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As of Sept 22, 2010, my 750iL is 23 years old today!

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by bcweir, Sep 21, 2010.

    • Member

    az3579

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    Come on Brian, I have a name, it's in my sig; USE IT!


    If you have to wonder, then the car adopted YOU.
    Same way my sexy midlife-crisis-red ZHP gal reeled me in. I'm tellin' ya, be careful because if it looks pretty, it's gonna try to hook you!
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    bcweir

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    Botond Pal is your real name?

    I thought that was some kind of endorsement deal you were running with a commercial product!

    Sorry!

    In the immortal words of Darth Vader: "It's too late for me, my son."

    Actually, I was aiming for this car's PLAIN sister! The guy who sold her to me had a 1988 blue 735 he was going to sell also. I wanted THAT one because the 735 was $1,000, while the 750 was $2,600. But when I flew to Jacksonville to look at it, he didn't have the 735 ready in time. Since this was just after Hurricane Katrina, and I really needed a car to carry all of my stuff back to Dallas, she became mine by default!

    How predictable. I go to see a "plain chick," and I get poached by her hot sibling!
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    tiFreak

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    happy birthday to the hot sister :D
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    bcweir

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    If she were human, she'd be a centerfold.

    And I've got the pictures to prove it!

    Thanks tifreak!
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    Steven Otto

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    Care to elaborate on maintenance costs and what you've replaced to date?? We hear so often that these are "Mechanics cars" as they cost so much to maintain.
    • Member

    bcweir

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    I'd really like to...

    ..but if I did at this point, it would only depress me by making me think about all the money I spent instead of setting a goal for this car and reaching it.

    It's still a work in progress, so I kind of feel like putting a dollar figure on it at this point would be a bit premature.

    Let's just say "a lot", and leave it at that for now.

    Thank you for your interest.
    • Member

    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    I just had an epiphany

    Cost of maintenance? Well, how much do you love you car?

    I believe that's exactly what it comes down to. It's sort of like pets: Let's say you adopt a shelter animal, maybe a big, fluffy Maine Coon cat, and then it pulls a tendon and has to spend two months in a cast, plus x-rays and attention, and before you know it, you have a $4,000 cat.

    But it's a great cat!

    When you find yourself in love with a car, it's going to cost whatever it costs to keep it. And it's worth every God-damned penny.
    • Member

    bcweir

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    Thank you for the best defense of these old cars I've seen yet, Satch

    Sadly, Satch, not everyone shares such kind views of these cars. A certain officer of a certain BMWCCA chapter (who shall go unnamed to spare his family further shame) absolutely DESPISES 7-series cars of ANY model apparently. He once said of MY vehicle that his mechanics would rather be beaten with their own appendages than work on one, and his favorite label for 7-series cars is "electrical disasters."

    It's an ironic, if hypocritical, prejudice since it could be argued that most modern BMW's rival or surpass the E32 in terms of technical complexity. A comparison of the realoem.com or penskeparts.com diagrams of my model vs. any late model BMW will confirm my claim.

    I responded by boycotting this chapter, as I won't attend any group where my car or myself are made to feel unwelcome. On the bright side, I did manage to find a group that LOVES these cars. Although the DFW7 group is almost exclusively E38's, I hung out with them two years ago (sans my vehicle, which is being stored due to emissions issues and mechanical issues being addressed). I'm not sure of their BMW CCA or chapter affliation, but what matters is they share my deep affection for these wonderful BMW models.

    None other than Ray Korman himself of Korman Motorsports (yes, THAT Ray Korman) told me that regardless of whether I choose his firm or not to service my car, the early model E32 750iL deserves to be restored. I don't know about you, but I thought it was high praise that a man of his stature in the BMW aftermarket would say that about my vehicle, especially since most BMW service professionals are frightened to see ANY V12 BMW cross their service bay. I responded to Ray's kind compliment by saying that the E32 doesn't get mistaken for anything but a BMW 7 series.

    Good enough for me. She's expensive, yes, but totally worth her 4,200 pound curb weight in gold to me (do the math on that one).

    These ARE indeed beautiful cars, Satch, and I love, adore, and cherish mine. She's worth every last penny and ounce of "blood, sweat, and tears" that I put into her.

    Thanks again so much!

    The world record for longest cat is held by a member of that breed. A Maine Coon was recorded at being 4 feet in length!
    • Member

    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    The mighty, mighty Sieben

    A friend who restores cars (Ferraris and the like) and who has a cynical disregard for most cars drove an E32 V12 once and said, "Now, that's an automobile!" I have always loved the land-yacht juggernauts. In fact, I still think the E65 has the greatest bad-boy presence of any BMW.

    And the new 760Li is absolutely oh-my-God ridiculously over the top. If I had the dough, I would absolutely have one, even though they won't send over the short-wheelbase versions, the bastards. Even though these cars are MUCH too huge for me, not to mention being yards above my status and station!

    These days Carl Nelson (La Jolla Independent) is driving a white 750i that he picked up for, like, $2500, and one of his friends and customers just bought one for considerably more than that and has found himself rather surprisingly in love with his "new" E32. This is an E24 M6 guy, but he's big enough to fit a Seven without (like me) looking like he's just boosted his father's car.
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    eam3

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    My dad's 750iL ownership experience has been nothing short of fantastic. Granted, it only has 66K miles but he's owned it for nearly 20 years. I know his car has been the exception rather than the rule but it really has been terrific. It has definitely been more reliable than his previous 7, his beloved 733i, which was a pretty good car. Those who knock the E32 750iL simply have not driven one. Great car to drive AND great car to be driven in.
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    bcweir

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    Any car discreet enough to make 110 miles an hour seem like only 70 to the driver, with respect to the lack of noise and vibration at that speed, is truly a class act. The reason I say that, is that's exactly what THIS car did! No noise, no vibration, no drama on the steering, handling, or anything. Barely any action on the tachometer. What can I say? The V12's very silent, subtle definition of flying on the highway made an impression on me. My old 1981 E21 320i would have been screaming at such speed. The E32 750iL considers 110 miles an hour to be as much of a nonevent as you or I checking our email or eating. It didn't even bother to let me know. If you're looking for a definition for bad-***, hiding jail-level speed from the driver qualifies.

    Screw what it will cost me to get this car back in fighting trim. This car is worth every penny of it, damn the dollars.

    I respect the E65/E66, as well as the F01/F02, but I'm sticking with the 2nd generation. For the E65/E66, putting the gearshift on the steering column was a terrible decision and inexcusable. For the F01/F02, I'm having trouble getting past the enormous grille and beak on the car, but I like the rest of it (thank you BMW for returning the gear selector back to its proper place on the console)! Kudos also for bringing back a six-cylinder engine to the 7-series lineup.
    Eam3, I'm blown away that there's only 66k on that beast. If your dad's been babying that rocket, I can't say I blame him. BMW totally did their homework on the engineering on this model.
    • Member

    Steven Otto

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    If they only made a 750 with a 6 MT.

    Now THAT would be a ride.
    • Member

    bcweir

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    It's been done -- better yet, an E32 just so equipped is currently for sale


    A six speed manual transmission sourced from the E31 850CSi fits right in.

    You can also source NOS 6-speed manual transmission units for around $3,000.

    BTW, it has to be specifically a E31 850CSi part. This was the only BMW V12 model ever offered with a manual transmission. The six speeds from other cars/engines won't fit the bolt pattern on the M70 bellhousing, and even if they did, probably couldn't handle the torque from the V12. Coincidentally, this same transmission will also work with E38 750's also, although I think some modifications may be necessary for those cars.

    On another note, the M70 is a popular V12 engine for kit cars (particularly Lambo replicas). For these cars, the BMW 850 part isn't practical for midengine placement. For these applications, clever individuals have successfully mounted these engines to both Audi and Porsche 911/930 transmissions. Both options are super expensive though. Not only is the 850 a much more ideal source for a 750 conversion, but all parts needed for such a conversion have BMW part numbers.

    The car in the Ebay ad is owned by a man known as Sanjeev on the Bimmerboard forums. He originally bought the car for $50,000 in 1990, then over the next 20 years, proceeded to put another $50,000 in modifications on the car. The V12 is supercharged and puts out around 400 HP. If you have any questions on how to perform the conversion, he would be the man to ask. For $12,000, his 750 is an absolute steal. Sanjeev was a fairly regular contributor to the Bimmerboard forum and is quite knowledgeable about the work he did to this car.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/RARE-BMW-E32-750IL-Supercharged-400-HP-6-Speed-/120606849185?pt=US_Cars_Trucks
    • Member

    az3579

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    I don't in the slightest like his mods, with the exception of the supercharger and the six-speed, of course.

    I think the E32 looks the best the way it is in your pic, Brian. STOCK.
    • Member

    bcweir

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    I like mine the same way -- for the most part.

    In all fairness, the front bumper on his (which I am not a fan of either) MAY have been forced on him by the supercharger install. Underhood real estate is at a premium under a crowded E32 750iL hood. Or it could have been a desire to distinguish his car from other garden variety E32 750's. We'll never know, although I frequently hold up his car as an example of how real and possible a 6-speed manual conversion is on these cars.

    I should point out that my car is not entirely stock -- both good and bad:

    The good:

    It wears E38 16-inch basketweaves, which I agree with. The OEM selection of the original 15 inch wheels aka "pieplates" are astonishingly plain and ugly (IMHO), which is sad for a car BMW sold for upwards of $75,000 MSRP 23 years ago.

    The bad:

    It also has an aftermarket Pioneer cassette deck, two large holes in the rear package shelf where oversized aftermarket speakers were located, and two aftermarket, generic amplifiers installed on a couple of wooden BOARDS in the trunk. There's also splice and tape electrical wiring in the engine harness, as well as the same present in the dash wiring harness under the dash, with an 80's radar detector HARDWIRED into the electrical harness. UGH!

    The ugly:

    Having to rehab the horrible butchering done to this car's electrical system. I have my work cut out for me.

    The NOT-SO-ugly (IMHO)

    I can think of a FEW tasteful non-original mods that can be done to this car:

    Upgrading and repairing the car's headlights. The driver's side low-beam headlight lens has several hairline cracks, and one other is badly misaligned. Reconfiguring the lights back to either a Euro configuration or upgrading to HiD/bi-xenons would technically be supported by this car's original equipment options. I'd have to be a bit creative in this upgrade, as the OE Hella's are very expensive and are not very efficient compared to today's lighting options. Modifying OE Hella housings with modern components would be one possibility.

    Upgrading to clear front turn signals are a tasteful modification that's very popular with these vehicles

    Upgrading the steering wheel to an M-Sport II wheel (my existing SRS wheel I was forced to half destroy to remove the airbag in order to repair the cluster and replace all of the bulbs), or

    ... if I really wanted to get ambitious, upgrade to a post-92 electrically adjustable tilt-telescope steering column, which would allow me to go to an E38/E39 multifunction steering wheel. I'd like to return the car's audio to a CD43 headunit (stock looking without being technically original, as the CD43 is actually a Z3 radio). I could also add a few digital audio options while keeping it tastefully hidden in the car. Certainly a better job than two PO's previous to me did.

    Upgrading to either the facelifted 93 or 94 front bumper, identified by two lower scoops on the front bumper, or going with the Alpina B7 5.0 front bumper.

    Upgrading to LED taillights similar to Sanjeev's car.

    For the wheels, I have the option of staying with the basketweaves, or upgrading to Alpina 20-spoke wheels. These are the only two wheel options I like.

    For now, these are only options. Right now, my priority is getting it caught up on repairs and interior fixes, including a sagging headliner.

    Among the changes I will be skipping, is a popular modification that converts the rear-shocks to the standard sport shocks by eliminating the hydraulic self-leveling system. I've spoken to a few experts on this, and many of them tell me that despite the downsides of the expensive, leak-prone SLS system, the system, in their opinion, helps the car handle better at speeds above 55 mph. I agree with that assessment.

    I had also considered eventually performing a manual conversion on this car, but a few have told me that the 850 6-speed has a somewhat higher pedal effort, and might not be the most comfortable option in urban stop and go driving, particularly in traffic. Manual transmissioned cars do have their advantages, and I hope BMW continues offering manual transmissions in all models indefinitely. Along with that, I also hope that BMW enthusiasts continue to insist on three-pedal automobiles and resist efforts by BMW to phase these out.

    Alternately, I might also just keep THIS car as close to stock-looking as possible, and might do my customizing handiwork on either another 750, or perhaps a 740, which were more numerous and cheaper than the 750's. I am NOT a fan of the 740's dipstickless 5-speed automatic, which has to be both FILLED and DRAINED from the bottom!
    • Member

    eam3

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    The one on eBay is too ricey for me. I too like the more subdued looks of the E32 and prefer stock to JC Whitney'ed out. I cannot resist, however, a nice Alpina B12.

    This was for sale a couple of years ago in Canada for around $21K. If it had been an easy importation & could justify it to my wife, I would have loved to pick it up. It had somewhere around 70K miles and it was a 1991.
    • Member

    eam3

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    Not anymore. They were cleaning house about 6 months to a year ago and the last remaining brand new units were all being sold. They didn't have that many left and I assume a lot of CSi owners (or shops with customer cars) might have picked them up.
    • Member

    bcweir

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    By the way that's a beautiful black Alpina in the photo

    I still believe you can find these if you have the cash and are determined to possess one. They may not be NOS anymore, but the E31 has been out of production for 13 years now, and parts are still supported for it by various vendors. Ebay.com and Ebay.de can be your friend!

    I should also point out that ZF still supports and provides parts for these transmissions.

    Alpinas can still be found, bought and sold too. They're a little trickier to repair and support since Alpina will only sell mechanical parts if you provide a legitimate Alpina VIN number.

    However, Alpina WILL sell non-mechanical parts to anybody willing to pony up the high price tag. Body parts, wheels, suspension components, interior upgrades, all of these are sold to anyone by Alpina.

    If you have the funds, you could very easily build an Alpina look-alike vehicle of your own. That won't be cheap either, but it will probably be less expensive than acquiring the real thing.

    A friend of mine in Nevada has an extremely rare 1981 B3 E21 2.8 Alpina, equipped with a 2.8L I-6 putting out 200 hp. It's such a beautiful car I told him I'd disown him as a friend if he ever sold it! Alpina only produced 533 of the E21 B3 2.8 cars, so my threat was not unreasonable.

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