Car of the Month - November 2002

Cars of the Month

The Car of the Month for November belongs to:
Robert Bondi

This April 1977 530i is a well-maintained daily driver with 167,000 miles. It is still part of the original owner family and is currently maintained by the second generation driver, Robert. This car has enjoyed relatively friendly home climates, such as TX and GA, for its entire life and usually sleeps in a garage.

The interior and exterior are largely stock and original, with some additions: tinted windows, car alarm, passenger side mirror, 5 cockpit gauges, Hella driving lights, 4 Pioneer speakers, and a Sony CD player. The VDO cockpit gauges include the following: oil pressure, oil temperature, fuel pressure, voltmeter, and manifold vacuum. All gauges are electrical, except the manifold vacuum. The paint is Polaris silver, the interior is navy vinyl, and the AC works. The stock seats have been restuffed and the paint has been redone on the major horizontal surfaces: hood, roof, and trunk.

A good deal of work and upgrades has gone into the engine bay. The thermal reactors and EGR system were removed by 1980, so the original cylinder head is still in use and has been rebuilt twice. The engine was personally rebuilt by Robert and his father in 2001 at 162,000 miles again as a 3.0L M30. The crankshaft received a 0.25 mm grind to accommodate first oversize main bearings only to correct axial play with the oversize thrust bearing. The crankshaft and relevant components were balanced. New stock diameter Kolbenschmidt pistons were used. The intake manifolds and head exhaust ports were ported and polished. Combustion chamber surfaces received performance cermet coatings. The valve cover and both timing covers are powder-coated black. Some upgrades include a second fuel filter, second partial flow oil filter, E21 intake runners, Stahl headers, E28 radiator, rebuilt 5-speed OD transmission, and a lambda L-jetronic fuel injection conversion to the 1980/1981 528i system. Lambda FI conversion over Motronic actually won because of Robert's affinity for the log manifold. The manifold and runners may have chrome plating in their future. Some future projects include air/fuel meter installation, a rebuilt differential, and new window seals and channels.

Robert's 530i

Figure 1.  Exterior 1

Figure 2.  Exterior 2

Figure 3.  Exterior 3

Figure 4.  Exterior 4

Figure 5.  Rebuilt 3.0 L Engine in June 2001

Figure 6.  Clean Engine Bay after Lambda Conversion - Perspective 1

Figure 7.  Clean Engine Bay after Lambda Conversion - Perspective 2

Figure 8.  Clean Engine Bay after Lambda Conversion - Perspective 3

Figure 9.  Interior 1

Figure 10.  Interior 2

Figure 11.  Interior 3

Figure 12.  Oil Pressure, Voltmeter, and Manifold Vacuum (left to right)

Figure 13.  Center Console with CD Player, Oil Temperature (left), and Fuel Pressure (right)

Figure 14.  A Complete Tool Kit with a Few Extras

© 2002,™