Stanced – 1984 BMW 528e with 3.5 Engine

It’s hard to decide what to say about this recent subtrend in car modification. On the one hand, the folks who practice stancing often modify older cars with period-correct wheels, and retrofit home-market bumpers when the North Americans got big old diving boards. They’re also spending time and money on keeping up some cars that are less popular with the mainstream, and artistically photographing their work. On the other hand, they’re stretching too-small tires over too-big rims, setting ridiculous camber angles, and lowering the cars over coil-over springs until you can’t even drive over a pencil without it scraping the bottom of the car. There’s also the stereotype of backwards-ball-cap, sagging-jeans-wearing, drum-n-bass-listening kids, but if it’s too loud, you’re too old. So there. Anyway, let’s take a look at an example of this subculture – you can find this 1984 BMW 528e / 535i for sale in Bend, OR for $2300.

1984 BMW 535i right front 2

This is probably fairly close to how it looks now. The seller has some pictures on the listing that make it look awesome, then says in his listing that the car comes without the European front bumper, headlights, or fancy-pants wheels. Instead, you get 14″ wheels and US-market equal-size headlights. Oh, and the car has a blown head gasket.

1984 BMW 535i engine

The car has had a fair amount of work done to it, so it’s not clear why the seller is saying he wants to part it out if it doesn’t sell soon. It’s had the aforementioned M30 3.5-liter engine swap with headers, a new radiator, fans, and skid plate, along with a 5-speed, new mounts, bushings, and linkage. The interior is said to be from a 535is, with Corbeau front seats, a Euro clock (what’s that? a 24 hour dial?), and a nearly crack-free dash. Apparently all the electricals work, which is remarkable since the engine compartment has been “shaved”. Looks like there are a couple of disconnected sensors in there – is that why the head gasket blew?

1984 BMW 535i right front

And this is how it doesn’t look. However, with some changes it might be a good start on doing your own Euro conversion.


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One Response to “Stanced – 1984 BMW 528e with 3.5 Engine”

  1. Dave Says:

    I have mixed feelings about “stance” too. While it’s always a treat to see a nice BMW E28 in Euro trim (the burgundrot/chrome combo is especially nice), the lowering process murders practicality.

    Those disconnected sensors are the auxiliary cooling fan switches. Given the weak engine-driven fan clutch, that blown head gasket is a best case scenario. The M30 is a tough old beast; this might be easily repaired.

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