1984 BMW 5 Series 533i from North America - Comments

20th Nov 2006, 09:36

Regarding your comment/question: It is common for any mounts to wear-out with age. Are you saying your worn diff. mount which wore-out, somehow damaged the frame (where attached) and it needed to be patched? I've never heard of that happening. I'm assuming you replaced the diff. mount with a new one from BMW. It's a good idea to replace the 2 transmission mounts as well (not difficult). Check the condition of the trans. bracket too, and the torque on the bolts. These items can effect drive-shaft, differential and CV-Joint alignment - if incorrect parts are installed it can through things out of spec. and vibrations will slowly occur and sometimes worsen. This happened to me, after 2 years of owning my car - the original owner, had common auto. trans. issues at 90K miles., and took the car to a well-known trans. shop who charged them $2K for a re-build. A year a trans. leak developed. $1K later it was fixed. I bought the car shortly after. When I owned it, drive-shaft vibrations started after two years. My mechanic showed me why. This well-known shop which the orig. owners had the trans. repaired damaged 1/4 of the trans. bracket, and intsalled the wrong trans. mounts - this threw the drive-shaft out of alignment (plus the drive-shaft needed replacement anyways from wear at 125K miles.) We replaced the trans. bracket, mounts and diff. mount, and installed a new BMW-re-built drive-shaft. 80% of the vibrations went away. Now at 185K miles. I still have the orig. differential, CV-joints/half-shafts. I recommend NOT having a BMW auto. trans. repaired at a common trans. repair shop, the same goes with any major items on a BMW. Take it to BMW or a BMW mechanic who is knowledgeable, experienced and enthusiastic on working on older Bimmers.

27th Nov 2006, 14:48

I have just purchased a 1984 533i from a private owner in Pittsburg California. It's probably the nicest car I've owned. It has about 225,000 miles on it, mechanically sound, paint average, and interior is excellent. Before I changed the spark plugs, and gave it an oil change, it ran very nicely before the engine started missing. Since then, I have been having minor electrical problems (Brake light warning light) although there is no noticable problem with the brake lights at all. All in All, an excellent car, nice driver, and when its washed and detailed, you can't help, but notice it.

4th Dec 2006, 10:36

If you are referring to the Check/Control System (warning lights above mirror), overtime they do act up. My brake light bulb warning would come on recently - found out it was a fuse that needed replacing, and the contacts needed to be adjusted - very easy. Another odd sensor issue is my oil level warning light - it only comes on if I push the "test" button. The oil level is always normal. So yes, sensors do go wacky due to age, but overall no lights are ever on.

23rd Feb 2007, 12:54

In 1983, the BMW 533i was the "fastest production sedan in the US", according to a popular automotive publication. Equipped with a manual transmission, top speed is 134mph. In addition BMW advertised the 533i as a limited production vehicle.

2nd Mar 2007, 00:46

Hello to all 533I owners! I purchased my 1983 533I in June of 1996. I am the second owner -- the car had only 24K miles on it when I purchased it. It currently has over 236,000 miles on the original engine, which has never had any work beyond regular service. It is an amazing car that still handles and rides better than many cars, even ones that may be only several years old! Major repairs have been a clutch about 12 years ago at 165K miles, front suspension rebuild last month (did myself and saved a ton of $$$), and a variety of electrical parts, which seems to be the most common item that fails. Recent replacements include blower motors (both A/C and Heater) and a variety of switches. To my amazement, in addition to the original engine, this car has the original transmission, differential, alternator, starter, P/S pump, water pump, and other parts that I cannot believe have never failed. I just keep replacing brakes, filters, and fluids, and this car, again, is simply amazing. I really hope to make the 250,000 mark without a failure (almost there) and although at times thought about selling, I think this is now a forever car for me -- I could not bring myself to sell unless totaled or something. In addition, it is perfect inside and out, and has some modifications that I did way back when I purchased, including 16" BBS rims with fat tires, Dinan suspension, including springs, Bilsteins, adjustable sway bars & poly bushings, lowered, and Zender Aero kit (air dam, rocker panels, rear under bumper panel) and M5 rear spoiler. With the dark Graphite Metallic paint and gold BBS wheels, this car really stands out and gets regular comments (and offers to buy).

BMW's forever!

24th Jun 2007, 23:08

How do I fix an electrical problem with the 1983 bmw 533i series.

26th Jun 2007, 14:22

Re: fixing an electrical problem: Check out www.mye28.com - it's a great resource for those owning a `82-`88 5-series. Also refer to the Bentley manual (Robert Bentley Publishers). You may also wish to join the BMW CCA.

4th Jul 2007, 01:22

Hi, I just picked-up an '88 535i. Got a good deal, however noticed this on test drive and after purchasing: She sort of chokes or quickly hesitates in all gears (5 sp.) at around 3500 rpm. Also, she doesn't get up to top speed, and also creates a strange whirring sound when I push the rpms, again in all gears. Feels like the automatic limiter in my '89 325is, however, if that's what it is, it's kicking in way too early (?) Would really appreciate some input. I'm pretty sure the symptoms are related, but maybe not. Thanks, Dan.

11th Jul 2007, 14:40

In resposne to the previous message. There is no elec. speed limiter on E28's. Your issue sounds fuel related. Possibly a vacuum leak.

7th Aug 2007, 21:39

I have a 1983 533i automatic 3 speed which I am restoring gradually. Its great to feel this car come alive. I just put illuminated switches, a new trans, new 205/70hr14 tires (I think I liked 195/70hr14 better), brakes, radiator and starter.) I just fixed all the quarter panel rust, and spot painted, to preserve the original paint. Air conditioning blows freezing, everything on the car works. I am about to replace the manual seats with electric sport seats, which I re-padded to improve lumbar support. I am thinking about getting a limited slip differential rather than repack a leaky rear, and overdrive unit, sinc ethe car revs high at 60 mph without that fourth gear. When I get done, this car will be a 125 mph all day cruiser in near concourse condition. Time to go to the autobahn.

I also have a 1988 535is 5 speed that needs a hood and electrical work. I am addicted to E28's, Volvo 780 Bertones and 1991 Saab 9000 turbos. I am looking at a 1995 540i. and an 840ci. Love trading cars for guitars!

Any opinions or observations on the foregoing are welcome.

25th Aug 2007, 16:42

I bought a 1984 533i for a $100. I need to know if this is good buy? Also I'm having a problem getting the computer and the brake lights to work. Please help.