Technical FAQ

If you would like to volunteer to write an FAQ article or have any questions, please contact Peter Florance.

Updated 7/07/2008

2.8L to 3.5L Engine Conversion - by Sean Steinman and Peter Claassen

A/C Evacuate and Recharge FAQ - By Dave Spencer

A/C melting fuse box - This should be helpful for you Florida, Texas, and California folks.

A/C Repair on a Budget - Fix your A/C with out busting your wallet. Great advice from Mike W.

Alternator and Charging FAQ - A few tips about charging problems and a picture of the Giant Alternator Ground Wire for 528i

Aux Air Valve - Sets your warmup idle speed. Still under construction.

BMW Repair Shops - An unvetted list of BMW repair shops. Caveat Emptor!

Bosch Components for M30 Ljet FAQ - Under construction; right now a list of air flow meters and ECU's by year and market.

Brake Caliper Rebuild - A link to the Senior Six FAQ as well as some of our own notes.

Brake Caliper Rebuild II - Our own brake caliper rebuild FAQ, still under construction, by Chuck Denson and Peter Florance

Cam Timing FAQ - For M30 motors. Got your motor back together or distributor replaced and it won't start? Check this FAQ to get back on track.

Camshaft 101 - Here's the lowdown on all the camshaft specs and what they mean. By Tony Sims (Veloce West)

Central Locking System - Really just another link to the Lockmotor FAQ which has grown to cover the entire Central Locking System.

Cold Air Intake - by Don Daynes

Cold Air Intake - by Greg Szczyrbak, pictures only, no text

Combo Relay Repair - These tend to get intermittant, causing no start or intermittant stall. An easy fix for those who can solder (or know someone who can)

Conversion to Electric Windows - A great FAQ explaining how to convert your crank windows to electric. Thanks Scott Stewart

Conversion to later style L-jetronic with lambda control - For the 530i folks this is a must see, unless you don't want better drivability, fuel consumption etc.... By Robert Bondi and Scott Stewart

Coolant Temperature Sensors - By Sean Steinman and Peter Florance Finally all those sensors identified!

Cooling System Maintenance & Update - Everything you need to do to keep your E12 from overheating 

Cylinder Head - Mike W's been working with M30 engines since the beginning of time. Here's his excellent writeup on M30 cylinder heads

Dash Removal and Reinstallation A great, very detailed FAQ that gets your dash out in a dash. Well not quite; it's still a lot of work, but made much easier by Art in Ca. Thanks Art!

Differential Mount Repair - Peter Florance

Differential Mount Repair Kit Installation - BMW via Mike Miller

Door Panel Removal Fix your sticky locks mechanism! Here's how to remove the panels safely. By John in Simi Valley

Driveline Rebuild - Peter Claassen's narrative and editorial on removing and installing your entire driveline.

E21 Intake Runner FAQ - Get more low-end torque with 320i intake runners!

E28 Engine Wiring Conversion - Here's the details on interfacing Motronic harness to e12 cars. By Hans Vaalund

Exhaust: The Story - Build your own exhaust system. Discussion lifted from First Fives Bulletin Board Archive

Exhaust Manifold Porting - by Greg Szczyrbak

Factory Parts Interchange - A list of many parts from other BMWs that can be used on e12s

Five speed conversion - Here is a bunch of posts relating to converting to a five speed conversion. (either from auto or 4 speed).

Fuel Injection Fuel Hose Replacement - By Adam Wilson; Don't like fuel smells or car fires? Then replace your cracked and leaking fuel hoses.

Fuel Level Sender Fix (early e12) - Jumping fuel gauge got you frantic? Or overly optimistic fuel gauge got you walking with a gas can on the side of the road? Try Tony's fix for the early fuel level senders.

Gauge Cluster - By Adam Wilson. Ok, you finally quit smoking. Now what to do with that useless ashtray area? Make this cool gauge cluster panel with Adam's FAQ

Glovebox Latch Repair - Tired of all your junk falling on the floor? Fix the latch better than new for under $2.00.

Hazard Switch Repair FAQ - Hazard/Emergency flasher switch popped out? Stop jamming toothpicks in it to keep it in! Instead, follow John in Simi Valley's excellent FAQ on hazard switch repair

Headliner Repair - Detailed FAQ with material sources by Jeff Prothero

Heater Controls Repair - Gummy, sticky and intermittant Heater/AC fan controls #@&!! Here's the fix.

Heater Valve Replacement The mother of all underdash jobs made a little simpler. Thanks Jeff C!

Hood Latch Repair - You pull on the hood release lever and nothing! Darn it! Here's the fix including cable replacement.

Horn Repair FAQ - Details on repairing e12 horns by Carl

Idler arm bushing R&R - Try this if you steering is labored or wanders. A driveway job of moderate difficulty.

Ignition Buzzer FAQ - Are you annoyed by the plaintive wail of the whining buzzer when your key is in the ignition and the door is open?

Ignition Wire Replacement FAQ - Don't buy cheap supressor type replacement wires. Rebuild your with Craig's Ignition Wire Replacement FAQ

Ignition Timing - Finally an FAQ to set timing on your E12

Ignition Timing for Modified Engines - Great article by distributor guru Dave Andrews. Find out why you need different advance curve with that new cam or higher compression pistons. Posted by permission of author. You'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader

Interior Dye FAQ - Restore your interior with this FAQ from Aaron from Aus.

Instrument Cluster Removal FAQ - Remove your instrument cluster to repair speedometer, clean and repair intermittant gauges or change bulbs. Don't forget to clean all the electrical contacts (updated)

K&N Cone filter install - Build your own K&N Cone Filter Kit. by Sean Steinman

L-Jetronic Here's an overview with links to the various fuel injections FAQ's
L-Jet Seminar from the 1999 First Fives Fest - You'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader

L-Jet ECU and Combo Relay Pinouts - Here are the pinouts of the much discussed items

L-Jetronic Throttle body adjustment - by Peter Florance

Lockmotor FAQ - Electric Lockmotors fail often on e12's. Some are no longer available. The rest are > $150.00 each. Repair your own!

M535i Airdam FAQ - Here's the skinny on installing the M535i airdam by Adam Wilson

Motronic conversion - A list of parts needed for a motronic conversion.

Motronic Throttle Conversion FAQ - Finally Velocewest gets off the throttle cable bracket secret.

Newbie FAQ - New to E12's? Here's some things to check on your new 'jewel'..

Noise reduction FAQ - Making your E12 more quiet.

Paeco Header Installation - Photos by Sean "Kaveman" Steinman.

Petronix Installation FAQ - Thanks Mike Bliem

Radiator upgrade - Increase your cooling capacity with an E28 535i radiator. 

Radiator upgrade II- Written for RHD cars, also great info for LHD cars as well. Most or all info should apply.

Short Shifter FAQ - With great pictures of a Short Shifter Install and DIY Bronze Bushings

Smog Test FAQ - Sweating upcoming smog test? Here's some tips by Mike W.

Spring rates - A list of Stock Spring rates for various E12s

Synthetic Oil Explained - by Don Stevens

Synthetic Oil & Performance - by Don Stevens

Trailing Arm Bushing R&R - Finally an easier way to get those bushings out and replaced. Thanks to Trevor M and some info from our Dictator for Life.

Trunk Gasket Replacement - by James L. Davis

Trunk Toolkit Contents - by Adam Wilson Updated with jack and lug wrench placement photos!

VIN Number Ranges for e12 - A list of the ranges of all US e12 VIN numbers

Wheel Bearing Replacement - by Mike Clarkenfields via Peter Florance.

Wheel offsets - A list of wheel offsets of various BMW and other wheels.

Window Channel Replacement - tip on substitute parts

Windshield Rust Repair - Peter dives headfirst into rust repair.

Wood Trim Refinishing - Here's a method to repair that cracked wood finish on your door panels. By Brian Thomason

Wood Trim Refinishing II - By Art in CA; Another approach to interior wood refinishing

Off-Site FAQ Links

Dual Carb to 528i L-Jetronic Conversion - By Jim Ockner located on the CS Registry Site. Great for 525's, E3's and of course E9 coupes.

SeniorSix Registry FAQ - When your too lazy to build your own FAQ, link to someone elses. Presenting... the seniorsix registry FAQ.

Link updated 1/20/2002 Big coupe group FAQ - a very extensive FAQ for the 6 series. Lots of good info for all BMWs .

© 2002, ™