Car of the Month - December 2008

Cars of the Month

The Car of the Month for December belongs to:
Francois Gaignaux

  • Date: 1980

  • Model: E12 528i

  • Transmission: 5-Speed Conversion

  • Motor: M30 3,5L including ECU and exhaust

  • Fuel: Liquid Propane auxillary fuel tank

  • Belgian standards: Sunroof, manual windows, no A/C

  • Exterior Color: Polaris Metallic

  • Francois Writes:
    Here is my 1980 528i. I bought it in 2003, for 400 EUR on ebay Germany. Of course it was not as seen on the pictures. It had 14 inch wheels with driven-off tires, brakes were at the limit of the iron, exhaust was blown by rust, rear panel was very dirty because of smokes of the exhaust. Rear bumper was destroyed, but the car had a good potential as it presented not much rust, the engine head had been rebuilt completely (too bad ... bottom end broke after 3000km).

    Work I did on the car was of course first to repair all the things I listed above, then to put Bilstein and H&R suspension with Original Alpina 7 & 8 x 16 inch wheels. I also replaced the tired seats by a set of original recaros, and I added the rear headrests. An original 4 spoke Alpina steering wheel replaced the standard one.

    When the bottom end of the engine broke, engine was replaced by one spare I had on which all the fuel lines were renewed as well as joints for the intake and exhaust and a new thermostat. And the 4 speed gearbox was at the same time replace by a "long" 5 speed which is far more comfortable and fuel saver on long roads. The motor was later replaced with a 3,5L including the ECU and exhaust line.

    The car is also equipped with a LPG fuel system, that is liquid gaz (not natural gaz but similar) stored in a 60L tank in the rear boot that replaces the fuel in the air intake (a bit complicated to explain here). One of the advantages is that it makes the possibility to have more fuel in the car (70 liters of fuel + 60 Liters of gaz), so you can drive longer without the need to refuel, but the real advantage here in Belgium is that this fuel type is 3 times cheaper (0.38 EUR/liter) than regular unleaded fuel 98 (1.20 EUR/Liter). Next job is a new paint as the body has small dents in many places and paint is not so nice anymore.

    This car is FUN to drive!

    Cheers from Belgium !
    Francois Gaignaux

    John Savage
    © 2008, ™