The second-gen BMW 5 Series topped out with the M5’s 255 horsepower, but this E28 is a bit more powerful. Actually, it packs some considerable extra punch. Matt is the proud owner of what used to be a slightly rusted sports sedan bought for 800 AUD. It’s a 1985 model originally powered by an inline-six, 2.0-liter engine some of you know by its M20B20 codename.
“Originally” is the keyword here because the engine bay is now occupied by a 2.5-liter unit from a 3 Series E36. The powertrain has been stroked out to a three-liter displacement, with a turbocharger thrown in for good measure. Cramming all the hardware in required many custom-made parts, but he eventually managed to pull it off.
From a full stainless steel exhaust to a five-speed ZF gearbox from a 328i, Matt’s E28 is a mélange of custom and OEM parts. He replaced the original transmission because it wouldn’t have been able to cope with the substantially more powerful engine. The performance saloon also has the rear end taken from a 535i with a beefier driveshaft and control arms.
The E28 Vastly More Powerful Now
What’s the magical number? About the 390 horsepower at the wheels, which works out to nearly 450 hp at the crank. That’s quite a step up from the original engine with less than 130 hp. While the odometer shows over 210,000 kilometers (130,487 miles), the engine is brand new. Getting here was not without mistakes as the previous engine blew up after slapping on a turbo and putting the car on a dyno.
Filmed by YouTuber Fullboost, the E28 project car is still a work in progress. He has fully repainted the car and fitted an E34-sourced interior along with a few aftermarket mods. The heavily modified 5 Series also has an air suspension kit and rides on custom wheels keeping the 1980s style. Overall, it’s a great build both in terms of how it looks and the hardware underneath.
[Source: Fullboost / YouTube]