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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I'm currently evaluating a 1985 M6 for purchase and could use some advice. The car has been sitting for the past 3.5 years. The body is in fair to good shape…tired paint, straight body (except for a very small ding on the left rear corner nest to the tail light lens) and is essentially corrosion free. There is a small (2 inch diameter corrosive cell next to the trunk latch). The car history shows a "rebuilt" title in 1987 with no history of damage, flooding, police reports, etc. That same report also shows no "grey market" which of course it is, so we are scratching our heads on the history reports we can find.

I'm looking for "sage wisdom" and advice as I'm considering a restoration of this vehicle and trying to look at all I can before making that commitment.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

"Doc"
 

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D'oh, You Kids!
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An E24 badged as an M6 wouldn't be grey market. An M635 would be. M6 was the label the US E24 M cars got. Run the VIN to make sure it's an actual M6.

As with all E24s, get it on a lift and really eyeball it closely for rust. If you see rust anywhere, like at the trunk latch, there WILL be more where you can't see. I expect you're considering a substantial investment. Get a comprehensive pre-purchase inspection. A couple hundred dollars spent now could very easily save you thousands later, and any problems found can be used as leverage to bump the price down.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
"Horn",

Thank you for the reply and information. This is what I've found searching the VIN number.
MODEL E24 M635CSi

MODEL CODE 5531

VIN WBAEE310X01051665

PRODUCTION DATE January 1985

COUNTRY OF ORIGINAL SPECIFICATION Germany

EXTERIOR COLOR (PAINT CODE) Diamond Black metallic (181)

INTERIOR COLOR (UPHOLSTERY CODE) Nutria Buffalo leather (0181)

FACTORY/OEM OPTIONS
415mm cross-spoke alloy wheels, green-tinted glass, power sunroof, rear headrests, headlight wipers + washers, air conditioning

The car has been idle for 3.5 years and we are having trouble getting her to start for the pre-buy review. We will have her up in the air and crawl through her pretty good this week.

Please feel free to pass along any wisdom and advice. Also if you have a good feel for a value I'd enjoy hearing that. The car has a "rebuilt" title from 1987 and the current owner is unaware of why. (He is number 3 or 4 in the car's history). We can't find any flood or body issues cobbled and spliced together so we are all curious about that.

I'll get some pictures and post them soon. The car has German words on the systems panel and "small" bumpers so that is why we believed it to be a "grey" car. Do you think the M6 logo's were added after it arrived in the U.S.?

"Doc"
 

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D'oh, You Kids!
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The car has German words on the systems panel and "small" bumpers so that is why we believed it to be a "grey" car. Do you think the M6 logo's were added after it arrived in the U.S.?

"Doc"
Yes, I do. The M6 moniker wasn't used any place but the US. Your car is indeed an M635, not an M6, which is good. Although the US M6 is desirable, they are down on power pretty substantially from the Euro version. Why no Federalization papers, i have no idea.

One thing you should establish is if/when the timing chain was replaced/upgraded. That is a job that needs to be done before 100k miles, and if it hasn't been done, it's a $3,000+ job to have done. You really REALLY don't want the chain to jump time. New or replacement heads for the S38/M88 are just about unobtainium rare.

Sitting for 3.5 years, I can practically guarantee the injectors are clogged. See if it will fire on starter fluid. If so, the position and speed sensors are good (you should be getting fuel pressure, too). There may be a clogged/inoperative fuel pump (or pumps....one in-tank and one outside the tank) If you have no fuel pressure and no spark, suspect either or both the position sensor and speed sensor, located on the bellhousing.

I love Bimmerfest, but I have to admit there is very little traffic here on the E24 forum. You might consider joining the Big Coupe Group: www.bigcoupe.com That site is very active, and has many members with M635s/M6s that can give you much better advice than what I can give. I have two E24s, but neither is an M version. The M88/S38 engines are beasts unto themselves.

Ken
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks again for your help. The starting problem seems to be "no spark" and we've learned from the owner that was the beginning of the idle period for this car. Lack of ground seems to be the general problem and I've been reading quite a few posts with ideas for this problem…some for the M635/M6 and some for other vehicles.

I'll check out the other group you referenced. I'm still scratching my head as to which engine this car has I'll post pictures soon and hopefully that will help. The BMW registry says it's the S38 motor….but I've also seen comments saying that was the U.S. motor with lower compression for emissions control which doesn't jive with this being a "euro" car.

Doc
 

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D'oh, You Kids!
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By all means, post some pictures, particularly of the engine.

Oddly enough, ALL the M6/M635 VIN searches show the engine as being an S38. We've recently had a discussion about that very thing on bigcoupe.com. We have no clue why they're all listed as S38s.

Does that car have a catalytic converter?

Ken
 

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Doc,
The engine is correct and the VIN confirms it is a real M635. Interior should clean up nicely (but it is not the original buffalo nutrina) and a paint job worthy of a real M635 will be expensive. I suspect the speedometer has been changed out due to the low mileage showing, and the rear spoiler and M6 emblem on the trunk lid is incorrect. See the picture below of my former M635 (#1998 which was produced in 3-85 vrs your #1665 which was produced in 1-85).
Given it has been sitting and not currently running...... and if no records proving the timing chain and tensioners have been done recently .... and by a competent mechanic, I would consider this more of a project car. If you can buy it cheaply enough to spend $10K-$15K on it to get it sorted and running correctly plus another $5K-$8K for a proper paint job ...... you will have an excellent driver going forward. I would think this is a $7.5K-$8.5K car as it sits now. That is just my 2C, having been down the road you are considering.
Good Luck!
 
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