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John J
02-19-2000, 12:52 AM
I have an opportunity to buy a really clean 1990 735i with about 115,000 mi. on it. Oli changed every 3,000 mi., owner says he had the shocks, tie-rods, ball-joints, etc, all changed a few months ago at a cost of $4,000. I like the car. Curious to know if there is anything I should look for in particular. How expensive is this car to maintain. I am a do-it-yourselfer and don't shy away from much, unless specialized tools or equipment that I do not have are required. I've always done my own work on cars. Currently have a 1986 Saab 900S w/over 200,000 miles and still going strong. Last BMW I had was a 1976 320i and I realize that this is a very different car. What am I in for?<br>Thanks for any advice and comments.

Ted
02-19-2000, 12:17 PM
Hi John. I have one like yours, bought it almost 2 yrs ago at 86,000 miles. I am the 3rd owner and it's now 111,000 miles. Things I had to replace were the fan clutch, the water pump, rotors and brakes, the radiator ( plastic neck cracked but the rest of the radiator was still good; had to buy a complete radiator anyway ), rubber O-rings in the brake fluid reservoir, and the heat shield was rubbing against the shaft ( had to reposition the heat shield). So, it has been expensive taking on a nearly 10-yr old BMW. However, now, I expect it to run for a long time as long I don't scrimp on scheduled maintenance. The considerable play in the steering bothers me a bit although I noticed the same thing in other 735s. <p><p><i>: I have an opportunity to buy a really clean 1990 735i with about 115,000 mi. on it. Oli changed every 3,000 mi., owner says he had the shocks, tie-rods, ball-joints, etc, all changed a few months ago at a cost of $4,000. I like the car. Curious to know if there is anything I should look for in particular. How expensive is this car to maintain. I am a do-it-yourselfer and don't shy away from much, unless specialized tools or equipment that I do not have are required. I've always done my own work on cars. Currently have a 1986 Saab 900S w/over 200,000 miles and still going strong. Last BMW I had was a 1976 320i and I realize that this is a very different car. What am I in for?<br>: Thanks for any advice and comments.<p></i>

Ted
02-19-2000, 12:23 PM
I forgot to tell you that I am getting those irritating false warnings about the tail light being busted. I reckon it's time for me to get a new mustard-colored relay. People say it is the root of such a problem. Relay cost $69.00. You ask about cost--I had the main radiator hose replaced and that part cost me approx. $100. That's one hose. Resign yourself to buying expensive parts from now on.<p><p><i>: Hi John. I have one like yours, bought it almost 2 yrs ago at 86,000 miles. I am the 3rd owner and it's now 111,000 miles. Things I had to replace were the fan clutch, the water pump, rotors and brakes, the radiator ( plastic neck cracked but the rest of the radiator was still good; had to buy a complete radiator anyway ), rubber O-rings in the brake fluid reservoir, and the heat shield was rubbing against the shaft ( had to reposition the heat shield). So, it has been expensive taking on a nearly 10-yr old BMW. However, now, I expect it to run for a long time as long I don't scrimp on scheduled maintenance. The considerable play in the steering bothers me a bit although I noticed the same thing in other 735s. <p><br>: : I have an opportunity to buy a really clean 1990 735i with about 115,000 mi. on it. Oli changed every 3,000 mi., owner says he had the shocks, tie-rods, ball-joints, etc, all changed a few months ago at a cost of $4,000. I like the car. Curious to know if there is anything I should look for in particular. How expensive is this car to maintain. I am a do-it-yourselfer and don't shy away from much, unless specialized tools or equipment that I do not have are required. I've always done my own work on cars. Currently have a 1986 Saab 900S w/over 200,000 miles and still going strong. Last BMW I had was a 1976 320i and I realize that this is a very different car. What am I in for?<br>: : Thanks for any advice and comments.<p></i>

Alex
02-19-2000, 12:43 PM
John,<p>I have had my 1992 735i for about three and a half years. I bought it with 61,000 miles and now it is just rolling up to 169,00 miles. I had it checked by an independent mechanic when I bought the car and I asked him what would be the approximate maintenance costs. He said that for the E32, count on about $125.00 per month. You would not have to spend this every month, but when you do have to buy parts, they are usually expensive. I also do all my own maintenance so I do not have to factor in labour costs. So far, in my three and a half years of ownership, the mechanic's estimate was very accurate.<p>Alex Lynch<br>1992 735i<br>1972 2002<p><p><i>: I have an opportunity to buy a really clean 1990 735i with about 115,000 mi. on it. Oli changed every 3,000 mi., owner says he had the shocks, tie-rods, ball-joints, etc, all changed a few months ago at a cost of $4,000. I like the car. Curious to know if there is anything I should look for in particular. How expensive is this car to maintain. I am a do-it-yourselfer and don't shy away from much, unless specialized tools or equipment that I do not have are required. I've always done my own work on cars. Currently have a 1986 Saab 900S w/over 200,000 miles and still going strong. Last BMW I had was a 1976 320i and I realize that this is a very different car. What am I in for?<br>: Thanks for any advice and comments.<p></i>

John
02-19-2000, 02:45 PM
John<p>I purchased our 735iL in 1992 with the same number of miles in 1992. By utilizing the dealer to do minimal maintenance and provide me with the diagnostic readouts I have been able to keep the costs under control. Today, you can get into it and still not tell this one from the 2000 model in regards to handling and interior noise.<p>If I were you I would shop for a LOW mileage 735i of this vintage (40K to 70K). They exist and the depreciated value per mile is worth it. I happen to think these low mileage ones are the best value on the market. Usually the low mileage ones were garaged and have very little UV or salt degradation. At these ages, the UV degradation will be your biggest concern, ie headliner, dash, carpets leather and wood; not to mention all the plastic parts in the Engine compartment.<p>As far as technical capabilities, if you could get the Saab over 200K you can do the same to this one.<p>If you read this newsgroup, you will see electrical malfunctions make up the majority of issues. How are you as a sparky?<p>The $125 maintenance above is a good number.<p>Well maintained, it is a great value when compared to the new ones. Take the VIN number to any BMW dealer and have them print off the BMW service history of the car. Although many owners have them serviced at independent shops and these won't show, it will give you a good idea the TSB's which have been performed as well as the software/hardware upgrades installed. They will do this for free as all dealer salivate over servicing these 7's and will view as there next best customer.<p>John 88 735iL (226K)<br>79 320i (250K)<br>95 Disco<p><i>: I have an opportunity to buy a really clean 1990 735i with about 115,000 mi. on it. Oli changed every 3,000 mi., owner says he had the shocks, tie-rods, ball-joints, etc, all changed a few months ago at a cost of $4,000. I like the car. Curious to know if there is anything I should look for in particular. How expensive is this car to maintain. I am a do-it-yourselfer and don't shy away from much, unless specialized tools or equipment that I do not have are required. I've always done my own work on cars. Currently have a 1986 Saab 900S w/over 200,000 miles and still going strong. Last BMW I had was a 1976 320i and I realize that this is a very different car. What am I in for?<br>: Thanks for any advice and comments.<p></i>

Mike
02-19-2000, 07:12 PM
<i>: I forgot to tell you that I am getting those irritating false warnings about the tail light being busted. I reckon it's time for me to get a new mustard-colored relay. People say it is the root of such a problem. Relay cost $69.00. You ask about cost--I had the main radiator hose replaced and that part cost me approx. $100. That's one hose. Resign yourself to buying expensive parts from now on.<p>I just bought a 91 7351 check the supension bushes on the back frame mountings and the front<br>track arms top and bottom - heavy car wears these out quickly.<br>Check cam for noise and if you do buy it inspect the spray bar oil feed to make sure it is clear<br>and delivering oil to the cam.<p><p>: : Hi John. I have one like yours, bought it almost 2 yrs ago at 86,000 miles. I am the 3rd owner and it's now 111,000 miles. Things I had to replace were the fan clutch, the water pump, rotors and brakes, the radiator ( plastic neck cracked but the rest of the radiator was still good; had to buy a complete radiator anyway ), rubber O-rings in the brake fluid reservoir, and the heat shield was rubbing against the shaft ( had to reposition the heat shield). So, it has been expensive taking on a nearly 10-yr old BMW. However, now, I expect it to run for a long time as long I don't scrimp on scheduled maintenance. The considerable play in the steering bothers me a bit although I noticed the same thing in other 735s. <p>: <br>: : : I have an opportunity to buy a really clean 1990 735i with about 115,000 mi. on it. Oli changed every 3,000 mi., owner says he had the shocks, tie-rods, ball-joints, etc, all changed a few months ago at a cost of $4,000. I like the car. Curious to know if there is anything I should look for in particular. How expensive is this car to maintain. I am a do-it-yourselfer and don't shy away from much, unless specialized tools or equipment that I do not have are required. I've always done my own work on cars. Currently have a 1986 Saab 900S w/over 200,000 miles and still going strong. Last BMW I had was a 1976 320i and I realize that this is a very different car. What am I in for?<br>: : : Thanks for any advice and comments.<p></i>

Bob
02-20-2000, 12:07 AM
Shouldn't have any play in steering!!<p>Check the usual places PLUS the pinch bolt that attaches the pitman arm to the splined output shaft of the steering box (this box does NOT use a tapered/spined shaft). My car was bought with all steering parts recently replaced BUT the pinch bolt was loose. I think the P.O. gave up in disgust after spending $$$ and STILL having lots of steering play. 5 minutes and a wrench made the car tight-as-new!<p>Bob

Ted
02-22-2000, 10:47 AM
Sounds promising,Bob, but you're talking to someone who hasnt done much fixing himself. Can you give me more detailed instructions? <p><br><i>: Shouldn't have any play in steering!!<p>: Check the usual places PLUS the pinch bolt that attaches the pitman arm to the splined output shaft of the steering box (this box does NOT use a tapered/spined shaft). My car was bought with all steering parts recently replaced BUT the pinch bolt was loose. I think the P.O. gave up in disgust after spending $$$ and STILL having lots of steering play. 5 minutes and a wrench made the car tight-as-new!<p>: Bob<p></i>

Bob
02-22-2000, 11:07 PM
Get under car.<p>The arm from the steering box to the center link is the pitman arm. It slides onto the pitman shaft (box output shaft) onto splines. <p>The relatively small bolt head (13mm or so if memory serves me) on the big end of the arm (near the splines which can be seen from below) tightens the arm to the shaft to eliminate play. Just tighten it with a wrench. Its a grade 8 bolt so I doubt you can break it by overtightening (if it IS loose, probably the splines are a tad worn from rocking back and forth, so you may have to really honk on it to get the play out).<p>If the arm is loose, you can see it by having someone move the steering wheel back and forth while watching the shaft-to-arm connection from below or by holding your hand in the connection. You should see/feel NO movement between the two.<p>bob<p></i>

Mike
02-25-2000, 11:28 AM
Suggested buy! You will like the handling and your passengers will like the comfort.<p>I had the same worry as yours when I bought my 1990 735iL last year. So far, I only changed the rear self-leveling valve at around $400 due to oil leakage.<p>A minor problem that annoys me is that I have to refill coolant with water every week due to leakage in the junctions of radiator hoses which I found difficult to fix.<p>Cheers<p>Mike<p><p>

Ted
02-26-2000, 11:25 PM
Thanks for the tip, Bob. I have to consult a guide to steering systems to see what you meant. So, it is the junction of the pitman arm with the steering box ( the shaft), and not the pitman arm with the center rod/link. I think that's what you meant. <p><br><i>: Get under car.<p>: The arm from the steering box to the center link is the pitman arm. It slides onto the pitman shaft (box output shaft) onto splines. <p>: The relatively small bolt head (13mm or so if memory serves me) on the big end of the arm (near the splines which can be seen from below) tightens the arm to the shaft to eliminate play. Just tighten it with a wrench. Its a grade 8 bolt so I doubt you can break it by overtightening (if it IS loose, probably the splines are a tad worn from rocking back and forth, so you may have to really honk on it to get the play out).<p>: If the arm is loose, you can see it by having someone move the steering wheel back and forth while watching the shaft-to-arm connection from below or by holding your hand in the connection. You should see/feel NO movement between the two.<p>: bob<p></i>


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