greggearhead New Reader
6/26/15 8:15 p.m.

I had a 1983 BMW 533i follow me home. (It was on a trailer - didn't have a lot of choice in the matter). Already has some tasty mods from a PPPO. E32 front brake upgrade, Eibach Springs, Bilstein Sports, E30 Sport seats, bumper tucks, sporty exhaust, big/little Euro lights, later wheels (though I don't care for the exact style).

One of the high beam lenses is broken, the drivers seat is broken, drivers window and seat belt need work, tires are gone, AC isn't very cold, sunroof doesn't move more than a smidge, etc. Normal old car stuff, really. But rust free, drives well and sounds great to me.

By way of introduction - I'm a long tme euro car guy, started out with VWs and progressed to Porsche and Audi and BMW. I've built a number of canyon racer types and have been looking for a solid E12 or E28 driver project when I finally came across this one.

Here's a few of the older cars I have built:

'79 E21 - Alum flywheel, 5 spd, suspension, Rial Staggered wheels, Helios Recaros, Swaybars, etc.

When I bought it:

'79 VW Dasher 2dr Hatch, 2.0L 8V engine swap, 5 speed swap, custom suspension, Recaro, etc.

1981 VW Rabbit Truck, 2.0 16V engine, Recaros, etc.

'79 Audi Fox Wagon

When I bought it -


After auto to manual swap, custom suspension and Recaro bases, etc. etc.

oldtin UberDork
6/26/15 8:34 p.m.

Nice! The euro lights are a fairly expensive swap. I dig the style 32 wheels. I did the very cheap euro bumper look by just removing them and put the rub strip back on. I do like the build quality of e28s. Surprising how many people commented on it when I was using it for DD duty (even in bronzit beige).

fujioko HalfDork
6/26/15 8:49 p.m.

Wow, that's a sharp E28! I'm with you on the rims, but they look far better than the stock stuff.

I went through three E21's over the years, I think someday I'll have to get another one.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn PowerDork
6/26/15 9:54 p.m.

Welcome! Burgunrot is a somewhat unusual and nice color for an e28, I've only seen a few of them.

greggearhead New Reader
11/10/15 4:32 p.m.

Well, first thing to get fixed was the fuel pump that died. Then got some wheels.

Slow progress with too many projects at once, but already bought some snow tires for winter duty! LSD in the snow should be fun.

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Robbie Dork
11/10/15 4:56 p.m.

Looks awesome, I love it!

oldtin UberDork
11/10/15 5:45 p.m.

Nice to see it in use! - although I'm not much of a fan of the black wheels and roof rack look.

greggearhead New Reader
11/10/15 5:59 p.m.

I like the black wheels with the black trim and darker color, and the roof rack does get used. Looks sleeker without, yes, but necessity. My work truck ate it's engine, so my other vehicles had to pick up the slack.

JohnRW1621 MegaDork
11/10/15 6:12 p.m.

If this picture was taken within the last 10 years and not in 1983 then this is the coolest thing I've seen in a long time.

sethmeister4 SuperDork
11/10/15 8:11 p.m.

Man that looks awesome, these are my favorite body style BMW. I love the black wheels and roof rack, I'll be following along on this one for sure!

greggearhead New Reader
11/10/15 8:28 p.m.
JohnRW1621 wrote: If this picture was taken within the last 10 years and not in 1983 then this is the coolest thing I've seen in a long time.

Yep, probably exactly 10 years ago. An autocross at a local VW show - Dubs Along the Rockies. Was a 1979 Dasher I built. 2.0L Audi 80 Engine, VW Fox 5 speed, lightened flywheel, 6 puck clutch, cam, side exit exhaust, Recaro, Golf front springs, Volvo 240 (or was it 740) rear springs, Scirocco 16V front brakes, etc etc. You can tell the front roll stiffness was too soft, esp in comparison to the rear. Was fun and loud though!

driver109x HalfDork
11/11/15 2:26 a.m.

Awesome car man!

Acme Lab Rat
Acme Lab Rat New Reader
11/11/15 8:30 a.m.

God I miss my '86 535i. That was the smoothest, most comfortable car I've ever owned, and it was a blast on the autocross course.

Check the center bearing - those are notorious for going bad and will make your car sound like a very bad drummer is practicing on your floorboards.

greggearhead New Reader
11/11/15 10:33 a.m.

I picked these up to sell, but changed my mind - will be installing them. Paddy Hopkirk Carrera Sport seats - full of 70s/80s groovy goodness. Will be much nicer and funkier than the E30 Sport needs that need some love.


JohnRW1621 MegaDork
11/11/15 11:25 a.m.

Those seats would have looked awesome in that brown Dasher!

Not to say that they'll wont look great in the 535 also.

greggearhead New Reader
11/11/15 11:35 a.m.

Thanks - they would have.
533i - not 535. A USA only model, in response to the low power complaints when the E28 528e came out. Slower than the E12 it replaced, apparently.

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