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4956Fwd: Instrument Batteries in the E28

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  • Larry R.
    Jan 23, 2007
      "Larry R." <dallas_larry@...> wrote: Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2007 01:38:49 -0800 (PST)
      From: "Larry R." <dallas_larry@...>
      Subject: Instrument Batteries in the E28
      To: No Reply <notify-dg-bmwe28@...>

      The OEM batteries BMW used were NiCd and typically only lasted 5-7 years before they would fail to maintain a charge for long.

      You probably allowed them to drain completely and they most likely will not be able to charge back up.

      Replacement SI Boards for the E28 from most sources are extremely expensive if you try to purchase them.

      I have 4-5 spare boards laying around and I've looked them over and they appear to have the exact same set of batteries that were in the E30 from 1984-1987. And they can be replaced with little real effort with newer versions that can be charged prior to the upgrade.

      The SI board is located in the middle of the instrument cluster. While that is out, I'd recommend replacing all the lights since that is a minor cost while the cluster is removed. You can also inspect the odometer gears and replace them if needed to insure you don't lose the odometer. There is one web site that sells replacement gears as a set for about 50 USD but they shouldn't break down like the OEM gears do so if you plan to have the car for a long time, do the gears, light bulbs and batteries all at once.

      This website gives a very detailed explanation of repairing the cluster: There are better details as to charging the batteries found on E30 sites.


      Here is the link for the Odometer Gear sets:

      To check wholesale prices for replacement parts for the E28 plus have a great xref of Motronic boxes, this site is awesome. If you order a replacement SI board from just about anyplace in the US, this is the company that repairs them. They also have a board that never needs repaired as it is changed to not have batteries. I thought of getting one of them but the minor cost of batteries compared to that board means i will stay with the batteries:


      Note that you can check Motronic numbers for other applications. For example, Motronics from many E30s will replace the E28 528e. Check it out. VERY helpful

      Shouldn't take that long to replace the batteries if you are handy with soldering.

      Have fun

      Dallas, TX
      1988 535is Schwatz

      bmwe28@... wrote:
      1. Instrument pack batteries?
      From: Phil Howard
      Instrument pack batteries?
      Posted by: "Phil Howard" ss1turbo@... b23kab
      Date: Sun Jan 21, 2007 4:35 pm

      I recently let the battery go completely flat on my 86 525e; ever since I recharged the battery I've got most of the service indicator lights on, the tacho, temp gauge and economy meter don't work either. Checked the instrument fuse and its ok (have cleaned up the connections as well). Before I jump at something else, could it be the instrument pack batteries?
      Will they eventually recharge and everything else sort itself out? The service lights (not the first 2 greens, for some reason) stay on with the ignition off as well..


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