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    ELLIOTT STILING 1983 E28 ALPINA B9 3.5 / 1988 E32 750iL #V12

    / #BMW / #BMW-E32 / #BMW-750iL / #BMW-V12 / #BMW-750iL-E32 / #BMW-750i-E32 / #BMW-7-series-E32
    YEAR: #1988
    CAR: E28 Alpina B9 3.5
    YEAR: 1983
    TOTAL MILEAGE: Can’t remember
    MILEAGE THIS MONTH: 0
    MPG THIS MONTH: 0
    TOTAL COST: 0

    CAR: E32 750iL V12
    YEAR: 1988
    TOTAL MILEAGE: 118,797
    MILEAGE THIS MONTH: 0
    MPG THIS MONTH: 0
    TOTAL COST: Racking-up!

    This month has been all about the 750iL. I dropped by Hardings Garage to see how Steve and Dale have been getting on, and am happy to report that good progress has been made.

    The guys have fitted the non-electronic suspension and it was a relief to hear that the job went well – partially because that should translate into a slightly more palatable labour bill, although I have no idea what this is all costing, because we haven’t agreed any figures yet!

    Before deciding to have that work done, I researched the modification, and it was clear that the removal of the failed EDC insert from the strut sleeve could be both challenging and frustrating. I was expecting an ‘if we knew it would be this bad, we wouldn’t have agreed to do it’-type conversation, but Steve said the old insert came out really easily, then the new one went in perfectly.

    The next job is to delete the SLS or Self Levelling (rear) Suspension because, as you can see from the photograph, the rear ride height isn’t correct yet. If you look closely, you’ll also see that the system threw all of its fluid out over the ramp when powered-up for the first time. Hopefully, though, this should be as easy to sort as the internet suggests. The other main job needed was to fix the solid brake pedal problem, which has afflicted the car ever since I bought it. Of course, the previous owner didn’t know anything about that... cough.

    Despite replacing another part in the braking system a few months ago, it’s now apparent the actual culprit is the brake accumulator sphere. This device meters out the hydraulic pressure for the brakes and steering, and complete failure of this part means you have neither when you need them most – gulp.
    However, the bad news is that after researching the correct part number, I’ve discovered that it isn’t available anywhere. Internationally, BMW itself scrapped all remaining spheres in 2014, when the newest stock reached its maximum stocking age of five years.

    Despite scouring the (internet) world, I cannot find another matching sphere anywhere, so all V12 E32 owners worldwide could suffer from this challenge. So, with necessity being the mother of all creation, we’ve had to think outside the box to solve this one.

    There’s no way an E32 V12 should be consigned to being a parts car because a single component in the braking system isn’t available. I could fit a second-hand part, maybe, but it’ll be the same age as the part that’s failed. That doesn’t make much sense, so I’ve bought a brand new 735i part instead, and have tasked Hardings with modifying it to fi t, and thus keep my old girl running.

    We have a date with an M760Li coming up soon (keep your eyes peeled for a future issue), and I want to make sure Maggie puts in a good showing. More next month on whether the modification worked because, as we stand right now, I don’t actually have a credible Plan B.

    There’s work still to be done on the 750iL’s suspension. Having removed the EDC units, the ride height needs further adjustment, and then there’s the fluid loss…

    This is a 735i brake accumulator sphere. The correct part for the 750iL is no longer available from BMW, so let’s hope this one can be adapted as necessary.
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    CAR: #BMW / #BMW-E32 / #BMW-750iL / #BMW-V12 / #BMW-750iL-E32 / #BMW-750i-E32 / #BMW-7-series-E32
    YEAR: #1988
    TOTAL MILEAGE: 118,797
    MILEAGE THIS MONTH: 496
    MPG THIS MONTH: 17.9
    TOTAL COST: £286 (dampers)

    I had hoped to have a fully, fighting-fit #BMW-7-Series for inclusion this month but, sadly, only some of the jobs have been ticked-off the ‘to do’ list. The spark plugs and leads have been fitted, and I’m pleased to report that the engine’s turbine-like approach to business has been restored. The hydraulic brake cylinder has been fitted too, together with a full brake service. Sadly, though, this identified broken bleed nipples on the front calipers, so both had to be replaced – an expense I wasn’t predicting and, while it’s probably not the end of the world, I haven’t had the bill for them yet! Unfortunately, this work hasn’t cured the brake pedal pressure problem I’ve mentioned here in the past, so it’s now looking like I’ll need to source a new brake accumulator. BMW don’t have one in stock apparently (and I’d no doubt have heart failure at the price, even if they did!), so I think a bit of a Google/ forum searching session will be required.

    With workshop space at a premium, Hardings asked if I could take the car back, at least until I managed to get the suspension parts the car needs, so I’ve taken the opportunity to use the car pretty much as a daily-driver. It’s done everything this month from B&Q trips, commuting, plus some decent motorway schleps, seriously boosting this month’s mileage. It’s been an interesting exercise actually, and I’ll report on my thoughts and findings soon.

    In the meantime, I’ve finally managed to track down some matching, Monroe non-EDC dampers for the car, for the bargain price of £286. Funnily enough, they came from Eastern Europe, which seems to be a new parts haven for classic BMWs. Now, with MoT day looming, ‘Maggie’ is back at Hardings awaiting her leg transplants, and the completion of the rest of the outstanding jobs. Something tells me that this garage session is going to cost me…

    Bargain-priced #Monroe dampers, hot off the courier van from Eastern Europe!

    My 750iL still isn’t fully fighting fit, but we’re getting closer.
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    LONGTERMERS #BMW-E28 / #BMW-E28-Alpina / #Alpina-B9 and E32 750iL / #Alpina / #Alpina-B9-E28

    I would love to report some serious movement on the B9’s refurbishment but unfortunately the truth is I haven’t really had the chance to chase the body shop this month.

    I have, however, received negative news from my ‘stripes guy’. It doesn’t look like he is able to supply them in the timescale I am likely to need so it’s back to the drawing board. The fall back plan is to just have the car back without any stripes and then have them retro-fitted when I can procure a set. The BMW community is a big one, and an international one at that so if you know where I can have a set made up please do get in touch!

    In the meanwhile, the editor kindly sent me a link to a B9 which has just sold at a CCA car auction. It was a 1986, white Japanese import with a low mileage of 77,000. It was, however, hampered somewhat by being left-hand drive and having an automatic gearbox. The latter for me would be a serious problem as these cars really need the manual gearbox in my opinion. Plus winter isn’t the ideal season to maximise the sale value of your classic car…

    Using CCA’s five-star system it was described as a three-star car – ‘Good: Everyday useable classic car, driven and enjoyed, commensurate with age and mileage, drives and looks as it should, some vehicle history’.

    I suspect it would have benefitted from being sold in Germany where left-hand drive classic Alpinas sell for really strong money. Nevertheless it fetched £16,500 which I thought was a good buy for its new owner, who certainly hasn’t overpaid for what is an exceptionally rare car.

    It looks like I will need to review the guaranteed value I have with my insurer when it comes to renewal time. Good news indeed.

    On the 7 Series front what little time I have had to spare has been spent trying to find bits for it rather than driving it very far.

    In my last report I mentioned not being able to find the required brake booster in the UK, as all of the available parts were in America. After a little bit more research I finally managed to track one down in the UK. The best bit was the price. By not getting stung with the post-Brexit exchange rate and import duty I managed to buy one for £130, nearly half of the £250 it was going to cost to get one from the US. I need to get the part down to my local garage to check it’s all there!

    Given editor Bob’s recent positive results with having his throttle bodies cleaned I might just have a look at how much of a job that is on a 750iL. I suspect the answer will be ‘at least twice as much’ because the V12 seems to have two of everything.

    Given the car’s idle isn’t quite as sewing machine smooth as it should be and it seems to be running a little rich at idle it’s probably a job worth doing. I suspect as much as anything some new spark plugs will clear things up but having researched how to replace spark plug number 12 on a BMW 750 I think that’s a job for the garage.

    In the meanwhile I have tackled an easy job and replaced the car’s two air filters. The originals weren’t all that bad but there is a nice feel-good feeling to knowing your car is breathing through new filters. I am hoping the garage can take the car in sometime in January because I’d like to get things moving along ahead of the spring car show scene as I’d like to start showing the car off a bit.

    In the meanwhile I have seen another 750iL for sale which is located only ten miles from me, in my favourite colour of black. I’m trying desperately to not just jump in the car and have a look. It’s a disease, being into classic BMWs…

    CAR: #BMW-E32 / #BMW-750iL / #BMW-750iL-E32 / #BMW-750i-E32 / #BMW-7-series-E32 / #BMW-7-Series / #BMW / #M70 / #BMW-M70 / #V12 / #BMW-V12

    YEAR: #1988
    MILEAGE THIS MONTH: 23
    TOTAL MILEAGE: 118,235
    MPG THIS MONTH: Not sure
    COST THIS MONTH: no new ones this month
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    V12 sump gaskets / #BMW-E32 / #BMW-M70 / #M70 / #M70B50 / #BMW-750iL-E32 / #BMW-750i-E32 /

    When it first saw the light of day in late #1987 , the #V12 M70-engined #BMW-750iL was considered a marvellous thing, even if the later 4.0- and 4.4-litre V8s did make it slightly redundant. The M70 did many things well, including using copious amounts of unleaded fuel and leaking oil! The sump gasket was a major pain for this and, like the M40 engine from the four-cylinder E30 with which it shared parts and design features, the sump was in two sections. The main leak was the gasket in between the upper section and the block. Up on a ramp this wouldn’t be a massive problem as on most cars you can lift the engine up off the mountings five or six inches, enough to waggle the sump out, but on the M70 there are four 10mm sump bolts cunningly hidden behind the flywheel.

    In official #BMW manuals, the answer is to simply whip off the very heavy automatic gearbox and the torque converter/flywheel… yeah, right. That job is another few hours of swearing and if you’re doing the job on the ground with axle stands, it just won’t happen. Phil Crouch of CPC told me about the cunning dodge to get the sump off many years ago and a bit of internet research confirmed that the dodge is to drill two well-placed holes in the back of the alloy sump, not all the way though into the engine itself, but into the rear strengthening rib. This allows access with a 10 mm socket and a wobbly drive to the outer two 10mm bolts, whilst the inner two can be got at via the centre hole that’s already there. Car designers tend to come up with these faux pas – all of them should spend a year in a workshop before they’re allowed anywhere near a drawing board.
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