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1986 BMW E28 528iA SE - SOLD

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Totally unmolested, low mileage and suitable for showing with definite concours potential.


This is a very highly specified car as follows:

  • Build date: Week 3 September 1986
  • Alpine White over Pacific Blue Interior
  • 184 bhp M30 'Big Six' In-line 6 Cylinder Engine
  • 4-Speed Automatic Transmission
  • ABS

    The following were additionally specified, at extra cost, when new:
  • 219: Sports Steering Wheel
  • 540: Cruise Control
  • 551:'Big' On-Board Computer
  • 411: F+R Electric Windows
  • 300: Central Locking
  • 314: Electric Mirrors - optional heated nearside
  • 401: Electric tilt and slide sunroof
  • 500: Headlamp Wash/wipe System
  • 498: Rear Headrests
  • 415: Rear Blind
  • 472: Front Driver and Passenger Armrests

    Additonally, the car has bronze tinted Windows, electric aerial, heated washer jets and I have managed to source a very good set of 4 of the 'horse-hair' type overmats in Pacific Blue which are no longer available via BMW Mobile Tradition!


    Supplied by BMW Maindealer Milcars (Radlett)

    Pre-delivery Check 20.10.86 BMW Milcars (Radlett)  
    Running-In Inspection 16.12.86 BMW Milcars (Radlett) 1198 miles
    Oil Service 19.10.87 BMW Milcars (Radlett) 7912 miles
    Inspection I 09.08.88 BMW Milcars (Radlett) 14486 miles
    Oil Service 11.05.89 BMW Milcars (Radlett) 22042 miles
    Inspection II 16.02.90 BMW Milcars (Radlett) 30014 miles

    'Gap' - no longer traceable via BMW computer records back to this date to check whether this was just because of an omission to stamp book.

    Inspection II 17.05.94 BMW Burton & Deakin 57057 miles
    Oil Service 15.02.95 BMW Burton & Deakin 64758 miles
    Inspection I 06.11.95 BMW Burton & Deakin 70461 miles
    Oil Service 25.10.96 BMW Burton & Deakin 77139 miles
    'Full' Service 02.06.98 Independent CB Autos 83548 miles
    'Service' plus belts and gearbox ATF and filter 07.06.99 Independent CB Autos 88694 miles
    'Service' 21.07.00 Independent CB Autos 93299 miles
    'Service' plus rear pads 17.08.01 Independent CB Autos 94845 miles
    'Service' 02.09.02 Independent CB Autos 96298 miles
    'Full Service' 02.09.03 Independent CB Autos 96898 miles
    'Service' 11.10.04 Independent CB Autos 97413 miles
    Inspection II 2.06.05 BMW Lind (Maidstone) 97561 miles

    The current mileage is 99167 i.e only 1606 miles since this last full BMW Maindealer Inspection II service costing 413.50 plus VAT!

    At the same time the front brakes pads, discs AND Calipers (!) were replaced bringing a grand total including VAT of 1227.39 !!!

    Additionally, I do have a print out from BMW showing a further maindealer visit (16215 S James?) on 11.08.99 at a mileage of 90373

    At the current mileage, for a car that is now 21 years old, this represents very low mileage - averaging out at just under 5K miles/annum throughout its lifetime.


    (Important: I never use words like 'immaculate' or 'mint'...if you've read the 'About me' section on my website you'll already know this and why)

    To avoid any confusion or the need for interested parties to have to ask any questions I will write the following in block capitals:


    I don't think I can be more unequivocal than that, can I?

    I'll now take each aspect of the car in turn, which I hope,in conjunction with the numerous photographs, will help to give an accurate description:


    The 2.8L straight six M30 engine develops 184bhp (only 6 bhp less than the lastest 2.8 BMW engines!).

    The M30 engine remains a paragon of engine design. Expensive to produce but still one of BMW's finest ever and an engine they stuck with in various incarnations from the 1960's all the way into the 1990's.

    These engines are very smooth, powerful and robust. When properly maintained they are capable of huge mileages...the mileage on this one is nothing! The engine in this car runs smoothly, quietly and pulls very powerfully.

    Inspection of the camshaft revealed absolutely no signs of wear (see photo)...testament to the above servicing schedule.

    It burns no oil and does not lose any coolant.

    The oil and filters are as clean as one would expect given the above recent Maindealer Inspection II Service. I have just flushed the cooling system and renewed the coolant.

    The engine has been cleaned and detailed using numerous new nuts, bolts, clips etc.


    CO LIMIT= max 3.50% Reading (on this car) = 0.24%
    HC LIMIT= max 1200 ppm Reading (on this car) = 121 ppm


    The 4-speed Automatic gearbox has just been replaced (2 weeks ago) with one from another low mileage car...It's a long story which I don't have the time to go into here! This replacement gearbox has been serviced with new fluids, filters and as a precaution a new front seal...would have been silly to have missed the opportunity! I have a receipt to prove this with a labour alone bill of over 400!

    This gearbox changes smoothly and runs quietly.


    As stated above at the last service 1600 miles ago BMW replaced the front brake discs, pads AND calipers at significant cost! Rear pads were done only about 4K miles ago.

    Being a later example BMW had moved the brake master cylinder over to the driver's side and hence these later cars don't suffer the slightly 'woolly' feel which afflicted early examples.

    The brakes on this car are superb! Certainly the best I've ever experienced on an E28. Powerful with great pedal feel. The car pulls up straight and very quickly!


    Four brand new Boge/Sachs shock-absorbers have just been fitted along with new rear shock-absorber mounts and four brand new Sachs Sports Coil Springs!

    These make a huge difference! The modest 20mm (0.8") drop not only improves the stance of the car (please note the photos show the car BEFORE installation of this set-up) but vastly improves the handling and indeed the ride as the stock set-up tends to 'wallow' somewhat. The car is also far less upset by cross winds. At the same time new front drop links were installed.

    Other components have been re-coated in black rust-inhibiting paint.

    This car drives bullet-straight with no wobbles or shimmies as often afflicts BMWs.

    N.B The original set-up of 4 springs and dampers will also be sold with the car as it is still serviceable.


    A new full exhaust including all mounts, rings, brackets and even chrome tail-pipe trims were fitted by BMW Burton & Deakin at 90373 miles with a receipt showing a cost of 472.87


    As seen in the photographs the car is on a nice set of (not new but in very good condition) 16" Cross-spoked alloys shod with four BRAND NEW Continental tyres! These are again a vast improvement over the original metric wheels and tyres. The metric tyres perform poorly by modern tyre standards (especially in the wet!) and are hugely expensive when and if you can obtain them at all (check how much they sell for even on Ebay!).

    The chosen wheel and tyre combination is of exactly the same rolling dimensions as the originals (to within 0.3%!) there are no gearing or speedometer issues here.

    Nevertheless, sticklers for originality will be reassured that the car is also being sold with it's five original wheels...which have just been fully, professionally refurbished (never even mounted on the car!) plus new centre badges and fitted with 5 metric tyres all with very good, deep tread! I would suggest that the new owner keeps these aside for 'show/concours' purposes only and uses the 16" wheels and Continentals on the car for actually 'driving'!


    I hope the photographs speak for themselves!?

    All panels, gaps and shut-lines are straight and true.

    There is no rust whatsoever! These later cars had better rust protection from the factory. The car had additionally previously been extensively waxoyled.

    The few TINY amounts of superficial, early rust present when I got the car (on the very lips of wheel-arches and a tiny amount around the rear licence plate lights...very common on E28's) have been caught early, rubbed down to clear clean metal, anti-rust treated, primed and repainted. At the sametime brand new rear licence plate lights were installed.

    All the sills, jacking points etc etc were totally solid and have only been repainted to refresh the look of them.

    All door bottoms etc are pristine with no rust

    I have repainted the back panel below the bumper as this area on white cars tends to discolour due to exhaust heat and gases (NOT because of any rust!...please see photos). Additionally, I did the same at the front for stone chips only.

    I believe the bonnet must have been repainted before prior to my it's just too good! NO STONECHIPS! I believe the rest of the paintwork to be original but in superb condition.

    I have spent many hours 'preparing' this paintwork. It has been fully clay-barred, de-swirled and then treated with 4 layers of 'ZAINO' Z2Pro. Expensive, time-consuming but the resulting shine and durability thereof are difficult to beat in my opinion. The photos don't really do the shine justice!

    The wheel-arches have all been scrubbed, thoroughly degreased, cleaned again using solvent and then repainted in Alpine White. They have then, along with the entire underbody, box sections,brake-lines etc, been given a light coating of CLEAR waxoyl to protect the car in the future.

    The only barely noticeable marks to be made mention of are 3 tiny (and I mean miniscule to the extent I haven't been able to photograph them on a white car...because they just don't stand out on white!) pin-type dints. One on the roof; one on the bootlid and one on the passenger side door. These could easily be attended to...probably by a 'Dentmaster' type of person...But they are so small and insignicant that unless one were entering full blown, serious concours no one would probably notice. However, I like to point out such things as I notice! I in no way wish to appear to be making excuses but as the car IS 21 years old I would ask for some degree of commonsense to be afforded! Nevertheless, as I hope the photographs show, this 21 year old car would put to shame many 21 month old cars!

    I have an original BMW side-stripe kit (two thin black stripes) which I bought many years ago for a previous white E28 that I owned. I never fitted it as I preferred the look without. This will come with the car and the new owner can decide which look he/she prefers!

    New number plates.


    The chrome-work is all in very good order. I have renewed the front and rear screen chrome surrounds. These are in fact a plastic covered trim with a sheet of chrome running through them. With time the clear plastic becomes milky and somewhat opaque. Replacing them makes a big difference to the overall fresh look of the car. This will have afflicted all E28s by now if they haven't been replaced.(please see the before and after close-up photos to see the difference).


    All the lights and lamps are in excellent condition. The all of the front lamps were removed, cleaned and the black metal casings re-painted.

    One of the original rear lamps hand a tiny dimple in the chrome...I've therefore replaced it with a brand new one! (...but you can have the original one as's actually very good!)


    The bronze tinted glass is in perfect condiiton with no scratches etc. There is one (just the one!) stone-chip on the windscreen but this has been professionally repaired and wasn't an MOT issue.

    I am not going to defraud my insurance company just to get a new windscreen out of them because of one stone-chip. However, if the new owner is that way inclined or wants to replace it for 'concours' purposes I am including in the sale a brand new 'Running-In Instructions' sticker as applied to the screen when new!


    As I said at the beginning, I personally never use the words "immaculate" or "mint"....but in this case I'm struggling to find other words to use!!! It is totally unmarked! No damage, scratches etc on any of the trim, dash, fascia. The Pacific Blue cloth seats show no wear, damage, tears etc The carpets are pristine having been protected by overmats. I have managed to find a set of 4 very good condition original type mats (no longer available from BMW) as the front pair were missing when I got the car. So it now has a full set of 4 plus two spare rears!

    A cracked piece of trim by the drivers seat edge has been replaced with a brand new item supplied by BMW Mobile Tradition in Germany.

    The headlining is unmarked.

    All switch gear and controls are pristine and undamaged.

    I have re-instated the original large type 'sports' steering...because I like it! But the car is also being sold along with an 'alternative' (see later) which the new owner may prefer (takes less than 5 minutes to swap!)

    I have also re-instated a period Blaupunkt Radio/Cassette which plays through the original Blaupunkt Speakers in the foot-wells. There are NO nasty holes cut anywhere to accommodate nasty after-market speakers in the door cards or rear-shelf as is often the case!

    As an accessory the car has the proper BMW dedicated cassette holder built into the front of the centre console...again all undamaged.

    The glove-box torch is present and functioning.


    Please see photographs!

    New underbonnet insulation installed.

    I have a new orange underbonnet sticker. Normally goes on the airbox...I prefer the look without but it will come with the car.


    The first (and most important) thing is: "BONE DRY!"

    People who know E28s will know the sigificance of that statement! E28s are notorious for damp/wet boots. Quite apart from anything else this leads to a horrible musty smell in the boot which is difficult to get rid of. This boot is completely dry.

    The carpets are clean and unstained. Additionally, I have covered the back wall in new grey cloth as normally this is just grey cardboard which gets scratched.

    I have installed the bootlid liner normally only found on 535 and M5 models along with the 'extended' toolkit with a pristine set of tools instead of the normal 'small' toolkit.

    The jack, wheel brace and chock are all present and unused.

    The spare wheel well is as per the photographs (this is how it was...that's not painted!)


    No faults whatsoever.

    New Battery (Have receipt)


    The car will come with the following genuine BMW accessories (see photos):

    1. BMW Reserve/Jerry can. This fits in the spare wheel well inside the spare wheel...difficult to get now.

    2. M-Tech I leather steering wheel in very good condition as fitted to M-cars of the period. Smaller than the standard steering wheel.The standard wheel isn't leather but I like it!

    3. 'Show Plates' as in the photographs. These are in fact genuine BMW items! And are fitted to cars when new for showrooms.

    4. A number of period brochures/catalogues for the model

    Of course, all hand/service books, document wallet, 2 keys, V5 are present and correct.

    The car is registered in my wife's name at our address.

    The car has road fund tax until end May 2007 and has a 12 months MOT.


    As I hope by now one can see, this is not an 'average' E28!

    These cars are now increasingly sought after and seen as a 'retro classic'!

    I am fairly confident it will be dificult to find many - if any - examples better than this coming up for sale.

    The car drives wonderfully and still has a turn of speed to humble many modern cars!

    In my opinion the car is most certainly 'show-worthy'. With a little more time under the bonnet, and without the three little dimples mentioned earlier and the single stone-chip in the windscreen it would be a genuine concours winning contender!

    (side-note: I personally do not do 'concours'. As I hope you might have noticed from the rest of my website, "I certainly like a nice looking car"...but personally I've never been attracted by the notion of spending my time and money to compete against my fellow BMW Club members i.e. so that a 'Concours Judge' can look at my car, nit-pick and if he finds less to nit-pick on my car than others give me a plastic trophy and a pat on the back for all my effort and expense! Whilst at the same time rendering my car 'undriveable' into the bargain because to be 'competetive' I'll have to trailer my car to and from these events...virtually never driving it between! However,if that's your 'thing'...this car could most be for you with its originality intact and all the hardwork having been done!)


    The car is to be featured in a forth-coming book being written on the complete history of the BMW 5-Series.

    It has also been featured in Total BMW Magazine.

    Please read these links if interested:

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    About Me

    Relevant articles:

    The Nikasil Issue
    BMW Servicing
    Fuel Calculation


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