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8 Series - E31 (1989 - 1999)

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  #1  
Old 11-28-2010, 05:33 PM
wonderball wonderball is offline
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Hello, I am 16 and going to be getting my first car soon, how would 840ci work?

Hello,

I am 16 and looking to get a first car in a couple months. I will be frank with you guys, I am a diehard Merc fan, and not really a fan of BMWs, BUT, I do have a love affair for two BMWs: The E31 8-Series, and the E38 7-Series (over all new ones), other wise they don't really excite me.

As a Merc fan I was hoping to get one as my first (and I still do hope), but the main contender was the 2000-06 CL500 C215, which I love, the only problem is the maintenance and what can go wrong (ABC suspension), very very costly. Please don't lose your respect for me, but my father will be paying for whatever car I get, so I was maybe considering buying a warranty for the CL with my own money to be safe, but I still don't now.

Then I started thinking of the E38 which I love (my father had a 98 and then a 00 back when they were living in their glory as the best luxury sedans around), but it looks a little bit little like it was my parents car if I got one know. So then I though of the E31 which I have loved since I was a kid.

Just so you know my price range is probably <15-17K.

So any way, the point of this thread is:

Would say a 95 and up 840ci with maybe 70k miles give me real tough and expensive issues? Are these cars pretty reliable? I really have no knowledge of this car and its status in reliability.

What do you guys think overall of me overall getting this car as my first? How bout winter driving (with snow tires of course), is it decent? I recall the 740 not being to bad. I'm in LI, NY where we have snow on the ground maybe 1/6 of the winter, so winter ability is not THAT important.

Currently my only issue with getting this car is the fact that its a Bimmer, as I really want a Benz Sorry guys I know this is a BM forum. . . .

Looking forward to the responses


-John

btw, heres a vid I made of some of my fathers cars:


Last edited by wonderball; 11-28-2010 at 05:38 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-28-2010, 08:36 PM
TxGr8White TxGr8White is offline
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The E31 is not the car for you at that age. Don't mean to sound crass, but unless you have wrenching skills, this car can and eat you alive. Although the $15-$17K range will buy you a very decent 840 (try to stay with a 96 or 97), you will be looking at a car with around 50,000 miles. Just be ready to replace suspension parts, valve cover gaskets and a host of really brittle rubber and plastic parts. It helps if you can wrench on the car yourself, otherwise you are looking at some hefty labor charges for this work. It is best to find a car that has been meticulously maintained (i.e. has the service records to back it up).
Go to: www.wuffer.net and download the "Pre-Purchase" check-list and go from there. You might also want to check here: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...splay.php?f=55 for more info. Keep in mind that there are very few of the E31's out there - a rare car indeed.
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  #3  
Old 11-28-2010, 08:38 PM
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  #4  
Old 11-28-2010, 08:44 PM
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I agree, wrong car. I love em too, but they are not the car for your age. Why don't you consider a nice 3 or 5 series? My first BMW was a 1980 320i and I used it during my college years. I got it used, but I could drive the piss out of that tiny engine and it wouldn't give up.

I could also wrench it, since it didn't have that many computer parts on it... However, if you don't wrench, then have a good maintenance budget for that 8. Did you factor insurance too?
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  #5  
Old 11-29-2010, 02:57 PM
wonderball wonderball is offline
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Thanks for the responses guys. Makes sense.

As far as wrenching is concerned, my father and I service all our cars ourselves (as much as we can anyway), so believe it or not, I could change the oil, brakes and maybe a few relatively simple repairs on the car. Working on cars other other mechanics is probably my biggest 'talent' as I have been doing it for so long and learned so much from my father who was very talented in his youth. BUT, I'm not that good, and if these cars require serious repairs, and considering how relatively complex they are, I guess it would not be the best choice. A shame, I was hoping for it to be on the more reliable side. It seems like every car I have been interested in has been or is problematic (CL500, ML55 amg, and now 840).

What about the 740 is it just as bad?

Other wise any other good cars you think you could recommend me? I want something 'cool' and german in that price range.

-John
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  #6  
Old 11-29-2010, 02:59 PM
wonderball wonderball is offline
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Originally Posted by BLT View Post
?
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  #7  
Old 11-29-2010, 05:59 PM
TxGr8White TxGr8White is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wonderball View Post
Thanks for the responses guys. Makes sense.

As far as wrenching is concerned, my father and I service all our cars ourselves (as much as we can anyway), so believe it or not, I could change the oil, brakes and maybe a few relatively simple repairs on the car. Working on cars other other mechanics is probably my biggest 'talent' as I have been doing it for so long and learned so much from my father who was very talented in his youth. BUT, I'm not that good, and if these cars require serious repairs, and considering how relatively complex they are, I guess it would not be the best choice. A shame, I was hoping for it to be on the more reliable side. It seems like every car I have been interested in has been or is problematic (CL500, ML55 amg, and now 840).

What about the 740 is it just as bad?

Other wise any other good cars you think you could recommend me? I want something 'cool' and german in that price range.

-John
Well, the problem is that you are interested in an older car, it doesn't matter what brand - if you weren't the original owner and kept up with the regular maintenance, it will always be a crap-shoot. Same thing happens on my vintage Corvettes. As for being "unreliable" - well that is again a function of how well it was kept in the first place. After "restoring" mine to where I know what the maintenance cycle is, my car is very reliable - it is the journey to that point that can cost you some big bucks. The E31 is definitely worth it to me - you will NOT find a sexier looking BMW, that is also a rare bird at the same time. Do your homework and don't jump on the first one that comes along. Good luck!
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  #8  
Old 12-08-2010, 06:04 PM
BMWS441 BMWS441 is offline
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I'm the same age as u and I have a 740. My dad bought it from his friend so we knew the history. As far as how "cool" it is mine does not have the sport package so people don't notice it as much as I would like. So defiantly get the sport package. But with 17 u can get a really nice e38. I would say go for it! Get a 01 740i(not il) and people will defiantly notice u. No one has ever asked me if it was my dads but it may be because it has a swim team with my school emblem on it on the back window. I smoked my friends 07 e320 which don't get me wrong that's a nice car too. But it was his dads and a lot of people ask if its even his. I love Mercedes to but most people our age think they are grandma cars... I love my car its been great for the most part. It has its share of problems but I would say its worth it. BTW if u have to pay for ur gas, don't get it! 75 dollars to fill her up. But if u have ur moms extra credit card at all times like I do then don't worry about it . Hope this helps u out in ur decision and good luck!

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  #9  
Old 12-09-2010, 12:06 PM
huesey1974 huesey1974 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWS441 View Post
I'm the same age as u and I have a 740. My dad bought it from his friend so we knew the history. As far as how "cool" it is mine does not have the sport package so people don't notice it as much as I would like. So defiantly get the sport package. But with 17 u can get a really nice e38. I would say go for it! Get a 01 740i(not il) and people will defiantly notice u. No one has ever asked me if it was my dads but it may be because it has a swim team with my school emblem on it on the back window. I smoked my friends 07 e320 which don't get me wrong that's a nice car too. But it was his dads and a lot of people ask if its even his. I love Mercedes to but most people our age think they are grandma cars... I love my car its been great for the most part. It has its share of problems but I would say its worth it. BTW if u have to pay for ur gas, don't get it! 75 dollars to fill her up. But if u have ur moms extra credit card at all times like I do then don't worry about it . Hope this helps u out in ur decision and good luck!

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$75 to fill it up, I wish. I just put 115 in my 840ci which is roughly 170 dollars, How we brits get shafted with fuel tax.
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  #10  
Old 12-14-2010, 07:41 PM
flipstar flipstar is offline
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If your budget is 14-17K, why don't you look at a 2003+ E65? Clearly you are interested in power and luxury, and the E65 lacks neither. Reliability was not the car's forte; however, if you get one that was well taken care of throughout it's life, you will not likely have any issues other than routine maintenance. If the owner supplies you with a service history that LACKS many major services, I would stay away, because you will probably end up getting pegged with them. You will have far fewer problems with the E65 than the 840/850. Also, it looks leagues better than the E38. An E65 still has presence amongst the new cars these days, likely due to the fact that the model did not undergo many drastic visual changes from 2002 all the way until 2009. Unlike the 740i, nobody is going to mistake you for grandpa Charlie drivin' the ol rustbucket bimmer.
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  #11  
Old 12-14-2010, 07:51 PM
TxGr8White TxGr8White is offline
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Originally Posted by flipstar View Post
If your budget is 14-17K, why don't you look at a 2003+ E65? Clearly you are interested in power and luxury, and the E65 lacks neither. Reliability was not the car's forte; however, if you get one that was well taken care of throughout it's life, you will not likely have any issues other than routine maintenance. If the owner supplies you with a service history that LACKS many major services, I would stay away, because you will probably end up getting pegged with them. You will have far fewer problems with the E65 than the 840/850. Also, it looks leagues better than the E38. An E65 still has presence amongst the new cars these days, likely due to the fact that the model did not undergo many drastic visual changes from 2002 all the way until 2009. Unlike the 740i, nobody is going to mistake you for grandpa Charlie drivin' the ol rustbucket bimmer.
Anyone can drive an E65 or any other "Bangle-turd" out there. It is a true individualist that shows interest and appreciation for the E31 (or E38 for that matter). The E38 won the Turin Design award back in 1995 - can't seem to recall reading anything about any Bangle-beemer though. Reliability IS the E31's forte - Mine has almost a quarter of a million miles on it and there are many more out there like it. The 850 is one of the most "over-engineered" cars out there. Almost everyone I have every run into has the same horror vision/nightmare impression of the 8-series, but until you own one (that has been maintained) you will NOT understand it. People stop in parking lots, in front of my house, office, etc to take pictures of this car, as well as ask questions if I happen to be close by. You will NOT get that from any other newer BMW.

Here is one for you: from what I have heard, most people wouldn't take a 745Li if it were given to them because of the electrical nightmares some owners have experienced. I personally will stick with my 850 "Land-jet" and enjoy the fact that I am not driving something that 300,000 other people are.
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  #12  
Old 12-14-2010, 08:10 PM
flipstar flipstar is offline
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dear 8-series fan:

I, too, was one the proud owner of a car that garnered more attention than Angelina Jolie doing hot yoga in a white tee shirt. They came from miles around and asked "Oooh, what is that??" To which I replied: "Its a turd with crumbs for wheels."

I'm not saying you're 850 doesn't get an audience - I'm sure it does - but so what? I lust for an e90 m3 or m5 much more than the 850, but I'm not going to go ask every m3 driver questions about his car.

Anyways, this is besides the point. I was simply making a suggestion for the young gentleman. I believe an e65 would be a better choice for him than the 850, if for nothing but the fact that it will cause him less trouble. Now, there are equally many other delicious alternatives (so listen up, OP!):
E46 M3?
E39 M5 (ooooooh this is a fantastic idea! what a wonderful car)
Benz CLK 430 AMG
Even a porsche boxter.. Like father like son!

Good luck in your hunt.

EDIT - I really think you should look for an e39 M5. Now THAT is the ultimate combination of luxury, comfort, style, power and even price.
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  #13  
Old 12-16-2010, 01:00 PM
dazer2000 dazer2000 is offline
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Lightbulb

Get an e38, charge it to 415 and then you have a motor!
I've got a 94' 740i one of the first complete with normal niggles etc, bbs alloys and standard, no one looks apart from bmw badge and at the lights they pull up and take off reving there guts out while I'm not trying!
They are unique and beautiful power without compromise andman they handle good to! I'm an ex precision driver and can easy throw it drift it and amaze my mates and the cardoes it easy, my mate has a m3 e36 and he can hold me up until a Tom then tatta goodbye i win everytime same mitsi evo5
What a beautiful car.
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  #14  
Old 12-29-2010, 11:05 AM
A white m3 A white m3 is offline
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e34 or e39 m5.


bites daddys lame lethargic "benz" in the ass.. ( I hate automatic mercrappers btw )
/end thread.

p.s. - Know the difference between, "now" and "know"

Last edited by A white m3; 12-29-2010 at 11:12 AM.
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  #15  
Old 12-29-2010, 02:32 PM
745Japan 745Japan is offline
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Dad's paying so wth bro. Get a used 745i, go with a nice set of staggered 22's and call it a day. I bet all the chicks would flock to you.
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  #16  
Old 01-11-2011, 09:55 PM
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If you're dad's paying for it wait for the M8 or get and 850 csi.
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  #17  
Old 01-12-2011, 04:56 AM
TxGr8White TxGr8White is offline
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If you're dad's paying for it wait for the M8 or get and 850 csi.
He will be waiting for a LONG time, since there is only 1 M8, and it is in the basement of BMW headquarters in Munich...
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:03 AM
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He will be waiting for a LONG time, since there is only 1 M8, and it is in the basement of BMW headquarters in Munich...
Well it's well worth the wait
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  #19  
Old 01-13-2011, 10:15 PM
Ken740 Ken740 is offline
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I agree with 745JAPAN, he's exactly right... get a nice 745i or Li throw some 22's on it and relax,, looks like you have a nice crib and
a couple other sick rides to show off to all the girlies...you're doing good young man...
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  #20  
Old 01-19-2011, 07:18 PM
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You are lucky your Dad was born before you..

When you pull the spoon out of your mouth can I have it so I can sell it for scrap silver value..?

I kid.. Congrats on choosing between either of the cars that I worked the last 10 years to be able to afford, as your first car.
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  #21  
Old 01-19-2011, 08:23 PM
Charmander Charmander is offline
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Convince father to allocate his income to you so he can get into a lower tax bracket and behind his back take all the money he gave you and spend it on a new 7 series .

The insurance is going to be about 3 grand either way old car or new car for a 16 yr old male driver, so go for the newer stuff lol.

I would also make sure that if you are a dependent on your Father, make sure he will pay for insurance, fuel costs.. etc well into your college years so you don;t get hit with the cost of ownership.

Don;t drink and drive and be safe.

Congrats =D
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  #22  
Old 01-20-2011, 09:40 AM
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  #23  
Old 02-03-2011, 07:17 PM
tonis750 tonis750 is offline
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good luck kiddo but sence its your first car all i can say is go for an older model.
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  #24  
Old 05-04-2011, 03:32 PM
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Carabinieri-One Carabinieri-One is offline
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Well said and good advice

I have had a 745Li. Electrical nightmares is right. I was fortunate to have a great dealership I bought from and an Extended Warranty. Don't buy a B'mmer without one, or you are asking for trouble. Traded up to a 750 and everything has been lovely, thank God!

I also had a CL55AMG and yes major Airbag issues, yet again I had an Extended Warranty, so no worries. The 8 Series is not the car for you right now. Good luck to you and I hope you have gotten, or you get what you want.
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  #25  
Old 05-04-2011, 07:03 PM
Youngproexec Youngproexec is offline
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Get a well cared for E39. Just make sure it had a coolant overhaul done and your basically ready to go ..
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