In Reply to: Should I Buy it? posted by justin on December 21, 1999 at 15:28:59:
1) get it checked out by someone who knows 2002s, or at least BMW's. Check rust in floors/shocktowers/pedal box/etc.
2)Get a compression test.
3)Look in the spare tire well (rust).
Pick up the trunk floor and examine the integrity of the metal around the gask tank. Hell, open up the gas tank and peer inside with a match (KIDDING!!! - use a flashlight).
4)Open up the brake fluid plastic tank in the engine bay and see if the fluid is clean.
5) DRIVE IT - check 2nd gear, stop hard to see if it pulls, check reverse 2 or 3 times; corner it hard right and left and listen for thumps or grinding.
6) Go over rust prone areas with a magnet - I am always suspicious of cars being sold with brand new paint. Sometimes that can cover a LOT.
The only thing I had ever done when I first bought mine was change the oil. The first thing I did to my '02 (in a parking lot) was remove carb, remove head, change head gasket, put on new head. Intimidating, yes...but easy.
2002's are like BMW legos - you just take them apart by sight, for the most part, and re-assemble.
I only got stuck once in a year and a half. Everything else was my own damn fault in bad repairs or getting stuck in the middle of upgrades.