Finnish Line – For Sale: 1987 BMW 528e automatic

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The E28 bodystyle BMW 5-series is one of my favorite cars. It’s pretty much the right size for a car, it’s classically styled, there’s an airy glasshouse and the attractive sharknose is always a nice sight. True, the US-spec bumpers do affect the looks a little bit, but this side of the pond they’re not too common.

This exact E28 differs from the usual Finnish lot quite a lot. It’s an American import, as the original owner has moved back to Finland at some point and brought his or her US-bought E28 over. The engine isn’t too common here either, as most E28:s here are either 518:s or 520:s, but this is the 2.7-litre eta model – and an automatic to boot.

From the photos, it appears super clean. It’s also had a bunch of funds invested into it, so it should be a safe buy. Take a look.

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The M20B27 eta engine is an economy unit cooked up for minimum fuel consumption. It generally relies on torque, of which there is 230Nm at 3250rpm, and the car only really revs to little further than 4000rpm. The power reading is 121hp, which is kind of low-ish for 2693cc. It should be a suitably relaxed drive, coupled to the autobox; since there’s no point in giving it stick, it’s probably just fine as auto.

The car here has 155 000 miles on the clock, which sounds attractively low to our European ears but corresponds to 250k kms.

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The E34 alloy wheels are a perfect match for the E28. They’re really handsome, and the suspension work means they fill the arches properly. The wheelarches have even been rolled to ensure the accommodation, but they’ve been rustproofed so that won’t prove an issue in the long run.

According to the seller he’s spent 2500 eur on the car during the last twelve months. This includes the aforementioned suspension job (new springs front and back), valve adjustment, new auxiliary belts, driveshaft overhaul, oils and filters and the complete assessment of the ignition system, among other things. The ECU has also been re-chipped, to provide some extra torque. Inspection is recent and valid, and the car comes with service history. Sadly, cruise control isn’t working and despite the clean looks the car needs a lick of paint in one of the fenders.

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So, in a nutshell, here you have a neat-looking, well-maintained car with an economy engine and an automatic gearbox. For some, those are a major hindrance, but in my opinion they’ve contributed to the car making it in one piece for so long.

The asking price is a bold 3900 eur. For a non-M E28 it’s on the high side, but E28:s are probably appreciating in value if kept clean.

See the link here (mostly in Finnish)

[Source: Nettiauto]

15 Comments

  1. I love the E12 and E28 and bonus they are before all electronic shit, so they're easy to work on.
    If you want to buy a high miles one my advice is to take of the valve cover to see how far the excentric valve ajusters are set up, if they are all up it will need new valve seats, if there are just one or two in a different position it could mean trouble.
    It's very easy to see by the position of the hole
    <img src="http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/techarticles/E30-Valve_Adjust/E30_valve_eccentric.jpg&quot; width="450">

  2. I'd think a 518 with a manual box would be a major hindrance, if anything. And just to think: people here complain about the lameness of the 528e's engine.
    That notwithstanding, I'd love a poverty-spec 518 or 520 on some steelies.

    1. A 528e automatic and a 518i manual are roughly equally fast. 12.2 versus 12.6 seconds 0-62. The 518i still has over 100 hp (105 I believe), weighs over a hundred kilos (200-250 lbs) less due to the i4 engine and isn't kept down by that automatic parasite.

  3. E28 seems to be very uncommon model in Finland. In 1999 I took 3 month job near Seinajoki and workplace was near the highway. In those 3 months I spotted only 1-2 of them.

    1. It depends. You weren't in prime BMW country; drive further up north to where I reside and you tend to see more. Also, it's weird to think that in 1999 those were only little more than a decade old.

    1. I don't know, those on the white car are the correct ones but if you want to plus one to fit newer low profile tyres I think the E34 ones are a good fit, certainly better than some crass aftermarket wheels. The flush look later wheels are still similar and a little more' 80s' with an 'aero' vibe -and they are from the same design team led by Claus Luthe .But then everything comes down to personal preference. : )

  4. hello sir,do you have some pictures of the interior and inside the bonnet?
    and a optionlist?
    grt maurice from holland

  5. Wow. Found my car this thread. For information, same owner, m-sport leather interior, turbo charger & intercooler installed since 2013. Great car but head gasket just blow up. New modifield head coming in:)

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