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omarphi215 09-17-2012 07:04 AM

88 e32 5spd
Hello everyone! I am a former e30 owner and I have owned an e34 also. I now have an opportunity to buy a 1988 735i e32. It's been sitting for at least 5 years without once being started. The guy told me to make an offer. I don't know the guy well but he seems to be a really nice guy who has this beast buried in his garage. It's not running of course, has a minor ding on the rear driver side..the interior could use some TLC but it's in pretty decent shape from that I can tell.
I need help trying to price this car and and more importantly, I need to best figure out what's wrong with it and estimate the cost to get it back on the road. Can anyone give me some suggestions as to how to go about this? It's a manual by the way. I am a noobie when it comes to BMW but i am willing to get my hands dirty (not trying to pay someone else if possible) I am also on a budget but don't want to miss out on getting this car. I could use a simple check list. Should I buy a battery and see if it I change all fluids first? Not sure where to start.

BMWFatherFigure 09-20-2012 08:00 PM

A starting point for service considerations: Tyres, battery, ALL fluids during MAJOR service, spark plugs, waterpump, t'stat, radiator flush, compression check. Maybe to start with: spin it up with fresh oil and oil filter, two batteries, no spark plugs installed and coil disconnected. When you get the oil light out THEN compression check, fire it up and see. Good luck - hope it goes well for you

omarphi215 09-22-2012 07:53 AM

Thanks ! That helps. I'll be sure to change all fluids. I will need a battery I'm sure, I'll be getting another chance to look at it next week and get more details as well as service records.
Thanks again!

omarphi215 09-30-2012 01:11 PM

More details on the 88 e32 has 204,000 miles on it, has been parked in a garage for the last five years without being started up. The engine was serviced about 5 years ago. I'm going buy a battery on Thursday and see if she starts up for me. Wish me luck. It's a five speed which I understand is rare. In looking forward to getting her road ready

BMWFatherFigure 10-06-2012 11:39 PM

You could find that all the carbon/gum etc in the engine has been softened by the 'fresh' oil left in it. The debris will end up in the oil filter and block it (don't ask how I found out). Be prepared for two filter changes on the same oil.

RandalLovelace 12-01-2013 09:55 AM

Check the front suspension and steering - the upper control arms on my 88 735i both need replacing - and the 'initial drive' I didn't feel any issues with them, but the next day the front shimmy at speed and the shimmy while braking became apparent.

John in VA 12-01-2013 06:07 PM

Are you aware of the 7-series-specific section?

These are also good resources:

RandalLovelace 12-01-2013 06:47 PM

John in VA =- if that was to me - Yes..

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