I've mended something (definitely in a Clarkson way)

Driving around the E28 now that the weather has turned cooler in Houston, I noticed that the “fresh air” coming in seemed warmer than I thought it should be.

For those of you not aware, the E28's (and some other BMW’s of that vintage) only send “fresh air” or AC air out of the dash level vents. You can only get heat out of the floor or defrost / windshield vents. When I had the settings in place to only allow fresh air in (and the AC was off), I was getting relatively warm air for compared to the outside air temp.

So of course I went to mye28.com for some reading, and found that I’m missing some molding / gasket that goes around the metal ducts on the underside of the hood that lets fresh air into the cabin. Without the molding there is a sizable gap between the metal duct and the firewall panel that separates the engine bay from the fresh air intake and blower.

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(Yes, I see the surface rust there, and it is added to the list of areas I need to work on.)

Those parts aren’t exactly easy to find, so with a bit more reading I found some users took to alternative methods to seal that gap. It turns out that pipe insulation fits on there well and comes pretty close to sealing the gap. I don’t think this will be a permanent solution, I’d like to get the correct part, but will definitely do the job in the meantime.

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I’ll probably keep an eye out for a hood with all of the correct parts and less rust.

Other odds and ends:  Even though Houston isn’t “cold”, the E28 definitely takes a full minute to warm up in lower temperatures. I’ve got to keep my foot just barely on the gas (about 900-1000 RPM) so it doesn’t stall. After a minute it is fine. Might be one of the temp sensors, but not a big deal right now.

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I still get a smile driving this every time, and the kids like it more and more. The biggest complaint from the kiddos is “smell”...which, well, it still does a little bit. And it will until I replace the carpet entirely, which is not in the plan for now. It just smells a little old.

Near term items - new shelving in the garage so I can store the tools / parts I’m starting to acquire at a faster pace than before. Then the door rust. But mostly more driving.

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