My 6th BMW is, appropriately, an E24

BMWs hedonistic GT had never really crossed my mind. The cars are frankly old-fashioned and not as lovable as the 3-series. I felt BMW had caved in to the American market, replacing the lovely E9 with a Bavarian Camaro. Exchange rates made it unbelievably expensive. Worst of all, the emasculated M30B32 wasn’t as fast as the more practical GM F-body 2+2. I never figured one would come my way and I wasn’t overly concerned. These cars have a reputation for being expensive to buy and to maintain. They’re also somewhat slower and more ponderous than they look. They are far larger on the outside than they are on the inside. More style than substance. Not a sporting car, all in all. The closely-related 5-series is far more of a performance machine when equipped with any of the big sixes. The big, plush US-model coupe just didn’t fit my demographic.

Anyhow, I happened to have a surplus motorcycle sitting around. You can do the math, can’t you? My unwanted bike + interesting trade offer on CL = new machine to play with. I went to see it, and found a survivor. An ’82 633CSi with a 5 speed, not running (sensing a theme here?). Oh-so-very 80s look, black over cardinal red leather with some sweet Epsilon/Southern Ways 15″ meshies.  We agreed on a straight-up trade. He kindly delivered the car, picked up the bike, and the rest was up to me.

It needed a lot – especially research. I found out that it was an orphan. This car was built on the old E12-style chassis, but with a newer Motronic 1.0 motor. I had a surprising amount of trouble tracking down seemingly-obvious parts. How hard could a transmission subframe be? I believe that BMW had about ten different subframe part numbers during production. Considering the six different manual transmissions (Getrag 262, 265/5, 265/6, 260/5, 260/6, 280) and three automatics (Z-F 3HP22, 4HP22, 4HP22EH) fitted to the two very different E24 chassis, I’m not surprised. It’s hard to find that info, despite excellent resources like RealOEM and

It took me a long time to track down the no-start problems. Here’s a few, in no particular order: the lift pump had a loose connector pin, the DME temp sensor had a dead resistor and a broken wire (inside the boot), the coil wire had an intermittent fault (but only when installed), the injectors were plugged up, and both the reference and position sensors were out of spec.

It was difficult work, but it’s just the the kind of riddle I love to solve. I had learned a lot of new skills and I could afford a few more tools. Do you know the incredible feeling you get when it starts that first time? Addictive!

It left soon after all the troubles were cured, traded off on yet another motorcycle!


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