• 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.