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-   -   99 740iL - what a deal!! New to me e38... (

norcal99e38 08-13-2012 05:27 PM

99 740iL - what a deal!! New to me e38...
So I think I got a great deal today, but only time will tell...
I was browsing on craigslist this morning when I saw an ad for a 99 740il for $350?
Figured it was a scam of some sort, but a few phone calls later I was standing in front of a 99 740il that was actually as described.
The body was straight and the paint looked good. Even the interior was in pretty good shape. Basically a dirty car that should look pretty sharp after a thorough cleaning...
It even started right up! and idled smoothly! and moved forward and back a dozen feet under it's own power!
201,000 miles.

The problem, as described to me, was a massive coolant leak from the rear of the engine and that an inspection had turned up a burst hose and another hose that looked about to burst.
Also, in a fit of rage, the owner had gone to the DMV and had the car junked instead of spending $$ to diagnose and fix the problem. Then the owner left the car at the shop, never to return. The guy at the shop grew tired of looking at it the last few months and figured the first person with $350 cash could take it away...

So now there is a 740il with no plates, no title, and no coolant sitting here. I did get a bill of sale at least.

Best case I can get it running again with some hoses and a solid day of cleaning, get a title (salvaged?) from the DMV for a reasonable cost, and be driving in a nice e38 for under $1000.
Worst case it gets parted out, the body gets sold for scrap metal, and I make a couple of dollars after doing some work.

I have owned a handful of 7s in the past ('79 733i, '84 733i, '87 735i, '91 750il, and a '93 740i) and am hoping that all goes well and I can get some time behind the wheel of this one.

PS. I may be in the market soon for a cheap wrecked e38 with a clean title and current registration. anyone?

*keeping fingers crossed*

justchill 08-15-2012 07:53 AM

Hi, u can't retitle a junked vehicle. Only thing u can do is part it out

norcal99e38 08-16-2012 09:18 AM

2 Attachment(s)
So I found the leak... A small heater hose at the back of the motor. It is on order and should be here today!
Then I get to try and figure out why there is oil in the water... Head/gasket? Radiator?

@justchill... In CA you can retitle and register a junked vehicle. You need to get a brake and light inspection along with a smog certificate. After paying the DMV, you recieve a "salvage" title to the vehicle. If I keep it as a driver, the salvage title doesn't matter. It is when I go to sell it that the value will take a hit.

A couple of pics...

justchill 08-16-2012 09:23 AM

Nice, hopefully that solves the motor issue. Good luck with the title. Let us know How it goes

BMWFatherFigure 08-19-2012 06:37 AM

Head gasket(s) or possibly inlet manifold gasket(s) (common problem). Head gaskets can blow if engine boiled. If tranny fluid in radiator then you have a radiator problem with cooling tube in cool tank..

GVC 09-17-2012 10:46 AM

Great for you, Norcal. For $350, I don't think I need to say you can't go wrong. Just got mine over the weekend and thoroughly enjoy it! Good luck.

beemer1804 09-17-2012 07:07 PM

If you decide to resell it, please hit me up, i would like that car.

War Machine

edognight 10-01-2012 03:39 PM

Pull the trigger.
good form old man. I am jealous of you disregard of sense and opportunity taking. Do it!
Then if you could find me a 750 with a bad motor, I would be forever grateful!


BimmerBro 10-04-2012 08:35 PM

If the pictures do it justice, 350 is a STEAL. Even if you cannot resell it, you can use as your daily driver and reap the bmw experience! The engine issues are little concerning but even if you have to get another engine with it having a good looking body, you are still coming out way ahead!

btw, does the seller have anymore he would like to sell? ijs

norcal99e38 08-05-2014 04:56 PM

Sorry to bring back a long dormant topic but...

an update.

This car has served me well for a couple of years and about 12,000 miles but the end of the road may be here. Driving home the other day lots of bad noises started coming from the motor and the CEL came on. Made it home (only about 5 miles fortunately) and upon first inspection it seems the plastic valve guides are shot. Motor still starts and runs, but makes horrible noise. I will be pulling the valve covers/upper timing covers to confirm, but if what I suspect is the case she has driven her last mile (in my hands at least)

Anyone need some parts? want a project that is not worth the $$ it needs to make it right?

It has been a fun ride and I loved this car on the long road trips I took it...


Mayorchuck 08-05-2014 06:01 PM

Just drop your oil pan. What you find there will tell you all you need to know. You're likely to find pieces of the timing chain guide.

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