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Hello everyone, I have a friend that has this well maintained 1998 740il, he always has filled her up with premium gas. he wants to sell it for $2000, but he gave me a good price of $1700. the car has 209km and is in clean condition.

Do you think it is worth this price? and also if i wanted to resell would i be able to make a profit?

Thanks
 

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Life with my '98 704iL

Hello Villa,

I bought a '98 740iL (E38/M62) in March of 2013. It has been a great ride, but like all old girls, requires some ongoing TLC.

A few things you need to know:

- The trunk is surprisingly narrow as both sides have been consumed for non-cargo use (CD Changer on driver side / battery on passenger side). Golf clubs will fit but must be loaded North/South, with some of the longer clubs removed.

- In late 1998 there was an engine design change. BMW introduced a variable camshaft adjustment system (known as VANOS) late in the year. The engines were designated M62 prior to the change and M62tu after. Engine work can be a little more complicated on the M62tu. Be sure to check the VIN plate on the door - it will show the date of manufacture in plain German/English.

- There are lots of plastic parts in this cabin and under the hood - after 18 years, they have become brittle. I've had a number of parts break (visor clips / interior trim / etc.). There are a number of suppliers on line who sell replacements. Count on paying double if you go to the dealer.

- There are assemblies inside the engine that include plastic pieces as well. The timing chain guides include plastic glide surfaces. These will fail at about this age (I replaced mine this summer - big job / >$800 in parts DIY). Ask the seller if this repair has been done yet. If not, count on doing it soon.

- I have replaced a number of suspension parts as the original parts failed. Here, literally, the squeaky wheel gets the maintenance dollars.

- The ignition key tumbler (the thing into which you insert the key to start the car) failed on my car. This is another common failure that is not terribly expensive to fix. The part was only available from BMW (about $120) and I replaced it myself (Indy BMW shops wanted $500). Getting the old one out requires special know how - not at all intuitive, but not difficult when you are coached up. Good DIY video exists for this job.

- The M62/M62tu engine has a vast vacuum advance system. Much of this network is composed of rubber hoses and seals. At 18 years old, such parts are also getting dry, brittle and possibly have cracked or shrunk a bit. Vacuum leaks can be hard to track down, but have a big impact on how well the engine runs. An Indy BMW shop near me has a device that injects smoke into the vacuum system under pressure. The point where the smoke leaks out is probably a leak under vacuum as well.

- Another common failure at this age is the OSV (aka intake manifold rear cover). This is a diaphragm valve that closes under large vacuum loads, preventing oily crankcase gasses from entering the intake mani. Under all other vacuum loads, the diaphragm valve is open allowing blow by gasses in the crankcase to be returned to the intake mani and, in turn, the pistons. The diaphragm will eventually get brittle and fail (sound familiar) preventing it from ever closing. This will allow oily gasses to enter the intake mani under heavy vacuum loads and result in an impressive amount of smoke coming out of the exhaust. When this happened to me, I thought I had lost a head gasket. However, smoke was coming out of both tail pipes equally when I noticed the problem (impossible with a single head gasket failure and highly unlikely that both head gaskets started leaking oil simultaneously). No smoke was being exhausted from either tailpipe prior. A new OSV runs about $120 (BMW). I DID NOT have good luck with an aftermarket OSV (about $65) and replaced it with a BMW part.

This may sound like a long list, and I'm sure I have a new adventure waiting for me right around the corner. However, if you enjoy a little DIY work and have a reasonable set of tools, you can stay ahead of father time. This forum is an absolute treasure trove of information and expertise from others who own or have owned these cars. There is nothing you will encounter that someone on the board hasn't seen before and solved. Each of the problems/repairs I mention above were covered by posts on this board and YouTube DIY videos. This emboldened me to tackle each repair, successfully, myself.

If you are willing to sign up for all this and pony up the $1700, you will soon own a top of the line luxury sedan that cost upwards of $70K when new.

Finally, this model was targeted at the Sedan Limo market competing against Town Cars and the like. Thus, the back seat has an impressive set of creature features as well as the most leg room I've ever seen. Keep this in mind if you have a teenage son and don't want to be a grandpa before your time!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you

Wow Slim740il, you provided me with everything i can ask for. what if I told you that I am a 20 year old, looking to buy this car as some sort of investment, what I had in mind was is the car was worth more than $1700, i can clean it up and give it a nice wash and resell it for maybe $2500. the car is amazing, but for a 20 year old, a V8 engine is too much for me.

Thanks for the information
 

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Flipping old Bimmers for a few hundo is tough. I'd say your success will have more to do with your salesmanship than the car...and you better have a bulletproof sales contract.

A buyer who knows these cars will ask about the maintenance history and adjust his offer accordingly.

A buyer who hasn't done his homework and thinks he's getting a luxury car for lunch money will be unhappy with you when some of the maintenance items I mentioned start popping up.

It may seem that you can net a quick $700 for a car wash and a decent detailing, but the real world is a bit more complicated. Search the Toronto area for other 740's for sale to see what market price is in your area.

Good luck!
 

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With that high of miles, I wouldnt pay more than a $1000. Even if it drives and is cosmetically "alright".

Like Slim said, there are quite a few common repairs that may need to be done. Some in your driveway, others you may not have the tools or skill to fix.

Speaking of tools, plan on having a full metric mechanics set, fan clutch tool, torx bits, multimeter, etc. On almost every repair I have done I had to buy an odd sized socket or wrench.

best of luck mate!
 

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The E38 market (if there really is one) in the GTA is pretty slim. Someone on a local enthusiast forum had a listing for a similar year/mileage for 4k, I believe it came certified and e-tested though.

It really depends on what you need to do to the car to make it work. I paid 3x what you've been offered just over a year ago and it was rough, I needed to put some money into it just to make the basic amenities work. The best way you're going to sell it will be getting it certified, if you can do that for less than $2k you should be able to make a bit of cash off it if you list around $4-5k.
 

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The E38 market (if there really is one) in the GTA is pretty slim. Someone on a local enthusiast forum had a listing for a similar year/mileage for 4k, I believe it came certified and e-tested though.

It really depends on what you need to do to the car to make it work. I paid 3x what you've been offered just over a year ago and it was rough, I needed to put some money into it just to make the basic amenities work. The best way you're going to sell it will be getting it certified, if you can do that for less than $2k you should be able to make a bit of cash off it if you list around $4-5k.
Sounds like a business prop! I find cheap cars that are good, you flip them, we both win! Lol.:thumbup:
 

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Sounds like a business prop! I find cheap cars that are good, you flip them, we both win! Lol.:thumbup:
It's something that I'd love to be able to do actually, but the wife won't allow it :( She doesn't want the font yard to turn into a 'garbage dump' with busted up cars. If I had more space I'd start buying up E38s and restore them, there's someone in the area that's already about 4 cars ahead of me when it comes to their working/daily E38s they've restored.
 

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With that high of miles, I wouldnt pay more than a $1000. Even if it drives and is cosmetically "alright"...
That's Canadian milage, also known as kilometers so it's more like 130k miles. And Canadian E38's are always more expensive, just not a lot of them up there.
 
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