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Introduction, and "is this worth saving/parting" q


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I'm new here so firstly I wanted to introduce myself. (Hi, my name is Mark, I am a BMW fanatic). Seriously, my name is Mark and I'm mostly an E28/E24 guy but have been fascinated by 2002's since driving one back in 1976. I've never owned one, but have owned many E28 5-series cars, and currently own a pristine '85 635csi 5-speed (which is for sale), an '01 325i 5-speed, and my wife drives an '03 525i. I hope to some day have a nice 2002 driver, and perhaps when the 6'er sells I'll be able to do that.

Here's my question. Occasionally I part out e28's so I'm always looking for local older BMW's. I stumbled across the 2002 below. It's a '74 automatic. Floor boards rotted, but someone took the time some 10 years ago to replace body panels (rockers, etc.) and paint it. It comes with a carborated engine and automatic transmission (see pictures) but also a spare tii engine in unknown condition and a 5-speed transmission. The current engine does turn over (by hand). I have not looked at the tii engine. I'm considering picking it up to maybe put back together somewhat and re-sell, or to part out (or to sell as-is). I'm wondering what your advice would be.

Again, I'm new here so I honestly hope you guys aren't offended by the idea of parting it out or reselling this car. I think maybe it's beyond restoration, at least to me. Also, so you guys don't think I'm some kind of flake (laughs) I do all my own work so I always have my hands in my cars, and frequent the mye28.com and e46fanatics forums. Anyhow, I would appreciate anyones advice or responses.























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"Parts Car." And even in the rust belt it's teetering...

If you handy with a welder and the floorboards are the only serious rust, (beware of the inner rockers--if they're rusted through it really is a parts car) it may be salvagable. I'm surprised that the rear wheel arches are still good--but inspect them carefully to see if they've been messed with. Sitting with no dizzy cap and especially no oil filler cap may have done Bad Things to tne engine's innards...I'd also look for critter damage to the wiring harness, and inspect the underside carefully for serious rust from sitting on damp ground for many years. I would also suspect brakes, wheel bearings, driveshaft center support bearing etc etc.

It's pretty rough...and should be free or close to it. It could be fixed up, but might be better as a parts car for one that hasn't been sitting outside under a tarp for a long time...

Paint still looks pretty good though...


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Rust free 02's in WI are rare. With the rockers, fenders, having been replaced by the PO on the 02 and by the pics, the shock towers look in decent shape. I would say it's worth saving since someone took the effort to fix some of the rust a few years ago. It's not that much trouble to weld in new floor boards and a spare tire well. Since it's an automatic, a 5 speed conversion will be easy. It looks like the car has been repainted and Verona red is a semi rare color for an 02. Take in to account that this car has been sitting for a while and is a major project car, you should be able to buy it for cheap. All rubber will have to be replaced, fluids drained, etc... Just take a look at the project blog section of the FAQ to get some ideas. I recommend that you don't put the big diving board bumpers back on, go with the Euro bumper look. Square tail light 02's look awesome with a Euro bumper conversion. I've owned several 74 02's for nearly 30 years and I prefer square tail lights over roundies. One you get it up and running, don't plan on driving it during the winter. Welcome to the madness...

If you don't want to deal with a major project car, go to CA and get a rust free CA 02 and drive it back to WI. Lots of 76 02's in CA for cheap. Think of the road trip adventure...


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Ooph! This looks to me, to be a decent parts car. Though, from the pictures you've posted, it doesn't look too terrible, but.. I'd be very curious to see what else is lurking rust-wise in the panels.

IMHO, this is either a great source of parts.. OR.. a along term rebuild project. Regarding the price, out here in California, I wouldn't pay more than $500.00 for it.

Does look like it's relatoively complete, which is a perk. :-/

It all depends on what you wanna' do with it.

I bought a non-running car like this in just a little better condition than this for $180.00. :-/

- Ken

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Hi Mark, and welcome! Your photos show a car that's pretty far down the road toward the junkyard. I wouldn't personally try to bring it back for the following reasons:

1. It's not an overly desirable model--square tail (late 74-76), automatic. Some might appreciate the automatic trans, just not me.

2. It will require substantial body work, and possibly frame work. This won't be cheap, and the cost of doing the work, even if you by the parts and do the work yourself, would likely exceed the cost of buying a shell in good condition.

3. The engine compartment, and its contents, don't look too promising. It looks like the engine has been picked over a bit, since the valve cover cap and distributor cap are missing, as are the headlights and grills.

4. The interior looks like it's been through quite a bit of weather, meaning you might be challenged finding buyers for any of the door cards, instrumentation, knobs, etc. Well, you might find buyers, but not necessarily at prices that will make your time investment worth while.

The tii engine is certainly worth investigating, though if it's in the same shape as the car, it may take some investment of time and materials to bring back to life.

This assessment goes out the window if the car and/or motor are available for free or very low dollars.

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Very good information - thanks, guys. I really appreciate your opinions (and experience). If I were to do this, I would try to get it for very little.

Regarding the paint, the original color was actually Artiksblau metallic -- so whoever painted decided they liked (verona?) red better. It was originally owned by an '02 guy who had 2 cars and gave this one to the current owner because he owed him money. Unfortunately, the current owner parked it in a barn for about 8 years, then the last year or so under a tarp outside. Seems a crime...but it is what it is.

I'll continue to mull it over....


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wow. im suprised the keys are still there and all! parked and left. id agree with the parts car bit, BUT, a lot of that bad might need to be cleaned off. if you can id pull off the valve cover and have look around under there.

and, in the post earlier, it was mentioned that a 5 speed is easy to swap into an automatic. whys that? i have an auto, want a five. was scared of a BIG project

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Based on those pictures I would still consider the body a good restoration candidate. I don't see any bad rust in those. The one showing underside of front fender looks a bit scary so there may be more rust. Floorboards always rust around those holes. Framerails, shock towers, lower parts of A-pillars and inner and outer rockers should be checked carefully to make decisions.

But it's just me and we come from different places with cars in different conditions... Maybe parting is right choice over there.

Oh - Welcome!


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and, in the post earlier, it was mentioned that a 5 speed is easy to swap into an automatic. whys that? i have an auto, want a five. was scared of a BIG project

The transmission tunnel for an automatic is bigger than the manual gearbox model. A 5 speed will fit in much easier in an automatic tunnel. After the automatic to 5 speed conversion is done, take it for a spin. The difference is night and day, you'll come back with a huge smile on your face. Been there, done that (converted my former 73 Bavaria from an automatic to a 5 speed).


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If you don't want to deal with a major project car, go to CA and get a rust free CA 02 and drive it back to WI. Lots of 76 02's in CA for cheap. Think of the road trip adventure...


You need to make a list of all the needed parts, what the parts will cost, then factor in your labor, what it's worth and what labor you'll have to purchase. Then you're in a position to assess whether it's worth it or not.

In my humble opinion, it's better to start with a good shell. It's been said over and over, "buy the best car you can afford". If you can't afford much then don't buy this car. You will spend a fortune to get this car in decent shape. You will do better to buy a good driver for $3k to $6k, and take it from there. As G-Man says, there are plenty of good California cars available. Yes, '76s are a good deal for out of state buyers. If you're not up to the road trip, then ship the car. It's still worth it...

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I have a '76 2002A. Weber, Pertronix, electric fan.

I bought it in 2001 in Denver.

Stored winters.

Have extra parts and tech info.

Currently licensed and insured. (I drove it to Elkhorn last week.)

It has flaws, but its pretty solid over-all.

$1300.00. If interested, email: jerzy[AT}tds[DOT]net

This picture flatters the car -

http://www.imgplace.com/viewimg153/5427/16homeontherange.jpg' target="_blank">free image hosting

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