BMW M5 Forum and M6 Forums banner

Alpina B9 restoration

38211 Views 76 Replies 23 Participants Last post by  kees
Hello everyone :byebye:

I'm a new member here, from France.
I use to read M5board very often, but i decided to register.
I own an Alpina B9 3,5 E28, that i found in the south of France, lying in a very poor shape. I got it for nothing, and fortunatly, the car was running great, even if it hasn't drive for 5 years.
So happy to own an Alpina i dreamed about lovelove, i decided to restore it.

Even if it's very rusty, very high mileage (370 000 kms), completly burnt by the south sun, it was an Alpina with such an amazing driving pleasure.
The car was running as new. I didn't know a lot about the car.
First i wanted to buy it only for some parts and the beautiful wheels.
The previous owner was a garagist that died. His brother sold me the car.
But the car was originaly from belgium, and had still the red and white driving plate.
Fortunatly, the first owner of the car, was living in France, and was a friend of the garagist who died. He made the sale papers to me, 5 years after having given the car (without any sale contract).

So he told me about his first hand car: He changed the engine at 250 000 kms, and the car had a full and expensive maintenance untill he gave it at 370 000 km, under the pressure of his wife: "You can't make expenses on a 370 000 kms car no more !!" He would have driven it untill today if he would have the choice. He was completly in love with the car.

So, since last october, i did a lot of work on the car, myself or in a bodyworkshop. The restoration is not in the "rules of the art", my purpose is only to have a safe and nice car, and having a big enjoyement in the restoration.

I register now, because more than words i can offer you a lot of photos of the project, as i've just launched my web site about it.
It's an adaptation of a post-it topic in a french forum called
It's in french, but you can see the photos in the "restauration" section.
In "recit de voyage", you have all the photos when i bought the car.

Here's the link:

I hope you will enjoy it :wroom:
1 - 20 of 32 Posts

· Registered
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Bonjour Alpina,

my B9 has the production number 348, i wrote to Alpina to be sure it's a real one with the complete serial number, and with the help of Sherlock, member here, i received the complete invoice from Alpina via jmmartin belgium.

I knew then that the car has gold stripes at the beginning, alpina seats (and not leather) and engine with number 4564.

Unfortunatly, the real Alpina engine disapeared with the motor change at 250 000 kms.
Instead the car received a brand new Bmw engine, rebuilded with Alpina parts. I've nothing to say about the engine itself, that is running pretty strong. The work was well done by Waterloo Motors Racing, the Bmw dealer that has imported the car in belgium before jmmartin became the official Alpina dealer.
But, one of my purpose in my project, is to buy a genuine Alpina 3,5 engine, if i find one. There's no hurry, i like the car like it is, and i have a lot of fun restoring it.
The journey Between Toulon where i bought it, and near Poitiers where i live, was a great souvenir !

· Registered
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hello Kees,
many thanks ! we sent some email to each other, but as i told you in one of them, i wanted to have a website showing the restoration process before going on with registering, and communicate with other country people.

But i was searching some news in m5board every two days since some months. I'm becoming a real Alpina nut i think.

Here you have two videos of my B9, in the shape it is yet.

a walk around the car with started engine...

And a return back into it's dark lair...

The exaust have some holes ( i will replace by a stainless steal one, made especially for the car by the official bmw club of France garagist based in Lyon) and is looking like a B9 skeleton. But like that it runs greats, it's even more powerfull in leight weight version like that

· Registered
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hello Bart B,
Thanks for your comments. Unfortunatly, the WM sign was destroyed by trying to remove it, it was too badly damaged by the sun and rain. But you give me the idea to order one to Waterloo Motors, as the car had always this on the boot.
And as you says, with the racing past of Waterloo Motors racing, we can see the car as perhaps the only one B9 with an engine prepared by them.

The first owner of the car told me that the car was running even stronger after the swap.

About the effort, i have to say that, even if the car is rare, it will cost me a lot more (in time and money) than buying a good one directly.
The B9 doesn't provid so much attraction than B6 E21 or B6 3,5.
So the market is low for these car ..... For the moment !

By the way, i was the owner of a beautiful B6 2,8 218 HP, black color.
It was 8 years ago, i kept it only a year, i couldn't keep such a rare car, living near Paris. Now, i would have kept it strongly. I miss it a lot.
But, The B9 is providing an even more great driving pleasure, it's the reason i work a lot on it to have a beautiful one soon.

· Registered
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hello Alpina_b9_82,

I've read your problems to receive the informations about your car.
I thought there was a mistake, but i didn't know about the cars before 1983.

It's always very interesting to have such confirmation.
For exemple, i was in doubt about my car, even if the first owner told me he's sure he have bought a real Alpina brand new
The reason was that the car has a normal bmw serial number, beginning by WBADA71, like the originaly 528i, and not a WAP like the most of Alpina.

It seems that all the B9 hasn't got Alpina special serial number (i know another one in france and it's the same as mine). What is about yours ?
i'm interested about that.
The engine number is important, because for the B9, the engine is completly similar to a normal 3,5 bmw, except for the black head cylinder cover. I was happy to receive the Alpina paper, but disapointed when i discover that my engine is not the 4564 no more.
It's pretty hard to read the engine number, so it's possible to buy an Alpina with normal bmw engine, or tuned by somebody else than Alpina.

· Registered
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You still have the original engine at least

the four last digits are the same as last digits of serial number.
the first four, is engine number probably.
It's strange that your car is from year 82 and has the number 6599.

My car was built in october 83 (sold in june 84) and number of the engine was 4564.
Did you finded an Alpina number on the head cylinder ?
I'm curious about that.

My head cylinder is stamped "90" it's the year of built. I learned that Bmw normal head cylinder after 87 has the same solutions, same valve size, as Alpina used before 87. So, waterloo motors just had to put a Shrick camschaft and to reprogramm the motronic to have almost the same as an Alpina head cylinder. That will never be an Alpina one, we all agree about that.
The first owner waited 4 months before having back his car, he told me they ordered parts to Alpina, and it was long to arrive.

I would like so much to have the invoice and details about this motor change. The first owner doesn't know where he's got that, somewhere in his house in Belgium.

Kees> thanks for the confirmation about serial numbers

· Registered
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Oups, sorry, i didn't read well ...

So, your car has engine number strictky the same as Vin number.

But my Car was supposed to have a 4564 engraved number, and that does not correspond to my Alpina Vin number at all. So perhaps, my car did already have a spécial engine number, sooner as 1985.

· Registered
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Many Thanks Ashok,

No problem, the dude is going on (hasardeous translation of a famous sentence in the french version of the Big Lebowsky).

I just parted out the doors of the car to make a good preparation for painting.
It's finally quiet easy to remove all chromes and the window, but know i've got a problem with the rear electric windows that don't work anymore...
So my windows are stuck in closed position, and i can't remove the glass.

I have to search the problem, but it makes me angry a little bit, cause i tested on the B9 the electric windows of the doors that are coming from my 528i for spare parts, and two months ago it was working...

It must be the daily surprise of a restoration project.

· Registered
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hello Andy G

Thanks for the comments. I know a little bit about your white car become red, but i didn't knew you replaced the complete shell.
In France, that is completly illegal to do that, even if the result may be the same.
I'm sorry that you had to do that on your car.

In fact, i have a friend, having restored a 320 baur bmw, that was very rusty, so i wasn't affraid at all by the rust of my B9.
All the most important and structural parts of the car are safe. I think i stopped the cancer for some years, and in 5 or 6 years, i will have a look again, and maybe i will do a better job.
If i do a new restoration on this car later, i will replace all the iron sheet by new one, like a complete boot floor, etc...
Nothing is unreaperable.
But when i look at the car today, it looks safe, no rust anywhere, and the anti-rust paint i use seems to be efficient.

There will be a big update on my website soon, as the primer coat has been done. The new paint is planed for end of september.

· Registered
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #21 ·
BIG UPDATE on my website today :haha2:
restoration pages 31, 32, 33 and 34 are online.

Drsakke> Yes the 528i was very good, i've bought to take every pieces of it that is compatible in the B9.
So the carpet, the dashboard, the middle console, the doors and doors panel, the hood, the bonet, the front wings and bumpers, the rear lights, the front lights, the front grills, the hood carpet set, etc, etc...
I've bought it for the amazing price of 300 euros, and when you think a front bumper costs 600 euros, a rear light 300, you can imagine how happy i'm to get all the parts i need for the price of one rear light.
The rear bumper is bad shape, unfortunatly.

Today, i order a new steering wheel, a new front spoiler, a gearknob, to
When the car will be resprayed, it will look like a new one, except for the motor bay, that i will do slowly, during the automn. At the end of the year, the car will be completed.

· Registered
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Hello DrSakke !

Thanks for the interest

The car has progressed a lot, i have to do an update of the website as soon as possible !
But to tell shortly what has been completed:

- i've done the primer coat again, i wasn't satisfied at all of the first one, it was a spray gun problem, and it was too difficult to work and make it flat.

- the car is almost smoothed, prepared for the new respray. I used sandpaper number 800 with water for the finish.

- i have resprayed myself the inner side of the doors, the same for the inner boot, and the inner bonnet. I'm very happy about the result, it's great for a first time paint spray.

- i'm finishing some details, like the front spoiler, and the last parts of the car to smooth.

- The car will be resprayed next week, i have only two afternoon to spend on it. I'm very excited to see the result of my work and the final coat.

I will post when the update will be done. I'm spending a lot of time on the car, and the report with photos that i'm making first on my french discussion board.

DrSakke said:
Any progress? Pics/updates wanted!


· Registered
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #26 ·
It will be in its original Delphin Metallic (code 184) excepted that i won't go on with the shadowline treatment, but with full chrome.
I'm not affraid about the paintjob, because it's not me, but a professional painter who will do it ! And i saw his previous jobs and they are great.

I did myself, the paint job of the inner doors, inner boot, and bonnet.
And i'm happy about it, not perfect, but bright and good looking !

· Registered
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Hello !
the car has been resprayed this afternoon, and the painting is a success.
It's bright, very good aspect and reflection, like a brand new car from the factory. I'm very very happy about it

I will post an update on my site tomorrow, because it was too dark this evening for the photos.

· Registered
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #34 ·
GaAlpinaowner> i have some photos of your black B7 turbo on my hard disk, it's really stunning. The engine, the interior, and the paint job, all is like new.
My car is far from yours. But slowly, it's getting better.

thanks for the comments, and to Drsakke too !

· Registered
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Hello M5killer, sorry for the late answer, i didn't saw your message because it's the first of the page two, i thought the topic had only one page, untill today.

So the paint job was done by a garagist, but i prepared the car, and i did all the hidding job before painting.
The car is nice, even if not perfect. For a 371 000 kms old lady, it's good enough, and for me too. It hasn't cost me a lot.

The car will be finished soon for the first part of the restoration, the interior and the exterior.

The 2nd part will be the engine bay, the engine painting, and the underneath of the car, that will be inspected, and anti-rust painted.

I will be happy to drive it in the beginning of the new year, if i get my homologation papers from Bmw France. I expect so.

· Registered
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Hello dear Alpina friends,

my B9 is close to the end of its restoration.
I worked on it for ten days without pause, so the interior is completed, and the stripes are fitted on.
I have just painted the wheels myself, and the result is good.
A friend of mine who is garagist and restores old like a very rare Ligier Js2, french sport car of the 70's, told me it's a good job on the wheels.

I'm happy very much. I'm still waiting for homologation papers, hope they will come very soon.
what i have to do on the car: new exaust, painting of the lower sides of the car, that are white on the photos, and several very little things. The chrome outline of the windshield for exemple.
A new rear bumper is on the way home.
I will try to restore my rear spoiler, or i will order a new one.

The engine is still a prepared 3,5 non genuine, but i'm having a look often to parts for sale, and when a B9 engine will appear, i hope to jump on it, even if it's tired and need to be restored.

Thanks for reading, and i hope you'll enjoy my job.
The last photo is a before/after composition, the car when i bought it, and now (but before the stripes)


· Registered
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #46 ·
many thanks to all, it makes me great pleasure to see my job so much appreciated.
Now, i'm finishing details, and i'm waiting for the french homologation papers, from Bmw France. From now it's hard to wait, because the car is almost ready to go on the road. It sounds beautiful and the engine seems very healthy.
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.