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What should I do?

Discussion in 'E31 (1991-1997)' started by altazansw, Jul 16, 2009.

    altazansw guest

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    Saw a different looking front end peeking out from one of our "we tote the note" lots, stopped in, lo and behold, a 1994 850ci! Upon exam, found the following:
    -106,000 miles
    -all electricals work(Windows, Sunroof, Locks)
    -OBC Works
    -V12 looks good, no obvious leaks, clean
    -A/C needs to be charged and buttons stick
    -Factory Tape w/6 disc changer in trunk. No code for it though
    -Leather needs some TLC, no tears
    -No sagging headliner or water stains
    -Large tool kit is complete
    -Body is straight, but some interior trim is not fitting right, I've got a sneaking suspicion its been wrecked, The steering wheel feels like there is no airbag, no SRS light is on though.
    -No records, there is an owners manual, but it looks like one was photocopied and put together at Kinko's(No color, oddly thin paper, clear plastic cover)
    -Battery was wrong, dead, but jumped off.
    -Drove great on test drive, slight tap on startup, but went away, brakes felt good, no smoke, Auto trans shifted well in both auto and manual modes.
    -Power seats wouldnt move backward/forward, but memory worked for all the other features.

    The price: $8500.00
    Is this a good deal? I'm afraid of buying it and something expensive going wrong? Anything else I should look at?

    Loved the 1st words from the saleslady's mouth "I know nothing about BMW's, I hope you do"

    THANKS!
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    I don't know what to tell you to do, but it's always worth $100-$200 if you're really seriously considering a car to have a BMW-experienced knowledgeable mechanic examine it thoroughly, get it up in the air, look it over on a lift, etc. Experienced mechanics and bodyshop people ought to be able to see indications of major repairs due to wrecks, in most cases.

    mlweaver guest

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    You need to decide if you want the commitment of owning a low volume model that is 15 years old and has over 100,000 miles. This is not an investment vehicle.

    I'd say this: if you can work on it yourself, it could be a great deal. But I would not suggest getting into it unless the E31 is your dream ride, because even if nothing else is wrong with it now, there will be issues to deal with during your ownership.

    The seat motor cable failure is common, and can be repaired. There are two batteries, and if one is dead, the other is suspect. Replace BOTH. This car is notorious for strange electrical gremlins when the batteries get weak. The engine has automatic lifters, so the brief tap at start up is no biggee. The A/C leak will require repair. A BMW dealer can get the radio code if you can prove current ownership and provide the serial number on the radio.

    All the info you need can be found at the roadfly.com E31 forum and www.wuffer.ca

    The fact that someone sold it FOR LESS THAN $8500 suggests that the prior owner was not an enthusiast, and the lack of maintenance records confirms that. There is nothing especially bad about the 8 series, but parts can be pricey! Otherwise it is just another old BMW in need of TLC.

    RCornelius guest

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    really?

    Automatic lifters?

    mlweaver guest

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    Hydraulically actuated valve lifters (I'm still not using the correct terminology - sorry).
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    CRKrieger

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    You don't get much closer, though. 'Hydraulic lifters'. ;)

    RCornelius guest

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    since you can't buy a manual for this car, Bentley doesn't sell one and neither does BMW when something quits working (and it will) you better have either a ton of money or a lot of BMW experience.
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    CRKrieger

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    There is an E32 Bentley manual that would cover most issues in the running gear. There might be a few odd electronic gadgets and body or interior assembly issues not specifically covered, but I think you could probably survive with it.

    Likewise, there is no readily available E24 manual, but for the majority of the (later) E24s out there, the excellent E28 Bentley manual is just as good.

    RCornelius guest

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    money

    your money so you can **** it down the drain if you chose to. There's a reason E31's are so cheap.
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    az3579

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    Umm, actually no they're not, neither to buy or maintain. I see early E31's go for quite a bit of money, and the later ones are even more than that.

    RCornelius guest

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    really?

    I just got home from a 3 day trip to Chicago to look at a 850ci, too bad I don't have your intimate knowledge of E31 850's.
    • Member

    az3579

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    I don't have an 'intimate' knowledge of E31's, I can only tell you what I see based on ones I see for sale around here. Perhaps our definitions of "cheap" are different. I know it's the internet and everything, but I don't mean to get into an argument with you as I detect a bit of sarcasm here, so I'll just leave it at that.

    I hope your search for an E31 goes well, assuming you are looking to buy one.

    RCornelius guest

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    no longer

    I have been looking to buy a E31 850ci. but after driving one over the weekend I no longer want one, I was less than impressed with torque output and smoothness too for that matter, I thought a V12 would impress me, it didn't.
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    CRKrieger

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    So it's E28 time! :D

    RCornelius guest

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    nope

    just got off the phone with Factory Five, gonna build me a GTM. Check it out.
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    mooseheadm5

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    Then why did you buy the 850?

    RCornelius guest

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    850

    I didn't buy it, I flew to Chicago over the weekend with cashiers check in my pocket, after driving the car I realized I didn't like it so I jumped on another plane and came home, I wasn't expecting super performance but I was expecting more than the car delivered, all it needs is the engine out of a new X6M. Anyway, I'm gonna build a GTM.

    gahideg guest

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    Followed the thread on the 850 here. I've owned a Euro '94 model. I truly love the car. It is a nice GT car that is unique to the BMW marquee. Yes, there are many problems associated with the car, and with research and a bit of tinkering, you can do well with the car. But, and this is a big but, you really need to be an enthusiast to really enjoy this car or it will just make you mad. The Roadfly forum and Bimmerforum have great people on them with almost limitless knowledge of the model and "fixes" for most problems...there are a few jerks on Roadfly as well (stay clear of the whackos). The car was designed in an era of $100K cars being offered when the technology was moving even faster than the models being offered. Alas, the 8 series could not keep up. If you want zip, get an M3 or an M5. But the look and feel of an 8 is unique. Yes, it is underpowered and underbraked for it weight (over 4000 lbs), and it will most likely never be an investment vehicle with exception of the CSI model. When I saw the car in 1990, I always wanted one because of its looks; 5 years ago I bought one used from a reputable enthusiast and have never been sorry. Recently, an idiot in a hurry, took me out while failing to yield on a left. Luckily I had a stated value policy on the car and have just finished repairing it (basically restoring it) and now it is back in the garage as my summer driving garage queen. It is a quirky car, but I always get looks and people are always asking questions about it...and it feels like it is driving 75 when it is doing 145 through the Mojave desert at 3 AM!
    If you can buy one of these cheap and with a full service history, you might be pleasantly surprised. In this economy, that feat may not be too hard to accomplish.
    Regards,
    George
    • Member

    granthr

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    Curious. If you are still reading this thread (that we have successfully hijacked again) did you buy the car?

    On a side note, do you think in today's world you can use the word "hijacked" without the CIA, FBI, etc taking a look at our thread? It you are reading this (CIA, FBI), do any of you guys own BMWs? If so which one? Also you should really join the club! :D

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