now.

    I'm planning on having the interior of my car done in AZ. Lets try and meet up one of these days when I make it down.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DevInAz View Post
    Looks like a great start. Is the car mostly stock? I use to know a guy who had two of these and one had a Dinan big turbo kit on it. I use to live in Mesa, most of my family lives in Scottsdale now.

    I'm planning on having the interior of my car done in AZ. Lets try and meet up one of these days when I make it down.
    Sounds like fun. Pretty sure I know where that Dinan car is currently. This one is mostly stock besides possibly the turbo. I'll find out what else has been done as I dig in a bit deeper.

    Where do you live now? Could definitely meet up. Hopefully the car will be running well by that time.
    Last edited by danespann; 05-17-2020 at 10:02 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Valley Village, CA
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    619
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    1985 745i
    Welcome to the 300k+ club! What are your plans? Get it mechanically solid and drive the piss out of it? Glad another 745i is being saved. The headlight wipers are a nice, rare touch!
    When your enemy is making a mistake, do not interrupt him.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by yert315 View Post
    Welcome to the 300k+ club! What are your plans? Get it mechanically solid and drive the piss out of it? Glad another 745i is being saved. The headlight wipers are a nice, rare touch!
    Thanks! My current daily has 412k miles on it lol... So this will be the low mileage replacement for that once it's mechanically decent and has air conditioning that blows at my face.

    At that point, I'll work on making the interior nice and take it to 500k miles and beyond hopefully. Although I have a track oriented car, this may see some track days too just because it would be fun.

    I will need to make some new blades for those wipers. I love them.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2020
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    1990 BMW 535i/5
    So while the car runs and drives fine otherwise, it misfires and stumbles and billows fuel smoke at idle, super-duper rich.

    Waiting on parts, but I scrounged around my stashes of M30 parts and found a new distributor, some spark plugs, and a fuel pressure regulator.
    Repaired every vacuum leak I could find in the engine bay while I was in there.
    Compression tested the car while I was at it. To my pleasant surprise, every cylinder tested between 120-123 psi. Super even and decently high.

    Car still runs like poop at idle. Still super rich. Tested the AFM and it seems to be outputting a nice voltage sweep. Moving the door manually while the car is running doesn't help much.

    The exhaust manifold is nearly 20 degrees cooler on cylinders 1 and 2 which I do find strange. Maybe injectors are the next focus to track this down.

    Old Plugs Super Fouled. Dripping with fuel:


    Also repaired wiring to the coolant temp sensor:

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Metairie, LA, USA
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    1985 BMW 745i, & 635CSI
    Sounds like a great pick up. Nice to have so many things already working and actually be roadworthy save the stumbling. Interested to see how that works out. I think new plugs and injector cleaning would be where I would start as well. Easy , inexpensive and can only help. What are your plans for paint? That turned out to be a real rabbit hole for me.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by espoe View Post
    Sounds like a great pick up. Nice to have so many things already working and actually be roadworthy save the stumbling. Interested to see how that works out. I think new plugs and injector cleaning would be where I would start as well. Easy , inexpensive and can only help. What are your plans for paint? That turned out to be a real rabbit hole for me.
    Yeah, the stumbling is too bad for it to be really roadworthy as it will wash the cylinder walls and bearings it is so rich at idle. I have new volvo 740 turbo injectors coming but if that doesn't fix it, I'll have to mess with the AFM.

    Also paint is not even on my radar as subframe bushings, control arm bushings, trailing arm bushings, strut mounts, vacuum climate control rebuild, and an entirely new interior need to happen still.
    Even at that point, I like the rock chips and sun-beat paint as I don't have to worry about parking it outside and daily driving the car. Arizona destroys everything, whether it's the sun or the terrible drivers.

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by danespann View Post
    Yeah, the stumbling is too bad for it to be really roadworthy as it will wash the cylinder walls and bearings it is so rich at idle. I have new volvo 740 turbo injectors coming but if that doesn't fix it, I'll have to mess with the AFM.

    Also paint is not even on my radar as subframe bushings, control arm bushings, trailing arm bushings, strut mounts, vacuum climate control rebuild, and an entirely new interior need to happen still.
    Even at that point, I like the rock chips and sun-beat paint as I don't have to worry about parking it outside and daily driving the car. Arizona destroys everything, whether it's the sun or the terrible drivers.

    So the list is a little longer than I realized. I was fortunate with mine in that the a/c, stuts, mounts, and the engine were pretty much sorted. But, there's always a but, I was chasing a water leak which led to getting the interior out, then the carpet and pad, and before you know it to the paint booth. All I have to do is put it all back together and it is amazing hw man things can get in the way. In any event I am enjoying watching you go through it. Keep it up!

  12. #12
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    78 E21, 81 E23, 85 E30
    Wow what a survivor, and with so little rust! I must admit I am a little bit jealous. Keep us postede.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    San Marcos, California
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    e23 745i (1983 and 1984)
    Cool find for sure. Arizona has some hidden gems. I found a cool 1981 745i in Prescott a few years ago. Looking forward to seeing how she turns out. I have a few different e23 interiors I am selling if you are looking. I am only in San Diego, pretty close.

    Best of luck with the car

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharkski View Post
    Cool find for sure. Arizona has some hidden gems. I found a cool 1981 745i in Prescott a few years ago. Looking forward to seeing how she turns out. I have a few different e23 interiors I am selling if you are looking. I am only in San Diego, pretty close.

    Best of luck with the car
    Thanks! I'll probably deal with the interior after all the mechanical stuff but I'll have to hit you up to see if you still have it at that point. I think you're the fella with the leather dash posted for sale?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by maxthegearhead View Post
    Keep us postede.
    My update is that while still rich at idle, it runs better with new injectors.
    Wastegate is stuck shut so it hit boost cut and blew a bunch of fragile vacuum stuff to pieces so it's parked again while I'm busy with other stuff.

  15. #15
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    Feels like a small update, but I ordered a new 2.5 bar regulator for the car and it arrived today, mostly fixing the rich idle issue when installed.
    I guess the one I installed out of my spare parts bin was bad and that's what had me pulling my hair out testing all the wiring in the engine harness.
    Also put in a known good AFM from a friend's 745 for testing purposes as mine has some strange soldering going on inside


    Went from 9.5 afr to 12.5 at idle and it no longer smokes the block out. Idle also went to a normal RPM.



    It's about 120 degrees here but this gives me some motivation to pull the manifold off and finish chasing vacuum leaks.
    Need to free up the wastegate diaphragm as well.

  16. #16
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    Portland, OR
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    '92 345iC, '11 335D
    Can you elaborate on "freeing up the wastegate diaphram"?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarinS View Post
    Can you elaborate on "freeing up the wastegate diaphram"?
    Wastegate is stuck shut so the system is creating too much boost and hits the built in fuel cut.
    I read an old write-up about soaking it in wd-40 to free a stuck gate. If that doesn't work, I'll just have to find another one.

  18. #18
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    Jun 2010
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    1983/84/85 745i

    Thumbs up

    12.5:1 will kill the engine at idle. Lean it out to 14:1 area

    WG may not be stuck shut, vac lines are probably out of place. When they are actually stuck, they are rusted shut. Only good for cores to turn into my design if the valve can be removed. BTDT with three.
    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.



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hit Man X View Post
    12.5:1 will kill the engine at idle. Lean it out to 14:1 area

    WG may not be stuck shut, vac lines are probably out of place. When they are actually stuck, they are rusted shut. Only good for cores to turn into my design if the valve can be removed. BTDT with three.
    Ahh good info. Half my battle with this thing is un-doing what the previous guy screwed with. Replacing all the vacuum lines and intake gaskets next week so I'll make sure everything is routed in accordance with diagrams I can find.

    I'll throw my own AFM back in and adjust it once that is done. 12.5 definitely isn't good but it's progress.

  20. #20
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    Thumbs up

    Intake gaskets rarely leak. You need all the other ECE only lines. I have a full set ready to ship. Chap in WA just received a full set for his Highline 745i.

    12.5:1 is garbage at idle, do not kid yourself. Dump the oil pronto, it is abrasive and will eat the rods and mains...along with the cylinder walls. BTDT.
    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.



  21. #21
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    So as it turns out, the new regulator didn't do much and it only leaned out because the car was running out of gas. We put more 91 in today and it was right back to being 9:1, very not good.

    We changed the oil last week and it was mostly fuel... we'll probably have to change it again once we figure out this problem.

    Next step will probably be to use a noid tester to see what signals the injectors are getting. I'm thinking the DME is running the engine at full rich intentionally, as if it thinks it's at wide open throttle.
    1994 525i/5 - Thread

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hit Man X View Post
    Intake gaskets rarely leak. You need all the other ECE only lines. I have a full set ready to ship. Chap in WA just received a full set for his Highline 745i.

    12.5:1 is garbage at idle, do not kid yourself. Dump the oil pronto, it is abrasive and will eat the rods and mains...along with the cylinder walls. BTDT.
    Just changed the oil and filter and I'll do it a couple more times before driving it much to flush it out.

    Yeah it went back to running like absolute garbage instead of kinda garbage after I put some more gas in the tank.
    Going from 45psi fuel pressure to 33 made zero difference in the AFR so something in the harness has to be bad or the ECU I'm thinking.

    About ready to burn the car down at this point because it's hot out and I have zero motivation for the thing so it will sit a while longer until Danny has some shop space again.
    Maybe I'll borrow the ECU from my friend's 745 to see if my ecu is bad or something. I've never had a car be so stubborn with a rich condition.

  23. #23
    Join Date
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    1983/84/85 745i

    Thumbs up

    ECUs work or they do not.
    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.



  24. #24
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    Long time no update. Posted this car and another for sale at the same time and the other sold first, so this earned a spot at my house.

    After sitting a few months, it fired right up and drove across town (40ish miles) on an ECU from a friend's 745i

    That's all the update I have. Now that it's home, I'll be more motivated to work on it.


  25. #25
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    1983 733i

    project

    [QUOTE=danespann;30534710]Long time no update. Posted this car and another for sale at the same time and the other sold first, so this earned a spot at my house.

    After sitting a few months, it fired right up and drove across town (40ish miles) on an ECU from a friend's 745i

    That's all the update I have. Now that it's home, I'll be more motivated to work on it.


    I bought my '83 733i on our first 116 degree day 6 weeks ago or so and I basically have left it to sit until it gets cooler out. I can't wait for the nights to cool off to be able to finally do some work on it. The struggle is real. - Mike

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