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3K 535i Project

Old 11-25-2018, 10:25 AM
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My Ride: 535i
Model Year: 2008
Default 3K 535i Project

Just picked up this 2008 535i with 110k miles. Its a bit rough, but hey it was only $3k.

I've had one just like that couple years ago, but it was flooded due to clogged sunroof drains and totaled.

Car has a sport package, PDC, heated seats. No Nav though and no Sport Transmission.


Speaking of transmission, it's toast like 10 separate codes. Thus the reason for the cheap price. Interior is not bad, just needs cleaning. Exterior has some scratches, but nothing major.

Its sitting on some lowering springs, no idea what kind.

Exhaust vanos code, so runs a bit rough at idle. Leaking from oil cooler housing.


Goal is to clean it up, rebuild or replace the transmission, throw some downpipes and intercooler and have a nice backup daily.

Some pics.







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Old 12-22-2018, 08:32 PM
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Worked on the car last few weeks. Put it on my lift and started doing a once over.

Here is a list of issues.
  • Oil filter housing leaking
  • Missing subframe reinforcement plate - not happy with this, very unsafe to drive without that piece
  • Missing all front and center splash shields
  • Spark plugs look pretty worn
  • Intake valves are just beyond bad, so much carbon that it must impede 30% airflow at least
  • Leaking vacuum hoses from the pump to the canisters
  • Code for Exhaust Vanos
  • Possibly leaking oil pan, but there is too much oil to know for sure going to clean it up and find out
  • Worn control arm bushings
Pulled the pan to take a look at the transmission, fluid was ok, no metal shavings, no funny smell. I removed the valvebody and found a completely cracked sealing bridge. That made me very happy. $12 much better than full transmission rebuild. Installed new Sleeve, 4 little seals and the bridge seal. Filled it up with Ford Mercon SP fluid for $7 a quart. New Filter / pan. With transmission done, I started working on the motor. First was walnut blasting, took forever had to break up the worst carbon with a pick before I could even put a dent in it. Got new vacuum hose for the canisters, new spark plugs. Installed new gaskets and put the intake manifold back in. Next was 2 vanos solenoids and oil cooler gasket.

Today I was finally able to fire it up and go for a drive. Engine runs smooth, but injectors are loud and I have a +30 long term fuel trim on bank 1. I also have Index 9 injectors on the same bank and Index 11 on Bank 2, so seems those are failing. I ordered 3 new injectors.

Best part is transmission works perfectly, just that stupid sealing bridge made it not shift.

Next is the suspension, install a new valve cover since the old one is pretty beat up and I am sure the PCV ports are all clogged. Once I deem it road worthy I can start some minor upgrades

Car on lift finally


Wrecked control arm bushings


Valves Before


Valves After


Broken vacuum hoses


Valvebody Out


Transmission rebuild or buy a $12 part? lol


Oil filter housing getting cleaned


While waiting for FCP Euro to deliver my parts I found some cheap wheels for my parts delivery wagon, could not pass them up for $200, my old silverado almost looks modern lol.


Transmission parts

Last edited by Kaane; 12-22-2018 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 12-23-2018, 11:37 AM
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Nice work! What's the ceiling height in your car hole? I want a lift and have 11 foot ceilings.
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Old 12-23-2018, 11:57 AM
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My ceiling is a bit less than 12 feet, its a bit sloped. I can stand under the car with it being at the highest point.
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Old 12-24-2018, 05:24 AM
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My Ride: 2010 535xiT Touring
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Engine: N54 3.0L Twin Turbo
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Great post, thanks!
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Old 12-24-2018, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Kaane View Post
My ceiling is a bit less than 12 feet, its a bit sloped. I can stand under the car with it being at the highest point.
That's my goal. I should have room.
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Old 12-25-2018, 11:31 AM
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Unfortunately project is getting more complicated. After I put it back together I am still getting a flare between 3 and 4th gear. It most likely has issues with the E-clutch. Also the oil pain leaking pretty badly. Since transmission will have to come out for a rebuild, I decided to just pull the motor and fix all the leaks at once.

While taking the front end apart, I noticed water pump bolt completely loose. The waste gate actuator was missing 1 bolt.... No idea who worked on it in the past but they cut some corners.

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Old 12-26-2018, 07:36 AM
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My Ride: 2008 535xI Wagon
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i'm so jealous of your lift.
gook luck with the overhaul.
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Old 12-31-2018, 07:15 AM
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Motor is out. Super filthy.

Motor mounts are completely shot. Wastegates worn out as well, will need replacing.

Decided on the 6MT swap and dynamic drive delete, going to install M5 Sway Bars as well.

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Old 01-02-2019, 08:47 AM
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I think I need new wastegates.


Also motor mounts lol.

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