Jump to content

How Fast is Too Fast


Billsmith
 Share

Recommended Posts

I just acquired a 1972 '02 and am brand new to this forum. It seems to be in great shape. Engine is strong, transmission smooth, has a total of 95,000 original miles on it. About six months ago, the seller had the head gasket blow resulting in a cracked head. The head was welded and ground as a repair. The seller advised me the car was not designed for interstate speeds. When I read the manual, it seems that is was designed for even higher speeds. My brain is telling me to keep it under 55 but my heart is saying get it up to 70. I haven't really had the car long enough to have complete confidence in it although in the 50 miles I have driven it, it has not tended to overheat and has plenty of power. Any advice for me regarding reasonable speeds will be appreciated.

post-18990-13667632867867_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 36
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Posted Images

I just acquired a 1972 '02 and am brand new to this forum. It seems to be in great shape. Engine is strong, transmission smooth, has a total of 95,000 original miles on it. About six months ago, the seller had the head gasket blow resulting in a cracked head. The head was welded and ground as a repair. The seller advised me the car was not designed for interstate speeds. When I read the manual, it seems that is was designed for even higher speeds. My brain is telling me to keep it under 55 but my heart is saying get it up to 70. I haven't really had the car long enough to have complete confidence in it although in the 50 miles I have driven it, it has not tended to overheat and has plenty of power. Any advice for me regarding reasonable speeds will be appreciated.

As long as everything is in good shape, it's good to go well over interstate speeds for hours at a time. It might rev a little higher and sound a little rougher compared to more modern cars (maybe thats why the PO was uncomfortable with it), but the car will handle it just fine.

On the other hand, perhaps there are problems with your specific car that made it feel uncomfortable at high speeds for the PO, and those might need addressed. Shocks, wheel bearings, ball joints, worn bushings, wheel imbalance, worn center bearing/guibo, etc. might all lead to it feeling dangerous at speed, and the PO simply opted to blame it on the car's design.

I've been comfortable at 115+ mph in my old beater on race tracks, but I've went thru the suspension and replaced everything...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Drive it like you stole it. The car was designed to be driven on the autobahn. You'll find numerous references on this forum about members driving their cars in excess of 100 mph. That said, you should perform a thorough inspection of the brakes, steering, suspension and driveline before beating the hell out of the car and risking your life, license and liberty. If you use the Forum Search link at the top right of the page, you'll dig up oodles of tips, FAQ's and blogs that will help you inspect your car, diagnose issues, and get it in proper working condition. Then you can drive it like a herd of cattle.

Best of luck with your sweet looking ride!

Grice

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My Touring has over 220,000 KM on it, and a 4.11:1 diff. I have spent hours on the highway at 4500-5000 RPM. A little hard on me, but the car really smooths out and seem very comfortable in the 4-5K rpm range. Ditto on the advice to carefully check out the running gear. It is no fun having suspension failure at any speed. They really do seem to like to be driven hard.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The engine in my 73 was worn out when I got the car 10 years ago. The oil light stays on a long time after I start the engine, like 5-6 seconds. I have been driving it 75-80 mph on the freeways for 10 years with a 4 speed and it refuses to die. I take it on 600 mile trips and It seems to like it at around 4000-4200 rpm. My son keeps telling me " That thing has just got to blow up some day" I think it may outlast me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice looking car... I'm the opposite of the other listers.I agree with the PO. These cars stock are hard and tiring to drive on the highway. Try driving cross country at 4-5000 rpm. Better yet an hour will tire you out at 75. The most popular mod to these cars is a 5 speed which makes them a wonderful highway car.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My 1976 could barely go 50mph when I first got it.... and even if it could have gone faster, I wouldn't have wanted to try.

I've re-done most of the suspension and all of the brake parts. On Monday, I took it on my 16 mile highway commute for the first time...

My everyday vehicle is a Range Rover, and I typically drive 80-85mph on the interstate. In the 2002, I was going 55... and it felt rather terrifying. But after a day of driving it, I'm now very comfortable driving it 70mph. It runs at relatively high revs, but that's why I have a 5-speed in my garage waiting to be swapped in.

You'll get used to it quickly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

100 mph (top speed is about 107); that should tell you something.

You can drop highway revs about 800 at any given speed by installing an overdrive 5 speed from an E21 3 series (check archives.) My 73 is so equipped; my 69 still has its 4 speed. Last year I drove the 69 from OH to Atlanta on the interstate, maintaing a pretty steady 70-80 mph and 4000-4500 rpm (that would have been 32-3700 rpm in the 73). It was noisier, but with 223k on the original engine, the 69 was as happy as could be at those speeds.

Remember, BMWs were designed for sustained high speeds on (back then) speed-limitless Autobahns.

You're used to modern cars with much lower rpms at highway speeds. Once you get used to the revs, you'll find the car will do just fine. As was pointed out, though, make sure the brakes and suspension are up to the task--esp on a new-to-you car if you don't have any repair records.

Welcome to the madness/fraternity/sorority

mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Funny, I had the exact opposite. My 76 was comfortable brief runs of 90+ when I bought it (literally, on the way home), but my Range Rover Classic was terrifying above 40. Of course, bad bearings and tires had a lot to do with that.

A well sorted 02 should have no trouble at much higher than the legal speed limit on the freeway. Just check all the suspension that the PO probably neglected.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try driving cross country at 4-5000 rpm.

Done it, with 4-speed. Later on I swapped in a 3.90 diff to make the revs even higher, and have taken long trips at 75mph plus. Sure, my girlfriend doesn't think its as comfy as modern cars and it's a little noisy, but it's certainly tolerable. I'd still rather drive the 02 on long trips instead of the Subaru or Miata that I can also use. The question isn't whether you're personally 'comfortable' with it at high speed, it's whether the car can handle it or not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

just a little thought about our cars.

after 25 years fixing 2002's i have found

that may people fit into two groups.

first group, the car is nice and fun but they

don't like the way the car sounds at or above

3000 rpm's. the other group runs the car

not necessarily faster but in the range

that passes through the 3500rpm and into

a smoothness that is the result of different

engine harmonics.

what most people don't realize is that they

have two cars under one radiator cap.

the fan makes a racket at slow speeds

but in the higher rpm's the fan is quiet.

the valves and timming chain hush when run

at faster rpm also.

you should inspect the car fully and then

operate the car as both a sedate city car and

as a higher rpm sports car.

like the article said "a whispering bomb"

and i don't mean an explosion.

good luck

stone

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stone, Really gotta disagree. A forty year old car that is not totally rebuilt has no business running continually at 80% of suggested rpm. Running a car up to its maximum speed ???? 100 mph in a stock 2002 means either a really long straight or downhill. And no wind.And pushing all the components to max???As to the quote"built for the autobahn". My understanding is that the 2002 was built for the US market to help them survive financelly. There were similar bodied cars but the 2002 was an export...As to two different types of drivers. In 35 years I have driven many cars and motorcycles. I truly think it was a good i8dea they banned steering dampers. I love getting into a race prepared car for an hour. But driving a car beyond its limits is no fun any more. Use to do it all the time. And to that NIRVANA you speak of with 4 speeds. Why did BMW stop putting 4 speeds in any cars after 1980??? 31 years ago.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stone, Really gotta disagree. A forty year old car that is not totally rebuilt has no business running continually at 80% of suggested rpm. Running a car up to its maximum speed ???? 100 mph in a stock 2002 means either a really long straight or downhill. And no wind.And pushing all the components to max???As to the quote"built for the autobahn". My understanding is that the 2002 was built for the US market to help them survive financelly. There were similar bodied cars but the 2002 was an export...As to two different types of drivers. In 35 years I have driven many cars and motorcycles. I truly think it was a good i8dea they banned steering dampers. I love getting into a race prepared car for an hour. But driving a car beyond its limits is no fun any more. Use to do it all the time. And to that NIRVANA you speak of with 4 speeds. Why did BMW stop putting 4 speeds in any cars after 1980??? 31 years ago.

so you're group A. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...