20th Jun 2003, 01:19

I have an '86 535i, and I know what you mean by "grins all around"! Taking this car on the Sea to Sky Highway (twisty mountain road from Vancouver to Whistler) is a real blast... power to spare and great handling. Nice to have all that and fantastic reliability as well. Too bad you hadn't got the 5-speed, it adds a lot more venom to the bite if you can keep it in the powerband!

17th Jun 2004, 23:44

Shame about the auto, these things fly with the manual, IMHO the M5 is almost too powerful, the M535i has just the right amount of power for the chassis to be fun without being dangerous. Its the only car I've ever felt that I could live with the rest of my life and not get sick of it.

31st Dec 2004, 02:20

Mine is a '87 535i and I just love it! Gobs of torque, more acceleration than the '85 Toyota Celica GT it replaced. (Better gas mileage too). I was sad to see my Toyota get totaled, but than I wouldn't have found this beauty. I never thought that I would ever be able to afford a Bimmer, but here I am having the time of my life.

I can't wait for winter to end (-22 C) so I can slap on the summer tires and really put it through its paces.

Just grinning from ear to ear!!!

22nd Mar 2005, 16:24

I also had a 89 535i SE auto, and it was nice and quick. Problem is I got bored, bought a 1986 320i took a week of work and fitted the 3.5 engine into the 3 series!


Highly recommend, 0 to 60 is around 5 seconds. That's Auto as well.

16th Nov 2005, 13:02

A 3.5 into a space made for a 1.8 is a pretty good trick. I'll bet it's fast!

9th Nov 2006, 10:28

Insurance is fairly inexpensive.

My 533i has an automatic, and it's the best of both worlds. Easy to drive around town, responds very fast in the 25-40mph range. True, a manual would be far more enjoyable when not in traffic - but most of the time I am, so it works out well. BMW says a manual 533i, 535i, 535is will do 0-60 in about 7.7 sec. Equipped with a 4-speed automatic it will do about 9.4 - this is dead accurate (providing your car is tuned properly, and stock).

And yes, take extreme caution when driving in the wet or snow/ice. Good tires are VITAL! If driving in the snow/ice, it is mandatory to install the highest quality snow tires on all 4.

14th Nov 2006, 11:04

In response to the previous comment: The US 533i, 535i, 535is and M5, all were timing-chain driven engines. Only the US 528e had a timing-belt. This is concerning US-spec. E28 5-series models (`82-`88). On another note, BMW cars are referred to as "Bimmers", while BMW motorcycles are "Beemers".

4th Dec 2006, 10:59

Driving in the snow with summer tires in the winter? Wow! Can you get up hills? Do you put weight in the trunk?

When my Michelin TRX's (Summer) were brand new, I tried them out in the snow, with 150lbs. of sand bags in trunk. It performed quite well. I drove it very briefly though. It made it up one minor hill just fine. 4 years later it snowed early, and I had atleast 25K miles. on the tires by then. I drove about 15 miles. with no issues - though I was nervous. I had no weight in the trunk this time. I encountered a short steep hill, and it went a bit sideways, but made it up.

Comparing these tires to my Blizzak WS-15's is night and day. The Blizzacks are fantastic in snow and ice. They stop and turn like nothing else in the snow. When new, I had a heck of a time trying to make the car slide in a parking lot with 4". They now need replacing. Since Blizzack WS-15 and WS-50 tires are no longer produced, I have ordered a set of Nokian Hakkapeliitta RSi's - they are top-rated by Canadian and Swedish Journalists.

Note: when adding weight to rear of car, the tires/wheels negative camber increases, since suspension is being compressed. This means the tires will be riding on the inner edges, instead of the middle. Some say weight does nothing on a modern BMW, others say it does. Lately, I haven't heard of anyone adding weight.

11th Dec 2006, 13:32

I also have a 1987 535is. Best car in the world and I wouldn't give it up for any other car. Sadly very poor in the winter. I was driving the car in the snow and before I knew I had slammed into a curb doing about 30mph, but the car still held up, bent the rim a little bit and that's about it.