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8 Series - E31 (1989 - 1999)

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  #1  
Old 06-09-2013, 11:38 AM
tnordholt tnordholt is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW 850CI Platinum Editio
850CI, have I messed up?

Hi all,
I have just managed to buy a 1998 850CI Platinum Edition with 50.000 km on the clock for only 1000USD. Thats all good.
The twist is this: I live in Riyadh Saudi Arabia, and the car belonged to a guy who ran his Hummer over a cliff and ended up paralyzed 9 years ago (not kidding!). Since then the bimmer has been standing outside without running, in sandstorms etc. Do you think I will ever get it to run again? Over the years one side window has been smashed, so its full of dust, and I have no idea where to find a new window. Can you guys give me some insights into where I may find a new side window, and maybe some ideas to how I start on this fantastic but daunting restoration project?

I had a look under the hood and except for the fact that everything is completely covered in sand dust, the engine bay looks great. Of course the car has never been exposed to water or humidity, but then again, after 9 years in 50 degrees C without moving an inch, im wondering what I need to do before turning the key the first time. Any comments would be appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 06-09-2013, 11:53 AM
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drivinfaster drivinfaster is offline
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while the e31 is an awesome chassis, having one that has been exposed to extreme heat for 10 years, as well as suffered a broken window at some point in time, can become a pandoras box.

the very first thing that should be done is spin the engine by hand to ensure that the pistons move freely in the cylinders. if there is no binding then there is a pretty fair chance that the thing may run again.

how it would run will depend on more factors than what i would be able to know, as i am not familiar with the weather in the area.

you may be able to find more specific info through the links here:http://www.8coupe.com/Resources/Clubs.aspx


i love the e31, one of my favorite chassis by bmw, and i have had 2 v12 7 series (e32). i miss having the v12.


good luck, and if possible, pictures would be wonderful!!



df
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  #3  
Old 06-09-2013, 10:35 PM
tnordholt tnordholt is offline
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Good idea

Thanks for your ideas on turning the engine. I will probably get the sparks out and drop a couple of drops of oil int each cylinder to ease the process. Any other thinks I should do before I turn the key the first time?
Also im struggling to find a new side window. Any ideas as to where I may obtain such?
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  #4  
Old 06-10-2013, 03:39 PM
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drivinfaster drivinfaster is offline
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well good luck getting to the rear sparkplugs....they're all tight, really....

as for parts, there should be some good leads in the link i listed. it's a compilation of e31 sites for enthusiests, so that is where i would start.


more pics would be nice, though!!



df
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  #5  
Old 06-10-2013, 10:01 PM
tnordholt tnordholt is offline
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OK, I will keep that in mind, and hopefully I can get to the rear plugs somehow. I have attached some pictures, hope you can see them. I know its a shocker when you first see them, but remember the car has been sitting in the desert for 9 years As far as I can see the paint looks realy good under all the dirt, and the leather inside looks good too. It will be really exciting to get started on this project.
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  #6  
Old 06-11-2013, 07:20 PM
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TerryY TerryY is offline
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if all else fails the spark plug wrench in the toolkit will take out the two rear spark plugs. It isn't fancy or shiny but it is supposed to work well.
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  #7  
Old 06-12-2013, 12:53 AM
tnordholt tnordholt is offline
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Ok I will try to look for the tool kit. My problem is all my tools are in Denmark and im here in Saudi Arabia, so the whole restoration project will likely take some time, as I will have to find parts and well as tools as I go along. Will keep you posted.
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  #8  
Old 06-12-2013, 12:57 PM
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TerryY TerryY is offline
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The tool kit is built into the trunk/boot lid
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  #9  
Old 07-11-2013, 12:42 PM
Thesatman Thesatman is offline
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You have some serious cleaning to do. I would be sure to vac out every nook and cranny of the interior and engine bay. Then blow it out with an air compressor...then vac it out again before I even thought of removing a spark plug. I would also disconnect, inspect, clean, and lubricate with dielectiric grease EVERY connector in the engine bay. I would also inspect all fuses before hooking up a battery. If you get this cleaned up and running then you got a steal at a thousand bucks.
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  #10  
Old 07-11-2013, 09:37 PM
tnordholt tnordholt is offline
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Thanks for the advise and that is what I did In the last 2 weeks a lot has happened. The car was owned by Prince Walid, one of the wealthist men in the world (if you read arabic you can see the picture of the ownership cert. with his name on), and I had the pleasure of meeting him (for 3 minutes haha) for him to sign the ownership transfer documents. Interesting experience. Anyhow, I moved it over to my own house and started a week long cleaning proces which included checking and cleaning every single connector. I have to say I am impressed at how new everything looks under all the dust. The engine bay looks like it came from the factory yesterday. I am still waiting to get various filters and fluids send down from Europe, and I am still struggling to find a place where I can buy a new passenger side side window and driver side mirror (any ideas???). so I have not tried to start it yet. I installed new battery and while I cant be sure all electronics function before I start it, with the ignition on it seems everything is working 100% perfect.
The interior took a loooong time to clean up. In the end I removed the seats and got my maid to do most of the hard work, but now it looks fantastic again. The leather got new life with some leather cleaner and I spend hours with the vacuum cleaner and air compressor to make sure all nooks and crannies were cleaned properly. My fear is that when I turn on the aircon at some point, the whole cabin will be filled with dust again, but hey, better out than in.
The exterior looks fantastic now after a couple of hours of washing, cleaning, polishing and waxing. I was told the prince used to keep this car in his airconditioned closed garage with the rest of his fleet, and it is very evident that this car was very very well maintained. There is not a single microscopic dent or scratch anywhere which I think is impressive, especially because people down here drive pretty rotten.
Im still waiting for new tires and a few other bits and pieces, but the plan is to get far enough to try starting this beauty in the next couple of weeks. I will try to post some pictures and videos later.
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  #11  
Old 07-12-2013, 08:04 PM
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TerryY TerryY is offline
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Need to change both batteries at the same time if you have not already done so. One on each side.
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  #12  
Old 07-23-2013, 09:26 AM
mrtzmd mrtzmd is offline
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Smile advice before start up

Just a little advice before start up. Probably a good idea to spray marvel mystery oil, regular oil or wd40 into the pistons (maybe 1-2 ounces each cylinder) and turn the engine without spark for several seconds to help avoid breaking piston rings as they are probably bone dry. Fantastic aqcuisition, congratulations!
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  #13  
Old 07-23-2013, 10:22 AM
tnordholt tnordholt is offline
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Thanks for the advice, that was also my plan. I expect to finally get to the point of starting it up in the coming week. It has taken a long time because its really hard to get the right parts send from Europe down here to Saudi Arabia, and the ownership paperwork is just taking a loong time, but things seem to finally happen now.
I still havent found a new side window or an m-sport drivers side missor so if anyone knows where I can get such, please do let me know.
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  #14  
Old 07-23-2013, 10:52 AM
mrtzmd mrtzmd is offline
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side window

email Craig M. cmohr56@yahoo.com he's parting out an 840 and may have the side windows.
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  #15  
Old 07-23-2013, 09:13 PM
tnordholt tnordholt is offline
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Thanks for the heads-up, I have mailed Craig
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  #16  
Old 07-24-2013, 04:04 AM
Lazar Florian Lazar Florian is offline
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Cool Long job

Everything that is rubber has to be changed... You gonna find that the e31 has a lot of rubber on it. The electronic part I don't see any trouble, just the contacts, which you can fix them with that special spray. The in interior needs special care products (but you allready know that). My advice is to do bulk rebuild. You can do that by using the groups from the parts diagram. For example FRONT SPRING STRUT/SHOCK ABSORBER + GUIDE SUPPORT/SPRING PAD/ATTACHING PARTS. Anything else, ask. I am rebuilding my 850 CSi. Good luck (which translate in e31 language to ,,good wallet") )))).
PS. for some parts you can use not the OEM but the official supplier (for example Lemfoerder for the aluminium wishbone)
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  #17  
Old 07-24-2013, 06:01 AM
tnordholt tnordholt is offline
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Hi Lazar, thanks for all the good advice. So far it actually seems most rubber as well as shock absorbers, brakes etc. are is good condition. I think it is simply because the car has only been driven in Saudi Arabia and has onlIy 50000 km on it. It practically never rains here and the humidity is probably less than 10%. I wont know for sure about the electronics before I get power on, but again I remain positive due to the climate here.
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  #18  
Old 07-24-2013, 12:09 PM
Lazar Florian Lazar Florian is offline
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The rubber will be the problem. My car has only 77000 km...and same rubber problem because of time...Before you buy anything, ask here, or PM me...There are a lot of repair kits. For example, the repair kit caliper. Don't buy OEM, buy ATE (thats the OE manufacturer ))) ). Don't pay the BMW logo
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  #19  
Old 07-24-2013, 09:41 PM
tnordholt tnordholt is offline
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Hi Lazar, thanks for the comments. Yes I believe you are right that some of the rubber parts like the seals in the calipers may need to be replaced. Also great to hear about ATE, I had no idea. I will for sure use them when I know which parts needs to be replaced.
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  #20  
Old 07-25-2013, 01:12 PM
CaifanSC CaifanSC is offline
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Sounds like your car has pedegree. What's the status of this?

YOu will be able to find more help at bimmerforums.com in the 8 series board.

The exterior color is not THAT common, and the car has some cool OEM options like rear PDC parking sensors.

I wish you the best with the resto. Would love to see some pix.
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  #21  
Old 08-24-2013, 09:36 AM
tnordholt tnordholt is offline
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Guys, im stuck and need some help! I finally made it to the point of trying to crank the engine the first time. The starter tries to crank the engine as I can feel the car shaking and hear the starter trying its best, but for some reason it cant crank the engine around. I had planned to get the plugs out and drop oil in each cylinder before trying to start it up for the first time, but as the special tool for removing the plugs is missing, I decided just to try cranking it. If you think oil in each cylinder will help, please advice how I can get the plugs out without using the special tool.
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  #22  
Old 08-25-2013, 11:48 AM
tnordholt tnordholt is offline
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Happy to report she runs! Today I got 2 new batteries with 95 amps each and that was what it took to crank the engine the first time. I have to say I was really surprised that it started after just 5 seconds, idled rough for 10 seconds and settled into a nice smooth idle. No problems with fuel pumps or ignition or anything like that. The temperature settled nicely in the middle and the check oil light turned off, so the engine itself is working perfectly. I have one major problem though, as I realized the water was pouring out of the side of the expansion box. I have no idea why, but it seems the expansion box have cracked so I need to get a new or used one. Do any of you fellow enthusiasts have any idea where I can get that?
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  #23  
Old 08-25-2013, 11:11 PM
Lazar Florian Lazar Florian is offline
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Thats great. The expansion tank probably was the old model. As for the batteries, I recomand staying with the OEM amps which is 74 (or 72 I think, forgot). Dunno from where, I guess from the dealer. :-??
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  #24  
Old 08-26-2013, 12:16 AM
tnordholt tnordholt is offline
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Yes it may have been the old model, but then again its a 98 model so it should probably be the new model. Anyhow, I have ordered a new expansion tank from ebay so should get that in the next few weeks. By the way, would it be ok to run the engine without any water in the expansion tank?
I have attached a couple of pictures of how the engine room looked before and after cleaning, pretty big difference.
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  #25  
Old 08-26-2013, 08:39 PM
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TerryY TerryY is offline
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Running it with less than a full coolant system will probably lead to early engine death. They don't like being overheated at all.
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