From digest.v7.n233 Sun Sep 7 21:03:55 1997
From: Jim Cash <j.cash_at_sympatico.ca>
Date: Sun, 07 Sep 1997 13:21:53 -0400
Subject: E28 (528ea) - 14 Years Experience - Modifications
E28 FANS - MODIFICATIONS
Iím new to the digest and see quite a few questions about E28ís.
I had a 528ea for 14 yrs & 280,000km. Bought it new in 1982 and traded
it last year for an E39 540ia.
For your interest I made the following modifications.
If you are comfortable with wiring modifications, relays, and using
diodes to prevent unwanted electrical "back-flows", then you can
achieve many customised features.In most cases you need electrical
At this date your dealers "might" let you borrow/copy the "electrical
trouble shooting manual".
- Cibie quartz headlights - Best safety upgrade you can make. You will
never use sealed beams again. Low beam "pattern" is almost as good
as the Xenonís on my E39 - just not as bright.
No wiring changes required. I prefered Cibie's but other brands are
For the high beams I chose the long range units (part no 57-30-02 -
this might be an old number). They have a specified range of 8,600 ft -
IF YOU USE THESE YOU DO HAVE TO ADOPT A NEW APPROACH TO USE OF HIGH
BEAMS - YOU MUST DIP THEM MUCH EARLIER THAN NORMAL TO PREVENT ANNOYING
OTHERS. But the better low beams make up for it. One thing you will
notice with the lows is that they have a high portion to the right -
designed to light up signs on the side of the road. This is great but
will also shine in the door mirror of cars you are passing - SO MAKE
SURE YOU DO NOT LINGER BESIDE SOMEONE ON A MULTI LANE HIGHWAY (another
good reason to not sit in someone's blind spot).
- Wire front fogs, with ignition, as Daytime Running Lights. Can use
low beamís instead if preferred. Must wire before the switch.
- Activate rear fogs as per Euro standard
- - second position on foglight switch.
- - used "unused" wiring to trunk, extended to rear lights & inserted
bulbs and sockets.
- - installed bulb & wiring for dash indicator.
- Rewire front/side marker lights to double as side turn signals. They
still operate as side markers but flash with the turn signals. ( for
cars before this was provided )
- Garage Door Opener(s)
To hide garage door opener(s) remove circuit board from itís case
and solder a wire across contacts that normally make when you push
the button. Splice the battery wire and extend to where you mount
the switch. Wire the switch in series with the battery.
I wrapped my 2 circuit boards in a cloth, tucked them in the front
of the vent, just below the grill on top of the dash (donít block
movement of the vent arm), drilled a hole in the vent bottom, and
threaded the wire down to the right of the radio. I got a window
switch, to operate the 2 openers, and put it in the blank location
to the right of the radio. You can put the battery anywhere as long
as you extend the wiring, or, use car power & a voltage reducer so
unit only gets 9 volts.
- Audible alarm for - low fuel, oil pressure, high temp.
- door open (transmission in drive)
- Additional dash indicatorís - door open
- doors locked/unlocked
- cruse control active
Items 6 & 7 require connections to several circuits, and extensive
surgery to the interior of the instrument cluster - lots of diodes,
some LEDís etc. To get a high temperature alarm and light you can
connect to the high temperate fan relay at the fuse box.
- Floor courtesy lights. Rears are mounted through the carpet & metal
panel that supports seat bottom. (lift rear seat bottom and youíll
find a whole area where you can store stuff - I never did reuse the
- Interior lights activated by drivers door handle. (for cars before
this was provided)
- LED lighting for overhead light switches.
- LED lighting for window controls on console.
- Additional trunk lighting, with cut-out switch.
- Toggle switch on console for central locking.
- Auxiliary power for sun roof (push button beside sunroof switch
- - powers the sunroof without using the key - must hold push button
- Auxiliary power for windows (push button on console - powers the
window relay so windows can be operated without the key.
- To obtain better interior temperature control I installed a plastic
extension tube over the intake of the temperature sensor (above
drivers feet), and routed this to the grill in the centre console
- to pick up air from the centre of the car rather than the foot
area where hot air discharges. Interior air is pulled over this
sensor by a small vacuum tube from the engine.
I sealed one end of the tube, cut a small hole in the side and glued
the tube to the sensor, with the new hole over the sensor intake.
NOTE - LEDís use 1-2 volts. To use in a 12 volt circuit you need a 1000
ohm resister in series with each LED. Remember LEDís are diodes - and
must be wired with correct polarity.
In some cases I provided details, but for others you will probably need
If you would like me a detailed write up, and copy of the wiring
diagram for any of these mods then please email me. If I still have the
information for the mod you want I will let you know, and ask for a
small advance fee for my time etc. ($25-$50 depending on amount of
information you want).
Note - I am not running this as a business, or actively seeking
[ Help ]
London Ontario, Canada
519-657-4839 - j.cash_at_sympatico.ca
current 97 540ia