BMW 5-Series E12 1972 – 1981 Service Repair Manual

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Service & Repair Manuals, wiring diagrams, engine repairing and servicing for  BMW 5-Series E12 1972 – 1981.

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BMW 5-Series (E12) 1972-1987 Service Repair Manual [RAR] 34.6Mb Download

The BMW E12 is the first generation of the BMW 5 Series business class cars to replace the BMW New Class models from 1972 to 1981.

Initial models were equipped with in-line 4-cylinder engines, with carburettors or fuel injection. A year after launch, the first model with an in-line 6-cylinder engine was introduced. At the end of production, most models were equipped with an in-line 6-cylinder engine.

There was no M5 model in the E12 generation line, but the E12 M535i is considered the predecessor of the M5. BMW 6 Series coupes (E24) were manufactured on the E12 platform until 1982. In 1981, a new generation of the BMW 5 Series with the E28 index was introduced, although in South Africa the assembly of the E12 lasted (with the interior from the E28) until 1984.

History of BMW E12

In 1972, BMW abandoned the previously used model numbering. It was decided to start the release of the new series with the “five” – ​​a middle-class limousine exclusively in a four-door version, which received the code E12. The first cars had much in common with the “new class”, despite the fact that their appearance was completely new and was designed with an emphasis on passenger safety. Over time, new technical solutions were added to the design.

The E12 was announced in September 1972 during the Munich Olympics. The first cars were 2-litre 4-cylinder models: 520 with carburettor and much more expensive 520i with mechanical fuel injection. Both inherited the engines from the “new class” cars 2000 and 2000ti, respectively. The model range expanded quite rapidly. In 1973, it was replenished with a six-cylinder model 525 (with an engine taken from the model 2500). The 1973 oil crisis gave rise to the demand for low-volume cars, and in 1974 BMW responded with the release of the 518 economy model.

In 1976, the entire model range underwent a slight restyling, which resulted in modified taillights and raised in the middle of the hood – a solution used in all subsequent BMW series. In 1977, 2-litre power units were replaced by six-cylinder – a new model of the engine “small six” received the code M20. After 1975, a freshly baked 2.8-liter model 528 (with an engine from model 2800) topped the lineup. In 1977, the 528i replaced it.

Five-speed gearboxes appeared in 1978. On some models, it was possible to choose a box – with longer gears or “sports” with short gears. Later, the model range was replenished with the 530 models. In 1980, the rare 535 models, developed with the participation of BMW Motorsport, debuted. Rare were except that its modifications from Alpina with a 3.3-litre engine.

The build quality of the 5 Series and the excellent combination of handling and power with the capacity and comfort of the family sedan very quickly brought it worldwide recognition. Production of this series was discontinued in 1981.

BMW E12 Service Repair Manuals

BMW 5-Series E12

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One thought on “BMW 5-Series E12 1972 – 1981 Service Repair Manual

  1. Rafael Francisco

    Hello, writing from Perú, I have a BMW 520 1979. I´m searching the repair manual to make it fix. Please can you upload the manual. Thank you!!


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