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1988 BMW 535iS S38 (Euro M5 Style) Swap

1988 BMW 535iS S38 (Euro M5 Style) Swap

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Details

Price: SOLD

Exterior color: Alpine White Exterior

Interior: Beige Leather Sport Interior

Additional features:

Extensive Modification/Build:

S38B35 6-Cylinder Engine Stroked to 3.8-Liters

5-Speed Manual Getrag G280 Transmission

3.8 Liter Knife-Edged Crank

Pauter Rods

JE Pistons

Schrick Camshafts

Euro Headers

Autronic Standalone ECU

Dinan Muffler

Dinan Stage 2 Suspension

Wilwood Superlite (UUC) 6-Piston Front Brakes

Wilwood Superlite (UUC) 4-Piston Rear Brakes

Lightweight Flywheel

Sachs Sport Clutch

UUC Short Shifter

3:73 Limited-Slip Differential

Euro Bumper Conversion (Complete)

Euro Grilles

Euro Headlights

Intensive Cleaning System

Chrome Mirrors

Custom (removeable) Vinyl Striping

Full M5 Reupholstered Interior w/

Leather M-Tech 1 Steering Wheel

Leather M5 Sport Seats

Leather Door Caps

Leather Wrapped Dashboard

Black Headliner

Illuminated M Shift Knob

JL Subwoofer

Eclipse 36401 Amp

M5 Battery Relocation to the Trunk

M5 Trunk Carpet Kit

M5 Tool Kit w/ Red Screw Drivers and a BMW Rag

M System Wheels (Naked)

Nokian zLine A/S tires

California / Colorado Car

Featured in: Bimmer, BMW Car, and BimmerLife

Background

1988 BMW 535iS S38 (Euro M5 Style) Swap exterior photo

The E28 (2nd Generation) BMW 5 Series was the one car, more than any other, that established and defined the mid-size sport sedan segment. By its second evolution of the 5 Series, BMW had nailed the recipe of a luxury sedan that was large enough to haul four adults comfortably, while sporty enough to easily out-drive its contemporaries and satisfy the requirements of the performance driver. The 535iS, only available for the final two years of production, was the range-topping non-M 5 Series. It was powered by the venerable M30B34 inline 6-cylinder engine, which produced 182 horsepower. The M30 is one of BMW’s most reliable engines, with many examples lasting well into the 400k-mile range. Power was routed to the rear wheels through a Getrag G260 gearbox. The “iS” also got an M-Technic rear spoiler, sport seats, sport suspension settings, and a more aggressive front valance. Relatively low production numbers and the fact that the E28 was so good meant that many literally had the wheels driven off of them, making surviving examples rare. 

Summary

 exterior photo

This 1988 BMW 535iS is truly something special, it has been built into a virtual Euro M5 clone. Looking through the 2-inch stack of records, it is clearly a project that the original builder spiraled out of control and spared no expense on, and that’s why we love it! It started life as the excellent segment-defining sport sedan that the E28 535iS was; but the owner at the time clearly thought that was not enough, so they decided to have Bavarian Workshop in Canoga Park, CA install an S38B35 engine from an E28 M5 in 2002. This version had a worked-over head and high flow exhaust headers, but in 2006 the owner decided yet again that this was not enough. The engine then received a full rebuild including extensive modification, including: a 3.8-liter knife-edged crankshaft, 94.5mm pistons, Pauter forged connecting rods, a Cometic MLS head gasket, ARP head studs, all new timing components, oil pump, Schrick camshafts, adjustable cam gears, VAC performance valve springs, 50lb injectors, and big-bore 50mm throttle bodies. Euro headers, high-flow catalytic convertors, and a Dinan exhaust complete the power delivery. At sea level it dyno’d at 380 crank horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. A UUC short shift kit was installed, along with a Dinan Stage II suspension featuring Bilstein Sport rear shocks and Koni adjustable front struts. For added stopping power Wilwood UUC Superlight 6-piston front brakes and 4-piston rear brakes were fitted over naked E34 M5 M system wheels. To complete the look, Euro bumpers, grilles, headlights, and an intensive cleaning system were installed with custom (removable) vinyl striping. Inside a complete M5 interior was installed, including relocating the battery to the trunk, with the correct M5 trunk carpet items and an M5 toolkit with red screw drivers and a blue BMW rag. The dashboard, door caps, and all other appropriate surfaces were covered in leather, along with a leather M Tech I steering wheel and illuminated M shift knob. The end result is a Euro M5 clone with significantly more punch. The build totaled over $100K—and that was in mid-2000’s money! The car as been featured in the February 2008 issue of Bimmer magazine, the October 2010 issue of BMW Car magazine, and more recently in the December 2018 issue of BimmerLife.

The records are extremely thorough and date back to 2002 documenting the history of the build through 2008 when the majority of the work was completed. From there they pick up again in 2015, when the current owner brought it to Colorado, who we are selling it on consignment for. Under his tenure it has been exceptionally well maintained. In preparation for sale, an extensive service was completed including the fan clutch, catalytic converters, replacing the wideband O2 sensor, spark plugs, tires drive belts, a fan clutch, front brake rotors, Racetronix injectors, and fuel trim adjustment for the new injectors and altitude. It passes emissions in the state of Colorado. As it sits, it represents a truly unique opportunity in the E28 market, offering beyond European M5 performance with the looks to match—especially when compared to the black-only big-bumper U.S. market M5. We would like to find a new owner who will continue its ownership pedigree for the next chapter of its story.