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Re: Thinking about buying 89 735i....Help? (archive)

[ Follow Ups ] [ 7-series (E32) Message Board ] [ Msg. Board FAQ ]

Posted by Bryan on April 08, 2001 at 06:22:01:

In Reply to: Thinking about buying 89 735i....Help? posted by JBachmann on April 07, 2001 at 23:42:54:

First, the price is a high. Just check Kelly Blue Book Trade-in value is @ $6000 if it is in excellent shape. These cars are as safe as your Volvo and just as reliable. Maintenance, also is comparable to your Volvo. I cannot speak for 735's, but I did replace the AC compresor and upgraded to R34 in my 750. I too had a problem with my driveshaft, but that was replaced with a new serviceable driveshaft. No undercarriage rust on my car and its 13 years old and I live in Hawaii. As for the model designations of 7 series; E23 1977 to 1987, E32 1988 to 1994, E38 1995 to present.
Check the rear shocks. They are part of the self leveling system and if leaking, will cost $300+ per shock, plus installation. Another area to check would be the front suspension as this is a very heavy car. The bushings on the control arms and drag link tend to wear out due to this weight. There are some electrical gremlins to look out for. If the digital display below the gauge cluster flickers from bright to dark, it is probably a capacitor that need to be changed in the circuit board. $4 in parts, but a few hours of labor.

I have been a Volvo owner for quite a while. I am considering buying a 89 BMW 735iL. It has 157,000 miles but the mechanic who owned it rebuilt the top end at 149,000 because it had a head gasket leak and it was convenient. It appears to be well maintained and drives like a dream compared to my Volvo 240. All the electronic bells and whistles scare me a little. I've also read a few posts on the internet where people have experienced driveshaft vibration problems. There also seems to be AC and blower motor problems with some of the late 80's models. Those things really scare me due to expense. Can anyone give me an idea of the overall reliability of the 735i sereies vehicles and personal opinions? Do these cars have undercarriage rust problems? Also, since I since these cars are new to me (I don't think I've ever ridden in a BMW much less driven one) what do the E23, E32 and E38 mean? The guy is asking $7,800. It seems like a fair price. I tend to buy a car and drive it till it dies. I'd be grateful for any input.

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