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5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)

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Old 01-27-2005, 02:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I recently purchased a 1988 535i in excellent condition. Owning a BMW (even an older model year) has been a dream for many years. It's great to finally have one!

I do have several questions, though. First and foremost, I'm a bit confused about the series indentifier I keep seeing. Do I own an m5 or an e34 and how do i figure this out?

Second, my stereo doesn't turn on!!!! I took it to a local car stereo retailer for a look, but they won't touch it because of the model year (appearently no tech manual on hand). The stereo is an after market Alpine CD player. The fuse seems to be in proper shape and the other electronics in the car work fine. I can't figure out how to get into the dash to look at the wiring and the previous owner claims it worked before I bought it. Any ideas?

The last question, and probably most important, is regarding the engine. Although the car is in great shape and mechanically sound, it does have a rough idle and low top speed (about 80 on the highway). I think it really just needs a good basic tune up and possibly a new O2 sensor. In searching for parts (i.e plugs, filters, etc...) I realized I have no idea what type of engine I have..... 3.2 or 3.5... both are stamped on the block. How do I find out?
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Old 01-27-2005, 02:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Door1@Jan 27 2005, 09:49 PM
I recently purchased a 1988 535i in excellent condition. Owning a BMW (even an older model year) has been a dream for many years. It's great to finally have one!

I do have several questions, though. First and foremost, I'm a bit confused about the series indentifier I keep seeing. Do I own an m5 or an e34 and how do i figure this out?

Second, my stereo doesn't turn on!!!! I took it to a local car stereo retailer for a look,* but they won't touch it because of the model year (appearently no tech manual on hand). The stereo is an after market Alpine CD player. The fuse seems to be in proper shape and the other electronics in the car work fine. I can't figure out how to get into the dash to look at the wiring and the previous owner claims it worked before I bought it. Any ideas?

The last question, and probably most important, is regarding the engine. Although the car is in great shape and mechanically sound, it does have a rough idle and low top speed (about 80 on the highway). I think it really just needs a good basic* tune up and possibly a new O2 sensor.* In searching for parts (i.e plugs, filters, etc...) I realized I have no idea what type of engine I have..... 3.2 or 3.5... both are stamped on the block. How do I find out?
[snapback]280462[/snapback]
Welcome to the forum

For possible answers to your 1st quetion we are currently working on a comprehensive BMW naming reference check the following link
http://www.bmw-forums.com/forum/inde...howtopic=30980

Note: your car should be E28
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Old 01-27-2005, 03:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Wow, that's confusing. I feel like I'm prepping for a math final!!!!!
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Old 01-27-2005, 04:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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most alpine radios can be removed by carefully taking off the black trim ring around the radio, there, on each side of the radio, you will find a silverish fork-looking thingy. On the bottom side of the fork there is a black spring loaded circle with a small divot in it. Take a paper clip, toothpick, your fingernail etc, and pull up about 1/8" to the center of the fork and it will slide out. Unless it is like a 1940's :wink model Alpine this is the way most of them are removed, even today.
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Old 01-27-2005, 05:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally posted by Door1@Jan 27 2005, 10:13 PM
Wow, that's confusing. I feel like I'm prepping for a math final!!!!!
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Yep and very much so! Once everything is said and done especially with more members/inputs we will sort it out to make a little more sense. Very complicated topic indeed!
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Old 01-27-2005, 05:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Your car is a E28 (second generation of 5 series)... there was E12 before and E34, E39 and now E60 after it.

the 535i (and all other numbers work this way):

first number is series number (535i) = 5 series
other 2 numbers = 35 = 3.5L engine
i - injection (other possible ones you might see are a-automatic, m-manual, t-touring [or turbo in cars such as 2002tii], iS-sport, iC - convertible, Ci - coupe (same as sport))

Exceptions are X, Z and M series. Also in cars such as 323i and E39 540i the engines are not 2.3L and 4L, but 2.5L and 4.4L respectively.

The M5 is a whole different animal... it's a highly tuned engine/car manufactured by BMWs Motorsports (hence the M) division.


Welcome to the forums... those numbers will settle in one day and you'll be able to recite all the years, models etc even if someone wakes you up at 3 Am. it just works like that
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