In Reply to: Re: Thinking about buying 89 735i....Help? posted by Odd-Jarle Kristoffersen on April 08, 2001 at 06:13:15:
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.
Well, I´m not an experienced BMW-owner myself. I just bought my ´91 750iL mid March. But I think these cars are very reliable. Check the following items like I did;
1) Check for vibration around 50-55mph, also when braking.
2) Does the automatic perform gentle shifts in E(conomy) mode? Does Sport and Manual work well too? (drive around in Sport-mode until the car gets warm as mine acted a little up when it got warm at first).
3) Has the coolant cap been replaced with a newer one? The older ones didn´t let out steam well and the result were the heater-radiator could blow inside the car. The new type has a text on the cap, but the older ones were just plain blank. It´s located in the middle of the engineroom on the torpedowall. Easy to spot.
4) Does it accelerate cleanly throught the whole RPM-range?
5) Brakepedal is firm and even?
6) All the electric works? Board computer, lights and interior lighting? What does the green/yellow/red servicelights say? More green is more recent serviced. Though since the guy is a mecanic he could have recently reset it himself of course.
7) Check all other electric stuff (seats front, rear), sunroof, windows, heated seats etc.
As for the AC, I´ve just heard that the controls in the car can act up a bit. But this is a fairly easy fix.
I´d recommend these cars to anyone, especially if you can do some light fixing yourself. Like you said, it can be costly to fix in the shop.
The driveshaft was just recently discussed on this board, a bit down on the list. If your´s is worn you should notice some vibrations around 1500-2000RPM I think. My car has 191000km (120000 miles) on it and runs like a charm.
The E23, E32 and E38 refers to the different yearage/models of the 7-series. E23 is the pre 88 models, E32 is 88 through 94, E38 is the latest 95 to current. A new 7-series is expected this fall I´ve heard. Seen some preview pictures, and I think it is the E65...
As for rust. I´ve not seen a bit on mine. I think they are well covered and don´t rust much.