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8 Series - E31 (1989 - 1999)

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Old 07-26-2011, 03:55 PM
Iamtheonlyreal1 Iamtheonlyreal1 is offline
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Location: Oklahoma
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 27
Mein Auto: 1999 540i
Need advice.. Purchasing a 91 850ci tomorrow.

I am purchasing what appears to be a very clean 1991 850CI tomorrow.. The carfax looks great, records are good, and it has 76,000 miles. Everything is factory, and is an older person owned vehicle.. The paint is nice (Calypso Red), no dings or peeling. The interior is nice and everything appears to work..

The gentleman seems to be very honest, and I am driving 4.5 hours to pick it up.. The issues with the car is this..

He said the drivers window is not automatically dropping that 1/4 inch when you open your door. I am wondering if anyone has had any issues with that.. The passenger door is working just fine.. He also said you cannot automatically lock or unlock the car with the drivers door key lock.

Secondly he said that the battery will run down after about a week of sitting. In the car fax report, there has been repairs order to electrical issue.. Again, everything works.. Now I am a General Motor Tech, and I have experience with improper battery capacities that cause run down with no actual vehicle issue.. I am wondering if anyone has had this same type of experience.

I am very mechanically inclined, and am in the restoration business, but I would like to know if anyone has any advice on what to look for tomorrow.. Again, it seems the guy seems very honest, and I am purchasing the car for 8000 dollars, which seems to be a very fair price for the car?
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Old 07-26-2011, 04:12 PM
drivinfaster's Avatar
drivinfaster drivinfaster is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: in the sticks you piney
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 12,240
Mein Auto: rescued bmw's
love these cars, but would do an internet search for the e31. here's a start;




there are a lot of electronics and such with this car, and it is not one for a light wallet, even with mechanical experience. it just means that maintenance is cheaper since you do not pay labor. (which is a lot).

there are also more bmw forums that have a better e31 section than here (based on my e32 experience).

as for the window, it most likely is a microswitch. common issue on bmw's.

the battery, however, could be the money pit.

either way, these are awesome cars and i would love to be able to get another v12. we'll just have to wait a bit.

good luck, and post pics, please!!

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Old 07-26-2011, 06:43 PM
TxGr8White TxGr8White is offline
Sick Puppy Motorwerks
Location: Dallas
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 132
Mein Auto: BMW 850Ci
The window drop can be microswitch in the door handle, or corrosion on the relays in the Relay Module (located in the drivers side door sill under the black plastic cover).
Battery drain can be a few things, but mostly it is due to old batteries (yes there are two of them). In regard to the batteries, both of them need to be of the same brand and size. Charge new batteries PRIOR to installing them.
Most 8-owners will switch to the larger battery (INTERSTATE MTP-93, Duralast 49DL or similar).

Go to: www.wuffer.ca, and under the "DOWNLOAD" Section, you should find the "Pre-Purchase Checklist". This is very comprehensive and generally a great place to start if you need to know what to look out for.

The price is within the range for this car.

White 1993 850Ci - 251,187 miles
Black 1993 850Ci - 125,508 miles
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